You can find anything on the web

Apr. 30th, 2017 02:52 am
thnidu: Tom Baker's Dr. Who, as an anthropomorphic hamster, in front of the Tardis. ©C.T.D'Alessio (Dr. Whomster)
[personal profile] thnidu
I was using the voice dictation in my Android phone to write a note to a friend a little while ago. I said, approximately, "Google Maps says it's about a half-hour drive", but what came out was

Google maps Etxepare, potes!

I have had funny slips like that before, so I checked the dictation language. It seems that somehow my finger slipped and set it to Catalan! I didn't even know I had that possibility. I certainly don't know the language.

However, that "-tx-" shouts "Basque!" It's pronounced like our CH, and as a letter combination it's very unusual. So I had Google search for "Etxepare", and sure enough just about everything that came up was clearly Basque, often labeled Basque. ("Speak Basque!", "Basque film series", etc.)

Then this showed up:

When I clicked on the snippet, this is what I saw, on eBay:

Armenian-Basque dictionary

Էուսկերեն Բարբառի Առաջնեկը- Եչեպարե; Basque Language Etxepare ARMENIAN Vasconum
Was: $29.99
18% off

An Armenian-Basque dictionary. Well, somebody must have found it useful. It's no stranger than any other pair of languages that have small speaking populations. But still, it's funny. I like it. — Ah, "Etxepare" is the author's last name.

But I'm not going to buy it. I already have too many books that I'm trying, with difficulty, to thin out.

Oh yes. Apparently "potes", which is Latin for "you can", is also Catalan for "legs".
thnidu: cat staring out at you, photoshopped into wild colors (Pow Wow cat)
[personal profile] thnidu
From Metro.

'American Gods' in the age of Trump

Neil Gaiman discusses immigrants, road trips and the importance of empathy.
April 21, 2017

Neil Gaiman hopes that “American Gods” will make your world "weirder." A TV adaptation of his critically acclaimed book of the same title, it brings viewers face-to-face with gods of the past and gods of the present, seamlessly blending fantasy, Americana and mythology.

The central character is Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), a man recently released from prison who embarks on an out-of-this-world road trip with the eccentric, Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane).

While Gaiman is a master of fiction, it turns out many of the places in the book were inspired by real places seen on his own road trips around the United States.

“I would go on long drives across America before I was writing it and as I was writing it. And I would also go on drives to places that the book had taken me,” he reveals. “I’d say, ‘Oh, okay, well the characters in the book seem to be heading here, and I’ve never really been there.’ So then I would get in my car and go for a lovely long drive.”


back roads and ghost towns )


“When I wrote the novel, the thing that I thought was absolutely and utterly non-contentious was the idea that America is a land peopled by immigrants, colonists and people coming in from elsewhere,” Gaiman notes. “The idea that you should welcome people in — that seemed non-contentious. These things have changed and seem more important now.” He adds, “I’m proud that we’re saying it.”

While the tone of "American Gods" is dark — complete with shocking sex scenes, gloriously bloody battles and the living dead — Gaiman's wishes for what viewers take away from it are bright.

“I hope that they will give a second glance to some of the people that they meet. I hope that they will think a little bit more about the new gods that they are giving their time, attention and worship to. And I hope that they will learn a little empathy.”

“American Gods” premieres on April 30 on STARZ.

Click headline for story.



Apr. 29th, 2017 12:23 am
thnidu: Mirrorverse bearded Mr. Spock, I FIND YOUR LACK OF LOGIC DISTURBING. lj:stevemb's variant of icon by lj:madfilkentist (logic)
[personal profile] thnidu
in my gmail spam filter (This is a screenshot. The only link is to the original screenshot, which is larger.)

scam message claiming to be from Amazon

Original Message
Message ID  <>
Created at:  Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 5:07 AM (Delivered after 37 seconds)
From:  "" <>
Subject:  You have just purchased an item worth $560, Please Responde!
SPF:  PASS with IP Learn more


Officer Teddy reporting for duty!

