# Content-Type: text/shitpost

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!gormenghast​!hal9000​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-12-23T16:57:08
Newsgroup: misc.20201223
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Subject: Today I learned…
Date: 2020-12-17T21:13:27
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.20201217
Message-ID: <ce67b2165f577566@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• Dr. Spock ran for president in 1972 against Richard Nixon and George McGovern. He received around 0.1% of the vote.

• McGovern, the losing major-party candidate, was utterly flattened by Nixon, who won over 60% of the popular vote and 520/538 electoral votes. Nixon, of course, resigned in disgrace in August 1974.

Subject: Tautology
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-12-17T09:22:00
Newsgroup: alt.sex.tautology
Message-ID: <88de023b87e9fedb@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

All children are capable of reaching their fullest potential

This reminds me a little of the time I had to explain to someone on Math Stack Exchange why every function is onto its range.

Subject: And by Michigan…
Path: you​!your-host​!warthog​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-12-15T16:26:32
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.and-by-michigan
Message-ID: <d33b505ae14c9cfa@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

And by “the Michigan Supreme Court” I meant “the Wisconsin Supreme Court”.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!skordokott​!berserker​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-12-14T09:44:33
Newsgroup: sci.math.20201214
Message-ID: <4ab625bdbcdfe5eb@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• Six of the seven justices of the Michigan Supreme Court are women.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!uunet​!asr33​!skynet​!m5​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-12-06T14:45:56
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.20201206
Message-ID: <aa72b4e8e38d7fc9@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• Catalonian nativity scenes traditionally include El Caganer, a figure of a guy pooping with his pants down.

• Another Catalonian Christmas tradition is Tió de Nadal, the Christmast Log. This is a small log with a happy face and a red hat, propped up on legs. In the run-up to Christmas, the kids feed the log daily, and then on Christmas Day it magically poops out nougats, hazelnuts, or other plausible log poop objects such as dried figs.

• To make Tió de Nadal defecate, one puts its end into the fireplace, or, if no fireplace is available, beats it with sticks.

• Tió (“trunk”) should not be confused with tío (“uncle”).

Subject: A riddle
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!central-scrutinizer​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-10-25T16:51:23
Newsgroup: rec.pets.riddle
Message-ID: <8c62b275bd57a9e5@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Q: What do you call a centipede after you've stepped on it?

A: A nillipede.

Subject: A Visit to Valley Forge
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!twirlip​!wescac​!skynet​!m5​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-10-18T17:56:10
Newsgroup: alt.sex.hq
Message-ID: <026e2f1cb2faf217@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Ms. 16 drove me to Valley Forge today. Perhaps you have heard that Washington was grievously injured at Valley Forge. He was struck by a small cannon ball, and his skull was fractured in three places.

Subject: Classic mistakes
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!ihnp4​!hal9000​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-10-09T08:33:30
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.classic-mistakes
Message-ID: <01a8357c14a79e9f@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Implementing your own authentication system is like getting involved in a land war in Asia.

Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-09-12T00:52:27
Newsgroup: sci.math.flat-earth
Content-Type: text/shitpost

The losers who moderate Reddit's r/math forum have deleted this brilliant post, Petition to create new flat-earther groups.

Check it out.

Subject: Dear Dr. Freud… ?
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!grey-area​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!plover​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-09-08T11:16:37
Newsgroup: comp.protocols.tcp-ip.dream
Message-ID: <1bd36f8078b44c5b@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

On Saturday when I woke up Lorrie said I had awakened her in the night, and asked me what I had been saying. It had woken me up too, and I remembered.

I had been dreaming that I was at some sort of a conference, and at the start of a conference session, everyone in the audience stood up, put their hands on their hearts, and sand The Star-Spangled Banner.

In the dream, I sang also, and when the song ended, I shouted “PLAY BALL!”

Subject: How not to name variables
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!central-scrutinizer​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-08-29T13:38:35
Newsgroup: alt.sex.how-not-to-name-variables
Message-ID: <91c373bbae9e6fe4@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Python code I wrote today:

    # This is not the most elegant line of code I have ever written
return [ item for item in data if item["item"]["id"] == item_id ]


Larry Wall says that a successful program is one that does its job before your boss fires you. Somehow I don't imagine Guido being as lenient.

Subject: Today I learned…
Date: 2020-08-21T09:29:04
Newsgroup: rec.food.20200821
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• Brian Ritchie, bassist for the Violent Femmes, is also proficient at playing the Shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) and has released two albums of Shakuhahi music.

• In 1996 the Femmes and the Red Hot Chili Peppers played a promotional concert at the magnetic north pole.

Subject: Necromancy question
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!hardees​!triffid​!gormenghast​!hal9000​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-08-20T13:02:49
Newsgroup: news.groups.zombies
Message-ID: <317df405d69e24d7@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Suppose you have available an evil necromantic spell that turns humans into mindless zombies. (Whether the humans are required to be dead or alive is not important for this inquiry.)

What happens if you cast this spell on starfish instead, turning them into mindless zombie starfish?

Subject: Sandwich of the day
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!the-matrix​!mechanical-turk​!berserker​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-08-20T12:27:38
Newsgroup: comp.protocols.tcp-ip.Sandwich
Message-ID: <703052b7c8feb7d4@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Today I had a cream cheese and cashew nut sandwich. It was pretty good.

It was inspired by the “nutted cheese” sandwich found at Chock full o'Nuts lunch counters long ago. (Theirs had walnuts, not cashews, and was served on dark raisin bread. When I have the ingredients handy I sometimes make the walnut and raisin bread version, which I recommend.)

