I don't know if Max Brooks is a gung ho conservative, or just a middle of the road kind of guy who has fallen victim to military propaganda. Clearly a guy who writes about an organized war against zombies with that much detail about the tactics, custom hand weapons, specific rifles and the ineffectiveness of artillery has some interest in war and the military.
Brooks adds footnotes throughout World War Z to make it seem like non-fiction, which is a convincing technique. He even uses footnotes to correct claims by some of his fictional characters. Some of the footnotes explain jargon that developed after the zombie outbreak, or fictional weapons or equipment created for the war. Others are apparently universal facts, in the world of this novel and in our real world.
"Ubunye: a word of Zulu origin for Unity." (Page 195)
"Bosozoku: Japanese youth-oriented motorcycle gangs that reached their popular peak in the 1980s and 1990s." (Page 214)
"Prewar specs put the [International Space Station] water recycling capability at 95 percent." (Page 257)
At least two of the footnotes about our real world jumped out at me as factually incorrect, or very misleading. Either Brooks or his narrator are presenting a view of events that disputes or minimizes challenges to the reputation of the real US military and its leaders.
On page 273, General D'Ambrosia says, ". . .[A]ll nations have their limits. There might be individuals within that group who are willing to sacrifice their lives; it might even be a relatively high number for the population, but that population as a whole will eventually reach its maximum emotional and physiological breaking point. The Japanese reached theirs with a couple of American atomic bombs. The Vietnamese might have reached theirs if we'd dropped a couple more(2), but, thank all holy Christ, our will broke before it came to that."
Footnote 2 on that page says, "It has been alleged that several members of the American military establishment openly supported the use of thermonuclear weapons during the Vietnam conflict."
Technically that is true. It has been alleged that President Bill Clinton denied having sex with Monica Lewinsky. Dozens of witnesses at a press conference heard him say, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." And we don't need to take their word for it, because it was a televised press conference. They replayed the video clip enough that most of us have memorized that line and incorporated it into our vocal impressions of Clinton, along with "I didn't inhale" and "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."
War planners might not have been caught on camera proposing the use of nuclear weapons during the Vietnam conflict, but there is undisputed evidence of it in their own reports, which are available in the form of The Pentagon Papers: The Defense Department's Secret History of the Vietnam War. (Probably at your local library.) At some point it becomes awkward to continue stating an established fact as "alleged," and it certainly seems awkward or misleading in this case.
The other one that caught my attention was on pages 53-54, another section interviewing General D'Ambrosia, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. The General says, "After Vietnam, when I was a young platoon leader in West Germany, we'd had to institute an incentives program just to keep our soldiers from going AWOL. After this last war, no amount of incentives could fill our depleted ranks, no payment bonuses or term reductions, or online recruiting tools disguised as civilian video games.(1)"
Footnote 1 on that page says, "Before the war, an online 'shooter game' known as 'America's Army' was made available, free of charge, by the U.S. government to the general public, some have alleged, to entice new recruits."
Presumably the narrator and his footnotes are meant to be reliable, even if the other characters are not. In this case, the narrator seems to be softening the general's claim by adding "some have alleged." Consider that the game was distributed online, through inserts in gaming magazines, and at recruiting stations, according to The Nation. The game contains links to recruiting site GoArmy.com. Recruiters have sponsored game tournaments so they can make contact with players. One of the people making the allegation that America's Army is a recruiting tool was Chris Chambers, former deputy director of development for the game. And that was while the game was being rolled out, not a statement by a disgruntled employee who was fired or left the project for ideological reasons. (Just to make things even more recursive, the military is now developing Virtual Recruiting World, a game designed to train recruiters.)
Military spokesmen have admitted from the start that it was intended as a recruiting tool. A person would have to be incredibly naive not to see that it is made for recruiting, even if they had ever denied it. Since when has the military been ashamed of recruiting?
Wikipedia says Max Brooks was a history major in college. I'm not saying he's consciously shilling for the military. Maybe he just succumbed to military propaganda over the years. Whatever the cause, his historical mistakes seem to cover up the US military's real warts, in a book that gives an otherwise warts-and-all view of the blood and gore in a zombie apocalypse.
A friend asked me to make an amigurumi Godzilla. (Translation: cute little crocheted doll.) I couldn't find any free patterns online that I liked, and I was ready to design something on my own, so here it is. I like how he turned out, especially the claws and head. You can buy the 8 page intermediate level crochet pattern as a PDF file on Ravelry.com for only $1.99. Cheap!
