Interesting Links for 24-04-2014

Apr. 24th, 2014 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
I called into school AGAIN today. I'm just too swollen and in too much pain. Even talking to my cats is causing me to bite down on swollen gums, which is making me cry. I'm worried about infection.

And Franken - I hope you are right about being past the danger zone for a dry socket. I'm still being insanely careful, though. I am still smoking ONLY with the gauze in, salt water rinse every time I eat (a gentle, tipping-the-head-side-to-side sort of rinse) and not blowing my nose or doing anything that creates a pressure vacuum in my mouth.

I'm going to call the clinic and see about getting a follow up visit. Failing that, at least another script for pain relievers. I woke up this morning and immediately downed a 5/325 Norco, my last 50 mg Tramadol, an Excedrin Migraine and 2 500 mg Tylenols.

This is getting ridiculous.

(And don't give me any lectures on how hard all that medication is on my liver or kidney. I don't give a flying fuck about my liver or kidney right now. What I care about is being able to breathe without every inhalation feeling like the air is made of chewed up glass.)

The Department Head seems to be understanding - I hope my teacher is. I've been emailing them updates every single school day that I've missed. I've gotten EVERY make up attendance assignment and other assignments in on time (or early), so here's hoping.

In other words - I have been keeping up on my end of the deal when it comes to students missing class. I really hope that is recognized. (I always have a permanent worry that it won't be. Hello, insecurity and inherent distrust in authority?)

Come on, food in the oven. FINISH COOKING SO I CAN EAT YOU SO I DON'T FEEL SO NAUSEOUS WITH ALL THIS MEDICINE IN ME.

Someday I will have dentures. Perfect, fake, wonderful dentures. That will be awesome.

Or I'll be one of those old, toothless grandmas who somehow wind up on a fetish porn site. YEAH, THAT'S A THING. THAT'S AN ACTUAL FETISH OUT THERE. TOOTHLESS GRANDMAS.

At least I wouldn't have to worry about money to feed my cats.
[syndicated profile] who_don_feed
On 22 April 2014, the Ministry of Health of Jordan reported an additional laboratory-confirmed case of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
[syndicated profile] who_don_feed
On 12 March 2014, 2 events of yellow fever were reported in the North and in the South of DRC. Six laboratory-confirmed cases with yellow fever virus infection were reported. Of these, 3 were from Bondo health zone1, Orientale Province, 2 from Buta health zone, Orientale Province and 1 from Kikondja health zone, Katanga Province. In total 139 suspected, probable and confirmed cases, including 6 death were reported.

William H. Patterson Jr. (1951-2014)

Apr. 24th, 2014 06:20 am
supergee: (mourning)
[personal profile] supergee
The author of the two-volume Heinlein biography has died. He did finish it; the second volume will be out in June

Thanx to File 770

But hurt

Apr. 24th, 2014 06:12 am
supergee: (grammar police)
[personal profile] supergee
Lingua Franca looks at the tabu against beginning a sentence with "but" or "and." I do it myself, and I defend it with an argument from near-divine authority: The Authorized Version of the Bible does it all the time. Good enough for the King James Gang, good enough for me.

Dope menace

Apr. 24th, 2014 05:59 am
supergee: (horse's ass)
[personal profile] supergee
Republican says that the president isn't allowed to pardon drug fiends. Charles Pierce points out that the real problem is electing morons.

Homeopathic urine and antivaxxers

Apr. 24th, 2014 05:52 am
supergee: (breeches)
[personal profile] supergee
Jon Carroll on the reservoir someone allegedly wee-weed in. You know what W.C. Fields said. Read more... )

Affirmative action

Apr. 24th, 2014 09:46 am
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

Yesterday a journalist asked me about the background of the term "affirmative action". I turned up a few things like this, from a (2006 reprint of a) 1954 book French Administrative Law and the Common-Law World:

Or similarly this passage, where "a request that an allegedly illegal administrative act be annulled" is contrasted with "[a request] that the administration be ordered to take some affirmative action … to repair an injury caused by an improper administrative act".

