Friday, July 29, 2011

Hither and thither 7/29/11

If I wrote what my week was like, it'd mostly bore me — so, to spare you the discomfort: look! Eclectic delights!
  • We begin with an eloquent admin's-eye view of what it is like to deal with trolls in comment-threads:
  • I Love a Happy Ending alert: pregnant woman kicks career-criminal, would-be purse-snatcher's...well, shin, as it turns out. So he's not only busted; he's busticated, and humiliated.
  • Question: what do you do when you have four thoroughly-vetted, thoroughly-verified, reliable Gospels, but they don't tell you what you want to hear? Answer: keep looking until you find some that do. (thx JTW)
  • My brother Thabiti Anyabwile has a good post titled My Wife, Salsa, and Submission which, in turn, links to a post by his wife on the subject.
  • Wrong on SO many levels.
  • Government re-education camp transport vehicle operator to mother: "Back off, serf; he's ours now!" Listen and growl.
  • Great. Now I know why weight is such a struggle here. Food has more calories in California!
  • Me, I like Andy McCarthy's suggestion: only raise the debt ceiling as cuts are made in real-time. Cuts first, then spending. Oppose of how Washington has gotten us into this mess — since, for them, spending is always now, and cuts are always mañana.
  • Don't speak much Japanese, but I think I probably agree with what these people are saying.
  • I'll Retire to Bedlam Alert: an Episcopalian bishop commands all homosexual clergy living in homosexual relationships to... repent? Bow the knee to Christ's Lordship? Oh, you silly, silly person, no. To "marry" their accomplice. Because, you know, living together unmarried is wrong. (thx Mike Westfall)
  • Sweet little girl forgives the shark that attacked her. Um, okay.
  • Did you know that the European country that is most tolerant towards Muslims is also most hated by the Muslims they host? Yep. Melanie Phillips throws down on the whole notion of multiculturalism. (thx John)
  • HP7B Spoilers: I find I'm having afterthoughts about HP7B, mostly centered around the movie-qua-adaptation. Principally this: if you were to see the movie without having read the book, would you come to think that Dumbledore was the real villain, second only to Voldemort; and Snape a better man than Dumbledore? Book-Dumbledore is a complex, layered character who fundamentally really does love Harry, regrets much about his past, and had to make a series of impossible choices. Movie-Dumbledore, scantily-scripted and cluelessly-acted, is a cold, arrogant manipulator. Confronted by a heartbroken Snape after Dumbledore's failure to keep his word and protect the Potters, he sniffs "Oh well, they trusted the wrong person. Kinda like you!" So it's an opportunity to get in another dig at Snape. Jerk. And he positions Harry to be preserved as a hog to be slaughtered (as Snape observes), then in the after-death encounter basically says "Well-done! So... 'bye!"  Grr.
  • There are a few chuckles (and a little mildly harsh language) in these 15 lines that would have dramatically changed the Star Wars franchise. You could think up some more, I wager. Like, "Sorry, Anakin, I don't date pathetic, whiney psycho stalkers. It's kind of a personal rule."
  • Bev Carpenter knows what engineers do at the beach... and now we do too!
 

  • You know, there are lots of things I'd be happy to leave in my obituary, if the Lord tarries. "Died at the hands of _____s to whom he had preached Christ." "Died successfully protecting his family from an attacker." "Died saving a woman from a mugger." "Died foiling a terrorist attack." All fine. But "Died indulging his immature itch for exhibitionistic stunts"? Not so much. (Thx Fred Butler)
  • You know that obnoxious thing Sen. John McCain does with his mouth? The thing where he opens it, and then he says something stupid and harmful? Well, he did it again, smearing the Tea Party faithful as "hobbits" who should go back to Middle Earth. Not taking it lying down, RedState has mocked back, holding a PhotoShop contest. Click to enlarge. (Thanks, Paula.)
  • Charlie Spiering over at the Washington Examiner found some more, including:
 

  • This is pretty amazing. Courtesy of my mother-in-law via my dear wife, I bring you Akinator. I picked a character I thought it couldn't possibly guess... and it did. Stung, I picked a less likely figure, and stumped it, though it tried valiantly.
  • Clever video: trailer of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince done up as if it were a teen comedy.
  • And in closing, I leave you with a reminder that slow and steady does, sometimes, win you... well... a mouth full of fur.
  • After which, I note this:










63 comments:

Pierre Saikaley said...

