November Pieces Of My Mind #2

sergels

Sergels torg

  • I’ve lost count of how many graves I’ve emptied.
  • Funny how gear brings us together. For years I’ve mainly kept in touch with my dear old thesis supervisor thanks to his computer troubles. And now my former driving pupil wants to meet up for his first tyre switch on his first own car, because I know how to do this and my dad has power tools.
  • Running around the block really helps when I get sleepy on the afternoon of a caffeine day. On a non-caffeine day, only a nap helps.
  • Jrette’s buddy invites 70 kids to Halloween party, tells them to bring all their friends. On social media. When Jrette arrives, there are hundreds of kids in front of the house, whose inhabitants have barricaded themselves and are shouting from a window for everyone to please leave! 😀
  • Movie: Bohemian Rhapsody. Bio pic plus band movie. Grade: excellent!
  • Autumn comes along, days get a little shorter, and it becomes painfully clear that I am simply biology, neurochemistry, matter: instant vague feelings of failure and loss.
  • The new Clark Ashton Smith documentary is interesting but appallingly lacking in female interviewees.
  • I’m getting really tired of the coverage of that silly academic. I have no idea why anyone pays him any attention and I’m making a point of not finding out. He’s a typical fad intellectual.
  • leaves

    Båthöjden

    • Despite my cleaning efforts, a little bird (Parus major) is eating the remains of the egg thrown by Hallowe’en hooligans at my study window.
    • The French word for fencing, escrime, is cognate with Eng. skirmish, scrimmage, scrum; Ge. schirmen “to protect”; Sw. skärm “screen”.
    • Colleague brings his 16-month son to work, an extremely outgoing and cheerful little person who toddles around the office speaking wordlessly to everyone and sitting on everyone’s lap.
    • I send someone’s paper manuscript to Joe Bloggs for peer review. When the author receives the anonymous reviewer comments, he responds “If this reviewer is not Joe Bloggs, then it’s a member of the Joe Bloggs Fan Club”.
    tray

    Found my gaming group depicted on an antique brass tray.

     

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    71 thoughts on “November Pieces Of My Mind #2

    1. Halloween party: Don’t kids nowadays know not to do that? Weird. I thought that was utterly basic, by now.

      Scrimmage etc: 1): Goes back to “scramasax”, sword or something? 2) So “skärmytsling” isn’t skär-mytsling but skärm-ytsling?

      Professor Blowhard: Apparently insecure young men nowadays need the most obvious things spelled out to them VERY clearly. And OTOH, apparently the PC establishment nowadays has a limitless capacity to be upset or “offended” by even the most obvious things… About equal amounts of idiocy on both sides. TL;DR: Captain Obvious causes storm in teapot, film at eleven! Move along, nothing to see here.

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    2. OK, this week I got it right.
      A HUNDRED YEARS SINCE THE GREAT WAR ENDED! ! !
      Also, 80 years since Kristallnacht.
      I wonder if Göbbels wanted the massacre to coincide with the anniversary of a peace the nazis attributed to jews and the “dolchschluss” myth.

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    3. That silly academic knows something that neither of you appear to realize: half of the population are below average intelligence, and ‘average’ is really very stupid in a modern, developed world environment.

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    4. I agree that its often better promoting things which share your values, and research you admire, than grumbling about someone who is WRONG IN THE LIBRARY and getting lots of media attention. The backfire effect is a problem, but also by rebutting you are letting someone else frame the debate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was spelling a foreign word from memory; not a good idea if you have not practiced it since 1979.
        Anyway, Reagan claimed USA would have won the Vietnam war if the military had not been held back (presumably by the libruls). Ripping off Göbbels can be effective.

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      • Privately, MacNamara was telling Johnson that they had no chance of winning the war, while publicly they were talking up successes and ramping up troop deployments. Johnson was stuck: he was in a war that JFK had got the country into which he couldn’t win and knew he was propping up an unpopular and corrupt dictator, but he had no honourable exit strategy that would protect people in the south.

        Nixon and Kissinger did not feel bound by any considerations of honour or protecting people in the south, cobbled together a ceasefire with the north which no one believed for a moment the north would adhere to (and which they didn’t), and left the ARVN to defend the south, which no one believed for a moment that they could (and they couldn’t).

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    5. Some years ago a scientist in my field admitted that his most frequently cited paper was cited by a rival whose citations were of the form: Fulano et al. (19xx) did this wrong.

