Thursday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Today is the birthday of British actor Idris Elba (1972), AKA the next James Bond if Twitter is a reliable source for anything [1] . For what it’s worth, he would be perfect in the role, but I don’t know why he’d want it – Bond is a relic of the mid-20th century. What passed for suave in 1950 will have you up as fossilised dinosaur today.

It’s also the birthday of singer Macy Gray (1967), Irish singer Dolores O’Riordan (1971), and Dutch politician Geert Wilders (think Donald Trump with an accent).

First Macy Gray singing her enchanting song I try.

Here is Dolores with The Cranberries and one of their most iconic songs Zombie which is an emotive protest at the partisan violence in Northern Ireland.

Today in 1620 the Pilgrims sailed from England on the Mayflower to North America. Eight years later Puritans settled in Salem which became part of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Life must have been particularly miserable there and the good citizens wasted no time before they started executing women for being witches, mentally ill or the wrong religion.

In 1916 the first Piggly Wiggly opened. In 1970 the Dawson’s Field hijacking was carried out, two years later the Munich Massacre at the Summer Olympics in West Germany. Finally in 1997 the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales took place in London. It was watched by an unbelievable 2.5 billion people on TV. Do watch Christopher Hitchens’ acid post mortem of the whole spectacle.


From the land of famous Polish cats, thoughts on the philosophy of doing nothing.

Hili: You go to the river, I will wait here.
A: Don’t you feel well?
Hili: No, I just decided to stay put.

In Polish:

Hili: Idźcie nad rzekę, ja tu poczekam.
Ja: Źle się czujesz?
Hili: Nie, tak postanowiłam.

In science today, Matthew sent in a fungus gnat death circle, you can watch the video on reddit.

Click on the white arrow to play this infographic.It is indeed horrifying.

Is 2018 madder than most years?

Of course, the Internet just waits for moments such as these.

Some perspective from conservative commentator Tom Nichols.

Good news from India


Here’s an example of a bad argument that does not make its case. This is like trotting out the two gay guys who say they are against same-sex marriage. In other words: your argument may or may not be valid, but the validity is not determined by your identity.

An absolutely fantastic photo

This is to make you feel better

If a member of any other species tried this they would cripple themselves for life.

And a deep thought to ponder. I am informed by a reliable source that you Americans say Week-end, while those of us in Europe say Wee-kend.

Finally, Jerry insisted that I post this picture for reasons of Cat. The punning makes me fear for the human race.

Hat-tip to Matthew.


  1. Don’t be silly.


  1. JezGrove
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Delores O’Riordan died in January this year – tragically it has just been announced today that the cause of death was accidental drowning in her hotel room bath as a result of alcoholic intoxication.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Bond a relic of the 20th century eh. Is Christopher Steele a relic?

    by the way, Lawrence O’Donnell has predicted who the white house insider that authored the NYT’s article yesterday will be.

    • Posted September 6, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      You understand that James Bond isn’t Real Life, right?

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

        I do but what does that have to do with being a relic? Maybe a relic means no computer programmed movies…

        • Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

          A person or thing that has survived from an earlier time but is now outmoded.
          ‘the supermodel has become an embarrassing relic from the early 1990s’

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

            Okay, so the fictional non person relic has turned into an embarrassing supermodel. I give up.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Bond’s boss, M [or Judy Dench] thought Bond a “Sexist, misogynist dinosaur – a relic of the cold war”

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted September 6, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        You do understand it is just a fictional character in a movie? Unlike the real characters who live and receive all they knowledge on the internet…

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 6, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

          Grania did not write that SIS Operational Officers are “a relic of the mid-20th century. What passed for suave in 1950 will have you up as fossilised dinosaur today”. Grania is describing the fictional Bond character. The fact that you compared Bond to Christopher Steele indicates that you didn’t note that distinction.

