Re: Obviously the team will be cursed.

1

Seriously, why do people care about physical remains, especially really old ones where no one alive today personally knew the person and they're all decomposed anyway? Cremation for me.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
2

I torn. On the one hand, I believe that people get too worked up over the rituals for mourning and honoring the dead. On the other hand, I strongly believe that people get way way too worked up over football.

I think I'm going to side with the descendants of the dead here, because I recognize that rituals for mourning and honoring the dead are an important part of life. Football makes no sense to me at all.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
3

"It's great to be alive in Colma!"

Sigh. You could totally squeeze, like, 30,000 people into that town if it weren't for all the dead folks.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 11:52 AM
horizontal rule
4

The U of C tore down the football field to build the Reg, which is filled with dead people.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
5

why do people care about physical remains, especially really old ones

*Somebody* needs to watch Poltergeist again.

Football makes no sense to me at all.

Don't feel bad, Rob. It's the most intricately complicated team sport there is.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
6

I don't like cremation for various reasons, but cemeteries do seem to waste too much space. I think the best way is burial followed by removal after many years. After the soft tissues have decomposed and people who knew the person have had years to visit and mourn, you put the bones in ossuary. Then you put the ossuary in the hands of the right person and wait for the magic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
7

I agree it's dumb to do it for a sports field. Let's be Slateish and agree they should tear up cemeteries for high-density transit-oriented mixed use development.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:01 PM
horizontal rule
8

AIHSMB I theoretically have a guaranteed spot waiting in the only cemetery on Manhattan (wait, maybe there are two? Anyhow.) which can essentially never be removed because the ownership is too insanely complicated to unwind (it's owned by all the descendants of the original vault purchasers, who by now number in the tens or maybe hundreds of thousands). In practice, what I actually have is the ability to get bugged by them during periodic fundraising drives to attempt to restore the place, should I ever tell them I exist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
9

AIHSMB

Although I hate Super Mario Brothers,


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:06 PM
horizontal rule
10

Seriously, why do people care about physical remains

Well if you're in the Leicester University Archaeology Unit and you find the remains of Richard III, it probably sorts out your funding for a decade. So there's that.

I come from a family tradition of not caring much about physical remains. "Put me out for the bin men!" is our motto. But I think cremation seems to come with all sorts of environmental issues these days that nobody paid attention to when I was a kid, so we're looking at these "green burials" where they basically plant you under a sapling and with a bit of luck the root system grinds you up as it grows.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
11

Also, this.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:13 PM
horizontal rule
12

I've always wanted to be buried under a fruit tree so my remains can nourish the fruit and people can eat it in a sort of cannibalism at one remove deal. Or be eaten by pigs, I guess. Pork is yummy.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:15 PM
horizontal rule
13

7, meet 3. It even has a fucking BART station!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
14

12. Oliver Cromwell lay buried and dead,
Hey-ho, buried and dead,
There grew a green apple-tree over his head,
Hey-ho, over his head.

The apples were ripe and ready to fall,
Hey-ho, ready to fall,
There came an old woman to gather them all,
Hey-ho, gather them all.

Oliver rose and gave her a whack,
Hee-haw, gave her a whack,
Which knocked the old woman down flat on her back,
Hee-haw, flat on her back.

The saddle and bridle, they lie on the shelf,
Hey-ho, lie on the shelf,
If you want any more your can sing it yourself,
Hey-ho, sing it yourself.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
15

It's the most intricately complicated team sport there is.

Intellectuals like baseball because football is too complicated for them.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
16

Are we, as a society, overusing hazmat suits? Since when did you need coveralls, gloves, and respirators to safely dig up a 120-year-old skeleton?


Posted by: Scomber mix | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
17

We certainly waste too much land for cemeteries, but cemeteries are often very nice places.

I'd be all for compressing graves (frex, the plots in which most of my extended family on both sides are buried are twofers, one on top of the other) but keeping headstones or other markers. We spread my mother's ashes at sea, but still put a marker on the plot my grandparents bought for her and my dad 60+ years ago.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
18

We put a line from "Sea Fever" on my mother's marker: "...quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over."

For generations to come (assuming the earth in general and New Jersey in particular last that long), people who wander through will think it's a typo. AS IF I WOULD ALLOW SUCH A THING.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
19

Crap, now I'm all sad. Death is stupid.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
20

They should be re-interred under the end zone.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:38 PM
horizontal rule
21

CEMETERIES AND GOLF COURSES ARE THE BIGGEST WASTES OF PRIME REAL ESTATE! HEY WANG, WHAT'S WITH THE PICTURES?


Posted by: OPINIONATED RODNEY DANGERFIELD IN CADDYSHACK | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:39 PM
horizontal rule
22

CEMETERIES AND GOLF COURSES BANKS, BOX STORES, REAL ESTATE OFFICES, AND LUXURY CONDOS ARE THE BIGGEST WASTES OF PRIME REAL ESTATE!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:44 PM
horizontal rule
23

Luxury condos probably waste less space than luxury not-condos-but-still-residences.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
24

A huge Cemetery is the main green space in my town, and we use it for bicycling, dogwalking, frisbee (in the future expansion section), etc. Don't take them away.

Protip for parents of young ones: Cemeteries are a great place to practice two digit subtraction. Some stones give away the answer, but many don't.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 12:58 PM
horizontal rule
25

the most intricately complicated team sport there is

Ahem.


Posted by: Opinionated Cricket | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:04 PM
horizontal rule
26

They should be re-interred under the end zone.

They should be left in situ, with proper headstones put in place when the field is finished. That would be a way to make football interesting.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
27

The huge cemetery down the street from us is one of the top urban birding locations on the east coast. And it really is enormous- 170 acres- for a cemetery in a pretty densely populated city. A little over 3% of the land area of the city.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:31 PM
horizontal rule
28

I love Mt. Olivet Cemetery in SLC. It has the most beautiful family of deer living in it.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:35 PM
horizontal rule
29

27: Mt. Olivet is also awesome for birding. This guy was sunning himself on a tree branch.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:36 PM
horizontal rule
30

Too soon to introduce another topic?

OT: What on earth is this Harvard poll reporting that a (slim) majority of millennials (aged 18-24) would 'recall Obama' if possible?