      To paraphrase Mayor Daley: I don’t care what they say about me as long as they cite my papers right.

      Liked by 1 person

    6. I can understand authors playing the guess-the-referee game, as that guy did. I have played that game myself, and on occasion have even been successful at it. But at least in my field, it is considered rude to share your guess with the journal editor, as that guy did. The reason is that the author’s guess might be incorrect.

      An amusing instance from my graduate school days: when the reviews came back on my first first-author paper, my advisor thought that Referee #1 was X, who had developed the technique we were applying. His basis was that Referee #1’s report contained the sort of English mistakes that someone from X’s home country might make. I disagreed with that guess: I thought that Referee #2 was X, because that referee was commenting on details of X’s technique (and if it wasn’t X, it would be somebody from that research group). I turned out to be right: Referee #1 was a different person from the same country as X, and Referee #2 was indeed X. But my advisor and I only shared our guesses with our co-author. We found out who the referees were when the journal (following its usual practice at the time) asked us to add a sentence acknowledging the referees after the paper was accepted.

      Liked by 1 person

    7. More fun with anonymous reviewers:

      Tomorrow, as I occasionally do, I will travel to $UNDISCLOSED_LOCATION for a review panel. This is not the first time I have served on review panels for the agency in question. Normally, once I submit my reviews in advance of the panel, I can read other submitted reviews on those proposals, and see who else is on the panel and reviewing those proposals. This time around, while I can still see the reviews, the authors (including myself) are identified only as Anonymous Reviewer #1, #2, and #3. (I can recognize which reviews are mine; I do not consistently get the same number.) The reason this makes no sense is because the other panel members will also travel to $UNDISCLOSED_LOCATION tomorrow, and I will be meeting with them starting Tuesday morning. So we won’t be anonymous to each other once the meeting starts. (We will remain anonymous to the proposal writers.) And this is a small enough community that I probably already know most of the people on the panel.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Follow-up now that I have arrived at $UNDISCLOSED_LOCATION: I encountered a guy in the hotel lobby whom I have known for about 20 years. Yes, he’s on the panel.

        Liked by 2 people

    8. Soon there could be an algorithm that identifies people from small quirks in their style, if it has enough samples.
      How much text is there in a typical review?

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      • … Unless of course you are emptying graves so you can lead an army of zombies and conquer the World. In which case, go for it – but don’t bother to come to Australia. We already have plenty of zombies, sitting in Parliament.

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    9. Unexpected film recommendation: I watched the 1993 film Geronimo: An American Legend on Netflix. I wasn’t expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised. The film got a mixed reception from critics and bombed at the box office, but was praised by Native American groups, despite a warts and all portrayal of Apache massacres of whites. In my opinion, it deserved a better reception than it got and is well worth a look. My only gripe – there are some quite lengthy scenes in native dialogue with no subtitles, so the viewer is left guessing.

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    10. Primitive etymology (this is definitely inspired by The Far Side ) http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/rock
      Today’s Swedish word: “dugg”.
      Very small amount; “not (even) a dugg” means “not a fig”
      Hence, the current semi-permanent weather is called “duggregn”, a micro-rain of very small droplets, you can ignore it for a short time, in the long run you need an umbrella. As inconvenient as normal rain, but without the satisfaction of getting groundwater levels replenished.
      I am surprised the British have not imported the concept, this weather should be a perfect fit.

      Liked by 1 person

    11. Finns… the swedish cliche´s of the Finns are actually mostly admiring. Stubborn guys who blow up T-34s and then go home to drink several gallons of hooch. Of course, a fictional Finn is supposed to eat sausages raw and carry a knife in the belt. Somewhere in between all the not-talking, they also dance a lot of tango. And fight.
      Re. The 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Swedish-language article: Språkkrönikan: “Språket gör dödandet möjligt” / “Language makes killing possible” https://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/sprakkronikan-spraket-gor-dodandet-mojligt/

      Liked by 1 person

    12. I stumbled across a dude on Youtube who is (gasp) a flat Earth believer.
      Millennia of really frustrating civilization-building, and this is the result.

      Liked by 1 person

    13. The things I have to do. “The contractor shall be liable to defects.” Hope not. No – the contractor shall be liable for defects. How does someone manage to get an engineering education to post-graduate level (in English, possibly at overseas universities, possibly in the UK) and then become professionally qualified (after assessment in English) without knowing that there is a critically important difference between “liable to defects” and “liable for defects”?

