Re: Call Me A Sucker, But I Think He Believed Himself

1

The quote from Howard Kurtz in the linked article (Fox News analyst Howard Kurtz) is awfully precious.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:44 AM
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I'm certain I've made this argument before.


Posted by: marcel | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:49 AM
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Hillary did pretty much the same thing:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/sleuth/2008/03/sinbad_unloads_on_hillary_clin.html

We can't all have the mental acuity of Sinbad


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:02 AM
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A timely recent article in the New Yorker, "You Have No Idea What Happened," based on a experiment done on memories of the Challenger explosion.

The day following the explosion of the Challenger, in January, 1986, Neisser, then a professor of cognitive psychology at Emory, and his assistant, Nicole Harsch, handed out a questionnaire about the event to the hundred and six students in their ten o'clock psychology 101 class, "Personality Development." Where were the students when they heard the news? Whom were they with? What were they doing? The professor and his assistant carefully filed the responses away.
In the fall of 1988, two and a half years later, the questionnaire was given a second time to the same students. It was then that R. T. recalled, with absolute confidence, her dorm-room experience. But when Neisser and Harsch compared the two sets of answers, they found barely any similarities.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:13 AM
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There are several areas where my mother and I have distinct yet different memories of some signal events. We both tend to have pretty good memories, so it is a bit jarring to see how significantly we differ on some fundamental aspects of the stories.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:18 AM
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She's wrong of course...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:18 AM
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In William's case, it couldn't have happened to more deserving narrative-spewing "both sides do it" piece of shit. During one of the Dem candidate "haircut flaps" he claimed on Letterman that the most he had ever paid for a haircut was $12.

The David Letterman Show, where Brian Williams goes to lie.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:28 AM
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I pay $17, plus tip. And I really need one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:30 AM
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But our political climate is so infused with craziness that you hate to pile on because that is the position of the hate speech mongers like Fox.

John Fugelsang got it right on Twitter: Well it took 12 years but FOX News finally got upset over a lie about Iraq.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:31 AM
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7: I cut a guy's hair in the men's bathroom in a bar the other night just for the experience. And because he needed a haircut and asked nicely. When you sew during pub trivia, people can assume you have scissors, I guess.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:33 AM
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How did it come out?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:34 AM
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I don't buy it. In part because of the direction these lies tend to take. People never seem to remember falsely that they WEREN'T involved in some notable event. It always seems to run in the other direction.

I'm not cutting Wilson any slack. He lied, he lied about something that was checkable, and even if he came to believe over the years that his lie was true, it was still a lie.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:35 AM
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11: I was really just de-mulleting it and tidying up around the ears. It looked much better and he was happy. He'd wanted to just borrow my scissors and do it himself, but I've cut hair before and anyone willing to do it himself seems up for having an amateur who can see the back of his head try.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:37 AM
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Lying in bed, just like Brian Williams did.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:38 AM
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Witt lied about Brian Williams' name. And yes, she is right that the fabrications run in convenient directions--they aren't randomly wrong. And in this case, it was all part of a big giddy "We Aee All Warriors Now" lamefest for the press in general. And speaking of generals, around that time Williams was in the process of credulously hosting (and later defending) retired generals who were being paid by the Pentagon to further war propaganda.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:47 AM
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Fuck all these fuckers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:48 AM
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I did a good deed yesterday. The universe owed me a really good straight line.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:49 AM
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Does anyone have the precise wording of Williams' false claim in the story that brought all this out? And has anyone been able to pin down precisely what did happen? Was he in a convoy of helicopters, one of which was hit, forcing them all down, or was he, as I've read elsewhere, an hour behind the chopper that got hit? I've watched the original report and I think (I can't remember precisely!) that it was left vague. If they were part of the same convoy, I say trick of memory; if he was an hour behind, I say deliberate stretch that was woven into his memories. If the former, beheading. The latter, death by fire.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:51 AM
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4. I've read about that study, but nonetheless I remember accurately (really!) where I was for the Challenger explosion, and also for the WTC attack. Maybe having been at work in both cases helps; different jobs too, so it's easy to distinguish. Probably the jobs being ones where there was often a TV on somewhere in the office helps, though I first heard about the WTC via a friend who was on ICQ. We all started congregating around the TV after that.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:53 AM
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18: He told a number of different versions. The Letterman one seems to have been the most wrong. In general (there's that word again! Hep, the generals are after me!) they have gotten wronger over time.

There are conflicting reports among the helicopter pilots (surprise, surprise) over what actually happened.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:55 AM
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War stories in general tend to be wronger than non-war stories. Circumstances lead our "warriors" to turn into a bunch of abject liars.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:57 AM
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I hate everything and everybody. I get the Williams thing sucks, but this reaction in a mainstream culture which has for the most part celebrated the insane lies of Kyle "I killed 30 people from the roof of the Superdome" I-forget-his-last-name-is-his-first-name-even-Kyle? presented that Sniper movie.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:59 AM
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War stories in general tend to be wronger than non-war stories.

But isn't it stress hormones specifically that fuck memory development/retention all to hell? If so, this would be expected.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:59 AM
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23: Yes, they are wronger for many, many reasons. Sorry I posted a dog bites man story, o mighty guardian of elevated discourse.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 7:00 AM
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24?? Jesus man I wasn't attacking you. Just offering some counterbalance to the "abject liars" idea.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 7:02 AM
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I have many thoughts on the subject of the accuracy of memory -- especially in times of trauma.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 7:06 AM
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Chivington's men and victims should have tried harder to be clear, for your sake.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 7:08 AM
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I am all about disproportionate response today. Fortunately, I have to go to work and actually work today. On a relatively thorny issue clusterfuck that is so entirely of our own construction that is making me crazy to even think about it. Not always the case, but in this particular instance I knew it was going to blow sky-high, tried to steer to it differently and failed miserably to do so.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 7:09 AM
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26: You and your wife can't agree on who it was who really pushed the decision to move to central Pennsylvania from California?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 7:10 AM
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I was sleeping when the trade centers were attacked; I remember this because my college roommate woke me up by saying something like "hey the WTC fell down" and I remember thinking, "wow, it's really weird they'd demolish them at 8 something in the morning on a Tuesday. They'd have to clear a huge area to make sure no one got injured."

I'll also have memories of things happening in locations where it's impossible for them to have occurred, like say, a memory at a certain point in childhood in a house I would not have lived in at the time.

Finally, I've had the experience where people have told stories to me about funny nights they've had like I wasn't there, when I totally was. I just want to say, "WHAT AM I?? CHOPPED LIVER?" but I usually don't.*

*The worst recent example I remember was with my current partner. I'd recently met him and was interested in him, and it seemed like he was possibly interested in me. We'd met at a department function, hit it off, and I'd invited him along to dinner with some of my friends at a Thai restaurant, and the night went well. A few days later, I'm chatting with him in the dept lounge, trying to gauge his interest, and he starts telling me about this great Thai restaurant he went to a few nights ago that I should try. He was properly humiliated when I reminded him I invited him to the dinner, but it cast a major (if temporary) doubt on how the whole 'flirting' enterprise was going.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 7:13 AM
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31

Will Bunch with a very good take on Williams, American Sniper and war stories in general.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 7:15 AM
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I could understand misremembering being under fire. If I was in a helicopter in a war zone and heard explosions and pop-popping noises, I would assume that someone was shooting at someone, possibly at me.

I don't see how you could misremember being shot down, however.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 7:35 AM
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I cut a guy's hair in the men's bathroom in a bar the other night just for the experience.

"Cutting a guy's hair" is a euphemism I'm not familiar with, but I can infer from the context.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 7:38 AM
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The relative accuracy of the story doesn't matter. Rather, let us simply recognize this for what is its: a opportunity for all Right Thinking Patriots to say "Ew, Brian Williams tried to get his dirty media cooties on our glorious military."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 7:39 AM
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Remember when Geraldo went on the TV and held up a sign saying, "U.S. troops are going to go to X, so be ready for them." Or something like that. He still has a job, I think.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 7:51 AM
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I remember where I was when Geraldo found nothing inside Al Capone's vaults -- I was watching Gerlado fail to find anything inside Al Capone's vaults. In some ways that show was a rare example of honest journalism.