Look at item 5 at that link: The second, right-hand, poll result still shows a strong party affiliation. That's the one that asks whether you'd change your 2012 presidential vote. Obama voters still hugely go for Obama; Romney voters still hugely go for Romney.

So is the first listed question in item 5: If you could choose to recall and replace various officials, would you? Is it just asking whether Obama (in this case) is perfect. ? Since he's obviously not, are so-called millennials just exercising their idealistic, naive, and navel-gazing natures here - a function of their ages? I say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:38 PM
horizontal rule
31

Intellectuals like baseball

I refute you thus.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
32

30: It's just showing the power of The Onion's intense PR campaign on behalf of Joe Biden.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:44 PM
horizontal rule
33

30: 52% would recall Obama, 50% would recall all members of Congress. This just says to me that a bunch of that cohort is generally disillusioned with the entire American political class. And one could hardly blame them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:44 PM
horizontal rule
34

Isn't the 47% who would recall Obama just the total Romney vote? I guess maybe somewhat higher than just Romney since this was only younger voters.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:46 PM
horizontal rule
35

Maybe some of them don't realize "recall" has a definition other than "remember".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
36

I mean, look, it's a stupid question because 'recalling' a president isn't an option within our system. But OTOH any removal of a president gives the office to the VP, which means, hey, same party, which is good if you prefer that party, but now you've punished the officeholder personally. It's entirely reasonable to be enraged by various decisions Obama's made--especially national security stuff where the president has vast discretionary authority--and want him to pay a real cost for those decisions, while simultaneously wanting to preserve Democratic control, and, hey, conveniently enough, given the rules of succession, this is in fact possible.

In other words, I don't think there's anything here worth getting upset about. And in a parliamentary system this sort of response--"the ruling party should sack its leader and elect a new one, but, no, that doesn't mean new elections"--isn't remotely crazy and is in fact a very sensible desire when the leader has fucked up.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:49 PM
horizontal rule
37

Moreover, if you're graduating high school or college this year, neither party is offering almost anything of value to you. Getting to stay on your parents' health insurance for a few more years is a pretty abstract benefit unless you're already in poor health, which most 18-24-yr-olds aren't.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 1:54 PM
horizontal rule
38

33: This just says to me that a bunch of that cohort is generally disillusioned with the entire American political class.

That's about all it says to me as well. That disillusionment* translates to "would recall" seems stupid. But we've all been in the 18-24 age range, and we probably remember -- at least I remember -- that nuance wasn't necessarily our forte.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:11 PM
horizontal rule
39

36.2: In other words, I don't think there's anything here worth getting upset about. And in a parliamentary system this sort of response--"the ruling party should sack its leader and elect a new one, but, no, that doesn't mean new elections"--isn't remotely crazy and is in fact a very sensible desire when the leader has fucked up.

I just don't think Obama has fucked up so badly as to be worth a vote of no confidence. Yes, he's done some bad things, but honestly, he's an average* representative of the liberal class.

* And in fact, he's better than average in some areas.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:17 PM
horizontal rule
40

Steve M. has this covered, in any case.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
41

he's an average* representative of the liberal class

Yeah, more or less (to the extent that he could be called liberal, which is still debatable). But I'm sympathetic to the argument that neither party responds more than minimally to the needs of much of anybody except their donors. And the economic trajectory of the past few decades makes joining the donor class an ever more distant possibility.

Honestly, the main argument for the Democrats is that they aren't the Republicans, and that's not much of a foundation for loyalty.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:26 PM
horizontal rule
42

One more news item. Google funding right-wing groups, and high-profile, powerful ones at that. I don't have any comment, except that the Bill Moyers site should be made a regular stop.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:27 PM
horizontal rule
43

Obviously, the team will be cursed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:28 PM
horizontal rule
44

I just had a comment here held for review for some reason.

Anyway, Apo, 41.last doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Is the idea that Democrats don't stand for much of anything positive, but just stand for being not-Republican? I'm pretty sure that's the not-them approach the Republican party is indeed taking against Dems, but I really don't think it's the one the Democratic party is. The latter actually has ideas and proposals, and some of them are good, even quite good. I dislike attempts to ignore that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:34 PM
horizontal rule
45

Is the idea that Democrats don't stand for much of anything positive

No, it's that the differences between the two parties on foreign and economic policy are (despite their rhetoric) really quite minimal, and the main dividing line left between the parties is social issues. Which aren't nothing--hey, that's why I vote straight ticket Democratic. But on an actual policy level, both parties will never ever miss an opportunity to shovel money at the finance and weapons industries, and that's their #1, 2, and 3 priority.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:45 PM
horizontal rule
46

The huge cemetery down the street from us is famous for being one of the first garden cemeteries.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:47 PM
horizontal rule
47

My takeaway from Rome, and museums of antiquities in general, is that graves will be plundered. The nicer the grave marker, the more likely for it to walk. So, I'm for a low-overhead disposal-method.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:50 PM
horizontal rule
48

So, I'm for a low-overhead disposal-method.

I assume you mean putting them above the acoustical tiles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:53 PM
horizontal rule
49

45: Understood, at least to an extent. I do think there are foreign policy differences as well. And economic differences: whether you think that pressing for a raise in the minimum wage is just chipping ineffectually away at the margins is a question. I'm as frustrated by incrementalism as the next guy, but there it is, and it isn't going to change any time soon.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
50

48: gross, no. In trees.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
51

I'm off, by the way. Still waiting to hear whether my new health insurance plan application, filed one week ago, has been received by the insurance company.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:57 PM
horizontal rule
52

Like, not hanging. That's morbid. Just tape 'em up there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 2:58 PM
horizontal rule
53

52: A great way to save on Halloween decorations.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:01 PM
horizontal rule
54

I just don't think Obama has fucked up so badly as to be worth a vote of no confidence.

I mean, this is all very bullshit for the simple reason that we don't have no-confidence votes; the only thing close in terms of consequences is impeachment. But so long as we're bullshitting: fundamentally, I don't think the bar should be very high for no-confidence votes. Or rather: in a parliamentary system, where the governing party/coalition already has a strong incentive to have the government *be competent*, the disruption caused by any kind of leadership shakeup is more than enough disincentive. We don't need to add to that some moralistic taboo about how only gross mismanagement or criminal culpability justifies removal. I basically think that anyone who makes it to high office is either a sociopath or so ambitious and manipulative as to make no difference, and almost without exception, they're going to cash in once they leave office to a truly shameful degree, so fuck them.