Not only does reading H&T make you smarter, but also makes you a hit at parties! :-)

Si Hollett said...

The Episcopalian bishop got criticised by a fellow bishop for that comment that gay clergy should 'marry' now they legally can.

No, not in the way you'd want, but because +Long Island is imposing straight sexual practice on gay clergy and that they should continue to be free to cohabit without getting 'married', though their straight counterparts must be married to live with a partner under church rules.

I really do despair...

Neil said...

That character guesser is smart. It correctly guessed Barty Crouch Jr., Ajax, and Templeton the Rat, and got them very quickly.

Didn't get Leiningen (i.e. the ant fighter). Gave up after 60 questions.

DJP said...

Oh, yeah. When it correctly guessed "Is it Charles Spurgeon?" after a relatively few questions, it was eery.

Rhology said...

I was stung thrice by the Akinator and decided to up the ante big time, so I chose Jack Pumpkinhead from "Return to Oz".
60 questions, and the last 20 were mostly irrelevant, and it got it! (Of course, that's after 60, so I gave it way too much leeway.)

Frank Turk said...

I resent that you have done this, and not paid homage to Dave Armstrong, because Dave is all that really matters.

You can't possibly have any Christian ethics at all if you do not treat Dave like Al Mohler.

DJP said...

Now we just need Matt Aznoe to come by and rebuke us all for being so worldly-minded, and tell us that if we just had more Charismaticky Holy Spirit experiences, all this trivia would grow strangely dim.





Like some people I can think of who are, themselves, "strangely dim."

RT said...

Interesting, a propos of yesterday's discussion, that the Episcopal Bishop who is mandating gay marriage is actually a former RC priest who couldn't handle his vow of celibacy, bailed, and became Episcopalian. How convenient - I guess he feels that if priests can get married, why not gays.

DJP said...

So if the trajectory works in reverse, next he'll get genuinely saved and become a Baptist?

James Kubecki said...

After trying several others, I tried John Peter McAllister ("The Master") on Akinator. Here's the result:

(Questions - Guess)
19 - Angus MacGuyver
29 - Colt Seavers (The Fall Guy)
39 - Kwai Chang Caine (Kung Fu)
49 - Steve Austin (The Six Million Dollar Man)
59 - Reno Raines (Renegade)
61 - Captain America

Then it gave up.

RT said...

Or, genuinely saved and remain an Anglican, but sadly in this particular case all the evidence points to an entirely different trajectory -

Robert said...

It is funny that any of the bishops can pick which part of the Bible has authority...if any part of it (such as that which shows homosexuality to be sinful) lacks authority, then all of Scripture goes with it.

By the way, I prefer to think of myself as "uniquely dim". 8o)

Fred Butler said...

I imagine the folks who programmed that guessing game never read the Chronicles of Narnia. I guessed Bree the horse from "The Horse and His Boy" and after 60 failed guesses, and repeating the same guess twice, I just gave up on the thing.

Scooter said...

I found the next "lost Gospel" to be a strange article. Now I'm a rather dim bulb myself but I know that the Gospels were written in Koine Greek. A little digging shows that the apocryphal gospels were written in Coptic and Syriac, though some are believed to originally written in Greek. What do they expect to find written in classical Greek?

I was angry after reading the Alabama businessman article and sad after reading the comments of how many businessmen had been hit by loony tunes.

I need to print that parents/child computer solving picture. All parents and non-IT personal need to see it. We techies do not weld the power of "hack" as seen in every major scifi/action movie.

lee n. field said...

", I bring you Akinator. "

Intersting. It came real close. I picked Aragorn, it guessed Isildur.

Perhaps it choked at the question "Did this character kiss a girl on screen?" No, unless you count an elf-chick thousands of years old.

Sir Aaron said...

@DJP: In this particular case, the exhibitionist must be making money since he had Red Bull as a sponsor.