      I would fail a candidate for that. Clearly, there are many others who wouldn’t and don’t.

      Hey, examiners, stop making allowances for people and letting them slip through – these things are important.

      I’ve known people with PhDs from UK universities who can’t write intelligible English, but when you read their PhD theses, they are word perfect. How does that happen, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Do you ever get the feeling that the world is going to hell in a handbasket because there is too much important stuff to do and people are just not doing it, for whatever reasons – lack of manpower, lack of appropriate skills, incompetence, dereliction of duty, or whatever?

        I get that feeling all the time now.

        HK has literally more than a million, probably closer to two million, illegal structures and building alterations, many of which can be assumed to be substandard and probably unsafe, and getting them all rectified now is simply an impossible task – as fast as they get some rectified, a greater number of new ones happen.

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    14. China’s space program will land the Chang’e-4 *lander to the far side of the moon in december
      (*I am probably borking the spelling).
      It will land in the South Pole-Aitken basin, the largest impact structure in the Solar system. At the bottom, minerals from below the lunar crust are exposed, and offer the opportunity to gain insights in the composition and evolution of the moon that normally would be impossible.

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    15. 78 years and one day ago, the Royal Navy struck the Italian Navy at Taranto.
      This attack would inspire the Japanese Navy for the aerial attack on Pearl Harbor.
      I am told the British intelligence noticed the interest shown by the Japanese and tried to warn the Americans, but were ignored. Because some short guys with slanted eyes would not be a danger to the USA, right?
      One of those who were rebuffed was a certain Ian Fleming, who had an unpleasant conversation with J. Edgar Hoover.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There is a conspiracy theory that certain people in American intelligence knew that the attack on Pearl Harbor was coming but allowed it to happen, presumably because it would lead to the US declaring war on Japan. (The latter actually did happen the day after the attack.) I don’t trust conspiracy theories, but it is entirely plausible that warnings were ignored.

        There certainly was considerable anti-Asian prejudice in the US at the time, and the subsequent internment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry was a big part of that.

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    16. Jennifer Raff’s take on the recent Native American papers; admirably succinct, clear and to the point, and much better than Ed Yong’s piece. She’s good.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferraff/2018/11/13/ancient-dna-reveals-yet-more-complicated-histories-in-the-americas/#2247939b4d03

      *moan* Back to editing thousands of pages of engineering specifications in my high-sounding role of “Independent Reviewer” (didn’t know I had actually been appointed as that officially until one of the girls (sorry, one of the female engineers) called me that in an email communication. Among HK Chinese, I don’t know why it always seems to turn out that it is the female engineers who are the most helpful, pleasant and informative to deal with, and frequently also the most generally competent/switched on, but they are. Is it any wonder that I have always wanted to get more of them into engineering?

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    17. No one should have been permitted to write another book about Lisbeth Salander, let alone make another film about her. I won’t be bothering with either. The reviews of the book that I have read confirm that is the correct choice.

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      • Supposedly Stig Larsson had planned to write ten books in that series, but stopped after three due to Author Existence Failure. I’m not sure I believe that; the third book convincingly resolved all of the relevant issues in Lisbeth’s past.

        I much prefer the approach taken by Sue Grafton’s estate. She had intended to write one more book in the Kinsey Millhone series, “Z is for Zero”, but died with most or all of that book unwritten. So that series is now ended with Grafton’s last book, “Y is for Yesterday.”

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        • The reviews say the new book totally failures to capture the characters of Salander and Michael Blomqvist. Salander is made to be a helpless victim, when Salander was never that in the trilogy, she was vengeful, vicious and always fought back. That’s what most seems to turn off the people who wrote the reviews – the original characters are spell binding, and those in the new book aren’t.

          Plus there’s some stuff about the US in the plot outline as described, so it seems like it is written to appeal to American audiences, when Larsson’s trilogy never was. I get sick of everything always having to be about the US. I get sick of everything always having to be Anglophone-centric. It was Swedish, it was brilliant, and that was more than good enough.

          I think they should respect his memory and leave it alone, instead of trying to milk money out of the work of a prematurely dead man whose work had me spell-bound too. But that is no doubt naïve of me – if they can milk it, they will, just like they did with the Hollywood remake of the first Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film, which was a travesty of the original Swedish production. Noomi Rapace was brilliant as Salander, and they dissed her badly by overlooking her for the Hollywood remake in favour of Rooney Mara, who just wasn’t in the same class as Rapace at all. No excuse – Rapace is perfectly comfortable in English, and has played numerous English speaking roles since. I watched the Hollywood remake, but it just sickened me – a blatant money grab, and nothing more, pandering to the LCD crowd who don’t want to have to listen to foreigners or read subtitles.