(Honestly, the frequency of political trials for high officials is one of my favorite parts of the classic Athenian political system.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:02 PM
horizontal rule
55

53: right?! Keep that Halloween-loving uncle included in the festivities!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:03 PM
horizontal rule
56

Speaking of caring about physical remains, it comes up tangentially in this excellent Rick Perlstein piece:

and, once more, befuddled at what it was they were being asked to account for. (Just about every Vietnamese family had relatives who had disappeared in the war or whose remains could not be returned to the ancestral village--a sacred duty in Vietnamese culture.)
Do read the piece. Thing I learned that I did not remember. MIA as a Nixonian political construction:
Then, one day in the first spring of Richard Nixon's presidency, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird announced the existence of from 500 to 1,300 of what he termed "POW/MIA's." Those three letters--"MIA"--are familiar to us now. The term, however, was a new, Nixonian invention. It had used to be that downed fliers not confirmed as actual prisoners used to be classified not as "Missing in Action" but "Killed in Action/Body Unrecovered." The new designation was a propaganda scam. It let the Pentagon and State Department and White House refer to these 1,300 (later "1,400") as if they were, every one of them, actual prisoners, even though every one of them was almost certainly dead.
But I guess we got those great POW/MIA rescue porn movies out of it....


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
57

49: The last minimum wage hike (2007) passed the House 348-73, the Senate 80-14, and was signed into law by George W. Bush. The strategy of just opposing any and everything is a relatively recent one for the GOP, and (I believe) is a mostly tactical rather than an ideological decision.

Again, I do believe the differences between the parties are important enough to keep voting Democratic. But I think handwaving about the naivete and lack of nuance of young people misses a completely legitimate critique of how well our political system works for them (which is: barely at all).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:16 PM
horizontal rule
58

Does anyone offer corpse-stripping bugs/wire the resulting skeleton together/return it to your family as a 'burial' method? Because that seems like it'd be cool. Skeletons are educational, as well as making excellent seasonal decor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:19 PM
horizontal rule
59

Other green options: cryomation or resomation.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:20 PM
horizontal rule
60

57.1: I don't think there is any strategy at all behind the knee-jerk opposition to Obama. It's purely tactical and comes without any long term vision for where it might lead. It's not driven by anything except hostility and unreasoning contempt for the man. The endgame isn't a consideration, which is why they end up scoring own-goals like the shutdown (a double own-goal, since it not only got them bad press, it distracted from the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov).


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
61

This thread was more fun when it was about how football sucks.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
62

You just lack the nuance to understand how awesome football is, Jeezy Mac.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
63

I'm mortified to share an interest with George Will, if that makes you feel any better. But football still sucks.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:37 PM
horizontal rule
64

Even more than Obama.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:38 PM
horizontal rule
65

Actually, I rather like Obama.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
66

I agree with apostropher here. Among my various Facebook friends who aren't political obsessives, the only political issues they ever seem to post about are ones that neither Democrats nor Republicans have any interest in. Such as

- Preventing jobs from going overseas
- Requiring employers to give employees some type of vacation, maternity leave, job security, regular hours, etc
- Simplifying the health insurance system
- Reducing the regulatory burdens on small businesses that only big business can afford to comply with (or understand)
- Legalizing marijuana
- Making some effort to prevent crazy people and morons from carrying guns around everywhere to threaten people
- Combatting the scourge of out-of-control jackbooted gun grabbers
(these last two are surprisingly uncorrelated with other political beliefs)

I feel like if Rand Paul really does run for president as the pro-marijuana candidate, which no Democratic presidential candidate ever will ever dare to do, it might negate the primary advantage that Democrats have among my friends which is that they don't hate gay people.

Note: Almost everyone I know is a white person.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:43 PM
horizontal rule
67

30, 36: If you have noticed that recalling Obama would make Biden president, you have given the question much more thought than anyone who answered the survey gave it. You may also have given it more thought that the people who actually wrote the question.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:53 PM
horizontal rule
68

66 made me think of this.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:54 PM
horizontal rule
69

I'm mortified to share...

Back on the graveyard thing again.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 3:59 PM
horizontal rule
70

Oh yeah, global warming. People are concerned about that too. Doesn't seem to be anything related to elections, though.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 4:04 PM
horizontal rule
71

I want my bod to be glued on a tree like a butterfly moth cocoon.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
72

||

If I buy a wooden nuts&bolts&screws building set for my four-year-old grandniece with the somewhat gender-conventional parents, I'm totally busted, right? Like, they'll know I did it on purpose.

Still, it looks to be a great toy. And only a few more years until the Elenco SnapCircuits set is age-appropriate.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 4:59 PM
horizontal rule
73

72: Wrap it in pink wrapping paper?


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:06 PM
horizontal rule
74

What is this toy?! Do I need it???


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:07 PM
horizontal rule
75

And perhaps I will go Tonka for her two-year-old sister.

Oudemia- This is the set. I haven't seen one in person, but it looks like good stuff.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
76

We had something like that. It got some love.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:21 PM
horizontal rule
77

Have I recommended the Elenco SnapCircuits kit before? It looks a little offputtingly educational, but it's catnip to every kid I've seen near it, to the point of creating squabbles over it. Probably not for kids under seven or so, although if you've got a precociously fluent reader, there's no reason not to go younger.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:24 PM
horizontal rule
78

How important is the reading? Can it be figured out like legos?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:33 PM
horizontal rule
79

I think the doubts on Obama are very healthy. You're not going to get a vigorous movement for genuine economic liberalism in this country until you can see through the likes of Obama (not to mention Hilary). Cryptic Ned is right in 66; there are a whole bunch of issues sitting out there that could be popular but are off limits in our current political system because of the hegemony of the Clinton/Rubin/Obama borg.

