David Thompson
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July 24, 2020

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Captain Nemo

This just in.

I see what you did there... And on a related note:

https://twitter.com/LondonMudlark/status/1285998697084416002

Captain Nemo

His biceps are more impressive than yours:

https://twitter.com/SteveStuWill/status/1285967841670369281

Rick Henwood

How to make a neat square of water.

How to make a neat cube of water

Rick Henwood

This just in

Rather disappointing method of purloining a supposed insertable.

BlogDog

RE: This just in
Serious dick move bro!

JuliaM

"It’s all kicking off down at the pet shop."

C'mon, who else was singing the Jets & Sharks song from 'West Side Story' when they saw that?

Oh.

Just me then?

sH2

Scenes

Ex's car?

sH2

Ex's ex-car.

MC

His biceps are more impressive than yours:

The best bit about that thread is the follow-up tweet about why the bottoms of captive female baboons are growing ever more colossal.

David

Morning, all.

For ectoplasmic creativity in the kitchen.

David

Just me then?

Definitely not just you.

I see what you did there

This is my innocent face.

[ Holds up picture of innocent-looking stranger. ]

Mags

For ectoplasmic creativity in the kitchen.

Please tell me that's real. :-)

David

Please tell me that’s real. :-)

Alas, no. It’s a cunning reworking of the Sapphire & Steel Annual of 1981. And which itself seems rather improbable.

Hal

[ Holds up picture of innocent-looking stranger. ]

The one in the middle.

Alice

The dad-power to embarrass.

LOL. RAWWRRR.

Hal

The Orion Nebula Flow---band name, that---and other instances of nebula.

David

I was briefly tempted to see if I could pick up the aforementioned Sapphire & Steel Annual from 1981. I found one on Amazon and was about to hit “add to basket,” and then I noticed the price. And the fact that said annual had apparently travelled in time to the start of the preceding year. Which, I suppose, is suitably confounding.

John

Sapphire and Steel was a fine programme but Ace of Wands had a better theme tune.

David

Sapphire and Steel was a fine programme

I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, but it was certainly odd and a tad heady for tea-time viewing. What with the Appalling Forces From Beyond, to which hapless but innocent humans could find themselves being sacrificed by our heroes, and the endless, ominous walking from one room to another.

but Ace of Wands had a better theme tune.

Somehow, and I’m not proud to say this, I had no idea that Ace of Wands existed. Was it fab and groovy, and totally switched-on?

John

https://youtu.be/pD48Xe8ul28

Ace of Wands was a children’s programme from the 1970’s. It was certainly fab and switched on for the first two series which sadly have been lost. The third series is available on YouTube and, to me at least, sets a pretty high bar of intelligence for children’s tv even if much of the props, scenery and special effects were of “Blake’s Seven” standard. Also the hero had a pet owl called Ozymandius and you don’t get much cooler than that.

WTP

Heh...So.. I bring you tidings of my ignorant Yank perspective...no, no need to thank me...it's what we do...Presume he's Steel and she's the Sapphire? Hopefully... He doesn't look to me to be near as threatening as he's apparently trying very hard to pretend to be. She neither. Looked up other images and while each has a different hair style in other pics, it's the same facial expressions. So this was Sci-Fi? I have an inkling that vortexes were somewhat prominent?

Mike

For ectoplasmic creativity in the kitchen.

I wanted it to be real too.

JuliaM

Let’s hear it for ‘The Tomorrow People’, surely the fabbest and grooviest children’s sci-fi of the Seventies...

David

I wanted it to be real too.

The Vesta logo is the icing on the cake.

David

Presume he’s Steel and she’s the Sapphire?

Yes.

I have an inkling that vortexes were somewhat prominent?

Heh. Please don’t ask me to explain it in any detail, because it’s all terribly ambiguous and unclear, which I suppose was the appeal, and the thing won’t withstand an attempt at unpicking. I’ll just say it was very low-budget, and slow, and quite stagey, but it was an interesting anomaly in terms of tea-time TV. The better episodes do have a certain… atmosphere, an air of menace conjured out of next to nothing. Our heroes - if indeed heroes they are – often do battle with reified ideas and emotions – resentment, nostalgia, an attachment to the past, etc., and it’s not entirely clear what the duo’s paranormal talents are, or motives are, beyond saving the fabric of space-time from unspeakable beastliness.

