Discussion:
Books I've read lately -- really!
(too old to reply)
Bookwyrm
2014-09-22 04:26:42 UTC
Permalink
The following is a copy of the long post I made in alt.callahans today.


I am a 69 year old female, widowed, mother of two grown sons. I got into
SF via RAH when I was in 6th grade. As my nickname suggests, I read a
lot. But, I'm selective in what I read -- both SF/F and other fiction
and Non-fiction.
I am NOT interested in vampires, zombies, slasher films, almost all
robots, alien mind-control, etc.

BUT....
Several months ago I picked up a book from the 'new arrivals' shelf at
my local library. I picked it up because of the author's name. I had
read a series that he had done several years ago with David Weber (one
of my favorites) -- that I had enjoyed thoroughly.
I read the blurb inside the cover and, while I had some doubts, decided
to take a chance with it.
I finished it in about 3 days and realized that I had to find the first
book in the series. Did that and put my name down on the pre-order list
for the third book which came out last month. Just finished this one
yesterday and will have to control myself until the fourth and last book
comes out in January.

WHAT, you may ask, is this book/series??
The first title is "Under a Graveyard Sky" by John Ringo.
The Smith family of 4 (Dad, Mom, and 2 daughters) flees to the high seas
to escape the Zombie Apocalypse and find other survivors to help them
painfully restart civilization.
Lots of guns and knives and rescued Marines and few Navy guys and odd
lots of civilians and LOTS of soon-to-be-dead zombies.
Oh, did I fail to mention that the central-most character is the
youngest daughter -- a 13 year old who becomes a zombie killer 'par
excellance' and trains Marines in how to 'clear' ships of zombies?
There's humor, great characters, and military talk up the wazoo.
Check the series out under 'Black Tide Rising' series at Amazon.

Now I gotta go find something to read.
Megan
2014-09-25 03:43:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bookwyrm
The following is a copy of the long post I made in alt.callahans today.
I am a 69 year old female, widowed, mother of two grown sons. I got
into SF via RAH when I was in 6th grade. As my nickname suggests, I
read a lot. But, I'm selective in what I read -- both SF/F and other
fiction and Non-fiction.
I am NOT interested in vampires, zombies, slasher films, almost all
robots, alien mind-control, etc.
BUT....
Several months ago I picked up a book from the 'new arrivals' shelf at
my local library. I picked it up because of the author's name. I had
read a series that he had done several years ago with David Weber (one
of my favorites) -- that I had enjoyed thoroughly.
I read the blurb inside the cover and, while I had some doubts,
decided to take a chance with it.
I finished it in about 3 days and realized that I had to find the
first book in the series. Did that and put my name down on the
pre-order list for the third book which came out last month. Just
finished this one yesterday and will have to control myself until the
fourth and last book comes out in January.
WHAT, you may ask, is this book/series??
The first title is "Under a Graveyard Sky" by John Ringo.
The Smith family of 4 (Dad, Mom, and 2 daughters) flees to the high
seas to escape the Zombie Apocalypse and find other survivors to help
them painfully restart civilization.
Lots of guns and knives and rescued Marines and few Navy guys and odd
lots of civilians and LOTS of soon-to-be-dead zombies.
Oh, did I fail to mention that the central-most character is the
youngest daughter -- a 13 year old who becomes a zombie killer 'par
excellance' and trains Marines in how to 'clear' ships of zombies?
There's humor, great characters, and military talk up the wazoo.
Check the series out under 'Black Tide Rising' series at Amazon.
Now I gotta go find something to read.
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Bookwyrm
2014-09-25 21:40:31 UTC
Permalink
<snippity do dah>
Post by Megan
Post by Bookwyrm
WHAT, you may ask, is this book/series??
The first title is "Under a Graveyard Sky" by John Ringo.
The Smith family of 4 (Dad, Mom, and 2 daughters) flees to the high
seas to escape the Zombie Apocalypse and find other survivors to help
them painfully restart civilization.
Lots of guns and knives and rescued Marines and few Navy guys and odd
lots of civilians and LOTS of soon-to-be-dead zombies.
Oh, did I fail to mention that the central-most character is the
youngest daughter -- a 13 year old who becomes a zombie killer 'par
excellance' and trains Marines in how to 'clear' ships of zombies?
There's humor, great characters, and military talk up the wazoo.
Check the series out under 'Black Tide Rising' series at Amazon.
Now I gotta go find something to read.
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
Not 'usually don't read' , but never read. Not even Anne Rice.
Where I first ran into John Ringo was with his partnering with David
Weber in the Prince Roger/Empire of Man series. First one is "March Up
Country", followed by "March to the Sea", "March to the Stars' and "We Few".
Spoiled brat youngest son of the Empress of the Universe and his
bodyguards crash land on a strange planet and have to make their way
home again. Aliens, local politics, fighting and a goodly amount of
delightful humor in the mix.
Firesong
2014-09-26 08:08:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bookwyrm
<snippity do dah>
Post by Megan
Post by Bookwyrm
WHAT, you may ask, is this book/series??
The first title is "Under a Graveyard Sky" by John Ringo.
The Smith family of 4 (Dad, Mom, and 2 daughters) flees to the high
seas to escape the Zombie Apocalypse and find other survivors to help
them painfully restart civilization.
Lots of guns and knives and rescued Marines and few Navy guys and odd
lots of civilians and LOTS of soon-to-be-dead zombies.
Oh, did I fail to mention that the central-most character is the
youngest daughter -- a 13 year old who becomes a zombie killer 'par
excellance' and trains Marines in how to 'clear' ships of zombies?
There's humor, great characters, and military talk up the wazoo.
Check the series out under 'Black Tide Rising' series at Amazon.
Now I gotta go find something to read.
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.

I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>

Watch out for mysogeny rampant (his tough women are frequently proved
to be tough by surviving rape...) and see
http://fanlore.org/wiki/OH_JOHN_RINGO_NO for the "Oh John Ringo No!"
meme...

Firesong
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-04 06:27:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Firesong
Post by Bookwyrm
<snippity do dah>
Post by Megan
Post by Bookwyrm
WHAT, you may ask, is this book/series??
The first title is "Under a Graveyard Sky" by John Ringo.
The Smith family of 4 (Dad, Mom, and 2 daughters) flees to the high
seas to escape the Zombie Apocalypse and find other survivors to help
them painfully restart civilization.
Lots of guns and knives and rescued Marines and few Navy guys and odd
lots of civilians and LOTS of soon-to-be-dead zombies.
Oh, did I fail to mention that the central-most character is the
youngest daughter -- a 13 year old who becomes a zombie killer 'par
excellance' and trains Marines in how to 'clear' ships of zombies?
There's humor, great characters, and military talk up the wazoo.
Check the series out under 'Black Tide Rising' series at Amazon.
Now I gotta go find something to read.
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.
I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>
{Chuckle} He's a bit much at times? {SMILE}
Post by Firesong
Watch out for mysogeny rampant (his tough women are frequently proved
to be tough by surviving rape...) and see
http://fanlore.org/wiki/OH_JOHN_RINGO_NO for the "Oh John Ringo No!"
meme...
Now that might be a more serious problem. Tho the meme actually
sounds kind of neat. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Firesong
Firesong
Megan
2014-10-05 02:59:02 UTC
Permalink
<snip - John Ringo>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Firesong
Post by Megan
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.
I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>
{Chuckle} He's a bit much at times? {SMILE}
<snip>

Be nice... not all Americans are like that. There are pockets where
the attitude is common, and others... not so much.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
John Oliver
2014-10-05 19:11:13 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 04 Oct 2014 19:59:02 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
<snip - John Ringo>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Firesong
Post by Megan
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.
I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>
{Chuckle} He's a bit much at times? {SMILE}
<snip>
Be nice... not all Americans are like that. There are pockets where
the attitude is common, and others... not so much.
I just finished all 3 books in the series (on Kindle). Well worth
reading if you like action novels. Also an imaginative attempt to
restart civilization after a Fall. I'm not sure I think it possible in
what he has invented but that's part of the fun.
--
John Oliver
***@westnet.com.au
Megan
2014-10-06 02:32:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Oliver
On Sat, 04 Oct 2014 19:59:02 -0700, Megan
<snip - John Ringo>
Post by John Oliver
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Firesong
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.
I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>
{Chuckle} He's a bit much at times? {SMILE}
<snip>
Be nice... not all Americans are like that. There are pockets where
the attitude is common, and others... not so much.
I just finished all 3 books in the series (on Kindle). Well worth
reading if you like action novels. Also an imaginative attempt to
restart civilization after a Fall. I'm not sure I think it possible in
what he has invented but that's part of the fun.
I swear, I'm gonna take a look at them... the library I visited on
Saturday had their copy of the first book in the series on "trace."
(A.k.a., we haven't definitely lost it, but we can't find it.)

I do, in fact, like action novels now and then.

At the moment I'm reading National Geographic magazines. Which do
have action stories in them. (I'm still boggled by the guy who seeks
out poisonous snakes to squeeze venom from them. So many ways for
that activity to go wrong...)
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
John Oliver
2014-10-06 06:03:29 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 05 Oct 2014 19:32:17 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
Post by John Oliver
On Sat, 04 Oct 2014 19:59:02 -0700, Megan
<snip - John Ringo>
Post by John Oliver
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Firesong
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.
I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>
{Chuckle} He's a bit much at times? {SMILE}
<snip>
Be nice... not all Americans are like that. There are pockets where
the attitude is common, and others... not so much.
I just finished all 3 books in the series (on Kindle). Well worth
reading if you like action novels. Also an imaginative attempt to
restart civilization after a Fall. I'm not sure I think it possible in
what he has invented but that's part of the fun.
I swear, I'm gonna take a look at them... the library I visited on
Saturday had their copy of the first book in the series on "trace."
(A.k.a., we haven't definitely lost it, but we can't find it.)
I do, in fact, like action novels now and then.
At the moment I'm reading National Geographic magazines. Which do
have action stories in them. (I'm still boggled by the guy who seeks
out poisonous snakes to squeeze venom from them. So many ways for
that activity to go wrong...)
Amazon has all 3 on Kindle and there seems to be a 4th coming. The
series is Dark Tide Rising.
--
John Oliver
***@westnet.com.au
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-12 07:57:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by John Oliver
On Sat, 04 Oct 2014 19:59:02 -0700, Megan
<snip - John Ringo>
Post by John Oliver
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Firesong
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.
I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>
{Chuckle} He's a bit much at times? {SMILE}
<snip>
Be nice... not all Americans are like that. There are pockets where
the attitude is common, and others... not so much.
I just finished all 3 books in the series (on Kindle). Well worth
reading if you like action novels. Also an imaginative attempt to
restart civilization after a Fall. I'm not sure I think it possible in
what he has invented but that's part of the fun.
I swear, I'm gonna take a look at them... the library I visited on
Saturday had their copy of the first book in the series on "trace."
(A.k.a., we haven't definitely lost it, but we can't find it.)
Oh. Our library calls it "Missing." That does make it easier to
understand... but it kind of matters how many people they want to
understand it.
Post by Megan
I do, in fact, like action novels now and then.
So do I. They do have their points. {Smile}
Post by Megan
At the moment I'm reading National Geographic magazines. Which do have
action stories in them. (I'm still boggled by the guy who seeks out
poisonous snakes to squeeze venom from them. So many ways for that
activity to go wrong...)
True. Unfortunately, venom tends to be an essential ingredient in
anti-venom, so someone has to do it. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-10-13 02:27:58 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I do, in fact, like action novels now and then.
So do I. They do have their points. {Smile}
Post by Megan
At the moment I'm reading National Geographic magazines. Which do have
action stories in them. (I'm still boggled by the guy who seeks out
poisonous snakes to squeeze venom from them. So many ways for that
activity to go wrong...)
True. Unfortunately, venom tends to be an essential ingredient in
anti-venom, so someone has to do it. {Smile}
Is it? I rather assumed modern anti-venom was manufactured out of
pure complicated chemistry lab shenanigans.

I believe the guy in question takes the venom back to the lab and
breaks it down in a chem lab, trying to identify all the parts and
pieces. The idea is that the venom has been optimized over the eons
to cause really fast reactions in muscles, organs, whatever. So maybe
the compounds could be useful in treating muscle or organ diseases.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Aramanth Dawe
2014-10-13 05:53:59 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 12 Oct 2014 19:27:58 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I do, in fact, like action novels now and then.
So do I. They do have their points. {Smile}
Post by Megan
At the moment I'm reading National Geographic magazines. Which do have
action stories in them. (I'm still boggled by the guy who seeks out
poisonous snakes to squeeze venom from them. So many ways for that
activity to go wrong...)
True. Unfortunately, venom tends to be an essential ingredient in
anti-venom, so someone has to do it. {Smile}
Is it? I rather assumed modern anti-venom was manufactured out of
pure complicated chemistry lab shenanigans.
In Australia, at least, antivenom is produced the 'old fashioned way'
using horses (and rabbits for some spider products) injected with a
small amount of venom. They then produce antibodies in the blood,
some of which is collected and the plasma (containing the antibodies)
is separated out. See here for more information if you're interested.
Post by Megan
http://www.reptilepark.com.au/about-us/research-venom/venom-production/how-is-antivenom-produced/
Az
Megan
2014-10-18 04:14:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Sun, 12 Oct 2014 19:27:58 -0700, Megan
<snip>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
At the moment I'm reading National Geographic magazines. Which do have
action stories in them. (I'm still boggled by the guy who seeks out
poisonous snakes to squeeze venom from them. So many ways for that
activity to go wrong...)
True. Unfortunately, venom tends to be an essential ingredient in
anti-venom, so someone has to do it. {Smile}
Is it? I rather assumed modern anti-venom was manufactured out of
pure complicated chemistry lab shenanigans.
In Australia, at least, antivenom is produced the 'old fashioned way'
using horses (and rabbits for some spider products) injected with a
small amount of venom. They then produce antibodies in the blood,
some of which is collected and the plasma (containing the antibodies)
is separated out. See here for more information if you're interested.
Post by Megan
http://www.reptilepark.com.au/about-us/research-venom/venom-production/how-is-antivenom-produced/
Teeeeechnically, still a chem lab. Just a complicated chem lab. That
walks around on hooves.

That is the old fashioned way. (In use for manufacturing some
medicines in the 1920s, according to a book I read recently.) Tough
for the horses, and I hope they get a comfy pasture.

Mammals can manufacture antibodies for snake venom? I thought our
immune systems mainly did that for viruses and bacteria. Not venom.
Well, that shows what I know about snakes. (In California, what you
mainly need to know is: "if you hear a rattle, skedaddle." Most
snakes here are harmless, or beneficial.)
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Aramanth Dawe
2014-10-18 05:27:25 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:14:47 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Sun, 12 Oct 2014 19:27:58 -0700, Megan
<snip>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
At the moment I'm reading National Geographic magazines. Which do have
action stories in them. (I'm still boggled by the guy who seeks out
poisonous snakes to squeeze venom from them. So many ways for that
activity to go wrong...)
True. Unfortunately, venom tends to be an essential ingredient in
anti-venom, so someone has to do it. {Smile}
Is it? I rather assumed modern anti-venom was manufactured out of
pure complicated chemistry lab shenanigans.
In Australia, at least, antivenom is produced the 'old fashioned way'
using horses (and rabbits for some spider products) injected with a
small amount of venom. They then produce antibodies in the blood,
some of which is collected and the plasma (containing the antibodies)
is separated out. See here for more information if you're interested.
Post by Megan
http://www.reptilepark.com.au/about-us/research-venom/venom-production/how-is-antivenom-produced/
Teeeeechnically, still a chem lab. Just a complicated chem lab. That
walks around on hooves.
That is the old fashioned way. (In use for manufacturing some
medicines in the 1920s, according to a book I read recently.) Tough
for the horses, and I hope they get a comfy pasture.
Mammals can manufacture antibodies for snake venom? I thought our
immune systems mainly did that for viruses and bacteria. Not venom.
Well, that shows what I know about snakes. (In California, what you
mainly need to know is: "if you hear a rattle, skedaddle." Most
snakes here are harmless, or beneficial.)
In most of Australia it's 'if you see a snake - back away SLOWLY'.
Here it's best to assume the snake is dangerous if not deadly, since
Australia has a LOT of venemous snakes - although fatalities are
pretty rare since the introduction of anti-venom.

My brother got bitten once while bushwalking - he had correct gear
(heavy pants, heavy socks, heavy boots) but was walking through long
grass and the snake reared up and bit him just above the boot top. He
was able to get to a phone (pre-cellphone days!) and got taken to
hospital pretty quickly where they treated him with a broad-spectrum
anti-venom since they couldn't determine which snake (of the 3 main
venemous species in the area) had bitten him. However judging from
the width and depth of the puncture marks the snake itself was well
over 6 feet long so a pretty mature individual. He was pretty sick
for a while and spent several days in hospital but recovered
completely.

Az
Megan
2014-10-19 02:39:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:14:47 -0700, Megan
<snip>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
In Australia, at least, antivenom is produced the 'old fashioned way'
using horses (and rabbits for some spider products) injected with a
small amount of venom. They then produce antibodies in the blood,
some of which is collected and the plasma (containing the antibodies)
is separated out. See here for more information if you're interested.
Post by Megan
http://www.reptilepark.com.au/about-us/research-venom/venom-production/how-is-antivenom-produced/
Teeeeechnically, still a chem lab. Just a complicated chem lab. That
walks around on hooves.
That is the old fashioned way. (In use for manufacturing some
medicines in the 1920s, according to a book I read recently.) Tough
for the horses, and I hope they get a comfy pasture.
Mammals can manufacture antibodies for snake venom? I thought our
immune systems mainly did that for viruses and bacteria. Not venom.
Well, that shows what I know about snakes. (In California, what you
mainly need to know is: "if you hear a rattle, skedaddle." Most
snakes here are harmless, or beneficial.)
In most of Australia it's 'if you see a snake - back away SLOWLY'.
Here it's best to assume the snake is dangerous if not deadly, since
Australia has a LOT of venemous snakes - although fatalities are
pretty rare since the introduction of anti-venom.
I made up that little rule. I believe the rule is that, if you hear
rattling near you, figure out where it is coming from and move away
... as you say, slowly.

California also has gopher snakes, which eat gophers and other
objectionable rodents... snakes so nice to have nearby I've considered
snake-napping one and letting it go in my back yard.

Australia, very famously, is one of those locations where snakes,
spiders, occasionally frogs, and most definitely anything reptile-like
lurking in a river should be avoided. Carefully.
Post by Aramanth Dawe
My brother got bitten once while bushwalking - he had correct gear
(heavy pants, heavy socks, heavy boots) but was walking through long
grass and the snake reared up and bit him just above the boot top. He
was able to get to a phone (pre-cellphone days!) and got taken to
hospital pretty quickly where they treated him with a broad-spectrum
anti-venom since they couldn't determine which snake (of the 3 main
venemous species in the area) had bitten him. However judging from
the width and depth of the puncture marks the snake itself was well
over 6 feet long so a pretty mature individual. He was pretty sick
for a while and spent several days in hospital but recovered
completely.
Barring allergic reactions, I believe that most adults bitten by
snakes do survive, even untreated... but who wants to take a chance
about it? 80% chance of surviving is still... not as nice as not
being bitten at all. (Yep, I read the whole article about the
snake-hunting researcher.) Sounds like survival can be very
unpleasant, even with the help of anti-venom.

I'm glad your brother survived. Yay for those brave snake venom
researchers.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-07 21:30:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:14:47 -0700, Megan
<snip>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
In Australia, at least, antivenom is produced the 'old fashioned way'
using horses (and rabbits for some spider products) injected with a
small amount of venom. They then produce antibodies in the blood,
some of which is collected and the plasma (containing the antibodies)
is separated out. See here for more information if you're interested.
Post by Megan
http://www.reptilepark.com.au/about-us/research-venom/venom-production/how-is-antivenom-produced/
Teeeeechnically, still a chem lab. Just a complicated chem lab. That
walks around on hooves.
That is the old fashioned way. (In use for manufacturing some
medicines in the 1920s, according to a book I read recently.) Tough
for the horses, and I hope they get a comfy pasture.
Mammals can manufacture antibodies for snake venom? I thought our
immune systems mainly did that for viruses and bacteria. Not venom.
Well, that shows what I know about snakes. (In California, what you
mainly need to know is: "if you hear a rattle, skedaddle." Most
snakes here are harmless, or beneficial.)
In most of Australia it's 'if you see a snake - back away SLOWLY'.
Here it's best to assume the snake is dangerous if not deadly, since
Australia has a LOT of venemous snakes - although fatalities are
pretty rare since the introduction of anti-venom.
I made up that little rule. I believe the rule is that, if you hear
rattling near you, figure out where it is coming from and move away ...
as you say, slowly.
California also has gopher snakes, which eat gophers and other
objectionable rodents... snakes so nice to have nearby I've considered
snake-napping one and letting it go in my back yard.
Those do sound nice. not quite nice enough to wish for more snakes
in Hawai'i, but that's partly because our gopher population is even
lower than our snake population. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Australia, very famously, is one of those locations where snakes,
spiders, occasionally frogs, and most definitely anything reptile-like
lurking in a river should be avoided. Carefully.
Yes, I've noticed Australia has a reputation for dangerous and
problematic cold blooded critters. Even their toads sound far nastier
than ours. {pause} That really doesn't make sense, since Hawai'i has the
same species as Australia, but that's the reputation. Some Somehow our
cane toads rarely get bigger than a teacup, while theirs cane toads are
supposed to get as large as saucers on a regular basis. {smile}
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
My brother got bitten once while bushwalking - he had correct gear
(heavy pants, heavy socks, heavy boots) but was walking through long
grass and the snake reared up and bit him just above the boot top. He
was able to get to a phone (pre-cellphone days!) and got taken to
hospital pretty quickly where they treated him with a broad-spectrum
anti-venom since they couldn't determine which snake (of the 3 main
venemous species in the area) had bitten him. However judging from
the width and depth of the puncture marks the snake itself was well
over 6 feet long so a pretty mature individual. He was pretty sick
for a while and spent several days in hospital but recovered
completely.
Barring allergic reactions, I believe that most adults bitten by snakes
do survive, even untreated... but who wants to take a chance about it?
80% chance of surviving is still... not as nice as not being bitten at
all. (Yep, I read the whole article about the snake-hunting
researcher.) Sounds like survival can be very unpleasant, even with the
help of anti-venom.
I agree: the best plan is not to get bitten in the first place. It's
not always feasible, but if you can arrange it, it will work out well.
{Smile}
Post by Megan
I'm glad your brother survived. Yay for those brave snake venom
researchers.
Yes, exactly. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Aramanth Dawe
2014-11-12 03:41:18 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:30:19 -1000, Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Australia, very famously, is one of those locations where snakes,
spiders, occasionally frogs, and most definitely anything reptile-like
lurking in a river should be avoided. Carefully.
Yes, I've noticed Australia has a reputation for dangerous and
problematic cold blooded critters. Even their toads sound far nastier
than ours. {pause} That really doesn't make sense, since Hawai'i has the
same species as Australia, but that's the reputation. Some Somehow our
cane toads rarely get bigger than a teacup, while theirs cane toads are
supposed to get as large as saucers on a regular basis. {smile}
Cane toads do get huge here. Part of the problem is that there are NO
natural predators to them and any of the local wildlife that tries to
eat them gets seriously ill or dies because of the poison sacs on
their backs. So they get to grow to maximum size without predation.
If Hawai'i has natural predators for the toads that could explain why
yours rarely get to any sort of size.

