Saturday, 22 July 2017

10:17 – It was 70F (21C) when I took Colin out at 0630. The days are starting to get shorter. The sun was an orange ball, not fully up over the horizon.

Heads-down work on science kits today. We have thousands of bottles to be labeled and filled, so that’s what we’ll be doing for the next month or more.

We started watching two new-to-us series on Netflix DVD, the Australian series A Place to Call Home, and The Brokenwood Mysteries from New Zealand.

We both really like A Place to Call Home, which stars the formidable Marta Dusseldorp. I don’t know if it’s just the character or the actress’s actual personality, but if she told me to jump, on the way up I’d ask “how high?” Don’t get me wrong. She’s a very attractive young woman, just not one I’d ever cross. The series itself is excellent, and we have all of the discs in our queue.

The Brokenwood Mysteries is a pretty run-of-the-mill police procedural, but Barbara likes it enough that we’ll keep getting the discs. We’ve watched a couple of NZ series before, but we’d both forgotten the extremely odd NZ accent. They pronounce short e’s the way most English speakers pronounce long e’s. For example, one of the characters was referring to a bunch of letters, which both she and the lead pronounced exactly the way we’d pronounce “liters”. It’s distracting at first, but we quickly get used to it.

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68 Responses to Saturday, 22 July 2017

  1. SVJeff says:

    We’re about halfway through Season 3 of A Place to Call Home, all from my DVR’ed stockpile. Anna just keeps getting cuter…

    I may see if I can get dad interested in Brokenwood. He made it through series 1 of the FrancoBrit version of the Tunnel but didn’t care for it. We’ve got one more Midsomer from the most recent series. And he wasn’t too keen on Death in Paradise when we watched the 1st ep a couple of years ago but I may try to sneak it back into the queue. And I think we both enjoyed Foyle enough to go through it again for his 2nd time and my 3rd.

  2. JLP says:

    I just got back for the ham exam session. I passed the technician and general (35/35 and 34/35 respectively) and declined to take the extra exam. I had not studied the extra question pool at all and I was sure to fail. Since I was the last person there I didn’t feel like wasting the examiners nor my time. Can’t wait to see what my call sign will be.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’d rather re-watch old Midsomer episodes than watch new ones the first time. Ever since the PC crowd forced out Brian True-May, that series has gone from special to formulaic crap.

    I dislike diversity where the environment should be non-diverse. If we were watching a drama about tribes, set in the African jungles, I wouldn’t expect to see many white faces. Conversely, when we watch a drama set in an English village, I don’t expect to see many non-white faces. In the 89 episodes with BTM as showrunner, I read that there was exactly one non-white major character. In the 20 episodes following his departure, there were two dozen diversities in major roles. That’s simply gratuitous PC run wild. And the quality of the plotting and writing has dropped so far that this has become just a mediocre police drama.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    @JLP

    Congratulations!

    When I took the exams, the examiners told the group that they weren’t allowed to tell people their scores, just whether they’d passed or failed. They did let slip that I’d “aced” the Tech and General. They encouraged me to try Extra, even though I hadn’t even looked at the material. They said they weren’t in any hurry, so I gave it a try. No joy. The only reason I tried it was to give the local club one more person who could qualify as a VE for all three classes. We have at least three Extras already, so it wasn’t a big deal. All I really wanted was Tech, because I don’t intend to do anything the Tech won’t let me do.

  5. JLP says:

    Nobody else was given scores but since I was the last one present (I took my time to read each question and the answers before selecting) I decided to ask and they told me. I don’t know if they broke any VE rules. I wanted to ask what one I got wrong but the test booklet had already been put away.

  6. Greg Norton says:

    I’d rather re-watch old Midsomer episodes than watch new ones the first time. Ever since the PC crowd forced out Brian True-May, that series has gone from special to formulaic crap.

    I can’t help but wonder what was behind this week’s somewhat surprising casting for the lead on “Doctor Who”. The bookies in London stopped taking bets on Kris Marshall sometime after the new year, and my guess is that something changed in the last few weeks.

  7. SVJeff says:

    That’s simply gratuitous PC run wild

    Agreed. I’ve also noticed that the plots seem increasingly dense and impressed with their own cleverness, not to mention straining the ability to suspend disbelief. But Dad and I both enjoy procedurals, so, that said, Midsomer more enjoyable than CSI:Omaha or Law & Order:Traffic Patrol or whatever the latest iteration might be. (Although I did really enjoy L&O:UK.)