I agree with the OP, but part of it also is that all writers are liars, and journalists, even Williams, are basically writers. A lot of the J-School conventions are basically just discipline methods designed to constrain the fundamental tendency of all writers to misrepresent, embellish, and fit facts into narrative rather than the other way around. Williams was basically paid to be a bullshitter, simplifier, and fitter of facts into narrative (in his case very very conventional center-right DC narrative), though he was supposed to be constrained b a mild factitude and relation to reality, a boundary that he seems to have crossed.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:03 AM
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It may have been noted elsewhere, but the sidebar, and for me, limited to my phone and effectively unable to comment, the corresponding loss of the comment feed makes following discussions even harder.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:05 AM
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Ogged came back without bringing cargo and he sold the sidebar to Chinese investors.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:08 AM
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33, this idiom was later shortened to simply "trim".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:09 AM
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Piece linked in 31 is v. good.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:09 AM
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37: Your memory is faulty; Unfogged has never had a "recent comments" sidebar or a comments feed.

Also, your memory of us being at war with Eastasia is wrong; we've been at war with Eurasia the whole time.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:09 AM
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He's a serial fabulist. And LB is a sucker.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:25 AM
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This is terrible, but his quote from 42 that "you see bodies that you last saw in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and swore to yourself that you would never see in your country" makes it sound like he's being haunted by corpses and I am completely cracking up about it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:27 AM
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According to 42, apparently he's been telling lies about getting the runs. Burn him!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:29 AM
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And since 43 probably made no sense, it's making fun of his specific bad writing:
"When you look out of your hotel window in the French Quarter and watch a man float by face down, when you see bodies that you last saw in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and swore to yourself that you would never see in your country," Williams said.

I'll stop making jokes about whether zombie stalkers would be enough to make him so stressed he'd get confused about downed helicopters. But REALLY!

Is it a bad stereotype to have that people who are actually doing heroic things won't be all self-aggrandizing about it? I should probably think that through, because I automatically discount pretty much anyone who's in the media talking about being great who isn't also Muhammad Ali. Okay, morally great is a problem; sports great is just part of why I don't care much about sports. Maybe that's my rubric?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:30 AM
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There was probably a producer who was supposed to float a body by his window but forgot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:35 AM
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Anyone would think you reprobates had never tried to bury the shame of seeing your offspring fall into the grubby, lumpy clutches of Lena Dunham by constructing a better world in your memory hacienda. I say we owe Brian Williams our sympathies.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:36 AM
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46: Ooh, so do you think Williams is complicit in that or it's a gaslighting situation?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:40 AM
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His producer probably figured it was easier to implant a false memory than to kill a guy to get a corpse to float.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:42 AM
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Journalists are lazy like that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:42 AM
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||

I suspect the missing sidebar comments are the result of an SQL query that's timing out, or which is otherwise taking too long to filter its way through the table of 1.78 million comments. In terms of database size, I suspect the blog may be entering the zone where they MySQL backend is getting janky.

I'm not familiar with the hardware the blog is running on, but my uninformed opinion would be to throw more CPU and RAM at the issue.

|>


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:57 AM
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OT: Why haven't we talked about this amazing article yet?

In the mid-1960s, Dad purchased several porn novels through the mail. My mother recalls him reading them with disgust -- not because of the content, but because of how poorly they were written. He hurled a book across the room and told her he could do better. Mom suggested he do so....
Dad believed he'd influenced the industry to the point where his style was consistently copied, the proof being that other authors had begun writing knowledgeably of the clitoris, which he believed he pioneered....
Eighty percent of the notebooks described sexual aspects of women. The longest section focused on their bosoms. Another binder listed descriptions of individual actions, separated by labeling tabs that included: Mouth. Tongue. Face. Legs. Kiss. The heading of Orgasm had subdivisions of Before, During and After. The thickest notebook was designed strictly for B.D.S.M. novels with a list of 150 synonyms for "pain." Sections included Spanking, Whipping, Degradation, Predegradation, Distress, Screams, Restraints and Tortures. These were further subdivided into specific categories followed by brief descriptions of each....
Dad was like Henry Ford applying principles of assembly-line production with pre-made parts. The methodical technique proved highly efficient. Surrounded by his tabulated notebooks, he could quickly find the appropriate section and transcribe lines directly into his manuscript. Afterward, he blacked them out to prevent plagiarizing himself. Ford hired a team of workers to manufacture a Model-T in hours. Working alone, Dad could write a book in three days.

Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:06 AM
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He wrote pirate porn, ghost porn, science-fiction porn, vampire porn, historical porn, time-travel porn, secret-agent porn, thriller porn, zombie porn and Atlantis porn.

Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:09 AM
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People never seem to remember falsely that they WEREN'T involved in some notable event.

If they did, you'd rarely hear about it, because someone failing to report something isn't very notable.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:14 AM
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52: because that article's in this weekend's Magazine, and only bad people read articles online before the hard copy is available.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:18 AM
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Dylan's "Ballad in Plain D" is just unbearable.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:22 AM
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Lots of people fail to remember being involved in notable events when asked about them under oath.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:25 AM
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People never seem to remember falsely that they WEREN'T involved in some notable event.

Recently I realized that I was almost certainly present at some noteworthy event. At the moment I don't recall anything about it, but it was something of modest local import, and I saw the date, and realized that I was probably there. But I have no clear memory of it, and if I ever told the story, it was a long time ago.

And I think that the lack of a personal story is precisely why the memory faded. I went to this thing (let's say it was a concert that later gained significance), it was fine, but unremarkable from my POV. By the time its significance became noted, I didn't have any story to tell about being there, so it was as if I hadn't been.

Obviously, most notable events don't develop like that - even if you e.g. saw Nirvana in the summer of 1991 (pre-Nevermind), you'd know while it was a fresh memory that you'd been to something noteworthy, even if your story was, "I though they weren't that great" - but I don't think it's that rare.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:28 AM
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56: Why are you listening to it?

It is commonly ranked among his worst songs.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:30 AM
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His best songs aren't very good either, so why not try the worst ones.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:33 AM
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30.1 - I was dealing with a major issue with the .GOV domain name root server. I got to work and someone said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center; I assumed it was like a Cessna or something -- awful, but within the bounds of a normal awful thing that might happened. I then went down into a server room and spent two hours fixing things so that government web sites didn't fall off the internet (good day for it!). When I came out, I cheerfully announced, "Well, I put out the fire!"

Similarly, when my teacher announced that the Challenger had exploded, I laughed, because I thought it was a morbid joke.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:35 AM
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The link in 31 is good, even though it gives more credence than is actually deserved to the "Dick Blumenthal LIED about Vietnam!" calumny.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:36 AM
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56: Why are you listening to it?

Shuffle. I usually manage to ignore it or just skip it, but for whatever reason this time it caught enough of my attention to hear that it's even worse than my previous, negative opinion held.

It is commonly ranked among his worst songs.

Evidence that the critics aren't all wrong.

RS(?) did a ranking of every single Nirvana song (including things like their cover of "The Immigrant Song", captured a home video in like 1986). It would be kind of awesome (in the original sense) to see a similar ranking of Dylan's songs.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:39 AM
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I was home from school the day of the Challenger, in the guest room watching 2001 (or maybe 2010?) on the TV. My mom came in and told me, "It blew up on takeoff," which, spoiler alert, Mom. I was genuinely confused for a moment.

I was living in Miami at the time, and so we had similar cold*, clear weather, which has helped keep the memory vivid. Same deal with the weather on 9/11, come to think of it - spectacular weather that day, here and there.

*come to think of it, that might've been the coldest day of the 7 years I lived there; it was almost never below 40°


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:42 AM
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Okay, well if 52 is not your thing, then how about this:

Almost half of the DNA found on the [New York Subway] system's surfaces did not match any known organism and just 0.2 percent matched the human genome.

Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:43 AM
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OK, I'm finally able to articulate why I don't get the quote in 65 (which I read last night - just the quote, not the article): surely it's not realistic to expect to be able to identify any given strand of DNA by species? I mean, it's not like searching the internet for a song lyric: the vast majority of genomes are unmapped, and will be for a long time.

Am I missing something? Why would they expect to be able to readily identify DNA sources?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:49 AM
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RS(?) did a ranking of every single Nirvana song (including things like their cover of "The Immigrant Song", captured a home video in like 1986). It would be kind of awesome (in the original sense) to see a similar ranking of Dylan's songs.

And hilarious to see the occasional song from his first 6 albums, like that one, at the bottom among all the dreck from the 1980s.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:53 AM
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I remember the Challenger disaster happening when I was in 1st grade. Except that in 1986 I was in 3rd grade.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:53 AM
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Shuffle. I usually manage to ignore it or just skip it

You can mark a song as not available for shuffle, can't you?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 9:55 AM
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I remember the Challenger explosion happening in 3rd grade, just as it should.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:01 AM
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I remember where I was when JFK died aboard the Challenger.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:03 AM
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And I'm on Team BW Lies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:03 AM
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I feel like the article linked in 65 is worse journalism than anything Brian Williams did. 66 seems like one explanation, also isn't part of it just that there are a shit-ton of unknown bacteria out there that people are discovering so not very surprising that the subway has some.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:04 AM
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I remember earning of the Challenger on a road trip up to Big Timber with my subordinate, which is odd because there's not that much water rights stuff we'd have been doing up there that time of year that would require two people. It's mixed up with the memory of telling him my wife was pregnant with our first child, which would have been around the same time, and to which he responded in a memorably jerky way. Big Timber twice in the same season? Apparently.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:06 AM
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I remember where I was when JFK died aboard the Challenger.