Certainly the cane toads we dissected as a part of our 1st year
Biology rotation Back In The Day were huge - their bodies filled more
than half of the dissecting block (a wax-filled tray) we were using -
and the block was a good 8 inches square. Finding room to splay the
legs as well as exposing the abdominal organs was tricky!
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
My brother got bitten once while bushwalking - he had correct gear
(heavy pants, heavy socks, heavy boots) but was walking through long
grass and the snake reared up and bit him just above the boot top. He
was able to get to a phone (pre-cellphone days!) and got taken to
hospital pretty quickly where they treated him with a broad-spectrum
anti-venom since they couldn't determine which snake (of the 3 main
venemous species in the area) had bitten him. However judging from
the width and depth of the puncture marks the snake itself was well
over 6 feet long so a pretty mature individual. He was pretty sick
for a while and spent several days in hospital but recovered
completely.
Barring allergic reactions, I believe that most adults bitten by snakes
do survive, even untreated... but who wants to take a chance about it?
80% chance of surviving is still... not as nice as not being bitten at
all. (Yep, I read the whole article about the snake-hunting
researcher.) Sounds like survival can be very unpleasant, even with the
help of anti-venom.
I agree: the best plan is not to get bitten in the first place. It's
not always feasible, but if you can arrange it, it will work out well.
{Smile}
Post by Megan
I'm glad your brother survived. Yay for those brave snake venom
researchers.
Thanks, I'm glad he did too, even if he's often frustrating to deal
with. Bipolar disorder complicated by (illegal) drug addiction makes
for a hard time for everyone (himself not the least).

Az
Megan
2014-11-14 05:23:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:30:19 -1000, Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
<snip - cane toads>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Certainly the cane toads we dissected as a part of our 1st year
Biology rotation Back In The Day were huge - their bodies filled more
than half of the dissecting block (a wax-filled tray) we were using -
and the block was a good 8 inches square. Finding room to splay the
legs as well as exposing the abdominal organs was tricky!
Do you know if using invasive cane toads for high school biology is
part of an organized effort to get rid of the invasive species? Or
just a coincidence because they are plentiful and, no doubt, quite
cheap for a high school to purchase?

I'm rather impressed you remember your youthful dissection
experiences. I remember that I did have labs involving dissections,
and I vaguely recall a hapless squid. But I think there were other
dissection labs and I have no recollection of what they involved.

Rather thankfully, in fact. Not an activity that inspired an interest
in biology in me, at the time. (More recent news of genetic analysis
is more interesting. And doesn't involve scalpels.)

<snip>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
I agree: the best plan is not to get bitten in the first place. It's
not always feasible, but if you can arrange it, it will work out well.
{Smile}
Post by Megan
I'm glad your brother survived. Yay for those brave snake venom
researchers.
Thanks, I'm glad he did too, even if he's often frustrating to deal
with. Bipolar disorder complicated by (illegal) drug addiction makes
for a hard time for everyone (himself not the least).
Even by the high standards in frustration that most brothers set,
that's an unusually frustrating brother. I'm sorry. My brother is
only of the ordinary level of frustration for sisters, and that was
more than enough. And he grew out of some of his worst
characteristics, eventually, a growth process which your brother's
disorder will make ... difficult. sigh.

We love them anyway. But brothers can be tough.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Aramanth Dawe
2014-11-14 07:19:27 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:23:51 -0800, Megan
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:30:19 -1000, Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
<snip - cane toads>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Certainly the cane toads we dissected as a part of our 1st year
Biology rotation Back In The Day were huge - their bodies filled more
than half of the dissecting block (a wax-filled tray) we were using -
and the block was a good 8 inches square. Finding room to splay the
legs as well as exposing the abdominal organs was tricky!
Do you know if using invasive cane toads for high school biology is
part of an organized effort to get rid of the invasive species? Or
just a coincidence because they are plentiful and, no doubt, quite
cheap for a high school to purchase?
I'm rather impressed you remember your youthful dissection
experiences. I remember that I did have labs involving dissections,
and I vaguely recall a hapless squid. But I think there were other
dissection labs and I have no recollection of what they involved.
Rather thankfully, in fact. Not an activity that inspired an interest
in biology in me, at the time. (More recent news of genetic analysis
is more interesting. And doesn't involve scalpels.)
First year University, so this would be 1982. We'd done some
dissections back in High School (rats, for instance) but the toad was
fascinating. Particularly as for some of them (including mine) the
heart was still leisurely beating as I opened it up. It wasn't until
afterwards I realised that this meant I'd *vivisected* the toad rather
than disected it! The beating heart stopped when the lab assistant
injected coloured latex into the heart chambers and 'pumped' it with
her manipulation tools to move the latex through the circulatory
system, making the blood vessels more easy to distinguish from the
background tissues.

I think the Cane Toad dissection was mostly because they were cheap to
obtain and also because no-one (including Ethics Committees) cared
about them! Tell people you want to cut up a kangaroo or wombat or
numbat and people scream bloody murder. Tell them you cut up a Cane
Toad and the general attitude is 'good riddance to bad rubbish'. But
they are still vertebrates and have a lot of parallels with mammalian
structure so they are good teaching tools.

Biology, particularly genetics, has always fascinated me. Even now,
some 30 years after graduation, I'm interested in the new discoveries.
I envy Ishtar who is currently studying it because there have been so
many, many developments since I was a student.
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
I agree: the best plan is not to get bitten in the first place. It's
not always feasible, but if you can arrange it, it will work out well.
{Smile}
Post by Megan
I'm glad your brother survived. Yay for those brave snake venom
researchers.
Thanks, I'm glad he did too, even if he's often frustrating to deal
with. Bipolar disorder complicated by (illegal) drug addiction makes
for a hard time for everyone (himself not the least).
Even by the high standards in frustration that most brothers set,
that's an unusually frustrating brother. I'm sorry. My brother is
only of the ordinary level of frustration for sisters, and that was
more than enough. And he grew out of some of his worst
characteristics, eventually, a growth process which your brother's
disorder will make ... difficult. sigh.
We love them anyway. But brothers can be tough.
Yeah. He refuses to take his prescribed medication designed to level
out his moods because it 'robs' him of the high (manic) mood that he
enjoys so much. Which in turn makes the down (depressive) mood much
worse. So he takes illegal drugs to push the high up as high as he
can manage it, then more illegals to lighten the downswing and round
and round it goes. He has gotten himself to the point that a complete
cycle (mania-depression-mania) goes through in around 24 to 36 hours,
with more than one cycle per week, week by week. It's going to kill
him eventually, we know this but there's nothing we can do to 'help'
until he is ready to deal with reality.

Fortunately, after our mother died we were able to get him into a
program that manages his disability pension. It's paid to a charity
who pay his rent, utilities, etc out of the pension then returns the
balance to him weekly to live on. This means he can't go on a binge
of illegals on Pension Day and not have enough for rent so at least he
has a roof over his head. He also never has enough cash on-hand for a
major blow-out. They will also provide food stamps (which of course
he can't swap for drugs) to make sure he's got staples in the cupboard
when he runs out of pension money, as he invariably does with so much
of it going up in smoke or into his veins. He doesn't seem to resent
his case manager taking care of things the way he did when my sister
tried to manage his money for him before we got him into this program.

He has been known to forget we understand about his living conditions
and call up me or my sister and ask for 'a couple of hundred dollars'
because 'the rent is due' or 'the power is going to be cut off' and he
doesn't have the cash for it. We usually just tell him 'Don't have it
to give, mate - sorry' because basically we know he's looking for
money for drugs.

I love my brother dearly, but he is his own worst enemy. I haven't
heard from him directly for a couple of years now which is sad but I
understand where he's at. He's angry at the world for not giving him
everything he thinks he deserves but isn't willing (or now, capable)
of working for.

Az
Megan
2014-11-16 05:28:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:23:51 -0800, Megan
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:30:19 -1000, Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
<snip - cane toads>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Megan
Do you know if using invasive cane toads for high school biology is
part of an organized effort to get rid of the invasive species? Or
just a coincidence because they are plentiful and, no doubt, quite
cheap for a high school to purchase?
I'm rather impressed you remember your youthful dissection
experiences. I remember that I did have labs involving dissections,
and I vaguely recall a hapless squid. But I think there were other
dissection labs and I have no recollection of what they involved.
Rather thankfully, in fact. Not an activity that inspired an interest
in biology in me, at the time. (More recent news of genetic analysis
is more interesting. And doesn't involve scalpels.)
First year University, so this would be 1982. We'd done some
dissections back in High School (rats, for instance) but the toad was
fascinating. Particularly as for some of them (including mine) the
heart was still leisurely beating as I opened it up. It wasn't until
afterwards I realised that this meant I'd *vivisected* the toad rather
than disected it! The beating heart stopped when the lab assistant
injected coloured latex into the heart chambers and 'pumped' it with
her manipulation tools to move the latex through the circulatory
system, making the blood vessels more easy to distinguish from the
background tissues.
Oh, my goodness! I think if I'd opened a frog and the heart had still
been beating, I'd have freaked out.

Still. Very invasive in Australia.

A pity, as amphibians world-wide are jumping on to endangered or
extinct lists with appalling speed in the last few years.
Post by Aramanth Dawe
I think the Cane Toad dissection was mostly because they were cheap to
obtain and also because no-one (including Ethics Committees) cared
about them! Tell people you want to cut up a kangaroo or wombat or
numbat and people scream bloody murder. Tell them you cut up a Cane
Toad and the general attitude is 'good riddance to bad rubbish'. But
they are still vertebrates and have a lot of parallels with mammalian
structure so they are good teaching tools.
Oh, excellent. Heck, according to the recent genetic analyses, we
share about half our genes with bananas. (A good gene for turning
food into energy gets shared with all of Earth's species.) A frog is
practically a sibling, relative to a banana.
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Biology, particularly genetics, has always fascinated me. Even now,
some 30 years after graduation, I'm interested in the new discoveries.
I envy Ishtar who is currently studying it because there have been so
many, many developments since I was a student.
There have been many, many developments just in the past few years! :)

<snip>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Thanks, I'm glad he did too, even if he's often frustrating to deal
with. Bipolar disorder complicated by (illegal) drug addiction makes
for a hard time for everyone (himself not the least).
Even by the high standards in frustration that most brothers set,
that's an unusually frustrating brother. I'm sorry. My brother is
only of the ordinary level of frustration for sisters, and that was
more than enough. And he grew out of some of his worst
characteristics, eventually, a growth process which your brother's
disorder will make ... difficult. sigh.
We love them anyway. But brothers can be tough.
Yeah. He refuses to take his prescribed medication designed to level
out his moods because it 'robs' him of the high (manic) mood that he
enjoys so much. Which in turn makes the down (depressive) mood much
worse. So he takes illegal drugs to push the high up as high as he
can manage it, then more illegals to lighten the downswing and round
and round it goes. He has gotten himself to the point that a complete
cycle (mania-depression-mania) goes through in around 24 to 36 hours,
with more than one cycle per week, week by week. It's going to kill
him eventually, we know this but there's nothing we can do to 'help'
until he is ready to deal with reality.
Illegal drugs are illegal for a reason, but the first neurons that
mental illness (or puberty) seems to fry are the ones that tell a
person that the rules that apply to others also apply to them.
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Fortunately, after our mother died we were able to get him into a
program that manages his disability pension. It's paid to a charity
who pay his rent, utilities, etc out of the pension then returns the
balance to him weekly to live on. This means he can't go on a binge
of illegals on Pension Day and not have enough for rent so at least he
has a roof over his head. He also never has enough cash on-hand for a
major blow-out. They will also provide food stamps (which of course
he can't swap for drugs) to make sure he's got staples in the cupboard
when he runs out of pension money, as he invariably does with so much
of it going up in smoke or into his veins. He doesn't seem to resent
his case manager taking care of things the way he did when my sister
tried to manage his money for him before we got him into this program.
Whoever came up with the idea for that charity, and created an
organization that makes it work, was *brilliant*. That's a fabulous
charity.

Yeah. Family are too easy to get emotional towards and resent. A
caseworker is a person doing a job, and can point that fact out to
your brother as needed.
Post by Aramanth Dawe
He has been known to forget we understand about his living conditions
and call up me or my sister and ask for 'a couple of hundred dollars'
because 'the rent is due' or 'the power is going to be cut off' and he
doesn't have the cash for it. We usually just tell him 'Don't have it
to give, mate - sorry' because basically we know he's looking for
money for drugs.
Even people without mental illness frequently forget facts they don't
like.
Post by Aramanth Dawe
I love my brother dearly, but he is his own worst enemy. I haven't
heard from him directly for a couple of years now which is sad but I
understand where he's at. He's angry at the world for not giving him
everything he thinks he deserves but isn't willing (or now, capable)
of working for.
The world gives absolutely no one what they deserve. I don't think
the world cares. The world gave us water, oxygen, and food sources.
What are we complaining about? If we don't like it, we can move to Venus.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-20 23:35:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:23:51 -0800, Megan
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:30:19 -1000, Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
<snip - cane toads>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Megan
Do you know if using invasive cane toads for high school biology is
part of an organized effort to get rid of the invasive species? Or
just a coincidence because they are plentiful and, no doubt, quite
cheap for a high school to purchase?
I'm rather impressed you remember your youthful dissection
experiences. I remember that I did have labs involving dissections,
and I vaguely recall a hapless squid. But I think there were other
dissection labs and I have no recollection of what they involved.
Rather thankfully, in fact. Not an activity that inspired an interest
in biology in me, at the time. (More recent news of genetic analysis
is more interesting. And doesn't involve scalpels.)
First year University, so this would be 1982. We'd done some
dissections back in High School (rats, for instance) but the toad was
fascinating. Particularly as for some of them (including mine) the
heart was still leisurely beating as I opened it up. It wasn't until
afterwards I realised that this meant I'd *vivisected* the toad rather
than disected it! The beating heart stopped when the lab assistant
injected coloured latex into the heart chambers and 'pumped' it with
her manipulation tools to move the latex through the circulatory
system, making the blood vessels more easy to distinguish from the
background tissues.
Oh, my goodness! I think if I'd opened a frog and the heart had still
been beating, I'd have freaked out.
I certainly was very upset when that happened in my high school
biology class. {small smile}
Post by Megan
Still. Very invasive in Australia.
A pity, as amphibians world-wide are jumping on to endangered or extinct
lists with appalling speed in the last few years.
I know... but somehow amphibian predators and diseases are easier to
come by when you don't want them than when you do. {small smile}
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
I think the Cane Toad dissection was mostly because they were cheap to
obtain and also because no-one (including Ethics Committees) cared
about them! Tell people you want to cut up a kangaroo or wombat or
numbat and people scream bloody murder. Tell them you cut up a Cane
Toad and the general attitude is 'good riddance to bad rubbish'. But
they are still vertebrates and have a lot of parallels with mammalian
structure so they are good teaching tools.
Oh, excellent. Heck, according to the recent genetic analyses, we share
about half our genes with bananas. (A good gene for turning food into
energy gets shared with all of Earth's species.) A frog is practically
a sibling, relative to a banana.
It's certainly closer. Even better, a lot of frogs aren't poisonous.
Some are, but many aren't Unfortunately, toads are, and dangerously so.
{lop-sided smile}
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Biology, particularly genetics, has always fascinated me. Even now,
some 30 years after graduation, I'm interested in the new discoveries.
I envy Ishtar who is currently studying it because there have been so
many, many developments since I was a student.
There have been many, many developments just in the past few years! :)
<snip>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Thanks, I'm glad he did too, even if he's often frustrating to deal
with. Bipolar disorder complicated by (illegal) drug addiction makes
for a hard time for everyone (himself not the least).
Even by the high standards in frustration that most brothers set,
that's an unusually frustrating brother. I'm sorry. My brother is
only of the ordinary level of frustration for sisters, and that was
more than enough. And he grew out of some of his worst
characteristics, eventually, a growth process which your brother's
disorder will make ... difficult. sigh.
We love them anyway. But brothers can be tough.
Yeah. He refuses to take his prescribed medication designed to level
out his moods because it 'robs' him of the high (manic) mood that he
enjoys so much. Which in turn makes the down (depressive) mood much
worse. So he takes illegal drugs to push the high up as high as he
can manage it, then more illegals to lighten the downswing and round
and round it goes. He has gotten himself to the point that a complete
cycle (mania-depression-mania) goes through in around 24 to 36 hours,
with more than one cycle per week, week by week. It's going to kill
him eventually, we know this but there's nothing we can do to 'help'
until he is ready to deal with reality.
Illegal drugs are illegal for a reason, but the first neurons that
mental illness (or puberty) seems to fry are the ones that tell a person
that the rules that apply to others also apply to them.
Those aren't fully developed until after puberty, anyway. Which
doesn't seem to help much. {wry smile}
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Fortunately, after our mother died we were able to get him into a
program that manages his disability pension. It's paid to a charity
who pay his rent, utilities, etc out of the pension then returns the
balance to him weekly to live on. This means he can't go on a binge
of illegals on Pension Day and not have enough for rent so at least he
has a roof over his head. He also never has enough cash on-hand for a
major blow-out. They will also provide food stamps (which of course
he can't swap for drugs) to make sure he's got staples in the cupboard
when he runs out of pension money, as he invariably does with so much
of it going up in smoke or into his veins. He doesn't seem to resent
his case manager taking care of things the way he did when my sister
tried to manage his money for him before we got him into this program.
Whoever came up with the idea for that charity, and created an
organization that makes it work, was *brilliant*. That's a fabulous
charity.
Yes, that sounds like a wonderful charity, doesn't it? {Smile}
Post by Megan
Yeah. Family are too easy to get emotional towards and resent. A
caseworker is a person doing a job, and can point that fact out to your
brother as needed.
Post by Aramanth Dawe
He has been known to forget we understand about his living conditions
and call up me or my sister and ask for 'a couple of hundred dollars'
because 'the rent is due' or 'the power is going to be cut off' and he
doesn't have the cash for it. We usually just tell him 'Don't have it
to give, mate - sorry' because basically we know he's looking for
money for drugs.
Even people without mental illness frequently forget facts they don't like.
Post by Aramanth Dawe
I love my brother dearly, but he is his own worst enemy. I haven't
heard from him directly for a couple of years now which is sad but I
understand where he's at. He's angry at the world for not giving him
everything he thinks he deserves but isn't willing (or now, capable)
of working for.
The world gives absolutely no one what they deserve. I don't think the
world cares. The world gave us water, oxygen, and food sources. What
are we complaining about? If we don't like it, we can move to Venus.
{Chuckle} Moving to Venus would be trickier to do than to say.
{Amused Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-19 06:54:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:23:51 -0800, Megan
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:30:19 -1000, Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
<snip - cane toads>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Certainly the cane toads we dissected as a part of our 1st year
Biology rotation Back In The Day were huge - their bodies filled more
than half of the dissecting block (a wax-filled tray) we were using -
and the block was a good 8 inches square. Finding room to splay the
legs as well as exposing the abdominal organs was tricky!
Do you know if using invasive cane toads for high school biology is
part of an organized effort to get rid of the invasive species? Or
just a coincidence because they are plentiful and, no doubt, quite
cheap for a high school to purchase?
I'm rather impressed you remember your youthful dissection
experiences. I remember that I did have labs involving dissections,
and I vaguely recall a hapless squid. But I think there were other
dissection labs and I have no recollection of what they involved.
Rather thankfully, in fact. Not an activity that inspired an interest
in biology in me, at the time. (More recent news of genetic analysis
is more interesting. And doesn't involve scalpels.)
First year University, so this would be 1982. We'd done some
dissections back in High School (rats, for instance)
Oh good. at least it wasn't high school like my bullfrog. I know
they're similar in some ways, but toads are poisonous enough, I'd
hesitate to give it to high school students. I'd have trouble trusting
them to take proper precautions to avoid getting poisoned. Of course,
I'd hesitate to give it to early university for the same reason, but I
do think of them as at least somewhat more responsible. So I understand
folks being willing to take that risk. {smile}
Post by Aramanth Dawe
but the toad was
fascinating. Particularly as for some of them (including mine) the
heart was still leisurely beating as I opened it up. It wasn't until
afterwards I realised that this meant I'd *vivisected* the toad rather
than disected it! The beating heart stopped when the lab assistant
injected coloured latex into the heart chambers and 'pumped' it with
her manipulation tools to move the latex through the circulatory
system, making the blood vessels more easy to distinguish from the
background tissues.
We didn't get anything like that with the bullfrogs. Well, I got a
heart that never quite stopped beating, but nothing like the latex to
help us see things better. {Smile}
Post by Aramanth Dawe
I think the Cane Toad dissection was mostly because they were cheap to
obtain and also because no-one (including Ethics Committees) cared
about them! Tell people you want to cut up a kangaroo or wombat or
numbat and people scream bloody murder. Tell them you cut up a Cane
Toad and the general attitude is 'good riddance to bad rubbish'. But
they are still vertebrates and have a lot of parallels with mammalian
structure so they are good teaching tools.
Good points all. I'm just worried about the four cardiac poisons
that you don't want to accidentally get a dose of. {lop-sided smile}
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Biology, particularly genetics, has always fascinated me. Even now,
some 30 years after graduation, I'm interested in the new discoveries.
I envy Ishtar who is currently studying it because there have been so
many, many developments since I was a student.
Now genetics I'll agree with. I picked up some of that from Dad,
since he taught it until they hired someone to take over that for him.
{Smile}
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
I agree: the best plan is not to get bitten in the first place. It's
not always feasible, but if you can arrange it, it will work out well.
{Smile}
Post by Megan
I'm glad your brother survived. Yay for those brave snake venom
researchers.
Thanks, I'm glad he did too, even if he's often frustrating to deal
with. Bipolar disorder complicated by (illegal) drug addiction makes
for a hard time for everyone (himself not the least).
Even by the high standards in frustration that most brothers set,
that's an unusually frustrating brother. I'm sorry. My brother is
only of the ordinary level of frustration for sisters, and that was
more than enough. And he grew out of some of his worst
characteristics, eventually, a growth process which your brother's
disorder will make ... difficult. sigh.
We love them anyway. But brothers can be tough.
Yeah. He refuses to take his prescribed medication designed to level
out his moods because it 'robs' him of the high (manic) mood that he
enjoys so much. Which in turn makes the down (depressive) mood much
worse. So he takes illegal drugs to push the high up as high as he
can manage it, then more illegals to lighten the downswing and round
and round it goes. He has gotten himself to the point that a complete
cycle (mania-depression-mania) goes through in around 24 to 36 hours,
with more than one cycle per week, week by week. It's going to kill
him eventually, we know this but there's nothing we can do to 'help'
until he is ready to deal with reality.
I hope he comes to his senses before he does kill himself. Standing
by while he tries to must be terribly hard. {sympathetic look}
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Fortunately, after our mother died we were able to get him into a
program that manages his disability pension. It's paid to a charity
who pay his rent, utilities, etc out of the pension then returns the
balance to him weekly to live on. This means he can't go on a binge
of illegals on Pension Day and not have enough for rent so at least he
has a roof over his head. He also never has enough cash on-hand for a
major blow-out. They will also provide food stamps (which of course
he can't swap for drugs) to make sure he's got staples in the cupboard
when he runs out of pension money, as he invariably does with so much
of it going up in smoke or into his veins.
I'm glad you found a program to take care of him like that. It
sounds ever so helpful, taking what would be the worst of the load for
close family members. {smile}
Post by Aramanth Dawe
He doesn't seem to resent
his case manager taking care of things the way he did when my sister
tried to manage his money for him before we got him into this program.
That's another blessing, I'm sure. {Smile}
Post by Aramanth Dawe
He has been known to forget we understand about his living conditions
and call up me or my sister and ask for 'a couple of hundred dollars'
because 'the rent is due' or 'the power is going to be cut off' and he
doesn't have the cash for it. We usually just tell him 'Don't have it
to give, mate - sorry' because basically we know he's looking for
money for drugs.
That sounds like the best approach for everyone. I'm glad it's
working this well. {smile}
Post by Aramanth Dawe
I love my brother dearly, but he is his own worst enemy. I haven't
heard from him directly for a couple of years now which is sad but I
understand where he's at. He's angry at the world for not giving him
everything he thinks he deserves but isn't willing (or now, capable)
of working for.
That must be frustrating, as well. But you've found help that sounds
particularly well-suited to his needs. I am glad for that. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-18 21:17:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:30:19 -1000, Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
<snip - cane toads>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Certainly the cane toads we dissected as a part of our 1st year
Biology rotation Back In The Day were huge - their bodies filled more
than half of the dissecting block (a wax-filled tray) we were using -
and the block was a good 8 inches square. Finding room to splay the
legs as well as exposing the abdominal organs was tricky!
Do you know if using invasive cane toads for high school biology is part
of an organized effort to get rid of the invasive species? Or just a
coincidence because they are plentiful and, no doubt, quite cheap for a
high school to purchase?
I'm rather impressed you remember your youthful dissection experiences.
I remember that I did have labs involving dissections, and I vaguely
recall a hapless squid. But I think there were other dissection labs
and I have no recollection of what they involved.
Rather thankfully, in fact. Not an activity that inspired an interest
in biology in me, at the time. (More recent news of genetic analysis is
more interesting. And doesn't involve scalpels.)
I sort of agree. I don't mind dissecting flowers - a familiar
activity, since Dad taught Plant Identification for years - but
animals... I dissected one bullfrog, and decided that if I had to do any
more of that for zoology, I wouldn't study zoology. I guess this
eventually helped me choose anthropology as a major. We had to study
skulls and skeletons both animal and human, and even study a few
anatomical charts, but that really isn't the same as dissecting
something. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
I agree: the best plan is not to get bitten in the first place. It's
not always feasible, but if you can arrange it, it will work out well.
{Smile}
Post by Megan
I'm glad your brother survived. Yay for those brave snake venom
researchers.
Thanks, I'm glad he did too, even if he's often frustrating to deal
with. Bipolar disorder complicated by (illegal) drug addiction makes
for a hard time for everyone (himself not the least).
Even by the high standards in frustration that most brothers set, that's
an unusually frustrating brother. I'm sorry. My brother is only of the
ordinary level of frustration for sisters, and that was more than
enough. And he grew out of some of his worst characteristics,
eventually, a growth process which your brother's disorder will make ...
difficult. sigh.
We love them anyway. But brothers can be tough.
Megan
2014-11-21 05:51:06 UTC
Permalink
<snip - cane toads>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
recall a hapless squid. But I think there were other dissection labs
and I have no recollection of what they involved.
Rather thankfully, in fact. Not an activity that inspired an interest
in biology in me, at the time. (More recent news of genetic
analysis is more interesting. And doesn't involve scalpels.)
I sort of agree. I don't mind dissecting flowers - a familiar
activity, since Dad taught Plant Identification for years - but
animals... I dissected one bullfrog, and decided that if I had to do
any more of that for zoology, I wouldn't study zoology. I guess this
eventually helped me choose anthropology as a major. We had to study
skulls and skeletons both animal and human, and even study a few
anatomical charts, but that really isn't the same as dissecting
something. {Smile}
Huh. I don't think I ever dissected plant bits for a biology lab.