The pattern includes standing version, seated version, baby safe version, and two different ways to make his mouth. He's about 6 to 8.5 inches tall, depending on what size crochet hook you use. (Or could be bigger if you have hooks bigger than 5.5 mm size "I".) I have a long waitlist at the moment of other items I'm making for people, but if you'd like me to add you to the list, I'll eventually make the actual doll for you in either size for $26. Same number of stitches, so it takes just as long either way. That price seems high to me, but it takes several hours of my time, and you should see some of the ugly drecchh they sell on etsy.com for double that price. Also I remember when candy bars were 25 cents, so everything these days seems overpriced to me. Email me at deidzoebcrafts[at]gmail.com if you'd like to order a doll.
Since this is my first pattern and I don't know whether it's written clearly, I will gladly try to clarify and help with any questions you have. It's like getting free tech support!
Are you still here? What are you waiting for? Click the button or go search for "Godzilla" on ravelry.com. If you'd prefer not to pay by credit card or Paypal, you can send $2.00 cash by mail to: Rob Northrup/PO Box 591/Jackson MI 49204. Include your email address and I'll email the pdf file to you. Even cheaper yet!
[I posted this on the SubGenius newsgroup alt.slack around Feb 2007. It was my first time being dipped in the sharky waters of newsgroups, and I feared SubGenius had made them assholes. Now I realize that newsgroups made people assholes, or at least attracts and nurtures assholes. The post still seems cute to me. There are some bad words and sexual terms below. Shame on you if you've heard them all before.]
*Should I Be More of an Asshole?* A Midrash on Jokes and Those Who Deserve to Be Fucked For Not Taking Them 995 Theses by the heretick Subcom. Deidzoeb
"Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at alt.slack, under the armpittance of the Reverend Rabbi Subcomandante R. Guglielmo Deidzoeb, Bachelor of Science and Master of Debaters, Ex-Vice-President for Life of the Marvel Zombie Society, and Lecturer in Ordurenary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by wiki."
Throughout canonical SubGenius texts, many pearls of wisdom are flung at the wall to see if they stick. Or to confuse suckers so they won't find the pearls among all the puke. My favorite from the Bobapocryphon is "My Weapons of Mass Destruction beat up your Weapons of Mass Destruction," which was surely ganked from some bumper sticker.
Among the pearls that have stuck to the wall and been saluted over the decades by followers and Bobbies, perhaps the most respected slogan is "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke."
So much is encapsulated in those eight words. Don't take yourself too seriously. Authorities should get fucked. Even pigs deserve to cum.
The problem is that if everything is a joke, the slogan reduces to "Fuck anyone who complains." A person living by that attitude soon begins to earn rightful complaints from everyone, and the slogan finally reduces to "Fuck everyone" or just "Fuck you."
The full slogan has some nuance, some room for error, but "Fuck you" as a universal slogan doesn't need it's own church. Plenty of people build their lives around that idea without needing a church to remind them or help them feel good about it. From this, we can deduce that Dobbs and the early church mothers didn't want us to interpret jokes as "anything you fucking want to do,bitch." It's subjective, but if there is any wisdom for us in the church, there must be a line separating SubGenius behavior from that of an asshole. Otherwise the wisdom of the SubGenius would be indistinguishable from a brainstorming session for fortune cookie slogans by a bunch of tripping hoboes whose bones will be ground into meal for use in the same fortune cookies, or maybe for the batter in which the sweet and sour chicken will be fried. I don't know why they should be hoboes, but let's just say assholes on drugs. It's not the drugs, do whatever you want, see if they help you. An asshole is bad enough before she gets her hands on drugs. Please help me have faith that the wisdom of SubGenius is not the rambling of assholes. Don't spoil the illusion for me, please, please.
Being an asshole appears to be compatible with SubGenius teachings. You won't necessarily stop being an asshole if you join, or even if you skip the money and follow the teachings. Perhaps you can even think of some assholes who are revered as saints within the Church. After you watch or listen to them in action often enough, you might almost come to the conclusion that a person must be an asshole to be SubGenius, that one should strive to become more of an asshole to be more SubGeniuser, or that the biggest assholes are the biggest SubGenii.
Faugh! This is easy to disprove.
1. Do you have faith that SubGenius teachings contain genuine wisdom, ideas rejected by or not found in other philosophies or traditions? Of course.
2. Would there be any value to a philosophy or tradition which tells you to go ahead and be an asshole at all times, given that the majority of humans already adopt that philosophy instinctively? No. That would mean SubGenius was redundant.
Therefore, being an asshole must not be the ultimate point of SubGenius. Stretching jokes to encompass everything wouldn't be an idea worth making a church around. Lower primates manage to fling shit at spectators without needing the idea revealed to them by a savior, and without encouragement from their peers. There must be some point at which stupid and/or shitty behavior would not be excused as a joke, else all is lost.