These days Chock full o'Nuts exists primarily as a supermarket coffee brand. I'm so old I can remember actually eating a chicken salad sandwich at one of the lunch counters.

Subject: Three Musketeers
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!central-scrutinizer​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-08-14T12:57:12
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.three-musketeers
Message-ID: <bbb7046059db506a@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Thinking on this a little more, I think you have to make Ringo d'Artagnan, and play up his country-bumpkin-ness.

Then George is Aramis (obviously) and Paul is Athos, so that makes John Porthos.

Subject: Three Musketeers
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!central-scrutinizer​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-08-14T12:54:54
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.three-musketeers
Message-ID: <527a45069c0b11e9@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

[The Three Musketeers] was originally proposed in the 1960s as a vehicle for The Beatles, whom Lester had directed in two other films.

I am having a lot of trouble picturing this. Which Beatle is which Musketeer? There is no Porthos in the Beatles. There is no Ringo in the Musketeers.

The script was written by George MacDonald Fraser, creator of Harry Flashman.

I would watch a Flashman movie. The likelihood of there being a Flashman movie for me to watch, in the next twenty or thirty years, seems close to zero.

Aha, but there is already a Flashman movie, directed by the same Richard Lester who directed The Three Musketeers. Malcolm McDowell plays Flashy. And Oliver Reed, who played Porthos, returns in Royal Flash as Otto von Bismarck. How about that?

Subject: I see a great need
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!uunet​!grey-area​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-07-22T16:44:14
Newsgroup: sci.math.etsy-fail
Message-ID: <8f52504d54d17bc3@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Etsy search for “not a place of honor” produces nothing relevant. This is a hundred-dollar-bill on the sidewalk, waiting to be picked up.

I want it on a doormat.

Subject: Ugh
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-07-22T14:59:34
Newsgroup: alt.mjd.ugh
Message-ID: <f538fe4f8e9cb838@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Tootsie Pops! New Himalayan pink salt flavor.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!twirlip​!am​!plovergw​!plover​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-07-20T15:08:51
Newsgroup: rec.pets.20200720
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• The western blot was named as a joke. There was already a Southern blot test that was named after its inventor, Edwin Southern.

Subject: Snow Camels
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!brain-in-a-vat​!am​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-07-18T10:27:48
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.camels
Message-ID: <83c7ddb609f33d91@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Though rarely seen, the Siberian Snow Camel is a majestic beast, with its splayed hooves and shaggy white fur. Modern populations of Snow Camels are believed to be remnants of the great herds that crossed the land bridge during the last ice age and whose descendants evolved into the bison of the North American plains.

Subject: P.D.Q. Winkelvoss
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!mechanical-turk​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-07-17T12:01:56
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.pdqw
Message-ID: <13bc9252c0f46845@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-07-14T13:48:27
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.giant-bulb
Message-ID: <5e434fa6f4c57087@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

This video is an unboxing of a 20,000-watt incandescent light bulb. (“It doesn't have a filament in it, it has eight garage door springs.”) My question: why was this bulb manufactured in the first place? What are the applications?

If you need that much light, even before LEDs, you would probably use mercury-vapor or metal halide lamps, which draw much less power and probably lasted a lot longer. So what's this for?

Also, I remember seeing in a museum an even larger incandescent bulb, touted as the largest ever made. Maybe at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry? Does this ring a bell for anyone else?

Subject: Placeholder values
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!brain-in-a-vat​!berserker​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-07-14T11:40:56
Newsgroup: rec.pets.dummies
Message-ID: <1ce0d075314a03e0@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Twitter says they're going to encourage their programmers to replace the term “dummy value” with “placeholder value” and now I can hardly wait for the chance to refer to someone as a “placeholder value”.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!uunet​!asr33​!skynet​!m5​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-07-13T11:45:28
Newsgroup: sci.math.20200713
Message-ID: <7feae7e63b6f2e0d@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• Kola nuts are native to Africa, not South America.

Subject: Thomas's dissent in McGirt
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!uunet​!asr33​!hardees​!m5​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-07-09T17:04:18
Newsgroup: sci.math.mcgirt
Message-ID: <dcf44593c0f187b9@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

A colleague asked me to provide “choice quotes” from Thomas's dissent, which I said “might be the most Clarence Thomasy thing I've ever read”. But I think they were disappointed, because what makes it so very Clarence Thomasy is how dry and fussy it is. Here's a choice quote, if you can call it that, which examplifies what I had in mind:

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that petitioner’s claim was procedurally barred under state law because it was “not raised previously on direct appeal” and thus was “waived for further review.” This state procedural bar was applied independent of any federal law, and it is adequate to support the decision below. We therefore lack jurisdiction to disturb the state court’s judgment.

Maybe I should write a longer article on the real blog explaining what this means. I wouldn't have to worry that doing so would kill the joke, because there is no joke and there was nothing funny to begin with.

Subject: Thought on Clarence Thomas
Date: 2020-07-09T12:51:34
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.clarence-thomas
Message-ID: <350239f5666337a7@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Am I the only person who imagines that Clarence Thomas is severely constipated, like, almost all the time?

Subject: McGirt and Sherrill
Date: 2020-07-09T12:44:59
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.mcgirt
Message-ID: <31c3fac597f2be92@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I thought that the recent McGirt decision would have some connection with _Sherrill v. Oneida Nation, but no, there is no mention of it whatever. I must be seriously confused about something, can anyone tell me what?

