Re: Science links

1

The 70s were a different time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 6:43 AM
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From the first link -- Sally Ride --

"I remember the engineers trying to decide how many tampons should fly on a one-week flight; they asked, 'Is 100 the right number?'

"No. That would not be the right number."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 6:43 AM
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2: The last paragraph was supposed to be in italics too.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 6:44 AM
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It is possible that a woman, qualified from a scientific viewpoint, might be persuaded to donate her time and energies for the sake of improving crew morale

I did read somewhere that scientists who overwinter in Antarctica commonly come to an understanding with one or more of their colleagues, on the basis that what happens at the South Pole stays at the South Pole. People do what they have to.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 6:52 AM
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what happens at the South Pole stays at the South Pole

At least, what happens at the South Pole doesn't get very far away from the South Pole.


Posted by: Opinionated Scott Expedition | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 6:55 AM
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I'd like to thank the ladies of the blog for donating their time and energies here.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:02 AM
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When I applied for a job in Antarctica, the process did include them pointing out that the job could entail sharing a tent with a member of the opposite sex, and I should be sure I was OK with this before taking my application further.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:10 AM
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Did they also ask if you were O.K. with cold weather?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:12 AM
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Oddly, that never came up. Maybe it would have done later on in the interview process.

"Here is a penguin. How does it make you feel?"
"Awwwww."
(writes notes) "Good. Gooooood."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:13 AM
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"Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success. Must be willing to share tent with member of the opposite sex."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:15 AM
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The question of direct sexual release on a long-duration space mission must be considered

NASA invented the fleshlight.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:17 AM
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More seriously, I wonder sometimes about menstruation when people are refuges or other awful, extreme situations.

I don't think I understand what exactly you are wondering.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:18 AM
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How they get sanitary supplies, what sort of underground system is established or if it fails to get established.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:20 AM
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If NASA had been more knowledgeable about the old ways, they would have known that injaculation was the answer to their problem.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:21 AM
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"suspicious perytons" would be a good pseud.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:22 AM
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There is an old SF story that included engineering space-men (no gurls allowed) to be gay, but I can't find it right now. I remember being extremely amused at the bundle of preconceptions that made this particular what-if heresy seem plausible enough to run with.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:35 AM
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Well, there is this SMBC.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:38 AM
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10: that might actually have been a dealbreaker for a lot of explorers of the Heroic Age. Not for Robert Peary, of course.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:43 AM
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Re: refugees, that's a thought that's occurred to so many of those donating items to help people in the Jungle at Calais that sanitary items are one of the things they are asking people not to send any more of, along with baby clothes, nappies, and high heels. (Who the hell sends high heels to a refugee encampment anyway?)


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:51 AM
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19.last: Space-men genetically engineered to be gay.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:54 AM
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19 Are you kidding? Who the hell turns down a pair of free Manolo Blahniks?


Posted by: Opinionated Fashionista | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:56 AM
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Give my back my suffix.


Posted by: Opinionated Sandinista | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:57 AM
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Opinionated Person Who Is Using Their Faint Memory of Sex and the City To Make Fashion Jokes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:57 AM
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CS Lewis wrote a really unpleasant short story, meant to be funny, about a Mars expedition with two women sent along for 'crew morale' -- one of them an unfuckably annoying intellectual, and the other a fat, elderly prostitute.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:58 AM
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I suppose Arctic and space explorations generally involve faint memories of sex and cities, so.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:58 AM
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23 Heebie's rockin' nothing but Christian Louboutins these days.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:01 AM
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24 Wow!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:02 AM
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28

I sort of wonder what is happening in Nicaragua these days. It isn't in the news much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:02 AM
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On Antarctic expeditions, having to share a tent with a member of the opposite sex is the least of your worries.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:03 AM
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The question of direct sexual release on a long-duration space mission must be considered.

