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March 24, 2021

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Daniel Ream

Should a nephew ask what a “fax machine” was

One of my now totally useless skills is the ability to troubleshoot a fax machine connection by sound alone.

David

One of my now totally useless skills is the ability to troubleshoot a fax machine connection by sound alone.

I recall being excited by having a fax number on my very first business card. Later overshadowed by having a CompuServe email address. Or rather, a CompuServe string of numbers and punctuation that was all but impossible to remember.

Ah, heady days.

David

[ Drifts into reverie. ]

pst314

Ah, heady days.

Everybody who has gotten oil-stained jeans from sitting at a teletype, raise your hands.

Whitney

All right, I sent you a little something from the colonies. I really enjoy Friday ephemera

David

All right, I sent you a little something from the colonies.

Bless you. May your hairdresser be so skilled, and your haircut so sensational, that your sister-in-law is convinced you’ve lost weight.

David

True story.

Captain Nemo

But you did lose weight after the haircut. All that hair must've weighed something. *removes pedant hat*

a different james

Should a nephew ask what a “fax machine” was

On the first morning of my first office job in 1988, I attempted to answer what appeared to be a very fancy phone on the next desk.

Mortification ensued.

pst314

Mortification ensued.

A previous employer kept a 5 gallon jar in which people were free to "report" goofs and funny comments. At the end of the year we all voted on the funniest and the winner got a small prize.

WTP

C'mon, man. You know the thing. You should have gotten it by now, Ace. The ping. Corn pop out front should have told ya'.

Adam

(recitative) “I can’t believe no Republicans voted for this”.
Perhaps they objected to taxing people to award them a gift from a compassionate government?

Joe and The Filibuster: Wouldn’t a law passed by 60% of the Senate represent more “unity” than one passed with just 50 votes, requiring the VP to break the tie? Joe seems not to sense any dissonance on this point.

Press conference takeaway: Joe seemed to order the deportation of 13 year old Josel back to his mother in Guatemala. This right after saying that people there are desperate because of corrupt government, lack of infrastructure, bad water, gang violence, etc. Poor Josel will be sent back by “decent, moral” Joe Biden.

Not to be consistent, Joe also said that he solved these problems when VP by directly installing street lights in one city in Guatemala which cut the crime rate.

If investigative journalism were still allowed, a journalist could make a reputation by following up these leads.

(Tip jar tinkled this morning.)

David

The ping.

Bless you, sir. May your beloved other’s innovations not include a third category of laundry sorting, namely clothes that aren’t filthy enough to go in the wash but which can’t be hung up with items that have been washed, thereby complicating things enormously.

ComputerLabRat

clothes that aren’t filthy enough to go in the wash but which can’t be hung up with items that have been washed

That's what the back of the chair in the bedroom is for. I may be a lazy batchelor(ette) but I'm not a total slob.
I inherited 5 mismatched wooden dining room chairs from a friend's parents, and my table is square, so the extra chair went in my bedroom as the clotheshorse. It works perfectly - dirty stuff in the hamper, clean stuff hung up or in the clean clothes basket (or on occasion, actually folded and in drawers), and clean-enough-to-wear-again outer clothing draped across the back of the chair. Of course, the system works because it's just me. Adding a second human to the system would complicate matters exponentially.

WTP

Bless you, sir. May your beloved other’s innovations not include a third category of laundry sorting, namely clothes that aren’t filthy enough to go in the wash but which can’t be hung up with items that have been washed, thereby complicating things enormously.

Actually...that is exactly my methodology. See, being an engineer I know that over the course of a year I save my poor suffering wife from doing at least one extra load of laundry per year. Though now just thinking...maybe that has something to do with her European travel constipation thing...nah...

Also, as Star Trek subject was raised up thread, not sure where I originally saw this but thought it might be enjoyed here...

And given The Shat's upcoming 90th birthday (surely you will be attending), I was reminded of a discussion months ago regarding his staccato delivery. Someone noted that such was actually prompted by Gene Roddenberry (or someone) specifically for ST TOS. By pure happenstance that very evening months ago we watched the 1958 film The Brothers Karamazov starring The Great One and Yule Brenner, Maria Schell, Lee J. Cobb and a few others. Shatner's role was the brother who was a priest or monk or some such so it wasn't a real demanding role, but my wife and I thought he was quite good in it. She didn't realize it was him until I pointed it out 3/4 of the way through. A pretty good film that I could recommend if you like such things.