I like your Star Wars line best. The other 15 show a total lack of Stars Wars knowledge.

@Scooter: You can obtain your "hack" skill by choosing to cross-class at your next level up. ;)

Jeff Wright said...

Great stuff! Puts my links round-up to shame.

CGrim said...

hahaha, on that character game, I was thinking of Tom Bombadil, and after only 8 questions, it asked point-blank "Has your character played in Lord of the Rings?" 4 more questions and it guessed correctly.

I tried again with John the Baptist, and it got it in 18 questions.

Finally I thought of Ender from the Ender's Game series, and stumped it (after only 20 questions, it guessed a character from the Ringworld series).

NoLongerBlind said...

Wow! I am really impressed with Akinator!

After a couple of fairly easy characters (Harry Potter - ~8 questions, Spiderman - ~11 questions), I tried John MacArthur.

At 2o-some questions, it guessed my pastor (reading my wishful thinking?); at 30 questions, it guessed John Piper. Then, at 40, it got him!

Remaaarrkable!!

DJP said...

It didn't get Phil Johnson...





...but it knows him now.

Mike Westfall said...

Well, then.

Phil Johnson is of the same ilk as Rat Fink!

Kirby said...

Man, that Berenstain Bears Bible! I'm not sure whether to place above or below the gender confused NIV bible. I stopped reading B-Bears to my kids long ago because dysfunctional didn't even begin to describe them. One review on Amazon said that if you're looking for Berenstain Bear material in the Bible, you'll be disappointed because there's not much there. Amen.

What a travesty.

Pierre Saikaley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paula said...

In addition to McCain's blathering, there have been some all out attacks on conservative legislators - by the circular GOP firing squad. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), head of he conservative Republican Study Committee has been told that his disloyalty to Boehner may cost him his seat in the upcoming redistricting process.

Jordan, an evangelical Christian who attends a small Bible Church needs our prayers. He's rated one of the 5 most conservative members of Congress and is a pro-life warrior. We need 434 more like him (listen to a 2008 interview with him about faith and family and Congress here).

DJP said...

Kirby: "One review on Amazon said that if you're looking for Berenstain Bear material in the Bible, you'll be disappointed because there's not much there."

So you wonder how many faces fell, and how many carts got emptied of one item, when they read those words.

Pierre Saikaley said...

I almost stumped Akinator with IG-88, the Bounty Hunter Droid-but Akinator guess it.

But my 5 t.o. daughter beat it with.... G.I. JOE.



Go Figure!

Paula said...

Oh, and Princess Buttercup on Q17 FTW.

Susan said...

I tried the Akinator and just am amazed by it. First it guessed "Mickey Mouse" after 20 questions, then it took about 50 or 60 questions to get "Totoro". On the 3rd try I decided to throw a Chinese character at it ("Li Shimin"--2nd emperor of the Tang dynasty)...and it took only 20 questions to get it right! That threw me off a bit, as I kind of expected it to guess an anime character more quickly. (Kinda goes to show you what I consider to be more popular!)

Sir Aaron said...

I tried Akinator. It got Martin Luther pretty quickly. But I stumped it with Luther's wife.

Susan said...

Okay, now I know how the Akinator works. When you finally stump it, it gives you a list to pick from and tells you to add your character to the list if you can't find your character there. This sounds like a fun computer program to write! (Kudos to one of my family members who came up with the stumper! The Akinator even guessed "Anonymous--big boss of the Internet"!)

Tom said...

I stumped Akinator with Pat Sajak. But I think it's because I didn't know the answer to half the questions. Was he ever in a movie? I dunno. Was he popular in the 90's? I dunno, I remember him from the 80's. Etc. It got close, though, with Chuck Woolery.

Tom

Paula said...

We stumped it with Thurston Howell III from Gilligan's Island and Bosley from Charlie's Angels. It came to the end of those and accused us of not having an actual character in mind. Like Tom, we had a lot of IDK's. Did Thurston Howell III ever live in NY? IDK. Perhaps that came up at some point in the series, but we couldn't answer with certainty.

