Well, THAT was short and sweet!

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Michael Palmer

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Sep 16, 2005, 2:56:38 AM9/16/05
to
NASA is facing a major budget crunch, which is particularly severe at
JPL. (JPL's core mission for NASA is unmanned spaceflight, which,
despite the popularity of the cute Mars Rovers, is considered
singularly unsexy in Washington, where Dubya is lobbying to send a man
to the red planet.) As a consequence my contract has not been
renewed, and the 30th will be my last day on the job. At least my
exit will be rather more graceful than TMIQ's from his last job:
instead of receiving a telephone call in the dead of night telling me
not to report in the next morning I'll at least get a little party,
with cake, cookies, a card and testimonials, and have time to clear
out my personal belongings before handing in my key and badge at the
end of the day. And, being a cautious Kraut, I've saved a significant
portion of my earnings from this job, so I won't starve while I look
for another position, provided I get something by the end of the year.
(I was actually hoping to use the money to for an extreme dental
makeover, but as the saying goes, "Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt
die Dental".) I've applied for two positions at Stanford, neither of
which I stand a chance in hell of getting, but if I get as far as the
interview stage I'll at least get a free trip up to PA to see some of
the loca motssniki. (Note to Arnold: library positions at both
Stanford and the Hoover don't go through the dreaded Stanford HR.)

MP, soon to return to a life of leisure
--
Michael Palmer
Claremont, California
mpa...@panix.com

Frank McQuarry

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Sep 16, 2005, 9:44:27 AM9/16/05
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Michael Palmer wrote:

> NASA is facing a major budget crunch, which is particularly severe at
> JPL.

Condolences on your loss.

I really hate to see JPL take a hit because it is has been so productive.

Arnold Zwicky

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Sep 16, 2005, 3:03:40 PM9/16/05
to
in article <432a658f...@news.panix.com>, michael palmer
<mpa...@panix.com> reports that as he leaves JPL:

>I've applied for two positions at Stanford, neither of
>which I stand a chance in hell of getting, but if I get as far as
>the interview stage I'll at least get a free trip up to PA to see
>some of the loca motssniki.

that would be delightful.

>(Note to Arnold: library positions at
>both Stanford and the Hoover don't go through the dreaded Stanford
>HR.)

that's good. stanford HR manages to find truly wonderful candidates
for positions, but that just means there's a gigantic pool of highly
qualified people in the area. the actual operations of the HR office
are hard to describe without using the word "byzantine".

mammoth of the tall tree, soon to discover what new enormities the
Payroll office will perpetrate


Michael Palmer

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Sep 16, 2005, 7:20:46 PM9/16/05
to
On Fri, 16 Sep 2005 06:56:38 GMT, in soc.motss, I wrote:

>I've applied for two positions at Stanford, neither of
>which I stand a chance in hell of getting, but if I get as far as the
>interview stage I'll at least get a free trip up to PA to see some of
>the loca motssniki.

^^^^
Oh, damn: I now have a wretched Ricky Martin earworm, and no one to
blame but myself.

Ann Burlingham

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Sep 16, 2005, 8:49:02 PM9/16/05
to
mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) writes:

> extreme dental makeover

What's an -- oh, not "denial." Ne'mind.

--
What use was it having all that money if you could never sit still
or just watch your cattle eating grass?
- Alexander McCall Smith, _The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency_

Chris Ambidge

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Sep 16, 2005, 11:33:52 PM9/16/05
to

[mr bitch bovine is worming himself]

>>interview stage I'll at least get a free trip up to PA to see some of
>>the loca motssniki.
> ^^^^
>Oh, damn: I now have a wretched Ricky Martin earworm, and no one to
>blame but myself.

well you *could* modulate it subtly to a Puss'n'Donkey
earworm from the finale of *Shrek 2*

manly panda
holding out for a hero

Jed Davis

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Sep 17, 2005, 2:10:46 AM9/17/05
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zwi...@Turing.Stanford.EDU (Arnold Zwicky) writes:

> the actual operations of the HR office are hard to describe without
> using the word "byzantine".

I wonder if, 1500 or so years from now, people will use the word
"american" in the same way.

--
(let ((C call-with-current-continuation)) (apply (lambda (x y) (x y)) (map
((lambda (r) ((C C) (lambda (s) (r (lambda l (apply (s s) l)))))) (lambda
(f) (lambda (l) (if (null? l) C (lambda (k) (display (car l)) ((f (cdr l))
(C k))))))) '((#\J #\d #\D #\v #\s) (#\e #\space #\a #\i #\newline)))))

Michael Palmer

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Sep 17, 2005, 3:28:34 AM9/17/05
to

Which I haven't seen. However, my god daughter has promised to send
me a Shakira CD, which should accomplish the same thing.

Christian Hansen

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Sep 17, 2005, 4:21:45 AM9/17/05
to
On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 03:33:52 GMT, amb...@ecf.toronto.edu (Chris Ambidge)
wrote:

I've had two horrible earworms for the past week or so. First off, s
"Jerusalem", which is now under consideration as the "English" national
anthem. We had it for the cricket, and then of course the Last Night of the
Proms. The other is "Land of Hope and Glory", also from the Proms.

They replace each other regularly.

Chris "Bring me my chariots of fire, so that they can burn these horrid
earworms out of my braim." Hansen
--
Chris Hansen | chrishansenhome at btinternet dot com
|http://www.hansenhome.demon.co.uk or
|http://www.livejournal.com/users/chrishansenhome/
|"Ah, ma chère! J'adore lardons!" Mike McKinley
|"That's an L, not an H." Jack Hamilton

Michael Palmer

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Sep 17, 2005, 5:04:57 AM9/17/05
to
On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 08:21:45 +0000 (UTC), in soc.motss, Christian
Hansen <chrisha...@notrash.btinternet.com.invalid> wrote:

>On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 03:33:52 GMT, amb...@ecf.toronto.edu (Chris Ambidge)
>wrote:
>
>>
>> [mr bitch bovine is worming himself]
>>>>interview stage I'll at least get a free trip up to PA to see some of
>>>>the loca motssniki.
>>> ^^^^
>>>Oh, damn: I now have a wretched Ricky Martin earworm, and no one to
>>>blame but myself.
>>
>> well you *could* modulate it subtly to a Puss'n'Donkey
>> earworm from the finale of *Shrek 2*
>>
>>manly panda
>>holding out for a hero
>
>I've had two horrible earworms for the past week or so. First off, s
>"Jerusalem", which is now under consideration as the "English" national
>anthem. We had it for the cricket, and then of course the Last Night of the
>Proms. The other is "Land of Hope and Glory", also from the Proms.

National anthems need to be stirring, martial works (e.g., the US,
French, and German national anthems). "Jerusalem" gets there in the
end, but not before it noodles around for several minutes. The same
for LOHAG, which has the additional problem of being the preferred
graduation march for almost every educational institution (starting
with preschool) in the US. God Save the King/Queen is perfectly
serviceable, although I prefer Rule, Britannia.

MP, who also rather likes the tune of the former East German national
anthem

Message has been deleted

Joe Fineman

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Sep 17, 2005, 9:59:05 AM9/17/05
to
mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) writes:

> God Save the King/Queen is perfectly serviceable,

Particularly if you restore the wonderful stanza that used to end "God
save us all".