On review, I see that it did come up briefly in oral argument:

Sherrill is always in the room when the states and the tribes are negotiating agreements

so I'm not completely confused.

I would like to understand this better.

Date: 2020-07-09T12:38:11
Newsgroup: comp.protocols.tcp-ip.compact-subspaces
Message-ID: <a50438d45cf11695@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Finite sets are always compact. Suppose we have an infinite compact space. Is it possible that the only compact proper subspaces that it possesses are the finite ones? The answer turns out to be no. Every infinite compact space has an infinite compact proper subspace. So by repetition, every infinite compact space has an infinite descending chain of compact subspaces.

I thought hey, here we have a partial order (of infinite compact subspaces) in which every descending chain has a lower bound, so we can apply Zorn's lemma… except no, not every chain has a lower bound, what was I thinking? If we include the finite subspaces then every chain does have a lower bound and we can apply Zorn's lemma, but the result is the empty subspace so that was not useful.

Interesting: The example of !![0,1]!! shows that you can't always obtain a smaller compact subspace by deleting a finite set from the original space.

The compact subspaces of an infinite compact set form a rather interesting lattice structure. At the bottom are the finite subsets, arranged like a very ordinary Boolean lattice, but with no maximum element. (Isn't there a name for a complete associative lattice that may or may not have a maximum element?) Floating above this are the infinite compact subspaces, in which there are no minimal elements, and the original space at the top.

Consider just a relatively simple example. Let !!X!! be the one-point compactification of the natural numbers. That is, $$X = \Bbb N \cup {\infty}$$ where a subset !!G!! of !!X!! is open if and only if !!G!! is a finite set that does not contain !!∞!! or !!G!! is a cofinite set that does contain !!∞!!. An infinite compact subspace of !!X!! must contain !!∞!!.

Subject: Clarence Thomas
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!am​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-07-09T12:31:30
Newsgroup: rec.food.mcgirt
Message-ID: <83f811cc99f22e7e@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Clarence Thomas's dissent in McGirt might be the most Clarence Thomasy thing I've ever read.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!twirlip​!am​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-06-25T17:54:29
Newsgroup: rec.pets.20200625
Message-ID: <8d287941966f71e4@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• Spanish for “tumbleweed” is “la rodadora”.

• There is a really cool-sounding museum in Ciudad Juárez called La Rodadora espacio interactivo (Tumbleweed interactive space). New place on my should-visit list!

• Townsville, Australia is not a joke. It is named for Robert Towns.

Subject: An analogy
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!uunet​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-06-25T14:01:05
Newsgroup: alt.sex.montana
Message-ID: <9419a0672a4aa181@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Montana is the U.S. version of Inner Mongolia.

Subject: A message from my dreams
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!twirlip​!wescac​!skynet​!m5​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-06-17T11:59:05
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.alexander
Message-ID: <18788217c1168502@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

The last thing I remember from my dreams this morning is someone informing me, very authoritatively, that there are three things that Alexander the Great really wants.

I don't remember the first two but the third was bow-tie pasta.

Subject: Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen
Date: 2020-06-12T14:57:04
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.EPR
Message-ID: <7018d2a8a6f24a2a@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen

Subject: Not Interesting
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!plover​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-06-11T14:59:32
Newsgroup: rec.pets.notinteresting
Message-ID: <86aa45d9716c2fe7@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Today I learned that Reddit has an r/notinteresting forum.

Amused, I checked into it, and was disappointed to discover that it was not interesting.

Disappointed?

Subject: Missing hap
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!brain-in-a-vat​!am​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-06-06T14:23:14
Message-ID: <86decfcba3287a8b@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

It's kinda funny that we still have “happen”, “happy”, “mishap”, “hapless”, “haphazard”, and so on, but the original word “hap” is completely gone.

Subject: Typo of the day
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!grey-area​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-06-06T14:17:52
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.misspelling
Message-ID: <4d45ea1ed89ab0f8@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

“Pissburgh”.

I did this twice.

I am so, so sorry.

Subject: More XCompose stuff
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!uunet​!asr33​!hardees​!m5​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-06-06T14:01:43
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.keystrokes
Message-ID: <feba887e22f0bfbb@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I don't know why you would care, but here are the additions I have made over the years:

    #
#
<Multi_key> <p> <i>                             : "π"    U03c0   # GREEK SMALL LETTER PI
<Multi_key> <e> <p> <s>                         : "ε"    U03c0   # GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON
<Multi_key> <grave> <grave>                     : "ʻ"    U02BB   # MODIFIER LETTER TURNED COMMA (Okina)
<Multi_key> <o> <equal>                         : "ő"   U0151   # LATIN SMALL LETTER O WITH DOUBLE ACUTE
<Multi_key> <O> <equal>                         : "Ő"   U0150   # LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH DOUBLE ACUTE

<Multi_key> <O> <1>                             : "①"   U2460   # CIRCLED DIGIT  ONE
<Multi_key> <O> <2>                             : "②"   U2461   # CIRCLED DIGIT   TWO
<Multi_key> <O> <3>                             : "③"   U2462  # CIRCLED DIGIT  THREE
<Multi_key> <O> <4>                             : "④"   U2463   # CIRCLED DIGIT  FOUR
<Multi_key> <O> <5>                             : "⑤"   U2464   # CIRCLED DIGIT  FIVE
<Multi_key> <O> <6>                             : "⑥"   U2465   # CIRCLED DIGIT  SIX
<Multi_key> <O> <7>                             : "⑦"   U2466   # CIRCLED DIGIT  SEVEN
<Multi_key> <O> <8>                             : "⑧"   U2467   # CIRCLED DIGIT  EIGHT
<Multi_key> <O> <9>                             : "⑨"   U2468   # CIRCLED DIGIT  NINE
<Multi_key> <O> <0>                             : "⓪"   U24EA   # CIRCLED DIGIT  ZERO

