You need schooling

I like to think I know pretty much everything that’s important about the world, but sometimes I find that I don’t. Yesterday I saw the new Big Star documentary and learned two extremely important things of which I was previously unaware: (1) the ’70s Show theme song is a Big Star cover and (2) TGI Friday’s used to be some kind of a crazy bohemian or singles spot (depending on the location, I think). Technically, I didn’t lear the second thing from the movie itself, I learned it from watching the movie, which mentioned TGI Friday’s a cool Memphis hang-out back in the day, and then reading the TGI Friday Wiki entry.

Tell me something important that you recently learned.

252 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Jake says:

    Chris Pine’s father was Sgt. Getraer on CHiPs.

  2. 2
    catclub says:

    The David Foster Wallace talk “This Is Water” is very good.

  3. 3
    Turgidson says:

    The Big Star original version of Down the Street is so much different/better than the 70s show cover, it boggles the mind.

  4. 4
    Turgidson says:

    @Turgidson: Sorry, that’s “In the Street”, not Down the Street. I am without edit button to fix.

  5. 5
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    I never heard of Big Star. Not once. So I looked them up. I was in Vietnam at the time. For some reason my knowing nothing about the band until your post seems very unsettling.

  6. 6
    dagh (fka tesslibrarian) says:

    Chickens can probably eat tomatoes, but just the fruit part.

  7. 7
    piratedan says:

    from watching who wants to be a millionaire that there exists a Ground Force One, which is the moniker for the Presidential Bus, knew he had a fleet of limos, but didn’t know he had a bus…. naturally our current Prez offends the beltway media by deciding to sit anywhere he damn well pleases on it, but hey ymmv

  8. 8
    piratedan says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: as long as you’re alright with the Raspberries, maybe we can let it slide……

  9. 9
    Billy K. says:

    TGI Fridays started in Dallas (and apparently it was *the* place to pick up chicks – I’ve only heard, as that was well before my time).

  10. 10
    shortstop says:

    I really want to see that movie.

    1. Nina Appel, longest-serving female dean of any American law school (Loyola Chicago), is Richard Appel’s mom.
    2. The weird high window in our dining room looks this way because that room was once a kitchen and there was a chute for shoveling ice underneath it.
    3. Kate Bush is really singing, “Out on the winding, windy moors,” not “Out on the wily, windy moors.”

  11. 11
    Billy K. says:

    @Turgidson: You know that’s Cheap Trick doing it, right?

  12. 12
    Alexandra says:

    I recently learned that when your closest friend has a severely manic episode, one that needs urgent hospitalisation, that over a year later, it will seem that they will never be the same again and may need some form of care for the rest of their life.

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    I grew up near the original TGI Fridays, which was in Midtown Manhattan. It was the archetypal 1970s singles bar catering to proto-yuppies and was not at all bohemian. It was in no way “cool” like places in Greenwich Village were cool back then.

  14. 14
    Joey Maloney says:

    I used to live in Memphis back in the day. That TGIFriday’s had that reputation says less about the restaurant than about how little else there was to do for fun.

  15. 15
    Turgidson says:

    @Billy K.:

    Yes. My comment stands.

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    Recent learnings:

    There was a band called “Big Star.”

    It’s okay to feed tomatoes to chickens, just not the vines.

    It’s possible to open a running dishwasher without causing a flood.

    A teenager with an iPhone can consume 4Gs of data in a remarkably short period of time.

  17. 17
    hoppipolla says:

    @Billy K.: Cheap Trick also changed a few lyrics and claimed half the songwriting credit. I love Cheap Trick (and Big Star), but that’s a dick move.

  18. 18
    kindness says:

    Snark alert –

    Oh, basing something on a Wikipedia entry, eh? Now we are really in Michelle Bachman/Glenn Beck territory.

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    Leonardo DiCaprio looks nothing like his dad.

  20. 20
    gbear says:

    I can proudly claim that I heard of Big Star when they still existed (via Stereo Review magazine, if you can believe that) and I have original Ardent pressings of their albums, one which included a great promotional info sheet about the band. I also bought a copy of Big Star 3rd on PVC records when that came out.

    However, I just discovered Townes Van Zandt in the last month. It sounds like he lived a tortured life of extreme depression, alchohol abuse and early death, but the music he made in the early 70’s is pretty amazing stuff.

  21. 21
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    I was okay with them though not a fan. On my return to CONUS I was into John Martyn and Pentangle.

  22. 22
    beltane says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m glad about chickens being able to eat tomatoes because I’ve given my hens plenty of mushy tomatoes in summers past and I’d hate to think I was poisoning them.

  23. 23
    Supernumerary Charioteer says:

    How far back everybody was scared shitless of the Turks. I’d always thought they’d come across from Central Asia with the Mongols, but they fought with the united Caliphate in the 7th and 8th Centuries.

    Also, Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger is, as the name suggests, a joke Sentai series and not an official one.

  24. 24
    LGRooney says:

    TGI Friday’s was my first job… busing tables in Virginia Beach nearly 30 years ago

    My son told me last night that shrews have a poisonous bite.

  25. 25
    ericblair says:


    from watching who wants to be a millionaire that there exists a Ground Force One, which is the moniker for the Presidential Bus,

    You’d think it would be Army One to be consistent, but maybe that’s a five ton truck where he has to sit in the back.

  26. 26
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I recently learned that that article DougJ links to about TGI Friday’s is almost four years old. Yes, it started in NYC in 1969. Yes, I was living there. No, it was not “bohemian”.

  27. 27
    Mike E says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    A teenager with an iPhone can consume 4Gs of data in a remarkably short period of time.

    Oldsters can, too, burn lotsa data when they have a smart phone without the accompanying knowledge to only stream/update shit whilst being on wifi.

  28. 28
    MattR says:

    How about some Texas Hold Em trivia – There exists exactly one scenario where the player with the best hand after the turn card cannot end up with the best hand after the river is shown. Can you name the two starting hands and the four cards on the board? (Technically there are multiple scenarios since you can rotate the suits around)

  29. 29
    shortstop says:

    @gbear: Agreed. I was introduced to him by the same guy who introduced me to Big Star (well after the fact of both of them). He was a pretty tortured soul himself, which limited how far I could fall in love with him, but he knew more about music, and was more generous about sharing it, than almost anyone I’ve ever met.

    ETA: This is/is going to be a fantastic thread. Thanks, Doug Milhous!

  30. 30
    hoppipolla says:

    @gbear: Have you seen Be Here To Love Me? very good documentary about TVZ, though a tad hard to watch in places. Guy Clark has a great line in it which I won’t spoil.

  31. 31
    burnspbesq says:

    I found another band that my kid and I both like: The National.

    Their new record is a bit strange. Sounds like a cross between Dawes and New Order. Which, surprisingly, isn’t a bad thing at all.

  32. 32
    👽 Martin says:

    @piratedan: The bus is pretty new. They did it for the 2012 campaign.

    Not having been to a TGIFriday in easily a decade, if not two, recently I went to one and learned that it’s a tired, rundown shithole with employees even less interested in the job than Office Space portrays. Seriously, McDonald’s has greater pride in establishment than TGIFridays.

    I also learned that the boy is interested in girls and the girl interested in boys. With a stress level already above 11, not the most welcome news, but duly noted.

  33. 33
    gbear says:

    I really need to see that documentary too. I missed it’s Minneapolis premier. Chris Bell was such a tragic figure. I’m wondering if they all come off looking like tortured artists in both the good and bad ways.

  34. 34
    AliceBlue says:

    1. One of the members of Big Star (Andy Hummel, I think) is the brother of one of Mr. AliceBlue’s childhood friends.

    2. I never thought I would care for H.P. Lovecraft until I sat down and starting reading his stories. Now I can’t get enough of them.

  35. 35
    jl says:

    I recently learned that DougRMN-or-is-it-Simpson-sidekick-J falls for BS about TGI Fridays.

    And I see Gin & Tonic beat me to it. I don’t have the personal local knowledge, since I never spent much time in NYC. But I mean, really, TGI-Fridays? C’mon.

    Or is this another DougTrollJ post?

    Edit: that place is so tacky and out of it, I always assumed it got started in the Midwest or Southern California

  36. 36
    burnspbesq says:

    If Cornell and Denver both win on Saturday, Monday’s championship game in men’s lacrosse will apparently be the first time that twin brothers have ever played against each other for an NCAA championship.