So it seems that when the term began to be used in reference to remedying the effects of segregation and other race- or sex-based discrimination, the idea was that people who had been excluded from education or employment deserved not just the nullification of discriminatory laws or policies, but also "affirmative action" to repair the injury.

But sometimes the meaning of "affirmative action" in older texts seems more general, apparently not meaning much beyond an emphatic form of simple "action". Here's an example from a (2006 reprint of a) 1930 book Legislative Principles: The History and Theory of Lawmaking by Representative Government:

(Though perhaps "affirmative action" here still means "formal legislative ratification", as opposed to a mere failure to take formal action to object?)

And the OED's entry suggests a very different relationship to the modifier affirmative:

affirmative action n. orig. U.S. action taken to affirm an established policy; spec. active measures taken by an employer, college, etc., to provide opportunities for members of minority groups, women, or other people regarded as having suffered from discrimination.

In any case, it seems that as a result of late-20th-century America's intense concern with racial and sexual politics, a legal term of art that earlier had quite broad application has changed its meaning, at least in popular discourse, to refer specifically to policies to repair the effects of past race or sex discrimination.

But I'm not an expert in legal terminology. Perhaps some commenters can clarify the history and present legal usage of this term.

Not cute

Apr. 24th, 2014 05:39 am
supergee: (maneki neko)
[personal profile] supergee
Amanda Marcotte makes the reasonable point that we should not encourage teenage boys to pester women who are not interested in them. Idiots attack.

Thanx to Pandagon.

Huh.

Apr. 24th, 2014 09:17 am
whatistigerbalm: alan by redsch ftmfw (Default)
[personal profile] whatistigerbalm
Last time I updated I had mixed feelings about a Banks book and sang praises to a Camilleri one. Since then I read another item from each writer's opus and my feelings on those books were the opposite, which made me feel strange but there it is.

The Player of Games (the second of Banks' Culture books) was a massive improvement on the first in terms of clarity, structure, point, and being able to relate to the characters. The way he brought the various games to life without going too much into detail was masterful, and it described the difference between the Culture and its enemies far more clearly than Consider Phlebas, where the attempt to introduce these civilisations through a third, mercenary party (with a preference against the Culture) was interesting but - to me - unsuccessful. (I think it was his decision to have a Culture character in the story, but have her hang around without doing anything or having any insightful POV sections, that messed it up.) I'm glad I gave the second book a go because this was a proper page-turner and I finished it in two days; it was easy to tell what was really going on but this didn't ruin my enjoyment one bit.

Two peeves I still have: one - and again, this might be the formatting in my epubs, but I think it's Banks - there is never any visual or structural announcement of a change of narrators, not even an extra paragraph break. I don't understand how this got past the editors. Two, Banks really - and I mean really - loves the "(x) was like (y)" approach in describing things, literally so as there are dozens of "... was like a ..." throughout the books, but the problem is that the second part tends to obscure rather than clarify, which is the opposite of what a descriptive comparison is supposed to do. An example that brought this home well was a line where a character's hair "swooped down his robe like heavy smoke" and frankly I found hair simply sweeping down clothes a lot easier to picture than what an effect of "heavy smoke" would mean in this particular context. Gonna blame the editor for this too.

Meanwhile, Camilleri's Age of Doubt had some really unpleasant parts. The plot itself was fine, and fun, but the attempt to portray Montalbano's middle-aged Italian guy insecurities misfired horribly. Normally I'm okay with the police squad being mildly sexist in this old fashioned Mediterranean way because I don't want every story and character I encounter to follow the same value set. In this book, when the inspector falls head over heels for this hot young lieutenant and goes to comical lengths to hide this from his long-suffering long-distance-relationship girlfriend, I hoped this would come to an equally comical end and things would resume as normal.