          I still have the DVDs of the Swedish film trilogy – I loved them so much I couldn’t bear to part with them. I always hoped my daughter would watch them, but she’s just not into that genre and has shown no interest in them. Pity.

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        • I think part of the exploitation problem is that Larsson died young and unexpectedly. Authors who recognize approaching death, especially famous ones like Sue Grafton or Terry Pratchett, can take legal measures to prevent unauthorized people from exploiting their legacy. It’s also possible that Larsson did not think to take such precautions because he died before his works became so famous outside of Sweden.

          It is almost always the case that a movie is not as good as the book on which it is based. I haven’t seen any of the movies based on this trilogy, so I can’t comment on the specific case, but I can give other examples. Catch-22 was a pretty good movie, but out of necessity had to leave out many of the subplots in the book, such that there are scenes in the movie that make no sense within the context of the movie. An example would be the marching band playing in the very last scene of the movie: that is an invocation of General Scheisskopf, a major character in the book (three chapters are titled after him, more than any other character) who is otherwise completely absent from the movie. The movie also omits the character of Wintergreen, the mail clerk who in the book runs the entire Army division. (Paul Simon was supposed to have a role in that movie, as his then partner Art Garfunkel, who played Nately, did, but Simon’s part was cut–my guess is that Simon was intended to play the part of Wintergreen.)

          This also ties back to the earlier thread about the differences between the James Bond of the Ian Fleming-authored novels, and the version we see in the movies and later books. Fleming’s Bond was not the womanizer we know from the movies and later books.

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    18. ‘Too short’ Tom Cruise to be replaced for Jack Reacher reboot.
      https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-46207601

      Oh, so they’ve finally figured it out. Casting Cruise as Jack Reacher was an appalling choice, and he was absolutely awful in the role – to anyone who has read any of the Reacher books (so that’s me + Birger + ?), Cruise was nothing like Reacher. The two films made might have done OK at the box office as ‘action’ films, but they were not Jack Reacher films, they were about someone else.

      I look forward to the reboot in the hope that they get it somewhere near right this time. The Reacher of the books is an intriguing character, so worth getting right. A younger Liam Neeson, who at 6’4″ is close to Reacher’s 6’5″ and had the suitably rangy raw-boned build, could have worked, aside from the Irish accent, but he’s too old now anyway.

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      • I have racked my brain to think of a suitable actor, but like Neeson the ones that come to mind are a bit too old.
        And the younger American film actors seem to be recruited based on good looks; their talet pool is therefore limited compared to, for instance, Britain where actors get to be plug-ugly as long as they can act.
        A miltary veteran like Reacher is realistically going to be a big, tall collection of scar tissue draped over muscle, not a good fit for Hollywood criteria. There are many good American actors but few are an obvious choice.
        OT -Kirk Douglas is still alive and well at 102! And Max von Sydow (my favourite film villain) must be close to 90.

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    19. Two astronomy-related news items:
      A massive, Earth-like planet has been discovered in orbit around the second-closest star.
      The planet is between 3 and 4 times the mass of Earth, and orbits Barnards Star (six light years away) with a period of ca. 220 days.
      It is too far from the star to have liquid water, but the discovery underscores that forming a planetary system is the default of stars who are not binaries (who have problems with the stability of orbits, sometimes they eject planets from the system and sometimes planets can survive).
      . .
      Also, a big goddamn impact crater has been found under the ice of northern Greenland. It is estimated it is not older than 3 million years (but it is statistically unlikely to have been the cause of the Younger Dryas event 13 000 years ago).

      Liked by 1 person

    20. This is how to be a journalist https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oPalB-_hUg -Starts 46 seconds in.
      .
      Most US TV jounalists will not do this, bcause journalism is part of advertising-funded infotainment, and if they ask real questions and demand real answers, politicians, businessmen and other £€@ will stop turning up to be questioned, thus hurting the number of viewers that can be sold to advertisers. For the same reasons, journalists keep coming to the White House media events, even though they know wossname will lie through her teeth. It is all entertainment, not “journalism”.