Apr. 28th, 2017 11:59 pm
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Loiosh)
[personal profile] thnidu
From Reuters via Quartz. Fri Apr 28, 2017 | 8:38am BST

What a wonderful idea!

Estonia police put teddy bears on patrol

Estonia's police will soon carry teddy bears in their patrol cars to comfort children caught up accidents or distressing situations, the organiser of the charity Traumamommik (Trauma Teddy) told Reuters.

The plan will see cuddly toys added to the equipment in the Baltic state's 100 police patrol cars in time for Children's Day, which is celebrated in Estonia on June 1.

Additional bears will be kept at police stations.

"The teddy bears will hopefully help these lift the spirits of these kids and be a support if the children need it," 25 year-old Kaur Vahtrik, the organiser of the charity, said.

He said he got the idea when a friend was involved in an accident.

According to Estonian police statistics, around 200 children a year are involved in traffic accidents.

The teddy bears will also be used to help comfort children caught up in other situations, like domestic violence, police officer Lea Barenson told Reuters.

The crowd-funded project HuggyBear aims to buy 1,000 teddy bears.

Submitted via their feedback page:

In "Estonia police put teddy bears on patrol" (, your caption on the photo is "Estonian police officers pose with Teddy beard in Tallinn, Estonia, April 26, 2017."

While there is a beard in the picture, it's on the male officer, not on either of the bears he and his female partner are holding.

Easter ball hunt

Apr. 28th, 2017 10:10 pm
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
From last week's New Yorker:

I didn't think much of it the first time I saw it. Just now I noticed the man's hair...


Code push scheduled for Sunday night

Apr. 27th, 2017 03:03 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We are planning to do a code push late this weekend, at approximately 8pm PDT / 11pm EDT / 3am UTC on Sunday, Apr 30 (or May 1 for you transatlantic types.).

I don't have a list of changes for you yet, but most will fall into the following categories: things users have complained about to support volunteers, things support volunteers have complained about to developers, things [staff profile] denise has complained about not working the way she expects them to (and as we all know, The Boss is Always Right), and things that were printing warnings over and over in the production server logs, making it hard to spot when less frequent, more urgent errors were being printed. Oh, and also all the unused code I ripped out at the roots, which if you notice that, I did it wrong.

To sum up: we are rolling out a bunch of requested changes, so thank you all for your feedback!

If you're new to Dreamwidth and interested in tracking our development process, our commit logs are published to [site community profile] changelog and [community profile] changelog_digest, and every month or so, one of our volunteers will translate those often-cryptic entries into witty, informative code tours! The most recent one was published on April 1, so we're about due for a new one. Hint, hint.

We'll update here again to let you know when the code push is imminent!
thnidu: colorful Hebrew calligraphy: JUSTICE, JUSTICE SHALL YOU PURSUE (Deut. 16:20). © Michael Noyes (justice)
[personal profile] thnidu
I am looking forward to walking in the 5th Annual Sojourner Truth Walk: Celebrating Girls' & Women’s Leadership on May 6.  The world is generally not as welcoming to girls' and women's progress as it is to boys' and men's, and that's not good. Money raised for this walk will support Camp Sojourner, a nonprofit leadership program for Philadelphia girls ages 8-17, which offers year-round leadership development including mentoring, service projects, creative arts, nature hikes, college tours, and a one-week overnight camp ( I will be walking in honor of my dear late wife and my hard-working daughter.
All money raised for this event will provide financial aid to participants of Camp Sojourner, a nonprofit leadership program for Philadelphia girls that focuses on team-building, leadership development, creative arts, and appreciation of nature. Now more than ever, our young people need positive opportunities that their families can afford.
Please visit my page at to learn about why I am participating and to sponsor me for this event.
thnidu: road sign: diamond-shaped black on yellow. Animated silhouette of user banging head on keyboard over & over (headbang)
[personal profile] thnidu
A: The etymologist knows the difference.