And I don't think Obama has been a terrible President, just pretty mediocre (I give him some real points for this Iran treaty thing). But he's outdated, he's a 90s/Clinton guy.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:40 PM
horizontal rule
80

Finished up my O-care app today; all that's left is to pay (and I'll get a bill in the next 2-3 days). I went with the co-op instead of BCBS, because, you know, co-op.

Easiest way to shut down an idiot birther is ask why they think Joe Biden would be a better president. It's apparently never occurred to them that impeaching Obama doesn't put McCain/Palin/Mitt in office . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:40 PM
horizontal rule
81

!! Quick -- I need to send suggestions in 30 minutes for the office "secret santa" pool. 3 suggestions under $30, only one of which can be a gift card. Really want I want is just to avoid this entire embarrassing ritual but give me some good suggestions. !!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:47 PM
horizontal rule
82

fake dogshit


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:49 PM
horizontal rule
83

Nice tea/coffee mug. Artisinal mouse pad. Knife sharpener.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:55 PM
horizontal rule
84

Simple. #1, #2, #3


Posted by: Cryptic ed | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:57 PM
horizontal rule
85

Punch Dagger

Catbug Beanie

Giant Microbes


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
86

The newest Crystal Viper album. Or a DVD of "Samurai Cop".


Posted by: Cryptic ed | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
87

Demotivator poster, mug, calendar, etc.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 6:00 PM
horizontal rule
88

Those are all good, but #2 is perfection.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 6:01 PM
horizontal rule
89

88 to 84.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 6:01 PM
horizontal rule
90

One of these and one of these.


Posted by: Cryptic ed | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 6:03 PM
horizontal rule
91

I'm using 90.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 6:08 PM
horizontal rule
92

OK, I said fuck it, and asked for the something store, the pigeon mask, or a bottle of wine.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 6:09 PM
horizontal rule
93

I really want the pigeon mask.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 6:11 PM
horizontal rule
94

I want the pigeon mask.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 6:34 PM
horizontal rule
95

I want pigeon mask.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
96

Since when did you need coveralls, gloves, and respirators to safely dig up a 120-year-old skeleton?

Now I'm wondering: could a smallpox virus survive in a buried coffin? And I'll second the Snapcircuits recommendation. They're great.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
97

They also have horse mask, rat mask, pig mask, cardinal mask, and maybe some others. In fact they are all $24.95 except the pigeon mask which is $5 more. Because it's worth it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
98

At the next Unfoggedcon, everyone should wear a pigeon mask.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
99

Now I'm wondering: could a smallpox virus survive in a buried coffin?

I don't know about smallpox, but anthrax certainly could.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
100

Every once in a while they dig up someone who died from the Spanish Flu, and there are always concerns.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
101

All I want, really all I want in life, is for a company to sell animal nose masks under the name "ZooNoses." The fact that I haven't made this happen already suggests that I simply am allergic to hard work.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 8:58 PM
horizontal rule
102

Thirding Snapcircuits.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
103

102: of the Newport Snapcircuits?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 10:48 PM
horizontal rule
104

Here's the full quote on the hazmat suit:

As he worked, Garzón wore a full-body hazard suit, a surgical mask and rubber gloves to protect against dangerous embalming chemicals such as arsenic and formaldehyde that might be present.

Sounds reasonable to me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 11:05 PM
horizontal rule
105

Anyway, the descendant lady's position sounds pretty reasonable to me, and it seems like everyone's waiting to see if they get any results from the DNA testing before making any decisions. This doesn't seem to actually be as much of a fight as the article implies.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 11:08 PM
horizontal rule
106

I guess lots of things sound reasonable to me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 4-13 11:08 PM
horizontal rule
107

Now I'm wondering: could a smallpox virus survive in a buried coffin?

Many years ago, when I was dating a woman who looked like Donna Reed but more Mexican, she told me that one of her fellow students had been on a dig, found a very well preserved mediaeval shoe, been overjoyed, gone out to celebrate, got very drunk, accepted a dare, eaten the shoe, and been hospitalised with anthrax.

So: yes.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 2:44 AM
horizontal rule
108

That's the worst thing about grad students -- watching them all the time until they're old enough not to put things in their mouths.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 5:46 AM
horizontal rule
109

Mexicans eat more shoes?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 6:03 AM
horizontal rule
110

Wait. It's that Mexicans know people who eat more shoes. I don't know if it is true or not, but obviously a common stereotype.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 6:04 AM
horizontal rule
111

Ogged is right here. We could ask.

Also, Moby, it's more culturally respectful to call them zapatos. Racist.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 6:06 AM
horizontal rule
112

108: Back in my grad-student fieldwork days, we were in fact taught to put things in our mouths: if you're having trouble figuring out whether the thing you're looking at is a rock or a sufficiently beaten-up potsherd/bit of roof tile/whatever (and it's frequently quite difficult, particularly when surveying for surface finds) you can instantly tell by putting it against your tongue.

72.last and 75.last just made a large dent in my christmas shopping. Thanks!


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 6:09 AM
horizontal rule
113

112.1: That's very different from actually eating the artifact.

112.2: Pigeon mask.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 6:30 AM
horizontal rule
114

Wait. It's that Mexicans know people who eat more shoes.

No, Mexicans know more people who eat shoes.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 6:36 AM
horizontal rule
115

Sometimes I wish a ran a newspaper so I could see a correction like that in print.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 6:38 AM
horizontal rule
116

Obligatory


(Not the whole thing, I know.)


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 7:51 AM
horizontal rule
117

115: something like this one:

In our interview with Sir Jack Hayward, the chairman of Wolverhampton Wanderers, page 20, Sport, yesterday, we mistakenly attributed to him the following comment: "Our team was the worst in the First Division and I'm sure it'll be the worst in the Premier League." Sir Jack had just declined the offer of a hot drink. What he actually said was "Our tea was the worst in the First Division and I'm sure it'll be the worst in the Premier League." Profuse apologies.

http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2003/aug/12/correctionsandclarifications


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 8:03 AM
horizontal rule
118

I just deleted an extraneous apostrophe from a manuscript going to the publisher. And it's one that I didn't add myself. I'm going to call it a day on a high note.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 8:21 AM
horizontal rule
119

I watched a TV documentary about the 1918 flu pandemic a few years back -- bodies had been disinterred to study it, and I'm pretty sure they were saying it possibly remained infectious (having been, notoriously, one of the most infectious and catastrophic pandemics in modern history -- responsible for more deaths than WW1, for example). So I'm not surprised they're quite careful with bodies whose diseases aren't clearly recorded. London is full of green spaces that mark plague pits -- they remain as undeveloped green space partly because people fear the result of digging up and moving the remains.