I remember the book depository where they crowned the King of Cuba.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:06 AM
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Also, I recently met (a client!) someone who remembered going to elementary school with me (he was a grade below) and remembered that I'd made some off-color Christa McAuliffe joke that got me in trouble. I didn't remember him from school and don't remember getting in trouble for making a Christa McAuliffe joke, but I haven't gotten any more calls from that guy since we had that discussion.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:08 AM
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I remember learning about the Challenger explosion at a friend's house, from the friend's parents. My only reference point for space shuttles was sci-fi movies, and in the movies space ships blow up all the time (usually under enemy fire), and although I understood that the movies weren't actually realistic, the loss of one lousy shuttle didn't seem like it should be such a big deal. It's not like we lost the whole damn fleet. But they were so grave about the announcement that I thought something terrible must have happened, like maybe thousands of people were somehow killed in the wreckage or something. They clarified that seven people had died and I remember thinking "don't at least seven people die in tragic accidents pretty much every day?" I didn't understand why they were being so dramatic about it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:16 AM
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People with dandruff will often flake like that. Check to see if his Head and Shoulders haven't washed up on the beach.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:17 AM
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78 to 76.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:17 AM
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On 9/11, after the plane hit the Pentagon, I went up on the roof of our building woth a co-worker, and watched the smoke billow for a bit. Federales across the street on the roof of the Willard were insistent that we should go back down, so we did.

While I was up there, though, I very definitely heard a fairly loud explosion that sounded like it was maybe half a mile away due west. World Bank? State Department?

I may be wrong, but I think the official line is that there was no such explosion.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:45 AM
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People never seem to remember falsely that they WEREN'T involved in some notable event.

Reagan's mis-remembering his own involvement in Iran-Contra springs to mind as a counter-example to this.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:48 AM
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I think at some point I convinced myself that my memory of learning about the Challenger was faulty and now I don't remember anything about it at all except I obviously learned about it at some point, probably when I was aboard Sputnik with the guy who flew the Cessna to Red Square.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:51 AM
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81 to 57.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:53 AM
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If neither of those other (great) links I posted interest you, maybe you will like this (also great) story better:

ON A MID-SEPTEMBER night, Ezekiel Rubalcada swaggers through the doors of Las Vegas' M Resort Spa Casino. He moves to the half-moon-shaped bar overlooking the sportsbook, catching up with old friends. He exchanges high-fives and playful F-bombs with a couple of bartenders, then makes a raunchy pass at a brunette waitress who escapes in a near sprint.

For 38-year-old Rubalcada, being at the M is a pleasing trip down memory lane, a visit to his primary workplace throughout 2010 and 2011. Back then, he had nearly $1 million in his account at the M. Dressed in slacks and a sport coat, he would saunter in and bet six figures a week on NFL and college games. He was, M Resort staffers say, one of the sportsbook's "bigger guys" -- a high roller who could afford to bet very, very big.
But he wasn't that at all.
In fact, Rubalcada was a faceless grunt in the most successful gambling enterprise of all time. The divorced father of two says he was paid $1,200 a week by an outfit called ACME Group Trading to sip vodka tonics or Bud Lights until a man he'd never met called or texted him on his small Nokia phone. The voice would tell Rubalcada, known as Lubbock, how many thousands of dollars to place on which games -- immediately. But the ultimate orders came from the greatest and most controversial sports gambler ever: William T. "Billy" Walters.

Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:53 AM
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63: I guess those kind of lists are getting to be a thing. Slate does it for all kinds of artists. And I just looked at a ranked list of all Billy Joels' songs. I suppose that's not worse than when I used to watch VH1's list shows -- the 100 Greatest Songs of the 1980s and such. I'm still hoping to see the 100 Greatest List Shows of All Times. Or maybe The 100 Most Idiotic Moments on List Shows.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:55 AM
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1. Challenger: I remember finding out in school. I was in 10th grade I think.
2. Reagan Getting Shot: 5th grade? Recently home after school. Phone rings with friend Marjorie telling me the president was shot. I answered, perhaps too eagerly, "Is he dead?!"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 10:58 AM
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I suspect the missing sidebar comments are the result of an SQL query that's timing out, or which is otherwise taking too long to filter its way through the table of 1.78 million comments. In terms of database size, I suspect the blog may be entering the zone where they MySQL backend is getting janky.
I'm not familiar with the hardware the blog is running on, but my uninformed opinion would be to throw more CPU and RAM at the issue.

Actually, it's because the server's disk is full. I'm trying to figure out what I can do to fix that right now.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:03 AM
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66: This is from the article linked in 65.

In addition to the wealth of mystery DNA -- which was not unexpected given that only a few thousand of the world's genomes have been fully mapped -- the study's other findings reflected New York's famed diversity, both human and microbial.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:07 AM
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87: Delete all Shearer's comment?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:07 AM
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86.1: Same with me. I was in PE as I recall, because someone came out to the (basketball? handball? I can't remember) courts to announce the news.

What's weird is that I seem to remember being at home watching weekend morning cartoons or whatever when the Pope was shot, but wikipedia informs me that that happened on a Wednesday.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:12 AM
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Actually, it's because the server's disk is full. I'm trying to figure out what I can do to fix that right now.

In that case, my recommendation is to throw more disk space at the issue.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:15 AM
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91: That's my recommendation as well!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:17 AM
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84 -- That was good. And reinforces my belief that casinos should be forced to have an all takers no limits policy. If someone can beat them at a game they are playing, too bad. You eliminate a lot of money laundering and tax evasion stuff with that.

And if casinos get outsmarted into bankruptcy, well, no tears from me for that.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:26 AM
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1.78 million comments is a fair amount but nothing crazy; I haven't done high-performance MT work in a long time (thank goodness) but if needs be I can see if any of the stuff we wrote for that sort of scenario is available on github.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:31 AM
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1.78 million comments is a fair amount but nothing crazy

Yeah, but that's just Moby.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:36 AM
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92 to 89 too?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:38 AM
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You can mark a song as not available for shuffle, can't you?

Absolutely, but I only bother* for the worst of the worst. Which it has now been categorized as.

*not much bother, of course, but 99% of my desk listening is to "Unrecent Library", which is all of my non-holiday, non-classical music that I haven't played in the last 6 months. 3900 songs at the moment. The idea is to keep myself from hearing the same stuff over and over, so I try not to edit it beyond that. There's a couple songs I haven't heard in 2 full years, quite a few at 18+ months.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:39 AM
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93: Yeah, it bugs me a lot that casinos are effectively able to treat fleecing customers as a legally enforceable right. Talk about Heads I win, Tails you lose.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:45 AM
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But they were so grave about the announcement that I thought something terrible must have happened, like maybe thousands of people were somehow killed in the wreckage or something. They clarified that seven people had died and I remember thinking "don't at least seven people die in tragic accidents pretty much every day?" I didn't understand why they were being so dramatic about it.

This was me, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:46 AM
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I have a very clear recollection of watching the first moon landing live on tv in my second grade classroom, which was weird because there had never been a tv in the classroom before that morning. My mother swears that our family was in a vacation cottage with no tv that week. I'm sure she's hoaxing me. I can't figure out how mom convinced millions of web sites that the event occurred in July.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:47 AM
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1.78 million comments is a fair amount but nothing crazy

Yeah, its not a huge amount, but could be a problem depending on the query that's hitting it. My theory was that "recent comments" was query was particularly bad, for some reason.

I don't know if there are options that could be taken with regard to indexing or query optimization or whatever, but one could spend a lot of time in the weeds trying to figure it out. Its certainly been a long time since I touched anything MT, and I can't say that I remember any of it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:49 AM
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The other thing I remember about the Challenger disaster is how quickly the tasteless jokes started circulating. I've compared notes with other people and it seems like with hours identical jokes were being told on the East and West coasts. And all pre- (widespread) internet.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:49 AM
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I was on the trampoline in gym class when someone said Reagan had been shot, and I did an extra high bounce and a loud whoop. I was not a very nice little kid.