If I did, I guess it wasn't a memorable experience.

I don't remember skulls and skeletons from high school biology (though
I suspect they were there). But I had a chance to examine a
shelf-full of exact replicas of human relatives at a natural history
museum fairly recently. Replica of a Neanderthal skull,
austrolopithicus (I suspect I misspelled that), a "Lucy" skull, a
"hobbit" skull (not Tolkien hobbits, but the mini human-related
species whose remains were found on an island in the bottom of a cave)
etc, etc. Sample modern human replica skull, too.

That didn't bother me. I'm not sure if it was the entirely hard
surfaces (no ominous squishy or smelly bits), or the fact that most of
the skulls were from very long-dead species. Some of the skulls were
so small! All the different skull and jaw shapes, close to ours but
definitely not the same... fascinating.

If any of you get a chance to visit the bones-for-visitors collection
in a local natural history museum sometime, you might want to try it.
I couldn't tell the replicas weren't real skulls; I thought they
were real until the perky young staffperson told me otherwise, and
invited me to pick them up and examine them closely. Educational
replicas are looking very convincing these days!
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Joe Morris
2014-11-22 00:18:28 UTC
Permalink
I don't remember skulls and skeletons from high school biology (though I
suspect they were there). But I had a chance to examine a shelf-full of
exact replicas of human relatives at a natural history museum fairly
recently. Replica of a Neanderthal skull, austrolopithicus (I suspect I
misspelled that), a "Lucy" skull, a "hobbit" skull (not Tolkien hobbits,
but the mini human-related species whose remains were found on an island
in the bottom of a cave) etc, etc. Sample modern human replica skull,
too.
That didn't bother me. I'm not sure if it was the entirely hard surfaces
(no ominous squishy or smelly bits), or the fact that most of the skulls
were from very long-dead species. Some of the skulls were so small! All
the different skull and jaw shapes, close to ours but definitely not the
same... fascinating.
If any of you get a chance to visit the bones-for-visitors collection in a
local natural history museum sometime, you might want to try it. I
couldn't tell the replicas weren't real skulls; I thought they were real
until the perky young staffperson told me otherwise, and invited me to
pick them up and examine them closely. Educational replicas are looking
very convincing these days!
Some replicas can be visually indistinguishable (at least to me) from the
original. Several years ago I bought a replica skull of a _smilodon_ (a
species of saber-tooth cat) from a startup company that produced
"museum-quality" replicas. (Their prices when they started were much lower
than they are today; see www.skullduggery.com). It's stained to give it the
appearance of something that's just been taken out of the dig recently,
aside from a tiny patch where the stain didn't take (and which I fixed with
a Sharpie). I suspect that it could be mounted at the La Brea museum with
the other skulls and most visitors would never realize that it wasn't real.

A significant advantage of using replicas in a museum is protection of the
actual artifact...and some artifacts are incredibly vulnerable to damage.
The Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History has a number of (real) skeletal
fragments on display (all, of course, behind protective glass) but some of
the material is displayed with very low intensity illumination, and with
prominent signs prohibiting the use of flash photography: brighter
illumination (or the accumulated energy from flashguns) have the potential
to cause irreprable damage. The same display technique and prohibition
against flashguns is used to protect the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the
American History Museum.

Joe
Megan
2014-11-22 05:11:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Morris
I don't remember skulls and skeletons from high school biology (though I
suspect they were there). But I had a chance to examine a shelf-full of
exact replicas of human relatives at a natural history museum fairly
recently. Replica of a Neanderthal skull, austrolopithicus (I suspect I
misspelled that), a "Lucy" skull, a "hobbit" skull (not Tolkien hobbits,
but the mini human-related species whose remains were found on an island
in the bottom of a cave) etc, etc. Sample modern human replica skull,
too.
That didn't bother me. I'm not sure if it was the entirely hard surfaces
(no ominous squishy or smelly bits), or the fact that most of the skulls
were from very long-dead species. Some of the skulls were so small! All
the different skull and jaw shapes, close to ours but definitely not the
same... fascinating.
If any of you get a chance to visit the bones-for-visitors collection in a
local natural history museum sometime, you might want to try it. I
couldn't tell the replicas weren't real skulls; I thought they were real
until the perky young staffperson told me otherwise, and invited me to
pick them up and examine them closely. Educational replicas are looking
very convincing these days!
Some replicas can be visually indistinguishable (at least to me) from the
original. Several years ago I bought a replica skull of a _smilodon_ (a
species of saber-tooth cat) from a startup company that produced
"museum-quality" replicas. (Their prices when they started were much lower
than they are today; see www.skullduggery.com). It's stained to give it the
appearance of something that's just been taken out of the dig recently,
aside from a tiny patch where the stain didn't take (and which I fixed with
a Sharpie). I suspect that it could be mounted at the La Brea museum with
the other skulls and most visitors would never realize that it wasn't real.
Ooooo... ooooo... I am now suppressing evil impulses to buy a T-Rex
replica skull as an Xmas gift for someone who really would *not* want
such a coffee table decoration. (But *such* a dramatic statement in
the living room, don't you agree?)

My goodness. If they look as good in real life as the photos on the
web site look, they would certainly fool me. (Then again, I probably
wouldn't be hard to fool. Unless it comes from the inside of a BBQ
chicken wing, I don't have much experience with bones.)
Post by Joe Morris
A significant advantage of using replicas in a museum is protection of the
actual artifact...and some artifacts are incredibly vulnerable to damage.
The Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History has a number of (real) skeletal
fragments on display (all, of course, behind protective glass) but some of
the material is displayed with very low intensity illumination, and with
prominent signs prohibiting the use of flash photography: brighter
illumination (or the accumulated energy from flashguns) have the potential
to cause irreprable damage. The same display technique and prohibition
against flashguns is used to protect the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the
American History Museum.
Oh, I shouldn't have touched those skulls if you paid me, even if the
door had been open, if I'd thought they were real. All the acids and
oils on my skin - me oh my no. I was slightly horrified when the
perky young attendant opened the glass doors, until he said they were
replicas. (I'd been listening, the day before, to a radio news show
about ... not Lucy, but one of the more recent human relative skeletal
finds, and I popped out some of the right nouns while breathing on the
glass. He probably heard me. He was pretty happy to find a museum
visitor interested in the skulls.)
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-18 05:16:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:30:19 -1000, Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Australia, very famously, is one of those locations where snakes,
spiders, occasionally frogs, and most definitely anything reptile-like
lurking in a river should be avoided. Carefully.
Yes, I've noticed Australia has a reputation for dangerous and
problematic cold blooded critters. Even their toads sound far nastier
than ours. {pause} That really doesn't make sense, since Hawai'i has the
same species as Australia, but that's the reputation. Some Somehow our
cane toads rarely get bigger than a teacup, while theirs cane toads are
supposed to get as large as saucers on a regular basis. {smile}
Cane toads do get huge here. Part of the problem is that there are NO
natural predators to them and any of the local wildlife that tries to
eat them gets seriously ill or dies because of the poison sacs on
their backs. So they get to grow to maximum size without predation.
If Hawai'i has natural predators for the toads that could explain why
yours rarely get to any sort of size.
Dad remembers when they introduced cane toads to control centipedes,
so they haven't been here long enough to develop natural predators.
Everything that tries to eat them here gets killed or badly sickened by
the heart poisons in them, too. Including one health nut who went to the
emergency room with cardiac symptoms after eating the eggs as a "health
food." Th emergency room called Dad because he knows poisonous plants.
Toads aren't plants, but he happened to discover that they have four
poisons that affect the heart undesirably. {lop-sided smile}
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Certainly the cane toads we dissected as a part of our 1st year
Biology rotation Back In The Day were huge - their bodies filled more
than half of the dissecting block (a wax-filled tray) we were using -
and the block was a good 8 inches square. Finding room to splay the
legs as well as exposing the abdominal organs was tricky!
I'm surprised they had you dissect such poisonous animals. In high
school biology, they insisted on using non-poisonous bullfrogs, even tho
those were a lot harder to come by than toads. {Smile}
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
My brother got bitten once while bushwalking - he had correct gear
(heavy pants, heavy socks, heavy boots) but was walking through long
grass and the snake reared up and bit him just above the boot top. He
was able to get to a phone (pre-cellphone days!) and got taken to
hospital pretty quickly where they treated him with a broad-spectrum
anti-venom since they couldn't determine which snake (of the 3 main
venemous species in the area) had bitten him. However judging from
the width and depth of the puncture marks the snake itself was well
over 6 feet long so a pretty mature individual. He was pretty sick
for a while and spent several days in hospital but recovered
completely.
Barring allergic reactions, I believe that most adults bitten by snakes
do survive, even untreated... but who wants to take a chance about it?
80% chance of surviving is still... not as nice as not being bitten at
all. (Yep, I read the whole article about the snake-hunting
researcher.) Sounds like survival can be very unpleasant, even with the
help of anti-venom.
I agree: the best plan is not to get bitten in the first place. It's
not always feasible, but if you can arrange it, it will work out well.
{Smile}
Post by Megan
I'm glad your brother survived. Yay for those brave snake venom
researchers.
Thanks, I'm glad he did too, even if he's often frustrating to deal
with. Bipolar disorder complicated by (illegal) drug addiction makes
for a hard time for everyone (himself not the least).
I'm sure those do make dealing with him frustrating. I hope he
doesn't try your patience too far. {Sympathetic Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-02 09:51:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:14:47 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Sun, 12 Oct 2014 19:27:58 -0700, Megan
<snip>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
At the moment I'm reading National Geographic magazines. Which do have
action stories in them. (I'm still boggled by the guy who seeks out
poisonous snakes to squeeze venom from them. So many ways for that
activity to go wrong...)
True. Unfortunately, venom tends to be an essential ingredient in
anti-venom, so someone has to do it. {Smile}
Is it? I rather assumed modern anti-venom was manufactured out of
pure complicated chemistry lab shenanigans.
In Australia, at least, antivenom is produced the 'old fashioned way'
using horses (and rabbits for some spider products) injected with a
small amount of venom. They then produce antibodies in the blood,
some of which is collected and the plasma (containing the antibodies)
is separated out. See here for more information if you're interested.
Post by Megan
http://www.reptilepark.com.au/about-us/research-venom/venom-production/how-is-antivenom-produced/
Teeeeechnically, still a chem lab. Just a complicated chem lab. That
walks around on hooves.
That is the old fashioned way. (In use for manufacturing some
medicines in the 1920s, according to a book I read recently.) Tough
for the horses, and I hope they get a comfy pasture.
Mammals can manufacture antibodies for snake venom? I thought our
immune systems mainly did that for viruses and bacteria. Not venom.
Well, that shows what I know about snakes. (In California, what you
mainly need to know is: "if you hear a rattle, skedaddle." Most
snakes here are harmless, or beneficial.)
In most of Australia it's 'if you see a snake - back away SLOWLY'.
Here it's best to assume the snake is dangerous if not deadly, since
Australia has a LOT of venemous snakes - although fatalities are
pretty rare since the introduction of anti-venom.
I'm glad the anti-venom is doing it's job. {Smile}
Post by Aramanth Dawe
My brother got bitten once while bushwalking - he had correct gear
(heavy pants, heavy socks, heavy boots) but was walking through long
grass and the snake reared up and bit him just above the boot top. He
was able to get to a phone (pre-cellphone days!) and got taken to
hospital pretty quickly where they treated him with a broad-spectrum
anti-venom since they couldn't determine which snake (of the 3 main
venemous species in the area) had bitten him. However judging from
the width and depth of the puncture marks the snake itself was well
over 6 feet long so a pretty mature individual. He was pretty sick
for a while and spent several days in hospital but recovered
completely.
{sigh of relief} I'm glad he had no lasting problems from that
experience. {Smile}

In Hawai'i, we say we don't have snakes. That's technically not
precisely true. We do have sea snakes. They're rare, and rarely bother
humans, but they are venomous. Also, two or three decades ago, someone
at one of the universities discovered that a "worm" someone had found
had a backbone and other features that meant it was technically a snake.
I don't think it had the right sort of mouth to bite humans, so it
wasn't a danger, but it was a snake. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-02 09:44:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Sun, 12 Oct 2014 19:27:58 -0700, Megan
<snip>
Post by Aramanth Dawe
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
At the moment I'm reading National Geographic magazines. Which do have
action stories in them. (I'm still boggled by the guy who seeks out
poisonous snakes to squeeze venom from them. So many ways for that
activity to go wrong...)
True. Unfortunately, venom tends to be an essential ingredient in
anti-venom, so someone has to do it. {Smile}
Is it? I rather assumed modern anti-venom was manufactured out of
pure complicated chemistry lab shenanigans.
In Australia, at least, antivenom is produced the 'old fashioned way'
using horses (and rabbits for some spider products) injected with a
small amount of venom. They then produce antibodies in the blood,
some of which is collected and the plasma (containing the antibodies)
is separated out. See here for more information if you're interested.
Post by Megan
http://www.reptilepark.com.au/about-us/research-venom/venom-production/how-is-antivenom-produced/
Teeeeechnically, still a chem lab. Just a complicated chem lab. That
walks around on hooves.
That is the old fashioned way. (In use for manufacturing some medicines
in the 1920s, according to a book I read recently.) Tough for the
horses, and I hope they get a comfy pasture.
Yeah, I hope so. I don't remember if what I saw on TV involved
injecting live animals like that, but I do remember them demonstrating
how to milk a snake for venom, and saying that was one of the steps in
making anti-venom. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Mammals can manufacture antibodies for snake venom? I thought our
immune systems mainly did that for viruses and bacteria. Not venom.
I guess there are exceptions. I suspect we aren't more aware of it
because the snakes try to inject enough to overwhelm any natural
immunity their victims might have. {small smile}
Post by Megan
Well, that shows what I know about snakes. (In California, what you
mainly need to know is: "if you hear a rattle, skedaddle." Most snakes
here are harmless, or beneficial.)
Dad's first lesson about snakes when he went to California for
college was about stepping over logs. Don't. Step up onto the log, look
down, and then step down if it's clear. We don't have to worry about
that in Hawai'i, but in California, that's an important way to avoid
rattlers in the woods. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-11-09 05:34:37 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Well, that shows what I know about snakes. (In California, what you
mainly need to know is: "if you hear a rattle, skedaddle." Most snakes
here are harmless, or beneficial.)
Dad's first lesson about snakes when he went to California for
college was about stepping over logs. Don't. Step up onto the log,
look down, and then step down if it's clear. We don't have to worry
about that in Hawai'i, but in California, that's an important way to
avoid rattlers in the woods. {Smile}
Huh. Was I ever told about that one? I don't think so.

