Saturday salmagundi

Saturday salmagundi October 13, 2012

• Heard “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos on the radio the other day and they faded out the ending.

By “the ending” I mean the last nearly four minutes of the song — the long instrumental coda with Jim Gordon’s piano, i.e., the best part. There are many, many things I love about YouTube, but one of them is the ability to cue up “Layla” and start playing there at about the 3:10 mark. Nothing wrong with the first three minutes, I just like the last four better, YMMV.

• Denial of climate change requires one to believe in a massive scientific, academic and media conspiracy. But such a conspiracy can never explain why property insurance companies would be playing along with the supposed “hoax.” Insurers have been screaming bloody murder about climate change for decades. They have no incentive to be lying and they are not lying. They are very, very worried about this.

• The party of Lincoln further establishes itself as the party of Calhoun.

• Here’s a video of Richard Feynman explaining fire. If anyone has Alan Alda’s email address, send him that link and, obviously, encourage him to start a one-man-show as Richard Feynman explaining things.

• Rick Steves is smart, soft-spoken, kind, engaging, and filled with an expansive, generous love for people all over the world. So it makes sense that he would be a big fan of Bread for the World. Bravo.

• The religious right group ActsFive29 is proud of its opposition to the Satanic baby-killers in their nightmares. The group takes its name from a Bible passage that says “We must obey God rather than man,” and they imagine themselves to be courageous exemplars of “civil disobedience.” Except the group doesn’t actually oppose laws against trespassing, yet those are the laws they always violate. That is not civil disobedience, just a cry for attention.

• The American Family Association is now so totally anti-gay that they’re enthusiastically pro-racist. Not terribly surprising.

• Here is a video featuring a Southern Baptist pastor, via the blog of a Republican who served in the George W. Bush White House. And I agree with every word of it.

• Brian Tashman notes that Kirk Cameron probably shouldn’t laud Massachusetts Bay Colony Puritans as models of religious liberty when speaking at a Baptist college.

• Brian Walsh clobbers a clobber verse.

• “I wish I was like you.”

• Voice of America claims that the Afghan War, now entering its 12th year, “has lasted longer than any other war in U.S. history.” Let’s correct this widely repeated error faster than you can say “Geronimo.” This war has gone on far, far too long, but it’s less than a third as long as America’s longest war.

Malala Yousafzai may have done what the U.S. military has been unable to do for 12 years — defeat the Taliban.

• Mitik is less than a year old, but he already has a thick mustache and weighs 234 pounds.


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  • Rupaul

    At least they are playing the OLD Layla, not the radio-friendly dull one Eric Clapton put out a few years back.

  • D9000

    Probably just played the single cut of Layla, which doesn’t include the piano sequence.

  • Otrame

    Whew, for a minute there, I was worried that you were complaining about the ring tone on my phone, which is the first few bars of Layla, up to the point where the singing starts.  

    As for what you complained about, I agree with you.  

    I love both versions of Layla, BTW.  

  • Oh god, were you listening to WXPN? Because they pull that crap all the time. Twice now, I’ve heard “Sex Machine” on there, and David F#^%*ng Dye fades out long before the “Can we hit it and quit?” part. It’s a travesty.

  • The end part? I’ve always felt the opening part is the best and most distinctive bit of Layla. The end mellows out and meanders for a long, long, while. 

  • Sba

    When they found Carbone in the meat truck, he was frozen so stiff it took them three days to thaw him out for the autopsy

  • In fairness to Paul Ryan–and this is the only time I will ever open a sentence with those words–“Bean” is a relatively common nickname for a first-trimester embryo, because that’s what they look like.  It doesn’t take a huge amount of imagination to see an image of an embryo at 8 weeks gestation and name it “Bean.” I would tend to doubt that he copied the story.

    I had an ultrasound at 5-1/2 weeks with my third, so we could figure out gestational age.  At that point, he looked more like a lentil than a kidney bean.

    I just find the story silly.  “I decided that all first-trimester embryos should be considered legal persons when I realized how closely they resemble kidney beans.”  I’m not the world’s biggest fan of abortion, by any means, but certainly it shouldn’t be hard to realize that the emotions you might feel seeing your own, wanted embryo are probably not the best basis for public policy.

    Plus, I mean, don’t some guys give their penises nicknames?  That’s not a basis for making them legal persons.

  • LoneWolf343

    I had a similar reaction to a radio station who played “Feel Good, Inc” without the rapping bits. They threw out half of the song!