Posted by: edna k. | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 11:50 AM
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Miami Herald's Tropic magazine (I'm pretty sure*) did an article trying to figure out where the tasteless jokes came from, and how they spread so fast (that was Dave Barry's home publication at the time - maybe still is? - and I feel as if he was part of the reporting/writing, but maybe that's wrong. Memory!). You'll never guess which well-connected group of sociopaths was responsible.

*I know they did bad-ass reportage on the causes of the disaster, including the technical (the O-rings) and the bureaucratic. Although Emerson posted the other day that Reagan's people pushed to make the launch happen over NASA objections, that this was a known (but conveniently forgotten) fact, but I don't recall it from that story. Maybe it emerged later, maybe the editors buried it (although IIRC the Herald was not pro-Reagan), maybe they didn't find it credible


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:06 PM
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You did go to school at night, right?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:07 PM
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Sidebar! We've missed you.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:08 PM
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Between Paul VI, JP I, JP II's assassination, Sadat's assassination, and RR's assassination, I felt like it was commonplace for Tom Brokaw to be on the TV in the afternoon with some Very Serious News.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:08 PM
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Miami Herald's Tropic magazine (I'm pretty sure*) did an article trying to figure out where the tasteless jokes came from, and how they spread so fast (that was Dave Barry's home publication at the time - maybe still is? - and I feel as if he was part of the reporting/writing, but maybe that's wrong. Memory!). You'll never guess which well-connected group of sociopaths was responsible.

The University of Chicago Economics Department?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:09 PM
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Don't forget Lennon.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:10 PM
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Something that seems weirder in retrospect than it did at the time is how I first leaned that the Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan: Bill Murray announced at the end of Saturday Night Live.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:19 PM
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First thought on reading 109 -- No it was McCartney who was dead. Second thought on reading 109 -- JL was shot at night.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:20 PM
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I remember it was a school day, and I went downstairs to eat breakfast, and my mother told me that Lennon had been shot. My first thought was ,"Lenin? He's already dead."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:20 PM
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108: I was going to guess The New Republic writing staff.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:22 PM
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It truly was amazing how word of the various clues to PM's death spread.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:23 PM
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During my first wilderness survival course, Ronald Reagan died, so that was the first news I heard upon returning to civilization. During my second, Michael Jackson died and I heard about that right after crawling out of the sweat lodge* and jumping in a reedy swamp to cool off. I haven't taken another such course yet but I've got some hopes for next time.

* Nobody give me any trouble.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:24 PM
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On 9/11/2001, I ate lunch on one of the benches by the Ohio Statehouse-- it was a beautiful day, and it would have been fairly crowded normally, but it was deserted that day. For some reason music was blasting from a nearby business. A famous song came on -- "Young man, there's no need to feel down". I remember thinking, "This scene is definitely going to be in my bio-pic" Then a cop or security guy came by and asked me to leave. I went back to work.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:29 PM
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I couldn't find the Tropic magazine source, but I found various places saying it was Wall Street traders, using whatever remote-messaging tech they had at the time.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:33 PM
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117: That's so perfect that I'm going to just go ahead and believe it's true, even without looking up Tropic magazine.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:36 PM
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110: Funny, that's how I learned about the imposition of martial law in Poland in 1981.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:39 PM
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119: Ack! That's what I'm remembering. I just google searched and it seems that Bill Murray mistakenly announced that the Soviets had invaded Poland when in fact it was the Government declaring martial law.

Was this thread about unreliable memories? I can't recall...


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:49 PM
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AIMHMHB, the earliest sudden death of a famous person, which I can remember people reacting to, was Dag Hammarskjöld.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:53 PM
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110: News of the ultimately fatal Princess Diana car accident broke during Saturday Night Live, causing me and millions of others to assume that the interruption by NBC News was a comedy bit, and to note wistfully that Saturday Night Live isn't as funny as it used to be. Although I guess it was no more unfunny than when they announced the invasion of Poland.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 12:59 PM
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77, 99: me too. Just recently had a similar ish reaction from my kid with the CH attack in Paris, he acknowledged politely that it was horrible but in that implacable young teenager way pointed out the disparity of reaction re boko haram, ongoing conflict in drc, Syria ... teenagers are refreshing in a certain way.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 1:01 PM
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AIMHMHB, my first trip to California was with my girlfriend's family, her parents were serious hippies and Dead fans. We were driving from SF out to Yosemite with a Dead album playing and I said, what's going to happen to the Dead and their tours when Jerry Garcia dies? The next day he did (in SF I believe.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 1:06 PM
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My reactions to the deaths of M Jackson and P Diana were so wildly out of tune with anyone else I was around I basically hermitized myself for a bit. Proving I guess I'm still an obnoxious teenager at heart.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 1:08 PM
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120: I did remember that he intimated that the Soviets had invaded (googling, I see that he said "taken over", which they sorta-kinda did without an actual invasion) and that the Whiffenpoofs were on the show. And yet I still call my daughters by each other's names and can't remember all manner of other stuff that actually matters. Also, on the subject of the impermanence of memory, I highly recommend seeing Still Alice, especially if you enjoy crying.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 1:18 PM
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I remember 9/11, because the NPR affiliate came on. I was in California and just waking up. When the planes actually hit the towers (as opposed to when I heard about it), I was asleep.

The Challenger I don't remember. I looked at the date, and I was in the 5th grade. I do remember that in 1st and 2nd grade--which I know because I remember the school I was at then-- we would watch all of the shuttles take off--it was sufficiently novel. I don't think I saw the Challenger explode.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 1:28 PM
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My reactions to the deaths of M Jackson and P Diana were so wildly out of tune with anyone else I was around

I was in the company of several A-A lawyers when the news of Michael, and a few years later of Whitney, came. The reaction was stupendous, which took me by surprise which I was able to contain. In the first case, in another room on our project, two A-As got into a bitter argument concerning Michael that very afternoon that caused them both to be removed.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 1:39 PM
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77: As an adult I thought the same. My wife's recollection recalls having an awkward encounter with the co-worker who told her because they were so broken up they she was unable to hide her relief* that it was "only" the Challenger.

I can vouch for the fact that my wife has a very vivid and active pessimistic imagination.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 1:44 PM
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I was in a building at William and John Streets when the first tower came down. I have clear memories of that day from when I heard the first plane had hit that I believe are basically accurate.

I have no idea when or how I heard about the Challenger (I was a senior in high school). It seems odd to me that anyone who wasn't a schoolchild watching it live might or should be expected to remember when/where/how they were first informed.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 1:45 PM
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For Reagan I was walking down the hall at oil company office in Houston with a geologist who unthinkingly responded with an enthusiastic "Yeah!" when we were told. Pissed me off immensely and ended up causing a bit of a stir--the details of which I forget (I kept a low profile the rest of the day.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 1:50 PM
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62: it gives more credence than is actually deserved to the "Dick Blumenthal LIED about Vietnam!" calumny

Yes, it has annoyed me that Blumenthal has come up in several commentaries. At least Bunch is a bit more nuanced than others with accused of confusing voters over whether he'd served in Vietnam


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 1:56 PM
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I am in fact in the comments of an article in the Atlantic on it griping.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 2:05 PM
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I was helping a friend move when Princess Diana died (stupid 240DL wagon, I had to help everyone move). Over the next week or so, my reaction went from "Gosh, that's sad" to "Really, Stiff-Upper-Lip Island?" The (as reported in the US news) total hysteria was confounding.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 2:07 PM
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133: Good effort, but it's just a fact now, like Al Gore inventing the Internet or Satanists controlling Proctor and Gamble. Dick Blumenthal was probably at hippie protests spitting on Rambo.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 2:19 PM
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A friend of mine saw a bawling man on TV in the wake of JFK Jr's death say "He was our Princess Di!".


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 2:22 PM
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Even if his wife was our Princess Di, he was still covered.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 2:24 PM
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When Reagan died, I was at a Cub Scout camp out, sitting around a fire, while other parents -- including mostly NYT WH correspondents waxed nostalgic. I was quiet, but thinking SCLM.

*Mostly modifies waxing, not parents.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 2:28 PM
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139: Mostly waxed means still slightly hirsute


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 2:42 PM
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I was quiet, but thinking SCLM

When something really upsetting happens, I also divert myself by think about the Episcopal church's Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 2:53 PM
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When Reagan died I had "The strife is o'er" going through my head.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 2:57 PM
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Just recently had a similar ish reaction from my kid with the CH attack in Paris, he acknowledged politely that it was horrible but in that implacable young teenager way pointed out the disparity of reaction re boko haram, ongoing conflict in drc, Syria

But of course there's disparate reactions. The Hebdo attacks are very much the kind of thing that could happen in an American city whereas I doubt any of us get up in the morning worrying about rebels coming out of the jungle to hack a bunch of people to death with machetes.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 2:57 PM
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It's eerie, gswift, almost as if you were *there* during the entirely predictable conversation that ensued between parents and young teenager, just eerie.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 3:07 PM
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The Hebdo attacks are very much the kind of thing that could happen in an American city whereas I doubt any of us get up in the morning worrying about rebels coming out of the jungle to hack a bunch of people to death with machetes.