^^^Notes on documentary from memory: and maybe it was talking nonsense.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 8:26 AM
horizontal rule
120

Somebody made me change the sentence so that it was possessive and the apostrophe back.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 8:32 AM
horizontal rule
121

+ put


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 8:32 AM
horizontal rule
122

Now I'm wondering: could a smallpox virus survive in a buried coffin?

That's basically (not smallpox, but whatever) the plot of Connie Willis's Doomsday Book, no?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
123

Which I thought was kind of stupid on those grounds. People dig up graves all the time -- while it may be possible to catch something if you eat a shoe, the odds of an interesting epidemic starting that way are clearly very very low.

Connie Willis annoys me -- I feel that she's almost perfectly targeted to be a writer I enjoy, but I don't actually like her stuff much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 9:37 AM
horizontal rule
124

while it may be possible to catch something if you eat a shoe

Which, for anybody following along who still isn't clear on this, you shouldn't do.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
125

She's the one with those books about time travellers in the Blitz, right? Haven't read any but the reviews were stinkers.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
126

Didn't read those. The reviews I saw said that it looked like she'd gotten all of her knowledge of England in WWII from reading mystery novels and, while that's where I've got most of my knowledge of everything, that's the sort of problem that will leave me throwing things and cursing if it's bad enough that I pick up on it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
127

126: I've now finished all the Peter Wimsey novels and feel myself expert on inter-war England.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
128

127: Same!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 9:49 AM
horizontal rule
129

I find Willis's stuff annoying to read, but enjoyable to have read, if that makes any sense. Her style and plotting make me very tense, and there's too much plot driven by two characters just inexplicably not SPEAKING CLEARLY TO ONE ANOTHER but it's a pleasant take on time travel.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
130

127: Margery Allingham's Campion novels come next, logically. Sort of in the same vein as Wimsey, but significantly wackier, in a both lightheartedly bizarre and genuinely kind of disturbing way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
131

129: I like her voice - that is, reading a page of her prose is pleasant - and a two minute description of any of her books makes it sound like just the sort of thing I'd read. Something about her plotting (the failure to communicate, but also all sorts of other giant glaring implausibilities) makes me want to kick her in the kneecaps, though, and there's just too much of it for me to get past.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
132

127: I thought they got weaker after Murder Must Advertise, but still good.

130: Thanks. I'll try them next.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:01 AM
horizontal rule
133

130. If you start Allingham expecting her to be half the writer Sayers is, you'll be disappointed. She's no more than competent. But yes, logically the next thing. Otherwise Ngaio Marsh, better writer, less whacky, but fun and prolific.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
134

Although, if you didn't like Wodehouse... Campion is sort of written as a bright guy pretending to be Bertie Wooster to annoy people. (With a brutal ex-con Jeeves.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:06 AM
horizontal rule
135

Maybe I'll try something written this century that doesn't involve a wizard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
136

And 133 is right -- the Allinghams are bits of nonsense, not actual novels. And Ngaio Marsh is good. (Every time we have this conversation, and it happens a lot, I bring up Michael Innes, and no one ever picks me up on it. Has no one else around here read him? Because those are strange and good, if a slight tendency to sneak in several page setups to puns that would make Stanley blush doesn't bother you. Not a lot -- probably one every few books.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:09 AM
horizontal rule
137

135: That's crazytalk.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
138

Whereas Roderick Alleyn (Marsh) is a sort of cross between Wimsey and Appleby.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
139

Michael Innes at his best is superb. Some of the later ones were phoned in, though.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:12 AM
horizontal rule
140

138 > 134


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
141

138: A detective inspector so dreamy that his actual nickname in the press is Handsome. Ngaio wasn't really holding back on that one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:14 AM
horizontal rule
142

|| I've been mentioning the upcoming football playoff game here. Forecast high for game day has dropped to 3, and they're calling for a 6 mph breeze out of the Hellgate (ie blowing in the faces of the visiting team on the sidelines). The father of the Chanticleer's star QB has a FB post up suggesting that the NCAA move the game to a neutral spot with nicer weather. Folks around town are chuckling about 'helicopter parents.' |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
143

Having looked at the wikipedia pages, I think I will try Ngaio Marsh next. It's on the shelf at two libraries on my way home.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:37 AM
horizontal rule
144

I thought they got weaker after Murder Must Advertise, but still good.

That's crazy talk.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:37 AM
horizontal rule
145

It being the first of her books.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:37 AM
horizontal rule
146

The reviews I saw said that it looked like she'd gotten all of her knowledge of England in WWII from reading mystery novels

If this was actually true, she would probably have picked up the fact that Britain in 1940 didn't have a decimal currency. Lord Peter Wimsey, Inspector Alleyn, Hercule Poirot et al pay for things with things called "shillings", but this seems to have passed her by.

Every time we have this conversation, and it happens a lot, I bring up Michael Innes, and no one ever picks me up on it. Has no one else around here read him?

There is an implied "except ajay of course" in this sentence, I assume. Because I've read him and he's great. "Operation Pax" and "The Weight of the Evidence" FTW.

(And he was at school with my grandfather! Heroinopolis is indeed a tiny place.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:38 AM
horizontal rule
147

144: Gaudy Night had whole chapters on peoples' feelings. There wasn't even a corpse in Busman's Honeymoon until over a quarter of the way in.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:39 AM
horizontal rule
148

And, according to the review, her other howler was having the plot depend on a character - a British character, an Oxford history professor whose period of interest was the Second World War - not have any idea who this chap "Alan Turing" was or what he might be up to at the mysterious "Bletchley Park".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:42 AM
horizontal rule
149

for things with things called "shillings"

I do have trouble figuring out the amounts of money involved. Apparently 650 pounds could buy you a good sized house in the country if the house was in somewhat poor repair and had no plumbing or electricity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:43 AM
horizontal rule
150

145: Sorry to do this to you, but either skip the first one (A Man Lay Dead) or at least don't hold it against her -- it's weak. They're fine after that one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:44 AM
horizontal rule
151

And he was at school with my grandfather

I am consumed with envy. Of your grandfather, I suppose.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:46 AM
horizontal rule
152

150: Thanks for the warning.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
153

I love _To Say Nothing of the Dog_, though not as a time-travel novel, but the _Blackout_ books were really stinkers. She seems to have done the research by reading *modern* mystery novels.