So where do you draw the line? Jokes are subjective. Judging them is probably too difficult for the layperson. And SubGenius doesn't accept any authorities, really, so there can only be laypersons. Insert joke here about persons getting laid. You might have a lousy sense of humor, but everyone has an asshole. Reach back there and feel it. Spread it in homage to Our Lady of Goatse. Come back here and finish reading when you're done, after you wash your hands....
Instead of focusing on whether you're funny, focus on whether your attempted joke makes you come off as a complete asshole. Hold yourself to some kind of standard. Establish a standard! Can you recognize when you're being an asshole? Can you stop yourself even when you do recognize it? Far be it from me to tell you you can't be a SubGenius for that reason. Do what you can. We'll pray for you. Or drink for you or something. Just don't wipe your ass on an otherwise helpful tenet of SubGenius faith and act like it excuses you for being an asshole.
There are only about 3 or 4 theses in the above sermon. I'm not going to bother numbering them, because future generations of faithful will take care of that for me, maybe splintering into one faction that believes the tripping hoboes should be thesis number three and another faction that believes the shit flinging primates should be thesis number 3. For the other 992 to 991 theses, please add your own sermons.
Yes, I know I take it too seriously, and that the basic teachings of SubGenius are opposed to orthodoxy. That means your way isn't any more valid than my way. So eat that wrapped in bacon.
Subcomandante R. Guglielmo Deidzoeb Heretick who hasn't even paid his thirty bucks
Q: What's the new name of National Public Radio now that it's been purchased by a consortium of romantic amputee-fetishists?
A: Pational Nublic Radio
Q: What did they call the impoverished author of The Raven when he worked in law enforcement?
A: Po' po-po Poe
(Joke by Melinda)
Q: What McDonald's sandwich did Alfred Hitchcock pursue for years without getting his hands on one?
A: An Egg McGuffin.
Q: Why did the bird-watching detective stop following his most promising trail of clues?
A: He could tell it was a red heron.
Q: What did Ronnie James Dio sing when he met Schwarzeneggar's ex-wife?
A: HOLY SHRIVER!
(joke by Melinda)
Q: What does Fozzie Bear say after every joke he tells in Southern Mexico?
A: Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Oaxaca!
Q: How can you tell if a farmer likes dubstep?
A: His harvest is nearly always in the range of 138–142 beets per minute.
Q: What do you call a Japanese seasoning of fermented rice, barley and/or soybeans, that hates women?
A: MISOgynist. Q: What's it called when you believe your employer, or capitalists in
general, are looking out for your best interest? A: Stockholm Syndrome
Did you hear Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane from The Dukes of Hazzard has
started questioning his gender id & sexual orientation?
Q: What singer-songwriter is becoming a favorite of cheerleader ruminants everywhere?
A: Gotye. (Goat-YAY!)
Q: If Red Dawn had shown anthropomorphized fruit & veggies defending
against invaders, what would their rally cry have been?
Q: Did you hear Larry the Cable Guy came out of the closet?
A: Now he shouts GLITTER-DONE!
Q: What did Fozzy the Bear shout when the Muppets went on strike in the middle of filming? A: Walkout, walkout, walkout! (Pronounced like waka, waka, waka).
Q: What do you call Firefly fans who are also Nazis? A: Brownshirt Browncoats.
Q: What would you call a sidekick of Captain Kangaroo if he were a Nazi and a fan of Firefly? A: Mr. Brownshirt Browncoat Green Jeans.
Horton Hears a Who is about a community of tiny sentient beings in danger of being destroyed by much bigger sentient creatures who are unaware of their existence. Eventually they're able to communicate with the bigger creatures, who vow to protect them. Wreck-It Ralph is about a community of tiny sentient beings, some of whom are occasionally destroyed by much bigger sentient creatures who are unaware of their existence. They know some of the conditions under which the bigger creatures destroy them, and are able to influence things to save themselves sometimes. Presumably there are other situations that they have little or no control over, like when the local gamers get bored of an older game and it gets hauled away. At no point in the story do they mention directly communicating with the bigger creatures. I assume the humans would treat them differently if they realized there were sentient beings who were snuffed out when the games are unplugged or disassembled. They seem to think the game characters are just images or simulations, without feelings or hopes or dreams or the ability to suffer.
Do the game characters make that connection, or do they assume humans are evil gods who toy with them and throw them away, knowing but not caring that the characters are sentient beings with feelings?
Last night after it rained, I heard some ladybugs arguing in the backyard. A piece of ladies' intimate apparel had fallen off the clothesline and a puddle of rainwater formed on top of it. The ladybugs were swimming and partying in the puddle, cranking up some 80s metal. I could barely hear the music, so it must have been hellishly loud by the standards of ladybugs.
"That's not how the song goes," one of the ladybugs said.
"You," the other ladybug exclaimed, "have no idea what you're talking about, and no appreciation for Judas Priest."