While there may be some truth to this, it's more true that anyone who gets up in the morning worrying that something like the Hebdo attacks are going to happen in their city (and affect them personally!) is seriously in need of anxiety medication.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 3:13 PM
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during the entirely predictable conversation

Not that predictable.

Meanwhile, critics have complained that Western media have ignored or barely touched the Baga slaughter and the Kano bombing amid a 24/7 outpouring of coverage of the murders at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. The Guardian ran a story Monday on the criticisms under the headline: "Why did the world ignore Boko Haram's Baga attacks?"


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 3:21 PM
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Well based on this thread we now know how old everyone is.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 3:27 PM
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I have no memory of the learning about the Challenger explosion. I mean, obviously I did but not at the time. I think it was in history textbooks by the time I hit highschool. You're all old, and will die before me ha ha!


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 3:33 PM
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134: I really loved her fashion sense, so I was kind of sad.

The most irritating thing I ever heard, though, during that time was a sermon about the different and complementary merits of the Princess of Wales and Mother Theresa.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 3:35 PM
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The most irritating thing I ever heard, though, during that time was a sermon about the different and complementary merits of the Princess of Wales and Mother Theresa.

There's really no comparison between the two, especially when it comes to fashion sense.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 4:00 PM
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Princess Di/Mother Teresa joke FTA.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 4:13 PM
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"wow, it's really weird they'd demolish them at 8 something in the morning on a Tuesday. They'd have to clear a huge area to make sure no one got injured."

I had a "no, this must mean something else" reaction though I was wide awake. I heard "the World Trade Center collapsed" and thought "ok, we're talking about some kind of financial collapse obviously" but was already nervously dubious because I had seen someone walking out of the Regenstein talking anxiously on a cell phone and had some kind of intuition that this was something bigger than personal and maybe I should enter a state of pre-nervousness just in case.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 4:24 PM
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||

I bought my husband this shirt as a souvenir. I can translate it from Spanish more or less, but would appreciate it if anyone else wanted to try their hand at it.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 4:27 PM
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"Leslie Nielsen, the man with white hair who makes you laugh"? I'm mostly guessing, but something like that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 4:30 PM
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the Princess of Wales and Mother Theresa

Or as Christopher Hitchens called them, "a simpering Bambi narcissist and a thieving, fanatical Albanian dwarf."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 4:32 PM
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because I had seen someone walking out of the Regenstein talking anxiously on a cell phone

I was about to say "that really dates it, because these days there must be ten anxious cell-phone-talking students per minute coming out of the Reg," and then I realized I'm dating myself, because that may have been true five or seven years ago but these days they would be texting, not actually talking.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 4:39 PM
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I can't remember where I was when anything interesting happened, except for 9/11, when I was asleep in Louisville.

It's too bad "I remember exactly where I was when I heard that BICEP discovered primordial gravitational waves" can't be a thing now.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 4:42 PM
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Remember when Jeff Daniels broke the news about the Deepwater Horizon spill?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 4:43 PM
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156: I know where I was the day the discovery of cold fusion was announced -- there were a bunch of people at my living group who were talking about it like a Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney/'let's put the show on in the old barn' movie: "Well, heck, I've got palladium electrodes in my lab"; "I can get my hands on gallons of deuterium"; "Golly, with an hour or two of scrounging, we could duplicate the experiment tonight!" If it had panned out, I would have felt bad for the rest of my life for not getting off the couch and tagging along after them. Luckily, sloth proved to be the better part of valor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 4:50 PM
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When I heard about the Rwandan genocide from David Spade, I was just like, I can't even.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 4:51 PM
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80: that:s really weird. For reasons of mostly crankiness, I decided to follow the 9/11 story through the comments on the Well -- my first reaction when my wife told e that "a plane had hit the WTC" was also that it must be a cessna -- but there was more happening online, I thought, than the endless repetition of the same old stuff that rolling news produces. And there were several people commenting live from Washington who reported, exactly like Charley, a second explosion and were certain another plane had gone in somewhere. It was puzzling to me, and still in some moods is, that there was no mention of that whatever in the next days' accounts.

My own false memory is horribly scary because it is so visual and vivid: I am driving down a snow-covered motorway at 130kph to get a friend to the airport outside Gothenburg. It is about 3km south of Kungälv, and I can vividly and correctly remember the bluffs on one side of the road and the river on the other, also the slightly sick excitement of driving illegally and dangerously fast. But my memory is so precise and detailed that it places me on the left-hand carriageway, something I only noticed when I drove the same stretch of road twenty years later, and recognised everthig -- except that the traffic in Sweden drives on the Right. Yet I saw that as vividly as I see any of the fish I have caught and they are my gold standard of sensual memories.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 4:56 PM
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I said, what's going to happen to the Dead and their tours when Jerry Garcia dies? The next day he did (in SF I believe.)

I know this with great certainty: the evening Elaine Stritch died I was at the piano bar on Market Street singing an enthusiastic and probably excruciating version of "The Ladies Who Lunch" and spilling gin on my friend who plays piano there at the moment of the climactic "RISE!" When I read the news the next day I thought "oh no!" and then "is there some way my singing killed her?"


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:01 PM
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161: I moved my cursor around to "like" 161.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:12 PM
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had some kind of intuition that this was something bigger

I turned on the radio that morning just in time to hear Bob Edwards ask a DC reporter something about security at the Capitol, and even though the wording of the question itself gave no clues, there was something about the timing, the tone and the pauses that made me think instantly that something really big and bad had happened.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:12 PM
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But my memory is so precise and detailed that it places me on the left-hand carriageway, something I only noticed when I drove the same stretch of road twenty years later, and recognised everthig -- except that the traffic in Sweden drives on the Right.

I don't remember when this happened, but didn't Sweden switch sides of the road in living memory? Do the dates work out such that you might have been driving before the switch?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:12 PM
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I remember where I was when I commented about where I was when I learned about the WTC attacks: commenting on Unfogged. But 163 reminds me that when I woke up that morning, after everything had already taken place, the radio was talking about security on the bridges in the Bay Area an I thought something major must have happened because it wasn't even a station that usually did news in the mornings.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:21 PM
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I remember 9/11 pretty precisely, like how the nyt website got jammed up, my MIL contacting me while I was sitting at the computer (I do forget if she called or emailed), where I went to watch tv instead, at least one of the people standing next to me, the second plane. And there were indeed reports on TV of various other things in DC, including a car bomb at the state department, although they pretty quickly followed up with an on site report that said nope, all quiet there.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:22 PM
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164: 1967.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:24 PM
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I did a full morning's work at U of C on 9/11 before noticing that there was the only other person in the building, a Dutch scholar who eventually told me 'yeah... something happened'. I'm still surprised that we were the only Humanities faculty that socially isolated.


Posted by: edna k. | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:44 PM
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With MJ's death, I remember feeling slightly sorry for Farrah Fawcett, who died on the same day. Any other time her death could be front page news, but she had the bad luck to die at the same time as a giant pop music icon. I felt the same way with Mother Theresa.

But anyways, I was in China when MJ died, and the NYTimes had been blocked intermittently, but was available that day. Most people had given up checking on it, but I felt rewarded for my tenacity. I kept checking the rest of the summer for as long as I had access just in case anyone else really famous decided to die unexpectedly. Then not too long after China and google got into a fight and the NYTimes and gmail both got taken away.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:45 PM
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I guess the car bomb story was already gone by the time I got back to any media. (Ie, after walking 6 miles* with some colleagues -- one of whom had been living in Tokyo during the sarin attacks and didn't want to take the Metro.) I've never heard a car bomb, but the thing I did hear on 9/11 wasn't anywhere near as loud as I imagine them to be. This was more like big time fireworks level noise. Louder, but not like blowing up buildings loud.

My daughter's story, and she was a 10th grader out in Potomac, is that kids told teachers who told the administrators, and when most everyone had gathered in the Aula, the helpful vice principal told the kids that their parents were probably already dead, so there wasn't any point in getting worked up or even trying to call.