  37. 37
    Butch says:

    @Betty Cracker: So was Big Star the band that started out as Ruby Star and then later became Grey Star? Or is this different? Grey Star had a song called Telephone Sex – the lyrics were a mashup of slogans from telephone commercials at the time and it was hilarious.

  38. 38
    MikeJ says:


    I don’t have the personal local knowledge, since I never spent much time in NYC

    Big Star were from Memphis, not New York.

    There ain’t much to do in Memphis. Ardent Studios is right by Overton Square, where the only TGI Fridays was. Overton Square, back in the day, was sort of hip.

  39. 39
    gbear says:

    @hoppipolla: Haven’t seen the movie. Was it the line Guy Clark said at TVZ’s funeral about “…30 years…”? That line is in the notes of one of the CD’s I bought this week.

  40. 40
    hoppipolla says:

    @gbear: you got it in one. v. good.

  41. 41
    shortstop says:

    @MikeJ: When I’m forced to visit my cracker relatives in Aryantown, I’m always amazed at how little there is to do in Memphis. They appear to be under the impression that they’re living in a cultural wonderland.

  42. 42
    jl says:

    @MikeJ: I was talking about TGI Fridays. I have only the vaguest idea about what Big Star is.

  43. 43
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The dingo dog is indigenous to Australia.

    I got nothin’.

  44. 44
    geg6 says:

    I have learned that little dogs grow big very quickly. Within months. And don’t realize they can’t walk on you in bed without breaking your ribs.

    I have also learned that dentistry is not only a science but an art. An art which must be extremely lucrative based on the thousands I have spent on it in the last month and the further over eight grand I still probably will have to pay out in the next year or two.

  45. 45
    srv says:


    There’s a whole intertube for you old folks to get educated:

  46. 46
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @MikeJ: The reference was to TGI Friday’s having started in NYC. I do recall it as a tacky singles bar on the upper East Side.

  47. 47
    shortstop says:

    @srv: Not exactly news. We like the personal touch of having Juicers share with the class.

  48. 48
    MikeJ says:


    I’m always amazed at how little there is to do in Memphis.

    When I was a kid I’d go to see bands three or four nights a week. Saw Alex play at the Antenna dozens of times, even saw him with Panther Burns.

  49. 49
    CASLondon says:

    Cheap Trick had to change the lyrics, as they say “wish we had/a joint so bad”, which is not really network tv style.

    Also – Big Star – awesome. Although, 3/4 dead, which is sort of bullshit.

    Big Star Documentary – well overdue.

    Can’t believe you saw this already, I’m waiting on the VOD release later this summer.

    And, yes, Be Here To Love Me is a very well made film about Townes Van Zandt. I’m a little worried this one might be a tad pedestrian in comparison.

    When Alex Chilton died, Paul Westerberg’s tribute in the New York Times was touching and well written NYTimes

  50. 50
    MattR says:

    @MattR: Player A starts with a 7-2. Player B has a 6-5. The four cards on the board are 3-3-4-4 (all of different suits so nobody can make a flush). Player A currently leads with two pair (3’s and 4’s) and a 7 compared to two pair (3’s and 4’s) and a 6.

    If the river card is a 2, player B wins with a straight (2-3-4-5-6). If it is a 3 or 4, both players play the full house on the board and split the pot. If it is a 5, player B has a better two pair (5’s and 4’s vs 4’s and 3’s). Same if it is a 6. If it is a 7, player B wins with a straight (3-4-5-6-7). If it is any other card, both players play the 5 cards on the board and split the pot.

  51. 51
    Shinobi says:

    My parents met at TGI Fridays. This has pretty much always blown my mind.

    On a related but different Big Star note, if you are ever in Chicago, you should go to Big Star, they have the best tacos and excellent adult beverages.

  52. 52
    raven says:

    Ya’ll see this shit where these two dudes cut a brit soldiers head off in broad daylight in London? Damn.

  53. 53
    mistermix says:

    TIL that Eliot Smith’s “Thirteen” is a Big Star cover.

  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:


    They appear to be under the impression that they’re living in a cultural wonderland.

    I’m guessing that it is when you compare it with the rest of Tennessee.

  55. 55
    shortstop says:

    @MikeJ: Niiiiiiice.

  56. 56
    Maude says:

    I’m so sorry about the dental hell.

  57. 57
    raven says:


    Better than waitin around to die.

  58. 58
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    I have a soft spot for the TGIFriday that was in Hartsfield-Jackson. Back in 2000 I spent a month in WVA on business. flying in and out of the town I was staying in was tricky. When I started home storms and other things caused a cascading series of delays so by the time I got to Hotlanta I’d been at it for many hours. So I slid into the TGIFridays to kill some time until my (Hopefully) last flight.

    I ordered a straight scotch and a cheeseburger. The waitress brought me a washtub-sized glass of scotch and a decent burger. “You look like you might need this ,” was all she said. I was sad that I could only leave her a twenty.

  59. 59
    The Moar You Know says:

    I recently learned that when your closest friend has a severely manic episode, one that needs urgent hospitalisation, that over a year later, it will seem that they will never be the same again and may need some form of care for the rest of their life.

    @Alexandra: “Bipolar” doesn’t always stay that way. When I was a child, one of my mother’s friends had one of these episodes at our house. We finally had to take him to the mental hospital where he worked (better us than the cops) and admit him as a patient. We thought, like with most bipolar episodes, he’d go back to normal in a few days.

    That didn’t happen.

    He was never the same afterwards, and by that I mean he wasn’t the same person. Like he’d been taken away and his body just had a random soul jammed into it as a replacement. He ended up moving back home with his parents. That was the last we ever heard of him.

    This is why bipolar folks REALLY need to take and stay on their meds. You really can fly (or sink) away and not come back.

  60. 60
    jl says:

    OK, here is something I just learned, inspired by thinking about TGI Fridays

    ‘tacky’ meaning crummy, rather than slightly sticky’, started in the US. First it meant a crummy worn out old horse, then it meant poor white southern trash folk, and then it got franchised out to mean dowdy, shabby; in poor taste, cheap, vulgar, in general.

    OED says so.

  61. 61
    MikeJ says:

    @mistermix: Also done by Garbage, Mary Lou Lord, Wilco, Magnapop, Kathryn Williams, Counting Crows, and some more I’ve got laying around somewhere.

  62. 62
    shortstop says:

    @MikeJ: Lemonheads, I think. Or maybe just Dando.

    ETA: Jeff Tweedy does a pair of solo acoustic shows every spring in Chicago to benefit his kids’ school. They’re all-request shows and “Thirteen” is a frequent request.

  63. 63
    geg6 says:


    You can’t imagine how much your teeth can either improve or totally devastate your quality of life. The good news is that I’ve lost about ten pounds. The bad news is that weight loss is directly tied to the fact that I really can’t eat much.

    They keep telling me it will all be better soon. And that I will decide not to get the implants for the upper that I really, really want at this point. I’m skeptical, but we’ll see if they are right. They both (my oral surgeon and my dentist) are super pleased with how it has come out so far even if I am not. All I can say is that thank FSM that my lowers are fine. It sucks to be the only one of six siblings who inherited the awful teeth gene. No matter how much I spent on heroic measures to hold onto them all (and over my fifty + years, we’re talking a ton of cash), it wasn’t in the cards. I’m just glad I could keep half and that they look like they’ll last for my lifetime.

  64. 64
    belieber says:

    Never heard of them. All I know is that whoever designed that website doesn’t know what the fuck they are doing. Unless they are going for that whole horizontal slider thing….sigh..

  65. 65
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The noun pontus, pontī, ‘sea’ although second declension, and ending in -us in the nominative to boot, is nevertheless neuter gender.

    Vy. odd.

  66. 66
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    You should teach them a lesson and fuck off.

  67. 67
    CJWhite says:

    Yesterday I learned what “ervin”are.

  68. 68
    JD Rhoades says:

    Today I learned that at the U.S.S. New Jersey Battleship Memorial in Camden, you actually get to fire one of the big 16 inch guns.