Fly, fly, masturbate, fly.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:10 AM
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The gene that prevents parthenogenesis in mammals does not make a protein. Mammals lacking the gene can be created, and are capable of parthenogenesis.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:16 AM
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Oh, hey, the story's online.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:21 AM
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That seems like a great deal to read to establish that C.S. Lewis was sexist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:26 AM
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If you bothered to read it, you'd find out that he was also hostile about gay people. I mean, I suppose you could have guessed that too.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:28 AM
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I once read a whole book to figure out maybe he might not like Islam. But at least that had a horse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:29 AM
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If there's a horse on Mars, that would be different.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:30 AM
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"scientifically speaking, a woman." "WHAT-HO"

I've heard of CS Lewis, of course, but I'm not sure which one he is, between him and Chesterton.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:34 AM
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To put it bluntly may it not be necessary for the success of the project to send some nice girls to Mars at regular intervals to relieve tensions and promote morale?"

"Nice girls"? I thought those were the ones that wouldn't put out.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:37 AM
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39

They weren't even contemporaries as far as the period when they did the bulk of their work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:37 AM
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38: This is my fail-at-italics thread. 38.1 is a quote from the esteemed Dr. Robert S. Richardson.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:38 AM
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36: No horses, but it does have hrossa.

(in Out of the Silent Planet)


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:38 AM
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42

"Nice is different than good."


Posted by: Opinionated Sondheim | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:39 AM
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I've heard of CS Lewis, of course, but I'm not sure which one he is, between him and Chesterton.

If you've seen one blimpish British religious apologist, you've seen them all.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:40 AM
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I really kind of like Chesterton, in a believing that he should have been kept away from sharp objects and smacked whenever he started talking about Jews sort of way. Lewis, less so.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:43 AM
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Less with the liking. Probably about the same with the smacking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:43 AM
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Lewis was a friend of Tolkien and wrote bad science fiction an pop theology; Chesterton was a friend of Belloc and wrote passably good detective stories and pop theology.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:44 AM
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I feel we aren't giving Lewis' work on lyric poetry its due. Campus conservatives have nearly wrecked the poor man's reputation, as they have so thoroughly destroyed Chesterton's.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:56 AM
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I have to say, the "we should totally ship along a sex worker and she should also be a scientist angle is novel. "We'd have to have sex workers in spaaaaaaaace" is a pretty common pre-Women's Lib* SFnal trope, but the idea that the sex worker would also have to be a working scientist who would "donate" her services - that's amazing.

I also wonder what effect these guys thought the "donation" of "services" would have on the woman's scientific career. Men of the past, you are so stupid and horrible.

*Someone called me a Women's Libber as an insult at work this week. I demurred when two near-retirement faculty who I had never seen before and do not work with made this giant sexist production (one step down from twirling their arms and calling me M'Lady) out of holding two doors open for me. It was really creepy and aggressive (and actually walking between two strange men brings up this totally ridiculous panic response from being harassed and attacked in junior high) and I said (and sounded panicked, I could hear myself) "no, please, you go ahead" and one of them called me a Women's Libber. They also wouldn't move until I walked through the doors. It was the worst, as far as that kind of thing goes.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 9:28 AM
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Basically, they forced you to be a prop in whatever play they were running in their heads. That sucks. But if you had spit on their shoes, you would have been the asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 9:42 AM
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I have a soft spot for Lewis. This is partly because I find him a bracing innoculation against Christianity because he is such a dishonest bully when he argues, but also because a lot of his psychology is spot on.

He just didn't get women, bigtime. Of course, spending his twenties fucking the widowed mother of his best friend who had been killed in the trenches might not have helped there. And then spending the ensuing decades living with her but not fucking her, while both were coping with his alcoholic brother, also back from the trenches ...

AN Wilson wrote a very good critical biography.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 9:43 AM
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I think maybe being not killed in the trenches didn't help Lewis a whole bunch either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 9:45 AM
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Being not killed in the trenches was better for him than being killed in the trenches, but still.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 9:45 AM
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Anscombe apparently utterly destroyed Lewis in an early encounter (that led, I think, to her first publication), and he had the grace and sense to acknowledge his defeat and attempt to address it in later work.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 9:50 AM
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In conclusion, Anscombe rules, Lewis drools.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 9:54 AM
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I dunno, "I was traumatized so we excuse my sexist ravings" doesn't cut much ice with me (and they're pretty ravey - That Hideous Strength is absolutely looney-tunes and makes his short stories look comparatively benign). What's the excuse for Lewis's racism, I wonder?

