David Thompson
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December 23, 2021

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Farnsworth M Muldoon

...posting will be intermittent over the holidays...

Be a little light from this side of the pond as well, not many of us left.

Felicity

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Not a Christmas carol, but hey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPikOKBYpk0

pst314

As is the custom here, posting will be intermittent over the holidays

Rest assured, David, that you can count on us to drink everything we can find.

pst314

But seriously, Merry Christmas, David, and thanks for another wonderful year of making the internet a better, more civilized, and more congenial place.

Daniel Ream

you can count on us to drink everything we can find.

Dibs on the mayonnaise.

anon a mouse

Merry Christmas.
May God bless all.

*especially Texas*

Raises glass...

pst314

Amusing irony: Leftist legislators get carjacked in Chicago and Philadelphia.

NateWhilk

The Stan Freberg version of "I'm Gettin' Nuttin' for Christmas", animated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n-D5djkMiI

On the serious side, this became one of my top favorite Christmas songs a few years ago. I hope you enjoy it.

A Spotless Rose (by Herbert Howells) - King's College Cambridge, 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUMNucHrE28

Merry Christmas!

Steve E

Happy Festivus one and all!

Let today be about the airing of grievances and the feats of strength. Unfortunately my previous hernia operations aren't holding up too well, so let's just keep it to the airing of grievances.

For example, where I live, supermarkets advertise the meat they sell, by the pound, but the sales label is by the kilogram. My local supermarket advertised fresh turkeys for $2.29* per pound. When I checked all the meat sections, the only fresh turkeys I could find were tagged at $6.15 per kilogram (approximately $2.79/lb).

When I was finally able to flag down a clerk who worked the meat department to ask where the $2.29/lb. turkeys were, he told me I was looking at them. I said the turkeys were $6.15/kg. He said that's $2.29/lb. I said no it's not. He said yes it is. I took out my phone and did the calculation for him. He said that's wrong. I said no it's not. He said yes it is. I said get the manager. The manager said those are $2.29/lb. I showed him the calculation on my phone and he, finally, realized I was right.

So, I asked, where are the $2.29/lb turkeys? He said we're out.

Festivus for the rest of us. Cue the feats of strength.

*$2.29/lb Canadian dollars. A similar turkey would sell for $1.41/lb US dollars. Who knows how many UK pounds per pound that works out to. ;-)

Daniel Ream

supermarkets advertise the meat they sell, by the pound, but the sales label is by the kilogram

I do love Canada's peculiarly schizophrenic approach to the metric system.

I said no it's not. He said yes it is

In first year engineering we had an entire course on various measurement unit systems. The ostensible reason was that we might end up working in any country with its own idiosyncratic system of units for doing engineering calculations. I use it every time I go grocery shopping.

Steve E

I do love Canada's peculiarly schizophrenic approach to the metric system.

I was still in school when the switch happened, so I got taught both systems. As a result I'm incompetent in both imperial and metric. As a result, I know enough to always check.

JuliaM

A very Merry Christmas and a restful break to you and yours!

Daniel Ream

I'm incompetent in both imperial and metric

I've lost track of the number of girlfriends I've taught how to divide by 2.2.

David

Morning, all.

Also works on Turkey.

David

Tim Worstall shares a thought quite alien to Guardian columnists.

Not entirely unrelated.

Stephanie Richer

Merry Christmas, all!

This holiday, I practice self-love by accepting I am a horrible person for laughing at articles like this.

Since Rachel McEneny, of Albany, N.Y., began sniffling last Saturday, she has taken two rapid tests, both negative. Yet when a housekeeper came to her home, Ms. McEneny drove her car in circles around the neighborhood with her dog, Yaeger, afraid that she might give her employee the coronavirus in the remote case that both tests had produced a false negative.

As Ms. McEneny’s illness dragged on, she was unconvinced by the at-home test results and took a P.C.R. test on Thursday. She began wearing a mask when watching television with her teenage daughter.