WTP

Damn...got so lost trying to find a good link to that image...I meant to say in regard to the staccato delivery, it was completely absent in tBK. Which is probably what caught my wife off guard. She had seen him in other roles but nothing very serious. Which is something about discussion of actors amongst know-it-all movie goer types that I find amusing. People really like to mock/dig on how bad some actors are, especially TV and B-movie actors and such, but when you read their bios many of these (supposedly) awful actors have pretty solid backgrounds in earlier films that got overlooked or sucked for reasons that had nothing to do with said actor or his/her performance which then hurt their careers for very superficial reasons. Many of them were quite successful on stage in NY or LA or chose to refine their acting craft outside of the limelight such that you can find an occasional very positive review by someone who stumbled across them in so-called obscurity.

David

That's what the back of the chair in the bedroom is for.

It’s the extent to which the “clean-enough-to-wear-again” pile can expand. More than one chair, or one laundry hamper, could hope to accommodate.

David

Tomorrow’s Ephemera has been compiled and should materialise just after midnight. That’s midnight Her Majesty’s Time. Not whatever heathen time-keeping you savages overseas use.

pst314

Which is something about discussion of actors amongst know-it-all movie goer types that I find amusing. People really like to mock/dig on how bad some...

I'm pretty sure that over 99% of Star Trek fans have never seen Shatner in any movie role other than Star Trek. Likewise for other Star Trek actors. To paraphrase that SNL sketch, "if it's not Star Trek it's crap!" (Stop me before I comment any more about the narrow-mindedness of fans.)

pst314

That’s midnight Her Majesty’s Time. Not whatever heathen time-keeping you savages overseas use.

[ glares across the Atlantic ]

Squires

Adding a second human to the system would complicate matters exponentially.

The chair will fall over.

Steve E

That’s midnight Her Majesty’s Time.

Would that be Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

Her Majesty is rather fond of Daylight Savings Time in this dominion. So much so, I predict it will come to your shores this Sunday.

David

Tip jar tinkled this morning.

Bless you, sir. May your clean-enough-to-wear-again clothing pile never exceed the load-bearing capacity of sturdy furniture.

pst314

Her Majesty is rather fond of Daylight Savings Time in this dominion. So much so, I predict it will come to your shores this Sunday.

Don't forget to drive to Stonehenge, David, to help them move the stones forward one hour. They will thank you.

Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

William Shatner turned 90 on Monday. 🎂

People who don’t think he can act should watch his Twilight Zone episodes. In the one where there’s a gremlin that only he can see, attacking the plane’s wing, he tells the pilot and the pilot says, soothingly, “Of course we know it’s there, but we don’t want to alarm the other passengers.” Shatner starts to agree, then realizes the pilot thinks he’s crazy. The expressions that flash across his face—relief, realization, embarrassment, hopelessness—are perfect.

I vaguely recall reading that a director wanted the staccato delivery. Roddenberry liked it and told Shatner to keep doing it. Don’t know if it’s true or not.

Daniel Ream

Someone noted that such was actually prompted by Gene Roddenberry (or someone) specifically for ST TOS.

That was likely me, as I'm fond of pointing out that a) Shatner was recruited from the Stratford Festival back when it had a much better reputation than it does now, and b) most TOS episodes were intended to be shot/directed as if they were stage plays. Shatner's doing classical iambic pentameter, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

While much of his spoken-word album is intentional self-parody, you only have to listen to It Hasn't Happened Yet to appreciate how good a voice actor he really is.

There's a later episode of Voyager that pays homage to this; B'ehlanna crashes on a primitive planet, and barters for supplies with a local poet with stories about the Voyager's adventures - which the poet then stages as classical Greek morality plays.

Don't forget to drive to Stonehenge, David, to help them move the stones forward one hour

[ stands on the hill overlooking Carnac, hands on hips in frustration ]

Does anyone know where the manual is?

pst314

Does anyone know where the manual is?