    Well, sort of. Seems that when the state cut funding for the memorial, they needed to come up with extra cash, pronto. So, for 30 bucks extra, you can climb into the turret, load the shells, pack the powder bags, load the target info into the gun’s primitive computer, and pull the big brass trigger. Sadly, one does not actually get to lob a 1,900 pound High Explosive shell at Trenton (which might at least make the legislature reconsider the funding cuts). There is a heck of a big bang and a rumble that simulates what the gun crew must have felt, which is to say probably the biggest rush you can experience with your clothes on.

  69. 69
    Politically Lost says:

    I just learned that after my knee replacement surgery happening next Thursday I’ll have to take antibiotics every time I visit the dentist for the rest of my life.

  70. 70
    👽 Martin says:

    @raven: Yeah, wish I didn’t learn that. But weird shit. Someone pointed me to a twitter recounting a few moments after it happened. I thought it was bullshit “wait, that happened in the UK? No fucking way.”

  71. 71

    Tell me something important that you recently learned.

    This. I haven’t heard anyone talk about this story. It’s horrifying.

    Woolwich attack: Women passers-by hailed as heroes for shielding body of dead soldier

    Women passers-by shielded the body of a soldier who was beheaded by two suspected terrorists in Woolwich, south east London yesterday while armed police took 20 minutes to arrive at the scene.

    According to witnesses, dozens of people got out of their cars and shouted at the two heavily armed men to stop as they hacked the man to death.

    After the men dragged the soldier’s body into the road, witnesses said “brave women” shielded the dead man’s body from further attack. The men stood over them, brandishing their weapons.

    Footage taken on a mobile phone shortly afterwards shows one woman lying on the body and two other standing between the dead soldier and the attackers.

    MPs last night praised the “extraordinary bravery” of the women and raised concerns about why it took armed police 20 minutes to arrive at the scene while people’s lives were at risk.

    According to a security source, the delay in the armed police response is “particularly surprising” because there is a heavily armed police presence at Woolwich Crown Court, which is just two and a half miles away.

    One witness, who called himself James, told LBC radio: “There was only a few people at first but then traffic started to build up with people getting out their cars shouting at them to stop but they were taking no notice.

    This is London. WTF????

  72. 72
    Turgidson says:


    Nice. I’d like to think, had I been alive and of the right age in the late 60s and 70s, I would have known about all the “almost no one cared at the time, but now they’re influential/legendary/awesome” bands like Big Star, the VU, Stooges, etc. But nah, I’m too lazy. I only know about some obscure stuff because the internets make it so easy to find it. Which makes it not so obscure after all.

  73. 73
    geg6 says:

    @Politically Lost:

    Yup, you will. My John had both knees done last year and he has to do that, too. But the good news is that you won’t believe how much you’ll love having knees that work and don’t cause you pain with every step.

  74. 74
    raven says:

    @JD Rhoades: Firepower for Freedom! Buddy of mine had the pleasure of calling in a fire mission from the Jersey one time.

  75. 75
    raven says:

    @Southern Beale: I guess you didn’t see the video I posted above with the dude with blood soaked hands and cleaver talking to the camera. god is great

  76. 76
    mistermix says:

    @MikeJ: I’ve probably heard the original and thought it was Smith’s – they’re very similar.

  77. 77
    eemom says:

    Yesterday I learned that a sideview mirror can snap off at 40 mph on Rt 123 near Tysons apparently due to a glancing impact with one of these things.

  78. 78


    I didn’t see it. I’m still confused about the story. Was it an attack on a Muslim or attack BY a Muslim? From what I read it’s the former. But I’m new to this story.

  79. 79
    Maude says:

    I would be careful about implants. Research them. I do know that there can be problems with them. I’m just cautious on any permanent work.
    If your dentist and surgeon think implants aren’t a good idea, believe them.

  80. 80
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    1) If my water stone becomes sort of slick (from not using enough water possibly or not soaking it long enough) I can just scrub it with a scrubby sponge and water and it gets rid of the black stain that was clogging the grit, and it seems like new again.

    2) These kinds of onions that I used to love skewered and broiled are just as good done in a pan, along with my chicken. Cooked without peeling them, hot, until the skin or whatever it’s called is blackened.

    3) To remember that you really can’t count on anyone but yourself, and even that only some of the time.

  81. 81
    Billy K. says:

    @Billy K.: Oh, I totally agree. Just making sure you knew – since this is a learning thread and all.

  82. 82
    Dee Loralei says:

    Big Star is little known, but highly influential for other bands. I think Ardent Studios is still there on Cooper. And that TGIF’s at Overton Square was a bohemian pick up joint. Chris Bell’s sister owns a restaurant in town called Mortimer’s and it has a Big Star wall, with some memorabilia. And they named themselves after a local grocery store.

    Ok tell you something you don’t know: CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein used to play scrabble together and they sometimes used the languages they had developed for their books. For some reason that just tickles me to no end.

  83. 83
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    That Jim Morrison’s dad was not only a career Naval officer who retired an admiral– and who was involved in the Tonkin Gulf Incident.

  84. 84
    raven says:

    @Southern Beale: Two muslims on a Brit soldier in civvies. They cut off his head and then hung around making a video till the cops came and shot them. They are both alive.

  85. 85
    dewzke says:

    I posted this last night…

    Surpirsingly, this word appears only twice in the new testament, once in acts and once in the first epistle of peter: Answer:

    I Just stumbled across this question through jeopardy. Guesses?

  86. 86
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    Good thing they’re so cheap to replace.

    A friend of mine had the mirror on her SUV snapped off while she was taking the kids into school. The snapper drove on and my friend was billed $1300 for the repair. Glad I drive crappy old cars.

  87. 87
    raven says:

    @Ivan Ivanovich Renko: Stipe’s pop was a high ranking Army officer.

  88. 88
    pat says:

    I learned that if I have a hip replacement (arthritis) I should never again bend my hip at more than 90 degrees because the darn thing could dislocate.

    Huh? How would I put on my socks, kneel in the garden, do yoga, do ANYTHING? I couldn’t believe it. Has turned me off the idea forever.

    Will try to improve muscle strength, which seems to be the real problem. I hope.

  89. 89
    gbear says:

    @Turgidson: I only learned about stuff via my subscription to Stereo Review. Thru that magazine I got into Big Star, Richard & Linda Thompson, The New York Dolls. Mott The Hoople, lots of bands. They’d review the popular stuff but about half of their reviews were given over to more obscure artists that they either loved or hated. I got my electronics fix (this was durring the Quadrophonic revolution!) and got turned on to lots of good music.

  90. 90
    Trollhattan says:


    Kind of how I remember it, not bohemian so much as kinda hip in a very unhip era, and ours attracted a lot of pretty women at happy hour, so there was that. I do recall the menu having quips, including this.

    “There is evil in every berry of the grape.” –The Koran

    Think they could do that today?

  91. 91
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @dewzke: Twice in 24 hours, is this an ode?

  92. 92
    beltane says:

    @Southern Beale: It was an attack BY two Muslims on a British soldier of unknown religion. Very weird and disturbing.

  93. 93
    Billy K. says:

    @Billy K.: Whoops. I got my TGI Friday’s and my Chili’s mixed up. It was Chili’s that first started in Dallas in the 70s, and was, like TGI Friday’s, considered a singles hangout.

  94. 94
    MikeJ says:

    @Dee Loralei:

    Chris Bell’s sister owns a restaurant in town called Mortimer’s and it has a Big Star wall, with some memorabilia

    Huey’s (originally only on Madison, right down the street from Ardent, but now spread to hell and gone all over from what I hear) was owned by the drummer from The Box Tops, the band Alex Chilton was in as a teen.

    His Wikipedia article says he had a a lot to do with TGI Fridays, which will bring us back to doe, a deer.

  95. 95
    Trollhattan says:

    For hipster cred plumping, I still have my “Radio City” LP, the one with the Eggleston cover photo. Who?

    Now, who remembers the Box Tops, Alex Chilton’s high school band?

  96. 96
    Alexandra says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Like he’d been taken away and his body just had a random soul jammed into it as a replacement. He ended up moving back home with his parents. That was the last we ever heard of him.

    That’s exactly what it’s like. And I’ve known him for 35 years. I’m not sure what’s going to happen in the long run, but I have a bad feeling about it.

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I thought it was bullshit “wait, that happened in the UK? No fucking way.”

    London train bombings. I unfortunately am not as surprised as I would like to be.