  • mud man

    “its entire business model is predicated on minimizing how often it has to pay out”
    That’s the sleazy rip-off end of the insurance business. The legitimate fair-play end just wants to know what it’s expected payout will be, add overhead and reasonable profit & send out the dividend checks regularly. The bad word in the report is volatile: “the risks … are changing ….”. Of course if the risks were going down, there would less of a sense of urgency. You and I would feel that way, too.

  • PandaRosa

    Yeah, but the dull one works for me, got that live-sound feel about it, can’t go wrong with a good acoustic.

  • AnonymousSam

    Of course, it was meant to be this way. When the crucial part of the model revolves around the words “the less care they give them, the more money they make,” that ought to be a red flag.

    Unfortunately, Nixon apparently got enough of a kick from hearing HMOs described this way that he signed the bill to make them a thing.

  • Jenora Feuer

    Heh.  OT, but I like the word Salmagundi.  (Though the spell-checker doesn’t seem to.)  And yes, I’m familiar with what it means, both in the ‘mixed salad’ sense and the more general ‘stuff brought together in one place’ sense.

    For a while around here in Toronto, many years ago, there was actually a printed mini-comic called Salmagundi.  It was a flip-book, with an anime-ish space opera story if you opened it on one side, and a more down-to-earth urban story if you opened it on the other side.

    The mini-comic stopped production some years back.  The more anime-ish story from it, however, is still active on the web as Galaxion.

  • GDwarf

    Richard Feynman was an amazing person. Anyone who hasn’t read his autobiographical books needs to. If nothing else, it puts the lie to the idea of the scientist as the boring ol’ stick-in-the-mud: This is a man who spent his free time at Los Almos, developing the first atomic bomb, picking the locks on co-worker’s desks, learning to play the bongos, irritating the compound’s guards, and messing with the mail censors.

    When he was called in the middle of the night to inform him he had won the Nobel prize, he told them that they could’ve called in the morning and hung up.

    He’s the founder of the entire nanotech movement, too. In addition to revolutionizing quantum mechanics and being considered one of the best physics professors of all time.

    I’m barely scratching the surface here. The man’s a hero of mine, and everyone needs to learn about him.

    As for trees being made of air: That blew my mind when I first learned it (which was fairly recently. This is the sort of thing that should be taught in elementary school, darn it!) and it’s still hard to really believe. I mean, it’s air, how could you possibly build grass out of it, never mind a tree? But that’s how it works. Is amazing.

  • ohiolibrarian

     Before ultrasound, the first time that men (especially) were able to really feel that there was a baby in there was after quickening … which was approximately 4 months or the beginning of the 2nd trimester which was one of the traditional times that people viewed life as “beginning”. That’s also when Roe v. Wade starts the transition from ‘it’s entirely up to the pregnant woman for any reason she wants”, to “she ought to have a good reason to abort”, to “she better have a really good reason like her life or health”.

    So now, people like Ryan can get all sentimental about … a “bean”?  And that’s a reason to force someone else to maybe die or suffer permanent damage?

  • ohiolibrarian

    ActsFive29 sounds a lot like our LB pals Rayford and the GIRAT. 

  • Indeed. A lot of the relative accessibility (don’t laugh :P ) of quantum electrodynamics owes itself to Richard Feynman because he figured out how to translate the equations into pictorial diagrams. :)

  •  Agreed with all of this. Also, several different ex-physicist friends of mine explain that part of their reason for quitting the field was the sheer sense of inadequacy that being in the same field as the man inspired.

    As one of them put it… so, you’re working on a problem for a year, and you’re stuck, and you run into Feynman at a conference, and you mention the problem. And in five minutes he recapitulates all the work you did in the first six months, goes “Hm. That’s interesting” and sometime the next day emails you a solution.

    I suspect he was exaggerating a bit for effect, but still.

  • Turcano

    You have obviously never seen Bad Biology.

  • Will Hennessy

    (First thought, I was like “Saturday Salman Rushdie?)
    Also, there are two classic rock radio stations around here.

    Both play the full version of Layla.

    Station X plays almost entire sides of Dark Side of the Moon, and always finishes “Brain Damage” by going into “Eclipse” (which is how it should be, IMO).

    However, Station X also succumbs to the blatant violations of our first amendment rights that is the FCC.

    Station Y never censors Roger Daltrey when he asks “Who the fuck are you?”

    Tough call. But guess which station is usually my preset?