No manual is needed: Good engineering is self-explanatory and any manual would quickly become obsolete.

pst314

(An engineer told me that.)

Steve E

People who don’t think he can act should watch his Twilight Zone episodes.

Shatner is a classically trained actor. Early in his career he did a season at Stratford, which is a permanent Shakespeare festival not too far from where I live. He apeared in "Measure for Measure", "The Taming of the Shrew", "Julius Caesar", "The Merchant of Venice" "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and "Oedipus Rex".

Steve E

Does anyone know where the manual is?

Not sure what the rune time looked like, but it's been blinking XII, XII, XII...since Roman times.

Pooklord

Shatner's role was the brother who was a priest or monk or some such so it wasn't a real demanding role, but my wife and I thought he was quite good in it

It irks me no end when people confuse hackneyed characters, poor writing, unimaginative direction or blocking, etc. with "bad acting". Shatner is, and always has been a very fine actor bringing whatever is needed and asked for to whatever he is being paid to portray. He has excellent range--St:tos was one of the least interesting things he did. See also Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise etc.

If you're still not convinced ponder upon how people are still talking about, criticizing, mimicking these performances decades later.

Pooklord

PST314

A good user interface is inuitive; the way you think it should work is the way it does work--almost no manual needed.

Otoh, some machinery is inherently complex and a manual is needed to get the most out of it.

Pooklord

Shatner is a classically trained actor.

His delivery is always crisp and precise, his timing and beats "perfect", imho--there's no murkiness or ambiguity in his performances unless he puts it there.

I have not seen his Shakespeare, but would like to to . . . maybe youtube?

Pooklord

Oh, and ping! Thanks, David.

NTSOG

And in other 'progressive' news from a co-ed school in Victoria, Australia: "Brauer College, Warrnambool: Male students forced to apologise to female students for ‘sexism’"

At an assembly all boys present were ordered to stand up and "apologise to the girls for offensive behaviour on behalf of their gender."

https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/school-life/brauer-college-warrnambool-male-students-forced-to-apologise-to-female-students-for-sexism/news-story/7feedbf34dbcd3bac9d40be43748ac4c

It seems a great way to foster mutual respectful relationships - not.

Steve E

I have not seen his Shakespeare, but would like to to . . . maybe youtube?

Not sure. His Stratford performances were in the mid 50s.

pst314

A good user interface is intuitive; the way you think it should work is the way it does work--almost no manual needed.
Otoh, some machinery is inherently complex and a manual is needed to get the most out of it.

True. I was attempting to be funny by repeating something that a no-documentation absolutist said to me.

A reprehensible business reason for not publishing documentation: If you do not publicly say that your app does X, leaving it to your customers to discover X, then your customers cannot object when you quietly disable X later. (Thank you, Microsoft and others. You bastards.)

Daniel Ream

Good engineering is self-explanatory

[ Flaps hands at the Carnac stones. Glares in exasperation. ]

your customers cannot object when you quietly disable X later

Well, I'm a software engineer. Not all APIs are intended to be public, not least of which because not all APIs work reliably. You only expose and document the APIs you have the bandwidth to support. Undocumented APIs are the software equivalent of "no user serviceable parts inside". If you pop the back off and start fiddling around in there with a socket wrench, your warranty is null and void.

Microsoft gets a lot of flack for its engineering, which surprises me. Their business practices are certainly blameworthy, but aside from "Embrace, Extend, Exterminate" their engineering and project management has generally been superior to all their competitors. Current state of Azure notwithstanding, that is. It's an utter sh!tshow.

WTP

What DR said. I've had my beefs with M$ and spent considerable time in DLL hell and never bought into the COM thing as sold. While I'm certainly not a big fan, some of their problems were more a symptom of an immature industry whose standards only came along as a result of the opportunities presented by the tech M$ provided that others were too shy to. Granted much of it was rushed, hence the problems. But M$ were willing to provide a great deal, really too much, functionality such that something had to give support wise. Either overtly or covertly. It sucked at times to have the rug pulled out and I didn't like it. But I understood why such that it would bother me to hear people bitch about it mostly just for street cred. And from where we sit today, I'm pretty sick of the whole damn industry for similar and other newer reasons. They're all evil one way or another. With less reason to justify it.