          • Posted September 6, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            At this stage I think that Randall is either being deliberately obtuse or someone ran over his puppy this morning.
            We are sorry about the puppy, Randall.
            Hugs and butterflies


            • Randall Schenck
              Posted September 6, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

              No dogs please. This is a cat only area but I will keep an eye out for more definitions of relic.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 6, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

              On a side note: The 3rd Fleming novel Moonraker [1955] is rather good on post-war London ‘gentlemen’s’ private clubs, gambling & the Kent countryside – all subjects close to the heart of the author. Bond is far more interesting in the books as we see his damaged centre: heavy drug & drinks use, lack of involvement, bitterness disguised as devil may care] – a book about Fleming. Terrible plots of course. 🙂

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

                Fleming’s books were, of course, very, very different from the movies. In fact I believe that in all but the earliest Bond movies, though the producers had the rights to the title (e.g. Octopussy, The Spy Who Loved Me, etc) and the characters names, for some obscure legal reason they could not use any of the plot.

                Fleming was, as I recall, a very good, readable writer of fiction. Which I wouldn’t say of most popular authors.

                Partly because he had the knack of describing his exotic locations in a convincing way. You felt they really existed.


              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

                That’s right. Fleming, Frederick Forsyth, John le Carré & Len Deighton – no matter how fantastical the plots, they do research procedures, equipment & locales somewhat obsessively – to a nerdly level that pleases me. For one story Fleming loaned his car to the son-in-law [or similar relative] to time a British countryside car chase. The explanation: Deighton indirectly & the other three directly have worked for the Security Service &/or Secret Intelligence Service – they wouldn’t sleep at night if a detail was a bit off due to lack of care.

              • Posted September 6, 2018 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

                Have read almost all of Le Carre. Really good writer! The Beeb or some other Brit station did a great series of Deighton’s Game, Set, Match maybe 25 years ago.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 7, 2018 at 12:08 am | Permalink

                Good taste! [of course]
                re Cumberbatch ~ have you come across the BBC Radio comedy Cabin Pressure? It’s about the smallest airline in the world, “more an airdot”, who have just the one plane named G-ERTI. It’s from the days before DC was famous. Hilariously silly, but clever in a way Ketchupians, HP Saucers & Worcestershirians will all enjoy:
                AUDIO SAMPLE: HERE

              • Posted September 7, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

                Very funny! Especially since I used to have a dog named Ouagadougou and a cat named Timbuktu😻
                Who’s/what’s DC (not Washington, I presume.)

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 7, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

                I’ll Dropbox the 27 episodes – I’ll have to convert them first to MP4 or similar.

                Weird coincidence!

                DC = Domnickers Cumblesnatch.

              • Posted September 7, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

                Great! Why not Benknickers?

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 7, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

                Cos I’m an idiot – it should be BC Benknickers! I have an old friend who looks like him named Dominic.

              • Posted September 7, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

                You’re forgiven🤓

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted September 6, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

          I fail to see how current James Bond movies are any more dated than any other contemporary ‘action’ movie.

          The only slightly dated aspect, I suppose, is that the Bond films generally try to do as much of the action as possible ‘for real’ (i.e. using stunt men). To my mind that is a virtue and adds to the apparent realism of the scene. There is far too much bad CGI in modern movies with exaggerated perspective and excessive ‘zooming’ and it just looks phony.


          • Michael Fisher
            Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

            IMO It’s dated in the portrayal of Bond’s character & in the male/female interactions – this may have improved in more recent Bond outings though – but I’ve never finished a whole Bond so my impressions could be way off. 🙂

            • rickflick
              Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

              “I’ve never finished a whole Bond”

              I’m pretty sure I haven’t either. I much prefer Austin Powers.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

                Tried Austin Powers but it was too terminally silly.

                The Bonds in their early Roger Moore days got silly, also, just playing it for laughs; but later on they improved, as Roger aged he acquired more gravitas. And the more recent Bonds were (in my opinion) distinctly better than most of the action-movie genre. In plot, acting, scenery and production values generally.

                Not that I would claim to have watched many ‘action’ movies.