Instead, she not only fell for him too but also had a LDR boyfriend and, in a move worthy of George Lucas, Camilleri had her shot at the end and simply give up on the operating table despite being young and fit, with Montalbano ruminating on whether she did so because she didn't want to make a choice between him and this other guy. I found this gross, and it soured the whole series for me. To make it even worse - if this is possible - Livia, Montalbano's girlfriend, never appeared in the book again after a spat on the phone. We don't see him make any amends or apologies (come to think of it, he didn't really think of her feelings throughout this whole thing either) and she even figured out the detail that helped him and the French police track down the guy that was crucial to the operation.

To top it all off, he has Mimi (who is at this point newly married and with a little kid) bang the lady who they suspect is the criminal ringleader so that he can infiltrate the gang, and the only thing Mimi complains about is how physically strenuous this is, and nothing at all about this maybe not being a great idea, or the task given to somebody else. What the hell?

Tl;dr I had a lot more fun reading Banks this time around even if at the beginning I felt like I was cheating on a book with another book. Which is more thought given to the problem of fidelity than either character in the Age of Doubt ever showed. So much for the titular doubt! Bleh.

Translate Server Error

Apr. 24th, 2014 09:17 am
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Victor Mair

This is probably the most egregious of all Chinese-English translation fails:


We saw the identical mistake on a giant banner outside of a cafeteria half-a-dozen years ago: see "Honest but unhelpful".

Translate Server Error

Here we have the same mistranslation: the Chinese characters are CAN1TING1 餐厅 ("dining hall"; 餐廳 in traditional characters). You'd think that a person would want to be really sure about the translation before investing in a brass plaque upon which to engrave it.

Google Image Search turns up some more examples.

This howler is so monumental that it has become an acronym, TSE, and has been translated back into Chinese and incorporated in a t-shirt design:

Source: the third and fourth items here.

fānyì fúwùqì cuòwù 翻譯服務器錯誤 ("translate server error")

Compare also "A Bus to Don't Know".

[Thanks to Sanping Chen]

The Blood is The Life 24-04-2014

Apr. 24th, 2014 10:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Spinning, Spinning

Apr. 24th, 2014 10:32 am
selenak: (Cora and Rumpel by Hewontgo)
[personal profile] selenak
Having rewatched The Miller's Daughter in light of 3.18., I take back my assessment of the later as being great despite some clunky retcons, because actually, the new revelations fit with the old ones surprisingly well and even add to some of the characters' interactions if you go back and watch it.

Spoilery thoughts for both eps )
waywren: (Hanawitch)
[personal profile] waywren posting in [community profile] poetry
Arise to birth with me, my brother.
Give me your hand out of the depths
sown by your sorrows.
You will not return from these stone fastnesses.
You will not emerge from subterranean time.
Your rasping voice will not come back,
nor your pierced eyes rise from their sockets.

Look at me from the depths of the earth,
tiller of fields, weaver, reticent shepherd,
groom of totemic guanacos,
mason high on your treacherous scaffolding,
iceman of Andean tears,
jeweler with crushed fingers,
farmer anxious among his seedlings,
potter wasted among his clays--
bring to the cup of this new life
your ancient buried sorrows.
Show me your blood and your furrow;
say to me: here I was scourged
because a gem was dull or because the earth
failed to give up in time its tithe of corn or stone.
Point out to me the rock on which you stumbled,
the wood they used to crucify your body.
Strike the old flints
to kindle ancient lamps, light up the whips
glued to your wounds throughout the centuries
and light the axes gleaming with your blood.

I come to speak for your dead mouths.

Throughout the earth
let dead lips congregate,
out of the depths spin this long night to me
as if I rode at anchor here with you.

And tell me everything, tell chain by chain,
and link by link, and step by step;
sharpen the knives you kept hidden away,
thrust them into my breast, into my hands,
like a torrent of sunbursts,
an Amazon of buried jaguars,
and leave me cry: hours, days and years,
blind ages, stellar centuries.

And give me silence, give me water, hope.

Give me the struggle, the iron, the volcanoes.

Let bodies cling like magnets to my body.

Come quickly to my veins and to my mouth.

Speak through my speech, and through my blood.

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