* In cowboy boots. It seemed a lot farther than 6 miles.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:51 PM
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80, 160, 166: I definitely remember everyone on the street in DC saying the State Dept had been car-bombed. I think that might have been the first thing I heard about, as I was walking to work. If you drew a line from that part of downtown DC to the Pentagon you'd pretty much pass through State, so I always assumed somebody saw smoke/heard the impact, misjudged the distance.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:53 PM
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Apparently it was mostly Dan Rather being an ass.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:56 PM
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171 -- We had a much bigger angle; I thought of IMF/World Bank first because it seemed more in line with the WH (but farther away) than with Const Ave.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 5:59 PM
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114. A little late to the party, but there's a great video about the Paul-is-dead thing. It was a presentation at the Game Developers Conference some years ago: http://ludix.com/moriarty/paul.html


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 6:55 PM
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It has come to my attention that recently discovered lapel-cam video casts some doubt on the story I tell in my memoirs, that I said to Moses "would you mind carrying those tablets? My fingernail polish isn't dry". I deeply regret any discomfort felt by readers of any version of that story, and any possible inference that I was in any way trying to minimize Moses' part in those historic events.

Also, I remember exactly where I was when Ogged announced his retirement from blogging.


Posted by: Anonyouse Troll | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:11 PM
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JFK: Wood shop. Not at our school; boys were bussed there on Friday afternoons. Teacher heard from another in the hall, and pulled out from a desk drawer one of the phonebook-sized transistor radios of the era, thickly sheathed in leather. He probably had it for nuclear war or something.

Adlai Stevenson (1965). Boy Scout camp in the Hocking Hills. Had a transistor radio.

Moon Landing (1969) Whole family stayed up, middle of the night. We moved from that house a few weeks later.

Lennon '80. In bed w/ my new girlfriend, now wife, awakened by news on clock radio.

Reagan '81: U of C Law School—I worked in the library—. Stood watching TV with profs now famous/infamous.

Challenger '86. Already happened when we turned morning news on. I was lawyer not yet employed, stayed home watching stupid coverage all day.

9/11: Turned kitchen TV on, with kids before school, hearing something had happened. Distance shot of smoke from Tower, first hit. Saw second hit more-or-less live. Took kids to school and continued to work.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 02- 6-15 8:29 PM
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164: No -- the changeover was in 1967. My parents were living in Stockholm then, so I think I remember it. That's to say I think I was there for the actual night it happened. I certainly remember the difference between before and after, mostly because the number 7 tram, which had gone past our house, disappeared and was replaced by the horrible 47 bus. The tram has since reappeared as a tourist thing.

My false memory will be from about 1982. I got my Swedish driving licence in 79, so never drove legally on the Left in Sweden.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 2:55 AM
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Apparently there's research (can't be arsed to look for it) that says you don't remember anything accurately for long unless it's constantly reinforced, and if it's reinforced wrongly then you remember it wrong anyway.

JFK shot: at home in my room doing homework.
Princess D: staying with my parents; got up late and they were glued to the TV.
9/11: at work, everybody desperately trying to find a news site that wasn't overloaded; I told my boss and he thought I was joking, which made me unreasonably angry.

All these were reinforced for better or worse all the time. Wouldn't swear to anything else in much detail, certainly not Reagan or Challenger; maybe TV news footage from Tonkin, but not much background to the memory.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 5:47 AM
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Moon Landing: we watched it on television in the living room in Stockholm. This I am certain of, because it was the first time we all watched television as a family in that flat, probably the last time, too.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 6:27 AM
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JFK: not born
Moon landing: not born
Princess Di: my ex g/friend was staying over at at the flat I shared. For some reason [it was unusual] we had the TV on early in the morning, and caught the news as it came in. I recall the tasteless jokes came more or less immediately.
9/11: I was in Prague, with my (now) wife. We had no TV, and no radio, and were in Letnany. So no English newspapers on display. So I didn't find out it had happened until 48hours after, when I read an email from a friend [in an internet café] letting us know he was alright [he'd been near the WTC that morning]. I then had to fly the next day, which was ... interesting.

I remember Dunblane quite well, too, as my then g/friend was in teacher training college, and one of her class-mates was from there and had cousins in the school.

Ditto Hungerford, as my cousins lived nearby, so I remember following it one the news even though I was only in my mid-teens.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 6:45 AM
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Dunblane is near where I grew up, so as it turned out later, there were quite a few connections [my Dad's ambulance base was the one that sent ambulances, etc] but on the day itself, I didn't know that.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 6:54 AM
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Canadians can remember where they were when it was revealed that Ben Johnson was going to be stripped of his Olympic gold medal. (Well, I can anyway -- in a bar -- and I know I'm not the only one.) A slow news country, I guess.


Posted by: edna k. | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 7:22 AM
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My strongest of these sorts of memories isn't one of the usual ones at all, but a vivid sensory flash of coming home on a sunny afternoon to see my mother leaning out of the kitchen door and shouting to the next-door neighbour "The IRA have murdered Lord Mountbatten." Strangely, I remember myself as much younger than I was; I would have said nine or ten, but just looked it up and found it happened when I was 15. (So now you all know exactly how old I am.)


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 7:22 AM
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Well, I can anyway -- in a bar -- and I know I'm not the only one.

That's good. Being the only person in a bar is depressing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 7:29 AM
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I can only remember things in bars.


Posted by: edna k. | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 7:31 AM
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Princess Diana - had a friend staying. We went out in the Sunday morning to the newsagent and bought a tabloid with a colour supplement with pictures of Diana and Dodi, joking loudly about it, wondered why the newsagent was scowling at us. Spent the day chatting rather than putting on the tv/radio and later in the afternoon my mum phoned and told me what had happened.

9/11 - in Tuscan countryside. Went into San Gimignano in the evening - saw a bar full of grim-faced Italians staring at the tv, but assumed football/something local. Next day went to Florence on the train, saw enough on other people's newspapers on the way home to realise something had happened. FIL went off to get a newspaper and we finally caught up over 24 hours later.

So basically, we are crap at having any idea of what's going on in the world.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 7:55 AM
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I was pregnant when the Dunblane killings happened, and I remember crying every time it was mentioned, for days. (I was a bit of a wreck at that time and crying a lot anyway, so the news really didn't help.)

Hungerford I only remember vaguely, although C has much stronger memories, due to living pretty nearby. I found it odd to go to Hungerford many years later and to think what had happened there.

I was in Oxford still when Windsor Castle had a fire, and someone told me "the queen's house is on fire!" and I thought they meant the Queen's College accommodation on Iffley Road.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 8:06 AM
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and someone told me "the queen's house is on fire!" and I thought they meant the Queen's College accommodation on Iffley Road.

As well you might. A castle!=a house.

[Has edna k changed her pseud or does somebody need to look for the fruit basket?]


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 8:09 AM
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Yes, I did have an even stupider pseud before... happy to accept fruit basket though. Or alternative suggestions.


Posted by: edna k. | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 8:19 AM
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There can't be too many of us Canadians-with-UofC-connections, but I'm not coming up with it.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 8:43 AM
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One thing that stands out in this discussion is that in the UK, occasions when several people are gunned down by a crazy person are particularly memorable. Over here those happen way too often to have such an individualized impact.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 9:02 AM
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190: Probably "University of Calgary".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 9:17 AM
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Challenger disaster: I was in high school, but it was a snow day. I was driving a pickup truck along a country road, ostensibly to pick up something at the feed store, but with the ulterior motive of having an illicit assignation with my FWB while her parents were at work. Heard the news on the local AM radio station.

9-11: Was awakened by the clock radio several hours after the event (I was in a more westerly time zone) and was surprised to hear news rather than the customary music. Couldn't piece it together at first. I thought it might be some kind of "War of the Worlds" type dramatization. Then I turned on the television.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 9:28 AM
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Iran Hostage Crisis: Had an Iranian kid in my pre-school class, so was very interested in the news as it unfolded.
Reagan election: Came into my parents' bedroom and found my mother listening to the radio, extremely depressed.
Columbia launch: Got up at 4 am to watch all the boring pre-countdown shots of the gantry.
Royal Wedding: Got up at 4 am to watch all the boring pre-countdown shots of the gantry.
Challenger explosion: I think we heard about it in class (we were not one of the ones watching it live) and then of course went home and watched the coverage that evening.
Columbine: No idea
Princess Di: No idea
9/11: At work, my once and future supervisor stopped by my desk "A plane crashed into the WTC, it looks like maybe it wasn't an accident"
Columbia explosion: Woke up in a posh hotel room in LA to turn on the TV and see shots of it breaking up in the upper atmosphere.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 10:14 AM
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So no Columbia? Seen one disaster, seen them all? Or was it too wedged between 9/11 and Iraq for people to register?

I was way too young for Challenger to register, and Diana never signified much to me. 9/11 was in English class, senior year: the PA came on and lamely advised everyone to turn on the classroom TVs (new that year). Columbia I think I heard about from my dorm's faculty-in-residence, in the dining hall.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 10:17 AM
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Royal Wedding: Got up at 4 am to watch all the boring pre-countdown shots of the gantry.