It did come up with Gilligan in short order. The final question asked if he was overweight, so you could see the stream of logic deciding between Gilligan and the Skipper.

Susan said...

As for that exotic fruits video, I recognize and have eaten about 1/2 of the fruits shown there (or variations of them--the longans in the video look larger from the ones I've had, and the rose apples I enjoyed as a child were mild-tasting/slightly tart/lightly sweet/crunchy/juicy, contrary to the ones described in the video). As for durian, the "king of fruits", certain dried durian chips are surprisingly odorless and good to eat, but I would not be caught dead eating it in normal fruit form. The smell is so disgusting, it's practically poison! (Okay, now my durian-loving friends will probably seriously hurt me with durian spikes for defaming their favorite fruit!)

Wonder if the real Phil Johnson would enjoy something so odiously pungent as durian, knowing his penchant for exotic foods!

Robert Warren said...

Re: Akinator

It guessed Ellsworth Toohey in 29 questions. Ellsworth Toohey!

Now I'm afraid to go to bed.

CGrim said...

I also stumped it with Sennacherib, which is a bit surprising, as he's not THAT obscure (although it guessed Nebuchadnezzar, and then Xerxes extremely fast). It also took FOREVER to guess Hezekiah. Hunh. I guess no one likes that particular account.

NoLongerBlind said...

@ Susan - Phil's way ahead of you, having already smelled AND sampled the Hedgehog-resembling Durian and lived to write about the experience!

Susan said...

@NLB: Thanks for the link. That Phil Johnson is a brave man, he is. I cower in his presence.

(A word about durian chips I mentioned earlier: A friend at work offered some to me, and I thought, "No way am I going to eat that." When I did try them, however, I was surprised by how much they resembled potato chips, albeit much denser in texture. There was a very faint smell, barely reminiscent of the odor of the ripened fruit but nowhere near the full potency. Those are "safe" to eat, IMHO.)

trogdor said...

Correct: Wedge Antilles, Bob Loblaw, Lt. Warren Keffer, Manuel from Fawlty Towers, Kamala the Ugandan Giant, Towelie

Missed: The Anointed One (i.e. Buffy's Walt), Natalie French/Praying Mantis Woman, Ericsson (the captain of White Star 14)

Overall extremely impressive.

Jeremiah Halstead said...

I think I broke the Akinator w/ Strong Bad!

"404 Page not found"

trogdor said...

404'd!!!!

DJP said...

Worked for me.

Maybe I could save time, and when a single item seems to become the sole focus, I could just save all the other items and run them the following Friday, until I run out. Take the time I'd save, write that commentary on Proverbs that will probably just remain an unattainable dream until I cack.

HSAT, I totally agree with the consensus about Akinator. It's amazing. In fact, now that I look at the name again...

DJP said...

Holy mackerel.

Admiral Ackbar in twelve questions. That is uncanny.

Pierre Saikaley said...

@Susan:

I was gonna say, some of those exotic fruits look like they can double as weapons.

What? Pungent garbage with garlic and vanilla isn't mouth-wateringly tempting? :-)

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if they analyzed those exotic fruits and found thousands of anti-cancer phytochemicals and other compunds which have yet to be discovered that support health, so in a sense, these fruits are weapons.

Robert Warren said...

Isabel Allende in 19
Luca Brasi in 19

It starts making more sense when you realize (by the number of times your character has been guessed) that what you consider to be an obscure character isn't nearly as obscure as you think, and Akinator is learning each time. No doubt, he benefits from Metcalfe's Law.

CleanFlea said...

Euthyphro stumped it

Sir Brass said...

Dan, about that thing on dance and submission, the same is true in swing dancing.

And, as a male lead, it's HARD. But it also highlights the strawmen that are heaped upon the submission/headship.

The leader leads, but the follow must know how to follow. She will make or break the lead's dance. She either listens and knows how to discern his lead, or she can go limp and not do a blessed thing (thus getting dragged around essentially and hampers the lead, tires him out, and overall makes the dance utterly boring and pathetic for him and her), or she can go do her own thing with him still attached and trying to lead, and bad things happen.

But then there are those rare follows who not only know how to listen and follow but give back input and improvise on the spot. And there the dynamic just skyrockets.