I like quite a lot about the Space Trilogy, actually, but not the part where the woman grad student derails the second coming because she wants to get her degree before having a baby, or the part where we learn that modern life is better than past life because in the past she would have been beheaded for her temerity. The lesbian cop who puts out cigarettes on women's breasts - I could also have done without that bit. And the part where the maternal woman character refers to herself as ugly and stupid - but virtuous! - a bunch of times. Or the part in Perelandra where the Eve figure almost brings about a second fall because she isn't willing to be self-abnegating enough.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 9:55 AM
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The various post-war-Surrealist Space Trilogy covers are great, though.

(I did not realize until comparatively recently how influential and persistent surrealism was from about 1930 through 1950 - lots of surrealist photography and illustration in the fashion press, lots of immediate post-war surrealist painters.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 9:58 AM
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The lesbian cop who puts out cigarettes on women's breasts - I could also have done without that bit

Maybe it's just a holdover from The Goshawk but this seems like it could be explained by his being preverted in a classically British way.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 9:58 AM
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This thread started making a lot more sense once I realized that C.S Lewis wasn't Lewis Carroll.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:06 AM
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Mere homophobia or classic perversion - an important question. Why not both, would be my answer, and add a side of misogyny.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:08 AM
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Does anyone else get a Shriekback earworm whenever they see the word "parthenogenesis"? Just me?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:09 AM
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57: According to one biographer his nickname for himself was Philomastix, Lover of the Whip.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:17 AM
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I really like Lewis's The Discarded Image. Or, at least, I did as an undergrad. He's a lot better describing other people's archaic worldview than his own.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:18 AM
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No, Lewis Carroll was Charles Dodgson.

Screwtape is amusing, if ultimately unconvincing.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:31 AM
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I guilty enjoyed much of Lewis' space trilogy to but god those last few pages of Perelandra are just cringe-inducing dreck.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:33 AM
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to s/b too


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:33 AM
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I think we ought to be especially nice to people named Lewis.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:40 AM
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Except Ray Lewis. He sucks.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:40 AM
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66: I don't see why.


Posted by: Opinionated Morse | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:44 AM
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Speaking of British detectives, one of the cast of Airplane! has written a novel about Mycroft Holmes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:49 AM
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It's always nice to find unexpected nerds.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:51 AM
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And he's from my neighborhood, too.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:51 AM
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I'll probably read it. I should read the one about the bees first.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:52 AM
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73

They had us read Lewis's Space Trilogy in 5th grade. Such a weird book selection.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:58 AM
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I've never read any Lewis but Narnia.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:59 AM
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And I never read any Chesterton except for the Father Brown stuff. I did like that. British mysteries of a certain period have a weird bloodless quality about them that I find very appealing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:01 AM
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I should find a better way to describe things I like reading than batshit, but Chesterton's other stuff is, in fact, batshit in a way I find appealing even when I shouldn't. The Man Who Was Thursday and The Napoleon Of Notting Hill are both worth it if you've got a spare afternoon that you'd like to spend involuntarily twitching due to confusion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:11 AM
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The piece that Ume links to is really fine.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:14 AM
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78

Public domain. Why not?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:16 AM
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Not really relevant, but I read the last 140 pages of "Lucky Jim" last night. It's been at least 5 years since I stayed up that late to finish a novel. Very emotionally involving.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:23 AM
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He doesn't start out especially lucky, if that hangover is anything to go by.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:30 AM
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81

I've never read any Joseph Conrad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:31 AM
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82

Lucky Jim could have been about ten times better a book if Amis hadn't decided to make one particular character a vile caricature.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:35 AM
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83

81: Lucky, not Lord.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:37 AM
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I may be thinking of Lord Jim, which is probably different.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:37 AM
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85

D'oh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:38 AM
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82: The painter guy, or the lady professor?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:38 AM
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The lady professor. I don't mind about the painter guy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:39 AM
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The lady professor was a portrait of his then mother in law


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 12:54 PM
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Ah, my hate for Lucky Jim is so strong! I'd like to kick it--the book, embodied as a human form--in the ear. Meanwhile, I have, as oft attested here, a completely indefensible fondness for the Space Trilogy, including That Hideous Strength, which is indeed ludicrously sexist. Books!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 1:31 PM
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I'm pretty deep into searching the NASA pre-1975 archives for slightly risque keywords now, which I like to think is confusing someone looking at the analytics.