Richard Cranium

Undocumented APIs are the software equivalent of "no user serviceable parts inside".

I certainly remember an example of an MS API which was documented but nonetheless didn't work.

Admittedly, this was back in the very early 1990s and so the applicability to anything that is remotely current is (I honestly hope) is minimal. Given that this was ~30 years ago, I don't remember the details (mainly because that was the last time I had to deal with MS APIs or any other bleeping thing around MS other than being a stupid Windows user; it's good for games and that's the almost the only reason why I boot into Windows in the decade of 2020).

I've spent the rest of the time in either Protel or Protel-2 (good luck finding out about them, assuming that you never look at Wikipedia (damn them (I've also done LISP programming, not that you could tell from this comment))), C++ on an AIX machine, and Java on various Linux machines.

@WTP, where I work now provides REST endpoints for people/companies using our services. We only expose to the outer world what is, and should be, accessible to our customers. We use entitlements to determine what they can or cannot do. That is a different space than accessing a local software library on your machine; my point is that entire software industry doesn't feel like it can pull the rug out from customers.

The big boys, of course, believe that you have no alternative to them. Funny how that works.

Trilby

Bless you, sirs. May you rediscover the pleasures of a good piccalilli.

TBH, I read that as Pickaninny. Which does put a different slant on the sentence.

Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

My mom used to make piccalilli. Until David,I found no one outside my family who’d ever heard of it.

Ant

Dropped something in your tip jar. Thanks for doing what you do.

Pooklord

Here is some Shatner doing Shakespeare archived on yt in Julius Caesar:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__mnDDk464M

Felicity

Here is Shatner performing “Rocket Man”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lul-Y8vSr0I

Lurks in Shadows

*PING*

David

Oh, and ping!
Dropped something in your tip jar. Thanks for doing what you do.
*PING!*

Bless you, sirs. May you always have enough wireless chargers, all conveniently positioned, thereby eliminating those gruelling strolls across the room.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I'll see your "Rocket Man" and raise you a Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds.

TBF, though, it is not as bad as Spock doing The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.

pst314

Well, I'm a software engineer. Not all APIs are intended to be public...

I was not talking about API's. I was talking about features, and disappearances that I as an end-user encountered without warning.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

I don't know if this shows up on Amazon elsewhere, but every time I open my Amazon Ads account (where I set up the ad campaigns for my products), I'm informed at the top of the page that:

"Stop Asian Hate

Amazon Advertising stands with the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities in response to increasing violence in the US. We are committed to helping build a country and a world where everyone can live with dignity and free from fear."

Whoopie.

pst314

Uma Thurmond: I see that banner at the top of the Amazon home page.

Count on Amazon to support false claims that these attacks are committed by white supremacists.

Given Amazon's recent move into the silencing of politically incorrect speech, I have already begun to buy from other booksellers and direct from publishers.

WTP

WTP, where I work now provides REST endpoints for people/companies using our services. We only expose to the outer world what is, and should be, accessible to our customers. We use entitlements to determine what they can or cannot do. That is a different space than accessing a local software library on your machine; my point is that entire software industry doesn't feel like it can pull the rug out from customers.

Exactly. I've been pushing the idea of interfaces, and the importance of their simplicity, before the term was understood as it is today. Way back in COBOL times. I also took issue with the top-down thing. But I was never a technology talker. People, my "betters", would spew techtalk BS at me and I lacked the proper vocabulary or tech hive mentality hot take hipster orientation to argue it. All I had was a gut instinct and a somewhat nerdy think-for-myself suspicion of the industry Narrative. Now of course I was wrong about quite a few things myself, but there was always something about the business, the hive-hype that consciously and I think even subconsciously caused me to recoil from it.

pst314

I've been pushing the idea of interfaces, and the importance of their simplicity, before the term was understood as it is today...

In retrospect it amazes me that this did not have a higher priority at companies I worked for.

Waxy

Great blogging, Mr T. Tip jar *pinged*.

David

Tip jar *pinged*.

Bless you, sir. May your canned goods be rotated regularly, to spare you from unwittingly testing just how long the contents can, technically, remain edible.