"I do like them, but it has nothing to do with what we're doing right now."
"Oh my god, it's like that song was written just for us, knowing what we'd be doing today."
"We're not breaking the law."
"Of course not. We're having a pool party. At the LAKE IN THE BRA, LAKE IN THE BRA!"
I like to occasionally blog about the creative projects I'm working on, and the ones I probably won't finish. Part of the purpose is to generate interest among both of my blog readers, so maybe they'll ask me about a project I'm working on, and that will spur me on to actually finish it. Part of the purpose is to record the ones I might forget about, so I can revisit them or just reminisce about them later. If/when I finish any of these projects, you'll see it mentioned here and everywhere else I can think of to promote it. Here's the current flurry of activity:
1. Horror dream. I woke up from a dream which looked like a teen horror flick. A guy caves in a girl's skull, then tries to explain to his friends why he was justified. Hijinks ensue. I started embellishing that dream scene and trying to just make a solid treatment, for now. I think I've got something fairly unique, although I'm really laboring to persuade that guy's friends (and the audience, and myself) why he might have been justified.
Prospects of actually finishing it: I've set one goal within reach, just a treatment for now. A friend of mine who has film skillz from actual film skool has been working on a plot and script for a horror movie. I told her we really have to finish her movie now so we can make mine next. Or at least so I can pitch this treatment to her or whatever.
2. Casino Royale/Climax Mystery Theater commentary. The guys from Overthinkingit created an audio commentary for Casino Royale (2006). I joked on their blog comments that they should make a commentary for the 1954 made-for-tv version of Casino Royale, starring Barry Nelson as the American agent "Card Sense" Jimmy Bond. The idea stewed for a few months until I decided that this is a gap someone must fill, and I shall be that person. So I read Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, and dug out the handful of Bond movies I have on vhs and dvd, making notes along the way. Luckily the tv movie is less than an hour, but still a lot of time to fill.
Prospects of actually finishing it: I'm pretty serious about finishing this, but if I come up with only enough material to talk for 30 minutes, I'm not sure how I'll find or work up another 25 minutes of content worth recording.
3. Little Heist in the Big Woods. A short story I've been working on since July. I watched a few heist movies to research this, plus the first season of the tv show, the pilot episode, a later Christmas special, then read five of the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, skimmed a few biographies, and read the full biography of the probable ghost writer of the books, Rose Wilder Lane. The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane by William Holtz. Good stuff. Rose was a real globe-trotting journalist, but turned into a libertarian late in life, and lied all along about her mom's books being purely true stories, and her part in reshaping and fictionalizing many scenes. She was such a mirror image of Ayn Rand that they both repulsed each other when they met.
The story shows Pa's perspective on unseen events in the first book of the series. Remember the sugar snow, and how they went to Grandpa's to help collect maple syrup, and they had a big square dance at Grandpa's that night? Perfect distraction for Pa and his crew to dig up and carry away Grandpa's gold.
Prospects of actually finishing it: solid. Just a matter of time.
4. Brazen Hearts, Fresh, On Sticks, Season Two. Got lots of notes on this. a sketchy short story about the beef between Aunt Sadie and her rival sorceress. Stakes get raised hugely. Twists and turns. I've even taken all my notes with me on some of my longer vacations over the years, but it's still been on hiatus since 2008. The plan is to write and record six more chapters for the podcast, then revise all 18 chapters into a novel.
Prospects of actually finishing it: disheartening to have a gap of this many years, but I think it's good stuff and would like to wrap it all up in a bloody bow some day.
5. Collections. The Little Heist and Lord Jimi stories seem to fit together nicely. I thought they could lead off a fiction collection called "Little Heist in the Big Woods and Other Revisionist Atrocities." Might fit well with some past non-fiction writings about movies or comics or fiction. Or I might try to bundle some of my non-fiction and blog posts into a separate ebook.
Prospects of actually finishing: far on the backburner.
When Mothra attacks Inglewood, Marsellus Wallace orders his
two best guns to eliminate the pest. Vincent and Jules find their pistols are
ineffective, so they escalate to tanks and finally fighter jets. They steal Ultraman’s
beta capsule so they can both become giant sized and wrestle Mothra. Vincent
remembers something about Mothra becoming docile when someone sings to it, so
he suggests they tell it a bedtime story and sing a lullaby. He rips the roof
off a textile warehouse and insists that Jules should cover the beast with a
giant sheet, to tuck in the beast. It won't work without this step.
The plan fails miserably, but they manage to finish Mothra
by luring it into a giant tank full of pesticide. For years afterward, Jules
teases Vincent over the silly plan to lull the creature to sleep. Vincent
insists it would have worked if Jules had done his job right.