Of course there is much about being a leader as well... knowing your follow, discerning what her capabilities and weaknesses are and not leading things she is incapable of doing (lest you accidentally crank her shoulder out of joint), as well as at the same time keeping attention to the music and beat and following IT.

Oh the biblical parallels that could be used here.

Susan said...

Pierre,

"What? Pungent garbage with garlic and vanilla isn't mouth-wateringly tempting?"

Uh, no. :)

And as for those fruits doubling up as weapons: My mother told me that when she was small, she would see people who have durian trees next to their homes put barrels of water under the ripened durians ready to fall from the trees...because if they didn't, others would walk by unaware, and those spiky durians could cause some serious injuries!

Susan said...

(One more thing about durian that I've heard from 2 different sources: Don't eat it while drinking beer. Your innards may implode from the resulting gas the combination produces. Reminds me of Mentos and soda....)

Mark B. Hanson said...

Whoa - that Melanie Phillips video did not mince words. We would do well to take warning for the US by what she says about the UK.

threegirldad said...

I gave up trying to stump Akinator after three tries. Fascinating...and fun.

Re: Phil J and exotic foods, eating durian strikes me as child's play compared to this (and yes, he has eaten it -- more than once, iirc).

Solameanie said...

On the Harry Potter/Dumbledore thing, I guess Dumbledore is a homosexual, according to author Rowling. That adds to general distaste.

Also, Dan..I wish I had seen this sooner, but the Ohio State Fair has an event that will appeal to you.

DJP said...

I'm with the writer (forget his name) who said Dumbledore isn't homosexual, because he isn't in the books. Rowling can say he's a Nazi toymaker from Mars, but if it's not in the narrative, it's not relevant.

DJP said...

Thanks to ThreeGirlDad, here is a link to the John Mark Reynolds column I refer to.

Susan said...

@3GD: Yes, that is another delicacy I don't foresee myself enjoying in the near future, although some friends and acquaintances have vouched for their tastiness. And if you read further down on the "Phil's adventures with durian" account (as linked by NLB in his comment to me above, you'll see that a certain supermarket is mentioned as a retailer offering fresh durians. That very same market supposedly offers the exotic eats you've linked here. One of these days I think I'll drive down there and see foe myself!

DJP said...

...and report back to us?

Susan said...

Maybe even sneak in a picture or two! (Y'all can ask Phil how it tastes, as I won't be able to help you with that....)

randomcreativity said...

wow - akinator is really neat - it knows my cat, Alton Brown, Charles Wallace, Rory the Roman, No Face, Mr Bean, Scooby Doo, and Bobby Jindal...

DJP said...

"No Face," from Spirited Away? Are you serious?

shaun m. said...

I've not read the Potter books, and I was tempted to think poorly of Dumbledore along those lines. He seemed colder than I suspected he should have been (he was far to involved in Harry's life and made too many favorable comments of the young man for the on-screen dialogue and interaction b/t the two to satisfy). Then again, it also seemed clear that Dumbledore, providing the resurrection stone, expected Potter to survive. The character left me with the impression that Dumbledore had full confidence in Potter's intellect, though the idea of leaving these breadcrumbs rather than explanations takes me back to the coldness of the character. Perhaps he was simply afraid to reveal too much, knowing the connection b/t Potter and Voldemort.

As far as Snape goes, I was satisfied with the way things turned out as I had trouble believing he was a true villain.

B/c I haven't read the books, I couldn't say how the characters compared to their literary counterparts. I also haven't read your review yet, so I'm off to do that!

DJP said...

The literary character is much more complex, layered, and conflicted than the movie character as played by Gambon.

Interestingly, until the seventh book, Snape isn't. He just seems like a bad guy, period, for the most part. Then boom!

Sir Aaron said...

@Sir Brass: I love the analogy.

CleanFlea said...

After having my curiosity peaked, I did some mild research. California requires a higher protein level in its milk, meaning more calories. Go CA gov!

Kevin Jackson said...

Akinator guessed Rory Williams, Titus Groan, and Puzzle the Donkey (mostly) with ease. Scary stuff.