Surely Woody Allen must be seeing all this neurosis and developing a script.

Also - ping! Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat, so I placed a ha'penny in the old man's hat.

David

Also - ping! Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat, so I placed a ha’penny in the old man’s hat.

Bless you, madam. Should your Beloved Other suggest a pre-lunch outing, may your destination be somewhere more glamorous than the car park of the nearest Halfords.

David

Slow-motion micro-organisms. Photographed by James Weiss.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Meanwhile, one would think someone, even with useless degrees, who writes for a radio station actually to have seen a band - other than the world's most overrated.

What does it mean to be a band guy?...A musician who's a band guy is happiest when locked in with his fellow players in the studio or onstage, his ego paradoxically subsumed and enhanced by the creative exchange. And he's loyal, sticking with one set of collaborators who are also friends instead of changing partners the way a studio musician does.

Add "never heard of the bickering in the studio, or changing of band members" before to things unheard of.

The term "band guy" is problematic, though, isn't it?

What in 2021 isn't?

In 2021 it's as common for women, trans and nonbinary people to jump into rock's timestream as it is for men.

Hang on, a minute ago it was all four white guys.

Band guys stand alongside other heroes of homosocial, mostly segregated histories: astronauts, high school state champions, foxhole dwellers, a rugby scrum.

OK, add never watched high school sports, seen an astronaut past the Mercury 7, or watched any news from Iraq or Afghanistan to the list of ignorance.

NPR - trolling through the dregs of useless degree grads.

pst314

I've lost track of the number of girlfriends I've taught how to divide by 2.2.

It's good that they were teachable. And it's not purely a girl thing: For instance, I see plenty of guys driving on underinflated tires.

pst314

Edward Hopper's 'Nighthawks' painting, updated for COVID quarantine mandates.

From the comments:

"I still cannot understand how partying in restaurants is so important for some people.... seriously, it's a frivolous treat that's easy to go without."
"The way this country idolizes instant and individual gratification has twisted people’s psyches so much"

I continue to marvel at the people who cannot (refuse to) understand the devastating psychological costs of social isolation. Regardless of one's opinions about COVID, that blindness is, well, revealing.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

From pst's link tweeter bio - pronouns, "...commentary on CNN, MSNBC, BBC...".

Coming in broken and stupid, I think we can safely ignore all after.

From the comments:

Also from the comments...

Communism is when reducing costs to the government, and the more you reduce them, the more communist you are.

OK, table for one at Bellevue, please.

Crowded restaurants and bars are so confusing to me.

Make that for two.

pst314

David, is there something I need to know before I next visit the UK? (Via Old Holborn)

David

David, is there something I need to know before I next visit the UK?

We are a proud and ancient people, and our ways are mysterious.

semi retired conservative

I've lost track of the number of girlfriends I've taught how to divide by 2.2.

Braggart. Some of us less blessed types have to teach them to multiply by 2.2

David

Speaking of mysterious ways…

Earlier today, The Other Half ventured out on a supposedly minor, last-minute grocery-shopping expedition. He returned, eventually, looking shell-shocked, with tales of abandoning one supermarket in favour of another, smaller one, due to a car park rendered unnavigable by patrons’ triple-parking, and clutching a bag containing a loaf, potatoes, some salted caramel cake bars, and, for reasons that escape me, six packets of crumpets.

At first glance, I assumed he’d been involved in some protracted, quite vigorous scuffle.

Mags

He returned, eventually, looking shell-shocked,

My sympathies. The local Tesco was like something out of a zombie film. :-)

David

The local Tesco was like something out of a zombie film. :-)

The contents of the bag, which I had to prise loose from his white-knuckle grip, bore little relation to items we wanted, but given his ashen face and twitching eye, I thanked him for his efforts. Amid the heaving crowds and with shelves apparently being stripped bare, as if the apocalypse were looming, I’m assuming blind panic kicked in. Hence the quantity of crumpets.