One day the two hit men are caught in the robbery of a
diner. When they inevitably find themselves in a Mexican stand-off, Jules
negotiates a truce. They can all leave safely and end the stand-off as long as
Jules gets his wallet back. But the robbers have collected a bag full of
valuables and wallets. Which one is it?
Jules sighs and says, “It’s the one that says BAD MOTHRA TUCKER on
The Dark Knight Patronizes: Democracy vs. the Prime Directive
I woke up this morning to the happy surprise of seeing my guest post on Overthinkingit.com: The Dark Knight Patronizes: Democracy vs. the Prime Directive. Yay! It compares the lies and lack of transparency from Batman, Starfleet, the Watchmen, MIB and other people you love. Walter Lippman does not think you can handle this truth.
Once you understand how to make a few simple shapes, you can improvise a crocheted rectangular or cylindrical case for any kind of small thing you want encased: an mp3 player, phone, cigarette pack, whatever. It's not exactly improvised, but like crocheted jazz, riffing on motifs that you're familiar with. After following these steps a few times, you should be able to make one without looking at any pattern and without reading these instructions again.
To make a case for a friend's iPod, I measured the dimensions, about 4.5" x 2.5" x .5", then made a cardboard crochet test dummy of it. I cut out several rectangles of cardboard 4.5" x 2.5", stacked them up until they were .5" high, then taped them together. That way I can hold my project up to the dummy and see if it's the right size.
The size of yarn and hook you choose will affect how big or small the stitches look, but won't affect whether the case is the right size overall, because you're checking it against the dummy as you go. I use single crochet stitches through the whole thing. You could experiment with double crochet or other stitches. The basic idea remains the same.
The easiest way to start would be with a rectangular base. If I wanted a very square-looking case for this example, I'd make a chain about 2.5" long, then turn and repeat a few rows of the same length until they were .5" high. That would form the bottom or base of the case.
I usually make a slightly trickier bottom that forms a sort of oval, the shape you might have seen in old rag rugs. Make a chain almost as long as the base of your dummy (2.5"), then turn back and begin to make circles around that chain. It's important to fit a few extra stitches or "increases" at both ends of the chain, so that it gently circles around. For example, if your chain was 11 stitches long, then your first row around should have 11 stitches exactly aligned in each stitch of the chain, then 3 or 4 extra stitches in the first stitch of the chain to make it round, then 11 stitches up the other side of the chain, then another 3 or 4 extra stitches in the 11th stitch of the chain.
When it matches the approximate size of the base of the dummy, you can begin doing even rows with no extra stitches at the ends. This will make a sort of cylinder extending upward from whatever shape you've made the base. No need to keep track of where the rows start and end after that, or to place a stitch marker. In this section, you can just keep crocheting around mindlessly for dozens or hundreds of stitches until you've made the case as tall as you want. Slip the dummy inside the case to make sure it fits, preferably after you've just barely established the base and made the sides one or two inches high. If it's too tight or too loose on the dummy, just unravel it back to the base and make the base a little larger or smaller. I try to make the whole case a little bit tight on the dummy, so you almost have trouble fitting it in the case. That way if all the stitches loosen a little over time, it will eventually fit just right.
When you've made the sides high enough for the dummy to fit inside, stop at what you imagine to be the back corner of the case. Hard to describe which corner I mean. When you lay it flat in front of you with the open end away from you and base of the case near you, the last stitch should be on the right side touching the table. Now you'll begin shaping a flap to go over the top. The easiest way would be a square or rectangle. Just turn and start another row along the back of the case. (From our example, it should be 2.5" long.) Continue adding rows and turning until you have a flap as long as you want. You'll want something big enough to cover the open top of the case, plus a little more to overlap down the front.
To make a rounded or pointed flap, start turning your rows one or two stitches early, before you reach the end of the row. This will look a little jagged (or you can think of it as digitized or pixilated), but you can even it out later by adding a row of trim. With the finished flap open, make one last row all around the open top and the edges of the flap. You might try doing this row in a different complementary color, or use slip stitch all the way around instead of single crochet stitch.
I use a button to close these, but there are certainly other ways you could experiment with, like velcro dots or little hooks. I haven't tried those, so good luck. When my final row of trim reaches the rounded or bottom tip of the flap, I stop and make a few chain stitches. Two or three chains will get your buttonhole away from the flap, then make another 3 or 4 or 5 chains. Make a slip stitch in the second and first stitches of the chain. This will leave a loop for your button to fit through. Don't proceed until you've got the button that you want to use in your hand. You don't want to try to pick out a button later and find out the hard way that the loop is too small for the button, or the button is too small to hold the loop and flap shut.
Check if the button fits through your loop. If it doesn't fit, or if it fits through the loop too easily, undo your last slip stitches and add more or less chains as necessary until you get the right size for your button.