    Though WTF is up with the 20-minute police response? Did this take place in the London equivalent of Watts or the South Bronx?

  98. 98
    pat says:


    So two guys in England hack another guy to death and let two women stop them by standing over the body of the victim.

    I can’t help thinking what they could have done with an AK15 and a 100 round clip.

  99. 99
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Mnemosyne: 20 minute wait for armed police…

  100. 100
    raven says:

    @MikeJ: And then there was Baby Huey and the Babysitters!

  101. 101
    belieber says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Why the hostility? Delicate fefe’s hurt? Could have been worse. You could have shown you do not get irony by announcing you are adding my soon to be banned handle to your pie filter.

  102. 102
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    I just learned that Staples will become the first major US retailer to offer 3D printers. Staples stores will sell the Cube 3D printer, supposedly one of the most user friendly.

    Not with a bang, not with a whimper, not from global warming, drowned in 3D printed tchotchkes.

  103. 103
    hoppipolla says:

    Something I learned today: “berk,” a word Brits use as a fairly mild insult — “that berk in the Jag just cut me off” — is actually a sly way of calling someone a much worse name (which i won’t repeat, as many people understandably find it intolerable), through the magic of a linguistic process call hemiteleia.

  104. 104
    dewzke says:

    @beltane: No, just for the afternoon shift…I just learned that fact and thought it was topical to the post.

  105. 105
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    My feelings aren’t hurt. I was just suggesting a course of action that might spare you further embarrassment.

  106. 106
    cleek says:

    if you’re into studio tech, here’s an interesting discussion on recording Big Star with the engineer on their records, Terry Manning.

    (having a hard time connecting to the site. though. i hope it’s still alive!)

  107. 107
    beltane says:

    @Trollhattan: Across 1st Ave. from the original Fridays was a much larger, more raucous bar called “Adam’s Apple”. I was a kid at the time, but looking back I’m wondering if it wasn’t a gay bar. In any event, Midtown was never a hip neighborhood and my teenage years (1980s) were mostly spent hanging out on East Village stoops.

  108. 108
    Trollhattan says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    That’s pretty cool; where is it that Snooki lives, again? I’m thinking they won’t offer that feature on the Iowa.

  109. 109
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Trollhattan: For even more hipster cred, the man who took that photo is my uncle!

  110. 110
    beltane says:

    @pat: The English are so calm compared to Americans. There is video at The Guardian of a female passerby having a talk with one of the bloodied, machete wielding assailants. Unbelievable.

  111. 111
    Dee Loralei says:

    @MikeJ: Tommy Boggs was in the Box Tops? Wow, that I never knew. He died last year I think.

    Alex Chilton was going to play an outdoor concert for the Italian Fest, but he died a week before. I think Larry Raspberry played instead. I loved Chilton.

  112. 112
    pokeyblow says:

    Charles Dickens’ brother died penniless in Chicago.

  113. 113
    Alexandra says:

    I’m writing from London. My perspective on today’s incident.

    1. Alleged 20 minute police response: possibly understandable given it’s an armed incident. Not all police officers or cars carry weapons so they would have needed to call up the appropriate team in the area. Woolwich isn’t like the South Bronx.

    2. When he says ‘our lands’, ranting with blood on his hands and holding a machete, he seems mentally ill or maybe out of his mind on some gear. He’s not a recent immigrant, nor is he a member of any large ethnic community that has strong ties to the British Muslim community, e.g. Pakistanis or Somalis.

    Judging by the accent, seems like he’s an Afro-Carribean Londoner. I could be wrong, but judging from their actions in not escaping and having conversations with bystanders, don’t discount other factors. I doubt they’re genuinely Muslim.

  114. 114
    NCSteve says:

    I never knew until this moment it was Barzini all along. But then, I’m slow that way.

  115. 115
    MikeJ says:

    @Dee Loralei: Wikipedia says it was 2008 when he died.

    Pretigiacomo named his dog Huey when he first moved to Memphis. The restaurant was a block from the station and had the best burgers in midtown.

  116. 116
    Trollhattan says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Love the word tchotchkes (in whatever spelling, there seem to be quite a few). Learned it as a grown-up and instantly welcomed it into my vocabulary. (And who didn’t watch “Joanie Loves Tchotchke”?)

    NASA announced they’ll be experimenting with 3D printing of FOOD for the Mars flight. More Star Trek in our daily lives, comin’ up.

  117. 117
    gbear says:

    Steve in the ATL wins.

  118. 118
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    NASA announced they’ll be experimenting with 3D printing of FOOD for the Mars flight. More Star Trek in our daily lives, comin’ up.

    Aw, shit. I’m so old that I thought of the Jetsons’ Fooderackacycle.

  119. 119
    raven says:

    @Alexandra: Hmm, seems like an African to me. Sometimes I struggle to figure the accents out.

  120. 120
    Trollhattan says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Wow, small world. You uncle is very talented and I think, is finally appreciated for his craft and vision. Confess it took me a long while to “get” his work, if I might be so presumptious in thinking I actually have.

  121. 121
    Doug Milhous J says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Bill Eggleston is your uncle?

  122. 122
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @hoppipolla: I learned that one of the Cockney slang words I’d heard a lot, “Dekko” (as in “I’ll have a dekko and see if the coppers are around”, meaning “a look”) that I had long assumed must have some rhyme involved and wondered what it was, was in fact directly from the Hindi “Dekho”, which translates to “Look!”. The interesting part was that no one in the UK I asked ever knew where it came from, they sort of assumed there was a rhyme also but didn’t know what it was.

  123. 123
    Amir Khalid says:

    They could be converts who fell in with radical types.

  124. 124
    Trollhattan says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    If Rosie the Robot is on the mission, it’ll all equal out.

    My daughter discovered the Flintstones and Jetsons a couple weeks ago, and is hooked. Funny how that worked out.

    Observation: Fred and Barney no longer advertise Winstons with the reruns.

  125. 125
    gbear says:

    @Dee Loralei: Does Larry Rasperry still have The Highsteppers? I have one of their LPs and it used to be a favorite (the cover is a high-stepping raspberry in high heels. I can’t remember the name).

  126. 126
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Trollhattan: It took me a long time to get his work as well. When I was a kid I could never understand why people thought he was great. The photos were perfectly banal to me; perfectly boring certainly (anyone recognize that quote?).

  127. 127
    Yatsuno says:

    @LGRooney: Your child is messing with you. The only mammal that produces poison is the platypus, and only in the spikes on its hind legs.

  128. 128
    👽 Martin says:

    @beltane: Adam’s Apple on first? Well before my time, but that was a very influential disco club in the 70s. I think the owner was murdered a few years ago.

  129. 129
    aimai says:

    @Southern Beale:

    This is also an english story. For people who don’t want to click the link an ordinary English white guy (albeit one with only one eye) just pled guilty to luring two unarmed police women to his house and killing them with both a gun and a grenade–and having already done the same to a father and son combo a little earlier in the year.

    I’m starting to wonder whether the reason we don’t hear that much about crazed machete wielding “black guys” attacking soldiers is that their stories are getting lost in just as weird white guy stories.

  130. 130
    sacrablue says:

    I’ve learned nothing and probably never will.

  131. 131
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.”

  132. 132
    Seanly says:

    I recently learned that our tenant is moving out of our albatross of a house in SC. So now instead of loosing $300 a month, we’ll be lossing $1650 a month until we get it rented out again. I could tell myself that we’re offsetting that a little with the equty we’re gaining, but the value seems to keep slipping.

    This morning I learned that the A/C condenser, coil & fans in our current home is shot & needs to be replaced. Good times…

    On the good news front, my stepfather’s heart surgery went well – they only had to replace a valve & didn’t need to do the full bypass. He’s in intensive care & recovering. And that’s a lot more important than worrying about stupid houses.

  133. 133
    raven says:

    First hand Guardian report:

    I was on my way back from school early, as I was sick. From where I was, I could see the wrecked car, so I thought it was a car accident, as I got closer I saw two men over a bloodied body hacking at him repeatedly, many were running away and screaming. Out of impulse I screamed at them shouting ‘What’s wrong with you f*cking morons! Why would you do this?, what did he do to you?’ The man wearing a black beanie hat with wild eyes that never settled on anyone for too long replied saying ‘We’ve had enough of your government, your soldiers do this to our people everyday.’ The men dragged the man into the middle of the road leaving a strong smell and a path of blood. They then began to walk up and around trying to justify themselves to those who asked. It was a truly scarring thing to watch, I don’t believe those men were capable of human feelings, they disgraced their families and killed without sense for a twisted cause, screaming Eye for eye, tooth for tooth as if fighting fire with fire didn’t make a bigger fire.