> although I prefer Rule, Britannia.

Fool, Britannia! It never got you much.
Learn to dwi-i-i-i-indle like the Dutch.
-- Happened on in _Punch_, ca. 1959

> MP, who also rather likes the tune of the former East German
> national anthem

I have not heard that one, but remain fond of the tune of the Horst
Wessel song (not to mention that of Lili Marleen, which it turns out
was written by a Nazi, tho the words were not).
--
--- Joe Fineman jo...@verizon.net

||: The most valuable losers are ahead most of the time. :||

Jack Hamilton

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Sep 17, 2005, 1:27:57 PM9/17/05
to
Christian Hansen <chrisha...@notrash.btinternet.com.invalid> wrote:

>I've had two horrible earworms for the past week or so. First off, s
>"Jerusalem", which is now under consideration as the "English" national
>anthem.

We haven't had a "Jerusalem" flame war here for years. Perhaps it's
time!

Google "blake jerusalem billy bragg group:soc.motss". Odd how these
things deteriorate into name-calling.

And I used to write better too, and be more interesting. I wonder what
happened?

Michael Palmer

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Sep 17, 2005, 1:51:07 PM9/17/05
to
On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 13:59:05 GMT, in soc.motss, Joe Fineman
<jo...@verizon.net> wrote:

>mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) writes:
>
>> God Save the King/Queen is perfectly serviceable,
>
>Particularly if you restore the wonderful stanza that used to end "God
>save us all".

Not to mention the best stanza of all:

Lord grant that Marshal Wade
May by thy mighty aid
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
And like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush.
God save the King!

>> MP, who also rather likes the tune of the former East German
>> national anthem
>
>I have not heard that one,

The music is by Hans Eisler, one of my favorite guilty pleasures.
There's a rather anemic version of the piece at
http://www.invasionx.com/random/v_ddr.mp3, but I prefer the one they
used at the Olympics in pre-reunification times.

>but remain fond of the tune of the Horst
>Wessel song

which is an old German folk song.

>(not to mention that of Lili Marleen, which it turns out
>was written by a Nazi, tho the words were not).

I'm not certain to what extent Schultze was a dyed-in-the-wool Nazi,
or just another Gustav Gründgens. In any event, M*rl*n* D**tr*ch is
said to have sung it once chez nous, but if she did I was too young to
remember the occasion (it may also have been chez Feuchtwanger, when
my parents were in attendance). I rather like the first recording, by
Lale Andersen,
http://www.istrianet.org/istria/music/sound/tracks/lili_marleen-lale_andersen1939.mp3,

but my favorite version is the first by Zarah Leander (who sings it
like a butch Marlene Dietrich), of which I have an .mp3, but cann't
retrace the source.

ObEastGermany, the following quote from Top Secret! (1984):
Colonel von Horst: [reporting on Nick's interrogation]: "They're
still working on him. He won't break. We've tried
everything! Do you want me to bring out the LeRoy Neiman
paintings?"
General Streck, German High Command: "No. We cannot risk
violating the Geneva Convention!"

M ah, *those* Weapons of Mass Destruction P

David W. Fenton

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Sep 17, 2005, 2:47:07 PM9/17/05
to
mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) wrote in
news:432c3e45....@news.panix.com:

> ObEastGermany, the following quote from Top Secret! (1984):
> Colonel von Horst: [reporting on Nick's interrogation]:
> "They're
> still working on him. He won't break. We've tried
> everything! Do you want me to bring out the LeRoy Neiman
> paintings?"
> General Streck, German High Command: "No. We cannot risk
> violating the Geneva Convention!"

Well, that is rather similar to the situation in One, Two, Three
(1961, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055256/), where the song "Itsy
Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" was used by the East
Germans for the purpose of torture.

The movie is a comedy, by the way, one that I found amusing but
still appalling in many other ways, in that conventional 1960s kind
of way, where most of the characters are caricatures who depend on
convention for most of their motivation, etc.

I also run hot and cold about James Cagney.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc

Dennis Lewis

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Sep 17, 2005, 3:39:56 PM9/17/05
to
On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 08:55:37 -0500, Alan Moorman wrote:
>
>Huh.... from the header I thought this must refer to Kenny Chesney (gay?
>country music star) and Rene Zellweger (movie star) getting their marriage
>annulled after only 4 months of wedded bliss.

From a May 18 report following Renee and Kenny's nuptials:

... Earlier in the evening, Kenny's fellow country music stars related
how they heard about the hush-hush wedding.

Gretchen Wilson said Kenny tipped her off a week before the ceremony.

But Tim McGraw said he was thrown for a loop.

"I thought he was gay for the longest time!" said Tim, sporting a big
grin and causing wife Faith Hill to laugh. "This surprised the hell
out of me!"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7901667/

Joe Fineman

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Sep 17, 2005, 3:58:03 PM9/17/05
to
mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) writes:

> On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 13:59:05 GMT, in soc.motss, Joe Fineman
> <jo...@verizon.net> wrote:
>
>>mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) writes:
>>
>>> God Save the King/Queen is perfectly serviceable,
>>
>>Particularly if you restore the wonderful stanza that used to end
>>"God save us all".

According to George Orwell, it was a Tory government that first
omitted it, and he ventured to suggest that it was because they took
"frustrate their knavish tricks" personally.

> Not to mention the best stanza of all:
>

> Lord grant that Marshal Wade [...]

I am also fond of the one that ends

May she defend our laws
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice, etc.

A nation that prays publicly for help in making the Sovereign mind her
business has, IMO, a good deal of the right attitude.

> I'm not certain to what extent Schultze was a dyed-in-the-wool Nazi,
> or just another Gustav Gründgens.

Had to look him up. All I know of Schultze's _Gleichschaltung_ is
that he wrote songs to improve the morale of soldiers on the eastern
front.

> I rather like the first recording, by Lale Andersen,

Thank you very much for that reference. Not only is it interesting in
itself, but it bears on some speculations on the Mudcat.


--
--- Joe Fineman jo...@verizon.net

||: A little of what you fancy does you good. :||

Ken Rudolph

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Sep 17, 2005, 5:01:59 PM9/17/05
to

According to today's L.A. Times, Zellweger is asking for the
annullment based on some unspecified "fraud". Could she be that naive?

http://www.calendarlive.com/printedition/calendar/qtakes/cl-et-quick17.3sep17,0,1212105.story
[free; registration probably required]

--Ken Rudolph

Ellen Evans

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Sep 17, 2005, 6:09:01 PM9/17/05
to
In article <11ip127...@news.supernews.com>,
Ken Rudolph <ke...@comcast.net> wrote:

[]

>According to today's L.A. Times, Zellweger is asking for the
>annullment based on some unspecified "fraud". Could she be that naive?

California only allows annullment on a very limited, rather stringent set
of grounds. "Fraud" is probably one of the least rigorous.

Unlike Nevada, say.
--
Ellen Evans If my life wasn't funny, it would
je...@panix.com just be true, and that's unacceptable.
Carrie Fisher

Rod Williams

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Sep 17, 2005, 6:58:17 PM9/17/05
to
Well, I'm sure it has something to do with the hat...