FOR FUCK'S SAKE, WHY?????


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 10:18 AM
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Don't do this to me, Natilo.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 10:18 AM
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196: I dunno, I was only 5 years old. My aunt was SUPER into all of the pomp & circumstance and what not.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 10:20 AM
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*Actually, I guess I had just turned 6


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 10:22 AM
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I remember where I was when urple told me how to get a cheap, alcohol stove. And it worked.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 10:22 AM
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192: No, I am as described in 190 (Calgary! that hurts), just more of a lurker


Posted by: edna k. | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 10:36 AM
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Maybe this has been discussed before, but have serial killers gone the way of the skyjacker? Wikipedia has very few US examples in or stretching to this decade. There's the Long Island serial killer, Darren Deon Vann, Elias Abuelazam, and Michael Madison (alleged), none of which much has been made of nationally (a lot of their victims seem to be women of color). Plus, depending how you categorize, Kermit Gosnell. Versus the many more people killed in sprees makes it feel like it's the in thing among potential perpetrators. Certainly for me serial killers are seeking like more and more a trope specific to police procedurals.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 10:42 AM
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Seeking s/b seeming to me.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 10:43 AM
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Huh. I remember where I was and what was going on around me only for three major events that I can recall:

Challenger explosion: living in a group house with a band, in Amherst, everyone gathered (quite unusually) around the television in the morning, transfixed and silent.

John Lennon assassination: in high school, walking the halls as usual to and from classes, in complete shock, even as everyone else seemed to be in normal mode.

9/11 of course. I'd no idea anything was going on until my brother phoned in the morning to tell me not to go into the city ("We're being attacked by terrorists!" "We are?"). So I went sailing and listened to the news on the dinky radio on board, later had a late lunch at a restaurant on the shore at which everyone was talking about bombing Afghanistan, fer shure, we totally have to do that immediately, yep.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 11:01 AM
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I think they were always a rare phenomenon, really, and almost never the way they're portrayed on television shows. There are probably more of them out there than will ever be caught, though, because actually catching someone whose victims are all unrelated is really hard. And that's if you know they were killed by the same person, as opposed to just part of the general missing/unsolved murder background noise.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 11:18 AM
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I'm sure there are number of us who have things wrong in these accounts. John Lennon for instance was shot in the evening Eastern US time, famously announced on Monday night football by Howard Cosell.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 11:19 AM
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206: Right, but at age barely 16, I wouldn't have been watching Monday night football in the evening, so I heard about it in the morning, and was shocked and in a fog throughout the following day at school. Technically that doesn't count as "where I was at the time," though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 11:29 AM
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Ah, OK.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 11:37 AM
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201: If it exists, I'm sure it's a fine school.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 11:40 AM
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202

1) Lead

2) We are inescapably relating to groups and crowds more then ten years ago

3) It is a whole lot harder to hide


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 11:49 AM
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I remember hearing about Columbine because I was out of the country at the time, and people asked me about it before I'd heard the news. I don't remember hearing about Princess Di, just the coverage later. Looking up the date, I don't think I was doing anything special, just starting another term at college. I don't remember the Columbia at all. Probably learned about it online but I really was out of the loop on news then. Became a news junkie for a while after we invaded Iraq.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 11:57 AM
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What's more interesting about this, though (and perhaps this has been addressed in the thread, which I've barely skimmed), is what sort of thing impresses itself upon you rather indelibly. These things aren't necessarily world events. I'll not likely forget where I was, and the general circumstances, when I learned that my mother had died. Or my father. For example.

There are other sorts of events, not necessarily those called "life events" (like children born, marriage, divorce, deaths, being fired or laid off from a job, news of a terminal illness), that may well still become indelible: hopefully there are some moments of joy among those.

A person like, oh, say, Flippanter, who has gotten into hang gliding, might know what I mean.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 12:00 PM
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Also, there's value in cultivating a kind of mindfulness that can allow you to deliberately imprint, as it were, certain experiences. I have a number of nature-related experiences pretty much imprinted in that way. You have to stop everything and look, and breathe. Scenes of beauty can do this, but also stillness. A kind of groundedness, maybe. Yoga practice can help you do this.

(Sorry, I'm rambling. Politics has been fussing me lately, so I'm distracting myself.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 12:06 PM
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202: The field has mostly been left to long haul truck drivers. You need a critical mass of hitchhikers to sustain one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 12:17 PM
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212: Seriously, most of my moments like that involve trout. I could show you exactly where some happened, on Google maps; but the first wild trout I caught with a dry fly on a Norwegian river: that will be with me when I die. Also, experiences with a cat when I was a child.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 12:20 PM
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212: Yes, and something I'm struck by is how natural disasters have been absent from the thread so far. I can remember exactly what I was doing when I heard about both the Kobe and Tohoku earthquakes, but I supppose that's because they both directly affected people I knew, whereas I have no memory at all connected to the Boxing Day tsunami.

Oh, and seeing the first rumors of a meltdown at Fukushima on my phone's news feed while waiting for my kids to finish Saturday morning football practice, and thinking oh God, we may be completely fucked now. I was living in Osaka at the time, so a long way from the reactors, but the fear was still immediate.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 12:21 PM
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It is damn spooky to discover that Google has high enough resolution pictures of the middle of nowhere that I can see exactly where I was standing for the last sentence of my Swedish book.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 12:21 PM
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201: If it exists, I'm sure it's a fine school.

It exists. I only know that because a college friend teaches there.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 12:28 PM
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But Werdna, you don't need Google maps to recall for you where you were and what you and every other thing was doing!

I think it's important to keep close to hand the images/memories you will have with you always.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 12:33 PM
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Another college friend was murdered by a serial killer while hitchhiking, so there's that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 12:35 PM
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Not in the same category of notability, but I vividly remember where I was for the OJ verdict, because it was so unexpected. Was in a tiny, fairly remote village on Mt. Pelion, had been out of the country for a while without much US media so had no idea about the trial. As we were walking out the door of the guesthouse the guy running the place is all excited, insisting we come to his nook to watch the verdict on his ancient little TV. Asked us all kinds of questions about OJ/the trial, and was very disappointed that we knew less than him. (I was just relieved he didn't launch into the racist rant I was expecting). Still kind of dumbfounded that it was international news enough to get the people of Makrinitsa worked up.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 12:51 PM
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I'm not sure whether to apologize for a crude joke or claim support for an empirical statement, but I am sorry to hear about your friend.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 12:54 PM
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the first wild trout I caught with a dry fly on a Norwegian river

Nice. For me it was the stream at Rainbow Falls Provincial park up in Ontario, Canada.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 12:55 PM
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Parsi, the memories, indeed. But what spooks me is being able to see the exact spot on a satellite picture, as well as, indelibly, and from a different perspective, in my eyes.


Posted by: Nworb | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 1:34 PM
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No need to apologize. It was a long time ago (which may support was Minivet was suggesting).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 1:35 PM
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224: I am ... resisting looking at Google images of those places and scenes I have in my own eyes. But I admit you've made me curious.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 1:41 PM
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202 is a good point. Serial killing now doesn't really seem like a thing, except for arresting serial killers who did their work long ago. Maybe feminism is helping, b/c I think that most "serial killers" were actually into killing young women and prostitutes specifically, and maybe more of those cases are getting reported more quickly (and/or women are being tougher or more careful). Would be interesting to know.*

*A college friend of mine married a woman who is, for real, a very attractive blonde former stripper and self-defense instructor, who now works as a forensic psychologist specializing in violent murderers, especially serial killers. She even wears movie cliche "hot scientist" librarian glasses. Just goes to show you that some things that seem like they don't exist do actually exist.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 2:23 PM
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Here's a kind of stupid article blaming the rise of Uber and Airbnb on the decline of the serial killer.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 2:33 PM
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I think they were always a rare phenomenon, really, and almost never the way they're portrayed on television shows.

I'm sure you're right, but I think there were actually more at one point: if I apply the same criteria to search the same Wikipedia page for those active 1975-1980, even limiting myself to those with more than 10 victims, I get 27 names (two medical); of the five I named above in the post-2010 period, 3 had fewer than 10 victims. Admittedly many of those 27 weren't caught until much later, so the 2010-2015 count is probably understated, but it still feels like a pertinent difference.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 2:33 PM
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I guess Israel Keyes didn't get as much attention nationally as he did here, but he's a good example of some of the factors mentioned above. He would probably never have been caught if he hadn't gotten sloppy and killed someone where he lived.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 2:37 PM
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228 excerpts a bar graph with numbers, which claims that the total number of killers/teams of killers has declined from about 200 in the 1980s to what looks like around 40 today, which is still more than pre-1960.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 2:38 PM
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There is a study to be made regarding the percentage of serial killers who grew up in lead-painted houses, as compared to the rest of the population.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 2:53 PM
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I would also believe that various things have made it harder to get away with serial murders than it used to be (computers generally*; data sharing; cellphones with gps tracking; better forensic techniques; etc.). So someone who might otherwise have ended up killing a whole bunch of people over a period of time ends up getting caught after only one or two murders and doesn't end up being counted.