<Multi_key> <bar> <minus>                       : "⊢"    U22A2  # RIGHT TACK
<Multi_key> <bar> <equal>                       : "⊧"    U22A7 # MODELS

<Multi_key> <i> <n>                       : "ϵ"    U03F5 # GREEK LUNATE EPSILON SIGN

<Multi_key> <bracketleft> <bracketleft>     : "⸢"    U2E22  # TOP LEFT HALF BRACKET
<Multi_key> <bracketright> <bracketright>   : "⸣"    U2E23  # TOP RIGHT HALF BRACKET

<Multi_key> <slash> <backslash>   : "∧"    U2227  # LOGICAL AND
<Multi_key> <backslash> <slash>   : "∨"    U2228  # LOGICAL OR
<Multi_key> <hyphen> <comma>      : "¬"    U00AC  # NOT SIGN
<Multi_key> <tilde> <tilde>       : "¬"    U00AC  # NOT SIGN

<Multi_key> <G> <H>     : "Ȝ"    U021C  # LATIN CAPITAL LETTER YOGH
<Multi_key> <g> <h>     : "ȝ"    U021D  # LATIN SMALL LETTER YOGH


It turns out that the file I was given already had sequences for Ő and ő, but only with the <equal> before the letter, not after, which meant that 50% of the time I couldn't find it.

Following Tony Finch's suggestion I have been using ⸢ and ⸣ (square quotes) as scare quotes.

I sometimes think about adding sequences for Greek letters other than π and ε, but it's really not the right place to solve the problem.

Subject: Missing compose-key sequences
Date: 2020-06-06T13:56:02
Newsgroup: sci.math.keystrokes
Content-Type: text/shitpost

My computer environment came equipped with a giant .XCompose file full of useful abbreviations, many of which I use frequently. It is much easier to commit to spelling ‘Sierpiński’ correctly when there is an easy and natural way to type the ‘ń’.

But some things were missing, and I have gradually added them over the years. Today I discovered that while it predefined sequences for þ and ð, it had none for ȝ. (This makes sense, as þ and ð are still used in modern Icelandic, and even appear in ISO 8859-1, whereas ȝ is obsolete.)

Early on I had to add a sequence for ‘ő’ so that I wouldn't have to misspell “Erdős”. You can see where my priorities are.

Subject: Kennels
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!wescac​!berserker​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-06-06T10:00:02
Newsgroup: alt.sex.kennels
Message-ID: <06c0e807dc6db91a@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

“Kennel” is (ultimately) from Latin canis.

Subject: Typo of the day
Path: you​!your-host​!warthog​!gormenghast​!hal9000​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-06-03T18:03:40
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.misspelling
Message-ID: <59af962cccd2ce12@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I went searching for Thomas Caxton and instead I typed “caaxtron”.

ALL TREMBLE IN FEAR BEFORE CAAXTRON 9000 THE INVINCIBLE, PRINTER OF WORLDS

Subject: “Subverting”
Date: 2020-06-03T15:31:59
Newsgroup: talk.bizarre.subversion
Message-ID: <933f96245178cffd@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

As of Monday morning, 17,000 National Guard troops had been deployed in 23 states and Washington, DC. No state has requested federal assistance, however, subverting the normal process for domestic military intervention, Pentagon officials told The Beast.

I can't get over the word “subverting” there. What do the unnamed Pentagon officials think the “normal process” is, or should be?

Subject: A thought
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!twirlip​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-06-03T11:54:26
Newsgroup: rec.food.mullet
Message-ID: <581a66667b222647@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I think Richard nixon would have looked better with a mullet.

Subject: Stupid questions?
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!brain-in-a-vat​!am​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-05-26T17:14:21
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.stupid-questions
Message-ID: <aa34c42fc1baf096@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

People sometimes say that “there are no stupid questions”. I disagree.

If the question admits only stupid answers, I think that's pretty strong evidence that it was a stupid question.

Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!uunet​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-05-26T17:10:59
Message-ID: <e59e148ef4a3d0ab@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

A hapless loser on Math Stack Exchange asks:

What is the minimum number of people in a single room so that it can be said “There are two people in this room with birthday in January ”?

1. There is no minimum, because the room might contain any number of people, all of whom were born in November, and no others.

2. The minimum is 2, if both were born in January.

3. The minimum is 0, because you can say whatever you like, regardless of who is in the room.

Subject: Spiders
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!hardees​!triffid​!mechanical-turk​!skynet​!m5​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-05-22T14:29:09
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.spiders
Content-Type: text/shitpost

One often hears the factoid that

In a year, the averge person swallows eight spiders in their sleep.

Of course, this is nonsense. The correct statistic is eight spiders per minute.

Date: 2020-05-01T11:18:35
Message-ID: <4761d6642d166fc6@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Today Twitter has drawn my attention to #คั่นกูEP11, which they claim has appeared in 496,000 tweets. This seems to concern episode 11 of a Thai TV series I hadn't heard of before.

I like these Twitter trending hashtags because they remind me how big the world is and how small my little corner is compared with it.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!uunet​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-05-01T11:13:36
Newsgroup: rec.food.cooking.20200501
Message-ID: <ab6da21a89c3bc27@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• Just as the umlaut mark was originally a tiny ‘e’ written above the vowel, and the Spanish ‘ñ’ was originally an ‘n’ with another ‘n’ above it, there's also a Greek diacritical mark which is a tiny iota written below a vowel.