If memory serves, our heroes were last seen in a bit of a jam, a diabolical interdimensional trap, which took the form of a 1970s motorway cafeteria drifting through space.

David

Let’s hear it for ‘The Tomorrow People’, surely the fabbest and grooviest children’s sci-fi of the Seventies...

Someone confiscate Julia’s jaunting belt. I don’t want her getting into the gin vault. Not after last time.

PiperPaul

the hero had a pet owl called Ozymandius

The actor who played Ozymandius was named Fred Owl but strangely he doesn't have any other acting credits.

pst314

Someone confiscate Julia’s jaunting belt.

Oh dear. Was it a mistake for me to mention to Gully Foyle how fine a gin vault you have?

John

Gully Foyle is my name.
and Terra is my nation.

That brings back a few memories!

Sam Duncan

Snapshot of note.

“It’s all kicking off down at the pet shop.”

I've actually seen that in the street between a flock of magpies and a scurry* of of squirrels. The noise was deafening.

“Pecking order detected.”

All that verbiage to say, “Black people all look the same to me”. Try not being a damned racist, dear boy... it's so much easier.

“On the A-12 Archangel.“

My favourite A-12 fact: Because the CIA obviously didn't have any planes - perish the thought - all official documentation referred to them as “articles”, operated by “drivers”.

“I bring you tidings of my ignorant Yank perspective...no, no need to thank me...it's what we do...Presume he's Steel and she's the Sapphire?”

"All irregularities will be handled by the forces controlling each dimension. Transuranic heavy elements may not be used where there is life. Medium atomic weights are available: Gold, Lead, Copper, Jet, Diamond, Radium, Sapphire, Silver and Steel. Sapphire and Steel have been assigned."

Hope that clears it up.

*Collective noun for squirrels. Honest. Look it up.

ComputerLabRat

Alas, no. It’s a cunning reworking of the Sapphire & Steel Annual of 1981.

Ducky!!! Er. Steel is now better known on this side of the pond as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard of NCIS. Now I want to watch Sapphire and Steel and see what it's all about. I love the old Dr Who shows - wonder if this has a similar vibe? Time to do some research!

JuliaM

@Sam Duncan: ’ Medium atomic weights are available...’

I always wonder if we would have seen the other ‘agents’ if the show had gone longer. I remember we did see Silver, played by David Collins (who died recently, I think)...

Darleen

Speaking of dad power ... so awesome ... plus more here and here.

Belly laughs guaranteed.

Darleen

He doesn't look to me to be near as threatening as he's apparently trying very hard to pretend to be

Hey, I don't know about Steele but my childhood crush, Illya Kuryakin, kicked ass!

Darleen

Ducky!!! Er. Steel is now better known on this side of the pond as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard of NCIS.

Ahem

David

I always wonder if we would have seen the other ‘agents’ if the show had gone longer.

We did, I recall, see Silver and Lead. There are, or were, more recent Sapphire & Steel audio ‘adventures’ produced by Big Finish and which feature other characters, including Gold, played by Mark Gatiss. I have CDs of a couple of them somewhere.

ComputerLabRat

Ahem

Darleen - thanks for that!! I didn't get the reference when I first saw that NCIS episode - now I do. Learn something new every day. I love this place - even if we have to be subjected to Performance "Art" on occasion, for our own good.

Darleen

I didn't get the reference when I first saw that NCIS episode

I confess I never watched NCIS consistently, but I caught that episode and actually laughed out loud at that segment. Of course, the younger members of my family had no idea why.

I wanted to kiss the writers. I was a huge Man From U.N.C.L.E. fan.

John

It’s 55 years ago now but I still recall the pain of opening a pack of UNCLE trading cards and seeing the blameless face of Leo Waverley staring back at me.

David

Bargain detected.

David

Meanwhile.

Joan

Meanwhile.

How was it fastened?

David

How was it fastened?