Posted by: Clytaemnestra Stabby | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 1:38 PM
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89: How do you feel about Lord Jim? I always felt I should have read that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 1:47 PM
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91: I liked it. If you're not up for the book, you can always just watch the movie. It stars Peter O'Toole.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 1:51 PM
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The final epiphany about how the disagreeable woman is disagreeable (and crazy) because she's unattractive, and the delightful woman is delightful because she's beautiful, and it's unfortunate but inevitable that this is how women grow up, was a bit much. Also the painter going from pompous buffoon to guy who makes Howard Rourke-style speeches about how he deserves everything because he's a superior man, that was not needed.

My charitable interpretation of the end of the book is that SO many things go right for him that it's supposed to make the reader confused and unnerved. As opposed to the sort of Brief Encounter ending you think is going to happen which, though seemingly unsatisfying, would leave the reader feeling good because it's morally sound. Everything is set up for that to happen, but then the aforementioned characters suddenly become caricatured monsters, and the emotional logic is flipped. Can it really be that easy?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 2:00 PM
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94

I really liked Lord Jim in high school. Haven't re-read it. My favorite Conrad novel of the few I've read is Under Western Eyes.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 2:10 PM
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95

If this is the Arts & Culture thread, can I ask: Was Bon Jovi an authentic example of working-class culture, or is that even the right question to be asking? I guess maybe it's more about audiences. I remember this girl in 5th grade in my inner-city elementary school, who was a HUGE Bon Jovi fan. She was Laotian or Cambodian, and had all the Bon Jovi Trapper-Keepers and what not. People kidded her about it, but she was always the first to admit she was kind of being silly being that smitten. And if that's not authentic, then what the hell is?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 3:16 PM
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Totally inauthentic. Come on, the hairspray? The pants?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 3:20 PM
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95 This is the Science thread, Natilo, the Arts thread is some other one, I thought you read your C.P. Snow.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 3:20 PM
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95, 96 there's something about her not being born American that gives it a pass with me, even moves it into the aww that's cute realm. But if she were American, no way.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 3:24 PM
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It's kinda weird that we didn't talk more in school about Vietnam and the genocides and stuff. Some of those kids must've been dealing with amazingly messed up stuff. Sigh. This world.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 3:31 PM
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100

I've become a real Axl Rose fan in my old age. Working class cred, advice for the youth, Axl is your man.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 3:36 PM
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101

That's a youtube link.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 3:36 PM
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102

But, like, what about The Ramones? They were intentionally contrived and self-conscious. Bon Jovi was out to make records that would sell and live a rockstar lifestyle and the rest of it. And not that The Ramones were immune from those temptations, but there's an intentionality there which isn't part of Bon Jovi.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 3:37 PM
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Say what now? The Ramones were always cool. Though I've come to notice recently that I'm at the age where I seem to be the only one around with a Ramones t-shirt who's actually seen them play live.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 3:44 PM
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104

I've seen twenty-somethings here walking around wearing Ramones t-shirts. It's odd.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 3:46 PM
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105

I saw a guy about my age, Mexican or Ecuadorian, wearing red footer bags and some kind of Never Mind the Bollocks... parody T-shirt just an hour ago while I was waiting for the bus.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 3:48 PM
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106

It's free, but it starts really slow.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 5:01 PM
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107

Summary of the first two chapters:

Jim is lazy, smart, and on a boat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 5:09 PM
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108

I don't think it gets faster.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 5:18 PM
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109

I'm figuring the boat will sink.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 5:22 PM
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110