Subject: Today I learned…
Date: 2020-04-30T09:41:31
Newsgroup: rec.food.20200430
Message-ID: <c031517944c07db0@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• That wedding music that every movie soundtrack uses was written by Felix Mendelssohn as [part of the incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream](https://open.spotify.com/track/5LNwmPufnGLxEpcYgVhpRz?si=OWMQOoGiSgCK sA6HRkqgwA). Film producers have a profound, almost fervent respect for the works of the great composers of the past, because they are in the public domain.

Subject: Bitter relations
Date: 2020-04-27T10:38:43
Newsgroup: alt.sex.bitter
Message-ID: <3d0a353c9b6ed2c5@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

U.S.-Iranian relations have been bitter since the Islamic Revolution toppled the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran in 1979 and ushered in an era of theocratic rule.

That is a heck of a sentence there.

Some might observe that U.S.-Iranian relations had been bitter at least as far back as 1953, when the CIA and the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran toppled the democratically elected Iranian government in 1953 and ushered in an era of brutal dictatorship.

Subject: Extremely weird sentences
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-04-10T08:37:21
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.biden
Message-ID: <efff62646978f4fa@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine:

With Bernie Sanders’s decision to suspend his presidential campaign, Joe Biden is not just the “presumptive” Democratic nominee, but the putative nominee: It’s in the bag unless something extremely weird happens.

Apparently “77-year-old man dies” is now “something extremely weird”.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!central-scrutinizer​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-04-03T16:11:54
Newsgroup: misc.misc.20200403
Message-ID: <4b2d7effe1c8063d@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• There is not only a Juneau, Alaska, there is also a Juneau, Wisconsin. The founders of the towns were cousins. The town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was also founded by a Juneau.

• There is also a town of Alaska, Wisconsin.

• Unfortunately, no town of Wisconsin, Alaska.

• There is a Wisconsin Township, Minnesota, but the trail stops there.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!hardees​!m5​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-31T10:00:43
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.20200331
Message-ID: <d72f919f6d434748@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• “Cock-throwing”, a sport in which a chicken was tied to a post, and players threw sticks at it with the goal of knocking it down or killing it, was practiced in England as early as 1409.

• A papal edict issued by Nicholas I in the 9th century required all churches to use only the image of a cock as their steeple weathervanes.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!gormenghast​!hal9000​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-30T10:08:40
Newsgroup: rec.pets.20200330
Message-ID: <50180b6c651b5f63@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• Seven versions of La Vie en Rose charted in the U.S. in 1950.

• The 1954 film A Star is Born, starring Judy Garland, was itself a remake of a 1937 film of the same name. .

Subject: Teragrams
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-25T15:58:18
Newsgroup: misc.misc.margaret
Message-ID: <8f7bdcf576ff946f@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

“Margaret” backward is “teragram”. A teragram is the same as a megatonne.

Subject: Spam
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!skordokott​!mechanical-turk​!brain-in-a-vat​!berserker​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-25T10:43:19
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.spam
Message-ID: <91e3e6ddd4c50047@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I do get a lot of spam from organizations people and offering to supply “content” for my blog, and more often than not they say something like:

I was just browsing slatestarcodex.com and we'd be really interested in working out a deal for placing relevant, non-promotional content on your website.

I try writing back to these people because I want to know where they got the idea that I own slatestarcodex. So far none of them has returned my mail so it remains a mystery.

Today's spam solicitation was more amusing though:

I'm Kenny, Cofounder of … . …

If you find my writing is suitable for your website: shitpost.plover.com, I would like to create an exclusive article for your website about …

Hee hee hee.

Sorry, Kenny, not shitty enough!

Subject: Save us!
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!uunet​!asr33​!skynet​!m5​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-24T16:01:51
Newsgroup: news.groups.snuff
Message-ID: <3c01220418910732@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Save us before we perish! For two days we have pined away without snuff.

Subject: Pharmacy delivery
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-24T15:59:39
Newsgroup: alt.sex.delivery
Message-ID: <c5645fbfbd9e3ae5@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

The pharmacy informed me that they now have delivery service, so I said sure, deliver my prescription.

I had a very clear picture in my head of what would happen: they would fill the prescription at the place down the street, then hand it to someone who would carry it to my door. My wife had independently had the sanme picture.

But no, instead they transmit the order to a central location and ship it by U.S. post. Why did I expect anything different?

Subject: Hoarding
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!twirlip​!wescac​!berserker​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-17T12:55:21
Newsgroup: talk.bizarre.hoarding
Message-ID: <b5d3669283c36e9e@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I went to the store this morning. Some things were sold out, most things weren't.

The dumbest thing I noticed that wasn't there:

Brita filters.

Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!am​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-16T10:09:33
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.quarantine
Message-ID: <4df7ded1d1a638c0@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

When the board of health of a town shall deem it necessary, in the interest of the public health, to require a resident wage earner to remain within such house or place or otherwise to interfere with the following of his employment, he shall receive from such town during the period of his restraint compensation to the extent of three fourths of his regular wages;

Very good!

provided, that the amount so received shall not exceed two dollars for each working day.

Thanks to Chas. Owens for bringing this to my attention. The cartoon panel is taken from Webcomic Name. I wonder when this law was enacted? The web site does not say.