    (As a post-script, both of them realize that Heartbreaker/Living Loving Woman by the mighty Led Zeppelin are merely parts A and B.)

  • Amaryllis

    (First thought, I was like “Saturday Salman Rushdie?)
     Would you care for  some Sunday Salman Rushdie?

  • Launcifer

    Weirdly, didn’t the new film version of Midnight’s Children premiere last night? Or it might possibly be tonight: I haven’t really been paying attention.  

  • Joseph Anton is brilliant. Highly recommend it to everyone. 

  • Jessica_R

    It’s funny, I’m the heathen that thinks Layla loses it’s juice when it turns into a meandering piano free form. (Exception: It’s use in Goodfellas. Goodfellas is one of those films that if I’m channel surfing and stumble across it I know what I’m watching for the rest of the evening.)

  • So Brian Walsh uses fat hatred to push his point.

    The point that judging people is wrong.

    Yeah. Nice try. 

    Hey Fred, warn for this crap before linking please. I don’t like to be slapped with this complete and utter nonsense without warning.

  • I’m not the world’s biggest fan of abortion, by any means

    I’m not the world’s biggest fan of being forced to risk my health and life and permanently have my body changed against my will and go through the vomiting and pain of pregnancy because a man had an orgasm inside me, with or without my permission.

    I’m a big, big fan of abortion. Huge. It’s called treating women like human beings rather than incubators.

  • I don’t like the older version of Layla much. I can’t understand a word of it. The newer version (which is pretty old now) is incredibly sexy. 

  • I would caution that it’s really important for the pro-choice movement to remain a big tent.  If anybody who has moral qualms about abortion, even though they support elective abortion as a legal right and even a legal good, is chastened and made to feel unwelcome until they come to be appropriately celebratory about abortion, then I think it’s probably doomed to fail.

    Convincing people that it’s better for women to be able to access safe, legal abortions than have to resort to dangerous, back alley or self-induced abortions is, I think, a pretty straightforward task, and why the pro-choice movement has succeeded as far as it has.  Convincing people that abortion itself is a great thing, that the termination of a pregnancy is an unequivocal moral good, is quite another, and I do think that the stagnation we’ve seen in support for the pro-choice position (and in some cases the loss of ground) has been because too many in the pro-choice movement have made that shift.  When being pro-choice is about women having access to a safe and legal abortion, then people will get behind it; when being pro-choice is about thinking abortion is awesome, they won’t.  And, I can’t blame them.

  • DCFem

    Thank you for doing the links this way. This is much better as it gives more insight into what the people you are linking too are talking about. I feel like I have probably missed some really good articles due to lack of time to click on every link that you list because there is just one quote there and I don’t have time to skim the each and every article to figure out if they’re worth reading. Please do all link dumps like this.

  • Guest

    I wish any station, anywhere, would play the uncensored version of Devil Went Down to Georgia. If you can play Rich Girl and Hair of the Dog, there is no reason you have to play “son of a gun.”

  • Lori

    I’m not sure I’ve ever heard the censored version. I know I’ve heard the uncensored version so some station somewhere has played it. Of course that was probably quite a few years ago, so maybe things have changed (I don’t like the song and I reached my lifetime quota for hearing it long, long ago so now I change the station or tune out if it comes on.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    I like the radio-friendly version of Devil Went Down to Georgia. Using the phrase ‘son of a bitch’ to insult someone implies that the only insult-worthy thing about the man is that he made a poor choice of mother. (‘Bastard’ is at least gender-neutral in its implications about the parents.) ‘Son of a gun’ doesn’t have the same impact as ‘son of a bitch’, but it doesn’t make me cringe to hear, either, and I’m rather fond of the song as a whole and would consequently rather listen to the cringe-free version.

    This is in no way to be taken to imply that I am cool with anyone imposing censorship of any kind or in any degree. I simply prefer the creative choice to use most any word that isn’t ‘bitch’ over the creative choice to say ‘bitch’.

  • caryjamesbond

     Goodfellas is one of those films that if I’m channel surfing and stumble across it I know what I’m watching for the rest of the evening.

    Oh yes. Although I hate it when its on TBS- all the bleeping reminds me of the old Mad TV sketch about the Sopranos being on Pax TV
    I’m with Clinton on abortion- safe, legal and rare.  Rare because women have easy access to good jobs, prenatal healthcare, birth control, daycare, etc. etc. etc. and so half the reasons people get abortions simply don’t exist.