“Must… return… to… cave… with… something…”

anon a mouse

I practice self-love by accepting I am a horrible person for laughing at articles like this.

Follow up anecdote: Yesterday AM, took the Old Man to the Dr for a followup visit. Doc related that he's "super busy" with video visits (!) concerning the 'rona, yet of the 30 tests (PCR) administered prior, one came back positive.

Doc mentioned that psychotropic drugs might've been dropped into the water supply. That, or too many people are stupid.

Did I mention that I highly approve of said Doc?

LW

Doc mentioned that psychotropic drugs might've been dropped into the water supply.

One of the pleasures of living in the country is that out here, we all have our own wells. It had not previously occurred to me that may be why my neighbors and I are immune to COVID hysteria.

aelfheld

And a Merry Christmas to you & yours.

JuliaM

The Christmas shop was surprisingly convivial in these parts - a trip to the big M&S for a Christmas Eve lobster, followed by the small local Sainsbury’s for a stuffed Turkey breast joint and all the fresh fruit and veg.

No shortages, no long queues, no fights in the aisles. Oddly, King Edward potatoes are on short supply, crowded out by Maris Piper and Whites. But everything else in full abundance, despite the dire predictions of the anti-Brexit crowd.

Darleen

And it's not purely a girl thing

Nope. And I am aware enough of my ignorance of car mechanics, so I am pretty aggressive in regular maintenance and always search out the reliable autoshop in the area just in case.

As far as division/multiplication? I partially blame the demise of home economics. It is a great way to learn how to do fractions in one's head when converting recipes. I was fully able to tutor my daughters when fractions made their way into math about 5th grade.

pst314

I partially blame the demise of home economics.

Home economics and shop ought to be part of the standard curriculum in junior high and high schools. (Not sure what the equivalent would be in the UK, but I'm thinking ages 12-18.) Everyone should learn the basics of cooking, cleaning, mending clothes, shopping, keeping a budget, wood- and metal-work, auto maintenance, and the skills for home maintenance and repair.

Daniel Ream

And it's not purely a girl thing

My late friends are all married and don't do the grocery shopping.

I partially blame the demise of home economics

I can count on one hand the number of women I've dated who could cook.

NateWhilk

We are a proud and ancient people, and our ways are mysterious.

I have heard ancient tales of the curse of cabbages, and I shudder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ct40CLTCC7A

pst314

Home economics and shop ought to be part of the standard curriculum in junior high and high schools...

Also shooting, cleaning, and maintaining firearms. Not only is that a useful skill, just knowing that people have such skills causes lefties to wet themselves. :-D

David

The Christmas shop was surprisingly convivial in these parts

All I know is he stumbled in, clutching his random purchases, looking like he’d arrived, via time machine, from the trenches of WWII.

David

In other news, it’s crumpets for breakfast.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Elsewhere...

No-one's obliging you to recognise them as a woman but the repeated inability to be considerate of others preferences betrays a cruel nature.

"EmmyBun" is troubled.

Darleen

I can count on one hand the number of women I've dated who could cook.

Holy moly ... everyone, and I mean everyone, should know the basics of putting together a tasty, nutritious meal. From scratch.

My girls can cook because I had them in the kitchen with me in one capacity or another when they were old enough to crack eggs into a bowl.

anon a mouse

everyone, and I mean everyone, should know the basics of putting together a tasty, nutritious meal. From scratch.

What, no Doordash? Ubereats? Delivery service?

Oh, the humanity!

Devilbunny

Merry Christmas to all, most especially to our kind and generous host.

Ed Snack

Yep, merry Christmas AND a happy new year to all and sundry. Special thanks to our gracious host for providing a place of light and amusement.

Daniel Ream

My girls can cook

Well, that's it, isn't it? Most women learn how to cook because they have to, to feed their families. With something like two-thirds of Western households now being single mothers who work, and young women not getting married until late in life if at all, there's no time or incentive to learn.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I have no doubt that there are millennials, Useless ad Angry studies majors, journalists, and Acela corridor dwellers who would believe this.