David

Again, thanks to all who’ve chipped in, including all those much too shy to say hello, or who’ve subscribed, or done shopping via the Amazon links. It’s what keeps this place here and is much appreciated.

NTSOG

It looks like you folks in the Northern hemisphere, especially Europe, are going to be in trouble soon: "According to Bloomberg, much of Europe could soon be without coffee as container ships carting the Robusta coffee - the type used in Nescafe and Moccona are backed up - stay waiting."

It's something to do with a damned ship damming the Suez Canal:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-25/your-instant-coffee-may-soon-be-at-risk-from-suez-blockage

Jacob

*stuffs quids in tip jar*

David

*stuffs quids in tip jar*

Bless you, sir. May your friends admit that they miss you.

Daniel Ream

disappearances that I as an end-user encountered without warning

MS Office was prone to this in the early 2000's. Since Microsoft had no competition, they got rather lax about ease of use and the toolbar/ribbon was used not so much to hold features that anyone actually used on a regular basis, but complex, rare features that looked good in marketing demos: "Look how easy it is now to do this! [click]". Under Bill Gates, Microsoft produced much better products when they had competition because Gates himself was extremely competitive.

where I work now provides REST endpoints for people/companies using our services

Yes, well. The inherent latency in HTTP REST endpoints has led to the development of gRPC, an inferior implementation of...Windows Communication Foundation.

whomp whomp

NeilD

The author of the piece, Natan Last - the one claiming that crossword puzzles are one of “the systemic forces that threaten women” - is, needless to say, a bit of a twat.

These people have lost their minds.

Ping!

David

These people have lost their minds.

Well, they’re insufferably pretentious and very keen to signal status - which, for professed egalitarians who work for a non-profit and live in Brooklyn, is terribly important - and which, among their peers, means saying contrived, absurdly woke things that do not correspond with reality. Their wilfully niche problems and bad-faith angst are a kind of social jewellery, an assertion of class. Just like studying at Columbia, annual tuition $60,000 and upwards, or mentioning beach houses. Behaving in this way for any length of time, until it becomes a habit, and doing it competitively, as Mr Last and his peers do, results in a practised unrealism, endless neurotic contortion. So yes, being woke isn’t good for you, psychologically.

Ping!

Bless you, sir. May your friends be punctual.

Alice

Their wilfully niche problems and bad-faith angst are a kind of social jewellery, an assertion of class. Just like studying at Columbia, annual tuition $60,000 and upwards, or mentioning beach houses.

That.

David

That.

As we’ve seen, social positioning is a very common dynamic, especially among the woke, where the self-ratcheting escalation is often bizarre, downright ludicrous. Basically, I suspect that Mr Last is the kind of person that Laurie Penny wants to be. But his parents were richer.

Richard Cranium

I do advise our host to not read the following unless there is a soft substrate upon which he can land when he passes out due to being terminally uninterested and/or bored to unconsciousness.

Yes, well. The inherent latency in HTTP REST endpoints has led to the development of gRPC, an inferior implementation of...Windows Communication Foundation.

I am rather shocked that there could be an inferior implementation of anything Windows does. I'm sure that none of the concepts behind either XML-RPC (which became SOAP, in these modern times) or CORBA were part of WCF.

I will admit that if there actually are cases where there could be an inferior implementation of anything Windows does, I would expect either Google or Amazon to be involved.

David

The inherent latency in HTTP REST endpoints has led to the development of gRPC...

[ Starts gnawing at own elbows. ]

pst314

[ Starts gnawing at own elbows. ]

David, be thankful that was only a few paragraphs. Have you ever been forced to sit next to an engineer for half an hour who, in spite of your protests that you had no training in his field and did not understand what he was talking about, proceeded to tell you long stories about various engineering projects? One should be tolerant of individual foibles, but some dorks are too dorky to be borne. (Needless to say, this engineer was a science fiction fan.)

David

forced to sit next to an engineer for half an hour who, in spite of your protests… proceeded to tell you long stories about various engineering projects?

Swap engineering with IT. Married life.

pst314

[ Starts gnawing at own elbows. ]

[ Nobly resists the temptation to paste a page from Stack Overflow ]

pst314

Swap engineering with IT. Married life.