Subject: Today I learned…
Date: 2020-03-16T09:43:08
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.20200316
Message-ID: <d9ec2f4177e3886d@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• To “slub” is to pull out and twist a bit of fiber from a wad, in preparation for spinning it. The twisted lump at the end is also called a slub. I had previously only known slubs as the little bumps, left over from the cocoons, that you see on raw silk dresses.

• The Pandrol clip is named for its inventor, a guy named Per Pande–Rolfson.

• All the Scandinavian versions of “Peter” are missing the ‘t’: Per, Pehr, Peer, and Pär. What happened to it?

• “Impropriation” is when ecclesiastical property is placed under control of a layperson. The diary of John Evelyn mentions that the tithing in some parish was impropriated to his uncle, who then gave £20 per year back to maintain the church. Why didn't the parish just keep the tithes, then? (Maybe they came to less than £20? I really don't know.)

Subject: I have other fish to fry
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!uunet​!asr33​!hardees​!m5​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-11T11:44:56
Newsgroup: alt.sex.fish-to-fry
Message-ID: <37a32de762d2af93@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

The phrase “other fish to fry” goes back to the 17th century:

1660 John Evelyn Diary and Correspondence (1857 ed.) vol III p. 132 “I fear he hath other fish to fry.”

According to a sloppy Google Books search, variations appear with these frequencies:

• “Bigger fish to fry”: 25
• “Other fish to fry”: 20
• “Larger fish to fry”: 1

It seems to me that “larger fish to fry” ought to mean the same as “bigger fish to fry”, but it sounds weird. Is that just because it's unusual? Or is there some pattern to the way English uses ‘bigger’ and ‘larger’ from which one could predict that ‘bigger’ would predominate here?

A (Dutch) co-worker informs me that the Dutch version of this phrase is “andere katten te geselen”. Instead of frying fish, they are flogging cats. Who knew that the Dutch were so depraved?

(Not really related: OED Quick Search for “other fish” asks: “Did you mean: motherish?”.)

Subject: Korchnoi and the rules of chess
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!hardees​!triffid​!gormenghast​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-11T11:34:00
Message-ID: <8e817f76d66d5dce@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

In his book Chess is My Life, Viktor Korchnoi wrote: “I went up to the controller and asked whether it was legal for me to castle when my rook was attacked. I was assured that it was. Afterwards, this incident was cited as being an indication of how extremely tired the players were. But in fact, out of the 2500 games that I had played, there had never been an instance where it had been necessary for me to castle when my rook was attacked, and I was not sure that I understood correctly the rules of the game!”

(Source)

Subject: Korchnoi and the rules of chess
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-11T11:28:40
Newsgroup: sci.math.korchnoi
Message-ID: <b833cf63c0317bc3@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

In 1974, Korchnoi was playing Karpov in the Candidates final for the right to challenge Fischer. Midgame, Korchnoi strolls over to the arbiter O'Kelly de Galway, and asks if he can castle while his rook is attacked. O'Kelly looks at him stunned, but answers yes. "It had never come up before," Viktor shrugged.

(Source)

Subject: Today I learned…
Date: 2020-03-10T08:43:43
Newsgroup: misc.test.20200310
Message-ID: <67b2ee64bc0cf790@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• According to Wikipedia, Bono belonged to a “surrealist street gang”.

What the heck is a surrealist street gang? Did they ride flaming giraffes? Did they get into pitched battles with the dadaist street gang from the next street over?

• After the departure of Mayor Pete from the presidential campaigns, I wondered who else was of Maltese descent. Of course Wikipedia has a list but I was not expecting to see Britney Spears on it.

Also, Justine and Jason Bateman.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!am​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-10T08:02:39
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.20200308
Message-ID: <3d326f5c13b4e8da@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• The name of the Hungarian dessert crêpe palacsinta (and similarly in Austrian, Italian, and a bunch of Slavic languages) is the same word as “placenta”.

It's Latin for “cake”.

• Learned a bunch of other stuff but forgot to blog it.

Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!gormenghast​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-10T08:02:20
Message-ID: <8c9423c6325e2e29@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I ran my program, was puzzled when it didn't produce any output. So I modified it, ran it again, did this six times in a row before I figured out the problem.

I was actually running chmod +x program.

Subject: Capers
Path: you​!your-host​!warthog​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-04T13:57:34
Newsgroup: sci.math.capers
Message-ID: <3b1c7e6941d1c793@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I asked the coffee shop lady how she explains capers when a customer asks what they are. She said “tiny pickles”.

Subject: Waldo Peirce
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!skordokott​!mechanical-turk​!skynet​!m5​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-02-26T13:52:44
Newsgroup: rec.food.cooking.waldo-peirce
Message-ID: <d8c1ba6e5b25883c@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Waldo Peirce and his friend John Reed booked passage together on a freighter from Boston to England. As the ship was leaving Boston Harbor, Peirce decided that the accommodations were not to his taste. Without a word to anyone, he jumped off the back of the ship and swam several miles back to shore. Reed was then arrested by the ship's captain for the murder of his vanished travelling companion and thrown into the brig. When the freighter eventually arrived in England, Peirce was at the dock waiting to greet his friend Reed—he had dried himself off and taken a faster ship to England.

(Wikipedia)

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-02-14T16:39:10
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.pictures.20200214
Message-ID: <793dc5ed75fb492e@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• Midichlorians predated The Phantom Menace. There is a bacterium of that name. It is the closest known living relative of the free-living bacterium that joined symbiotically with the ancestor of the eukaryotic cell and became the mitochondrion.