*Dennis Rader was caught when he sent the police a floppy disk with random ranting/pictures/etc. to either the police or a newspaper or something instead of his usual envelope with paper in it. He (I swear to god) sent the police a letter asking them if floppy disks would have any information on them that could lead back to him beforehand, and they said "no" because the police don't generally feel any obligation to play fair in these circumstances.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 3:04 PM
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66 Why would they expect to be able to readily identify DNA sources?

They watch CSI_MTA.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 3:30 PM
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That's just a step away from shouting, "Swiper, no serial murdering" and having it work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 3:31 PM
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Here's a kind of stupid article blaming the rise of Uber and Airbnb on the decline of the serial killer.

Maybe that article will inspire lots of taxi drivers to become serial killers in order to protect their jobs.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 3:44 PM
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Brian Williams taking himself off the air temporarily.

"As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue," he continued.

Surprised it took this long, and "next several days" seems rather aggressive and defiant in context.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 4:13 PM
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Well, that's what you get for strangling The Troops with your bear hands.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 4:22 PM
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If you had bear hands it would be easier to just slash the troops rather than strangling them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 4:32 PM
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216. Maybe we don't remember where we were during a natural disaster because they are more common. An exception would be the earthquake that happened during the World Series; I remember it because I was preparing to watch the game. Repetition may reduce the shock level. I remember where I was when JFK was assassinated, but don't remember that for MLK or RFK or Lennon or Reagan. I remember where I was for Challenger but not for Columbia. Etc. I do remember Princess Diana's death and where I was, but it was because of the confluence of her death and being at a vacation resort. Maybe also the first royal to die in my memory?

Moral is, I guess, that there is only one black swan. After that they are gray.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 4:55 PM
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Brian Williams taking himself off the air temporarily.

"He becomes the first person ever to be punished for lying about Iraq." - @LOLGOP


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 5:03 PM
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I remember the Royal Wedding very well, because I had a French exchange girl staying (Veronique) and my parents thought that she could watch it on tv at home, so seeing as she was in London, we would go up and see it. We were pretty close to St Paul's, and we enjoyed ourselves. My parents are really not monarchists at all, they just like doing stuff.

Second royal wedding - Andrew and Fergie - I watched at Guy's [Hospital] where my brother was a patient.

Met someone tonight who I hadn't seen for over 20 years, not that we were ever close or particularly good friends, and he apparently remembers the first time we met. It was at my house, I hadn't been there (had been at the boyfriend's), and had come home to find he had stayed there, and had said, "he better not have stayed in my fucking bed".


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 6:13 PM
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"No. We used your bed for the corpse he brought with him."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 6:19 PM
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The best serial killers become president these days.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 8:05 PM
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Well, it is good training.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 8:19 PM
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245 - Ted Bundy was an opposition tracker for the Republican governor of Washington State in the '70s, who IIRC then helped him get into law school.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 8:30 PM
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On 9/11 I was winding down what was by far the best summer job I'd had in college and getting ready to go back to the U of C where, if memory (of previous comments) serves, I had a passing acquaintance with edna k. My then-boyfriend called right after I got to work and said, "Have you been following all this shit that's going down?" I was expecting to hear about a serious catastrophe in a Third World country, or repression of left-wing movements, or something like that, which at the time would have merited a phone call at work. When he said that jets had crashed into the WTC and the Pentagon and the first of the Twin Towers had collapsed, I was shocked that the shit was going down in this country. I listened to Democracy Now and the BBC for the rest of the morning, which was basically tolerable, and I vividly remember reading this vignette by an author tangentially related to my work that summer. (Work was in publishing, but not in New York.) But I don't remember if I read it that day, or what day it was published.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 10:27 PM
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Funny. You never sound Canadian in my head.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 10:34 PM
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|| Just watched Marius and Fanny. There's worse ways to spend a Saturday night. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 7-15 11:31 PM
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The Howard Stern show was surprisingly great on the morning of 9/11. I spent much of it driving around (for reasons I can't now remember, thanks memory) but have a strong memory of the show being great.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 12:10 AM
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The Howard Stern show was surprisingly great on the morning of 9/11

Whoa, that's eerie. I was also listening to that show, which I never usually do, that morning! I think I was driving to some sort of appointment while visiting my parents before the semester started.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 2:47 AM
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250, 251: I listened to about 30 minutes of Stern on my way to work that morning. I had not left when the first plane hit and learned about it via my wife who had gone to the middle school for a parent-teacher conference and saw the 2nd plane hit while signing in at the office (neither of us are sure if she had a cell phone yet or if she used a phone at the school--probably the former... and Quicken confirms, she had one since the start of 2000, I had one for work starting about 1997(?)).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 9:39 AM
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Maybe someday I'll be looking back at 2015 and saying "I still remember where I was when the fifth goddamn foot of snow fell on Boston."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 10:55 AM
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After multiple weeks of this I finally had the obvious idea of moving the trash cans right next to the gate so that when I have to take them out to the curb on Monday night I don't have to excavate the whole path between where they usually sit and the curb.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 10:57 AM
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253 -- That's our snow your getting, and we want and need it. Who needs a death ray -- just get winter back where it belongs.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 11:13 AM
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Essear, did you ever find out why your neighbor was so angry about snow shoveled into the yard? Apologies if the answer was in a previous comment I missed.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 11:44 AM
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249: Yes. I presume the 30s films

Funny how nobody ever talks about Umbrellas of Cherbourg as a riff, a commentary, on Pagnol

Saw Lola a while back and was surprised at how different and similar it was to the other two Demy classics.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 4:05 PM
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255: Colorado was too damn dry. And they have the equipment to clean up this stuff. Watch, though, there will be floods in the summer.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 4:22 PM
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242: I don't think anyone paid attention to Fergie's wedding.

Did you or anyone you know watch William and Kate's wedding?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 4:23 PM
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No, because it was staged, like the moon landing.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 5:57 PM
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257 -- No, the remakes. Victoire Bélézy can sell me oysters any day. I guess the new Cesar is due out this year?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 6:00 PM
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214: long-haul trucker serial killer aficionados may enjoy Vanessa Veselka's #longreads encounter with Robert Ben Rhoades. Her novel Zazen is very good too.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 9:05 PM
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also, 55 is my soul mate.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 9:40 PM
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Luddites.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 9:42 PM
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We're not not Luddites.


Posted by: Opinionated Luddites using Litotes | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 9:49 PM
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That's wasn't the best litotes, we have to confess.


Posted by: O.L.U.L. | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 9:50 PM
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No! Daarling... that was totes litotes!


Posted by: OPINIONATED HIPSTER LUVVIES | Link to this comment | 02- 8-15 11:53 PM
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15 years ago in Iowa City, I got very drunk with the author of the article linked in 55. "I'll show you a secret," he said, and we went out to his car and he showed me an enormous pile of porn paperbacks in the trunk. I said something to laugh it off and he said, "You think the secret is that I have these. No, the secret is that my dad wrote them." He told me the whole story (not including the serial-killer theory, I don't think) and said that he was planning to write a book about it but wasn't sure how. Makes sense that it wouldn't have come together while the dad was alive.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 02- 9-15 12:18 AM
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Or 52. Bad people.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 02- 9-15 12:19 AM
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RS(?) did a ranking of every single Nirvana song (including things like their cover of "The Immigrant Song", captured a home video in like 1986). It would be kind of awesome (in the original sense) to see a similar ranking of Dylan's songs.

There is actually such a book, though unless it's been updated it only covers up to the early 90s. Annoyingly I can't remember its title, but it has a plain maroon cover and I think the author had a Japanese name. I'll have a look for it when I get home.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-15 3:30 AM
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It has been updated! Polish, Japanese, what's the difference?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-15 3:36 AM
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Drunk and looking into a stranger's trunk while he talks about serial killers and porn usually ends much worse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 9-15 4:49 AM
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272: But he didn't talk about the serial killer, so it was perfectly safe.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02- 9-15 5:08 AM
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But every single person is Iowa keeps lye in their trunk. Ask any of them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 9-15 5:26 AM
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