  134. 134
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @sacrablue: Well, at least there’s a lesson there for you.

  135. 135
    AliceBlue says:

    “Give me a ticket for an airplane/ain’t got time to take a fast train …”

  136. 136
    aimai says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: They should have known–Dekho is in Hobson Jobson and entered the English language along with a ton of other borrowed Hindi/urdu slang with colonialism.

  137. 137
    hoppipolla says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: no kidding? i always figured it derived somehow from “reconnaissance.” shows you what i know. i’ve recently fallen in love with rhyming slang (from watching heaps of british crime shows on PBS). it’s fun to explain to people what “having a butcher’s” is, or what it means if someone is “brown bread.”

  138. 138
    piratedan says:

    @Trollhattan: well lonely days are gone, i’ma going home, my baby, done wrote me a letter

  139. 139
    👽 Martin says:


    London train bombings.

    Yeah, but that’s large political stuff, so I put it in the same category as IRA bombings and things going back. This is just weird random ‘let’s hack the head off of some guy on the street’. I’d expect that on the Staten Island Ferry, not in the UK.

  140. 140
    👽 Martin says:


    The only mammal that produces poison is the platypus, and only in the spikes on its hind legs.

    You clearly haven’t met my daughter. She can shoot poison straight out of her eyes.

  141. 141
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @aimai:’ Have a shufty’ is another slang phrase for ‘take a look”, this time the Hobson-Jobson’s based on Arabic.

  142. 142
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @aimai: Well I wasn’t asking linguists ;) Writers, in some cases though. Literate people in any case, to be sure.

    Lost in the mists of time I think, a bit anyway, from my decidedly unscientific survey.

  143. 143
    Amir Khalid says:

    Hmm. You have to print the food from something, right? Just
    like ink printers need ink, and 3D printers need raw material in some form, like plastic or metal, to print things out of. Wouldn’t the material for the food itself be edible already? Because the alternative would be to synthesise food out of inedible raw materials, which doesn’t strike me as time-, energy-, or cost-effective.

  144. 144

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Even propah English has a lot of words of Indian origin, shawl, thug, bungalow to name just a few. Many Indian languages in turn have words of Farsi origin.

  145. 145
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Billy K.: Chili’s started in Dallas, not TGI Friday’s.

  146. 146
    Trollhattan says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    His working in color around the time was quite out of the mainstream for art photography, as black and white was considered the “serious” side of the medium and even it, frankly, struggled to be accepted as art at all.

    Everybody had a lot of catching up to do!

  147. 147
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: The company/dealership is profittaking. Buses have a special joint that breaks under so much pressure so the mirror dangles unharmed. The part only costs $10 and takes a minimal amount of time to replace.

  148. 148
    becca says:

    As per Big Star- there was a Friday’s near the studio where Big Star recorded. Convenient.

    I love Memphis. After living in NashVegas for twenty years, I find Memphis much warmer and the people more interesting and relaxed.

    Nashville is bright and shiny, but Memphis is home.

  149. 149
    belieber says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Like what? I would like to get to the bottom of this. Please explain the alleged embarassment in as much detail as possible.

  150. 150
    raven says:

    @👽 Martin: Screaming about Islam while you cut a dude’s head off isn’t political?

  151. 151
    👽 Martin says:

    @Amir Khalid: Water.

    Most of the weight in food is water (which is why hikers carry dehydrated and rehydrate on the trail). They’d basically bring protein in powder form, treat their urine, and use that to hydrate the protein and then print the food.

    They were just leaving out the gross sounding part.

  152. 152
    raven says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: That douche bag is back whining for an “explanation”.

  153. 153
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Trollhattan: Indeed. He has other photos used as album covers as well, including the cover of Chilton’s “Like Flies on Sherbet” and several for his (and Chilton’s) close friend, Sid Selvidge, who died of cancer just a few days ago. I assume you all know Sid Selvidge since everyone on this thread seems to be from Memphis!

  154. 154
    Trollhattan says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    IIUC (and it’s just conceptual for the initial contract) is working with a set of ingredient powders plus oil and water to construct a variety of food that’s consumed right away, as compared to cooking and preserving it on earth then reconstituting it. The hope is to retain more nutrients and make it more palatable, as well I’m sure as saving a heck of a lot of storage space. I guess there’d be an infinite variety of recipes too, so nobody gets stabbed with a spork because all that’s left is freeze-dried three-bean TSP chili for the last five months.

  155. 155
    cleek says:

    here’s that big star recording post, on the wayback machine.

  156. 156
    👽 Martin says:

    @raven: I don’t think it is in this case. I doubt these guys were sent by a political entity (AQ, a government, etc.) I think it’s going to be more like the Boston guys. Individuals hork up all kinds of nutty explanations for what they do, so I don’t think you can read too much into that part of it.

  157. 157
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yeah that I knew, I think dekko just sounded so much like rhyming slang, apparently even to my UK interviewees.

    Edit: I can’t help but think of this bit:

  158. 158
    raven says:

    @👽 Martin: gotcha

  159. 159

    I have learned that you can dress like this and have a successful style blog.

  160. 160
    catclub says:

    @LGRooney: and the poison is related to cobra venom.

    I knew that ( in some forgotten brain crevice).

  161. 161
    Suffern ACE says:

    >>UK Home Secretary Theresa May led a meeting of the country’s civil emergency committee, known as COBRA, on Wednesday evening, and Cameron will chair another such meeting on Thursday.<<

    I know it's not right to make light of an event, but one thing I learned today is that COBRA doesn't have a commander, but rather a chairman.

  162. 162
    Amir Khalid says:

    @👽 Martin:
    Ah, I see.

  163. 163
    Trollhattan says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I’m from waaaaay west Memphis, the bit that’s west of Lake Tahoe. ;-)

    A few jobs back I worked with a guy who grew up in the actual Memphis, and seemed to know of or perhaps even know Alex Chilton and related folks. He’s also the one from whom I learned that some kids are taught about the “Wowah of Northern Aggression” in schoo.

  164. 164
    Trollhattan says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Well now, she sure has a lot going on there.

  165. 165
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Yatsuno: Platypi have spikes on the hind legs? That produce poison? Well, that’s another new thing I’ve learned…

  166. 166
    Amir Khalid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    This woman’s sense of style strikes me as deeply meh. But then, even men’s fashion and style are mysteries well beyond my ken.

  167. 167
    Hobbes says:

    I was surprised to read this comment from a previous thread:

    efgoldman says:
    May 21, 2013 at 10:17 pm


    I’m as old a Star Trek fan as it gets:

    No, no you’re not.
    Before we met, when she was still a teenager, mrs efgoldman submitted ideas to Gene Rodenberry, which included “Trouble with Tribbles” and “I, Mudd.”

    as I had always thought David Gerrold wrote Trouble with Tribbles (and had some input with I, Mudd). Mr Gerrold even wrote a book about writing the episode and working with the cast and crew during production.

  168. 168
    sacrablue says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Yes, but I am doomed to forget it again.

  169. 169
    Dee Loralei says:

    @gbear: I don’t think the High Steppers are still around, when I saw him he was paying with friends, but I don’t remember if the guys had a band name.

  170. 170
    Tim in SF says:

    I learned recently that MSG is completely safe, and that nearly everyone who reports “MSG sensitivity” is full of anecdotal crap.

    (disclosure: I was one of those people)

  171. 171

    @>Amir Khalid
    There is a whole thread devoted to her on GOMI (get off my internets) and the cat ladies of GOMI can teach the hyenas and jackals here a thing or two about snark.

  172. 172
    joes527 says:

    @Hobbes: mrs efgoldman is Robert Heinlein? I’m thinking that there must be time travel involved in this story somehow. If mrs efgoldman turns out to be her own father, then it all makes sense.

  173. 173

    There is a whole thread devoted to Already Pretty on GOMI (get off my internets) and the cat ladies of GOMI can teach the hyenas and jackals here a thing or two about snark.