Continue the row of trim around until you hit the starting point again. Slip stitch to your first stitch of the trim and finish off.
Lastly you'll need to sew the button onto the front of the case so it lines up with the dangling chain loop you made. The flap will hang a little differently if the case is empty, so fit the dummy into the case when you're deciding where to place the button. I'd suggest making it so you'll have to stretch the flap and loop just a little bit to reach the button, on the assumption that everything will relax and stretch over time anyway. If it feels too loose or too tight after some time, you can always remove the button and reposition it without much trouble.
That is all! If you see any dangling ends, weave them in, or do it the lazy way and just pull them inside the case.
Most of the cases I've made with this method have been for iPods and cell phones, but I used the same steps to make a large, envelope-shaped case for a netbook, about 5" x 8" x .75". I even made a tiny version with no top flap for my iPod Shuffle, 1" x 1" x .25", just as a joke. It turned out to be more useful than I thought. I slide the Shuffle into its tiny sleeping bag and then put it in a pirate band-aid tin, so it won't get scratched if it rattles around.
If you'd prefer to have a straightforward pattern, here it is below.
iPod case with button closure
4.5" x 2.5" x .5"
Crochet hook size G/4.25 mm. Worsted weight yarn.
I still recommend making a cardboard crochet test dummy to make sure it fits and adjusting as necessary. Abbreviations. Ch = chain stitch. SC = Single crochet stitch. st = stitch. Total number of stitches for the row are sometimes shown in parentheses at end of row.
Base and sides
Row 1. Ch 12.
Row 2. SC in 11th chain, continue sc in each stitch until the end. 3 more SC in first chain. Coming back up the opposite side of the chain, SC in next 10 chains. Place stitch marker. (24 st)
Row 3. SC 26 around in back loops only.
Row 4. SC 26 in both loops.
Repeat row 4 until you reach desired height (4.5"). Stop at back corner. When you lay it flat in front of you with the open end up and base of the case down, the last stitch should be on the right side touching the table, as if you're just about to go around the side of the case.
Row 1. Ch 1. Turn. SC in each stitch to end of row.
Repeat row 1 until the flap covers the open end of the case, plus one or two rows past.
Start another row, but stop in the second to last stitch of the row. Ch 1. Turn.
SC across, stop one stitch short. Ch 1. Turn.
Continue reducing until you like the shape of the flap.
Make one row of SC around the edges of the flap and around the open end of the case. At the middle of the top row of the flap, chain 6 or 7, then SL ST back to the chain leaving big enough hole for a button. Continue SL ST back up the chain. Finish the row of trim around, if necessary. Finish off. Weave in ends.
U love remix culture. Y U no respect remakes and sequels?
If you like remix culture, you gotta check yourself before you wreck your shelf. Bad sequels, bad remakes and bad fanfic are an aspect of Sturgeon's Law. Ninety percent of everything is crap, so don't let critics tell you sci-fi or some other genre is horrible just because 90% of it is crap. By extension, 90% of sequels and remakes and fanfic are going to be crap, but this doesn't mean all sequels or remakes or fanfic should get thrown out just because of that. (Unauthorized sequels would be a hybrid between the categories of sequel and fanfic. Or would all fanfic count as sequels?)
If we were going to categorically dismiss all unauthorized sequels, we would arguably throw out great stuff like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Paradise Lost (an unauthorized sequel to the Bible, more or less). Last Temptation of Christ. Here are a few dozen examples of high class fanfics/sequels plus some lowbrow ones: http://bookshop.livejournal.com/1044495.html
Not that I expect much from this Christmas Story 2. I'm just saying if we throw out things like that, we might be throwing out some good stuff. (Or we might be forgetting examples that made people grumble this same way when they first came out, before they became classics.) Also if we throw this on the bonfire and then turn back to another window in which we're writing fanfic or listening to a remix or watching mashups, we're being inconsistent.
[I've made this argument repeatedly. Thought I would dump it here so I can just point people to this post next time instead of repeating it from memory.]
... It occurs to me that this problem also relates to our relatively recent access to massive floods of info, trying to figure out how to filter it, and our previous reliance on gatekeepers to tell us what was good and bad. Part of the reason people are saying, "The sky is falling, someone made A Christmas Story 2 direct to dvd!" is because they're thinking, "Our gatekeepers are failing us! We can no longer count on the studios to feed us good stuff! How will we know what's good now?"
Some gatekeepers have been unreliable or inconsistent for a long time though. Publishers, editors, studios, deejays or record labels. Some of the great stuff you've come across in recent decades has probably been independent music that was turned down by major studios, independent movies that weren't created or distributed by major studios, books that were rejected by dozens of major publishers.