Been a long, long time since I went on an organized hike in the woods.
Or a proper hike, period. The most recent hikes I remember going on
involved fairly clear dirt trails, without logs across them, so just
keeping an eye out was sufficient.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-17 01:38:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Well, that shows what I know about snakes. (In California, what you
mainly need to know is: "if you hear a rattle, skedaddle." Most snakes
here are harmless, or beneficial.)
Dad's first lesson about snakes when he went to California for
college was about stepping over logs. Don't. Step up onto the log,
look down, and then step down if it's clear. We don't have to worry
about that in Hawai'i, but in California, that's an important way to
avoid rattlers in the woods. {Smile}
Huh. Was I ever told about that one? I don't think so.
Well, you never mentioned working up in the woods to work your way
thru college. Dad worked for the Blister Rust Patrol back in the days
when they were trying to remove the gooseberry bushes that were the
alternate host for the blister rust that attacked the loblolly pine. Dad
did for two and a bit summers, before they were reassigned to
firefighting because of a Very Bad fire season in his last year with
them. Working out in the woods all summer made knowing how to avoid
getting bit by rattlers a higher priority for him than for most. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Been a long, long time since I went on an organized hike in the woods.
Or a proper hike, period. The most recent hikes I remember going on
involved fairly clear dirt trails, without logs across them, so just
keeping an eye out was sufficient.
If Dad had just been hiking occasionally, he might not have learned
that. Since he was out there every day except Sunday (and even on Sunday
if a fire needed to be fought), he had incentive to learn all the
tricks. {Smile, wink}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-11-17 05:48:21 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Dad's first lesson about snakes when he went to California for
college was about stepping over logs. Don't. Step up onto the log,
look down, and then step down if it's clear. We don't have to worry
about that in Hawai'i, but in California, that's an important way to
avoid rattlers in the woods. {Smile}
Huh. Was I ever told about that one? I don't think so.
Well, you never mentioned working up in the woods to work your way
thru college. Dad worked for the Blister Rust Patrol back in the days
when they were trying to remove the gooseberry bushes that were the
alternate host for the blister rust that attacked the loblolly pine.
Dad did for two and a bit summers, before they were reassigned to
firefighting because of a Very Bad fire season in his last year with
them. Working out in the woods all summer made knowing how to avoid
getting bit by rattlers a higher priority for him than for most. {Smile}
No, my ever so glamorous summer jobs in college involved cleaning
toilets and scrubbing walls, and so forth. Jobs like that are good
motivation to finish college.

Summertime firefighters aren't usually trained about tricks to avoid
snakes. And forest firefighters wear monsterously sturdy boots and
carry shovels.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
John Oliver
2014-11-17 06:02:56 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 16 Nov 2014 21:48:21 -0800, Megan
Post by Megan
No, my ever so glamorous summer jobs in college involved cleaning
toilets and scrubbing walls, and so forth. Jobs like that are good
motivation to finish college.
And mine were cutting grass in a cemetary!
--
John Oliver
***@westnet.com.au
Megan
2014-11-17 17:30:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Oliver
On Sun, 16 Nov 2014 21:48:21 -0800, Megan
Post by Megan
No, my ever so glamorous summer jobs in college involved cleaning
toilets and scrubbing walls, and so forth. Jobs like that are good
motivation to finish college.
And mine were cutting grass in a cemetary!
How bad that job was would depend on how many trees there were in the
cemetery. Treeless in August could get unpleasant.

On the other hand... toilets. Toilets are hard to beat for unpleasant.

Actually, I was on the cleaning team that came into apartments in
between residents, so the toilets weren't bad. On the other hand, the
bedroom that had had bunk beds and kids with crayons in it ... that
was hideous. *Days* of my life spent scrubbing crayon off of YARDS of
wall, floor to ceiling, because new paint would not stick to crayon.

Motivation for higher education, definitely.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-29 07:13:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Aramanth Dawe
On Sun, 12 Oct 2014 19:27:58 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I do, in fact, like action novels now and then.
So do I. They do have their points. {Smile}
Post by Megan
At the moment I'm reading National Geographic magazines. Which do have
action stories in them. (I'm still boggled by the guy who seeks out
poisonous snakes to squeeze venom from them. So many ways for that
activity to go wrong...)
True. Unfortunately, venom tends to be an essential ingredient in
anti-venom, so someone has to do it. {Smile}
Is it? I rather assumed modern anti-venom was manufactured out of
pure complicated chemistry lab shenanigans.
In Australia, at least, antivenom is produced the 'old fashioned way'
using horses (and rabbits for some spider products) injected with a
small amount of venom. They then produce antibodies in the blood,
some of which is collected and the plasma (containing the antibodies)
is separated out. See here for more information if you're interested.
http://www.reptilepark.com.au/about-us/research-venom/venom-production/how-is-antivenom-produced/
That's a neat article. {SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-29 06:59:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I do, in fact, like action novels now and then.
So do I. They do have their points. {Smile}
Post by Megan
At the moment I'm reading National Geographic magazines. Which do have
action stories in them. (I'm still boggled by the guy who seeks out
poisonous snakes to squeeze venom from them. So many ways for that
activity to go wrong...)
True. Unfortunately, venom tends to be an essential ingredient in
anti-venom, so someone has to do it. {Smile}
Is it? I rather assumed modern anti-venom was manufactured out of pure
complicated chemistry lab shenanigans.
{raise eyebrows} When I see it on TV, milking the snake still seems
to be a Very Important Step in making anti-venom. Which suggests that
the snake is the most complicated piece of laboratory equipment
involved. {Smile}
Post by Megan
I believe the guy in question takes the venom back to the lab and breaks
it down in a chem lab, trying to identify all the parts and pieces. The
idea is that the venom has been optimized over the eons to cause really
fast reactions in muscles, organs, whatever. So maybe the compounds
could be useful in treating muscle or organ diseases.
That's possible. I think most snake venom has neuro-toxins. At the
right dose, those might treat sick nerves, instead of poisoning them.
{Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-12 07:53:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Oliver
On Sat, 04 Oct 2014 19:59:02 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
<snip - John Ringo>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Firesong
Post by Megan
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.
I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>
{Chuckle} He's a bit much at times? {SMILE}
<snip>
Be nice... not all Americans are like that. There are pockets where
the attitude is common, and others... not so much.
I just finished all 3 books in the series (on Kindle). Well worth
reading if you like action novels. Also an imaginative attempt to
restart civilization after a Fall. I'm not sure I think it possible in
what he has invented but that's part of the fun.
Characters pulling themselves up by their bootstraps aren't nearly
as entertaining if they aren't up against nearly impossible odds, after
all. {Smile, wink}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Firesong
2014-10-06 08:28:41 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 04 Oct 2014 19:59:02 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
<snip - John Ringo>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Firesong
Post by Megan
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.
I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>
{Chuckle} He's a bit much at times? {SMILE}
<snip>
Be nice... not all Americans are like that. There are pockets where
the attitude is common, and others... not so much.
I have to tell you that from the outside it certainly appears that the
attitude is common and that there are pockets where it's not so much.

Did you see the first 10 minutes of the first episode of "The
Newsroom", wherein a panel on a political show is asked "In three
words, why is America the greatest country in the world", and two of
them come out with Jingositic slogans, and then Jeff Daniels lists
about twenty reasons why it isn't and the only lists it tops are bad
ones, and is then nearly forced out of his job due to his 'meltdown'?

Or the bits on Boston Legal where Alan lists the failings and
statistics to make a point.

Or Team America: World Police.

That's what the rest of the world tends to see. And I'm aware that two
out of three of those are comedies, and/or parodies, but you can't
parody a meme that isn't there.

Firesong
Megan
2014-10-08 19:04:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Oliver
On Sat, 04 Oct 2014 19:59:02 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
<snip - John Ringo>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Firesong
Post by Megan
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.
I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>
{Chuckle} He's a bit much at times? {SMILE}
<snip>
Be nice... not all Americans are like that. There are pockets where
the attitude is common, and others... not so much.
I have to tell you that from the outside it certainly appears that the
attitude is common and that there are pockets where it's not so much.
Did you see the first 10 minutes of the first episode of "The
Newsroom", wherein a panel on a political show is asked "In three
words, why is America the greatest country in the world", and two of
them come out with Jingositic slogans, and then Jeff Daniels lists
about twenty reasons why it isn't and the only lists it tops are bad
ones, and is then nearly forced out of his job due to his 'meltdown'?
Or the bits on Boston Legal where Alan lists the failings and
statistics to make a point.
Or Team America: World Police.
That's what the rest of the world tends to see. And I'm aware that two
out of three of those are comedies, and/or parodies, but you can't
parody a meme that isn't there.
Errrrrr.... I cancelled TV. I just get stuff from Netflix, which
means I'm busy watching 1990's TV shows I missed when the 1990's were
actually happening. (Wow. Look at those hairstyles! And no smart
phones.)

My view is probably skewed by my job. I spend time on university
campuses, and all my business trips tend to take me to other
university campuses. From what I see, the stereotypical American
these days is glued to their smart phone, text messaging like mad, and
not exactly pursuing the diet choices nutritionists would recommend.
(Yes, I know french fries taste good, but...) Starbucks mugs in one
hand, phone in the other. Not exactly macho.

Unless using your smart phone even after you've cracked the screen and
had to glue some buttons back on counts as macho.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Joe Morris
2014-10-08 23:16:06 UTC
Permalink
Errrrrr.... I cancelled TV. I just get stuff from Netflix, which means
I'm busy watching 1990's TV shows I missed when the 1990's were actually
happening. (Wow. Look at those hairstyles! And no smart phones.)
My view is probably skewed by my job. I spend time on university
campuses, and all my business trips tend to take me to other university
campuses. From what I see, the stereotypical American these days is glued
to their smart phone, text messaging like mad, and not exactly pursuing
the diet choices nutritionists would recommend. (Yes, I know french fries
taste good, but...) Starbucks mugs in one hand, phone in the other. Not
exactly macho.
Unless using your smart phone even after you've cracked the screen and had
to glue some buttons back on counts as macho.
If I were still in academia (from which I resigned 31 years ago to take my
current job) I would probably be saying the same thing...but it wouldn't
make any difference because that's what I see on the streets in and around
Washington DC. The only thing that's really changed is that Blackberry
users are now an endangered species.

Somewhat on that subject: maybe it's just old-fogey syndrome on my part, but
I really worry about the kids - including the *very* young - who have their
own smartphone and have already adopted the habits of their elders and
wander around texting back and forth with no clue as to what's going on in
the real world. And for some of them, I have to wonder what the parents are
giving up to pay for their kids' latest gee-whiz smartphone models with a
huge data limit plan.

Joe
Megan
2014-10-11 01:45:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Morris
Errrrrr.... I cancelled TV. I just get stuff from Netflix, which means
I'm busy watching 1990's TV shows I missed when the 1990's were actually
happening. (Wow. Look at those hairstyles! And no smart phones.)
My view is probably skewed by my job. I spend time on university
campuses, and all my business trips tend to take me to other university
campuses. From what I see, the stereotypical American these days is glued
to their smart phone, text messaging like mad, and not exactly pursuing
the diet choices nutritionists would recommend. (Yes, I know french fries
taste good, but...) Starbucks mugs in one hand, phone in the other. Not
exactly macho.
Unless using your smart phone even after you've cracked the screen and had
to glue some buttons back on counts as macho.
If I were still in academia (from which I resigned 31 years ago to take my
current job) I would probably be saying the same thing...but it wouldn't
make any difference because that's what I see on the streets in and around
Washington DC. The only thing that's really changed is that Blackberry
users are now an endangered species.
Somewhat on that subject: maybe it's just old-fogey syndrome on my part, but
I really worry about the kids - including the *very* young - who have their
own smartphone and have already adopted the habits of their elders and
wander around texting back and forth with no clue as to what's going on in
the real world. And for some of them, I have to wonder what the parents are
giving up to pay for their kids' latest gee-whiz smartphone models with a
huge data limit plan.
Chatting with one of my students -- who has *not* yet given in to her
young son's pleadings for a phone of his own -- I gather you have to
be willing to be The Meanest Parent On The Planet if you don't get a
kid a phone. And there is, evidently, some parental restriction
software that are supposed to lock kids into only calling certain
numbers. (I wonder how hard those are to circumvent?)

I'm too cheap to get myself a phone+with+fancy+data plan. Paying for
a fancy phone and a fancy data plan for everyone in a family??? I
boggle at the likely expense. (But, as a percentage of annual income,
food does not cost as much as it did decades ago -- maybe that's how
these things are paid for? Some economist is probably studying the
issue.)

I'm not in a strong position to criticize other people for wandering
in a texting-daze, not looking where they are going. I've been
walking+reading simultaneously for years. Which wasn't as difficult
back in the days when the other people were looking where they were
going. Now that I'm not looking where I'm going and they aren't
looking where they are going, I've had to get more careful.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
John Oliver
2014-10-11 02:45:49 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 10 Oct 2014 18:45:20 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
Chatting with one of my students -- who has *not* yet given in to her
young son's pleadings for a phone of his own -- I gather you have to
be willing to be The Meanest Parent On The Planet if you don't get a
kid a phone. And there is, evidently, some parental restriction
software that are supposed to lock kids into only calling certain
numbers. (I wonder how hard those are to circumvent?)
I'm too cheap to get myself a phone+with+fancy+data plan. Paying for
a fancy phone and a fancy data plan for everyone in a family??? I
boggle at the likely expense. (But, as a percentage of annual income,
food does not cost as much as it did decades ago -- maybe that's how
these things are paid for? Some economist is probably studying the
issue.)
I'm not in a strong position to criticize other people for wandering
in a texting-daze, not looking where they are going. I've been
walking+reading simultaneously for years. Which wasn't as difficult
back in the days when the other people were looking where they were
going. Now that I'm not looking where I'm going and they aren't
looking where they are going, I've had to get more careful.
Considering the new CA laws about "Yes means Yes", I wonder about the
collision between a male and female when neither is paying attention.
Is one of them guilty of sexual harassment or assault?
--
John Oliver
***@westnet.com.au
Megan
2014-10-12 02:43:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Oliver
On Fri, 10 Oct 2014 18:45:20 -0700, Megan
<snip>
Post by John Oliver
Post by Megan
I'm not in a strong position to criticize other people for wandering
in a texting-daze, not looking where they are going. I've been
walking+reading simultaneously for years. Which wasn't as difficult
back in the days when the other people were looking where they were
going. Now that I'm not looking where I'm going and they aren't
looking where they are going, I've had to get more careful.
Considering the new CA laws about "Yes means Yes", I wonder about the
collision between a male and female when neither is paying attention.
Is one of them guilty of sexual harassment or assault?
Errrr. That would have to be one heck of a weird collision. Walking
while reading one's text messages is common, but you'd have to be
running for a collision to get you close enough for that issue to come
into play. Mostly people walking and texting just bounce lightly off
what they run into. (Wall, doorway, other person.)

For harassment, intent would be necessary... and probably an open
hand, to grab body parts with. If texting while walking, hands are
not open -- they are clutching, death-grip-like, a phone. So
texting-n-walking and harassment-grabbing aren't really compatible
actions.

Though I'm not particularly familiar with how people attempt to
harass, so I could be wrong.

If you're texting while in a situation intimate enough for 'yes means
yes' to even come into play, you're doing sex wrong. Really wrong.
I've seen people texting while on what looks like a date, in
restaurants... always looks worrisomely like there might not be
another date, when someone is doing that.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Don Bruder
2014-10-12 03:22:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by John Oliver
On Fri, 10 Oct 2014 18:45:20 -0700, Megan
<snip>
Post by John Oliver
Post by Megan
I'm not in a strong position to criticize other people for wandering
in a texting-daze, not looking where they are going. I've been
walking+reading simultaneously for years. Which wasn't as difficult
back in the days when the other people were looking where they were
going. Now that I'm not looking where I'm going and they aren't
looking where they are going, I've had to get more careful.
Back in my pre-driver's license days, I covered a lot of ground on
shank's mare, much of it with a book in hand as I stepped along. Dipped
if I can say how I survived - Looking back at it makes me think I
probably looked like one of those cartoon characters that drops into an
open manhole, or gets splatted by a truck, searching for a place to
happen.

Of course, I "cheated" - ferinstance, instead of walking up Center (one
of the three major arteries into the city for both vehicle and foot
traffic) I'd stay a block shy of it, paralleling it on the one-way and
speed-bumped Pine, and coming back, I'd go a block past to Oak - one-way
the other way, and like Pine, speed-bumped. Or instead of traveling on
Broadway Boulevarde (That extra 'e' on the end makes it classy, doncha
know...) I'd hit the alley that paralleled it and have clear sailing for
however far I needed to go.
--
Security provided by Mssrs Smith and/or Wesson. Brought to you by the letter Q
Megan
2014-10-13 02:41:00 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Don Bruder
Post by Megan
I'm not in a strong position to criticize other people for wandering
in a texting-daze, not looking where they are going. I've been
walking+reading simultaneously for years. Which wasn't as difficult
back in the days when the other people were looking where they were
going. Now that I'm not looking where I'm going and they aren't
looking where they are going, I've had to get more careful.
Back in my pre-driver's license days, I covered a lot of ground on
shank's mare, much of it with a book in hand as I stepped along. Dipped
if I can say how I survived - Looking back at it makes me think I
probably looked like one of those cartoon characters that drops into an
open manhole, or gets splatted by a truck, searching for a place to
happen.
In my pre-driver's license days, I biked. The area I grew up in was
spread out enough that walking anywhere interesting took a long while.
I might have tried biking and reading... but my bike was a bit
touchy and needed supervision to stay steady.

I've lived in areas where parking is expensive or just plain difficult
to find. So I walked and read, even though I had a car. And, with
dogs, walking is the point of the activity.

I do wonder about my walking/reading and manholes. Haven't fallen in
one yet, but I wonder how close, without noticing, I've come.

Sidewalks are my salvation. Narrow, flat, smooth strip to walk on.
Bike paths are nice, too, as long as there aren't too many actual
bicyclists on them.
Post by Don Bruder
Of course, I "cheated" - ferinstance, instead of walking up Center (one
of the three major arteries into the city for both vehicle and foot
traffic) I'd stay a block shy of it, paralleling it on the one-way and
speed-bumped Pine, and coming back, I'd go a block past to Oak - one-way
the other way, and like Pine, speed-bumped. Or instead of traveling on
Broadway Boulevarde (That extra 'e' on the end makes it classy, doncha
know...) I'd hit the alley that paralleled it and have clear sailing for
however far I needed to go.
I favor residential streets. Commercial streets have too many
pedestrians, so you have to keep an eye out for people. It sounds
like I did the same trick you did.

(Seriously? Boulevarde-with-an-e? Unless you lived in France, that
seems overly complicated.)
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Joe Morris
2014-10-13 10:20:48 UTC
Permalink
Sidewalks are my salvation. Narrow, flat, smooth strip to walk on. Bike
paths are nice, too, as long as there aren't too many actual bicyclists on
them.
Sidewalks are nice if there aren't too many *biciclists* on them. It seems
to have eased up a bit since the physical transport of documents has been
significantly reduced by the use of email, but over the years downtown
Washington DC sidewalks have developed a well-deserved reputation for
problems caused messengers on bikes who blast through pedestrian traffic.

Joe
Megan
2014-10-18 04:22:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Morris
Sidewalks are my salvation. Narrow, flat, smooth strip to walk on. Bike
paths are nice, too, as long as there aren't too many actual bicyclists on
them.
Sidewalks are nice if there aren't too many *biciclists* on them. It seems
to have eased up a bit since the physical transport of documents has been
significantly reduced by the use of email, but over the years downtown
Washington DC sidewalks have developed a well-deserved reputation for
problems caused messengers on bikes who blast through pedestrian traffic.
Whooo. I don't know that I'd dare read and walk simultaneously in an
intensely urban area like DC.

I've never lived in an area where bike messengers roamed. In CA, by
law, cyclists are supposed to stay on the road. In towns where there
are lots of cyclists (i.e., Davis, CA) there are bike cops to enforce
that. In most areas, as long as the cyclists are children, most
people look the other way. Adults are expected (by me, anyway) to
follow the law and stay off the sidewalk.

Sidewalks are safer, and quieter, in residential areas, passing by
houses. And more houses. And mailboxes, and driveways, and other
non-moving things.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Joe Morris
2014-10-18 10:20:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Morris
Sidewalks are my salvation. Narrow, flat, smooth strip to walk on. Bike
paths are nice, too, as long as there aren't too many actual bicyclists on
them.
Sidewalks are nice if there aren't too many *biciclists* on them. It seems
to have eased up a bit since the physical transport of documents has been
significantly reduced by the use of email, but over the years downtown
Washington DC sidewalks have developed a well-deserved reputation for
problems caused messengers on bikes who blast through pedestrian traffic.
I've never lived in an area where bike messengers roamed. In CA, by law,
cyclists are supposed to stay on the road.
That's also the law for the downtown business district in DC, but the
bicycle messengers consider themselves to be exempt from its provisions, and
the cops don't often bother to enforce it.

The reduction in the number of kamikaze bike messengers has been one of the
side benefits of the Internet.

