Tag: Language

Please Credit Patti LuPone

Patti Lupone Owns This

Newly seated Representative Rashida Tlaib just gave a speech where she said, “We will impeach this Motherf%$#er.”

I appreciate the sentiments, but credit needs to be given to that legend of the Broadway Stage, Patti Lupone, who owns that in the same way that Mary Martin owned Peter Pan, Ethel Merman owned Annie Get Your Gun, and Carole Burnette owns Once Upon a Mattress, Angela Lansbury owns Sweeny Todd, and (of course) how Patti LuPone owns Evita.

Other actors can do the roles, and do them well, but they are standing on the shoulders of motherf%$#ing giants.

Rashida Tlaib, give a shout out to Patti LuPone.

And once, you have done that, impeach the motherf%$#er.

An Important Phrase to Know: Stochastic Terrorism

For those of you who have never heard the termStochastic Terrorism , (See also the Wiki) it refers to terrorism that is, “Statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.”

What this means is that invocations toward terrorism in the media that are calculated to create “lone wolf” actors who will then engage in terrorism to further the aims of the speaker.

When you look at people like Glenn Beck (Tides Foundation), Alex Jones (Everyone), Anwar al-Awlaki (The secular west), and Bill O’Reilly (George Tiller).

O’Reilly publicly called Tiller a, “Baby Killer,” and then piously eschewed any responsibility when the doctor was assassinated.

I am far less concerned about Anwar al-Awlaki than I am the rest of them, because the right wing deliberately uses this technique to silence voices from the left.

Liberal talk radio still has yet to recover from the assassination of Alan Berg in 1984.

They do this because it works, and no one will stop them.

Important Nomenclature Announcement

For future discussions of Russian troll farms and the like, I will use the phrase, “Russian democracy promotion efforts.”

This is NOT because I approve of these efforts, but rather to show my opprobrium US “Democracy promotion” activities.

I approve of neither the Russians encouraging the “alt-right”, nor of US support for neo-Nazi skinheads in the Ukraine or of Jihadis in Syria.

Kisses and Squeezy Hugs

Natalie is giving a speech in class, and she wanted to use one of the poems that my dad had written.

She read a couple and one was about shopping, and all I could think of was, “Kisses and squeezy hugs.”

Cue the wavy flashback camera thing:

Many, many years ago, my mom sent my dad to the grocery store with a shopping list.

At the bottom were two items, “Kisses and Squeezy Hugs.”  (I bet you can see where this is going)

About an hour and a half later, he frantically called my mom from the store.

He could not find the squeezy hugs. (He thought that it was one of the new brands of cereal out there)

According to family lore, it took at least 15 minutes for my mom to stop laughing, and explain to my clueless dad that, “Kisses and Squeezy Hugs,” were not items on the shopping list, but a romantic note that spouses sometimes leave for each other.

I guess that every family has stories like this, and I’ve been thinking about ours a lot lately.

You Cannot Read This without Hearing an Australian Accent

The existing Liberal Party (actually conservative) Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, was turfed out, and the slavering reactionary racist who engineered his departure, Peter Dutton, was unable to properly count votes, so he did not succeed.

This essay about these developments, is perhaps the most Australian thing ever: (Evah, Mate)

Go Home C%$#, Says Nation


The nation of Australia has extended a polite request to the Former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton today.

Australia as a collective country has asked the highway cop from the Sunshine Coast to ‘please, go home, c%$#.’

The request comes after Peter Dutton, and his conservative backbench allies and media backers have held the country to ransom over the last fortnight, in a vain attempt to “regain control” of the Liberal Party of Australia.

After destabilising the Coalition Government for months, Dutton looked crushed this afternoon after realising he isn’t very good at counting and had to come to terms with losing the leadership ballot.

Scott Morrison won the leadership ballot 45-40 against Dutton, with Josh Frydneberg taking the reigns as Deputy Prime Minister after edging out Greg Hunt.

After it was announced that Scott Morrison will be the next Prime Minister of Australia, it was confirmed that Peter Dutton, the man who walked out on the National Apology to the Stolen Generations, should just head back to the Sunshine Coast and look out for people changing lanes without an indicator.

Whether, Dutton, the man who refused to bring asylum-seeking children needing urgent medical attention to Australia, will in fact just go home remains to be seen.