David

“EmmyBun” is troubled.

No-one’s obliging you to recognise them as a woman but the repeated inability to be considerate of others preferences betrays a cruel nature. Specially when most here likely still expect a level of respect themselves

Rushing to the defend the honour of cross-dressing dog-molesting paedophiles is an interesting choice, though I think “EmmyBun” rather misses the point. The society-wide gaslighting of others, such that they are expected to affirm an obvious lie, and which often does entail very real pressure, is rather insulting, and nothing like respect.

asiaseen

My Tibetan singing bowl has been carolling and has contributed a little towards extra rancid yak butter for your Christmas pleasure.

David

contributed a little towards extra rancid yak butter for your Christmas pleasure.

Bless you. May you one day find yourself explaining that fartulence isn’t actually a word (even though arguably it should be).

asiaseen

fartulence isn’t actually a word

It isn't? Pity. It would go well with tauroscatic as in "he was full of tauroscatic fartulence"

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Yes, but what isn't?

Ted S., Catskill Mtns, NY, USA

David, is there something I need to know before I next visit the UK?

Yes, pst, there's something you should know.

PiperPaul


Merry Krampus

pst314

I saw an eight-foot tall Krampus yesterday on the way to the grocery store.

anon a mouse

Hmm. Wonder what it wanted at the store?

Oh, wait....

asiaseen

Yes, pst, there's something you should know.

But it's a secret - video unavailable

WTP

Also works on Turkey.

Yes, but how do you properly and safely dispose of the leftover liquid? Asking for a friend, of course.

David

Yes, but how do you properly and safely dispose of the leftover liquid?

[ Leans on bar, smiles knowingly. ]

WTP

But it's a secret - video unavailable

Consider yourself blessed this Christmas. OK, a bit over the top. It's something from the band so nice they named it twice. And their hair.

pst314

He returned, eventually, looking shell-shocked

Things are bad everywhere. Spent all day yesterday in a fruitless search for Christmas frogs. Nobody had them. And they must be tired of people asking because three stores threatened to call the police if I didn't leave immediately.

Captain Nemo

To you and yours, a very good one.

Thank you and likewise, David. Merry Christmas to you, your Other Half, and to all my fellow commenters. Right, time to go and rummage in the cupboard. I'm sure there's a bottle of port in there somewhere...

FREDERICK BAUMANN

The video of New York's dark, cold, wet "Xmas" streets could really benefit with a soundtrack of Irving Berlin's classic "Silver Bells" as only Bing Crosby can sing it, with somebody's thumb on the edge of the album to give it that dismal, deranged, dystopian "je ne sais quoi!" Merry Christmas to those who live far from the crumbling Democrat cities and their Marx Brothers-quality fascism that currently passes for governance there. May that very real plague end someday soon!

David

Today’s word is phrasing.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

Merry Christmas to everyone here, and may your days be merry and bright.

pst314

French fishermans wine

pst314

Today's lesson at Agronomy for Urban Hipsters is about cowseeds.

Baceseras

Bless this roof and all souls under it. Hey for Christmas!

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Today's lesson...

December 24, 2021 at 02:32

Can't even make it 24 hours without a rerun these days...

WTP

My Christmas came a tad early. Merry Christmas and Let's Go Brandon! from...Brandon!

pst314

Neil deGrasse Tyson being a joy-killing Grinch.

pst314

Not wrong.

Steve E

Neil deGrasse Tyson being a joy-killing Grinch.

Smoka-de-grass Tyson again demonstrates how his personal beliefs overshadow actual science. The Geomagnetic North Pole or dip pole is not a fixed location. It has moved over time and there have been times when the pole has been over land. Since Santa has been around forever, chances are he built his workshop and facility when the dip pole was over land. Since it would be impractical to move his operations every few years, he has remained at the original land based location and continues to call it his North Pole Workshop. Smoka-de-grass is an asshole.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

It wouldn't be Christmas without a fairy tale.