    ETA: WP sent my comment in moderation for too many links, this is a response to trollhattan and
    Amir Khalid.

  174. 174
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Dee Loralei: How about Keith Sykes–is he still around?

  175. 175

    @Amir Khalid: She is well meaning and her style is kinda boring. But that jacket is something else, so ugly, looks like a vintage 60s table cloth.

  176. 176
    AliceBlue says:

    @Tim in SF:
    You mean the pleasant little MSG buzz I get is all in my head?!

  177. 177
    Haydnseek says:

    The great fine art photographer William Eggleston was pals with Big Star, and shot the album cover for Big Star’s “Radio City” LP. You’ve probably seen it, it’s the one with the bright red ceiling with the bare-bulb light fixture in the middle. He also played piano well enough that Alex Chilton had him play on the occasional track.

  178. 178
    geg6 says:


    Late to catch this, but they aren’t against the whole idea. They just know how expensive they are and what my insurance is like. And they said I could absolutely do it. But they also said that I may find I don’t want to pay all that cash for what they think will end up being a marginal improvement. Both have said I would be better off saving the money and keeping it in case the bottom teeth ever get bad. They said a lower implant will be a large improvement over traditional dentures and, most of the time, it’s not that way for uppers. And if I don’t need to do the lower, which is highly probable, I’ll have all that extra cash for something else. Which, actually, is true and good advice.

  179. 179
    Tim in SF says:

    I learned recently that I love Kurt Vonnegut. I wish I’d read him while he was alive – he was only one degree of separation away from me.

  180. 180
    RSA says:

    If a CAT scan comes back clean, that doesn’t rule out a concussion.

  181. 181
    SarahT says:

    @Billy K.: nope, sorry – it’s ben vaughn. And the big star doc is awesome – hope they got a distribtor

  182. 182
    Tim in SF says:

    @AliceBlue: “You mean the pleasant little MSG buzz I get is all in my head?!”

    Well, that’s only what the evidence says, and YMMV. Still, they did a crap load of double-blind studies and those are hard to argue with.

    Reading the evidence gave assurance to this hypochondriac that he didn’t have to fear it anymore.

    And now I use it when I cook. It’s a marvelous flavoring in the right dish.

  183. 183
    NineJean says:

    @pat: As to that 90 degree thing — maybe talk to your doctor again? Or ask for a second opinion… I had hip replacement about 15 years ago, and it was a custom job – shattered my hip in a fall. I had that “don’t bend more than 90 degrees” order for about six months [more or less, but it wasn’t a lot longer than that] while my bones knitted into the prosthetic.

    Socks? Try putting on undies when you can’t reach your knees, nevermind your feet! I admit, it was an awkward few months. But it was only a few months.

    Can touch my toes just fine these days. Walk the dogs, work in the garden… Fifteen years in, this fake hip works much better than the homegrown one I traded it in for.

    So I’d encourage you to a) ask your doc again, slowly this time, and/or b) get a second opinion. I can’t imagine, maybe short of a much worse accident than I had, that you should have that bending restriction forever.

  184. 184
    Haydnseek says:

    @raven: One of my old supervisors has a three foot plank from the deck of the USS Missouri that was right underneath everybody at the signing of the surrender documents. He had it mounted and framed, and hung it on the wall in his office. He was retired from the Navy, and when asked how he got it, he would just smile and say he “knew a guy.” Very cool.

  185. 185
    joes527 says:

    @RSA: But it does mean that it’s not a toomah

  186. 186
    daverave says:

    @Politically Lost:

    ah yup, and a fairly big dose at that… ask your doc whether you should be worried about an infection from a hangnail.

  187. 187
    Haydnseek says:

    @Trollhattan: Thanks, Trollhattan. I can’t post the link, glad you did. I don’t have many idols. Eggleston is one.

  188. 188
    Trollhattan says:


    Look upthread for a big treat.

  189. 189
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Billy K.:

    You know that’s Cheap Trick doing it, right?

    Yup. That’s why it sucks.

  190. 190
    daverave says:


    Not likely… the modern, large-head versions do not have this restriction. I’ve had both replaced and do yoga, squat in the garden without pain, go backpacking for short distances, etc. Don’t believe everything you hear (or read on the intertubes;-)

  191. 191
    Haydnseek says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Really? I hope you’re close. Were you involved with Eggleston Soundworks loudspeakers at all?

  192. 192
    Trollhattan says:


    Keep running into commenters here with great stories–we’ve have Jim Morrison’s lawyer’s son–dad would have Jim over for dinner–and now, Bill Eggelston’s nephew. Will the wonders of Balloon Juice never cease?

  193. 193
    Haydnseek says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Yep. Hilton Kramer. Fuck him.

  194. 194
    aimai says:

    @raven: Not necessarily. These guys sound like they might be straight up schizophrenics. Police blottesr are full of carzy guys decapitating their mothers while having paranoid delusions. Just because you say some shit you picked up from the culture doesn’t mean you are actually a member of an organized political movement–people have done a lot of creeepy shit and thought that god, or the CIA or the ghost of their dog was tellign them to.

  195. 195
    Bill Arnold says:

    I learned as a kid that the least shrew had a neurotoxic saliva (after being bitten by one and looking it up, and telling my doctor, who was amused). Don’t know the truth of it.

  196. 196
    NickT says:

    I learned (time the 100th) that Michael Kinsley can dish it out, but he sure can’t take it. He’s got a column in The Neutered Republican which basically amounts to history’s greatest scream of butt-hurtitude:

  197. 197
    NickT says:


    As documented by Patrick O’Brian in The Nutmeg Of Consolation.

  198. 198
    Haydnseek says:

    @Trollhattan: I was gobsmacked. Eggleston fans, and then Eggleston’s nephew! Amazing.

  199. 199
    daverave says:

    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is now available in cans!

  200. 200
    raven says:

    @Haydnseek: Very, I have a piece of the deck from the North Carolina right here.

  201. 201
    Haydnseek says:

    @raven: Excellent! These things have an aura that’s hard to describe…….

  202. 202
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Haydnseek: We are all close, and I have some great stories that I will never post on the internet! The speakers were made by my cousin, William J. Eggleston III. He and his dad are both lifelong audiophiles. “Little Bill” was an A/V wunderkind practically from birth.

  203. 203
    Haydnseek says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I’m genuinely glad to hear that you’re close. I heard a pair of Eggleston Andra’s once in a good room and was hooked. There was no way I could afford them, but experiences like that let us know what’s possible. Bye the bye, I’m almost certain that quote was from Hilton Kramer in a New York Times review of his first major show in NYC. He’s entitled to his opinion, of course, but fuck him all the same.

  204. 204
    Catsy says:

    WARNING: Japanese-language linguistic geekery ahead.

    I already knew that most basic kanji (Chinese characters) have the forms they do because they were drawn to look like something related to the concepts they represent–and that the more complex kanji are composed of what are called radicals, which are basic elements that often relate to the concepts represented.

    What I didn’t realize until a deep dive into this subject recently was just how far this goes.

    A good example of this is the kanji for “time” (時), which is usually pronounced (depending on context) toki or ji. It, like any other kanji related to the measurement of time (e.g. 曜 for “weekday”), contains the radical derived from the kanji 日, which represents “day” or “sun”. The right half of 時 is derived from 寺, the kanji for “(Buddhist) temple”. The going theory is that this combination comes from the fact that time was typically marked by the ringing of the bells in the local temple.

    But 寺 itself is composed of more than one radical: specifically 土 (earth) above 寸 (an obsolete unit of measurement equal to about 3cm). Why? Because of the historical role of the temples in apportioning land.

    Also, I had an epiphany recently on how to explain the difference between the は and が markers to someone, but that explanation isn’t likely to be of interest to anyone who isn’t actually a student of the language.

  205. 205
    eemom says:


    If a CAT scan comes back clean, that doesn’t rule out a concussion.

    My son got a concussion a few weeks ago — fell on the back of his head in the school gym and actually blacked out for 15 seconds — and they didn’t even give him a CAT scan at the ER. Apparently his “observation” checked out so that one wasn’t indicated.

  206. 206
    Steve in the ATL says:


    I’m almost certain that quote was from Hilton Kramer in a New York Times review of his first major show in NYC.