I was forcibly reminded of this old (among linguists) gag while skimming Wikipedia's talk page for the article Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, whose describer "chose the name because the moth's head cover reminded him of the hair of then President-elect Donald Trump."

The talk page is over 5,000 words long, all of it since January 18, and almost all of it taken up with a user called Staszek Lem , who went apeshit over the inclusion in the article of the size of the male insect's genitals... which is a standard part of the description of insects, as another user pointed out:

With respect to the non-experts here, this is something you need to back away from. Genitalia are a key characteristic for many many insects. Some species can only be reliably identified after being euthanised and having their genitalia dissected. Many the morning I have opened my fridge to get some milk and found a row of jars of bees etc all ready to be taken into my ecologist wife's work, drowned and have their knackers chopped up. Even in species where it is not a defining characteristic, it is still a key one for indentification purposes due to the differences in size, shape etc. Only in death does duty end (talk) 11:58, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

And in the last section (as of now) of the talk page (oomphasis added):

The thing is, from what I can see in the etymology section, him being president-elect was tangential to the naming,with the hair being the major focus. I editied the article in regards to that point of view, there is no relation more then timing really.--Kevmin § 21:04, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Who knows how the namer felt about it? Doesn't really matter - they did what they did when they did it. To be hyperbolic, imagine if somebody had named a moth after Gandhi in say 1888 when he was an English barrister, or after Hitler in say 1905 when he was an artist kicking around Vienna? Each of those actions would look very different 30 years later. Jytdog (talk) 21:25, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
You could read the sources (which are mostly regurgitating this press release). "By naming this species after the 45th President of the United States, I hope to bring some public attention to, and interest in, the importance of alpha-taxonomy in better understanding the neglected micro-fauna component of the North American biodiversity." I understand it as partly a publicity stunt and partly an appeal to the vanity of a person who ultimately holds the purse strings for science funding. It's not necessarily an honor (or an insult, which was the spin some sources put on it). There used to be a mention of the namer's motives in the article, that should be restored.

And somebody did name an insect for Hitler, albeit in 1933. I don't know whether the namer admired Hitler or was just sucking up to the powerful. Plantdrew (talk)

That's Anophthalmus hitleri Scheibel, 1937. Might be a cophrophagous beetle - who knows? I'm so tired (talk) 14:04, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Boost: Poetry Fishbowl

Apr. 26th, 2017 01:31 am
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith  will be holding a Poetry Fishbowl on May 2. Read about it here.

Some topics for prompts )
thnidu: Lucy bright and bold. Lucida Bright font, boldface: backslash, small-o, slash: YAY!! (yay)
[personal profile] thnidu
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith has a list of Unsold Poems from her April 18, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl (LiveJournal). Go there and see which you'd like to sponsor or buy additional verses to.

boost: to feed or not to feed

Apr. 24th, 2017 09:05 pm
thnidu: 50 stripes, alternate red and white, radiating from a central point, and 13 blue stars in a circle. By me. (Glory Variation #2)
[personal profile] thnidu
Ganked from Callibr8

Jim Wright's blog, "Stonekettle Station". This post, from last April, I found both inspiring and a call to action. It was a just-right thing at a just-right time. It begins with a quote from the movie "Tomorrowland", and ends with a story about two wolves. One of the things I like about this writer is that he pulls no punches. In this case, his target is passivity, and that's a place where blunt truth *needs* to be said, and heard.

I can do more. Most of us can. And every little bit matters.

Discord and Accessibility

Apr. 24th, 2017 02:12 am
thnidu: colorful Hebrew calligraphy: JUSTICE, JUSTICE SHALL YOU PURSUE (Deut. 16:20). © Michael Noyes (justice)
[personal profile] thnidu
(Snarfed from [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith here)

[personal profile] mirrorofsmoke  has a detailed post complaining about the inaccessibility of the popular chat program Discord for vision-impaired users.  It's not just inaccessible, the company is being obnoxious and basically doesn't feel that it should have to accommodate people with disabilities.  Please nag Discord to make its program accessible, and spread the word.