Captain Nemo

Merry Christmas, everyone. A pleasant day to you all.

Stephanie Richer

Smoka-de-grass is an asshole.

And a narcissist living in abject fear of irrelevancy. COVID made Fauci a celebrity and when climate change is at the top of the headline heap, Bill Nye gets the spotlight. What's an astrophysicist to do?

pst314

And a narcissist living in abject fear of irrelevancy.

I hear that he has done very, very little actual astrophysics (and nothing of note), instead being a planetarium popularizer until he got "discovered". I wonder how much that accounts for his personality: I once knew someone like that who worked at a planetarium and wondered if it accounted for her short temper.

(Side comment: Note how universities turn out more people with degrees than there are good job openings. Ideally students should be counseled on their prospects so that mediocre students do not waste years on a hopeless dream but instead refocus their efforts on something with better prospects.)

pst314

It wouldn't be Christmas without a fairy tale.

I prudently checked the lyrics before deciding whether to play the video. :-(

Looks very nice, with nothing ugly or menacing. Very different from when I was last in New York and made the mistake of walking through Times Square one night on my way to somewhere else. (It's only a mile, why not walk? I'll see more of Manhattan that way.)

David

[ Slurps coffee, chomps on crumpets. ]

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Just in case you are not planning on doing Christmas in MOPP4, some timely suggestions to keep you safe.

pst314

[ Slurps coffee, chomps on crumpets. ]

Did you sleep late, or is that Second Breakfast?

David

Did you sleep late, or is that Second Breakfast?

A rare (and glorious) lie-in. Also, brunch, not breakfast.

pst314

Sleeping late is indeed a pleasure.

anon a mouse

Also, brunch, not breakfast.

At 0700 hours?

Oh...

Merry Christmas, y'all!

pst314

Seen on the intertubez: "Today my daughter called me 'Birth Person'. I replied 'Yes Financial Drain.' "

Darleen

Ideally students should be counseled on their prospects so that mediocre students do not waste years on a hopeless dream but instead refocus their efforts on something with better prospects.

Or, as Mike Rowe says "Don't follow your passion."

Just because you're passionate about something doesn't mean you won't suck at it. And just because you've earned a degree in your chosen field doesn't mean you're going to find your "dream job".

pst314

Or, as Mike Rowe says "Don't follow your passion."

Yes indeed. I like to give examples of writers and artists who first established themselves in careers that paid a decent wage, and "followed their passion" in their spare time: Some of them eventually became good enough to quit their day jobs and become successful, full-time writers. For others it remained a life-long "hobby" which gave them some satisfaction.

WTP

Yes indeed. I like to give examples of writers and artists who first established themselves in careers that paid a decent wage, and "followed their passion" in their spare time: Some of them eventually became good enough to quit their day jobs and become successful, full-time writers.

Philosophers, managers, priests, poets, politicians, and other such busybodies should not be trusted until they've held a real job for a couple of decades. Progress was made with the increasing understanding of this. Then everyone had to go to college...

pst314

Philosophers, managers, priests, poets, politicians, and other such busybodies should not be trusted until they've held a real job

Note that most college professors fit that category: They spend their entire lives in the education industry and can avoid ever learning what the rest of the world is really like. What's more, from early childhood they are teacher's pets--they learn to get their sense of self-worth from the praise of educationists and what's worse they learn to look down upon those who are not so favored. This goes part-way towards explaining the monstrous arrogance of creatures like Fauci.

Evergreen: "Personally, I liked the University. They gave us money and facilities, we didn't have to produce anything! You've never been out of college! You don't know what it's like out there! I've worked in the private sector. They expect results."

David

This goes part-way towards explaining the monstrous arrogance of creatures like Fauci.

It can certainly lead to some remarkable conceits.