Michael Palmer

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Sep 17, 2005, 8:23:35 PM9/17/05
to
On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 19:58:03 GMT, in soc.motss, Joe Fineman
<jo...@verizon.net> wrote:

>mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) writes:
>
>> I'm not certain to what extent Schultze was a dyed-in-the-wool Nazi,
>> or just another Gustav Gründgens.
>
>Had to look him up. All I know of Schultze's _Gleichschaltung_ is
>that he wrote songs to improve the morale of soldiers on the eastern
>front.
>
>> I rather like the first recording, by Lale Andersen,
>
>Thank you very much for that reference. Not only is it interesting in
>itself, but it bears on some speculations on the Mudcat.

I presume that's the thread at
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=37963. But what are the
speculations?

Incidentally, the Official Lili Marleen Site,
http://ingeb.org/garb/lmarleen.html, has a whole host of downloadable
.mp3's of various performances, but not of Leander's (has she fallen
into *such* disrespect, or are there some copyright considerations?).

There's a rather fun version of Rule, Britannia, at
http://www.hereditarytitles.com/Page9.html. I had forgotten, however,
how many verses it has.

chancellor of the duchy of besses o' th' barn and prestwich tesco 24h offy

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Sep 18, 2005, 9:49:01 AM9/18/05
to
Jack Hamilton <j...@acm.org> wrote:

> Christian Hansen <chrisha...@notrash.btinternet.com.invalid> wrote:
>
> >I've had two horrible earworms for the past week or so. First off, s
> >"Jerusalem", which is now under consideration as the "English" national
> >anthem.
>
> We haven't had a "Jerusalem" flame war here for years. Perhaps it's
> time!

I didn't realise that the interpretation of the Blake was controversial.
I was taught in UK high school that the text was _meant_ to be ironic,
and given much of the rest of Blake's work, there's a lot to support
that. I don't know about Bragg's belief that "it's a left-wing anthem
about the immorality of exploitation" though- sounds too much like he's
trying to fit Blake into a modern political context- and that's
difficult to do.

--
David Horne- http://www.davidhorne.net
usenet (at) davidhorne (dot) co (dot) uk
photos at http://homepage.mac.com/davidhornecomposer

Joe Fineman

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Sep 18, 2005, 12:38:44 PM9/18/05
to
mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) writes:

> On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 19:58:03 GMT, in soc.motss, Joe Fineman
> <jo...@verizon.net> wrote:
>
>>mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) writes:

>>> I rather like the first recording, by Lale Andersen,
>>
>>Thank you very much for that reference. Not only is it interesting
>>in itself, but it bears on some speculations on the Mudcat.
>
> I presume that's the thread at
> http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=37963.

Right.

> But what are the speculations?

I should have written "a speculation". I had wondered why the stanza
beginning "Schon rief der Posten" was omitted in all of Dietrich's
performances that I had heard. One Wolfgang replied (on the Web page,
oddly, his reply appears before my posting, tho dated the next day),

Why the third verse was left out in WWII? A guess: The punishments
were much harder then than 'three days' for coming after
'Zapfenstreich'. This is the only verse that places the song in WWI
and not WWII.

But, it turns out, that stanza does appear in Andersen's recording.
Perhaps it was removed in subsequent performances. In any case, that
would not explain why Dietrich would do so as well, in performances
well after the war.

> Incidentally, the Official Lili Marleen Site,
> http://ingeb.org/garb/lmarleen.html,

That was new to me as well. Thanks again.


--
--- Joe Fineman jo...@verizon.net

||: The second mouse gets the cheese. :||

Cornelia Wyngaarden

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Sep 18, 2005, 1:05:28 PM9/18/05
to
On 18/9/05 6:49 am, in article
1h33a7o.1s8ycnmjviiwgN%this_address...@yahoo.com, "chancellor of
the duchy of besses o' th' barn and prestwich tesco 24h offy"
<this_address...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Jack Hamilton <j...@acm.org> wrote:
>
>> Christian Hansen <chrisha...@notrash.btinternet.com.invalid> wrote:
>>
>>> I've had two horrible earworms for the past week or so. First off, s
>>> "Jerusalem", which is now under consideration as the "English" national
>>> anthem.
>>
>> We haven't had a "Jerusalem" flame war here for years. Perhaps it's
>> time!
>
> I didn't realise that the interpretation of the Blake was controversial.
> I was taught in UK high school that the text was _meant_ to be ironic,
> and given much of the rest of Blake's work, there's a lot to support
> that. I don't know about Bragg's belief that "it's a left-wing anthem
> about the immorality of exploitation" though- sounds too much like he's
> trying to fit Blake into a modern political context- and that's
> difficult to do.

Er.... a lot of (list too long) 18th and 19th century literature and even
some visual art *is* about the immorality of exploitation. That it would
fit into current left-wing thinking is because it is immoral and we are not
done with it yet. I know this is a simplistic analysis because there is a
lot more but it is not wrong.

corry

Dennis Lewis

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Sep 18, 2005, 2:10:21 PM9/18/05
to
On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 09:04:57 GMT, Michael Palmer wrote:
>
>... MP, who also rather likes the tune of the former East German national
>anthem

Interesting -- evidently for about three decades the tune was all one
could hear at official events. In the 1960s, apparently, East Germany
decided it would just continue on a separate path from the BRD.
Unfortunately for that strategy, the DDR's national anthem began:

"... Let us serve you for the common good, Germany, united
Fatherland. ..."

http://david.national-anthems.net/ddr.htm

(Lyrics, in German and English:)
http://david.national-anthems.net/ddr.txt

chancellor of the duchy of besses o' th' barn and prestwich tesco 24h offy

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Sep 18, 2005, 6:10:23 PM9/18/05
to
Cornelia Wyngaarden <cor...@telus.net> wrote:

> On 18/9/05 6:49 am, in article
> 1h33a7o.1s8ycnmjviiwgN%this_address...@yahoo.com, "chancellor of
> the duchy of besses o' th' barn and prestwich tesco 24h offy"
> <this_address...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > Jack Hamilton <j...@acm.org> wrote:
> >
> >> Christian Hansen <chrisha...@notrash.btinternet.com.invalid> wrote:
> >>
> >>> I've had two horrible earworms for the past week or so. First off, s
> >>> "Jerusalem", which is now under consideration as the "English" national
> >>> anthem.
> >>
> >> We haven't had a "Jerusalem" flame war here for years. Perhaps it's
> >> time!
> >
> > I didn't realise that the interpretation of the Blake was controversial.
> > I was taught in UK high school that the text was _meant_ to be ironic,
> > and given much of the rest of Blake's work, there's a lot to support
> > that. I don't know about Bragg's belief that "it's a left-wing anthem
> > about the immorality of exploitation" though- sounds too much like he's
> > trying to fit Blake into a modern political context- and that's
> > difficult to do.
>
> Er.... a lot of (list too long) 18th and 19th century literature and even
> some visual art *is* about the immorality of exploitation.

I agree- a lot of it is. Blake isn't only about that however, and this
particular text is from a much larger, intensely wrought work which is
covering a wide variety of issues, not least the artist's (you could
argue tortured) relationship with religion.