Maybe Lucky Jim is $9.99 better? Either way, I'm going for run.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 5:31 PM
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There's some interesting stuff about academia in Lucky Jim. It's kind of at the periphery of the main story but there's one conversation where are the two guys are complaining about grade inflation and how they can't fail people out anymore and it's all because after the war, all the students who are not from rich families but they're getting their tuition paid for by the government and therefore the government doesn't want to see that it's paid a bunch of tuition and ended up with nothing to show for it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 5:42 PM
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104: what's weird isn't that they're wearing the shirts and haven't seen them perform, it's that they're 20-somethings wearing the shirts in Arrakis.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 5:54 PM
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113

Chapter 4: I was right, but apparently describing the sinking is going to wait some more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 6:49 PM
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114

+ "Spoiler Alert."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 6:50 PM
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115

Chapter 5: Non-sexual use of the phrase "keeping up his pecker" and only vague details.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:24 PM
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116

IIRC, there's a point where Marlowe stops to take a drink and you wonder how many days he's been talking.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:43 PM
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117

Chapter 6 made very little sense.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:50 PM
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118

116: I expect everybody to decide to play bridge and for him to narrate everybody's hand.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 7:52 PM
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119

Chapter 8: I was wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:16 PM
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120

This is some top-notch liveblogging, Moby.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:26 PM
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The basic plot reminds me of a shipwreck I read about in a Cracked article.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:34 PM
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Anyway, it's getting interesting but the idea that a novel should "show, not tell" was very clearly not a thing for Conrad. His greatest fear appears to be having a reader make an inference.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:36 PM
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123

Any Lit professors out there, feel free to use that line in your lectures.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:38 PM
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124

Chapter 10: Madness is a strong possibility if you lose your hat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 8:56 PM
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I think high school-me called it a descriptive action novel or something like that because I had to say something in the presentation we all had to give on the books we picked for the "choose one pre-1900 and one post-1900 novel" assignment. I hated giving presentations. Just let me read!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:00 PM
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Lord Jim is a novel by Joseph Conrad originally published as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine from October 1899 to November 1900.

Does that make it pre- or post-1900?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:03 PM
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I picked it partly for that reason. I got to assign it to the century of my choice. I think I read Defoe on plague and put Lord Jim in the 20th century.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:12 PM
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Clever.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:14 PM
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I think maybe the story might have to do with the difference between how we perceive our own character and how we behave.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:28 PM
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That sounds suspiciously like an inference.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:32 PM
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You'd think.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 10:38 PM
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I last read Lord Jim in a really quiet place and taken without any distractions available it was simply overwhelming. My memory of the bulging rivets on the abandoned pilgrim ship, the heat and the smell, is now woven into all my other sensual memories of that time -- hay drying in the field, swallows, mosquitoes, purple skies above dull green pine forests -- in a way which is completely incongruous but impossible to untangle.

I don't suppose I have ever been happier.

If this is going to be the book thread, let me lower the tone quite sharply. Has anyone else come across Lois McMaster Bujold? I discovered her through Jo Walton's book of fannish criticism "WHy is this book so great?" which is a wonderful counteraxample to everything that's wrong with hack book pages. And now I seem to be committed to buying all 17 books of a series which is full of all the things I normally dislike. Any fellow-sufferers?


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-18-15 11:21 PM
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I've never read Lucky Jim or Lord Jim, but I have read Bujold, so I can help lower the tone. I read Ethan of Athos. It was okay.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 1:48 AM
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127. Glad someone else has read Defoe on plague. Most A handful of intellectually inclined people have read Crusoe (vol.1) and a significant subset of them have read Moll Flanders, but hardly anybody has read the Journal, which, apart from being the first ever historical novel, AFAIK, is incredibly vivid and moving.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 3:33 AM
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132: I like them. Her recent stuff is mostly fantasy -- there's one series in a vaguely American frontier setting I don't like much, and another in a more fantasy-European-castles and so on setting that I like a lot, starting with The Curse Of Chalion.