Subject: Distance to the sun
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!hardees​!m5​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-02-14T11:22:27
Newsgroup: alt.mjd.sun
Message-ID: <ce6f432a76ac710f@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Yesterday during a discussion of the necessarily relative nature of “potential energy”, the topic veered into what it would be like if we measured people's height from the center of the sun instead from to the surface of the earth.

Me: You'd be like 92 million miles tall.

Katara: Everyone would be the same!

Me: Yeah, but we'd all be taller at night than during the day.

Subject: Pizazz
Date: 2020-02-13T17:29:08
Newsgroup: misc.pizazz
Message-ID: <9525eda6a06d8580@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

The Big Dictionary has no citation for “pizazz” from before 1937. The earliest one is:

Pizazz, to quote the Harvard Lampoon and Harpers Bazaar, is an indefinable dynamic quality. (New York Times, 26 Feb 1937)

This strongly suggests that an antedating could be obtained by going through contemporary issues of Harvard Lampoon and Harpers Bazaar.

The spelling of pizazz has always been variable, but I was surprised to learn that during the 1960s it was sometimes spelled “bezazz”.

Weird.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!uunet​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-02-11T17:50:59
Newsgroup: news.groups.20200211
Message-ID: <c1062116137b1da8@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• There's a Deaf Smith County in Texas.

• It's named after Deaf Smith. What did I expect?

• Deaf Smith was born Erastus Smith. His nickname was because he had a hearing impairment.

• The smell of burnt matches is caused by sulfur dioxide.

• The Big Dictionary's earliest citation for the phrase “R&D” is from Pohl and Kornbluth's novel The Space Merchants.

Subject: Potamus
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!skordokott​!berserker​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-02-11T15:56:13
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.potamus
Message-ID: <6d4373c16b748d6f@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

A while back I complained that the sufficx ‘-potamus’ wasn't widely-enough used. Today I saw this Reddit comment:

The only people I see with this quote on their car or on a t-shirt is the stay at home dependapotamus that complains about everything…

Subject: News
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!twirlip​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-02-11T15:41:27
Newsgroup: rec.food.news
Message-ID: <444f9328f964cf2b@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

All the news that's Rupert Grint.

Subject: My dream of George H. Bush
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!gormenghast​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-02-10T12:31:19
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.dream
Message-ID: <a440a3cfb2f278c3@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I dreamed that it was well-known that George H. W. Bush habitually cheated when putting together jigsaw puzzles, to persuade people that he was better at doing them than he really was.

In the dream I imagined that he would take a piece out of the puzzle and put it on the table. Then, when someone came by who might observe, he would pick up the piece he had removed, look at it for a moment, and put it instantly in the right spot.

But when I suggested this to someone else, they said that what he actually did was even more devious and underhanded. I was not able to find out what it was.

I also dreamt I was visiting Shanghai and left my money on the bus.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!uunet​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-02-08T11:05:55
Newsgroup: misc.test.20200208
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• Rollie Fingers was offered the chance to play for the Cincinnati Reds, but refused because they would have required him to shave his mustache. .

• Michael Douglas is the son of Kirk Douglas

Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!am​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-02-05T14:33:35
Message-ID: <e42b5cf01a24cdd4@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

The more I think about this, the more it seems to me that a monad is not at all a monoid in the category of endofunctors, but actually a monoidal subcategory.

That's the problem.

Subject: Help me out here
Date: 2020-02-04T12:02:39
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.caucuses
Message-ID: <b391fa9eccb750a7@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

According to Twitter, I may have won the Iowa caucuses. What do I do now?

Subject: Category theory
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!brain-in-a-vat​!am​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-02-02T14:59:31
Newsgroup: talk.bizarre.category-theory
Message-ID: <cbbc2a9568e60383@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Where the morphisms are made up
and the objects don't matter!

Subject: Tanzania
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!uunet​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-29T08:21:50
Newsgroup: rec.food.tanzania
Message-ID: <f1abc701a5a59c0c@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Today I got worried that I have been mispronouncing “Tanzania”.

But I haven't been.

Path: you​!your-host​!warthog​!gormenghast​!extro​!forbin​!berserker​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-28T11:20:57
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.graveyard
Message-ID: <a7c00550f809b185@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I think I once estimated that around one-third of the blog posts I start writing never see publication, for one reason or another.

(Some do surprise me by flowering years later.)

I commit them to the repo anyway. Recently committed:

1. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank did a study about racially-restrictive clauses in real estate deeds between 1920 and 1933, and this turned up in the newspaper. The paper tried to suggest that the neighborhoods with the greatest incidence of these rules were still the ones most segregated 100 years later. I spent a lot of time extracting and analyzing data, and eventually ran out of steam because I felt that the original claim was too vague to refute, and the available data wasn't good enough to draw any useful conclusions anyway.

2. I was thinking about the (not-exactly-a-joke) claim that

A monad is just a monoid in the category of endofunctors

and I realized hey, if I try to explain the minimal amount necessary to understand what that means, and not try to drag in all of category theory, I could probably do it clearly and briefly.

Then I tried and didn't succeed.

3. This third article is really hard to summarize and all I am going to say about it is that it identifies a commonality between a not-available-in-stores gizmo for improving eyesight, a Jughead comic I read as a child, and the presidential campaign of Michael Bloomberg. I would love to finish this because it might be stupid but gosh, at least you weren't going to read it anywhere else.

4. My work on designing the most dissonant possible musical scale has stalled in peripheral technical issues.

5. The saga of Fenchurch the Octopus and Philadelphia Traffic Court, mostly as told by my wife.

6. Yet another article about what goes wrong when I try to write Haskell programs. Except I think I may have figured this one out at last!