Heh.

[ Reaches for spray-bottle of extra-strength hamster urine. ]

Darleen

Meanwhile.

some took pictures on their phones

Where?

David

Where?

I see I’m going to have to scale-up the hamster urine production.

ComputerLabRat

Meanwhile.

ooooh.

I can get behind that kind of mask usage!

Ray

luv ya Illya

Baceseras

They cope

So, did Bear get her digits? [makes gesture of dialing on palm of hand] The digits!


Speaking of dad power

Thanks, Darleen. Her dad is my new favorite human being.

Hal

The mysterious and mystical pied piper of the music industry.

David

A brave ten-year-old in trying circumstances. In fact, plenty of bravery all round.

Via Ben.

TomJ

A thing I learnt yesterday was that this happened.

David

Incidentally, regarding the making of ice cubes, your host recommends these. Easy to pop and they have a lid, so they can be stacked without sticking or spillage.

Mags

A brave ten-year-old in trying circumstances.

I'm not crying. You're crying.

JuliaM

’ Easy to pop and they have a lid..’

And the advantage of looking like you’re tending ice bees!

Rick Henwood

regarding the making of ice cubes, your host recommends these...

Something about geometric nomenclature.

Hal

I am picking my way through aspects of coding, and providing the commentary on same.

A comment to coworkers is of recurringly needing to find the rabbits, and figure out how to make a hat, so that in the text I can pop one out of the other---Yes, since you ask, pulling a hat out of a rabbit is an interesting procedure.

I have moved on to a new topic in the commentary . . . . and find that the new topic---Inline functions in C---pretty much consists of, at most, two cockroaches collected into a paper cup.

The topic exists and thus will get comment.

However.

PiperPaul

Ice Trays for Baby Food, Cocktail, Whiskey

Will Whiskey freeze?

David

Will Whiskey freeze?

A project for the weekend.

WTP

Various opinions based on proof, but consensus forms around -17F or so. That's -27C if you happen to be in a laboratory. But if you're in a laboratory, please refrain from drinking. We have enough problems as it is.

Connor

A brave ten-year-old in trying circumstances.

Holy cr*p. My faith in humanity went up a bit.

David

Holy cr*p.

It’s quite tense, yes.

My faith in humanity went up a bit.

That doesn’t often happen round these parts. Savour the experience.

WTP

Don't know who I got this from but when I reposted it on FB a year ago, I had no idea how prophetic it was. Got a "memories" reminder about it today. Absolutely nails it...

The tree of nonsense is watered with error, and from its branches swing the pumpkins of disaster.
Word.

JuliaM

An offer it’s hard to turn down...

http://twitter.com/Rolo_Tamasi/status/1287021040552550401

David

An offer it’s hard to turn down...

Watch yourselves, gents. I think the females are in heat.

Darleen

Savour the experience.

Get the hankies ready. Responses.

David

Get the hankies ready.

I did enjoy the double-take and wonky smile when kiddo, complete with Spider-Man outfit, realises he’s been invited, by Spider-Man, to come on set and watch the filming of the next Spider-Man film.

[ Slides box of man-size tissues along bar. ]

asiaseen

@ Julia M

Wholetime Firefighter Taster Days

Nothing if not kinky

asiaseen

Will Whiskey freeze?

Eventually but it is a neat way of distilling and upping the proof. Water freezes first, leaving the alcohol as liquid.

Rick Henwood

Ahem

I like NCIS, Gibbs for the fact, amid all the current politically correct leftist crap the show has never wavered from its respect for military personnel. Bad apples of course but the theme is to uphold the institution of Military Service as a noble, honourable and altruistic choice.

I nearly fell off my chair when Gibbs impassively said the aforementioned line.

Darleen

Misreading the math, again. Funny how the "mistakes" all seem to go in one direction.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

Misreading the math, again. Funny how the "mistakes" all seem to go in one direction.

At the bottom of the article, The New Yorker did issue a correction. Well, more like a clarification:

An earlier version of this piece misrepresented the number of Americans between the ages of fifteen and thirty-four who were treated as a result of police-inflicted injuries in emergency rooms.