    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      If Christopher Steele is the modern-day James Bond, then I guess Melania must be the Mitteleuropa Bond-girl who will start boning 007 and helping him to expose her super-villain Spectre-agent husband, whom the Russians have installed in the US presidency.

      Just sayin’.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        I think you’ve just written the plot of the next Bond film for them. 😉

        One quibble, Spectre wasn’t a Russian organisation. They’re a supranational criminal organisation whose services are for sale to the highest bidder.


        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

          Yeah, in my script “treatment,” Spectre and Putin conspire to put the evil orange super-villain in the White House. 🙂

          • W.T. Effingham
            Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            Good basis for a script as long as there isn’t too much gratuitous blasphemous cussing or anything that could possibly be construed as hate speech.\s😬

          • W.T. Effingham
            Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

            Bumper sticker logo needing much larger font: Elect a Clown, Expect a Circus.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Well, I will add that seeing how successfully both Robert Downey, Jr., and Benedict Cumberbatch redefined Sherlock Holmes who was in danger of becoming a Victorian relic, it is certainly possible that Idris Elba could drastically redefine James Bond in some way.

      I would suggest doing what Fleming’s novels and portray Bond as an inwardly conflicted combo of real misogyny and real chivalry with a general love-hate relationship to women.
      Or at least make him more self-aware of his dark side.

      • Posted September 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        For some reason I’ve liked Cumberbatch in everything except Sherlock. He was a terrific Hamlet, and that recent TV mini-series, whose name escapes me…

        • Posted September 6, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          Patrick Melrose! Ben was brilliant in it.

        • darrelle
          Posted September 6, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          My first exposure to him was as Kahn in Star Trek. As opposed to many I thought he was quite good in that role.

          I might be labeled “uncultured” or worse for this, but I’ve never really liked the Sherlock series that features Cumberbatch. I don’t think it’s bad, it just never managed to catch my interest, though I tried. I do, however, like the Sherlock Holmes inspired show Elementary featuring Jonny Lee Miller.

          • Posted September 6, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

            I don’t like Elementary either, even though I’ve really liked Jonny Lee Miller in other things. Maybe Sherlock Holmes just doesn’t turn me on. I did enjoy the very first episode of Sherlock, where he’s got the cell phone, but then gave up after several more episodes.

          • Posted September 6, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

            Not a touch on the original Kahn, Ricardo Montalban. I like Benedict Cumberbatch though, but bringing Sherlock Holmes into modern times didn’t work for me.

  3. Roger
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Yes the hot dog one is treason.

    • Christopher
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      It’s conditional treason: doesn’t count if you’re 12 and under.

      • Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Traditions like “no ketchup on hot dogs” are meant to be broken. I regularly order a Chicago Dog with The Works (onions, mustard, relish, pickle, celery salt, peppers) and then add a couple of stripes of ketchup before devouring it. I had one just yesterday and I’m proud to admit it. It was good.

        • Torbjörn Larsson
          Posted September 6, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          A Swedish hot dog has ketchup and mustard as standard proposed condiments.

      • merilee
        Posted September 6, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Dare I admit to liking catsup on hotdogs?? (I don’t like mustard, except in small doses in sauces, etc.) Never on French fries, though.

        • Taz
          Posted September 6, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          I like catsup on hot dogs. I’ve never understood the condescension over it. It’s a hot dog – not prime rib.

        • Christopher
          Posted September 6, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          I don’t even remember the last time I purchased a bottle of ketchup/catsup. Not sure I’ve felt the need to put it on anything in a long time. That’s not to insult anyone who does, it’s just an observation and I’m not really sure when that culinary shift took place for me. Nowadays it’s all hot sauce, sriracha, mayonnaise with a bit of Dijon mustard, or a nice splash of Samouraï sauce from my Belgian friends. Funny how these changes creep in as age creeps up.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

            Tom Ketchup is overly sweet for me. I liked that sweetness as a lad, but now I’ve swerved to the more balanced savoury sauces & relishes. A Worcestershire or an HP sauce has got a lot more going on compared with Ketchup.

            • Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

              Agree on HP.

            • Steve Pollard
              Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

              That would be the mass-produced stuff. Tiptree Ketchup, by Wilkin & Sons of Essex, is satisfactorily spicy, and is excellent in a bacon butty. You can even get it in Sainsbury’s.

          • Mark R.
            Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

            I mainly use ketchup for Russian dressing (primarily accompanying a Reuben sandwich) and the sauce base of phad thai. It is a useful condiment for bbq sauce bases as well.

        • darrelle
          Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          1) What’s catsup?

          2) Do you ever make cranberry sauce? This sounds kind of weird but try adding a tablespoon or two of Dijon mustard to your next batch. Somehow it works really well. I typically make mine with water, sugar, fresh cranberries, a vanilla bean or 2 split and scraped, juice of 1 or 2 oranges plus zest, salt, fresh cracked black pepper, cook it all down till about half the cranberries have popped, take it off the heat and stir in the Dijon mustard. It’s always been a hit. No one has ever guessed what the difference is but pretty much everyone likes it.

          • Christopher
            Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

            The question is what is catsup vs ketchup, and I assume it must be a regional issue but hell if I know.

            The cranberry sauce sounds interesting. I’m quite a fan of the Mamma Stamberg’s cranberry relish, that old NPR tradition from Susan Stamberg’s late mother in law. If you’ve never tried it, it’s easy to find the recipe, which includes onion, sour cream, and horseradish. It’s quite nice with the turkey, or in my case, tofurkey.

            • darrelle
              Posted September 6, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

              That does sound interesting. Thanks for the tip.

          • JoanL
            Posted September 6, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

            Love cranberry mustard, I’ll have to try these versions.

            Also recommend a mix (about half & half) of cranberry sauce and hot pepper jelly.

  4. Ross, CS (dorcheat)
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    The Cat-egory three purricane must be located in the Southern Hemisphere as the kittens are “rotating” clockwise. Cyclonic rotation in the Northern Hemisphere is counterclockwise.

    • Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      In which case, it should probably be called a “Ty-purrn”?

      • johzek
        Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        A cat-egory 3 “Ty-purrn” with no discernable eye, or should I say cats’ eyes.

      • Ross, CS (dorcheat)
        Posted September 6, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Yes, typhoons occur in the tropical northwest Pacific Ocean (Northern Hemisphere) west of International Date Line (IDL, 180 degrees longitude). East of the IDL in the tropical Pacific Northern Hemisphere, hurricanes occur as well as in the Atlantic Ocean. In the Southern Hemisphere of the tropical Pacific Ocean and in the Indian Ocean, warm core circulations originating over warm ocean water are called cyclones.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      They forgot to configure an open center. But perhaps they realized that if the cats moved it could feel claw-strophobic in there.

  5. darrelle
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Zombie is a nearly perfect song.

    Looks like I’ve got some catching up to do on the Trump news front.

    • Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Exactly. Zombie song is nearly flawless for what it is…and obviously I read no news…Treason? Historians are probably just going to wipe 2016-present off their books for sheer cosmic erraticism.

      • W.T. Effingham
        Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        While catching up on tRUMP’s latest gaffes, I recommend pausing or at least slowing down to take a few deep breathes.

        • W.T. Effingham
          Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          Or breaths for that matter.

  6. Posted September 6, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, he would be perfect in the role, but I don’t know why he’d want it – Bond is a relic of the mid-20th century.

    It’s true that James Bond is a relic of the 20th century, which is why Idris Elba would not be perfect in the role.

    James Bond is almost the archetypal white Establishment British alpha male from the 60’s. It’s part of his character and it is central to his back story. Idris Elba is a great actor but his skin colour is, frankly, an impediment to suspension of disbelief.

    I’m not against Idris Elba playing a British super spy based on James Bond and, if marketing dictates, I’m not against them naming the character James Bond, but, to be successful, I think the character would necessarily be different to the James Bond(s) we have seen so far. That might be a good thing – it might revitalise a tired franchise. Who knows.

