December 2021 archive
this morning
When I heard that people in Berlin have alternate names for many places around the city, e.g. Schweineöde (pig wasteland) instead of Schöneweide (beautiful pasture), I thought wow, they're just like my co‑workers, whose attitude was why use the usual name for something when a variant is more entertaining.

Some years ago, after my doctor had called a skin condition a paronychia, I called it a paramecium but he didn't get that I was joking and corrected me. My thought was, he must not hang out with software engineers much.

My favorite instance of a subsitute word used by a co‑worker was crustacean instead of escutcheon. The guy who said this was named Dave Hicks but of course we called him Have Dicks.
floor
When the house next door was built around 20 years ago, my neighbor's dog walked on part of the concrete floor before it was finished curing. My neighbor asked the builder not to remove the prints. They are my favorite detail about the house.
From an online magazine's submission guidelines:
We would much rather run a baseless piece of speculative criticism than a rehearsal of the commentary found everywhere else.
seven is a nice number
A device to let researchers keep up to seven books open at once: an earlier era's equivalent of multiple browser tabs.
NY Times, Nov. 1, 2000:
THE 2000 CAMPAIGN: THE GREEN PARTY;
Nader Sees a Bright Side to a Bush Victory


...

Mr. Nader said he did not think there would be much difference between the justices Mr. Gore would choose and those Mr. Bush would appoint. After all, Democrats had helped confirm Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, hadn't they? Besides, "You can't really predict how Supreme Court justices will behave."

And he called the possibility that a court packed with Republican appointees could overturn Roe v. Wade a "scare tactic." On Sunday, Mr. Nader said in a television interview that even if Roe v. Wade was overturned, the issue "would just revert to the states." Just?

"Here's what happened on that," he said wearily. "The scare tactic is that would end choice in America, and I just said that's not true, but I should have been astute enough not to mention that."

He said he did not in any case believe for a moment that Mr. Bush would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. "The first back alley death, and the Republican Party is in deep trouble and they know it," he said. He described the party's opposition to abortion as just for show, "just for Pat Robertson."

...
Ralph Nader's third-party candidacy siphoned off votes from Al Gore, thereby helping to enable George W. Bush's election and thus Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito and chief justice John Roberts. And the Iraq War.
Games in the recent World Chess Championship were on a good schedule for me. The middle game phase was starting around when I woke up and I was following each game through to completion. The turning point in the match was the sixth game, which lasted 7¾ hours.

Players in championship matches are supported by teams of seconds; players often keep the identities of their seconds secret until after the match is over. When it came to light that Daniil Dubov was one of Magnus Carlsen's seconds this year, grandmaster Sergey Karjakin was not happy that a Russian was supporting Carlsen and not Nepomniachtchi, the Russian challenger. This isn't the cold war era and most players doesn't see chess matches in so nationalistic a light anymore. But Karjakin is an avowed supporter of Vladimir Putin (Dubov is not).

The reason I'm bringing this up, though, is that I thought (Norwegian grandmaster) Jon Ludvig Hammer's response to Karjakin was perfect: click to see on Twitter
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