There is a surprisingly large faction that believes they are the most truest immersive well-researched WWII books ever.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:53 AM
horizontal rule
154

Have recently plowed through a pile of Anthony Price novels, in which the weirdest part is now watching the contemporary-to-him gender politics develop.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
155

I'm probably going to be off spy thrillers for a few more years. About ten years ago, I read so much Robert Ludlum. The early ones were great, because Nazis make better bad guys than commies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
156

||

Goddamnit. I have just realized that the following anecdote:

According to an account written two centuries later in Tarikh al-Tabari by the Persian author Al-Tabari, the Arab Commander Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas wrote to Caliph Umar ibn al-Khatta-b asking what should be done with the books at Ctesiphon. Umar wrote back: "If the books contradict the Qur'an, they are blasphemous. On the other hand, if they are in agreement, they are not needed, as for us Qur'an is sufficient."

is perfectly relevant to an argument I'm making in a brief, and I really want to shoehorn it in, but I know I can't -- it will only annoy and confuse the reader. Why can't everyone I write for be exactly like me?

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
157

156: You're arguing for book-burning?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
158

Different tastes in reading are just a side effect of the evolutionary strategy of seeking protection against infectious diseases through genetic diversity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
159

I just had fun reading The Coffin/Mask of Dimitrios -- I need to read more Ambler now. I really enjoyed the contemporaneously written plot points about Eastern European politics/diplomacy/spycraft in the lead up to WWII. Also amused that it would seem hardly anything but quantity has changed in the drug trade since then. (I know that's not exactly true, but it certainly felt that way.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
160

I love _To Say Nothing of the Dog_, though not as a time-travel novel, but the _Blackout_ books were really stinkers.

Yes! Just awful, and appallingly bloated as well.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
161

No, I'm pointing out that my opponent's argument that there is an impropriety in a set of internal guidelines instructing employees how to apply some regulations is exactly Umar's argument, and that it's psycho.

I'm not saying it'd be all that effective in the brief, even if the reader wouldn't be annoyed by it. But the opposition's argument has been nagging at me as familiar for ages now, and now that I've identified the familiarity it's killing me that I can't put it in the brief. I'll get over it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
162

He had an eventful if not always enviable life. Bad fall climbing in Glencoe, three weeks in a coma, eighteen months recovering by working on a tramp steamer to the USSR and China, then the war broke out and he ended up in the SAS. Still climbing into his eighties and died at 99.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
163

159: That's right. I own that on my Kindle and never started it yet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
164

159: Also, it turns out you can still find out everything about everyone without the internet, it just involves multiple train trips across most of Europe and the better part of a season.

163: You should!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
165

I really want to shoehorn it in, but I know I can't -- it will only annoy and confuse the reader.

Do it anyway! Damn the readers.

I say this only because I usually chicken out and remove the whimsical things I put in drafts of papers in the final version. So I'm happy to encourage it in others even if I don't have the guts for it myself.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
166

||

From a student's proof:

Let there be a set of vectors with m dimensions, and linear independence wants to be found.

I think he was genuinely struggling with the vocabulary and not trying to be cutesy. Which makes it genuinely cute.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
167

Apparently 650 pounds could buy you a good sized house in the country if the house was in somewhat poor repair and had no plumbing or electricity.

You could probably have done the same for the dollar equivalent in those days. It was a long time ago. Also, remember the £ was worth about $4+.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
168

If you were a vector, wouldn't you want to be independent?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
169

And yeah, it's very tricky to work out the "modern equivalent" of old costs, because the relative costs of various things also changed.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
170

Right. Food and housing have changed a whole lot relatively, with food being much cheaper and housing more expensive now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 12:06 PM
horizontal rule
171

149ff.: Throw in defunct currency units, and you might as well be making it up. I come across this all the time when I'm doing program notes—Lobkowitz paid Beethoven 400 florins for the Op. 18 quartets? You don't say! (That particular figure prompted me to spend a ridiculous amount of time determining that 400 florins represented about half his living expenses at the time, but I really would like to see a breakdown of his budget.)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 12:26 PM
horizontal rule
172

167: This was a big enough house that it employed a gardener one day a week (he was paid some number of shillings) and that a corpse could moulder in the basement for a week without anybody noticing it until they went to the basement to get beer from some sort of primitive unrefrigerated kegerator.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-13 12:52 PM
horizontal rule
173

My dad's first job in 1930, which was extremely well paid because his dad was a friend of the chairman, paid £200 a year in London. So £650=3.25 x a really good starting salary.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 2:08 AM
horizontal rule
174

These days that would get you a small terrace house in a rough but habitable bit of a de-industrialised town with poor communications over here.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 2:13 AM
horizontal rule
175

My university has a theatre named after (Dame) Ngaio Marsh, 'cause aside from writing trashy fiction, she was also a major figure in the national theatre.

Also the library has heaps of her stuff, for obvious reasons, but also now including a novel of hers I returned by mistake and was too embarrassed to o anything but claim it was a donation.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 2:48 AM
horizontal rule
176

172, 173: measuringworth.com reckons that the average UK salary in 1930 was £155 2/3. So getting rather more than that for your first job really was pretty good. The average house in 1930 cost three times the average salary.

But the average house in 1930 may well not have been habitable by 2013 standards. If Paggleham District Council were to put a family in Tallboys today, there would be an outcry - the place doesn't have any electricity! It doesn't have any running water! There's no refrigerator! The Privy Stair is a trip hazard!