The good thing about the web is that it democratized some arts. Any idiot can make his novel or poem or photo or film or song available for the whole world. Any idiot can get stuff seen widely without going through the stale, old, traditional gatekeepers. Yay! But how do you get it seen by anyone? How do you make it viral? Gatekeepers won't necessarily pass your stuff along, so you have to figure that out for yourself.
As readers or listeners or consumers of democratized art, how do we know which things to try without the traditional gatekeepers? You have to become your own gatekeeper. Instead of waiting for a magazine editor to read through the slush pile and find a good story to publish, you have to read through a pile of slush and occasionally find something you like. This is good for you. Having access to the web and all this democratized art and information gives you great power. Have you read enough comics or watched a certain rapidly accelerating rebooted superhero franchise to know what comes with great power? What would your Uncle Ben tell you comes with great power? Not the rice dude.
You have the responsibility to wade through some crap now. You can't trust studios or other gatekeepers to reliably feed you Official Sequels that are anywhere near as good as the original, or to point out anything that is actually good. Stop whining and do some of your own gatekeeping, or at least find new gatekeepers who reliably point you in the right direction.
Safety Not Guaranteed: "Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel."
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World: "As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan."
I guess there's no classified ad in the Steve Carrell one, but the title is phrased like the start of an ad.
I dreamed I was visiting at somebody's house, acting as a middle-man between them and a friend of mine who was looking to buy a house. Maybe this house was supposed to be near mine, so it was easier for me to contact them? I wondered for a moment why my friend wasn't doing this for herself. My dream-logic probably forgot about the existence of phones.
The house was on a lake, back yard looking out on the lake. A low A-frame design. After I had knocked on the front door and they let me in, I realized that there was no front wall on the house, just a sheet draped over it. I figured my friend wouldn't want to buy a house this small or add a front wall and front door to it. There were two small rooms, hardwood floor, maybe a basement. A man and woman, two small boys. The man was tall and thin (eventually revealed to be about 8 feet tall when he stood, but seemed normal while sitting for the first part of the dream). Brown hair a few inches long, mustache. The wife looked a little like Lili Taylor, but a little thinner in the face.
I sat with them in the back room for a moment. Tables and desk were crowded with knicknacks and papers, not as cluttered as my house in real life, but cluttered to the point that most average people would be embarassed. They offered me something to try. A big transparent tupperware container with a smaller jar inside. I opened the smaller jar thinking it was something to eat or maybe flavored toothpicks, but a label said it contained pieces of the True Cross. Strips of metal with different colored alloys. The True Cross was metal? I hesitated. Would they really give away sample pieces of the True Cross to visitors? Is it supposed to be something else in here? Some of them looked like matchsticks with tiny ceramic resistors on top. The man said something like, "They don't agree with everybody. You don't have to try one if you don't want," which still seemed like it was a kind of food.
They offered something else, or maybe the original tupperware and jar just transformed in the way that things do in dreams. This time it was a bunch of crickets or insects on sticks. One of them was a frog, which I picked. I'm pretty sure they were supposed to be food samples this time, but also they could tell my future, or the kind of thing I picked out would reveal something about me. I didn't eat it.
I mentioned that a friend of mine wanted to set up a time when she could check out their house. Asked what time they're available. Can't remember their response. They seemed to be friendly and hospitable throughout, but I was aware that they were politically conservative and we wouldn't get along if I started explaining the unfairness of capitalism and the benefits of worker-run cooperatives. Some of the cheesy tchotchkes had slogans written on them. In the bottom track of the doorwall looking out on the back yard and lake were a stack of little plastic signs, red letters on white background like humorous warnings, "Beware of Owner". They were stacked together so I could only see the first one, but I assumed/knew the rest were vehemently pro-gun slogans.
At some point I dropped or lost the frog, which was escaping into the back yard, and one of the boys had to go after it. The wife offered me a cookie from a cookie jar (which should have seemed weird after those first two offers, but at least she specified this time it was a cookie jar). I walked into a small kitchen off the side of the front room. Couldn't tell which of the many cheesy ceramic tchotchkes was supposed to be a cookie jar. She came in and helped me find it. Normal chocolate chip cookies this time. Can't remember if I took one.
As I had walked past her, she said, "I noticed this thing you do and I want to talk about it. As you walk past, you pull away from me like you're afraid to touch. It looks kind of girly."
I don't remember doing that in the dream, but I'm conscious of doing this sometimes in real life. I said some people think you're being aggressive or clumsy if you bump into them, so I try to avoid it. Seemed reasonable to me.
This is where the guy stood up and entered the kitchen (maybe to get a cookie for himself). I realized the woman was my height or a little taller, and the man towered over us. Like I couldn't even see his face, just looked at his shoulders up above our heads.