> That it would
> fit into current left-wing thinking is because it is immoral and we are not
> done with it yet. I know this is a simplistic analysis because there is a
> lot more but it is not wrong.

Well, I'll concede that it may not be 'wrong'- but Bragg's apraisal of
the text does strike me as simplistic, to borrow your term. I've always
found Milton (the work) profoundly moving, but it's the 'mental fight'
which is the most profound for me. The "Satanic Mills" is certainly
referring to the exploitation Bragg mentions, but it's a passing
reference, drawing on the wider body of his work.

Chris Ambidge

unread,
Sep 18, 2005, 6:49:17 PM9/18/05
to

[chris at the heffalump]

>I've had two horrible earworms for the past week or so. First off, s
>"Jerusalem", which is now under consideration as the "English" national
>anthem. We had it for the cricket, and then of course the Last Night of the
>Proms. The other is "Land of Hope and Glory", also from the Proms.

I find that Greig's "wedding day at troldhaugen" works very
well as an aurovermicide

>They replace each other regularly.
>
>Chris "Bring me my chariots of fire, so that they can burn these horrid
>earworms out of my braim." Hansen

just stand near the monitor screen, and I'll shoot
you with my bow of burning gold.

oh, wait, that's for arrows of desire.

never mind.

manly panda
whose REAL arrow of desire is for harpooning these dratted thermochem
labs to start on toozday

Robert S. Coren

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Sep 18, 2005, 11:29:15 PM9/18/05
to
In article <Xns96D4969367CC5df...@216.196.97.142>,

David W. Fenton <dXXXf...@bway.net.invalid> wrote:
>mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) wrote in
>news:432c3e45....@news.panix.com:
>
>> ObEastGermany, the following quote from Top Secret! (1984):
>> Colonel von Horst: [reporting on Nick's interrogation]:
>> "They're
>> still working on him. He won't break. We've tried
>> everything! Do you want me to bring out the LeRoy Neiman
>> paintings?"
>> General Streck, German High Command: "No. We cannot risk
>> violating the Geneva Convention!"
>
>Well, that is rather similar to the situation in One, Two, Three
>(1961, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055256/), where the song "Itsy
>Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" was used by the East
>Germans for the purpose of torture.
>
>The movie is a comedy, by the way, one that I found amusing but
>still appalling in many other ways, in that conventional 1960s kind
>of way, where most of the characters are caricatures who depend on
>convention for most of their motivation, etc.

Being somewhat older than you, I saw it in first run, when I was young
enough to find it hilarious without seeing much to be appalled about.

>I also run hot and cold about James Cagney.

At the time, I don't think I had ever seen a movie with James
Cagney. My mother had to explain about the grapefruit.
--
---Robert Coren (co...@panix.com)------------------------------------
"I am FAGGOT, Lord of the flames! Feel my wrath!" -- Kaz Underworld

Robert S. Coren

unread,
Sep 18, 2005, 11:33:04 PM9/18/05
to
In article <In1BE...@ecf.utoronto.ca>,

Chris Ambidge <amb...@ecf.toronto.edu> wrote:
>
> I find that Greig's "wedding day at troldhaugen" works very
> well as an aurovermicide

That's just replacing one with another, surely.

And (ironic) thanks, anyway.
--
---Robert Coren (co...@panix.com)------------------------------------
"Never try to outstubborn a cat." -- R. A. Heinlein

Michael Palmer

unread,
Sep 19, 2005, 12:36:29 AM9/19/05
to
On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 13:47:07 -0500, in soc.motss, "David W. Fenton"
<dXXXf...@bway.net.invalid> wrote:

>mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) wrote in
>news:432c3e45....@news.panix.com:
>
>> ObEastGermany, the following quote from Top Secret! (1984):
>> Colonel von Horst: [reporting on Nick's interrogation]:
>> "They're
>> still working on him. He won't break. We've tried
>> everything! Do you want me to bring out the LeRoy Neiman
>> paintings?"
>> General Streck, German High Command: "No. We cannot risk
>> violating the Geneva Convention!"
>
>Well, that is rather similar to the situation in One, Two, Three
>(1961, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055256/), where the song "Itsy
>Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" was used by the East
>Germans for the purpose of torture.
>
>The movie is a comedy, by the way, one that I found amusing but
>still appalling in many other ways, in that conventional 1960s kind
>of way, where most of the characters are caricatures who depend on
>convention for most of their motivation, etc.

I had friends and relatives in East Germany, and I found the movie not
only amusing but in many ways (and most probably, accidentally) spot
on. As the opening of the Stasi files proved, the East German
authorities really *did* think and operate that way.

Christian Hansen

unread,
Sep 19, 2005, 3:34:23 AM9/19/05
to
On Sun, 18 Sep 2005 22:49:17 GMT, amb...@ecf.toronto.edu (Chris Ambidge)
wrote:

>


> [chris at the heffalump]
>>I've had two horrible earworms for the past week or so. First off, s
>>"Jerusalem", which is now under consideration as the "English" national
>>anthem. We had it for the cricket, and then of course the Last Night of the
>>Proms. The other is "Land of Hope and Glory", also from the Proms.
>
> I find that Greig's "wedding day at troldhaugen" works very
> well as an aurovermicide

Not familiar with it.

>>They replace each other regularly.
>>
>>Chris "Bring me my chariots of fire, so that they can burn these horrid
>>earworms out of my braim." Hansen
>
> just stand near the monitor screen, and I'll shoot
> you with my bow of burning gold.
>
> oh, wait, that's for arrows of desire.
>
> never mind.
>
>manly panda
>whose REAL arrow of desire is for harpooning these dratted thermochem
>labs to start on toozday

HWMBO and I were in a new school in Camden on Saturday on the London Open
House tour and I noted with some alarm that the science labs were not only
wired for all sorts of computers but had gas spigots for Bunsen burners.

Chris "Either that's a throwback to the dark ages of the 1960's or they're
unused-I think the former." Hansen

chancellor of the duchy of besses o' th' barn and prestwich tesco 24h offy

unread,
Sep 19, 2005, 4:48:44 AM9/19/05
to
Robert S. Coren <co...@panix.com> wrote:

> In article <In1BE...@ecf.utoronto.ca>,
> Chris Ambidge <amb...@ecf.toronto.edu> wrote:
> >
> > I find that Greig's "wedding day at troldhaugen" works very
> > well as an aurovermicide
>
> That's just replacing one with another, surely.

I'd say so- I had that one for half the summer! That, and Chopin's
Krakowiak.

Chris Ambidge

unread,
Sep 19, 2005, 9:48:20 AM9/19/05
to
[moi]

>> I find that Greig's "wedding day at troldhaugen" works very
>> well as an aurovermicide

[robert]


>That's just replacing one with another, surely.

not for moi. and don't call me shirley.

>And (ironic) thanks, anyway.

anytime. If I can offer others - three little maids, mud-glorious-
mud, afternoon delight -- just let me know.

manly panda
of P&McQ, earworm artistes

Chris Ambidge

unread,
Sep 19, 2005, 10:59:17 AM9/19/05
to

[chris at the heffalump]


>HWMBO and I were in a new school in Camden on Saturday on the London Open
>House tour and I noted with some alarm that the science labs were not only
>wired for all sorts of computers but had gas spigots for Bunsen burners.
>
>Chris "Either that's a throwback to the dark ages of the 1960's or they're
>unused-I think the former." Hansen

every lab I've taught in has had natural gas facilities
installed. I taught with it until 1986. I've never used it in
an organic lab - FAR too many flammable items for my comfort, though
gas heating was used before the days of reliable electric heating.