And remember the huge differential between rich and poor, and also between town and country. The gardener in question in Busman's Honeymoon made 5s a day gardening (though possibly a bit more at his garage job), and was worried about the loss of his life savings of £40. Labour was cheaper relative to goods (though not relative to housing) than it is today.
On the other hand, £6 a week in London was a more than reasonable salary for the mediocre copywriter Victor Dean in Murder Must Advertise, and £6-7 a week was what Mary Wimsey and Geo. Goyles planned to live on (also in London) as a meagre but survivable household income in Clouds of Witness.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 2:50 AM
horizontal rule
177

176.1 Truer words were never said. However, as I suggested, when your twin brother's godfather is Alfred Harmsworth, there is scope for untypical outcomes. Also, even at that date, London wages were skewed in comparison with the rest of the country. £6 a week (£300 pa. - roughly $1400) would have been OK in London, riches in Newcastle.

176.2 is a good point.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 4:24 AM
horizontal rule
178

I wonder what Bunter earned. I suppose he would have been provided for in the event of Wimsey's death, so part of his compensation would have been some kind of security for his old age.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
179

156 According to an account written two centuries later in Tarikh al-Tabari by the Persian author Al-Tabari, the Arab Commander Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas wrote to Caliph Umar ibn al-Khatta-b asking what should be done with the books at Ctesiphon. Umar wrote back: "If the books contradict the Qur'an, they are blasphemous. On the other hand, if they are in agreement, they are not needed, as for us Qur'an is sufficient."

Please don't use it because it is false and and just serves to feed into Islamophobic bigotry. I'm not much for a lot of Bernard Lewis's take on Islam but he can hardly said to be sympathetic and he nicely demolishes this pernicious calumny here:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1990/sep/27/the-vanished-library-2/


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:26 AM
horizontal rule
180

I wonder what Bunter earned.

As valet to a very rich single gentleman, I'd guess around £50 pa. at the outset, plus board and lodging, which would have been worth a bit.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:38 AM
horizontal rule
181

a corpse could moulder in the basement for a week without anybody noticing it: this is no indicator of size or cost, really. In the cellar in our block a corpse could probably mummify before it was noticed, if it wasn't so damp.

Is Roderick Alleyn the one who's also a published poet? Because how can his poetry not totally suck?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:43 AM
horizontal rule
182

That's Adam Dalgliesh.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:44 AM
horizontal rule
183

In the cellar in our block a corpse could probably mummify before it was noticed, if it wasn't so damp.

Try it with a mouse and work up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:47 AM
horizontal rule
184

That's another thing. Apparently until about 1930 every house was perpetually filled with disgusting stenches, and people were always saying "Is it the drains?" "No, a mouse must have died." "No, it must be the drains."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:49 AM
horizontal rule
185

Who for some reason I can't stand. P.D. James is fingernails on a blackboard to me.

Everyone who reads this sort of thing has read the Josephine Tey books, right? Because if you haven't, they should be next on your list. While there's a repeated detective, they're very not-formulaic -- one is entirely different from the next.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
186

That's not the kind of thing Bunter would let slide.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
187

Mice, I am sad to be able to verify, mummify very easily and don't noticeably smell at all, even when they're out in the open behind the telly. Rats are a different matter.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
188

179: I wasn't going to use it anyway, but you're no fun.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
189

186 to 184.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
190

Everyone who reads this sort of thing has read the Josephine Tey books, right?

And discussed them before...

http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_10542.html#1181695


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
191

187: Mice that die in a bucket with a small bit of water in the bottom can stink up a whole garage even if the garage didn't smell great to start with.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 8:57 AM
horizontal rule
192

190: I believe the last time I had a new thought that was unrelated to either a statute of limitation or the exhaustion of administrative remedies was sometime in the late nineties. One of the many purposes of this blog is documenting that to be the case.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
193

...but you're no fun.

That's why no one ever invites me to their book burning parties anymore.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
194

Apparently until about 1930 every house was perpetually filled with disgusting stenches, and people were always saying "Is it the drains?" "No, a mouse must have died." "No, it must be the drains."

The reverse happened to a friend of mine: something went amiss with (I think) his gas pipe, so they got the gasman round and he took up the kitchen floor and had a look underneath and popped back up with a startled expression because he'd seen a human skull.
Turned out (and I hope you appreciate the artistry with which I bring the thread back on topic) that their house had been built, without anyone noticing at the time, on top of a plague pit.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:01 AM
horizontal rule
195

The moral is: never add water to dead things.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
196

Everyone who reads this sort of thing has read the Josephine Tey books, right? Because if you haven't, they should be next on your list.

Ditto this!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
197

195 to all comments ever anywhere.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:03 AM
horizontal rule
198

194 Did he sell the place and move or install a glass floor in the kitchen?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:04 AM
horizontal rule
199

195: I assume the mouse added itself to the water because thirsty and couldn't get out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:05 AM
horizontal rule
200

More on 179: I was actually surprised and pleased, when I looked up the story from the half-remembered version in my head, that it was medieval Persian rather than later European anti-Muslim slander.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
201

157 to 195


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
202

198: neither. He, or rather his parents (this happened some time ago) are living there to this day, and every now and again they mention it to guests at dinner parties.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
203

After having pre-arranged for cold drafts causing the candles to flicker abruptly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:21 AM
horizontal rule
204

"They're coming..."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
205

Of course if you add water to something already mummified you get soap, as Wilhelm von Ellenbogen of Philadelphia teaches us. So it's win win.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:28 AM
horizontal rule
206

202 Trapdoor, surely. I'd look for strategically placed rugs or furniture next time I was over there.

200 It's been a long while since I've gone into the weeds on this topic but the Tabari reference reminds me that Marshall Hodgson's bit on how to read Tabari in "The Venture of Islam"and in "Two pre-modern Muslim Historians" is my favorite bit of historiography.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:28 AM
horizontal rule
207

"The Saponification at the Bellona Club"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:29 AM
horizontal rule
208

Heh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:32 AM
horizontal rule
209

Reading mysteries is like eating seafood for me. I don't like them but I wish I did. It might just be me but I also think I might be doing something wrong.