    That’s correct, and I sometimes use that line to mess with Bill: “You really want another drink? But vodka is perfectly banal….” He pretends to be amused.

  207. 207
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Catsy: Oh oh, explain the は and が to me, I still don’t get the difference. I tend to just use them where it seems natural, no idea if I’m doing it right.

  208. 208
    raven says:

    @Haydnseek: My dad was a plank owner of the USS Crosby, APD 17. He was on it the day the war started and the day it ended. I have the stadiometer from the ship and the field glasses he put over his neck while saving a wounded paratrooper on the beach at Corregidor. Good stuff.

  209. 209
    Haydnseek says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Oh, man, that’s funny. Thanks Steve in the ATL and Trollhattan for making my day. The Juicer community is truly a wonderful thing…..

  210. 210
    lgerard says:

    TGI Fridays in the southeast were franchises, so the level of hipness depended on the local manager,

    Somewhere I have recordings of the dB’s and REM playing them in the early 80’s.

  211. 211
    NickT says:


    I hate to say this so bluntly, but you are actually wrong in pretty much everything you say. Some Chinese characters can be arguably traced to an image of the thing they represent, although not a majority. Not every character related to time contains the ‘sun’ 日 radical e.g. the character for month,which is represented by the moon character月 (yue in Mandarin, gatsu/getsu/tsuki in Japanese). The generally accepted linguistic explanation for the formation of the toki/ji character is that the sun radical gives the semantic component, but the tera/ji 寺 element is the phonetic. You might note that the same phonetic element 寺 (pronounced si in Mandarin) appears in the character for poetry 詩 (shi in Mandarin,shi in Japanese) and poetry was certainly not measured in terms of temple bells.

  212. 212
    pat says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    That burgundy sweater!! That skirt!! Those shoes!!!!!!! Gaaaah.

    What, she lives in Minnesota? Why am I not surprised.

  213. 213
    raven says:

    @lgerard: I’ll have to check on that one!

  214. 214
    Haydnseek says:

    @raven: Great stuff. I have a photograph of my dad taken by an official U.S. Army photographer at an airdrome in England in 1944. He’s playing his big f-hole acoustic guitar, fronting a band on a makeshift stage under a cammo parachute rigged up for shelter. Name of the band? The Invaders. He was crew on C-47’s. At some point, I’ll have the photo digitized, then get tech savvy enough to post it here. I think you might like it.

  215. 215
    pat says:

    Thanks, I really should follow that up, because there is NOTHING I do that doesn’t involve bending my hip. I was really surprised…..

  216. 216
    RSA says:


    Apparently his “observation” checked out so that one wasn’t indicated.

    I’m glad your son was okay. I was surprised to find out how much was involved in diagnosing a concussion by observation, that it wasn’t something you could necessarily see in a brain scan.

  217. 217
    pat says:

    I was talking to the PA, not the surgeon. Will definitely do some more investigation. Thanks.

  218. 218
    raven says:

    @Haydnseek: I found about 40 pictures of my unit in the Nam here

    I also found the muster records of my ancestor from the 11th Tennessee “Cheatham’s Rifles”. There is a lot of free stuff but I payed for a subscription.

  219. 219
    raven says:

    @Haydnseek: I also have the official Signal Corps film of the drop on Corregidor from 47’s, 200 ft!

    email me if you want, markann at that google mail service

  220. 220
    Catsy says:

    @NickT: Very interesting. I don’t have the background to dispute anything you have to say about Chinese, because that’s not the language with which I’m familiar, but I think you’re overstating things a bit. I never said, as you seem to be implying, that all the radicals in every kanji have a direct bearing on their meaning.

    The explanations I just gave were directly from my (native Japanese) teacher, and while I was guilty of making an over-broad generalization when I said “like any other kanji related to the measurement of time”, the breakdowns she showed me are consistent with everything else I’ve learned over the years. Certainly not every kanji was derived or can be broken down in this way, but a great many most certainly do have a direct relationship in meaning to their component radicals.

  221. 221
    eemom says:


    Thanks. It was a scary experience. And then I got to learn all about “secondary impact syndrome.” The good news is, in the face of all the horrifying stuff coming out in the football injury cases, doctors are very aggressive now about insisting kids stay “out” until they’re healed.

  222. 222
    raven says:

    @eemom: When I got sober I went through an evaluation that included my head injury history. Up until then I hadn’t given it much thought but I had a number of KO’s laid on me. Proly accounts for my rosy disposition.

  223. 223
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tim in SF:

    Hmm. I’m getting information that’s a bit conflicting, but apparently MSG can trigger migraines in some people, but (here’s the catch) it’s only in people who are already prone to migraines. So it’s more that certain specific people have a sensitivity or allergy to MSG, not that MSG is in itself harmful any more than, say, oatmeal is harmful in and of itself because my co-worker is allergic to it.

  224. 224
    Haydnseek says:

    @raven: That looks like a great site. I’m sure a sub is well worth it. Official Signal Corps film? That’s impressive. I mean, this is National Archive stuff……

  225. 225
    raven says:

    @Haydnseek: Yea, I went to the Archives in Maryland and got them through a vendor. You can take a scanner and computer for still and documents but have to got through someone for film. It has no sound but it is intense. There is maybe 5 minutes of the landing on the beach but the parachute assault is something to behold.

  226. 226
    Steeplejack says:


    I think Kinsley nails it in his third paragraph:

    There are two possible explanations. First, it might be that I am not just wrong (in saying that the national debt remains a serious problem and we’d be well advised to worry about it) but just so spectacularly and obviously wrong that there is no point in further discussion. Or second, to bring up the national debt at all in such discussions has become politically incorrect. To disagree is not just wrong but offensive.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    End of story.

  227. 227
    burnspbesq says:

    Spouse’s cousin’s kid, who is in the Coast Guard, officially gets his first command, a brand-new Sentinel-class cutter, next week. Pretty cool for a kid six years out of the Academy.

  228. 228
    Jebediah says:

    skipping to the end w/o reading comments yet, but I learned that Chuckie is probably a Catahoula Leopard Dog. Nice fellow, originally from Tennessee, in town to record his band’s (Musketeer Gripweed) album, said he was pretty sure of it. Looked it up, and got-dang but I think the young fellow was right!

  229. 229
    Haydnseek says:

    @burnspbesq: Congratulations are in order! Pop the cork on a nice bottle and enjoy…..

  230. 230
    Catsy says:

    @SatanicPanic: I don’t blame you; I struggled with them for years myself.

    Although は is usually referred to as the “topic marker” and が as the “subject marker”, the explanation I’ve found most effective at getting the difference across has actually been to compare は to the subject line of an email. The clause marked by は is providing context and signaling to the listener that everything that follows is a discussion of what came before は. Here’s the key thing to remember, though: a topic of discussion marked by は has to be information that is already known to both the speaker and the listener. When you’re introducing new information that lacks shared context, you use が.

    If I write you an email and put “phrenology” in the subject line, and you have no idea what phrenology is, you’re going to be confused–the information that follows is going to lack context for you. But if the subject line is “your mother”, the discussion will have context because the listener already knows who their mother is.

    This is why wh-words like だれ, どちら and なに are always followed by ga–because by their very nature those words represent information that is not yet known. So this is ungrammatical:


    Because what you’re effectively saying there (to the extent that something so ungrammatical can be translated at all) is “*With regard to who, [they] went?”

    Instead you would use が:

    だれが行きましたか。 (Who went?)

    To make the distinction between new information and old a bit more clearly, consider if your friend walks up to you and says this:

    あの人は面白かったです。(That person was interesting.)

    This is awkward if you don’t already know who he’s talking about. You’ll be like, “huh? who?”

    On the other hand, if he walked up and said:

    図書館でアメリカ人がいました。あの人は面白かったです。 (There was an American at the library. That person was interesting.)

    Then this becomes grammatical. Note that the first time the person is mentioned, they’re marked by が, because the knowledge of this person’s existence or relevance to the conversation is new information to you (the listener). The second time he’s mentioned, he’s referred to as あの人 (that person) and marked by は because now you know who your friend is talking about, and that person can be used as a topic for discussion.

    There are other uses of は (contrastive) and が (emphatic), and there are a few more rules for special circumstances, but what I’ve just described is the big distinction that people usually have trouble getting their heads around.