Here, have a drink.

pst314

[ Starts gnawing at own elbows. ]

The Irritating Gentleman by Berthold Woltze:

NTSOG

Have you ever been forced to sit next to an engineer for half an hour who, in spite of your protests that you had no training in his field and did not understand what he was talking about, proceeded to tell you long stories about various engineering projects?

Decades ago I studied at IU [Bloomington, Indiana]. My next-door neighbour was doing his PhD in mathematics. Mathematics, for me, was/is a form of incomprehensible black art. Nevertheless my neighbour was a delightful bloke and we enjoyed hours of throwing frisbees all over - though we found they tend to break in sub-zero weather. One day he came to my door clutching 60 pages of 'scribbling'. He was terribly excited and proceeded to announce he had solved a particular theorem. I congratulated him and asked what it all meant. He started to explain, paused, then looked at me and obviously decided any explanation was going to be a waste of time, so we got out the frisbees and enjoyed a game.

David

The Irritating Gentleman by Berthold Woltze

Heh. I may show that to The Other Half. Should a suitable opportunity arise.

WTP

She's just pretending to be irritated. They eventually married. He opened a haberdashery in Cornwall. They had five children. Sadly, the youngest died of typhus. The oldest boy served in The Great War but was killed during the initial artillery barrage near Amiens.

Megaera

Hm. She looks more abstracted than purely annoyed to me ... and given that she appears to be in what amounts to primary mourning (even though the brownish gloves are a bit of a solecism and the hankie ought, I believe, to have a black edge) that might serve to explain 1) why she is paying no attention to him at all and 2) that he is not merely irritating but also a cad and a boor for imposing on a mourning female in any fashion.

pst314

Megara: Note also the tear falling from her eye. I was not aware that the custom went as far as black-edged handkerchiefs. Could the brownish gloves indicate that this is later in the mourning period where some departures from black were customary?

WTP

Sorry. You're totally wrong. The clasps on her carpet bag prove my point. Though the ash on his cigar should be a bit longer...though Woltze was from Havelberg so that might explain the oversight.

pst314

Sorry. You're totally wrong. The clasps on her carpet bag prove my point...

Megaera

pst314: I'm no expert on the extremes of 19th century social signaling, but yes -- for quite a period "going into black gloves" was synonymous with the deepest - ie initial - phase of mourning, and handkerchiefs themselves were dyed black. Falling back to black edging was an early sign of relief. Obviously the signaling was class-based: no one expected a costermonger's widow to spring for full blacks when she probably couldn't even cover the cost of the coffin, but going up the social scale the rules became increasingly elaborate, and the social penalties for error more harsh. Remember Scarlett O'Hara and her fury at having to go into full mourning for her short-lived first spouse? And how startling that total black was at the party, when she kissed off all the rules and actually DANCED? It was a sumptuary code lacking legal enforcement but all the more elaborate for just that reason.

Richard Cranium
[ Starts gnawing at own elbows. ]

My word, I did warn you.

Richard Cranium

I do raise a glass to both @pst314 and @NTSOG for their wonderful comments that drained a bit of computer nerdity from these proceedings.

pst314

computer nerdity

I confess I have also been forced to endure long expositions on the characters and plots in various Star Wars and Marvel movies. Which reminds me: there are authors I still have not read because the excessive enthusiasm of fans was so off-putting--Michael Moorcock for instance.

NTSOG

@ RC: "computer nerdity"

I sometimes think that computer nerds - my brother is one - live in a different dimension from the rest of us. Further, they cannot escape their electronic 'reality', nor can they explain what they do and how they think in Her Majesty's English.

pst314

...nor can they explain what they do and how they think in Her Majesty's English.

Will you settle for Amurican English? I've been able to explain what I do. But you are right that many seem incapable of doing so: for them, English is a second language--or worse. I can name some engineers and scientists who were extremely articulate--Jerry Pournelle, Gene Wolfe, Hal Clement.

Megaera

Richard Feynman, for another.

Steve E

I'm no expert on the extremes of 19th century social signaling, but yes -- for quite a period "going into black gloves" was synonymous with the deepest - ie initial - phase of mourning, and handkerchiefs themselves were dyed black.

