Content-Type: text/shitpost

Subject: Teragrams
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-25T19:58:18
Newsgroup: misc.misc.margaret
Message-ID: <>
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: 2020-03-25T14:43:19
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.spam
Message-ID: <>
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 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:, 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: 2020-03-24T20:01:51
Newsgroup: news.groups.snuff
Message-ID: <>
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: 2020-03-24T19:59:39
Message-ID: <>
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: 2020-03-17T16:55:21
Newsgroup: talk.bizarre.hoarding
Message-ID: <>
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.

Subject: Massachuetts’ prudent and humane quarantine pay law
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!am​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-16T14:09:33
Newsgroup: alt.binaries.quarantine
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Massachusetts state law provides:

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.

a blobby cartoon
figure, holding up its blobby arms, with a speech bubble that says “oh

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…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!prime-radiant​!computer​!hal9000​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-16T13:43:08
Newsgroup: talk.mjd.20200316
Message-ID: <>
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: 2020-03-11T15:44:56
Message-ID: <>
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: 2020-03-11T15:34:00
Newsgroup: comp.lang.haskell.korchnoi
Message-ID: <>
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!”


Subject: Korchnoi and the rules of chess
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-11T15:28:40
Newsgroup: sci.math.korchnoi
Message-ID: <>
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.


Subject: Today I learned…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!prime-radiant​!computer​!glados​!extro​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-10T12:43:43
Newsgroup: misc.test.20200310
Message-ID: <>
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: 2020-03-10T12:02:39
Message-ID: <>
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.

Subject: Why my search program found no solutions
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!gormenghast​!qwerty​!fpuzhpx​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2020-03-10T12:02:20
Newsgroup: comp.lang.haskell.burf
Message-ID: <>
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: 2020-03-04T18:57:34
Newsgroup: sci.math.capers
Message-ID: <>
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”.