7. Let !!G(n)!! be the (standard) Gray code for the number !!n!!. This is a permutation of the integers !!0\ldots 2^{n}-1!!. What's the period of this permutation? (Spoiler: extremely short!)

8. A long article about the seaports on the Great Lakes and how the one on Saginaw Bay is mysteriously missing. Except that it's not, it's called Saginaw.

That's just this month. Also Shreevatsa R. sent me a very significant update to the Kurt Gödel loophole in the U.S. Constitution series, and I really want to write some articles about Milton Street, Willie Singletary, Vanessa Lowery Brown, Movita Johnson-Harrell, and the rest of the Philadelphia local-government-to-prison pipeline, but those aren't incomplete because I haven't started them.

Subject: As they say…
Date: 2020-01-27T11:19:35
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.duck
Message-ID: <02c48a712ef735f7@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Changing “day” to “duck” in various sayings and clichés works pretty well. I asked my co-workers for examples and they helpfully came up with

• Every dog has his duck
• It's always the same thing, duck after duck
• All in a duck's work
• Shall I compare thee to a summer’s duck?
• Hit payduck
• As happy as the duck is long
• The shortest duck of the year
• Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Ducks of our Lives
• Another duck, another dollar
• Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow / Creeps in this petty pace from duck to duck
• Watch therefore, for ye know neither the duck nor the hour

Various combinations such as duck bed, duck camp, duck room, duck ticket, duck trader, duck trip, duck uniform, and duck-wear.

Some phrases are just confusing:

• Give us this duck our daily bread

• I just want to bang on the drum all duck

(Which unfortunately suggests that what was meant was “bang on the duck all day”)

• An apple a duck keeps the doctor awuck

And finally:

• Toduck is a good duck to die

although “today is a good day to duck” is pretty good.

(By the way, ‘duck’ (the verb) is derived from ‘duck’ (the bird) because the bird is always ducking its head into the water to feed. So “today is a good day to duck” can be interpreted either way.)

The Big Dictionary has many useful quotations:

The state was seen as an educator leading ‘villagers’ out of the ignorant dark of backward thinking into the shining duck of development.

What's the point? All this backbreaking, brain-aching work that people do duck in duck out — why?

We will all arise from the darkness of death unto the brilliant duck of eternal life.

One rotary kiln… has produced an average of 75 to 90 tons of… pyrites cinder per duck.

Jupiter's year contains 10,000 of his own ducks.

I was (as nearly as I could calculate it) some three ducks distant…

In a Wonderland they lie / Dreaming as the ducks go by…

Subject: Mandrill
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!mechanical-turk​!skynet​!m5​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-27T10:52:32
Newsgroup: rec.pets.mandrill
Message-ID: <aeabbd22926b4fb0@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Handling unsubscribe requests is not rocket science.

Subject: As they say…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!skordokott​!mechanical-turk​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!plover​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-21T11:39:22
Newsgroup: misc.misc.duck
Message-ID: <490e7299cec24747@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Sufficient unto the duck is the evil thereof.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!brain-in-a-vat​!am​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-18T14:05:43
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.20200118
Message-ID: <77883bd1c2cb057c@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• That clever saying about how the third time is enemy action is attributed to Auric Goldfinger.

Subject: Wormholes
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!uunet​!asr33​!skynet​!m5​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-14T15:16:05
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.Wormhole
Message-ID: <dfe5dca2a5b91a02@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Lately I've been having fun pronouncing words as if they were German, even when they aren't. So far, my favorite is “wormhole”.

Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!skordokott​!berserker​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-13T12:17:04
Newsgroup: alt.mjd.job-interview
Message-ID: <c7e16399c4ebcfa6@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

A long time ago I was at a job interview, and the interviewer said she was concerned that the work wasn't hard enough for me, that I might become bored, find myself hating the job, and stop doing any work while continuing to come in.

I said no, before that happened I would certainly quit. Or else show up one day with a shotgun and murder everyone in the office.

There was a long pause.

“I probably shouldn't have said that.”

I got the job.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!warthog​!gormenghast​!hal9000​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-08T13:57:28
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.20200108
Message-ID: <e7211d0b37649ed2@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• “Potion” is not related to “potent” (from Latin potēns, “powerful”, akin to “potentate” ). It is from pōtāre, to drink. It is, however, from the same root as “poison”.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-07T13:48:26
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.20200107
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• In classical Greek, the name of the letter ε was simply “εἶ”. The name “epsilon” (ἒψιλόν) didn't arise until the middle ages.

Subject: Schisms
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-06T13:03:09
Newsgroup: sci.math.schism
Message-ID: <4bffbc85518c8273@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

According to this 2004 New York Times article, United Methodists Move to Defrock Lesbian:

few Methodists expect church to reach point of schism…

and yet here we are.

Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!uunet​!asr33​!hardees​!triffid​!gormenghast​!extro​!central-scrutinizer​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-02T11:41:36
Newsgroup: rec.food.20200102
Message-ID: <b160da228a48cb2f@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost
• Czech has a letter Ť, which is written lowercase as ť.

Subject: Customer service
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!gormenghast​!extro​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-01-02T11:08:45
Newsgroup: misc.misc.customer-service
Message-ID: <1253aca4c6eac3de@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

The Bosch web site said I should call if I wasn't sure whether their blade would fit in my tool. So I called. After about ten minutes on hold, I got the rep and asked my question: "Will your T-shank blades work in my Black and Decker handheld jigsaw?"

"I need the part or model number of the blade."

"I am interested in model T130DG."