Joe
Megan
2014-10-19 02:40:54 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Joe Morris
I've never lived in an area where bike messengers roamed. In CA, by law,
cyclists are supposed to stay on the road.
That's also the law for the downtown business district in DC, but the
bicycle messengers consider themselves to be exempt from its provisions, and
the cops don't often bother to enforce it.
Possibly the cops figured that catching the offender in order to give
them a ticket would endanger too many pedestrians.
Post by Joe Morris
The reduction in the number of kamikaze bike messengers has been one of the
side benefits of the Internet.
Sounds like it!
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-08 00:48:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Joe Morris
I've never lived in an area where bike messengers roamed. In CA, by law,
cyclists are supposed to stay on the road.
That's also the law for the downtown business district in DC, but the
bicycle messengers consider themselves to be exempt from its
provisions, and
the cops don't often bother to enforce it.
Possibly the cops figured that catching the offender in order to give
them a ticket would endanger too many pedestrians.
In Washington DC, I can see that. In Hilo, there aren't enough
pedestrians for this to be a deciding factor. I suspect they're just too
busy doing higher priority things, like raiding marijuana growers and
directing traffic around construction sites. The latter is pretty
useful. If neither police nor security guards direct the traffic, the
construction personnel try to do it themselves, and I don't think any of
them have been trained. They don't do nearly as well as the cops do,
since the cops have been trained. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Post by Joe Morris
The reduction in the number of kamikaze bike messengers has been one
of the side benefits of the Internet.
Sounds like it!
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-08 00:43:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Morris
Post by Joe Morris
Sidewalks are my salvation. Narrow, flat, smooth strip to walk on. Bike
paths are nice, too, as long as there aren't too many actual bicyclists
on them.
Sidewalks are nice if there aren't too many *biciclists* on them. It seems
to have eased up a bit since the physical transport of documents has been
significantly reduced by the use of email, but over the years downtown
Washington DC sidewalks have developed a well-deserved reputation for
problems caused messengers on bikes who blast through pedestrian traffic.
I've never lived in an area where bike messengers roamed. In CA, by law,
cyclists are supposed to stay on the road.
That's also the law for the downtown business district in DC, but the
bicycle messengers consider themselves to be exempt from its provisions, and
the cops don't often bother to enforce it.
That's how it is in Hilo, too. Legally, bikes are supposed to stay
on the road. Practically, that law is ignored pretty often, and enforced
rarely if ever. {half-smile}
Post by Joe Morris
The reduction in the number of kamikaze bike messengers has been one of the
side benefits of the Internet.
Oh good. I'm glad it's improved in recent decades. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-30 08:48:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by Joe Morris
Sidewalks are my salvation. Narrow, flat, smooth strip to walk on. Bike
paths are nice, too, as long as there aren't too many actual
bicyclists on
them.
Sidewalks are nice if there aren't too many *biciclists* on them. It seems
to have eased up a bit since the physical transport of documents has been
significantly reduced by the use of email, but over the years downtown
Washington DC sidewalks have developed a well-deserved reputation for
problems caused messengers on bikes who blast through pedestrian traffic.
Whooo. I don't know that I'd dare read and walk simultaneously in an
intensely urban area like DC.
It does sound more dangerous than some areas. {smile}
Post by Megan
I've never lived in an area where bike messengers roamed. In CA, by
law, cyclists are supposed to stay on the road. In towns where there
are lots of cyclists (i.e., Davis, CA) there are bike cops to enforce
that. In most areas, as long as the cyclists are children, most people
look the other way. Adults are expected (by me, anyway) to follow the
law and stay off the sidewalk.
In Hawai'i we have the same law. In Honolulu, it seems to be
enforced. In Hilo and smaller Big Island communities, not so much. I
don't know about the rest of the state. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Sidewalks are safer, and quieter, in residential areas, passing by
houses. And more houses. And mailboxes, and driveways, and other
non-moving things.
They do sound safer, for the most part. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-29 07:18:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Morris
Sidewalks are my salvation. Narrow, flat, smooth strip to walk on. Bike
paths are nice, too, as long as there aren't too many actual bicyclists on
them.
Sidewalks are nice if there aren't too many *biciclists* on them. It seems
to have eased up a bit since the physical transport of documents has been
significantly reduced by the use of email, but over the years downtown
Washington DC sidewalks have developed a well-deserved reputation for
problems caused messengers on bikes who blast through pedestrian traffic.
{Smile} Dad complains whenever he sees a bicyclist riding on the
sidewalk, unless they're a kid still using training wheels and
accompanied by an adult. I always thought that odd, since Hilo's
sidewalks are rarely used enough by either pedestrians or bicyclists for
a collision to seem likely. {pause} I think I understand Dad's
complaints better now. I never thought about how it would be on a _busy_
sidewalk. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-29 07:10:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Don Bruder
Post by Megan
I'm not in a strong position to criticize other people for wandering
in a texting-daze, not looking where they are going. I've been
walking+reading simultaneously for years. Which wasn't as difficult
back in the days when the other people were looking where they were
going. Now that I'm not looking where I'm going and they aren't
looking where they are going, I've had to get more careful.
Back in my pre-driver's license days, I covered a lot of ground on
shank's mare, much of it with a book in hand as I stepped along. Dipped
if I can say how I survived - Looking back at it makes me think I
probably looked like one of those cartoon characters that drops into an
open manhole, or gets splatted by a truck, searching for a place to
happen.
In my pre-driver's license days, I biked. The area I grew up in was
spread out enough that walking anywhere interesting took a long while.
I might have tried biking and reading... but my bike was a bit touchy
and needed supervision to stay steady.
I had the balance for a coaster-brake bike, but when I'd finally
mastered one, I wanted the ten-speed every kid dreamed of. When I got
one, I couldn't master one, and I DID try. We didn't know why until we
discovered my balance trouble a few years later. {smile}
Post by Megan
I've lived in areas where parking is expensive or just plain difficult
to find. So I walked and read, even though I had a car. And, with
dogs, walking is the point of the activity.
When I was in Manoa's dorms, I had to walk. I loved to read once I
reached my destination - I always had at least one book in my purse for
just that purpose - but my eyes are too busy confirming where the floor
is to read while walking. {Smile}
Post by Megan
I do wonder about my walking/reading and manholes. Haven't fallen in
one yet, but I wonder how close, without noticing, I've come.
Sidewalks are my salvation. Narrow, flat, smooth strip to walk on. Bike
paths are nice, too, as long as there aren't too many actual bicyclists
on them.
Post by Don Bruder
Of course, I "cheated" - ferinstance, instead of walking up Center (one
of the three major arteries into the city for both vehicle and foot
traffic) I'd stay a block shy of it, paralleling it on the one-way and
speed-bumped Pine, and coming back, I'd go a block past to Oak - one-way
the other way, and like Pine, speed-bumped. Or instead of traveling on
Broadway Boulevarde (That extra 'e' on the end makes it classy, doncha
know...) I'd hit the alley that paralleled it and have clear sailing for
however far I needed to go.
I favor residential streets. Commercial streets have too many
pedestrians, so you have to keep an eye out for people. It sounds like
I did the same trick you did.
Any sidewalk on Manoa campus had people on it, even if it didn't
line a street. So maybe that was anohter reason not to read while
walking there. {Smile}
Post by Megan
(Seriously? Boulevarde-with-an-e? Unless you lived in France, that
seems overly complicated.)
It does seem odd. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-26 04:30:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Bruder
Post by Megan
Post by John Oliver
On Fri, 10 Oct 2014 18:45:20 -0700, Megan
<snip>
Post by John Oliver
Post by Megan
I'm not in a strong position to criticize other people for wandering
in a texting-daze, not looking where they are going. I've been
walking+reading simultaneously for years. Which wasn't as difficult
back in the days when the other people were looking where they were
going. Now that I'm not looking where I'm going and they aren't
looking where they are going, I've had to get more careful.
Back in my pre-driver's license days, I covered a lot of ground on
shank's mare, much of it with a book in hand as I stepped along. Dipped
if I can say how I survived - Looking back at it makes me think I
probably looked like one of those cartoon characters that drops into an
open manhole, or gets splatted by a truck, searching for a place to
happen.
{BIG GRIN}
Post by Don Bruder
Of course, I "cheated" - ferinstance, instead of walking up Center (one
of the three major arteries into the city for both vehicle and foot
traffic) I'd stay a block shy of it, paralleling it on the one-way and
speed-bumped Pine, and coming back, I'd go a block past to Oak - one-way
the other way, and like Pine, speed-bumped. Or instead of traveling on
Broadway Boulevarde (That extra 'e' on the end makes it classy, doncha
know...) I'd hit the alley that paralleled it and have clear sailing for
however far I needed to go.
If the traffic was usually lighter there, I think that's a marvelous
solution to the problem. {SMILE, wink}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-26 04:27:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by John Oliver
On Fri, 10 Oct 2014 18:45:20 -0700, Megan
<snip>
Post by John Oliver
Post by Megan
I'm not in a strong position to criticize other people for wandering
in a texting-daze, not looking where they are going. I've been
walking+reading simultaneously for years. Which wasn't as difficult
back in the days when the other people were looking where they were
going. Now that I'm not looking where I'm going and they aren't
looking where they are going, I've had to get more careful.
Considering the new CA laws about "Yes means Yes", I wonder about the
collision between a male and female when neither is paying attention.
Is one of them guilty of sexual harassment or assault?
Errrr. That would have to be one heck of a weird collision. Walking
while reading one's text messages is common, but you'd have to be
running for a collision to get you close enough for that issue to come
into play. Mostly people walking and texting just bounce lightly off
what they run into. (Wall, doorway, other person.)
For harassment, intent would be necessary... and probably an open hand,
to grab body parts with. If texting while walking, hands are not open
-- they are clutching, death-grip-like, a phone. So texting-n-walking
and harassment-grabbing aren't really compatible actions.
{tilt head}

Actually, if you put a hand out to steady yourself without looking
up, you could accidentally put that hand in one of a few distinctly
embarrassing places. If the other walker was sensitive in the wrong way,
I could see this leading to accusations. Hopefully ones that would get
dismissed fairly quickly, but still {smile}
Post by Megan
Though I'm not particularly familiar with how people attempt to harass,
so I could be wrong.
If you're texting while in a situation intimate enough for 'yes means
yes' to even come into play, you're doing sex wrong. Really wrong.
Now this I'll agree with, especially after the first few moments. If
someone tries to start something while their partner is texting, I don't
think finishing the current text is unreasonable. Maybe one or two texts
more might not be unreasonable, especially if they're related, However,
fairly soon they really ought to attend to matters at hand. {Smile, wink}
Post by Megan
I've
seen people texting while on what looks like a date, in restaurants...
always looks worrisomely like there might not be another date, when
someone is doing that.
Yes, I don't think there are many situations where a lot of texting
while dating would be a good sign for the relationship. {lop-sided Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-10-28 02:26:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Post by John Oliver
On Fri, 10 Oct 2014 18:45:20 -0700, Megan
<snip - texting and walking>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Post by John Oliver
Considering the new CA laws about "Yes means Yes", I wonder about the
collision between a male and female when neither is paying attention.
Is one of them guilty of sexual harassment or assault?
Errrr. That would have to be one heck of a weird collision. Walking
while reading one's text messages is common, but you'd have to be
running for a collision to get you close enough for that issue to come
into play. Mostly people walking and texting just bounce lightly off
what they run into. (Wall, doorway, other person.)
For harassment, intent would be necessary... and probably an open hand,
to grab body parts with. If texting while walking, hands are not open
-- they are clutching, death-grip-like, a phone. So texting-n-walking
and harassment-grabbing aren't really compatible actions.
{tilt head}
Actually, if you put a hand out to steady yourself without looking
up, you could accidentally put that hand in one of a few distinctly
embarrassing places. If the other walker was sensitive in the wrong
way, I could see this leading to accusations. Hopefully ones that
would get dismissed fairly quickly, but still {smile}
How would a texting maniac know there is something to put their hands
on, to restore balance, if they have their attention on the phone?
And if they look up to find something to restore balance, surely
they'd see what they're about to touch (and get slapped for touching)?

I see people bumping into things -- usually with a shoulder or knee
(table). Or backpack. Collisions happen, but the hands are usually
safe on the phone, so they aren't part of the collision.

I've read about more amusing incidents. The tourist so busy texting
she walked off a pier into the bay. The student who walked into a
fountain (as in, right into the water pool).

Consumer Reports has reported on less amusing incidents, involving
teenage drivers texting. :(
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-11 08:44:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Post by John Oliver
On Fri, 10 Oct 2014 18:45:20 -0700, Megan
<snip - texting and walking>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Post by John Oliver
Considering the new CA laws about "Yes means Yes", I wonder about the
collision between a male and female when neither is paying attention.
Is one of them guilty of sexual harassment or assault?
Errrr. That would have to be one heck of a weird collision. Walking
while reading one's text messages is common, but you'd have to be
running for a collision to get you close enough for that issue to come
into play. Mostly people walking and texting just bounce lightly off
what they run into. (Wall, doorway, other person.)
For harassment, intent would be necessary... and probably an open hand,
to grab body parts with. If texting while walking, hands are not open
-- they are clutching, death-grip-like, a phone. So texting-n-walking
and harassment-grabbing aren't really compatible actions.
{tilt head}
Actually, if you put a hand out to steady yourself without looking
up, you could accidentally put that hand in one of a few distinctly
embarrassing places. If the other walker was sensitive in the wrong
way, I could see this leading to accusations. Hopefully ones that
would get dismissed fairly quickly, but still {smile}
How would a texting maniac know there is something to put their hands
on, to restore balance, if they have their attention on the phone? And
if they look up to find something to restore balance, surely they'd see
what they're about to touch (and get slapped for touching)?
You need to see clearly what's there to put a hand up to steady
yourself? I didn't think being distracted and mostly unaware of their
surroundings stopped people from doing that while seriously distracted.
I don't know whether they don't know if something is there, and try
anyways, or see vaguely that something is there and don't check what
before proceeding, but I know I've seen people put a hand out without
bothering to check what the hand might meet. {Smile}
Post by Megan
I see people bumping into things -- usually with a shoulder or knee
(table). Or backpack. Collisions happen, but the hands are usually
safe on the phone, so they aren't part of the collision.
I guess that might be true, especially if they're reluctant to hold
the phone one-handed. {Smile}
Post by Megan
I've read about more amusing incidents. The tourist so busy texting she
walked off a pier into the bay. The student who walked into a fountain
(as in, right into the water pool).
Neither of those sound good for the phone. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Consumer Reports has reported on less amusing incidents, involving
teenage drivers texting. :(
Yeah... those might have very bad endings.

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-11-12 04:11:53 UTC
Permalink
<snip - texting and traveling>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Consumer Reports has reported on less amusing incidents, involving
teenage drivers texting. :(
Yeah... those might have very bad endings.
Might have? Do have. Way too often.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-18 05:18:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip - texting and traveling>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Consumer Reports has reported on less amusing incidents, involving
teenage drivers texting. :(
Yeah... those might have very bad endings.
Might have? Do have. Way too often.
I feared as much. {half-smile}

I wish people would learn, but learning requires surviving the first
lesson. {wry smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-16 07:58:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Oliver
On Fri, 10 Oct 2014 18:45:20 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
Chatting with one of my students -- who has *not* yet given in to her
young son's pleadings for a phone of his own -- I gather you have to
be willing to be The Meanest Parent On The Planet if you don't get a
kid a phone. And there is, evidently, some parental restriction
software that are supposed to lock kids into only calling certain
numbers. (I wonder how hard those are to circumvent?)
I'm too cheap to get myself a phone+with+fancy+data plan. Paying for
a fancy phone and a fancy data plan for everyone in a family??? I
boggle at the likely expense. (But, as a percentage of annual income,
food does not cost as much as it did decades ago -- maybe that's how
these things are paid for? Some economist is probably studying the
issue.)
I'm not in a strong position to criticize other people for wandering
in a texting-daze, not looking where they are going. I've been
walking+reading simultaneously for years. Which wasn't as difficult
back in the days when the other people were looking where they were
going. Now that I'm not looking where I'm going and they aren't
looking where they are going, I've had to get more careful.
Considering the new CA laws about "Yes means Yes", I wonder about the
collision between a male and female when neither is paying attention.
Is one of them guilty of sexual harassment or assault?
I'm sure some lawyers are sorting out what the exact circumstances
would have to be to make the case worth taking on. I mean, besides A
hefty fee up front. {wink, Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-16 07:53:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by Joe Morris
Errrrrr.... I cancelled TV. I just get stuff from Netflix, which means
I'm busy watching 1990's TV shows I missed when the 1990's were actually
happening. (Wow. Look at those hairstyles! And no smart phones.)
My view is probably skewed by my job. I spend time on university
campuses, and all my business trips tend to take me to other university
campuses. From what I see, the stereotypical American these days is glued
to their smart phone, text messaging like mad, and not exactly pursuing
the diet choices nutritionists would recommend. (Yes, I know french fries
taste good, but...) Starbucks mugs in one hand, phone in the other.
Not
exactly macho.
Unless using your smart phone even after you've cracked the screen and had
to glue some buttons back on counts as macho.
If I were still in academia (from which I resigned 31 years ago to take my
current job) I would probably be saying the same thing...but it wouldn't
make any difference because that's what I see on the streets in and around
Washington DC. The only thing that's really changed is that Blackberry
users are now an endangered species.
Somewhat on that subject: maybe it's just old-fogey syndrome on my
part, but I really
worry about the kids - including the *very* young - who have their
own smartphone and have already adopted the habits of their elders and
wander
around texting back and forth with no clue as to what's going on in
the real world. And for some of them, I have to wonder what the parents are
giving up to pay for their kids' latest gee-whiz smartphone models with a
huge data limit plan.
Chatting with one of my students -- who has *not* yet given in to her
young son's pleadings for a phone of his own -- I gather you have to be
willing to be The Meanest Parent On The Planet if you don't get a kid a
phone. And there is, evidently, some parental restriction software that
are supposed to lock kids into only calling certain numbers. (I wonder
how hard those are to circumvent?)
To hazard a guess, probably not as hard as teaching myself how to
mouth words well enough a lip reader shouldn't be able to tell I wasn't
using my vocal chords. It took me about a year: from not that far into
second grade to early in third grade. But hey, I was a kid, and this was
a way to spite the ridiculously rigid nuns at my new school, who
insisted we say so many prayers over the course of a day, it seemed
silly, as well as all too good a way to make yourself distinctly hoarser
than you needed to be if you were coming down with a cold or something.
{Amused Smile}

Of course, no adults found out about this until years later, when a
friend of the family determined that I was reading lips. I hadn't even
thought of doing that, but I'm sure I learned it at the same time. I
wanted to make certain my mouth, lips, and tongue looked exactly like
they would if I was speaking, so this involved studying other people's
mouths, and trying to compare how their mouths looked with how mine felt.

You know, kids can learn the most amazing things. They just need the
right motivation. {REALLY BIG GRIN}
Post by Megan
I'm too cheap to get myself a phone+with+fancy+data plan. Paying for a
fancy phone and a fancy data plan for everyone in a family??? I boggle
at the likely expense. (But, as a percentage of annual income, food
does not cost as much as it did decades ago -- maybe that's how these
things are paid for? Some economist is probably studying the issue.)
Probably. I wonder how this sort of thing affects the rate of
personal debt and bankruptcy? Those seem higher these days than they
used to be, despite some basic necessities going down in price. {Smile}
Post by Megan
I'm not in a strong position to criticize other people for wandering in
a texting-daze, not looking where they are going. I've been
walking+reading simultaneously for years. Which wasn't as difficult
back in the days when the other people were looking where they were
going. Now that I'm not looking where I'm going and they aren't looking
where they are going, I've had to get more careful.
I'm afraid I solved that solution by opening the book out when I got
to my destination, or at least a place I had to wait along the way.
Bumping into people wasn't much of a problem, but I kept tripping over
stuff and sliping on stuff, even if I was watching where I was going.
Trying to read and walk just made it worse. I guess that was another
early sign that my balance was never great. {resigned smile}


Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-10-18 04:30:11 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I'm too cheap to get myself a phone+with+fancy+data plan. Paying for a
fancy phone and a fancy data plan for everyone in a family??? I boggle
at the likely expense. (But, as a percentage of annual income, food
does not cost as much as it did decades ago -- maybe that's how these
things are paid for? Some economist is probably studying the issue.)
Probably. I wonder how this sort of thing affects the rate of
personal debt and bankruptcy? Those seem higher these days than they
used to be, despite some basic necessities going down in price. {Smile}
Hmmmm. I don't know enough people. personally, to get a sense of
whether bankruptcy rates are going up or down. Considering the
economic shocks of, say, the 1970s, I'd want to see statistics
gathered from a very large sample of people to determine debt and
bankruptcy rates.

I believe the rate of personal debt (at least, credit card debt) has
been falling since the the market crash a half-dozen years ago. Folks
who were using rising house prices to fund loans and debt and buying
things pulled back very sharply. Plus, credit card companies
cancelled a lot of cards to reduce the potential debt that was "on
their books." I would have trouble citing where I read that -- an
issue of the Economist, from six months or more ago (because I'm still
reading the March 2014 Economists).
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I'm not in a strong position to criticize other people for wandering in
a texting-daze, not looking where they are going. I've been
walking+reading simultaneously for years. Which wasn't as difficult
back in the days when the other people were looking where they were
going. Now that I'm not looking where I'm going and they aren't
looking where they are going, I've had to get more careful.
I'm afraid I solved that solution by opening the book out when I
got to my destination, or at least a place I had to wait along the
way. Bumping into people wasn't much of a problem, but I kept tripping
over stuff and sliping on stuff, even if I was watching where I was
going. Trying to read and walk just made it worse. I guess that was
another early sign that my balance was never great. {resigned smile}
Um. Not being able to read and walk simultaneously would not, on its
own, be a sign of poor balance. (I gather that was not your only
evidence of poor balance.) Most people can't do it. It is my stupid
skill, practiced regularly since I was a child.