I'm no expert either, but wouldn't she be wearing a crepe veil in the earliest part of mourning? Failing that and assuming it is later in the mourning period, wouldn't she at least be wearing a widow's cap with the veil tied back? Wasn't a veil more common than gloves?

Fred the Fourth

Good lord.
Next thing we know they'll have fallen into an in-depth analysis of the intricacies of picnic etiquette in Jane Austen.
NTTAWWT.

Steve E

Next thing we know they'll have fallen into an in-depth analysis of the intricacies of picnic etiquette in Jane Austen.

Sounds good. You go first. ;-)

Megaera

Steve: yes, the strictures and requirements fell most heavily on the widow -- which is why, looking at that painting and the obvious youth of the sitter, I'm inclined to the idea that the painter was telegraphing her loss of a parent/protector, not a spouse. Queen Victoria wore veils far past the prescribed period -- her daughters, not so much if the photographs of the day are anything to go by. The girl also has a few, albeit pretty minimal, decorative touches like the scarf/cloak collar (can't tell which) that would not have been acceptable in a widow.

As to gloves, they were far more a fact of life in upper-class society than we realize. There is a throwaway scene in the film of The Age of Innocence, a novel celebrated for its accurate depiction of the times, of an antechamber to a ballroom; a table by the door is covered with extra pairs of gloves for each of the gentlemen attending.

Veiling symbolized the widow's isolation and made it just that much more difficult for her to live a normal life after her spouse's death; no such burdens were typically imposed on children and siblings, unless they chose to adopt them.

Megaera

Fred: known more commonly at the time as a "fete champetre."


[Polity commences to gnaw at own elbows.]

Steve E

I'm inclined to the idea that the painter was telegraphing her loss of a parent/protector, not a spouse.

Makes sense

NTSOG

pst314: "Will you settle for Amurican English?"

Since I lived in the US for a number of years and had to adapt my accent and word-usage to be understood by the 'natives' and my wife is from Wisconsin I consider myself bi-lingual in terms of English*, but not computer-speak.


*New Zealand 'English' is another matter.

Will

*pays bar tab*

*continues lurking*

David

*pays bar tab*
*continues lurking*

Bless you, sir. May your shoe purchases be wise.

pst314

Since I lived in the US for a number of years and had to adapt my accent and word-usage to be understood by the 'natives'...

Or 'aborigines'. :-D

...and my wife is from Wisconsin...

"Eat Cheese or Die!" is our battle cry.

I consider myself bi-lingual in terms of English*, but not computer-speak.

I greatly appreciate people who can talk about their professions in terms that are understandable to others. "Adapted to the meanest understanding" as 18th and 19th Century books would say. Richard Feynman was a master--and clearly filled with joy when he talked about physics (and many other things).

*New Zealand 'English' is another matter.

I know little about New Zealand, except that it sounds like a beautiful land. But is it true that we should not be deceived by Hollywood movies into thinking that all the people have hairy toes and live in holes in the ground? [ assumes facial expression of innocent imbecility ]

pst314

[Politely commences to gnaw at own elbows.]

I'd like some guidance on how to do this politely.

David

I’d like some guidance on how to do this politely.

Hands up, all those who lifted their arm to check.

pst314

Hands up, all those who lifted their arm to check.

No, was busy researching how to add twelve vertebrae to my neck.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

Berthold Woltze was a German genre painter. Shouldn't we be discussing mourning rituals among the Prussian classes?

Feynman was a genius at discussing the science of science. I have a copy of six lectures he gave on light, and I managed to get through three of them. The one eye-stretching fact was his admission that describing light as a wave and a particle didn't really mean that light was a wave or a particle. It was a way of describing how light acts as best they could, given the limitation of language.

NTSOG

pst314: ""Eat Cheese or Die!" is our battle cry."

Blessed are the cheesemakers! Now if those cheesemakers could find a way to eliminate the State Bird of Wisconsin, i.e. the mosquito, those northern woods and lakes would be heaven on earth.

On another note, the title of this current discussion thread - 'Anyone’s For A Farthing' - suggests the manager of this site undervalues himself considerably if he considers his worth as 'a farthing'.

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