Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 Mystery Reprints

The details are here. I will collect my ratings and reactions here of the ones I read or have already read.

My own votes were for two of the QPQ and the Rogers, because they all went on the TBR and look interesting.

Grindle Nightmare, Q. Patrick.(Alredy read)  A bit over 4/5. Not as grim as Brad presents it, lots of dark humor.

So Blue Marble, Hughes. 3/5

Seventh Guest, Boca. 1/5 Didn’t finish.

Murder Isn’t Easy, Hull. (Already read) 4/5 Amusing, clever, but not very surprising.

Verdict of Twelve, Postgate. (Already read) 5/5 This is a famous classic, so I didn’t vote for it,  but if you are just looking for a good vintage murder mystery this is the clear winner so far.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The war on pain relief


The war on drugs is somewhere between stupid and evil. The war on pain relief is pretty much just evil.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Merry Christmas

My Christmas Drabble

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words (not counting the title).


“There is no Santa Claus” mommy said. “I told you when you were five. Such a stupid child.”

I hate mommy.

I put out milk, and oreos, my favourite, and carrots. Reindeer like carrots. This time Santa would come, he would.

“What foolishness! Go to your room! Stupid, stupid child.” 

Maybe if I was awake Santa would come this year. But mommy made me drink warm milk.

In the morning I rushed downstairs! No presents. The cookies were still there. Mommy laughed.

“I told you. I've been telling you since you were five. Fifty years, my god!”

I hate mommy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Barbara Allen, Lord Rendall

The two most beautiful and arresting English folk songs, each with a twist in the tail.

Barbara Allen

Lord Rendall

These are both with Andras Scholl. But Deller is also superb, and his recordings are available very cheap on Amazon. A comparison of their voices.

Best newspaper article of the year

A German magazine published a series of lies about a small town in the Midwest. The local paper demolished it.

Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect!

Der Spiegel has, since this went viral, fired the reporter. But not the editor.

UPDATE: Better and better. Relotius and Der Spiegel have been peddling bogus stories for a decade, and winning awards for it. And since Der Spiegel brags about its fact checking it is entirely correct to call them complicit, and peddlers of fake news.

I think that the guild members of the WSJ are covering for Der Spiegel a little bit, since in fact it was the small town paper linked above which first said Relotius “made up facts”.

Sunday, December 16, 2018


Q. Patrick, Quentin Patrick, Patrick Quentin, and Jonathan Stagge are all kinda sorta the same person, or perhaps “person”. They were pseudonyms shared by a shifting coterie of writers, mostly Richard Webb and Hugh Wheeler, the latter later laboring with Steven Sondheim splendidly. Anyway, a whole raft of their books, from the 1930s to the 1950s are suddenly available. I have read four so far, and they were all good. Recommended for fans of GAD. Amazon, or if your library has it, Hoopla.

Related, with more.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Gnarls Barkley Crazy

Here is a better performance than the single.

And here is the source.  Gnarls Barkley were very upfront about this, and credited Reverberi.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

AirBnB update

I noted a while ago that AirBnB delisted ads from Jews, and only from Jews, in the West Bank. Non-Jews are still allowed to advertise. This explicit anti-semitism has led to some blowback, which could lead to AirBnB being blocked in Illinois. Kudos to the Illinois board.

Titania's Twitter Triumph

Coyne has a good summary.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Nederland Blazers

What happens when you give Michael Nyman a James Last treatment? Maybe this.

Subpoena me


This is obvious.

Coyne calls her “the Sarah Palin of the left”, but I don’t recall Palin making threats.

Friday, December 7, 2018


Twitter is for idiots. And it is staffed by idiots.

Gilets Jaunes — Background

The protests are not sudden. They have been going on for a while and are in response to far more than just the latest tax hike. Here is some background.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Good Coyne Post

Coyne can be a frustrating guy, but he is good about understanding that the rejection of science happens across the political spectrum. Link.

5th Law

It's fake but just the tip of the iceberg ...

And another.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Canadian Classical's Greatest Hit

This was at one the most famous piece of Canadian classical music. Maybe it still is.
I believe this is the Hanson performance, from the VT album of the previous post, but with better visuals. A more modern recording, by the BBC Orchestra, is here.

BONUS McPhee and Henry Cowell were friends. Here's a short bit by Cowell.

The Feast Of Love, first recording

The first recording of Virgil Thomson’s The Feast Of Love. I suspect this was the personnel for the premiere too, which was also in 1963. Not up to the later recordings I think, but nice to hear. I love this music. The poem is VT's own translation of Pervigilium Veneris, and I think he captures the odd detached passion I find in Roman love poetry.