    On the other hand, in Elba’s position, I might be a little bit depressed that a lot of people’s answer to the problem of there not being enough good roles for black actors is to recycle long in the tooth traditionally white roles.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Well, Bond has been modernised over the years – if you compare e.g. Sean Connery’s James Bond with Daniel Craig’s the differences are very notable. But there is obviously a continuity problem every time a recurring role is recast. Changing his ethnicity (or his gender?) just makes that ‘suspension of disbelief’ more difficult. Doctor Who could get away with it because the Doctor regenerates into a new body, but Bond is notionally the same person.

      If there’s a shortage of non-white roles, the answer is surely to invent new characters for non-white or female action stars. Like Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies or Halle Berry in Die Another Day, both of whom, incidentally, were a match for James Bond.


      • Steve Pollard
        Posted September 6, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        I’m not too bothered about updating Bond, as long as the fellow is played by an Englishman. We have to keep our standards up, dammit!

        • JezGrove
          Posted September 7, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          Englishman? You do realize Sean Connery still has his licence to kill?

    • Christopher
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      I don’t have much to say about the role Bond has in our culture or society, but Elba would be well suited in an action role such as that, however I don’t think he could top his earlier role as DCI John Luther. He’s a fantastic actor and I’d hope the writers and directors wouldn’t try to shoehorn him into the Bond role, but arrange it to fit him.

      Of course,no matter who plays the next Bond, I can easily imagine a story line about a US president gone mad, hiding in his moon base, protected by his Space Force, and threatening to destroy the earth if he doesn’t get his way…

      • Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Not to forget Stringer Bell.

        • Christopher
          Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          I am willing to admit to two things: 1. I’ve never watched or wanted to watch The Wire (American cop and crime stuff doesn’t do it for me) and 2. I LOVED Pacific Rim. Now, I’m willing to admit his acting abilities were most likely on full display as Stringer Bell and not so much as Stacker Pentecost but give me giant monsters fighting giant robo-people machine things over cops and drug dealers any day.

          • Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            The Wire was no average cops and drug dealers show.

            • Christopher
              Posted September 6, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

              As I spent much of my 20’s and 30’s in state of working poverty and living in neighborhoods where I didn’t need to turn on the tv for cops and drug dealers, so I am quite resistant to watching that type of entertainment. I do, however, quite enjoy the less serious and much less real worlds of Poirot and Marple, or Morse, Lewis, and Endeavor, of Midsomer and the like. Set and setting I guess. Even when it’s a bit more gritty and real, like DCI Banks, or Shetland it’s far enough removed from my experience that I can enjoy it.
              Of course today I no longer live with the police helicopter flying over the house, wake up in the night to gun shots in the street, find boot prints and pry bar marks at the back window, but I’ve no interest to return, even to a fictitious world of that type.

              • Posted September 6, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

                I like those other shows too. Just got finished watching “DCI Banks” in fact. I know what you mean about the hard core cop shows. I won’t watch them either. “The Wire” really is different. Still, it does have very serious violence in it so if that’s a problem it may not be for you. Here’s a New Yorker article on the show:


                The heart of the show is revealed in the very first scene of the first episode:

                “A favorite phrase of David Simon’s is “You can’t make this shit up.” In the opening sequence of the very first episode of “The Wire,” Jimmy McNulty—the half mensch, half jerk of a Baltimore cop, played by the British actor Dominic West—is sitting on a stoop across from a crime scene. McNulty is talking to the compatriot of a dead guy called Snot Boogie, and can’t resist a little philosophizing on the subject of his name: “This kid, whose mama went to the trouble to christen him Omar Isaiah Betts—you know, he forgets his jacket, so his nose starts runnin’ and some asshole, instead of giving him a Kleenex, he calls him Snot. So he’s Snot forever. It doesn’t seem fair.”

              • Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

                Shetland is terrific! The last season we just watched did a very nuanced take on young detective Tosh’s rape. Also like Banks a lot, and Morse and Lewis. Hope there will one day be a Hathaway. Disappointed in Endeavour.

              • Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

                Thanks for the tip! I will check out Shetland.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 6, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

                The Wire was primarily written and directed by David Simon, who had been an urban police newspaper reporter. Simon’s co-writers included great novelists like Richard Price (Clockers, Lush Life) and Dennis Lehane (Mystic River). It was as densely plotted as a Dostoevsky novel.

                It is also the most gritty and realistic portrayal of urban America ever filmed, and, IMO, the best American tv show ever.

                You should give it a try.

              • Posted September 6, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

                Agree that The Wire was the best ever.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

                I’m right with you there, Christopher. Though I never lived in a rough neighbourhood.

                For my escapism I like ‘detective’ shows that are upbeat – Morse, Poirot, Holmes etc.
                And I like clever ‘heist’ movies (Italian Job, Trance, Oceans Eleven, James Bond) – and if they have really good writing and clever lines so much the better. The banal depressing kitchen-sink world of ‘The Bill’ or its American counterparts I can do without. Same goes for soaps. My personal life is boring and predictable and I like it that way, I do not wish to ‘live in interesting times’. But in escapism, I do wish to watch ‘interesting times’, else what’s the point of watching.


    • pablo
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Bond movies should be done as period pieces, set in the 50’s and 60’s. Modern Bond films are boring. Cybercriminals are boring.

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted September 6, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        bond movies are action pieces with a soul (most of them), above the average. But that is all they are.

  7. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Hmmm… Weekend. One of those international words.

    The distinction between Week-end (US) and Wee-kend (British) is almost too subtle to detect.

    The French say Weekennd and the Russians say уик-энд which is of course the same word, sounds like Wirk-ent to my untrained ear.

    Cultural appropriation ahoy. We British should have copyrighted it and we’d be rolling in royalties. 😉


    • Terry Sheldon
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      The distinction is less subtle when said aloud, as the American pronunciation is WEEK-end while the British is wee-KEND. Or at least so say my dialect instruction tapes.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        On reflection, I agree. It’s not so much where the space in the word is put (as the hyphen would seem to suggest) because there isn’t really any gap; it’s more a matter of which syllable is stressed (and in stressing the ‘end’, the preceding ‘k’ naturally gets stressed too; trying to say ‘weekEND’ without stressing the ‘k’ results in an awkward hiccup in the word, sort of week’END)


    • E.A. Blair
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      What about the royalties you’d have to pay for all the words English has pilfered from other languages?

      “The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”

      –James D. Nicoll

      • Posted September 6, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        “Cribhouse” is a new one on me.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 6, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Oh, most thoroughly agreed. It works both ways, of course. (I do like the ‘whore’ analogy 😉

        A considerable assist in learning French is the many words whose approximate meaning is obvious (though the landscape is littered with faux amis to catch you out. My favourite is probably ‘inhabité’ which means UNinhabited.)

        Walking through Moscow (I know no Russian) I got a little mini-buzz every time I deciphered the cryptic-looking Cyrillic on a sign and found a word of English or French origin (e.g ‘taksi’ or ‘lift’ or ‘tsentr’ or ‘biblioteka’)


        • Posted September 7, 2018 at 5:50 am | Permalink

          A useful one to know is PECTOPAN which in latin letters becomes RESTORAN and of course designates somewhere you can get your lunch or dinner!

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I see no need to pull James Bond outta mothballs, but I’d go see Idris Elba make a prequel based on Stringer Bell any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    And speakin’ of acting chops, Macy Gray got some, too. I recently re-watched Lee Daniels’s The Paperboy, and she was great in it.

  9. freiner
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I think Stan Laurel as the new, kinder Bond did a good job of dispensing with Oliver Hardy as the new, not culturally stereotyped Odd Job.

  10. Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Idris Elba was even good in a very forgettable movie called The Mountain Between Us. I’d watch him dry paint, to like, totally, garble a metaphor.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Yeah, he was good even in Obsessed opposite Beyoncé and that evil temptress woman. 🙂

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Stringer didn’t have much luck as a gangster. See here:

      • Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        He might have had better luck if he had stuck to running the copy shops in The Wire. One of my favorite scenes from that show is the one where Stringer Bell attempts to teach economics to his guys at the copy shop:

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I like that bit too.