[Thnidu here.
Here is the page to register your opinion with Discord, but you can't leave a comment without signing in, i.e., you have to already have an account with them.]

How not to put out a car engine fire

Apr. 23rd, 2017 03:02 pm
thnidu: road sign: diamond-shaped black on yellow. Animated silhouette of user banging head on keyboard over & over (headbang)
[personal profile] thnidu
From my Chinese sister

SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2017


I pulled into a lay-by with smoke coming from under the hood. I realized the car was on fire so took my dog and smothered it with a blanket.

on an insurance claim

Baby capybaras

Apr. 23rd, 2017 02:58 am
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
From my son:

Some new baby capybaras were born and they are real dang cute!

Bad baby names blog

Apr. 22nd, 2017 01:09 pm
thnidu: road sign: diamond-shaped black on yellow. Animated silhouette of user banging head on keyboard over & over (headbang)
[personal profile] thnidu
Here's a blog about, yup, bad baby names. More precisely, horrible names of real people. (And more precisely in a different direction, it's a category subset of a blog called Not Without My Handbag.) Its latest entry is from February 1, 2012, but horrible names are almost timeless. ("Almost" because this year's supercraze is next year's "That's so yesterday" and the next generation "Ooow, that sounds like my aunt", and maybe back in style some decades after.) Warning, though: She's a grouch, as you might expect from the topic, and snarky as hell.

Here are a few genuine bad names excerpted from there, some in her own voice and some quoted:

  • American Idyll ’12 Part 2. February 1, 2012
    Finally, some crazy people with stupid names – what reality shows are all about. (Right? Er…)

    Tealana started by making me grumble with her hipster glasses and septum piercing, ... then back to rage when I found out her name is pronounced tah-LAY-nah, which is the opposite of every vowel in that name. She is the Los Feliz of names.

  • Everything’s Bigger in Texas. November 25, 2011. From the Houston Press:

    Every now and then, Hair Balls [apparently a column at the paper] reports the oddest, funniest, and most puzzling names we come across in Harris County official records — usually but not always the crime reports.

    As always, a couple of disclaimers are in order. Not all, indeed not necessarily any, of these people were convicted of a crime. Additionally, the crimes they are accused of — those that have been accused, that is — are in some cases as minor as driving on a suspended license or possession of small amounts of pot.

    And so, without further ado:

    Patronne Dextrexxe Brooks: Puts us in mind of both tequila and porn.

    Anal Exceus: Oy.

    Tito Kunta Hunt: Someone like both Roots and Yugoslavian strongmen, but the resulting name comes across as naughty.

    Chastity Spotts: I learned about those in health class.

    Charmin Crew: No squares in stall two. Send in the Charmin Crew.

  • Prince CalTech. December 1, 2010

    There’s a kid in my class at school whose name is Harvmit, aka Harvard-MIT. Guess what his parents wanted his college options to be? Too bad he became a rebel, slacked off in school and has no hope of going to either place. Serves his parents right, I guess, but too bad for him.

  • i dont no wat to thnik cuz im ded. December 24, 2008
    I get e-mails asking for naming help all the time, and I’m usually obliging, but every now and then….well, see below.
    I’m due my first kid aug 13. i am thinkin of names. i like unseual names and differnt spellings of names.

    for girls dh and i like:

    tallulah lilac
meleah lynn

    jayden haven
madison macenyzie

    ashlynn charlize

    tiffany clea

    alisha beyonce

    solange kesleigh
gracelyn jordyn

    for boys dh and i like:

kendal jae

    dayne killigan
kylar reese

    fynn tyler
wayne jaymes
brooklyn romeo

    jaysen elijah

    can u please give opinions on the names? thx in advance


    I’m still not sure if she didn’t read the site, couldn’t read the site, or is screwing with me.