Grocery store lines, bus stops and on buses, etc, are also good places
to snatch snippets of reading time.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-30 08:36:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I'm too cheap to get myself a phone+with+fancy+data plan. Paying for a
fancy phone and a fancy data plan for everyone in a family??? I boggle
at the likely expense. (But, as a percentage of annual income, food
does not cost as much as it did decades ago -- maybe that's how these
things are paid for? Some economist is probably studying the issue.)
Probably. I wonder how this sort of thing affects the rate of
personal debt and bankruptcy? Those seem higher these days than they
used to be, despite some basic necessities going down in price. {Smile}
Hmmmm. I don't know enough people. personally, to get a sense of
whether bankruptcy rates are going up or down. Considering the economic
shocks of, say, the 1970s, I'd want to see statistics gathered from a
very large sample of people to determine debt and bankruptcy rates.
True. I heard somewhere that personal bankruptcy was on the rise,
but I'm not sure that's because more people had money trouble, or
whether it's that more people decided to tackle their money problems by
applying for personal bankruptcy. {lop-sided Smile}
Post by Megan
I believe the rate of personal debt (at least, credit card debt) has
been falling since the the market crash a half-dozen years ago. Folks
who were using rising house prices to fund loans and debt and buying
things pulled back very sharply. Plus, credit card companies cancelled
a lot of cards to reduce the potential debt that was "on their books."
I would have trouble citing where I read that -- an issue of the
Economist, from six months or more ago (because I'm still reading the
March 2014 Economists).
Okay. I'll take your word for it. I just realized how little I read
such things myself. So I'm far from the best source on economics. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I'm not in a strong position to criticize other people for wandering in
a texting-daze, not looking where they are going. I've been
walking+reading simultaneously for years. Which wasn't as difficult
back in the days when the other people were looking where they were
going. Now that I'm not looking where I'm going and they aren't
looking where they are going, I've had to get more careful.
I'm afraid I solved that solution by opening the book out when I
got to my destination, or at least a place I had to wait along the
way. Bumping into people wasn't much of a problem, but I kept tripping
over stuff and sliping on stuff, even if I was watching where I was
going. Trying to read and walk just made it worse. I guess that was
another early sign that my balance was never great. {resigned smile}
Um. Not being able to read and walk simultaneously would not, on its
own, be a sign of poor balance. (I gather that was not your only
evidence of poor balance.)
No, it wasn't. I think not being able to hop without hanging onto
something until I was eight and the amount of tripping and falling I did
compared to other children my age were clearer indications of balance
trouble. My intense frustration that led to me giving up on performing
dance multiple times probably was, too. Figuring out how to execute the
moves safely was tough, but not impossible. Figuring out how to make the
worth watching while I executed them was the real frustration. I just
couldn't pull it off. {rueful smile}
Post by Megan
Most people can't do it. It is my stupid
skill, practiced regularly since I was a child.
I see. So at least I shouldn't be frustrated at having to reach my
destination before reading. Thanks. Bad balance is frustrating enough
without unrealistic standards of achievement. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Grocery store lines, bus stops and on buses, etc, are also good places
to snatch snippets of reading time.
Grocery store lines and other store lines, probably. Bus stops...
with my hearing, I learned that's too good a way to miss my bus. I'm
more likely to hear it leave than arrive. On the bus, I would have loved
as a kid. Now reading in a car/bus/van/etc. is a good way to knock out
my balance unnecessarily. But reading on a plane or boat worked, since
my balance was out whether I read or not. And waiting for them is a
great time to read - airplane personnel are wonderful about getting my
attention if I'm waiting by their gate and don't respond. Another great
time to read is while waiting for someone to finish shopping or running
errands. Again, the person I'm waiting for will make sure I come along
when they're done. {BIG SMILE, wink}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-11-01 03:24:19 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Um. Not being able to read and walk simultaneously would not, on its
own, be a sign of poor balance. (I gather that was not your only
evidence of poor balance.)
No, it wasn't. I think not being able to hop without hanging onto
something until I was eight and the amount of tripping and falling I
did compared to other children my age were clearer indications of
balance trouble. My intense frustration that led to me giving up on
performing dance multiple times probably was, too. Figuring out how to
execute the moves safely was tough, but not impossible. Figuring out
how to make the worth watching while I executed them was the real
frustration. I just couldn't pull it off. {rueful smile}
Ah, dance. I never have figured out how to ... well, I more or less
pooped out somewhere around "executing moves safely" -- assuming the
safety of the dance partner's toes are relevant. I never even
attempted dance moves someone else would want to watch (except for the
comedy of watching a very bad dancer, I suppose).

<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Grocery store lines, bus stops and on buses, etc, are also good places
to snatch snippets of reading time.
Grocery store lines and other store lines, probably. Bus stops...
with my hearing, I learned that's too good a way to miss my bus. I'm
more likely to hear it leave than arrive. On the bus, I would have
loved as a kid. Now reading in a car/bus/van/etc. is a good way to
knock out my balance unnecessarily. But reading on a plane or boat
worked, since my balance was out whether I read or not. And waiting
for them is a great time to read - airplane personnel are wonderful
about getting my attention if I'm waiting by their gate and don't
respond. Another great time to read is while waiting for someone to
finish shopping or running errands. Again, the person I'm waiting for
will make sure I come along when they're done. {BIG SMILE, wink}
Yep. Waiting around for something or other is where I get a fair
amount of reading done. Waiting for a meeting to start, waiting for
someone to arrive, waiting for the dentist appointment to start, etc.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-11 22:31:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Um. Not being able to read and walk simultaneously would not, on its
own, be a sign of poor balance. (I gather that was not your only
evidence of poor balance.)
No, it wasn't. I think not being able to hop without hanging onto
something until I was eight and the amount of tripping and falling I
did compared to other children my age were clearer indications of
balance trouble. My intense frustration that led to me giving up on
performing dance multiple times probably was, too. Figuring out how to
execute the moves safely was tough, but not impossible. Figuring out
how to make the worth watching while I executed them was the real
frustration. I just couldn't pull it off. {rueful smile}
Ah, dance. I never have figured out how to ... well, I more or less
pooped out somewhere around "executing moves safely" -- assuming the
safety of the dance partner's toes are relevant. I never even attempted
dance moves someone else would want to watch (except for the comedy of
watching a very bad dancer, I suppose).
I tried ballet and hula classes as a kid, and jazz dance classes as
a teen. I actually did get to where I could execute most of the moves
asked of me. I could never hop four times in a row, but the teachers
were more likely to choreograph a spin, and I could execute a spin, as
long as there was a pause after a revolution, and I was more religious
about spotting than I am about religion. As I said, I could usually
execute the moves, but I couldn't make them a pleasure to watch.
{wistful look}

I had much more luck with folk and social dance. Dad taught me a
couple of very simple mid-eastern line dances when I was small, but I
really began when I started learning German folk dances to perform at
the Hilo Woman's Club Oktoberfest each year when I was a preteen. Mom
liked to dance, but not on stage, and Dad needed a partner. I wasn't
afraid of the stage, and unlike ballet etc., the folk dances never
challenged my balance enough to make me look terribly clumsy. {smile}

Next we tried square dance, but we eventually dropped out when the
roup got small enough we had trouble getting a complete square. So after
that, Dad started teaching me social dances, mainly the waltz, fox trot,
bop, and Charleston, along with a couple of Celtic folk dance steps.
Then in my twenties, someone else started some folk dance classes, so I
got to learn more line dances, and a smattering of other dances. {Smile}

Unfortunately, my balance, which had never been great, started
getting worse in my twenties. After maybe three of those folk dance
classes, my balance got so bad I couldn't keep my feet and step in time
t the music at the same time. So I had to give up dancing, and I never
got it back. {wistful look}
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Grocery store lines, bus stops and on buses, etc, are also good places
to snatch snippets of reading time.
Grocery store lines and other store lines, probably. Bus stops...
with my hearing, I learned that's too good a way to miss my bus. I'm
more likely to hear it leave than arrive. On the bus, I would have
loved as a kid. Now reading in a car/bus/van/etc. is a good way to
knock out my balance unnecessarily. But reading on a plane or boat
worked, since my balance was out whether I read or not. And waiting
for them is a great time to read - airplane personnel are wonderful
about getting my attention if I'm waiting by their gate and don't
respond. Another great time to read is while waiting for someone to
finish shopping or running errands. Again, the person I'm waiting for
will make sure I come along when they're done. {BIG SMILE, wink}
Yep. Waiting around for something or other is where I get a fair amount
of reading done. Waiting for a meeting to start, waiting for someone to
arrive, waiting for the dentist appointment to start, etc.
Me too. I'm always surprised how much reading I can do when waiting
at the doctor's or dentist's. Even when they're prompt, there are a lot
of gaps that a bit of reading fits into very nicely. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-11-16 04:45:46 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Ah, dance. I never have figured out how to ... well, I more or less
pooped out somewhere around "executing moves safely" -- assuming the
safety of the dance partner's toes are relevant. I never even attempted
dance moves someone else would want to watch (except for the comedy of
watching a very bad dancer, I suppose).
I tried ballet and hula classes as a kid, and jazz dance classes
as a teen. I actually did get to where I could execute most of the
moves asked of me. I could never hop four times in a row, but the
teachers were more likely to choreograph a spin, and I could execute a
spin, as long as there was a pause after a revolution, and I was more
religious about spotting than I am about religion. As I said, I could
usually execute the moves, but I couldn't make them a pleasure to
watch. {wistful look}
Sounds like you were much more interested in dance as a child than
most folks. I tried zip and zilch in dance, as a child.
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
I had much more luck with folk and social dance. Dad taught me a
couple of very simple mid-eastern line dances when I was small, but I
really began when I started learning German folk dances to perform at
the Hilo Woman's Club Oktoberfest each year when I was a preteen. Mom
liked to dance, but not on stage, and Dad needed a partner. I wasn't
afraid of the stage, and unlike ballet etc., the folk dances never
challenged my balance enough to make me look terribly clumsy. {smile}
Next we tried square dance, but we eventually dropped out when the
roup got small enough we had trouble getting a complete square. So
after that, Dad started teaching me social dances, mainly the waltz,
fox trot, bop, and Charleston, along with a couple of Celtic folk
dance steps. Then in my twenties, someone else started some folk dance
classes, so I got to learn more line dances, and a smattering of other
dances. {Smile}
Yep, you were definitely more interested in dance than most.
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Unfortunately, my balance, which had never been great, started
getting worse in my twenties. After maybe three of those folk dance
classes, my balance got so bad I couldn't keep my feet and step in
time t the music at the same time. So I had to give up dancing, and I
never got it back. {wistful look}
I'm sorry.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-20 23:49:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Ah, dance. I never have figured out how to ... well, I more or less
pooped out somewhere around "executing moves safely" -- assuming the
safety of the dance partner's toes are relevant. I never even attempted
dance moves someone else would want to watch (except for the comedy of
watching a very bad dancer, I suppose).
I tried ballet and hula classes as a kid, and jazz dance classes
as a teen. I actually did get to where I could execute most of the
moves asked of me. I could never hop four times in a row, but the
teachers were more likely to choreograph a spin, and I could execute a
spin, as long as there was a pause after a revolution, and I was more
religious about spotting than I am about religion. As I said, I could
usually execute the moves, but I couldn't make them a pleasure to
watch. {wistful look}
Sounds like you were much more interested in dance as a child than most
folks. I tried zip and zilch in dance, as a child.
Yeah, I was always more interested in dance than good at it. At
least until I figured out how very true that was. Then things got
awkward. Watching something you love but know you'll never be able to
do... {wistful look}
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
I had much more luck with folk and social dance. Dad taught me a
couple of very simple mid-eastern line dances when I was small, but I
really began when I started learning German folk dances to perform at
the Hilo Woman's Club Oktoberfest each year when I was a preteen. Mom
liked to dance, but not on stage, and Dad needed a partner. I wasn't
afraid of the stage, and unlike ballet etc., the folk dances never
challenged my balance enough to make me look terribly clumsy. {smile}
Next we tried square dance, but we eventually dropped out when the
roup got small enough we had trouble getting a complete square. So
after that, Dad started teaching me social dances, mainly the waltz,
fox trot, bop, and Charleston, along with a couple of Celtic folk
dance steps. Then in my twenties, someone else started some folk dance
classes, so I got to learn more line dances, and a smattering of other
dances. {Smile}
Yep, you were definitely more interested in dance than most.
At least I could do the social and folk dances reasonably well. They
were primarily for doing, not watching, anyway, but even so, they didn't
make the kinds of demands that led me to look so very awkward in Ballet
and Jazz Dance. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Unfortunately, my balance, which had never been great, started
getting worse in my twenties. After maybe three of those folk dance
classes, my balance got so bad I couldn't keep my feet and step in
time t the music at the same time. So I had to give up dancing, and I
never got it back. {wistful look}
I'm sorry.
That's why when Gyre Hart wrote up dacing with me, it was so very
special for me. It was like dancing for the first time in years, or as
close as I was likely to come. And he showed real dancing, with real
steps... not that "jumping around and waving your hands in the air" that
some folks seem to think is the only dance that counts. I realize they
don't want to be bothered with remembering steps, but those steps open
up at least one dimension to the total experience, if not more. Dance
isn't just moving while there's music around, it's making the moves fit
the music and the music fit the moves in a way that makes the total more
than the sum of it's parts. That's what I miss most about dance, and
that's what's hardest to get back. I can practice the moves, but without
being able to fit them to the music, they're just funny ways of walking
and strange gestures. Get the music and the moves to coordinate, and
suddenly it's something else entirely. {wistful smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-13 08:58:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Morris
Errrrrr.... I cancelled TV. I just get stuff from Netflix, which means
I'm busy watching 1990's TV shows I missed when the 1990's were actually
happening. (Wow. Look at those hairstyles! And no smart phones.)
My view is probably skewed by my job. I spend time on university
campuses, and all my business trips tend to take me to other university
campuses. From what I see, the stereotypical American these days is glued
to their smart phone, text messaging like mad, and not exactly pursuing
the diet choices nutritionists would recommend. (Yes, I know french fries
taste good, but...) Starbucks mugs in one hand, phone in the other. Not
exactly macho.
Unless using your smart phone even after you've cracked the screen and had
to glue some buttons back on counts as macho.
If I were still in academia (from which I resigned 31 years ago to take my
current job) I would probably be saying the same thing...but it wouldn't
make any difference because that's what I see on the streets in and around
Washington DC. The only thing that's really changed is that Blackberry
users are now an endangered species.
I've seen similar stuff in Hilo, and I've been out-of-touch with
academia since I stopped volunteering at the university library in the
20-oughts. {Smile}
Post by Joe Morris
Somewhat on that subject: maybe it's just old-fogey syndrome on my part, but
I really worry about the kids - including the *very* young - who have their
own smartphone and have already adopted the habits of their elders and
wander around texting back and forth with no clue as to what's going on in
the real world. And for some of them, I have to wonder what the parents are
giving up to pay for their kids' latest gee-whiz smartphone models with a
huge data limit plan.
Yeah... I don't know, either. But I figure that grownups without
kids have been wondering about some kids and their parents for quite a
while now. {Smile, wink}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-13 08:54:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Oliver
On Sat, 04 Oct 2014 19:59:02 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
<snip - John Ringo>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Firesong
Post by Megan
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.
I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>
{Chuckle} He's a bit much at times? {SMILE}
<snip>
Be nice... not all Americans are like that. There are pockets where
the attitude is common, and others... not so much.
I have to tell you that from the outside it certainly appears that the
attitude is common and that there are pockets where it's not so much.
Did you see the first 10 minutes of the first episode of "The
Newsroom", wherein a panel on a political show is asked "In three
words, why is America the greatest country in the world", and two of
them come out with Jingositic slogans, and then Jeff Daniels lists
about twenty reasons why it isn't and the only lists it tops are bad
ones, and is then nearly forced out of his job due to his 'meltdown'?
Or the bits on Boston Legal where Alan lists the failings and
statistics to make a point.
Or Team America: World Police.
That's what the rest of the world tends to see. And I'm aware that two
out of three of those are comedies, and/or parodies, but you can't
parody a meme that isn't there.
Errrrrr.... I cancelled TV. I just get stuff from Netflix, which means
I'm busy watching 1990's TV shows I missed when the 1990's were actually
happening. (Wow. Look at those hairstyles! And no smart phones.)
Sounds like fun, actually. {Smile}
My view is probably skewed by my job. I spend time on university
campuses, and all my business trips tend to take me to other university
campuses. From what I see, the stereotypical American these days is
glued to their smart phone, text messaging like mad, and not exactly
pursuing the diet choices nutritionists would recommend. (Yes, I know
french fries taste good, but...) Starbucks mugs in one hand, phone in
the other. Not exactly macho.
That's the stereotype I'm familiar with, too. I do admit that it's
an US stereotype of ourselves, so foreigners might see us a bit
differently. Looks like Brits might be particularly inclined to do so.
{Smile}
Unless using your smart phone even after you've cracked the screen and
had to glue some buttons back on counts as macho.
Ah... yeah. I don't think that's quite the stereotype Firesong had
in mind. {Chuckle, Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-10-17 00:38:46 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Errrrrr.... I cancelled TV. I just get stuff from Netflix, which means
I'm busy watching 1990's TV shows I missed when the 1990's were actually
happening. (Wow. Look at those hairstyles! And no smart phones.)
Sounds like fun, actually. {Smile}
<snip>

I just watched 'I, Claudius' (1976). Scandalous and sexy stuff, for
the 1970s. Hello, sexual revolution.

And, wow, the novelist who wrote 'I, Claudius' really did not like
Empress Livia. (Or, alternately, the historians who documented the
time period did not like Livia, and the novelist carefully selected
all the most scandalous rumors to include in his book. Truth? Who
cares about that?) What fun the actress must have had, playing that
character.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-29 08:47:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Errrrrr.... I cancelled TV. I just get stuff from Netflix, which means
I'm busy watching 1990's TV shows I missed when the 1990's were actually
happening. (Wow. Look at those hairstyles! And no smart phones.)
Sounds like fun, actually. {Smile}
<snip>
I just watched 'I, Claudius' (1976). Scandalous and sexy stuff, for the
1970s. Hello, sexual revolution.
Yes, exactly: it was the sexual revolution. Some of the stuff from
that time is sexier and more scandalous stuff that makes it out today,
at least thru "regular channels." {Smile}
Post by Megan
And, wow, the novelist who wrote 'I, Claudius' really did not like
Empress Livia. (Or, alternately, the historians who documented the time
period did not like Livia, and the novelist carefully selected all the
most scandalous rumors to include in his book. Truth? Who cares about
that?) What fun the actress must have had, playing that character.
Some actresses would just love such a "meaty" role. Others, not so
much. I hope they had one of the former. It always shows when someone is
enjoying their work. {SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-11-01 03:29:54 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I just watched 'I, Claudius' (1976). Scandalous and sexy stuff, for
the 1970s. Hello, sexual revolution.
Yes, exactly: it was the sexual revolution. Some of the stuff from
that time is sexier and more scandalous stuff that makes it out today,
at least thru "regular channels." {Smile}
Definitely.

With the obvious modern exception of 'Game of Thrones.' I have a
feeling G.RR.Martin read some history of the Roman Empire books while
working on his novels. Same flare for scandal and backstabbing. With
the exception being that the Roman emperors actually did it, as far as
we can tell from this distance in time, and Martin's kings are
fictional. (And, ya know, no dragons in Rome.)
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
And, wow, the novelist who wrote 'I, Claudius' really did not like
Empress Livia. (Or, alternately, the historians who documented the time
period did not like Livia, and the novelist carefully selected all the
most scandalous rumors to include in his book. Truth? Who cares about
that?) What fun the actress must have had, playing that character.
Some actresses would just love such a "meaty" role. Others, not so
much. I hope they had one of the former. It always shows when someone
is enjoying their work. {SMILE}
I imagine the actress enjoyed it. Definitely a different role from
the standard wife-n-mother-type acting jobs for women. (There were
20-years-later interviews with the actors on the DVD, wherein they all
claimed to have enjoyed making the show tremendously, but... well,
they're actors. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. At least they
were professional enough to act pleased.)
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Michael Ikeda
2014-11-01 11:12:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I just watched 'I, Claudius' (1976). Scandalous and sexy
stuff, for the 1970s. Hello, sexual revolution.
Yes, exactly: it was the sexual revolution. Some of the
stuff from
that time is sexier and more scandalous stuff that makes it out
today, at least thru "regular channels." {Smile}
Definitely.
With the obvious modern exception of 'Game of Thrones.' I have
a feeling G.RR.Martin read some history of the Roman Empire
books while working on his novels. Same flare for scandal and
backstabbing. With the exception being that the Roman emperors
actually did it, as far as we can tell from this distance in
time, and Martin's kings are fictional. (And, ya know, no
dragons in Rome.)
More pre-Tudor England than ancient Rome.

Although, of course, no actual dragons in England either.
Megan
2014-11-02 03:00:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Ikeda
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I just watched 'I, Claudius' (1976). Scandalous and sexy
stuff, for the 1970s. Hello, sexual revolution.
Yes, exactly: it was the sexual revolution. Some of the
stuff from
that time is sexier and more scandalous stuff that makes it out
today, at least thru "regular channels." {Smile}
Definitely.
With the obvious modern exception of 'Game of Thrones.' I have
a feeling G.RR.Martin read some history of the Roman Empire
books while working on his novels. Same flare for scandal and
backstabbing. With the exception being that the Roman emperors
actually did it, as far as we can tell from this distance in
time, and Martin's kings are fictional. (And, ya know, no
dragons in Rome.)
More pre-Tudor England than ancient Rome.
Although, of course, no actual dragons in England either.
Costumes and weaponry, yes, inspired by medieval Europe.

But behavior? I'm thinking of the empress who got married to her
boyfriend WHILE her emperor husband was a) alive, b) just at a city
down the road, c) not divorced and d) evidently not told ahead of time
of her plans. Thinking the emperor would, what, be cool with it?
(Didn't turn out well for her. Second marriage was very, very short,
due to everyone being killed by irate emperor's minions.) (Emperor
Claudius, of "I, Claudius" fame.)

Or the "year of the four emperors," which was exactly what it sounds like.

Or Commodus, the emperor who thought he was a great gladiator, and who
certainly did kill his many gladiatorial opponents. (All pre-wounded,
lest they hurt the emperor.)

Or Caracalla and Geta, the brother emperors who got along so well that
Caracalla had his brother assassinated, in front of their mother, at a
"let us make peace" lunch arranged by their mother.

Don't those sound like 'Game of Thrones'-style family relationships?
I suppose Martin can't steal plot ideas directly from the highlights
of Roman Empire history, because too many people are familiar with
them. But he must be tempted.