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    21. Phylogeny Estimation by Integration over Isolation with Migration Models.
      https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/35/11/2805/5076794

      Too abstruse? Try this: “Application to human hunter-gatherer populations from Africa revealed a clear phylogenetic history, with strong support for gene exchange with an unsampled ghost population, and relatively ancient divergence between a ghost population and modern human populations, consistent with human/archaic divergence.”

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      • White supremacists are liable at times to toss back the term ‘outbreeding depression’, which is known in Biology but seldom if ever happens in humans, and is very much more rare than ‘inbreeding depression.’ More likely in humans is ‘hybrid vigour’ aka ‘heterosis’ aka ‘outbreeding enhancement’.

        Chinese seem to universally regard people of mixed Chinese and European ancestry as particularly beautiful. Some are, some aren’t, but people notice the beautiful ones. The beautiful ones are an example of outbreeding enhancement.

        Liked by 1 person

    22. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Goes to China. Check the final scene, which is pretty outrageous, but no doubt hilarious to white American audiences at the time. Disney created the character of Oswald, but lost the rights to another company, so Disney morphed Oswald into a more famous rodent, via a character called Steamboat Willie.

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    23. Brexit: Dominic Raab to petrol bomb your house then petrol bomb the fire brigade https://www.thedailymash.co.uk/politics/politics-headlines/dominic-raab-to-petrol-bomb-your-house-then-petrol-bomb-the-fire-brigade-20181115179461 -Raab said he could not ‘in good conscience’ stand by while your house was free of flames and then allow firemen to restrict its ability to burn to the ground.
      -Saudi Crown Prince Begins 100 Hours Of Court-Ordered Community Service For Murdering Jamal Khashoggi
      -Report: Underfunded Public Schools Lacking Basic Support Systems Leave Students Perfectly Prepared For Rest Of Life
      -Widow Still Can’t Bring Herself To Get Rid Of Husband’s Corpse

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        • The arabs build a few very tall buildings for status (in a relatively earthquake-free region).
          It is my understanding that China-while not going for a world record every time- is building a sh*tload of them. I assume every super-sized company feels the need to house their HQ in something that gives the Chrysler Building a run for the money, while simultaneously being able to shrug off an earthquake. While Iran has active techtonics, I do not think most Gulf countries have that problem, so they are practically cheating.

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        • I read the engineering trade literature, so I know that a lot of tall buildings are going up in a lot of places, but msm like to focus on China, for reasons. You don’t read a lot about the Petronas Towers, for example. We’ve hung around them a lot, because my wife likes to shop in Suria KLCC, and my daughter likes the book stores there. Malaysians are mad book readers, so they have excellent book stores; not something you might automatically expect. Same in Bangkok, actually. Book stores in Singapore, forget it, they’re pathetic.

          The prize for audacity for a very tall building in a very earthquake prone area has to go to Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world until overtaken by the Burj Khalifa. Also since overtaken by Shanghai Tower and Abraj Al Bait. I have eaten some excellent dumplings in its basement, but I would not wish to work in that building; it is oppressive and has a real sense of foreboding about it, but maybe that’s just me.

          My wife used to work on the 57th floor of the HK HQ of the Bank of China. It’s a steel framed building, and during typhoons the residential apartments on the top floors need to be evacuated because the building sways so much. They knew that when they designed it – seems idiotic to me to design a building, parts of which become unoccupiable in not infrequent weather conditions, but that’s what they did. I visited my wife at work there once – instant vertigo. That building was unpopular when it was built because bad feng shui: ‘a knife plunging into the heart of HK’, but people have forgotten about that. There is one absolutely classic photograph of a guy working on the top floors when it was being constructed – he’s wearing rubber flip-flops, they are lifting this huge steel beam into place with a crane, and he’s got one foot on the structure and the other foot on one end of the beam suspended from the crane, trying to guide it into place, a very long way up in the air. In rubber flip-flops, no safety harness, no helmet, nothing. That photo is enough to make your blood run cold. Construction safety has been tightened up a lot since then. It needed to be. I googled for the photo to show you, but couldn’t find it.