  11. Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Idris Elba is a good choice for the next Bond. I was introduced to him in The Wire, the best tv show ever created.

    Like The Cranberries. Sorry to hear about Dolores O’Riordan.

  12. Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink


  13. yazikus
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    70’s Dinner Party is one of my favorite accounts on twitter. I don’t know if I can handle any more absurdity today!

  14. Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    PCC(E) here from San Francisco. Ketchup with hot dogs is indeed treasonous.

    Next on tap: elephant seal pups at Ano Nuevo State Park.

    • yazikus
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Enjoy! I’ll look forward to photos of both the pups, and whatever delightful meals you’ll be having.

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 6, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        San Francisco has some of the best restaurants in the country.

        The House of Prime Rib is one of my favorite restaurants and a SF treasure.

        • Posted September 6, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          Fringale on 4th St. is one of my favs. I try to book my flight back home so I can eat there and then go straight to the airport. Their Traditional Duck Confit is killer but it is all good. Very nice people, small cozy place.

          • yazikus
            Posted September 6, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            Sounds great. Am thinking of visiting in Nov, will make a note to check these places out.

  15. E.A. Blair
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Rolling Stone’s website just posted the following item: Dolores O’Riordan’s Death Ruled ‘Tragic Accident’

    Cranberries singer died from drowning after excessive drinking

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Ah, I did not connect. (I knew the terrific song posted here which makes more sense with the video, but did not know the singer.)


  16. Posted September 6, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Someone on Slashdot (I think it was) proposed that Trump should be put in a “twitter bubble” – sort of a Truman Show like situation, but on Twitter.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      That would be great. Somewhere the clown could amuse us all without doing any harm.

      A bit like the 19th-century custom of going to the lunatic asylum to laugh at the inmates, except this one is particularly good value.


      On reflection, according to the latest revelations, it seems his staff (who are presumably average people and therefore less crazy than he is) are attempting to do just that…

  17. Paul D.
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Today’s SMBC for you:

  18. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted September 6, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I did not know dogs could be taught to dance. Made my day!

    On a sadder note, I read that “Anti-Zionism is NOT Anti-Semitism” claim for the first time this week, IIRC used by a local islamist group that got their economical state support into trouble. It could be a circulating attempt of defense.

  19. Posted September 6, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    The purricane reminds me of this:

  20. Posted September 7, 2018 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    ‘If a member of any other species tried this they would cripple themselves for life’.

    There are not many that could do it I’ll grant you but many of the mustelids can do that and more – weasels, stoats and ferrets are almost ludicrously flexible.

  21. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted September 7, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I would not characterise Mr Wilders as a ‘Trump with an accent’.
    True, there are some parallels: he has an equally weird hairdo, he is populist, anti- establishment and nationalistic. And particularly anti-muslim immigration and anti-‘multiculturalism’. He thinks Muslims should integrate in Western society and that the Qur’an is comparable to ‘Mein Kampf’.
    However, he’s kind of left wing -especially considering US standards- in things like social security and the like. I have no clue where he stands on the environment or climate change.
    Moreover, although equally not a scholar, he’s not unhinged, highly intelligent, lies only about half of the time (Mr Trump stands at 84%, a significant difference) and he’s a professional and sly politician.
    His main attraction is his anti-Islamic stance, he says: “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam” (isn’t that something I’ve heard somewhere?).
    He was good friends with Ayaan Hirsi Ali (I guess like Justice Ginsberg was good friends with Justice Scalia).
    He is, however, a much less interesting person (IMMO) than Mr Pim Fortuyn (murdered in the first murder of a politician in the Netherlands for centuries) The latter was very pro-gay rights, and answered an Imam asking why he hated Muslims so much: “I don’t haste Muslims, I sleep with them”.

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