(Henry VIII of England and his interesting approach to marital bliss
must also be an inspiration. And Charles I of England and his ...
what do you call it when someone is the dead opposite of diplomatic??
anti-diplomatic?... incompetent approach to hanging on to the monarchy.)
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Michael Ikeda
2014-11-02 12:56:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by Michael Ikeda
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I just watched 'I, Claudius' (1976). Scandalous and sexy
stuff, for the 1970s. Hello, sexual revolution.
Yes, exactly: it was the sexual revolution. Some of the stuff from
that time is sexier and more scandalous stuff that makes it
out today, at least thru "regular channels." {Smile}
Definitely.
With the obvious modern exception of 'Game of Thrones.' I
have a feeling G.RR.Martin read some history of the Roman
Empire books while working on his novels. Same flare for
scandal and backstabbing. With the exception being that the
Roman emperors actually did it, as far as we can tell from
this distance in time, and Martin's kings are fictional.
(And, ya know, no dragons in Rome.)
More pre-Tudor England than ancient Rome.
Although, of course, no actual dragons in England either.
Costumes and weaponry, yes, inspired by medieval Europe.
But behavior? I'm thinking of the empress who got married to
her boyfriend WHILE her emperor husband was a) alive, b) just at
a city down the road, c) not divorced and d) evidently not told
ahead of time of her plans. Thinking the emperor would, what,
be cool with it? (Didn't turn out well for her. Second marriage
was very, very short, due to everyone being killed by irate
emperor's minions.) (Emperor Claudius, of "I, Claudius" fame.)
Martin has stated that the geography of Westeros is based on a
scaled-up version of the British Isles. And that the history of
Westeros is loosely inspired by English history. With the current
events being inspired by the "War of the Roses" period.
Megan
2014-11-09 05:45:33 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Michael Ikeda
Post by Megan
Post by Michael Ikeda
Post by Megan
With the obvious modern exception of 'Game of Thrones.' I
have a feeling G.RR.Martin read some history of the Roman
Empire books while working on his novels. Same flare for
scandal and backstabbing. With the exception being that the
Roman emperors actually did it, as far as we can tell from
this distance in time, and Martin's kings are fictional.
(And, ya know, no dragons in Rome.)
More pre-Tudor England than ancient Rome.
Although, of course, no actual dragons in England either.
Costumes and weaponry, yes, inspired by medieval Europe.
But behavior? I'm thinking of the empress who got married to
her boyfriend WHILE her emperor husband was a) alive, b) just at
a city down the road, c) not divorced and d) evidently not told
ahead of time of her plans. Thinking the emperor would, what,
be cool with it? (Didn't turn out well for her. Second marriage
was very, very short, due to everyone being killed by irate
emperor's minions.) (Emperor Claudius, of "I, Claudius" fame.)
Martin has stated that the geography of Westeros is based on a
scaled-up version of the British Isles. And that the history of
Westeros is loosely inspired by English history. With the current
events being inspired by the "War of the Roses" period.
Very, very, very loosely inspired. :)

Though the clothing and manners are pretty obviously Euro-history.

I'd be surprised to learn Martin hasn't read any books about the
history of non-English kings. There's a lot of rich material out
there, for a novelist mining for inspiration. Backstabbing,
poisoning, scandal, and so on. Besides, while Westeros is loosely
English, some of the other countries his characters are wandering
through are (loosely) inspired by other countries on our planet.
Kinda-sorta Venice, kinda-sorta somewhere-in-north-Africa, and so on.

I'm sure some grad student is trying to talk their thesis adviser into
a doctoral thesis about the historical inspirations for the 'Game of
Thrones' novels.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-17 01:43:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Michael Ikeda
Post by Megan
Post by Michael Ikeda
Post by Megan
With the obvious modern exception of 'Game of Thrones.' I
have a feeling G.RR.Martin read some history of the Roman
Empire books while working on his novels. Same flare for
scandal and backstabbing. With the exception being that the
Roman emperors actually did it, as far as we can tell from
this distance in time, and Martin's kings are fictional.
(And, ya know, no dragons in Rome.)
More pre-Tudor England than ancient Rome.
Although, of course, no actual dragons in England either.
Costumes and weaponry, yes, inspired by medieval Europe.
But behavior? I'm thinking of the empress who got married to
her boyfriend WHILE her emperor husband was a) alive, b) just at
a city down the road, c) not divorced and d) evidently not told
ahead of time of her plans. Thinking the emperor would, what,
be cool with it? (Didn't turn out well for her. Second marriage
was very, very short, due to everyone being killed by irate
emperor's minions.) (Emperor Claudius, of "I, Claudius" fame.)
Martin has stated that the geography of Westeros is based on a
scaled-up version of the British Isles. And that the history of
Westeros is loosely inspired by English history. With the current
events being inspired by the "War of the Roses" period.
Very, very, very loosely inspired. :)
More liberties were taken than just That Throne? {SMILE}
Post by Megan
Though the clothing and manners are pretty obviously Euro-history.
Yes, I notice that part from the clips and stills I've run across by
clicking links my friends share. {Smile} I also noticed the throne is
quite fanciful, and not exactly comfortable-looking. {Smile, wink}
Post by Megan
I'd be surprised to learn Martin hasn't read any books about the history
of non-English kings. There's a lot of rich material out there, for a
novelist mining for inspiration. Backstabbing, poisoning, scandal, and
so on. Besides, while Westeros is loosely English, some of the other
countries his characters are wandering through are (loosely) inspired by
other countries on our planet. Kinda-sorta Venice, kinda-sorta
somewhere-in-north-Africa, and so on.
The would be part of the world-building you mentioned enjoying so
much? {SMILE}
Post by Megan
I'm sure some grad student is trying to talk their thesis adviser into a
doctoral thesis about the historical inspirations for the 'Game of
Thrones' novels.
I'm afraid they'll have more success after the series has been
finished for a while. In the meantime, similar proposals for LOTR tend
to be taken more seriously. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-11-18 02:10:27 UTC
Permalink
<snip - game of thrones>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Post by Michael Ikeda
Martin has stated that the geography of Westeros is based on a
scaled-up version of the British Isles. And that the history of
Westeros is loosely inspired by English history. With the current
events being inspired by the "War of the Roses" period.
Very, very, very loosely inspired. :)
More liberties were taken than just That Throne? {SMILE}
Post by Megan
Though the clothing and manners are pretty obviously Euro-history.
Yes, I notice that part from the clips and stills I've run across
by clicking links my friends share. {Smile} I also noticed the throne
is quite fanciful, and not exactly comfortable-looking. {Smile, wink}
They toned the throne down, actually. The one in the books is even
*less* comfortable.

I rather like that, in an age of computer-animated everything, someone
is so obviously throwing GOBS of money at the costume department. Big
gobs.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Joe Morris
2014-11-18 11:24:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Yes, I notice that part from the clips and stills I've run across
by clicking links my friends share. {Smile} I also noticed the throne
is quite fanciful, and not exactly comfortable-looking. {Smile, wink}
They toned the throne down, actually. The one in the books is even *less*
comfortable.
I rather like that, in an age of computer-animated everything, someone is
so obviously throwing GOBS of money at the costume department. Big gobs.
Not just the costumes. I've taken some close-up pictures of parts of the
model used in the filming of _Interstellar_ [*] and while I know that models
used in SF films are of higher quality and detail than the models you can
buy in a toy store [**] the attention to realistic (ok, make that
"reasonable") details means that $BIGBUCKS went into the model's
construction. Some of the mechanical details I'm unable to visually
identify as "working" or "fake".

[*] No, I'm not involved in any way with the production of the film. The
~25' model is on display (under a tent) in the parking lot of the
Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport. I'm told
that this is the only place it will be displayed, and it leaves later this
week.

[**] Something of a counter-example: one of the exhibits at the NASM is the
moldel of the mothership used in _Close Encounters_ - and it *was* built
from plastic model parts, many of which are completely inappropriate for a
spacecraft but are recognizable only under bright light...the modelmakers
built several sight gags into it.

Joe
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-15 08:21:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by Michael Ikeda
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I just watched 'I, Claudius' (1976). Scandalous and sexy
stuff, for the 1970s. Hello, sexual revolution.
Yes, exactly: it was the sexual revolution. Some of the stuff from
that time is sexier and more scandalous stuff that makes it out
today, at least thru "regular channels." {Smile}
Definitely.
With the obvious modern exception of 'Game of Thrones.' I have
a feeling G.RR.Martin read some history of the Roman Empire
books while working on his novels. Same flare for scandal and
backstabbing. With the exception being that the Roman emperors
actually did it, as far as we can tell from this distance in
time, and Martin's kings are fictional. (And, ya know, no
dragons in Rome.)
More pre-Tudor England than ancient Rome.
Although, of course, no actual dragons in England either.
Costumes and weaponry, yes, inspired by medieval Europe.
But behavior? I'm thinking of the empress who got married to her
boyfriend WHILE her emperor husband was a) alive, b) just at a city down
the road, c) not divorced and d) evidently not told ahead of time of her
plans. Thinking the emperor would, what, be cool with it? (Didn't turn
out well for her. Second marriage was very, very short, due to everyone
being killed by irate emperor's minions.) (Emperor Claudius, of "I,
Claudius" fame.)
{raise eyebrows} In ancient Hawai'i, that would be not particularly
surprising. At least not until the emperor started killing folks. Plural
marriage was expected of both men and women who could afford more than
one spouse, but jealousy of a spouse... now THAT was a cause for
scandal! {BIG AMUSED SMILE}
Post by Megan
Or the "year of the four emperors," which was exactly what it sounds like.
Very short-lived emperors. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Or Commodus, the emperor who thought he was a great gladiator, and who
certainly did kill his many gladiatorial opponents. (All pre-wounded,
lest they hurt the emperor.)
Oh dear. You couldn't have that. {wryly amused smile}
Post by Megan
Or Caracalla and Geta, the brother emperors who got along so well that
Caracalla had his brother assassinated, in front of their mother, at a
"let us make peace" lunch arranged by their mother.
That's... even more dramatic than the final conflict between King
Kamehameha and his cousin. {smile}
Post by Megan
Don't those sound like 'Game of Thrones'-style family relationships? I
suppose Martin can't steal plot ideas directly from the highlights of
Roman Empire history, because too many people are familiar with them.
But he must be tempted.
ease of recognition rarely stopped writers in the past. Not when
such an obviously not copyrighted source as Roman history is involved.
{Smile}
Post by Megan
(Henry VIII of England and his interesting approach to marital bliss
must also be an inspiration. And Charles I of England and his ... what
do you call it when someone is the dead opposite of diplomatic??
anti-diplomatic?... incompetent approach to hanging on to the monarchy.)
I like "incompetent." I think it fits Charles I very well. {SMILE, wink}


Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-11-16 05:09:50 UTC
Permalink
snip - Roman empire>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
But behavior? I'm thinking of the empress who got married to
her boyfriend WHILE her emperor husband was a) alive, b) just at
a city down the road, c) not divorced and d) evidently not told
ahead of time of her plans. Thinking the emperor would, what, be
cool with it? (Didn't turn out well for her. Second marriage was
very, very short, due to everyone being killed by irate emperor's
minions.) (Emperor Claudius, of "I, Claudius" fame.)
{raise eyebrows} In ancient Hawai'i, that would be not particularly
surprising. At least not until the emperor started killing folks.
Plural marriage was expected of both men and women who could afford
more than one spouse, but jealousy of a spouse... now THAT was a
cause for scandal! {BIG AMUSED SMILE}
Ancient Rome favored monogamy. (Except for concubines and slaves, but
they weren't spouses.) And very conservative about women -- wives
were supposed to be models of quiet dignity. One reason we know
relatively little about the lives of ancient Roman women is because
they admired quiet women, so the women were quiet and didn't leave
historians much to look at.
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Or the "year of the four emperors," which was exactly what it
sounds like.
Very short-lived emperors. {Smile}
I think a couple of them were long lived... their lives just ended in
that year. Abruptly.
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Or Commodus, the emperor who thought he was a great gladiator,
and who certainly did kill his many gladiatorial opponents. (All
pre-wounded, lest they hurt the emperor.)
Oh dear. You couldn't have that. {wryly amused smile}
He also killed a lot of dwarves. And giraffes. Famously dangerous
individuals like that. (Not quite sane... though whether medically
off his nut, or just the result of living a life where no one ever
told him No, I have no idea.)
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Or Caracalla and Geta, the brother emperors who got along so well
that Caracalla had his brother assassinated, in front of their
mother, at a "let us make peace" lunch arranged by their mother.
That's... even more dramatic than the final conflict between King
Kamehameha and his cousin. {smile}
Both of them co-emperors at the time. I guess the murderer of an
emperor doesn't get prosecuted if he's the other emperor. (Caracalla
was himself assassinated a few years later. Plainly, everybody loved
this guy.)

Great stuff for inclusion in a novel, if any of you are writing one.
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Don't those sound like 'Game of Thrones'-style family
relationships? I suppose Martin can't steal plot ideas directly
from the highlights of Roman Empire history, because too many
people are familiar with them. But he must be tempted.
ease of recognition rarely stopped writers in the past. Not when
such an obviously not copyrighted source as Roman history is
involved. {Smile}
Post by Megan
(Henry VIII of England and his interesting approach to marital
bliss must also be an inspiration. And Charles I of England and
his ... what do you call it when someone is the dead opposite of
diplomatic?? anti-diplomatic?... incompetent approach to hanging
on to the monarchy.)
I like "incompetent." I think it fits Charles I very well. {SMILE, wink}
Turned out well for England, eventually. But not for Charles.

Apropos of your other post about dancing... I'm watching an old Fred
Astaire movie. Now there's a guy with such good balance he could have
danced on a dime and handed you nine cents change.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-21 00:06:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
snip - Roman empire>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
But behavior? I'm thinking of the empress who got married to
her boyfriend WHILE her emperor husband was a) alive, b) just at
a city down the road, c) not divorced and d) evidently not told
ahead of time of her plans. Thinking the emperor would, what, be
cool with it? (Didn't turn out well for her. Second marriage was
very, very short, due to everyone being killed by irate emperor's
minions.) (Emperor Claudius, of "I, Claudius" fame.)
{raise eyebrows} In ancient Hawai'i, that would be not particularly
surprising. At least not until the emperor started killing folks.
Plural marriage was expected of both men and women who could afford
more than one spouse, but jealousy of a spouse... now THAT was a
cause for scandal! {BIG AMUSED SMILE}
Ancient Rome favored monogamy. (Except for concubines and slaves, but
they weren't spouses.) And very conservative about women -- wives were
supposed to be models of quiet dignity. One reason we know relatively
little about the lives of ancient Roman women is because they admired
quiet women, so the women were quiet and didn't leave historians much to
look at.
I see. that seems to happen a lot in history. {smile}
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Or the "year of the four emperors," which was exactly what it sounds like.
Very short-lived emperors. {Smile}
I think a couple of them were long lived... their lives just ended in
that year. Abruptly.
Ah, but by far the most important years in an emperor's life is the
time of his reign, and for at least two of those four emperors, their
reigns had to be pretty short. {Smile, wink}
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Or Commodus, the emperor who thought he was a great gladiator,
and who certainly did kill his many gladiatorial opponents. (All
pre-wounded, lest they hurt the emperor.)
Oh dear. You couldn't have that. {wryly amused smile}
He also killed a lot of dwarves. And giraffes. Famously dangerous
individuals like that. (Not quite sane... though whether medically off
his nut, or just the result of living a life where no one ever told him
No, I have no idea.)
That's often hard to tell. Do you know if he lived in a time when
"Sugar of Lead" was popular? A lot of reputation of nobles for being
stupid and/or crazy was because they drank wine sweetened with a lead
compound that gave them lead poisoning. Mere commoners had to make do
with unsweetened beer, so they tended to be smarter, simply because
their diet lacked that poison. {chuckle, wry smile}
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Or Caracalla and Geta, the brother emperors who got along so well
that Caracalla had his brother assassinated, in front of their
mother, at a "let us make peace" lunch arranged by their mother.
That's... even more dramatic than the final conflict between King
Kamehameha and his cousin. {smile}
Both of them co-emperors at the time. I guess the murderer of an
emperor doesn't get prosecuted if he's the other emperor.
Usually not. I suspect there's an exception somewhere in history,
but that's just conjecture on my part. {Smile}
Post by Megan
(Caracalla
was himself assassinated a few years later. Plainly, everybody loved
this guy.)
With good reason, it seems to me. {wryly amused Smile}
Post by Megan
Great stuff for inclusion in a novel, if any of you are writing one.
I see what you mean, but I'm having enough trouble sorting out a
tsunami in my own fiction writing. Not that I'm certain whether that
will qualify as a novel when I get it done; a novel has to be 50,000
words long at an absolute minimum, and I've never written anything
anywhere near that long yet. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Don't those sound like 'Game of Thrones'-style family
relationships? I suppose Martin can't steal plot ideas directly
from the highlights of Roman Empire history, because too many
people are familiar with them. But he must be tempted.
ease of recognition rarely stopped writers in the past. Not when
such an obviously not copyrighted source as Roman history is
involved. {Smile}
Post by Megan
(Henry VIII of England and his interesting approach to marital
bliss must also be an inspiration. And Charles I of England and
his ... what do you call it when someone is the dead opposite of
diplomatic?? anti-diplomatic?... incompetent approach to hanging
on to the monarchy.)
I like "incompetent." I think it fits Charles I very well. {SMILE, wink}
Turned out well for England, eventually. But not for Charles.
True. Charles didn't have the happiest reign, or ending to a reign.
{odd smile}
Post by Megan
Apropos of your other post about dancing... I'm watching an old Fred
Astaire movie. Now there's a guy with such good balance he could have
danced on a dime and handed you nine cents change.
{Chuckle} Which is why he's still one of the best-known dancers in
movies. {SMILE}

And I agree; Fred Astaire could really dance. He was also quite a
showman, but he used his showmanship to show off some pretty amazing
dance moves and choreographies.

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-15 08:11:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Ikeda
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I just watched 'I, Claudius' (1976). Scandalous and sexy
stuff, for the 1970s. Hello, sexual revolution.
Yes, exactly: it was the sexual revolution. Some of the
stuff from
that time is sexier and more scandalous stuff that makes it out
today, at least thru "regular channels." {Smile}
Definitely.
With the obvious modern exception of 'Game of Thrones.' I have
a feeling G.RR.Martin read some history of the Roman Empire
books while working on his novels. Same flare for scandal and
backstabbing. With the exception being that the Roman emperors
actually did it, as far as we can tell from this distance in
time, and Martin's kings are fictional. (And, ya know, no
dragons in Rome.)
More pre-Tudor England than ancient Rome.
Although, of course, no actual dragons in England either.
There are a lot of periods where backstabbing and scandal are The
Thing of the Day. I thought of the Byzantine Empire first, myself.
{AMUSED SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-11-16 04:37:09 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Michael Ikeda
Post by Megan
With the obvious modern exception of 'Game of Thrones.' I have
a feeling G.RR.Martin read some history of the Roman Empire
books while working on his novels. Same flare for scandal and
backstabbing. With the exception being that the Roman emperors
actually did it, as far as we can tell from this distance in
time, and Martin's kings are fictional. (And, ya know, no
dragons in Rome.)
More pre-Tudor England than ancient Rome.
Although, of course, no actual dragons in England either.
There are a lot of periods where backstabbing and scandal are The
Thing of the Day. I thought of the Byzantine Empire first, myself.
{AMUSED SMILE}
Oh, yes.

Wasn't there an emperor there who cut... hmmm... tongues out of
potential rivals to the throne (who were his brothers or cousins, so I
guess he felt bad about killing them??) before sending them off to
live as monks? I may be mixing up an emperor or two.