          Buildings don’t need to be very tall to bother me. I used to work in a 15 storey building. When they were renovating it, before we moved in, I demanded to know why it was not being fitted out with a sprinkler system – answer was because it was built before sprinklers became a legal requirement in office buildings, so the law didn’t require them, and they were deemed to be too expensive. So, there I was working on the 15th floor, and we had a fire on the 6th floor where our computer servers were housed, really intense, and we all had to walk down the fire escape past this raging fire, two staff were hospitalised for smoke inhalation, and all of the servers were lost. It could have been a lot worse. A sprinkler system would have paid for itself multiple times over. Sprinkler systems are still not required in high rise residential buildings, including buildings too tall for the Fire Services ladders to reach – one of the reasons why I now refuse to live on any floor higher than the third. At least HK isn’t blighted by combustible building claddings, unlike many of the apartment buildings in Australia, which are now uninsurable and unsellable in light of the Grenfell Tower fire in London which spot-lighted the practice of builders using flammable cladding systems because they’re cheap.

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    24. The way the Finnish series finnished, they were clearly planning for a second series, because it finnished unfinnished. But that was 2 years ago. I live in hope that it might pop up soon – it became addictive, although almost unbearably intense, partly because of the way they talk – no small talk, then almost everything they say is very serious and almost insultingly or threateningly direct.

      I’m assuming that is typical, from what I have heard about Finns. I have met precisely one – he was not very chatty either. Good at his job and friendly enough, but not chatty.

      For what it’s worth, Helsinki has the best planned use of its underground space of any city I know about.

      People who did the music for the series – suitably invisible/anonymous, but I tracked down some pics of Maria Holm-Mortenson on Google Images – attractive but appropriately serious/scary looking young woman.

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    25. https://www.themoviedb.org/person/1195621-olivia-ainali

      Plays the part of the daughter of the lead character in the Finnish series. A lot of Finns have some distant East Asian ancestry which is not immediately apparent, unless you know and look for traits. I’d say she has some – broad, flattish face and eye shape. Absolute doll + pretty good actress.

      Apparently Finns use ‘erection’ as a loan word, but they pronounce it as ‘erec-tee-on’.

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    26. ‘McSleepers’ has entered the HK vocabulary. A lot of homeless people use McDonald’s outlets that stay open 24/7 as a warm place to sleep. They don’t cause any trouble or make a mess, so the staff leave them alone.

      I’ve been told that HK is the only place in the world where, in McDonald’s, people do not pick up their rubbish and put it in the bin before leaving. Reason: McDonald’s employs elderly women to clean up the tables, so doing that yourself is robbing them of a paying job.

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    27. More doggy goodness.

      Genomic analysis of dingoes identifies genomic regions under reversible selection during domestication and feralization.
      https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/11/16/472084

      This is a surprisingly interesting and readable paper that settles a lot of arguments about when dingoes arrived in Australia (4,500-5,000 years ago), and from where. The mystery now is who the people were that they arrived with – their arrival predated the Austronesian expansion into island SE Asia, which is proximally where dingoes and New Guinea singing dogs came from. Ancestrally they originated in southern China. Through feralisation, their social and hunting behaviours, and diet, are closer to wolves than domestic dogs, and they have lost the ability acquired by dogs to digest starches and vegetables. They went through an early severe bottleneck event, which fits with the introduction of a small number of domesticated dogs into Australia, some of which went feral and then expanded rapidly into new environmental niches.

      I think it also settles the old argument about whether the dingo should be regarded as a native animal to Australia or an introduced one – they have been there long enough, and have gone far enough through feralisation, to now be regarded as a native animal that is far enough distant from domestic dogs to be regarded as a separate animal, although one which readily hybridises with domestic dogs – after all, so do wolves and coyotes. And they have become the apex land predator (probably replacing the Thylacine on the Mainland). Hunting packs of dingoes can bring down and kill animals as large as horses and feral buffalo. I think it makes a case for the preservation of unhybridised dingoes, and for their protection, at least in some areas.

      And I had one as a childhood pet. No boy had a better companion. Explains why, when my mother fed her a dish of left-over stew, she would eat all of the meat and carefully lick all of the gravy off the potato and carrot and whatever, leaving the pieces of vegetable untouched but perfectly clean in the dish – she couldn’t digest them. She would even lick individual green peas perfectly clean and leave them in the dish, rather than just consume them.

      Liked by 1 person

    28. Netflix offering – the Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Strange collection of vignettes about the American Wild West, some very darkly humorous, some not. I’m still puzzling over the meaning of the last one; maybe I missed something and need to watch it again. Score – watchable, and funny in parts if black humour is your thing. Watch for Liam Neeson in one of the more bleakly funny ones, and be careful not to miss the visual punchline at the end.

      Like

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