WTP

Evergreen

I've heard similar statements, usually couched in the-only-acceptable-quality-is-perfection excuse from people in the defense and space biz. While one might argue that perfection is necessary there, not to the degree in the contexts I heard it. And generally I found the quality in the private sector to equivalent if not somewhat better. And for much lower costs. When I left my just-sitting-around-waiting-for-launch job in the space biz, I was "warned" how hard it was, how I was going to find out how tough it was in the business world and come crawling back when I left KSC. This was after the Challenger accident and I saw what BS much of what people believed was. How people could lie to themselves so well about what they did all day. Not that much of the "real" world doesn't have some of the same problem. Just on a different scale.

pst314

It can certainly lead to some remarkable conceits.

Says the liberal quoted in David's post: "Most of those in the liberal arts have concluded that there really isn’t any other intellectually respectable way to interpret the broad contours of history and culture. They are liberal, in other words, by deliberate and reasoned choice, based upon the best available evidence."

That reminds me of Thomas Sowell's comment that leftist and liberal professors stopped debating him, on stage or in print, because they could not refute the evidence and reasoning he brings to bear.

David

Says the liberal quoted in David’s post…

As noted in the comments there,

Surber is both condescending and parochial, as if a mental life was for His Tribe Only. Despite telling us at some length just how clever he is, and how clever leftist academics are (compared with Sarah Palin), Surber doesn’t actually provide much of an argument. He just tells us, repeatedly, that his tribe has the only view worthy of respect…

Note Surber’s sole contribution to the discussion following his article, in which he depicts his numerous and varied critics (from across the political spectrum) as “those who merely want to posture, pontificate, ‘conserve’ the status quo, turn back the clock to some imagined ‘better time’ - or whatever other aims fuel their obvious passion.”

The framing of his critics (whether ‘conservative’ or not) as “want[ing] to turn back the clock” is simply evasive and disingenuous. It’s a tribal cartoon – one that undermines his own claims of “complexity” and “nuance.” And this is Surber’s very first manoeuvre, one he repeats several times, and on which he hangs his credibility. Also disingenuous is the reference to his critics’ “obvious passion,” which implies, sneerily and dishonestly, that no serious and rational points were awaiting his reply.

Surber’s dismissive comment and failure to engage with criticism suggests he’s unable to step outside of his own conceits, even when pressed repeatedly, which isn’t an ideal trait for a professor of philosophy.

And as we’ve seen in the years since, this behaviour is in no way unusual among Professor Surber’s peer group.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

Or, as Mike Rowe says "Don't follow your passion."

Reminds me of the story of the music professor who was asked by a student if she had the talent to make it as a singer.

He said, "Nope."

Chagrined, she went away, but was determined to try anyway. She worked hard, practiced, sang anywhere she could, and succeeded.

When she came back to the school for a visit, she looked up the professor and asked why he told her no.

He replied, "I tell all my students 'no, you can't make it.' If you're so lacking in ambition to agree with what one person tells you, you're not gonna make it anyway."

pst314

Reminds me of the story of the music professor who was asked by a student if she had the talent to make it as a singer.

Sounds like an unusual professor.

pst314

Cooking instructions of note.

pst314

It's not the fault of the car thieves, it's the fault of their victim."

pst314

Minnesota Attorney General laments accidental killing of young thug: "I ask us all to reflect upon the life of Daunte Wright, and who he could've been had he had a chance to grow up.". Well, he shot a kid in the face and he robbed a girl at gunpoint, so I think we have a pretty good idea about what he would’ve been.

Note that Minnesota liberals keep re-electing this creep.

SeanW

*throws quids in tip jar*

Merry Christmas, gracious host.

pst314

Cats summoning their dark master:

David

*throws quids in tip jar*

Bless you, sir. Should you find yourself, one morning, wiping droplets of wine from the front of the washing machine, may you at least enjoy the interrogation of a Beloved Other regarding how said droplets got there, mysteriously, during the night.

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