They're a bit of a guilty pleasure -- I'm not sure there's much in the way of literary value -- but I've been buying her next book for getting up to thirty years now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 4:50 AM
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132: I have have missed some of the whelm by reading it while the computer took its turns on Civ.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 6:25 AM
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132: I read Lord Jim last year and was blown away. OTOH I am also a huge Bujold fanboy, to the point of classing them as non-guilty pleasures. (I agree with LB that the vaguely-frontier fantasy novels are comparatively weak, and so I think was Ethan of Athos.) But yes, the "17 books of a series which is full of all the things I normally dislike" is awesome, and I normally dislike most of those things, too.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 7:22 AM
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Chapter 14: cannibalism, guano, and slavery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 7:56 AM
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138 ought to be a convenience store


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 8:39 AM
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Other people get confused by the distinctions between kumiss, kvass and keffir, right?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 8:42 AM
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chesterson is an extraordinarily good writer in a technical sense. frex I am pleased with his tendentious claims about Nietzsche--which I myself believe to be false--simply because he's so funny.
nosflow has the right of it on lucky jim. jolly hijinks and bitter satire and then just viciousness, followed by gary stu finale. fuck amis.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 8:52 AM
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140: if people are offering you kvass to the extent that you need to figure out whether you in fact want kefir, then you like in a weird neighborhood.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 8:54 AM
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live, obvs.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 8:55 AM
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Kvas is nothing like kefir except in involving fermentation, surely?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 9:28 AM
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Kvas is just another word for kefir left to lose.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 9:43 AM
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I can mostly distinguish kombucha from the others.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 10:05 AM
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If Rowling were this wordy, we'd still be waiting to find out what house Harry was sorted into.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-19-15 1:08 PM
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136: yes. That would do it. You have to submerge.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-20-15 1:53 AM
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141 And that was probably the high point of his career. Fuck Amis twice.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-20-15 4:14 AM
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Re: 134

Despite being repeatedly told, when an undergrad, that Defoe basically invented the English novel, I've only read an abridgement* of Crusoe, and none of the rest. Which is odd given how much philosophy from that period I have enjoyed.

* a relative gave me a set of abridged classics when I was about 10. Defoe, Twain, Melville, etc. My recollection is that they were shortened and slightly modernised,** but not Bowdlerised.

** we had the Twain original in the house, too, and I read and found the original a bit slow*** and archaic by comparison

*** God knows why, I read interminably lengthy fantasy novels aged 9/10.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-20-15 4:56 AM
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Hey ttaM are you back from vacation yet?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-20-15 8:05 AM
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134: A Journal of the Plague Year is, I think, the only Defoe I've read.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-20-15 9:16 AM
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I think Moby might prefer Defoe on plague to Conrad on Jim, mostly for the inappropriate moments of dark humor.

I've read Robinson Crusoe but no other Defoe.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-20-15 9:47 AM
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...no other Defoe than that and the Journal, I meant.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-20-15 9:48 AM
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I'm not reading two books and I'm halfway through the one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-20-15 10:24 AM
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95: Ridiculously late, but I can't let 96 stand. Back in the day, that was absolutely an authentic central NJ look, for any reasonable value of "authentic". I grew up one town over from Bon Jovi--his was certainly perceived as the grubbier, working-class counterpart to my more UMC-trending town. But the hairspray and the pants and the rest of it were a signature look for a sizable subculture of my mid-80s high school (a subculture which, in retrospect, clearly had class correlations). We even had a term for it that I hadn't heard since HS or thought of in ages, and which the internet now tells me was specific to my hometown.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 09-20-15 10:41 AM
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156 that is the longest urban dictionary entry I've ever read.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-20-15 11:12 AM
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132, 135; I've just recently read "Cordelia's Honor" on the recommendation of my son (an omnibus of "Shards of Honor" and the Hugo-winning "Barrayar").

The latter in part explores how issues of pregnancy and motherhood can intersect with an action-adventure storyline when you have a woman protagonist.

It also has one of the best innocently badass lines from a female action-adventure hero, in response to her traditionalist father-in-law:
"Good God, woman, where have you been?"
"Shopping. Want to see what I bought?"
(Rot13 Spoiler: Gur fubccvat ont pbagnvaf gur frirerq urnq bs gurve zhghny rarzl.)


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 09-24-15 1:21 AM
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Pbzzr pryn?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-24-15 2:16 AM
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