My labs here in the Wallberg building - built in 1946-8 - have
natural gas plumbing. I've never used bunsen burners here -- they were
all finally discarded about six years ago, and also about six
years ago our gas service was taken out. We were told that the
plumbing had come to the end of its service life (50y), and that
it would cost millions to re-do the university labs. Did we
really want it? There are a few lines still active, but the
vast majority of the lab lines were decommissioned then. The
workers came in, purged the lines with air, and removed the taps &
hose-barbs. The plumbing is still in place, but abandoned.

I do have a couple of lines, in one lab (and a huge [the handle
must be 35cm long] shut off valve for the whole lab) which serves
my Junkers calorimeter. It's my prize instrument -- it is used
to determine the energy content of mains gas (you burn gas to
heat water, determine how many litres of gas when burned heat
this many litres of water from xC to yC, thus z joules of energy).
I've still got the calibration certificate - dated 1909. It's
only got one moving part. Still teaches. But that's the only
natural gas flame that I have in my labs (and it's in a room with
no other experimenation). Most labs that can afford it have
moved away from using natural gas / naked flame as a local
heat source.

but I don't have a lot of computers in said labs either.

though it's amusing when you talk to non-scientists over 30
bout the labs, and they are gobsmacked when I say no burners.
"how can you have a lab with no bunsen burners?" they wonder.


ailuropoda melanoleuca torontonensis
still not ready for CHE323 labs tomorrow so had best get his pandabuns
in gear

chancellor of the duchy of besses o' th' barn and prestwich tesco 24h offy

unread,
Sep 19, 2005, 11:26:05 AM9/19/05
to
Chris Ambidge <amb...@ecf.toronto.edu> wrote:

> [chris at the heffalump]
> >HWMBO and I were in a new school in Camden on Saturday on the London Open
> >House tour and I noted with some alarm that the science labs were not only
> >wired for all sorts of computers but had gas spigots for Bunsen burners.
> >
> >Chris "Either that's a throwback to the dark ages of the 1960's or they're
> >unused-I think the former." Hansen
>
> every lab I've taught in has had natural gas facilities
> installed. I taught with it until 1986.

The tiny high school I went to in Edinburgh had those kinds of burners.
The school has actually moved into new buildings which are perfectly
nice but the original academic building was very quaint, sitting in the
grounds of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Mary. I can't find many
images of it online, though there is this one, from 1938. It looked
exactly the same when I went to school there.

http://tinyurl.com/9eksf

(longer link below may not wrap)

http://special.st-andrews.ac.uk/saspecial/index.php?a=indexes&s=item&key
=IYToxOntpOjA7czoxNjoiYmlzaG9wcycgcGFsYWNlcyI7fQ==&pg=15

The lab was in the upper right, the 'turret' on the far right corner was
used as a storage space for the lab, and was so cold all year round,
that the chemistry teacher referred to it as 'the fridge.'

Mike McKinley

unread,
Sep 19, 2005, 11:54:54 AM9/19/05
to
"Michael Palmer" <mpa...@panix.com> wrote in message
news:432c3e45....@news.panix.com...

> I'm not certain to what extent Schultze was a dyed-in-the-wool Nazi,
> or just another Gustav Gründgens. In any event, M*rl*n* D**tr*ch is
> said to have sung it once chez nous, but if she did I was too young to
> remember the occasion (it may also have been chez Feuchtwanger, when
> my parents were in attendance). I rather like the first recording, by
> Lale Andersen,
> http://www.istrianet.org/istria/music/sound/tracks/lili_marleen-lale_andersen1939.mp3,
> but my favorite version is the first by Zarah Leander (who sings it
> like a butch Marlene Dietrich), of which I have an .mp3, but cann't
> retrace the source.

Forbear, girlene! La Dietrich was a mega-diva and you should cross
yourself before you mention her name!


Ellen Evans

unread,
Sep 19, 2005, 12:11:58 PM9/19/05
to
In article <In2KA...@ecf.utoronto.ca>,
Chris Ambidge <amb...@ecf.toronto.edu> wrote:

[]

> though it's amusing when you talk to non-scientists over 30
> bout the labs, and they are gobsmacked when I say no burners.
> "how can you have a lab with no bunsen burners?" they wonder.

My thoughts entirely.

(Remembering a summer school lab in an unairconditioned building in Iowa.
Oh, my.)

Robert Marshall

unread,
Sep 19, 2005, 1:33:37 PM9/19/05
to
On Mon, 19 Sep 2005, Christian Hansen wrote:

> HWMBO and I were in a new school in Camden on Saturday on the London
> Open House tour and I noted with some alarm that the science labs
> were not only wired for all sorts of computers but had gas spigots
> for Bunsen burners.
>
> Chris "Either that's a throwback to the dark ages of the 1960's or
> they're unused-I think the former." Hansen

One of these images is not like the others....

http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=bunsen.jpg&svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&start=20&sa=N

though one of our local schools has a web site with a bunsen.jpg - a recent photo...


Robert
--
La grenouille songe..dans son chāteau d'eau

Chris Ambidge

unread,
Sep 19, 2005, 1:17:36 PM9/19/05
to


[the chancellor]


>The tiny high school I went to in Edinburgh had those kinds of burners.
>The school has actually moved into new buildings which are perfectly
>nice but the original academic building was very quaint, sitting in the
>grounds of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Mary. I can't find many
>images of it online, though there is this one, from 1938. It looked
>exactly the same when I went to school there.
>
>http://tinyurl.com/9eksf

ah yes.

we chemists are used to being sent off to one corner. [one of the
nicknames for chemistry IS "stinks and bangs", after all]

Here at UofT, f'rinstance. One of the oldest buildings is
University College:
http://www.utoronto.ca/ams/recroom/utfoto/images/kinX11.jpg

early on, ALL teaching took place in this building. The round
building off to the left is now known as the Croft Chapter
House, and it's a very nice meeting room. It's named after
Henry Holmes Croft, who was the first Chemistry prof at UofT,
and this was originally his lab (a closer picture - URL all one line)
http://mdlvw.ott.istop.com/~miletos/photos/toronto/to_croft_chapter_small.jpg.html

it was isolated off to one side -- you reach it through a wee cloister
-- to isolate the smells and the risk. Those high level windows
can be opened up to get a chimney-effect air flowthrough.
Ironically, the main body of UC burned to the walls in 1890
(when a servant carrying a tray of lit lamps fell, and the
flames spread). The Croft Chapter House, isolated, survived
the fire. It was expected that if anything went up in flames,
it would be the chemistry lab, ah but no.