Unspoken: She had 66 percent, when the actual figure was .2 percent.

Rick Henwood

Also rather surprised nobody has mentioned Ab Fab. Recognized Lumley's voice instantly.

David

Unspoken: She had 66 percent, when the actual figure was .2 percent.

It’s worthy of the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee, whose ability to mangle figures by several orders of magnitude resulted in a whole book.

David

Also rather surprised nobody has mentioned Ab Fab.

An autumnal evening. Sapphire and Steel materialise in Holland Park…

Squires

Get the hankies ready.

What are the odds of that kid ever having trouble finding a date when he gets older?

Or of his sister growing up to have low standards in men?

Richard Cranium

A comment to coworkers is of recurringly needing to find the rabbits, and figure out how to make a hat, so that in the text I can pop one out of the other---Yes, since you ask, pulling a hat out of a rabbit is an interesting procedure.

I have moved on to a new topic in the commentary . . . . and find that the new topic---Inline functions in C---pretty much consists of, at most, two cockroaches collected into a paper cup.

The topic exists and thus will get comment.

Do you ever use words to communicate to other people? Or are you being poetic here and not using such drivel in your code reviews?

Hal

Do you ever use words to communicate to other people?

Always, actually.

As you're rather aware.

---Granting, yes, there are the situations with the occasional gestures.

And of this instance, my non coding coworkers had no problems understanding exactly what I was running into and were quite sympathetic.

---Here, have some of that whiskey being discussed, and see if you can feel better.

TimT

Don’t know if I’ll ever cook fried rice again. Feel too intimidated.... ;)

https://mobile.twitter.com/benjameslucas/status/1285805348683575297?s=20

Hal

Oh dear.

JuliaM

TimT:’ Don’t know if I’ll ever cook fried rice again. ’

Yeah, he’s not wrong though, is he?

I mean, if you’re going to mangle rice that badly, why not just pop an Uncle Ben’s in the microwave? Guaranteed it’d be better than the slop she ended up with.

pst314

Yeah, he’s not wrong though, is he? I mean, if you’re going to mangle rice that badly, why not just pop an Uncle Ben’s in the microwave?

But she only needs to learn a few things to start making good fried rice--although his insistence on MSG is a bit...dogmatic.

TimT

”Don’t know if I’ll ever cook fried rice again.

I looked him up. His real name is Nigel Ng, he’s a Malaysian comedian based in the UK. He’s since done a ‘how to cook rice’ video with the BBC chef in question!

Richard Cranium

And of this instance, my non coding coworkers had no problems understanding exactly what I was running into and were quite sympathetic.

And what did your coding coworkers think about that text? Or, as I suggested, were you using different language for them?

I would have rather harsh words with you if you said similar things in any code review that I've been on. Especially if there were any non-native English speakers involved in said code review.

Richard Cranium

As for the Three Gorges Dam, I traveled through that area in the latter half of 1998, prior to the dam being complete. It was pretty much the last time you could see the things that are now underwater.

As it so happens, there was massive flooding along the Yangtze when we were there; it isn't insane to desire controlling that river to minimize flooding.

However, there are millions of people downstream of that dam who would be swept away if the dam failed. As a former US Army officer, I can think of several ways to make that dam fail.

I'm sure that Hal has read Cain's Land by Robert Frezza. (TBH, I believe he may have quoted from that book in a post or two of his.) Those aliens had multiple dams, unlike the Chinese.

pst314

And what did your coding coworkers think about that text?

For some engineers, English is a Second Language. :-(
One mark of character, though, is to always strive to communicate as clearly as possible to the entire audience and not demand that they decipher strange grammatical constructions and odd allusions.

pst314

there was massive flooding along the Yangtze when we were there; it isn't insane to desire controlling that river to minimize flooding.

As I recall, the Yangtze has, for this reason, been called the River of Tears for many centuries. Can anybody confirm or elaborate? My reading was decades ago.

Rick Henwood

"An autumnal evening. Sapphire and Steel materialise in Holland Park..."

To find Mrs Peel and Purdy attempting to bridle a magnificent horse.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/steed?s=t

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