(%$# mine)

This is beautiful.


Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s candidate, Gretchen Whitmer just won the Democratic Party primary for Governor in Michigan.

Details on her ties to the insurance company here.

The special election in Ohio’s 12th Congressional district, which has been presented as a bellwether* for November is too close to call, but it looks like the Republican has a vote lead of a little bit more than a thousand votes.

*The etymology of the word “bellwether” is interesting, it literally means a castrated sheep with a bell around its neck.
I find the juxtaposition of politics and castrated sheep remarkably apropos.

Some Fact Checking Please

For once, the title, “This Porcelain Is Tougher Than It Looks,” is correct, but the article gets the basics wrong:

Wallace Chan, the Hong Kong jeweler behind some of the world’s most exclusive gems, sat in a sunny Manhattan hotel room a few weeks ago, talking about his latest creations.

He displayed one, a large blue ring topped with a diamond — and began whacking it aggressively against the wooden coffee table.

Bang! Mr. Chan, 62, just smiled. Then he rapped it again.

The ring was primarily made of porcelain, a ceramic normally used for rose-strewn tea sets and figurines of pouting milkmaids, and such treatment should have reduced it to a handful of shards on the hotel room carpet.

But this wasn’t just any old porcelain. It was a porcelain seven years in the making, which Mr. Chan invented and which he says is five times harder than steel.

The material — called for the time being, a little unimaginatively, Wallace Chan Porcelain — is made of specially chosen ingredients that Mr. Chan treats like the equivalent of a state secret out of fear of industrial espionage (the jewelry world is, apparently, a paranoid place). But the ingredients are, he said, almost devoid of impurities.

All high fire (vitrified) clays, like porcelain, and most of the low fire clays, are MUCH harder than steel.

Ordinary glass is harder than steel, which you can demonstrate if you (very) carefully try to drill window glass.

On the Mohs Scale, steel is typically in the 4-4½ range, and porcelain is around 7. (Talc is 1 & diamond 10 on the Mohs Scale)

What Mr. Chan has done is create a TOUGHER ceramic, which is important, but VERY different from a HARDER ceramic.

He does this, as the article reveals, by making small (but important) changes in the formulation of porcelain, and firing it at a higher temperature, which further reduces voids in the resulting fired ceramic.

It’s pretty much the same process used by people trying to put ceramics in things like jet turbines, though he seems to have come up with a technique that does not require the elaborate tooling used for those applications.

My guess his recipe is that, “Almost devoid of impurities,” is the most important bit.  

Ceramics yield very little, which means that stresses at any crack tips are very high because there is little local yielding, so the elimination of inclusions are critical to toughness and tensile strength.

Good for Mr. Chan, but someone needs to give the reporter a class in material science 101.

A Star Mangled Spanner

It appears that Scientists have managed to adapt 3D metal printing to zero gravity, and have produced a small wrench.

This is actually tougher than it sounds, since the powdered metals used can be explosive in the right (wrong?) proportions, and there is no gravity to hold them down.

This did not actually go into space, they produced the parts on a “vomit comet” flying a parabolic course.

Credit where credit is due, the pun comes from Arthur C. Clarke.

Microsoft is Conspiring to Silence Me

It appears that Microsoft is instituting terms of service that ban profanity on things like Offic3 365 and Skype.

This will render me mute:

Microsoft has advised customers that offensive language on Skype, in an Outlook.com email, or in an Office 365 Word document is a potentially account-closing offense under its updated terms of use.

The tweaked services agreement, which comes into effect on May 1, 2018, now includes the following code-of-conduct item:

Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity).

And if you disobey?

If you violate these Terms, we may stop providing Services to you or we may close your Microsoft account. We may also block delivery of a communication (like email, file sharing or instant message) to or from the Services in an effort to enforce these Terms or we may remove or refuse to publish Your Content for any reason. When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content in order to resolve the issue. However, we cannot monitor the entire Services and make no attempt to do so.

Microsoft lists its online services covered by the agreement here. To save you the click, the list includes:


On The Register’s reading of the rules, a profanity-laden file written in Office 365, or an email with a nude selfie attached sent using Outlook.com, fall on the wrong side of the code, if reported to Microsoft by someone. As would asking Bing to look up “Simon Sharwood of The Register is sh*t” or telling Cortana to “f*ck off” if it somehow caused offense.