>The lab was in the upper right, the 'turret' on the far right corner was
>used as a storage space for the lab, and was so cold all year round,
>that the chemistry teacher referred to it as 'the fridge.'

my dad's lab at Queen Elizabeth's in Barnet was a little more modern
than that, but similarly cold. It's there that I got my chemistry
start (painting the tripods - to hold beakers over the bunsen
burners - with aluminium paint each summer). Pure acetic acid
(vinegar is about 5% acetic acid, 95% water) is known as "glacial
acetic acid", and that's coz it freezes at about 5 or 7C. You
get stuff that looks like glacier ice in the winchester bottles.
Dad's storeroom was chilly enough that in the cooler times,
the glacial acetic froze.

ailuropoda melanoleuca torontonensis
lunch is over, back to the lab

(I've just found out that acetic melts at 16C, I'm gobsmacked, I would
havethought single digits)

Chris Ambidge

unread,
Sep 19, 2005, 10:40:31 PM9/19/05
to
[moi]

>> though it's amusing when you talk to non-scientists over 30
>> bout the labs, and they are gobsmacked when I say no burners.
>> "how can you have a lab with no bunsen burners?" they wonder.

[jeeves]
>My thoughts entirely.

I rest my case. what further need have we of witnesses?
as jeeves goes, so goes the nation.

>(Remembering a summer school lab in an unairconditioned building in Iowa.
>Oh, my.)

oh, dear.

I did do a couple of flame demonstrations early on when at the
Wallberg, using bunsen flames. You spray an aqueous mist containing
various metal ions through the flame and they colour the flame
quite spiffily - calcium, brick red; lithium, strawberry pink,
copper, green, and sodium, bright bright yellow. a teachign
demo, but you can use other ways to make the same point. not
worth keeping gas service for.

the only other time i used gas service was one particularly
chilly afternoon in my office; I set up six burners around
my office (which was just off the lab, mit plumbing). Solved
the heat problem, but I felt like an alchemist. (we now have
fan heaters, sigh. not as romantic, but safer. and that
distinctive smell of frying dust first time on each fall).
but there's a distinct difference between using burners coz
you want to feel warmer personally, and feeling warmer coz
you're using bunsen burners.


ailuropoda melanoleuca torontonensis


Chris W

unread,
Sep 19, 2005, 11:18:41 PM9/19/05
to
Chris Ambidge wrote:
> every lab I've taught in has had natural gas facilities
> installed. I taught with it until 1986. I've never used it in
> an organic lab - FAR too many flammable items for my comfort, though
> gas heating was used before the days of reliable electric heating.
>
> [snippety-snip]

>
> though it's amusing when you talk to non-scientists over 30
> bout the labs, and they are gobsmacked when I say no burners.
> "how can you have a lab with no bunsen burners?" they wonder.

I have to count as a non-scientist, or ex-scientist, or whatever, over
30, because I was surprised. But then, I was only required to take one
chemistry lab class (inorganic only; it mostly involved us getting
little glass tubes with some strange sludge inside and being graded at
the end of each class on whether we had managed to find out what the
hell it was; tasting it was not an approved method; it was a lot of
fun). That was in ... lemme think ... I did my chemistry exam a year
early, so it must have been in the summer semester of 1989. After you
had stopped using burners -- but we certainly used them, and weren't
even aware there was another method.

feverish-chris-with-headcold-in-Paris
who fondly remembers arsenic and antimony

Jack Hamilton

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 1:35:37 AM9/20/05
to
mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) wrote:

>There's a rather fun version of Rule, Britannia, at
>http://www.hereditarytitles.com/Page9.html. I had forgotten, however,
>how many verses it has.

I like the G&S version (well, S only, I suppose) from HMS Pinafore.

But it's not nearly as plummy and ornamented as the one you mention.

Jason Parker-Burlingham

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 1:21:05 AM9/20/05
to
amb...@ecf.toronto.edu (Chris Ambidge) writes:

> I did do a couple of flame demonstrations early on when at the
> Wallberg, using bunsen flames. You spray an aqueous mist
> containing various metal ions through the flame and they
> colour the flame quite spiffily - calcium, brick red; lithium,
> strawberry pink, copper, green, and sodium, bright bright
> yellow. a teachign demo, but you can use other ways to make
> the same point. not worth keeping gas service for.

I love watching this. When I was underemployed recently I used to
dream of testing the housepaint for lead by taking a little sulphuric
acid from a car battery and doing a flame test. Of course it's
impractical and probably would not work, but it was fun to
contemplate.

And, yes, the Chemistry class I took (and almost didn't pass) is what
ensured I would be awarded my CS degree, so it shall always have a
fond place in my heart.
--
Jason Parker-Burlingham
<jas...@panix.com>
Acid-base problems and dissociation constants, on the other hand

Michael Palmer

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 4:15:38 AM9/20/05
to

Honey, my family knew Dietrich, in Berlin, before she was even
Marlene.

MP, with supportive private correspondence

Jed Davis

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 4:49:28 AM9/20/05
to
amb...@ecf.toronto.edu (Chris Ambidge) writes:

> though it's amusing when you talk to non-scientists over 30
> bout the labs, and they are gobsmacked when I say no burners.
> "how can you have a lab with no bunsen burners?" they wonder.

I, as an almost-scientist under 30, must admit that that was my first
thought as well. And then I remembered that oh, right, I've heard the
anti-burner/pro-hotplate thing before.

--Jed "dropped the biochem major shortly before the long-awaited Shiny
New Science Center went live" D.

--
"When I was one of the devil's lesbians, my headmistress Countess Clitoria
would reward me with hot tubs and vacations to Spain and Greece. I'm sorry
you're still at the toaster level. You must do your vampirizing only in scummy
out-of-the-way places." -- Mother Bernadette Strange <exle...@wowmail.com>

Robert Feiertag

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 8:53:07 AM9/20/05
to
Robert S. Coren <co...@panix.com> wrote in message
news:dglbhg$es8$1...@panix1.panix.com...

> In article <In1BE...@ecf.utoronto.ca>,
> Chris Ambidge <amb...@ecf.toronto.edu> wrote:
> >
> > I find that Greig's "wedding day at troldhaugen" works very
> > well as an aurovermicide
>
> That's just replacing one with another, surely.
>
> And (ironic) thanks, anyway.

The lovely theme from the last movement of Brahms' 1st Symphony works as an
aurovermicide for me.

Tanya


chancellor of the duchy of besses o' th' barn and prestwich tesco 24h offy

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 8:56:47 AM9/20/05
to
Robert Feiertag <rfei...@columbus.rr.com> wrote:

I wonder if Brahms didn't have his own earworm when he wrote that theme!

Joe Fineman

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 9:38:04 AM9/20/05
to
amb...@ecf.toronto.edu (Chris Ambidge) writes:

> though it's amusing when you talk to non-scientists over 30
> bout the labs, and they are gobsmacked when I say no burners.
> "how can you have a lab with no bunsen burners?" they wonder.

A few years ago I wrote a comic song based on a story I had heard in
the 1950s. It contains the lines

He put it on the balance in its little house of glass.

A clamp, a Bunsen burner, and an Erlenmeyer flask.

A pump, a tube, a vacuum hose, a stopper with a hole.

How much of that would need a gloss, these days, for a chemist under
30?