I recently watched Repo Men (2010) (my review: meh), a story in which the main character starts out as an enforcer for some bad powerful men, later becomes a target of his fellow enforcers, has a change of heart and begins defending other rebels and dissidents. Seems like one of those fairly archetypal plots, so I tried to think of an appropriate label and began to obsessively catalog how many others could fit this category. (Some of them have a change of heart first that turns them into a dissident, others are more or less unfairly targeted and only have a change of heart because it's happening to them for a change.) Here's what I came up with so far:
Robocop starts off fighting bad guys, but turns against OCP when he discovers they've gone bad. He's not as much of a jerk at the beginning as the Firemen or Sandmen or Repo Men. He doesn't have a change of heart and doesn't join or start defending street thugs.
The Bourne franchise doesn't fit the usual picture of a dystopia, but that's just because we don't recognize how much of a dystopia we currently live in. Political assassinations and functioning democracy don't mix, yo.
THX 1138 - Not an enforcer Dances with Wolves - Gone native, but neither dystopian nor an enforcer Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now - Past Enforcers Gone Native
Any others you can think of?
Dune (not dystopian?)
Universal Soldier Fantastic Four #48-50 (1966): the Silver Surfer betrays Galactus and sides with Earth.
Leave Them All Dirty: Just-in-time logistics applied to washing dishes
The advantage of "Just-in-time" inventory and logistics, I gather from zero research, is that you don't have to keep a bunch of product sitting in a warehouse. You can reduce or eliminate the costs of building, maintaining and staffing warehouses. Some goods have a limited shelf life, so the less time they spend in storage or in transit, the better.
If you wash dishes as soon as possible after dirtying them, they sit in the cupboard waiting to be used again, like products waiting in a warehouse. Washing them takes time, energy and money. There's no way to eliminate washing entirely, except for using paper plates. However you can reduce it slightly.
Someday, you will die. The last time you washed dishes before dying will be a waste, because you'll never reap the benefit of using them again. Maybe your dishes or silverware are fancy enough (or your heirs desperate enough) that someone will inherit and continue to use your dishes after you die. Or while still alive, you may buy new dishes and donate the old ones, or give them away or sell them at a garage sale. Either way, the new owner will probably wash them before eating off them*. Your final washing will be wasted.
Here's another scenario. Let's say you quit drinking coffee because it gave you heartburn or migraines or kidney stones or higher blood pressure or because your doctor recommended it. The only one who still uses your French press is your daughter. She gets hit by a bus. No one in your house will ever use that French press again. No one in your house will benefit from the final time it was washed. Another wasted wash.
One way to prevent wasting your time is to wash dishes and pots and pans and silverware right before you use them. Leave all of it dirty all of the time until the moment you need it. Then if you die, or for some reason decide never to use those dishes again, you haven't wasted a final washing.
Now that you're convinced, you'll need to make a few changes in the way you prepare food and organize your kitchen. For one thing, you'll need to add the time for washing cookware, dishes and silverware into your food prep time. It doesn't take more time -- you're just scheduling it before the meal instead of after.
Second, this strategy doesn't mean you can drop all dishes and cookware where they lay as soon as you're done cooking or eating. There's still some minimal clean-up needed so vermin won't be attracted. Also some level of mold accumulation could be hazardous to your lungs, even if you always wash them before cooking or eating off them. If you're not saving leftovers, throw them out along with cooking by-products, like bones or used cooking oil. (Or compost them or recycle as appropriate.) That might seem like an aspect of "pre-cleaning" that could be a potential waste of time, but the thing that will make it worth while is not having rats.
Lastly, you will still need to store dirty dishes somewhere, if you have more than enough to fill your sink. They should all fit in your cupboards, the same as they did when you followed the old-fashioned washing strategy. You might consider caulking or sealing the cupboards to make it less likely that vermin will be attracted or able to reach them. And you'll definitely want to warn any of your wasteful-washing visitors about your switch to the improved strategy, to prevent confusion and revulsion and botulism when they take a dirty mug out of the cupboard and pour themselves a glass of sickness.
Go, my children. Spread the word. Enjoy your extra moments of leisure, and the knowledge that you're saving money and resources and making the world more efficient.
* Advice to anyone buying or inheriting dishes or pots or flatware, whether they're new or used: wash it before using. You don't know where it's been. The person who owned those dishes might have read this and taken it seriously.
Old Time Radio Catalog (OTRCAT.com) is dedicated to the preservation of the golden era of radio (old time radio). You can hear thousands of old time radio episodes online and can stream or download full episodes in Mp3 format. Detailed descriptions of the performers and series broadcast in the era (1920's - 1959) are available to read. In the 'daily downloads', there are the broadcasts of the day throughout history (from the last 50-70+ years). More information about old time radio...