Obviously, I do NOT think that the changes to the Microflaccid TOS is a specific attempt to target me.

I am saying two separate things, that the folks from Redmond are conspiring (clearly, since it is a group effort), and that if fully implemented, it would have the effect of silencing me, because I am profoundly profane in my speech and writing.

I am simply a bug plastered to Bill Gates’ windshield.

Can I Have This Translated from English to American?

On this Reuters report about Uber’s appeal of the decision by Transport for London to ban the service, I came across a rather interesting quote which, to American eyes at least, appears to rather oblique:

At Tuesday’s hearing, TfL also said it had “one or two” issues regarding the accuracy of details provided by Uber.“The decision letter says, well, there are one or two issues about the extent to which the information given to TfL was correct,” TfL lawyer Martin Chamberlain told the court. “That is one of the points that the decision is based on.”

(emphasis mine)

I believe that translating from Etonian speak to an earthier London vernacular would give us something to the effect of, “You are a bunch of lying wankers, so sod off!”

Am I correct in understanding the underlying intent here?

Speaking of Fascism………

The Ukraine has upped its slow-walked ethnic cleansing program, the Ukrainian parliament has passed a law banning non-Ukrainian language education after elementary school:

Timeya Leshko doesn’t see much of a future for her four children in Ukraine, where a Moscow-backed conflict still flares up in the east and economic opportunities seem few and far between elsewhere.

“There’s no way to earn a living here. Everyone knows that. All the young people are leaving,” Leshko told RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service in a recent interview. “And I don’t think it’s going to get better, only worse.”

The ethnic Hungarian in the sleepy village of Mali Heivtsi on Ukraine’s western fringes, not far from Slovakia and Hungary, is convinced that learning her native tongue is the ticket out for her kids.

But that may be tougher for Leshko and other ethnic minorities in Ukraine after the country’s parliament passed an educational-reform bill on September 5 that includes a clause making Ukrainian the required language of study in state schools from the fifth grade on.

Leshko is not a fan of the bill, which would roll back the option for lessons to be taught in other languages.

“I don’t like it. Why? Because, for example, I am a Hungarian. I was studying in a Hungarian school and I want my children also to speak Hungarian,” she explained. “Maybe they will move to Hungary or maybe they will go there to earn money. In that case, the Hungarian language will be more useful than Ukrainian, I think.”

They want you to leave.

This is what the Quebecois did in Canada, and they have been fairly successful.

Clueless Protesters

Some fans in the Monster Seats hung a banner over the wall that said, “Racism Is As American As Baseball.” Security removed them. pic.twitter.com/tVSai9XocY

— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) September 14, 2017

Given Boston’s history of racism, I’m inclined to think that protesting racism at Fenway Park during a Red Sox game is a good thing.

Boston is NOT a “woke” place, and getting in the face of the town in what is arguably the most Boston place in Boston is a good thing.

That being said, if you do protest, run it by an editor to make sure that your actual words are unambiguous:

Fans draped a sign reading “Racism is as American as baseball” over the Green Monster at Fenway Park during the Red Sox-Athletics game Wednesday night.

Red Sox spokeswoman Zineb Curran replied with the following statement via email when asked about the incident:
“During the 4th inning of tonight’s game, four fans unfurled a banner over the left field wall in violation of the club’s policy prohibiting signs of any kind to be hung or affixed to the ballpark. The individuals involved were escorted out of Fenway Park.”

According to The Boston Globe, the sign was visible for about two minutes and no arrests were made in connection to the incident.


One member of the group spoke to CSNNE anonymously Wednesday night, telling the network they expected to be kicked out of Fenway but were surprised by some people’s interpretation that their message wasn’t clear.

“I guess we should have seen that coming, but we also didn’t think of it as an ambiguous message,” the group member said. “It’s kind of telling that it is being interpreted as one.”

When I first heard about this, I thought that it was a group of white supremacists endorsing racism.

For F%$#’s sake, you need to run you slogans by an someone who wasn’t involved in drafting the slogan, and maybe a trained copy editor.

To quote a an internet meme, “Get a brain, morans.”