--
--- Joe Fineman jo...@verizon.net

||: When you are trying to make an impression, the chances are :||
||: that is the impression you will make. :||

Robert S. Coren

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 11:17:07 AM9/20/05
to
In article <766vi1dkfbhksepia...@4ax.com>,

Jack Hamilton <j...@acm.org> wrote:
>mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) wrote:
>
>>There's a rather fun version of Rule, Britannia, at
>>http://www.hereditarytitles.com/Page9.html. I had forgotten, however,
>>how many verses it has.
>
>I like the G&S version (well, S only, I suppose) from HMS Pinafore.

The what? WHere does "Rule, Britannia" occur in _Pinafore_?
--
---Robert Coren (co...@panix.com)------------------------------------
"Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice."
--E. M. Forster, _A Room With a View_

Robert S. Coren

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 11:18:23 AM9/20/05
to
In article <1h36xd8.1aj2hgq1klgc3tN%this_address...@yahoo.com>,

chancellor of the duchy of besses o' th' barn and prestwich tesco 24h offy <this_address...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>Robert Feiertag <rfei...@columbus.rr.com> wrote:
>>
>> The lovely theme from the last movement of Brahms' 1st Symphony works as an
>> aurovermicide for me.
>
>I wonder if Brahms didn't have his own earworm when he wrote that theme!

Das weiß jeder Esel!
--
---Robert Coren (co...@panix.com)------------------------------------
"Trust me -- I'm fast when I know what I want."
--Will Parsons

chancellor of the duchy of besses o' th' barn and prestwich tesco 24h offy

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 11:34:21 AM9/20/05
to
Robert S. Coren <co...@panix.com> wrote:

> In article <1h36xd8.1aj2hgq1klgc3tN%this_address...@yahoo.com>,
> chancellor of the duchy of besses o' th' barn and prestwich tesco 24h offy
> <this_address...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >Robert Feiertag <rfei...@columbus.rr.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> The lovely theme from the last movement of Brahms' 1st Symphony works as an
> >> aurovermicide for me.
> >
> >I wonder if Brahms didn't have his own earworm when he wrote that theme!
>
> Das weiß jeder Esel!

I was waiting for someone to mention that- but I admit I expected it in
English! :)

Arnold Zwicky

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 1:27:45 PM9/20/05
to
in article <dgp95j$708$1...@panix1.panix.com>,
robert coren <co...@panix.com> asks:

>In article <766vi1dkfbhksepia...@4ax.com>,
>Jack Hamilton <j...@acm.org> wrote:

>>mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) wrote:

>>>There's a rather fun version of Rule, Britannia, at
>>>http://www.hereditarytitles.com/Page9.html. I had forgotten,
>>>however, how many verses it has.

>>I like the G&S version (well, S only, I suppose) from HMS
>>Pinafore.

>The what? WHere does "Rule, Britannia" occur in _Pinafore_?

"When Britain Really Ruled the Waves", from _Iolanthe_??

w well it has britain and ruling in it and it's g&s m

Max Meredith Vasilatos

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 1:40:45 PM9/20/05
to
Chris Ambidge wrote:

[a bunch of stuff about throwing pyrotechnics around for a class]

OK. Now I have to report what happened when I got
a bad chemistry teacher in high school (he got fired
after this):

My recollection is that he was our home room teacher,
and was trying to do a practice run of some sort of
volcanic reaction, and thought it would be cool to show
it off to us. We were barely paying attention, when
all hell broke loose.

His glasses broke and he had acid in his eyes, and
there was acid all over the walls and ceiling. The
biology teacher ran in and dragged him out (we called
him "Crazy Eddie") to do a fast eye wash, leaving the
class to try to wash down the walls. I remember Mike
Labell noticing that the paper towels were disintegrating,
and that there were now holes in the walls. It was
incredibly dangerous.

That same year a kid at a neighbor school was killed
in a physics class, doing something with electricity.

Some people...

Max

Robert S. Coren

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 2:03:36 PM9/20/05
to
In article <dgpgqh$1es$1...@news.Stanford.EDU>,

I suppose that *could* have been what Jack meant. But I guess I'll
have to wait for him to tell us.
--
---Robert Coren (co...@panix.com)------------------------------------
"Don't take life so serious, son -- it ain't nohow permanent."
--Porkypine (Walt Kelly)

Robert S. Coren

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 2:04:25 PM9/20/05
to
In article <1h374kx.1kxbaqt143kwxzN%this_address...@yahoo.com>,

chancellor of the duchy of besses o' th' barn and prestwich tesco 24h offy <this_address...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>Robert S. Coren <co...@panix.com> wrote:
>
>> In article <1h36xd8.1aj2hgq1klgc3tN%this_address...@yahoo.com>,
>> chancellor of the duchy of besses o' th' barn and prestwich tesco 24h offy
>> <this_address...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> >Robert Feiertag <rfei...@columbus.rr.com> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> The lovely theme from the last movement of Brahms' 1st Symphony works as an
>> >> aurovermicide for me.
>> >
>> >I wonder if Brahms didn't have his own earworm when he wrote that theme!
>>
>> Das weiß jeder Esel!
>
>I was waiting for someone to mention that- but I admit I expected it in
>English! :)

Yeah, well, I couldn't resist showing off.
--
---Robert Coren (co...@panix.com)------------------------------------
"Aric has a booming voice like yours -- and a lot less discretion."
--Mike Thomas to me, on the subject of disturbing the neighbors

Jack Hamilton

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 10:28:36 PM9/20/05
to
co...@panix.com (Robert S. Coren) wrote:

>In article <766vi1dkfbhksepia...@4ax.com>,
>Jack Hamilton <j...@acm.org> wrote:
>>mpa...@panix.com (Michael Palmer) wrote:
>>
>>>There's a rather fun version of Rule, Britannia, at
>>>http://www.hereditarytitles.com/Page9.html. I had forgotten, however,
>>>how many verses it has.
>>
>>I like the G&S version (well, S only, I suppose) from HMS Pinafore.
>
>The what? WHere does "Rule, Britannia" occur in _Pinafore_?

It's an alternate ending in the New Sadler's Wells recording. Google
thinks it was popular around the turn of the last century.
<http://www.cris.com/~oakapple/gasdisc/pin1908.htm> says it was the
standard D'Oyly Carte ending at the time.

Michael Palmer

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Sep 21, 2005, 2:54:09 AM9/21/05
to

Not technically an "alternative", since it didn't replace anything,
but an addition. Singing RB at the end of Pinafore would appear to be
the British equivalent to the USAn practice of singing the Star
Spangled Banner before sports events.

MP, who originally thought that the last line of the SSB was "Let's
play ball!"

Chris Ambidge

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Sep 21, 2005, 10:47:06 AM9/21/05
to
[yr chemical panda]

>> I did do a couple of flame demonstrations early on when at the
>> Wallberg, using bunsen flames. You spray an aqueous mist
>> containing various metal ions through the flame and they
>> colour the flame quite spiffily - calcium, brick red; lithium,
>> strawberry pink, copper, green, and sodium, bright bright
>> yellow. a teachign demo, but you can use other ways to make
>> the same point. not worth keeping gas service for.