Charming folks, those emperors. Makes me glad to be descended from
serfs, peasants, and other poor folks.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-21 00:09:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Michael Ikeda
Post by Megan
With the obvious modern exception of 'Game of Thrones.' I have
a feeling G.RR.Martin read some history of the Roman Empire
books while working on his novels. Same flare for scandal and
backstabbing. With the exception being that the Roman emperors
actually did it, as far as we can tell from this distance in
time, and Martin's kings are fictional. (And, ya know, no
dragons in Rome.)
More pre-Tudor England than ancient Rome.
Although, of course, no actual dragons in England either.
There are a lot of periods where backstabbing and scandal are The
Thing of the Day. I thought of the Byzantine Empire first, myself.
{AMUSED SMILE}
Oh, yes.
Wasn't there an emperor there who cut... hmmm... tongues out of
potential rivals to the throne (who were his brothers or cousins, so I
guess he felt bad about killing them??) before sending them off to live
as monks? I may be mixing up an emperor or two.
I wouldn't be surprised. When it came to dealing with rivals and
potential rivals, emperors found all sorts of ways to get and keep the
upper hand. {lop-sided smile}
Post by Megan
Charming folks, those emperors. Makes me glad to be descended from
serfs, peasants, and other poor folks.
One advantage of not having much power in the first place is that it
makes it so much easier to not mis-use the power you have. {Smile, wink}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-11 22:34:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
I just watched 'I, Claudius' (1976). Scandalous and sexy stuff, for
the 1970s. Hello, sexual revolution.
Yes, exactly: it was the sexual revolution. Some of the stuff from
that time is sexier and more scandalous stuff that makes it out today,
at least thru "regular channels." {Smile}
Definitely.
With the obvious modern exception of 'Game of Thrones.' I have a
feeling G.RR.Martin read some history of the Roman Empire books while
working on his novels. Same flare for scandal and backstabbing. With
the exception being that the Roman emperors actually did it, as far as
we can tell from this distance in time, and Martin's kings are
fictional. (And, ya know, no dragons in Rome.)
Well, they aren't quite on a regular channel. They're on one that's
gained a reputation for going a little further and taking a few more
risks than the regular channels quite dare. It's paid off, too. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
And, wow, the novelist who wrote 'I, Claudius' really did not like
Empress Livia. (Or, alternately, the historians who documented the time
period did not like Livia, and the novelist carefully selected all the
most scandalous rumors to include in his book. Truth? Who cares about
that?) What fun the actress must have had, playing that character.
Some actresses would just love such a "meaty" role. Others, not so
much. I hope they had one of the former. It always shows when someone
is enjoying their work. {SMILE}
I imagine the actress enjoyed it. Definitely a different role from the
standard wife-n-mother-type acting jobs for women. (There were
20-years-later interviews with the actors on the DVD, wherein they all
claimed to have enjoyed making the show tremendously, but... well,
they're actors. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. At least they were
professional enough to act pleased.)
I think you got that right. Either they really did enjoy it, or
they're good at faking enjoying it for the cameras. {SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-12 08:47:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Oliver
On Sat, 04 Oct 2014 19:59:02 -0700, Megan
Post by Megan
<snip - John Ringo>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Firesong
Post by Megan
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.
I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>
{Chuckle} He's a bit much at times? {SMILE}
<snip>
Be nice... not all Americans are like that. There are pockets where
the attitude is common, and others... not so much.
I have to tell you that from the outside it certainly appears that the
attitude is common and that there are pockets where it's not so much.
Our media has some pretty severe misconceptions about the British,
too. I managed to figure out that they were oversimplifying to the point
of error when none of the British I met online were even close to the
stereotypes. {Smile}
Post by John Oliver
Did you see the first 10 minutes of the first episode of "The
Newsroom", wherein a panel on a political show is asked "In three
words, why is America the greatest country in the world", and two of
them come out with Jingositic slogans, and then Jeff Daniels lists
about twenty reasons why it isn't and the only lists it tops are bad
ones, and is then nearly forced out of his job due to his 'meltdown'?
It's a comedy skit. They're exaggerating to make a point. That's
what comedians do. {GRIN}

At least I hope so, because I saw a comedy skit where brawls were
breaking out on the floor of the British Parliament every other minute.
I certainly hope that's a very large exaggeration indeed! {Chuckle, SMILE}
Post by John Oliver
Or the bits on Boston Legal where Alan lists the failings and
statistics to make a point.
Or Team America: World Police.
That's what the rest of the world tends to see. And I'm aware that two
out of three of those are comedies, and/or parodies, but you can't
parody a meme that isn't there.
No, but you can exaggerate it to the point of ludicrousness. Some
comedians do. {Smile}


Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-09 21:45:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip - John Ringo>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Firesong
Post by Megan
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
He tends to write strong macho american adventures, where the world
has gone to hell and only the tough but free minded rugged american
individualist can save it from itself.
I like them, but as a non-american have to keep repeating to myself,
"he's been brought up that way, it's not his fault..." <G>
{Chuckle} He's a bit much at times? {SMILE}
<snip>
Be nice... not all Americans are like that. There are pockets where the
attitude is common, and others... not so much.
Also remember that you're talking to a Brit. British media seems to
have fallen in love with The Wild West to a degree unseen in many parts
of the world. {Amused Smile}

Isn't culture clash fun? {SMILE, wink}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-10-11 01:53:28 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Also remember that you're talking to a Brit. British media seems
to have fallen in love with The Wild West to a degree unseen in many
parts of the world. {Amused Smile}
Isn't culture clash fun? {SMILE, wink}
The Wild West... do you mean Portland? :)

Someone I know visited Portland recently, and -- besides stating that
their soup is great, and their infatuation with donuts is peculiar --
saw a transexual wearing platform shoes, leopard print, and a braided
goatee. A wild fashion statement.

I think the braided goatee is a nice touch.

Plus, San Francisco recently held their annual festival of... I forget
what it is called, but it is the festival where lots of people wear
leather (lots of people wear little bits of leather) and chains and
leashes and stuff. I've only seen the almost-G-rated photos that make
it into the newspaper, but that looks pretty darn Wild West to me. (I
gather not all the sights at that festival can be photographed for a
family paper.)

We still got some Wild West out in the west, oh, yes we do.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-16 08:10:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Also remember that you're talking to a Brit. British media seems
to have fallen in love with The Wild West to a degree unseen in many
parts of the world. {Amused Smile}
Isn't culture clash fun? {SMILE, wink}
The Wild West... do you mean Portland? :)
More like Dallas or Houston. Yes, I know they aren't particularly
far west, but that's the Wild West Britain seems to love. At least to
judge by a couple of British kids' TV shows I used to watch on
Nicklodeon when that station was getting established around here. They
had a few shows they were playing very regularly, where folks kept
climbing into the passenger's seat and starting the car. Those same
shows seemed incapable of showing an American who didn't have a ten
gallon hat, cowboy boots, and a drawl. And no, two out of three wasn't
good enough; it had to be all three. {Amused Smile}
Post by Megan
Someone I know visited Portland recently, and -- besides stating that
their soup is great, and their infatuation with donuts is peculiar --
{Chuckle} I wonder what they'd think of Hawai'i's love of white
rice? {SMILE}
Post by Megan
saw a transexual wearing platform shoes, leopard print, and a braided
goatee. A wild fashion statement.
Yeah, I'd certainly call that "wild:" actually far wilder than the
"Americans" on the British kids' shows. {SMILE}
Post by Megan
I think the braided goatee is a nice touch.
Yes, it does. That outfit just wouldn't have the same flare without
it. {SMILE}
Post by Megan
Plus, San Francisco recently held their annual festival of... I forget
what it is called, but it is the festival where lots of people wear
leather (lots of people wear little bits of leather) and chains and
leashes and stuff. I've only seen the almost-G-rated photos that make
it into the newspaper, but that looks pretty darn Wild West to me. (I
gather not all the sights at that festival can be photographed for a
family paper.)
Ah... no. That just doesn't sound like a family-friendly festival.
Certainly not by the standards of family-friendly newspapers. {SMILE}
Post by Megan
We still got some Wild West out in the west, oh, yes we do.
Yes, I think you do. Very much so. {BIG SMILE, REALLY BIG GRIN}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-10-18 05:05:49 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
The Wild West... do you mean Portland? :)
More like Dallas or Houston. Yes, I know they aren't particularly
far west, but that's the Wild West Britain seems to love. At least to
judge by a couple of British kids' TV shows I used to watch on
Nicklodeon when that station was getting established around here. They
had a few shows they were playing very regularly, where folks kept
climbing into the passenger's seat and starting the car. Those same
shows seemed incapable of showing an American who didn't have a ten
gallon hat, cowboy boots, and a drawl. And no, two out of three wasn't
good enough; it had to be all three. {Amused Smile}
Ahhhhh, the flyover states. I gather people actually live in them.

(I'm *joking*! I know lots of people, some quite dear to me, who live
there.)

Those hats are very sensible, if you are coping with Texas sunshine
every day. Sunscreen always misses the top of an ear or the edge of a
T-shirt. The hats shade the spots most likely to be painfully burnt.
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Someone I know visited Portland recently, and -- besides stating that
their soup is great, and their infatuation with donuts is peculiar --
{Chuckle} I wonder what they'd think of Hawai'i's love of white
rice? {SMILE}
I'm not sure, but what I think is: "I hope they mix in vegetables.
WWII prisoners of war got nasty, nasty vitamin deficiencies when
living on a diet of pure white rice."

<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
saw a transexual wearing platform shoes, leopard print, and a braided
goatee. A wild fashion statement.
Yeah, I'd certainly call that "wild:" actually far wilder than the
"Americans" on the British kids' shows. {SMILE}
Post by Megan
I think the braided goatee is a nice touch.
Yes, it does. That outfit just wouldn't have the same flare
without it. {SMILE}
<snip>

I forgot the swish. A distinct swish (or sashay?) to the
goatee-wearer's walk was noticed. The swish was what really made the
outfit come together, gave it panache.
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Bookwyrm
2014-10-18 16:33:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
More like Dallas or Houston. Yes, I know they aren't particularly
far west, but that's the Wild West Britain seems to love. At least to
judge by a couple of British kids' TV shows I used to watch on
Nicklodeon when that station was getting established around here. They
had a few shows they were playing very regularly, where folks kept
climbing into the passenger's seat and starting the car. Those same
shows seemed incapable of showing an American who didn't have a ten
gallon hat, cowboy boots, and a drawl. And no, two out of three wasn't
good enough; it had to be all three. {Amused Smile}
Ahhhhh, the flyover states. I gather people actually live in them.
(I'm *joking*! I know lots of people, some quite dear to me, who live
there.)
Harumph! You'd BETTER be joking.

a very Midwestern 'wyrm
Megan
2014-10-19 02:23:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bookwyrm
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
More like Dallas or Houston. Yes, I know they aren't particularly
far west, but that's the Wild West Britain seems to love. At least to
judge by a couple of British kids' TV shows I used to watch on
Nicklodeon when that station was getting established around here. They
had a few shows they were playing very regularly, where folks kept
climbing into the passenger's seat and starting the car. Those same
shows seemed incapable of showing an American who didn't have a ten
gallon hat, cowboy boots, and a drawl. And no, two out of three wasn't
good enough; it had to be all three. {Amused Smile}
Ahhhhh, the flyover states. I gather people actually live in them.
(I'm *joking*! I know lots of people, some quite dear to me, who live
there.)
Harumph! You'd BETTER be joking.
a very Midwestern 'wyrm
Definitely joking. Can provide documented evidence of
near-n-dear-to-me folks living in... actually, Texas, which was the
state mentioned.

Last time I visited them, the town they lived in didn't have a Chinese
restaurant. At all. One of the people I was visiting -- granted, a
young person at the time -- had never eaten Chinese food at all. At
the time that sounded like the definition of the Back of Beyond,
Beyond Reach of Civilization, to me.

So the flyover states might be, on the whole, ok, but there are some
distinctly uncivilized places in them. (No Chinese restaurant?!? How
can a person live like that?)
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-08 01:06:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bookwyrm
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
More like Dallas or Houston. Yes, I know they aren't particularly
far west, but that's the Wild West Britain seems to love. At least to
judge by a couple of British kids' TV shows I used to watch on
Nicklodeon when that station was getting established around here. They
had a few shows they were playing very regularly, where folks kept
climbing into the passenger's seat and starting the car. Those same
shows seemed incapable of showing an American who didn't have a ten
gallon hat, cowboy boots, and a drawl. And no, two out of three wasn't
good enough; it had to be all three. {Amused Smile}
Ahhhhh, the flyover states. I gather people actually live in them.
(I'm *joking*! I know lots of people, some quite dear to me, who live
there.)
Harumph! You'd BETTER be joking.
a very Midwestern 'wyrm
Definitely joking. Can provide documented evidence of near-n-dear-to-me
folks living in... actually, Texas, which was the state mentioned.
Last time I visited them, the town they lived in didn't have a Chinese
restaurant. At all. One of the people I was visiting -- granted, a
young person at the time -- had never eaten Chinese food at all. At the
time that sounded like the definition of the Back of Beyond, Beyond
Reach of Civilization, to me.
If you ever get over here to Hawai'i, I promise that won't be a
problem in any place with more than a few thousand residents. Not that
you can't find them in smaller places as well, but it's not guaranteed
in the smaller places. Then again, you don't need to find a dedicated
Chinese restaurant to get Chinese food. Any hole-in-the-wall lunch
counter shoudl have a few Chinese selections, along with Japanese,
Korean, Filipino, Hawaiian, and even a few European selections,
especially spaghetti and beef stew. Of course, the whole meal won't be
from the same country; that's why we call it "mixed plate." {BIG SMILE}
So the flyover states might be, on the whole, ok, but there are some
distinctly uncivilized places in them. (No Chinese restaurant?!? How
can a person live like that?)
As I just said, that's not a problem in my state. But then, you
aren't likely to just fly over my state. Even if you're crossing the
Pacific Ocean, you're liable to stop here to refuel. {SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Megan
2014-11-12 04:10:18 UTC
Permalink
<snip - flyover states, in USA>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Last time I visited them, the town they lived in didn't have a
Chinese restaurant. At all. One of the people I was visiting --
granted, a young person at the time -- had never eaten Chinese
food at all. At the time that sounded like the definition of the
Back of Beyond, Beyond Reach of Civilization, to me.
If you ever get over here to Hawai'i, I promise that won't be a
problem in any place with more than a few thousand residents. Not
that you can't find them in smaller places as well, but it's not
guaranteed in the smaller places. Then again, you don't need to
find a dedicated Chinese restaurant to get Chinese food. Any
hole-in-the-wall lunch counter shoudl have a few Chinese
selections, along with Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Hawaiian, and
even a few European selections, especially spaghetti and beef stew.
Of course, the whole meal won't be from the same country; that's
why we call it "mixed plate." {BIG SMILE}
I'd be shocked if Hawaii didn't boast more Asian-inspired cuisine than
California. You are, after all, closer to Asia. A lot of seriously
seasick immigrants planning to go all the way to this continent
probably hopped off the boat in Hawaii and decided that it was dry,
not moving, good enough.
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
So the flyover states might be, on the whole, ok, but there are
some distinctly uncivilized places in them. (No Chinese
restaurant?!? How can a person live like that?)
As I just said, that's not a problem in my state. But then, you
aren't likely to just fly over my state. Even if you're crossing
the Pacific Ocean, you're liable to stop here to refuel. {SMILE}
Yep. A trip I'm hoping to make again someday, at least once in my
life. (After the piggie bank gets a little piggier.)
--
Megan
Journeyperson Dancing Barbarian
Keeper o' the FAQ: http://www.cs.csustan.edu/~mthomas/abml/
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-11-18 05:29:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip - flyover states, in USA>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Last time I visited them, the town they lived in didn't have a
Chinese restaurant. At all. One of the people I was visiting --
granted, a young person at the time -- had never eaten Chinese
food at all. At the time that sounded like the definition of the
Back of Beyond, Beyond Reach of Civilization, to me.
If you ever get over here to Hawai'i, I promise that won't be a
problem in any place with more than a few thousand residents. Not
that you can't find them in smaller places as well, but it's not
guaranteed in the smaller places. Then again, you don't need to
find a dedicated Chinese restaurant to get Chinese food. Any
hole-in-the-wall lunch counter shoudl have a few Chinese
selections, along with Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Hawaiian, and
even a few European selections, especially spaghetti and beef stew.
Of course, the whole meal won't be from the same country; that's
why we call it "mixed plate." {BIG SMILE}
I'd be shocked if Hawaii didn't boast more Asian-inspired cuisine than
California. You are, after all, closer to Asia. A lot of seriously
seasick immigrants planning to go all the way to this continent probably
hopped off the boat in Hawaii and decided that it was dry, not moving,
good enough.
Maybe... but most of our Asian immigrants only meant to come this
far, especially with the Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino immigrants.
Those were the main Asian groups which sugar plantations and other major
employers recruited contract laborers in. They'd pay their passage if
they agreed to work for five years. The wages sounded great in the old
country, but didn't go so far in Hawai'i, especially in the plantation
store where they bought their groceries and such. So they stayed, and
many of their descendants did, too. So we ended up with almost as many
Asians as California has, even tho our total population is a whole lot
less. {Smile}

It shows in the cuisine, of course. As I mentioned, you don't have
to go an Asian restaurant to find Asian food. A lot of places have at
least a few dishes. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
So the flyover states might be, on the whole, ok, but there are
some distinctly uncivilized places in them. (No Chinese
restaurant?!? How can a person live like that?)
As I just said, that's not a problem in my state. But then, you
aren't likely to just fly over my state. Even if you're crossing
the Pacific Ocean, you're liable to stop here to refuel. {SMILE}
Yep. A trip I'm hoping to make again someday, at least once in my
life. (After the piggie bank gets a little piggier.)
If you get over the east side of the Big Island, let me know. My
schedule is usually pretty open, so we might find a time we could visit
face-to-face for a change. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-30 08:15:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
The Wild West... do you mean Portland? :)
More like Dallas or Houston. Yes, I know they aren't particularly
far west, but that's the Wild West Britain seems to love. At least to
judge by a couple of British kids' TV shows I used to watch on
Nicklodeon when that station was getting established around here. They
had a few shows they were playing very regularly, where folks kept
climbing into the passenger's seat and starting the car. Those same
shows seemed incapable of showing an American who didn't have a ten
gallon hat, cowboy boots, and a drawl. And no, two out of three wasn't
good enough; it had to be all three. {Amused Smile}
Ahhhhh, the flyover states. I gather people actually live in them.
Yes, exactly. {Smile}
Post by Megan
(I'm *joking*! I know lots of people, some quite dear to me, who live
there.)
So do I. Not as many as seem to live on either coast, but still.
{Smile, wink}
Post by Megan
Those hats are very sensible, if you are coping with Texas sunshine
every day. Sunscreen always misses the top of an ear or the edge of a
T-shirt. The hats shade the spots most likely to be painfully burnt.
Good point. They do seem to be popular with folk who work outdoors
and don't need a hardhat. {Smile}
Post by Megan
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
Someone I know visited Portland recently, and -- besides stating that
their soup is great, and their infatuation with donuts is peculiar --
{Chuckle} I wonder what they'd think of Hawai'i's love of white
rice? {SMILE}
I'm not sure, but what I think is: "I hope they mix in vegetables. WWII
prisoners of war got nasty, nasty vitamin deficiencies when living on a
diet of pure white rice."
You'll get vegetables. I don't guarantee they'll be mixed into the
rice, but they should be on the plate somewhere. {Smile}
Post by Megan
<snip>
Post by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Megan
saw a transexual wearing platform shoes, leopard print, and a braided
goatee. A wild fashion statement.
Yeah, I'd certainly call that "wild:" actually far wilder than the
"Americans" on the British kids' shows. {SMILE}
Post by Megan
I think the braided goatee is a nice touch.
Yes, it does. That outfit just wouldn't have the same flare
without it. {SMILE}
<snip>
I forgot the swish. A distinct swish (or sashay?) to the
goatee-wearer's walk was noticed. The swish was what really made the
outfit come together, gave it panache.
{LAUGHTER} Yes, that does sound like it would add something. {REALLY
BIG GRIN}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-04 04:19:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bookwyrm
<snippity do dah>
Post by Megan
Post by Bookwyrm
WHAT, you may ask, is this book/series??
The first title is "Under a Graveyard Sky" by John Ringo.
The Smith family of 4 (Dad, Mom, and 2 daughters) flees to the high
seas to escape the Zombie Apocalypse and find other survivors to help
them painfully restart civilization.
Lots of guns and knives and rescued Marines and few Navy guys and odd
lots of civilians and LOTS of soon-to-be-dead zombies.
Oh, did I fail to mention that the central-most character is the
youngest daughter -- a 13 year old who becomes a zombie killer 'par
excellance' and trains Marines in how to 'clear' ships of zombies?
There's humor, great characters, and military talk up the wazoo.
Check the series out under 'Black Tide Rising' series at Amazon.
Now I gotta go find something to read.
That's a strong recommendation, as you don't usually read zombies or
vampires. I don't usually read zombies or vampires, these days, ...
John Ringo. Will take a peek when I next go to the library.
Not 'usually don't read' , but never read. Not even Anne Rice.
Well, I wouldn't expect you to like her if you don't like that sort
of stuff in general. She doesn't write much else, so you can't gain a
taste for her writing before getting into the stuff you avoid. {Smile}
Post by Bookwyrm
Where I first ran into John Ringo was with his partnering with David
Weber in the Prince Roger/Empire of Man series. First one is "March Up
Country", followed by "March to the Sea", "March to the Stars' and "We Few".
We have some of those. I've wondered about getting around to them,
but there's so many other things I want to get around to also... {Smile,
wink}
Post by Bookwyrm
Spoiled brat youngest son of the Empress of the Universe and his
bodyguards crash land on a strange planet and have to make their way
home again. Aliens, local politics, fighting and a goodly amount of
delightful humor in the mix.
That sounds like a better place to start for me, too. Then I can
decide if I like him well enough to try the exceptions. {Smile}


Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
2014-10-02 09:11:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bookwyrm
The following is a copy of the long post I made in alt.callahans today.
I am a 69 year old female, widowed, mother of two grown sons. I got into
SF via RAH when I was in 6th grade. As my nickname suggests, I read a
lot. But, I'm selective in what I read -- both SF/F and other fiction
and Non-fiction.
I am NOT interested in vampires, zombies, slasher films, almost all
robots, alien mind-control, etc.
BUT....
Several months ago I picked up a book from the 'new arrivals' shelf at
my local library. I picked it up because of the author's name. I had
read a series that he had done several years ago with David Weber (one
of my favorites) -- that I had enjoyed thoroughly.
I read the blurb inside the cover and, while I had some doubts, decided
to take a chance with it.
I finished it in about 3 days and realized that I had to find the first
book in the series. Did that and put my name down on the pre-order list
for the third book which came out last month. Just finished this one
yesterday and will have to control myself until the fourth and last book
comes out in January.
WHAT, you may ask, is this book/series??
The first title is "Under a Graveyard Sky" by John Ringo.
The Smith family of 4 (Dad, Mom, and 2 daughters) flees to the high seas
to escape the Zombie Apocalypse and find other survivors to help them
painfully restart civilization.
Lots of guns and knives and rescued Marines and few Navy guys and odd
lots of civilians and LOTS of soon-to-be-dead zombies.
Oh, did I fail to mention that the central-most character is the
youngest daughter -- a 13 year old who becomes a zombie killer 'par
excellance' and trains Marines in how to 'clear' ships of zombies?
There's humor, great characters, and military talk up the wazoo.
Check the series out under 'Black Tide Rising' series at Amazon.
I wonder if the library has it. It doesn't sound like my usual
choice, either, but if you liked it anyway, I'm intrigued. {Smile}

It is odd how some books become the exception to our general tastes.
My most recent against-the-grain discovery is Misty's Secret World
Chronicles. I usually don't go for superheroes at all, but this series
has really grown on me. I liked the first first one, thought the second
was even better, and really took to the third. Now I'm trying to resist
temptation with the fourth book. Long-term, I know I want the hardcover.
However, that doesn't come out until December, while the ARC ebook is
out now... but both really seems like more than I want in the long-run.
{odd smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Post by Bookwyrm
Now I gotta go find something to read.
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