 If the latter, Bravo. You did an incredible job of impersonating an under-educated tryndee* namer who I assume every awful thing I possible can about them, up to and including caring about Kardashians, collecting cat figurines, and giving Sarah Palin money. You cut me off on the freeway, let your dog crap in my yard, and get in the express lane with 15 items, then pay with a check. You forward emails about Nordstrom’s recipes, proof of angels, and sparkly Tweety Bird gifs. You invented laugh tracks. Your favorite movie is Transformers 2. You hold your purse tighter when you see black people. Your car alarm goes off at 4 am every day. You ate three slices of pizza before making sure everyone else had had one. You’re why the bus smells like pee.

    I hate you.

* Following the recent trend of spelling a child's name wrong intentionally, see kree8yv.
Maddyssyn is a tryndee way to spell Madison.

The importer has (mostly) caught up!

Apr. 19th, 2017 11:02 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
Our content importer has mostly caught up with its backlog; almost everything that's still listed as being "in the queue" are jobs that were tried, failed once or more with a temporary failure, and are waiting to try again. (The importer tries a few times, at successively longer intervals, when it gets a failure it thinks might be temporary/might correct itself later on.) This means that new imports scheduled now should complete in hours (or even minutes), not the "several days" it's been taking.

If you tried to schedule a second import while the first one was still running, at any time in the past 10 days or so, you may have confused the poor thing. If you think your import should be finished by now and it isn't, and you're seeing "Aborted" on the Importer Status part of the Importer page, feel free to open a support request in the Importer category and we'll look into it for you. (It may take a little bit before you get a response; those of us who have the access to look into importer problems have been really busy for the past two weeks or so, and I at least need a few days to catch my breath a bit before diving back into the fray! But we'll do what we can.)

I hope all y'all are continuing to settle in well to your new home!

A Larsonian contribution to science

Apr. 19th, 2017 03:28 am
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
H/t [ profile] murgatroyd666, in Girl Genius Lab

A thagomizer is the distinctive arrangement of four to ten spikes on the tails of stegosaurid dinosaurs. These spikes are believed to have been a defensive measure against predators.

The arrangement of spikes originally had no distinct name; the term Thagomizer was coined in 1982 by cartoonist Gary Larson in his comic The Far Side, and thereafter became gradually adopted as an informal term within scientific circles, research, and education.


      Larson cartoon. "Now this end is called the thagomizer... after the late Thag Simmons."      

The gnome & the cat

Apr. 18th, 2017 05:44 pm
thnidu: our cat (Ista)
[personal profile] thnidu
From my Chinese sister:


A gnome was tearing up a flower garden when a house cat appeared. “What are you?” asked the cat.

“I'm a gnome,” said the creature. “I steal food from humans, I destroy their gardens, I keep them up all night with my annoying music, and I generally cause mischief. And what, may I ask, are you?"

The cat replied, “Um, I guess I'm a gnome.”

The Song of Durin

Apr. 17th, 2017 03:16 am
thnidu: A shield-shaped hunk of watermelon rind, with bits carved away to make 2 staring eyes and a mouth. By bensanaz (melonhead)
[personal profile] thnidu

$$$ OH BOY! $$$

Apr. 16th, 2017 10:39 pm
thnidu: (Grass Mud Horse seal)
[personal profile] thnidu
From: Mr Khim Leang <monitor@atlanta.local>

Dear Friend,

I am Mr Khim Leang, a personal Accountant/Executive board of Directors working with Foreign Trade Bank of Cambodia (FTB).A late investor who bears the same last name with you has left $19,340,000{Nineteen Million Three Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars} with Our Bank for some years and no Next of kin has come forward all these years for claim.

Kindly get back to me for more details if you are inerested.

Best Regards,

Mr Khim Leang
Board Directors
Foreign Trade Bank of Cambodia

Phnom Penh

Yeah, right.
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