    Does this help?

  231. 231
    Dee Loralei says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Yes he is! Sorry I have no more info at this time, but a friend who knows him couldn’t talk because her phone was dying, but when I find out more info about Keith, I’ll let you know

  232. 232

    @pat: I have never been to Minnesota, but surely there must be many women better dressed than her.

  233. 233
    normal liberal says:


    Now, who remembers the Box Tops, Alex Chilton’s high school band?

    I do, but when Alex Chilton died I was amazed to learn that he was only 16 when they recorded “The Letter” in 1967. I was about nine back then, and thought it was an actual grown-up rock star person.

    I am pleased to learn that chickens can eat tomatoes, but sad to report that my town won’t allow domestic fowl.

  234. 234
    fuckwit says:

    @hoppipolla: IIRC, you cannot “claim” songwriting credit. You have to negotiate it with the copyright owner. For a price.

    You can cover a song, through something called “compulsory license”, without permission, but then you get no songwriting credit and you owe royalties at a predefined rate.

    To take a song, add your lyrics, and claim credit (and royalties), you need the permission of the copyright owner of the song.

    Perhaps Big Star’s publishing company were the dicks for selling the rights to Cheap Trick against the wishes of the songwriters. Or, more likely, maybe the Big Star composers needed the money, and made the deal willingly.

    It happens. Most of the comedy covers you hear are done with permission. Someone like, say, Weird Al Yankovic negotiatates a deal where he gets part of the credit and royalties for his derivative work. Some copyright holders refuse, most famously Prince, and then you can’t do a parody and get paid for the royalties. Yankovic did a polka album of Prince songs in protest: he didn’t change a word of the songs– he didn’t clear the rights to do so– but he was able to cover it via compulsory license and did his best to fuck up the songs as revenge to piss off Prince.

  235. 235

    Don’t trust tattoo artists to spell correctly

    Don’t complain about the IRS coming after you for your reporting if you were already under investigation by them.

  236. 236
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @fuckwit: You will be happy to know that Alex Chilton made big bucks off the song when “That 70’s Show” used it as its theme. He had no idea they had done that, then one day found a large royalties check in his mailbox in New Orleans.

  237. 237
    OGLiberal says:

    The ‘Mats introduced me to Alex Chilton almost 25-years ago but didn’t get (as in purchase) any Big Star until about 3-years ago. Shouldn’t have waited. Previously only knew Chilton for “The Letter” and only because my parents listened to a lot of classic rock. In that incarnation he was like Stevie Winwood (Arc of a Diver was a fave cassette of my parents) – a teenager who sounded much older than his years. Westerberg’s obit on Chilton is great, as is Elliott Smith’s cover of ” Thirteen”.

  238. 238
    OGLiberal says:

    There’s also Johnny Cash’s cover of “Thirteen”. O, wait, that’s a Danzig cover. Also great.

  239. 239
    pat says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    That was tongue-in-cheek. I can’t imagine a woman like that thinking she can give any sort of advice on “style.”

    OTOH, I walk through Macys and look at the crap they are peddling, and ask myself Who the heck wears that?

    (I do most of my shopping at Ha)

  240. 240
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Catsy: That makes sense. I think that’s how I’ve been using it. Kind of like sore and are (I don’t have kana on this computer), changes based on whether the person you’re talking to knows what you’re talking about. Thanks!

    ETA- my in-laws, however, love to use “are” for just about everything. the result is highly cryptic conversation and I tend to get lost in what they’re saying.

  241. 241
    Bill Murray says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): and the first Kentucky Fried Chicken was (and I think still is) in Salt Lake City

  242. 242

    @pat: I wonder who goes to her for style consultations. I like L L Bean too, some of their styles can be a bit matronly though.

  243. 243
    Catsy says:

    @SatanicPanic: Well, the distinction between a-words (are, ano, etc) and so-words (sore, sono, etc) is also often related to the perceived physical or psychological distance relative to the speaker and listener. Very broadly speaking, a-words tend to be used for things that are removed from both speaker and listener, while so-words tend to be closer to the listener–while ko-words are closer to the speaker. The simple example of this is me pointing at something in my own hands (kore), at something in your hands or nearer to you (sore) and then at something across the street from both of us (are). This also means “are” gets used for all sorts of abstract stuff, which might be part of what gets confusing about listening to your in-laws.

    But that’s a whole ‘nother subject. :)

  244. 244
    Hob says:

    My sweetie is Alex Chilton’s first cousin once removed, which was just meaningless trivia to me when we met because I had never heard of Big Star— unlike, as I later learned, just about everyone else I know. I have an old friend who’s a bit of a music snob & contrarian, and when he met her and found out about her family tree, he got totally flustered and said that to him this was like meeting royalty… even though, as he apologetically-yet-proudly explained, he hates Big Star (he says they sound just like Foghat and no one can tell him otherwise).

    Something I learned recently: what Anne of Green Gables is about. I’m not sure how important that is, but it was one of those things that when I was a kid, I knew all of the girls were really into it and therefore I must remain as ignorant of it as possible.

    I also learned that the original voice of the Witch of the Waste in the movie of Howl’s Moving Castle (played by Lauren Bacall in the English-language dub) was a famous Japanese drag queen, Akihiro Miwa.

  245. 245
    Scott says:

    Just to connect this to politics, Alex Chilton died when he had a massive heart attack while mowing the lawn a couple of days before he was scheduled to lead a Big Star reunion performance at SXSW. Reportedly, he’d been experiencing symptoms for a few days, but as a not-particularly wealthy musician without any health insurance, he didn’t go to the doctor.

    On the other hand, bass player Andy Hummel died a few months later after a several years-long battle with cancer, funded by the excellent health insurance he had from Lockheed Martin, for whom he was a senior manager (he had become an aerospace engineer after determining that no one was ever going to hear Big Star’s albums due to marketing and distribution problems).

    But we all know how the Oregon Medicaid study showed that health insurance really adds no value…

  246. 246
    pat says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I worked in a lab before I retired so never had to “dress up”, haven’t worn a skirt or pantyhose in at least 30 years, and to go LLBean for tshirts and pants. I like to think that I avoid the “matronly” look, but I could be wrong. ;-)

  247. 247
    pat says:


    I am in awe of someone who can even begin to understand Chinese or Japanese. I have enough trouble with German.

  248. 248
    master c says:

    Didnt have time to read through all of the comments, but for those of you that havent heard of Big Star, Alex Chilton was but 16 when he sang on the big ol hit “The Letter” by the Boxtops, as in “dont have time to take a fast train, my baby just wrote me a letter” I know you know that! Big Star wasnt so big in their time, but in the 80s they garnered new interest fueled in part by the Replacements song “Alex Chilton”
    Today I learned that one of my AC units is going out.

  249. 249
    Mnemosyne says:


    Anne of Green Gables is about a girl with ADHD. No, seriously, it’s really obvious once you read it.

    Now I understand why I never really identified with any of Montgomery’s other heroines.

  250. 250
    master c says:

    oh Hi OG Liberal! you beat me to the punch!

  251. 251
    CASLondon says:

    @SarahT: They got a distributor, a prestigious one, in Magnolia Films (started with Mark Cuban money), so it will get a VOD/DVD release this summer.

    I’ve followed the project since it was a Kickstarter by some noobies with a bad trailer, and only a bit of filming at the SxSW show, and the’ve done well since Alex wouldn’t sit down for them, then died. Then of course another key member was long dead, another one died during filming. And there isn’t very much archive on these guys at all, as they were a commercial misfire and more of a recording project than a touring band. That’s a challenging film set-up

    But they’ve had John Fry and Ardent behind them the entire time, and they’ve had some good narrative help along the way.

  252. 252
    Warren says:

    @fuckwit: Cheap Trick had nothing to do with it. The version of “In the Street” that was adapted for the That 70s Show theme (called “That 70s Song”) was done by Ben Vaughn, a highly talented musician in his own right. He had been charged to write an original theme for the show, and instead, he tweaked “In The Street,” because Alex Chilton was a friend and he needed the money. (It isn’t just the lyrics — the chords are simplified to make it more of a ’70s FM rawk-type song.)

    Cheap Trick only re-recorded Vaughn’s song starting with the show’s second or third season: Vaughn performed it himself when the show started.

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