*Unless they're hard boiled which is where the analogy breaks down. I can read boatloads of Hammet, Jim Thompson, Ross Thomas and the like.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
210

Only one of them works better dipped in melted butter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:43 AM
horizontal rule
211

209: Hardboiled is an entirely different category. I like them both, but they're not tightly related. (I've said this here before, but I really amused myself when I figured out that the terrible Jack Reacher novels are structurally cozy, clue-based mysteries rather than hard-boiled thrillers. The detective is this giant slab of ultraviolent sociopathic meat, but the machinery of the plot is always something that would have worked pretty much the same way for Miss Marple.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 9:56 AM
horizontal rule
212

If all people helping her investigate the crime were more or less automatically sexually attracted to her, Miss Marple books would have been very different.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
213

211 so what should I try if I wanted to read a clue-based mystery?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
214

Agatha Christie is sort of the classic. Sayers, who I like better, doesn't put as much attention on the clues.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:11 AM
horizontal rule
215

If all people helping her investigate the crime were more or less automatically sexually attracted to her, Miss Marple books would have been very different.

They were. But they never actually admitted it because, you know, British.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
216

212: It's subtext.

213: "Clue-based" is not really the word for it -- I meant not-hardboiled-mysteries. Agatha Christie is classic, but not great: I think she dated harder than her contemporaries. Really, any name that's been mentioned in this thread: Sayers, Marsh, Tey, Allingham, you might like Rex Stout as someone who I'd call unambiguously a mystery writer rather than a hardboiled-thriller writer but whose protagonist is sort of living in the same world as a Hammett/Chandler character. Or you could reconcile yourself to not liking mysteries -- to you, they're spinach and there's no reason not to say the hell with it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
217

Goddamn you, ajay. I would have gotten in first with that one if I hadn't been all helpful in the last part of the comment.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
218

I don't know what it means about me that there aren't any contemporary mysteries that spring to mind as worth recommending.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:20 AM
horizontal rule
219

Alex Cross is worth it to my mind, but I think that's more of a thriller than a mystery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
220

Are those the James Patterson child psychologist (I think)? I read a number of them, and then stopped picking up the next one, and forgot everything about them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:29 AM
horizontal rule
221

I think my parents read basically every contemporary mystery series. The highlight of their trip to visit me a few months ago seemed to be finding the address in Boston where Spenser lived in the Robert B. Parker novels.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:35 AM
horizontal rule
222

Alex Cross is a regular psychologist I think. Jonathan Kellerman wrote a series with a child psychologist as a protagonist. I like his books pretty well also. In both cases, I eventually stopped reading them because they started to all sound the same.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:35 AM
horizontal rule
223

Apparently until about 1930 every house was perpetually filled with disgusting stenches, and people were always saying "Is it the drains?"

I think the plumbing at our work predates the 30s, and let me tell you, it's ALWAYS the drains. (Or there is a body hidden in the walls?)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:35 AM
horizontal rule
224

Speaking of teams being cursed, the World Cup draw just happened... #Ghana #Germany #Portugal


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:37 AM
horizontal rule
225

Did someone say Ghana?


Posted by: Giotto Trohl | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:40 AM
horizontal rule
226

Re bodies hidden in the walls in the UK: it was of course considered very bad luck not to include a dried-out dead cat when laying down the foundations of your mediaeval farmhouse. (Don't click on this link if you don't like to look at dried-out dead cats.)

But as noted, mummies don't smell, so it can't be this.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
227

222: That's it, I was conflating the two. Nothing I remember as wrong with either one, but they didn't stick with me.

221: I liked the Spenser books. He was convincingly a meathead with a high IQ and some interpersonal empathy, rather than what a lot of thriller writers tend to come up with, someone who's exactly like the sort of person who writes books except good at punching people. But they're hardly contemporary any more -- did they start in the early eighties or the late seventies?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
228

I eventually stopped reading them because they started to all sound the same.

Ain't that the truth!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
229

226 How else do you keep the dried-out mice away? Try Immure-a-Cat today! For all your mummified feline needs.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:53 AM
horizontal rule
230

Giotto Troh

Clever.

My German BIL is not very thrilled with that group either. I told him to quit complaining. His team was likely to advance.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 10:59 AM
horizontal rule
231

230 flushes me out to take due credit. Just don't say the name of that country three times in the mirror or he shows up in comments at your blog and never leaves.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
232

Giotto Troh

I wish that guy would comment here. One of the all time great weirdos.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
233

Long Slee post.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 11:13 AM
horizontal rule
234

Wrong thread, obviously.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
235

I am enjoying the hell out of The City and the City right now. I think my new thing to read might be speculative detective/spy novels.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
236

235: TCATC is full of awesome (though I think Embassytown is still my favorite of his novels).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
237

just requested the Josephine Tey books.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
238

227.2--I'm not much of a mystery reader, but I enjoyed those in a popcorn sort of way. Also Dick Francis.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
239

Dick Francis is funny. I would certainly, if I found myself in a waiting room with a couple of hours to kill and an unexpected Dick Francis, be delighted -- they're entertaining. On the other hand, I find myself really unwilling to say that they're actually any good, but I haven't thought much about why. (Some thoughts -- his narrators, while nominally mostly different from one book to the next, are exactly the same guy. And that guy seems Mary Sue-ish in a way that puts me off more than the usual mystery-novel protagonist fantasy fodder. And the scene where he gets horribly beaten in every novel is depressing.) But of course I've read dozens of them.

Great if you like occupational trivia -- horses of course, but there's usually at least one other job that gets talked about at length.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
240

I loved The City and the City. It's such a fantastic conceit. I have yet to read Embassytown -- looking forward to it.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 6-13 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
241

150: I'm reading the first one despite your warning because the second through fifth were not at the library. It isn't exactly bad, but it reads like a play that was novelized.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-13 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
242

I don't know anything about it, but it's not impossible -- as Keir mentioned, she was theater people. Lots of them have theatrical settings.

The journalist looks as if he's going to be a steady sidekick, as does the valet, but both of them fade out in later books. (I think the journalist shows up in the next one as a major character, and then occasionally from then on, but he's not a Watson figure.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 7-13 12:09 PM
horizontal rule
243

It's getting pretty good. Also, I enjoy the pre-euphemism use of "making love".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 7-13 8:00 PM
horizontal rule
244

I finished the book. It was good enough that even without LB's notice above, I'd probably have read another one. The ending was a bit hard to buy and her characters aren't as good as Sayers, but she's very good at laying out detail with clarity and lack of tedium.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 8-13 9:15 PM
horizontal rule