[henry's daddy]


>I love watching this. When I was underemployed recently I used to
>dream of testing the housepaint for lead by taking a little sulphuric
>acid from a car battery and doing a flame test. Of course it's
>impractical and probably would not work, but it was fun to
>contemplate.

well, since you didn't go very far with the idea and have
moved on in vocational interests, it shouldn't hurt too much
to be told that lead (Pb) does not impart a colour to a
flame in the visible part of the spectrum. If you were doing
this sorta stuff, you'd be looking for Pb emissions in the UV
part of the spectrum, and most of us don't have eyes that
sensitive.

>And, yes, the Chemistry class I took (and almost didn't pass) is what
>ensured I would be awarded my CS degree, so it shall always have a
>fond place in my heart.

surprising how many people have warm'n'squishy feelings about
chemistry

>Jason Parker-Burlingham
><jas...@panix.com>
>Acid-base problems and dissociation constants, on the other hand

hey buddy, wanna buy a pH problem?


manly chemistry is fun panda

Chris Ambidge

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Sep 21, 2005, 11:52:02 AM9/21/05
to
[Our Max, the woman who helped turn me *GAY!*]

>OK. Now I have to report what happened when I got
>a bad chemistry teacher in high school (he got fired
>after this):
>
>My recollection is that he was our home room teacher,
>and was trying to do a practice run of some sort of
>volcanic reaction, and thought it would be cool to show
>it off to us. We were barely paying attention, when
>all hell broke loose.
>
>His glasses broke and he had acid in his eyes, and
>there was acid all over the walls and ceiling. The
>biology teacher ran in and dragged him out (we called
>him "Crazy Eddie") to do a fast eye wash, leaving the
>class to try to wash down the walls. I remember Mike
>Labell noticing that the paper towels were disintegrating,
>and that there were now holes in the walls. It was
>incredibly dangerous.

it was certainly reprehensible to have the students
clean up afterwards, too.

this was almost certainly the sugar/sulphuric acid
snake (or volcano) reaction.

table sugar is sucrose, which is a carbohydrate; that is,
carbon + hydrogen + oxygen, the latter in the ratio H2:O

sulphuric acid has an exceedingly high energy of hydration,
that is, when sulphuric acid and water mix, there is a very
large amount of heat given off. That means that any process
that involves water getting together with concentrated
sulphuric acid will have a lot of energy pushing that process
along.

In the case of the sugar/sulphuric acid reaction, the
energy available is sufficient that it will dehydrate the
sugar, turning the carbo-hydrate into carbon + water, the
latter of which reacts with the sulphuric acid.

the classic way to do this is to about 1/3 fill a beaker -
about 150 mL is the way yr candyass^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hsafety-
conscious panda would go - with sugar, pour on sulphuric
acid, and retire to a discreet distance. There's a short
induction period, and then after some yellowing of the sugar
and some expansion, the reaction takes off, and with smoke
and charred-sugar smell [kinda like vinegar + burnt toasted
marshmallows] the sugar goes black, and a serpent-like cylinder
of charred sugar / carbon foam grows out of the beaker. It's
dripping with sulphuric acid, and not good to touch. But the
growing serpent, with loud hissing noises, is spectacular.

it could of course do more damage - this typically comes
about if you use too big a sample of sugar, or put it in
an heap, as opposed to confined in a beaker.

[obBeaker:
http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/images/products/bg/WDLB-100.jpg ]

then it can take off more energetically, as more heat is produced,
and unconfined it can spatter. That would appear to be what
happened to Max's classroom.

this is the reason for the rule "add acid to water and never the
reverse" which people always forget the order of. In most
cases, and in concentrations lower than 5M it doesn't really matter,
but it CAN cause local boiling and spitting of acidic liquids
if you get it backwards. "may her rest be long and placid /
she added water to the acid / this other one did as she ought'er /
she added acid to the water" is the mnemonic to use.

it's also one of my safety bugbears - sulphuric acid
looks EXACTLY like water to the casual observer. But (as Max's
classmates can attest) concentrated (ie 18M) sulphuric acid
can eat through paper towels in 30sec. So I have firm words with
my students about this every year when H2SO4 first comes into
their ken. Just yesterday, first lab (which we survove with no
huge tragedy or breakage), in which two students were measuring the
enthalpy of hydration of sulphuric acid -- the wet-work student
all done up in apron and heavy gloves and sleeves and face mask.

[obBunsen (burner?), for one who *doesn't* do safety precautions:
http://blog.fatbusinessman.com/blog-post-images/Beaker_honey.jpg ]


ailuropoda melanoleuca torontonensis
beaker (meep! meep! meep!) is my hero


Chris Ambidge

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Sep 21, 2005, 12:44:08 PM9/21/05
to
[moi]

>> though it's amusing when you talk to non-scientists over 30
>> bout the labs, and they are gobsmacked when I say no burners.
>> "how can you have a lab with no bunsen burners?" they wonder.

[jed the youthful]


>I, as an almost-scientist under 30, must admit that that was my first
>thought as well. And then I remembered that oh, right, I've heard the
>anti-burner/pro-hotplate thing before.
>
>--Jed "dropped the biochem major shortly before the long-awaited Shiny
> New Science Center went live" D.

I'm mostly a physical sciences boy, but do have three bio-ish
courses: general first year bio, 3rd yr biochem, and 2nd yr
microbiology, and just remembered another use for bunsen burners:
you prepare petri-plate bacterial cultures using a platinum
wire loop to inoculate the cultures onto the agar. This wiping
tool obviously needs to be cleaned between uses, and it's not
ideal to use a disinfecting solution - because any residual
stuff would have a similar effect on the next culture to
be inoculated. The way we were taught was to heat the platinum
wire to red heat in a bunsen flame - that sterilised the loop
and left no residue. The process was called "flaming your loop",
screaming-queen jokes are left as an exercise for the reader.

I've no idea what is done now.

I do recall, destructive child that I was, several of us when
in those labs for something different (chemistry or math
tutorials, as i recall) would surreptitiously fill the bunsen hoses
with water from the lab taps, so that the next person to turn
'em on was greeted with a short fountain.

manly panda
who denies everything

Jason Parker-Burlingham

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Sep 21, 2005, 5:09:01 PM9/21/05
to
amb...@ecf.toronto.edu (Chris Ambidge) writes:

> well, since you didn't go very far with the idea and have
> moved on in vocational interests, it shouldn't hurt too much
> to be told that lead (Pb) does not impart a colour to a
> flame in the visible part of the spectrum.

Fortunately it was never my plan to either achieve an observable
result (just planning and safely executing the experiment would be
enough), nor to simply stop dead a testing for lead.

jason, now considering how to make UV spectrum visible or at least
detectable

>>Acid-base problems and dissociation constants, on the other hand
> hey buddy, wanna buy a pH problem?

I distinctly remember the sinking feeling in my belly that I got when
my professor's reply to my (frantic) email about the upcoming exam
started with the immortal words: "Where do I begin..." But I did
(eventually) pass.
--
Jason Parker-Burlingham
<jas...@panix.com>
Organic chemistry is still utterly beyond me, though

Jason Parker-Burlingham

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Sep 21, 2005, 5:16:55 PM9/21/05
to
amb...@ecf.toronto.edu (Chris Ambidge) writes:

> sulphuric acid has an exceedingly high energy of hydration,
> that is, when sulphuric