    I can’t wait to see if he likes Rumpole. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much he *really* likes As Time Goes By, but he can’t seem to get into Are You Being Served? and Waiting for God.

  8. SVJeff says:

    I can’t help but wonder what was behind this week’s somewhat surprising casting for the lead on “Doctor Who”

    I’ve heard various ppl say for the last couple of years, “Isn’t it time for a female Doctor?” I’d bet it’s PC-generated as well…

  9. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve heard various ppl say for the last couple of years, “Isn’t it time for a female Doctor?” I’d bet it’s PC-generated as well…

    The BBC has said it for 37 years, since they replaced Tom Baker with Peter Davidson in 1980.

    I don’t have a problem with it, but I can list several UK actresses who would be better in the part. Something odd happened in the last two weeks.

  10. nick flandrey says:

    The spinoff’s from Dr Who had him bi- or homo- and the early children’s show Drs were very carefully a- sexual. No reason why a time lord wouldn’t be female, since they aren’t actually like us anyway, but it seems gratuitous. Much like casting Shakespeare “color blind”, it’s a gimmick for gimmicks’ sake.

    n

  11. SteveF says:

    Not to worry about excessive diversity in casting. The docudrama on the African invention of the wheel will have no white cast at all. Ditto for the movie about the African domestication of riding animals. And the one about African discovery of the germ theory of disease. No oriental, Indian, or black cast, either, but them’s the breaks.

  12. SteveF says:

    Much like casting Shakespeare “color blind”

    Oh, but wait! There is now a claim that Shakespeare was gay. This comes from a theater director with no name recognition, so you can be sure it was a reasoned historical analysis and not a pathetic and predictable attempt to get attention.

  13. SVJeff says:

    I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of Doctor Who but we watch Graham Norton’s show when it’s rebroadcast on BBC America. There have been increasing mentions of a female doctor since it was announced that Capaldi was leaving. That was my only source.

    Even though I’m not a fan, I really like David Tennant and Matt Smith. The previews I saw always made it seem they were having fun along with the audience. Capaldi’s previews came across as much more serious.

  14. Dave Hardy says:

    I sorta dug Dr. Who when Tom Baker was in the role but not before or since.

    And Mr. SteveF needs to read up some more on Afrikan history; they invented most of what we take for granted in the modern world, of course. And if we hadn’t enslaved them for hundreds of years, we could have eradicated poverty and explored the entire universe by now.

    Of course Shakespeare (Edward de Vere) was gay. Queer as a three-dollar bill! (Can I still say that? Isn’t “queer” OK now?) He was deeply in love with Southampton and probably scores of other gay blades in and around London. He was also black. And looking seriously into transgender surgery. You can tell that by really reading the marvelous transgressions of his sonnets and later plays. It’s really wonderful and I just can’t wait (insert squeals of frustration here) for someone to get new productions out exploring all this wonderfulness.

  15. SteveF says:

    And looking seriously into transgender surgery.

    Why would she want to do that? Didn’t you know Shakespeare was a woman? I’ve heard it from no less an authority than some woman who works at a college, and you just won’t get any more authoritative than that.

  16. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Well, answer me this, then, smarty-pants: if Shakespeare was a woman, why have colleges and universities in this country pretty much removed her works from their curricula?

  17. SteveF says:

    Pssh, ask me a hard one. It’s because of self-loathing false consciousness.

  18. Dave Hardy says:

    Gee whiz, fellas, ya gotta get all this chit straight. (whoops, did I just make another boo-boo?)

    Shakspeare was really Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, but he was white (and wished desperately he’d been born blackamoor, ya know, like Othello) and he was the “B” in “LBGTXYZ,” and wanted transgender surgery.

    Various popes were actually women, of course. And if the Roman Catholic Church had actually listened to them, abortion would be a holy sacrament and there would have been no more wars. As was the case 50,000 years ago when women ruled the solar system. A women faculty member in the English Department at some college told me that and the other shrill harpies with her (three witches of Cawdor?) told me I’d better work that into my honors paper or they’d cut my junk off.

    Beethoven was actually black, and I heard that from numerous well-qualified black professors at some other colleges, and who was I to say nay, eh?

    Also Tolstoy was black and probably George Washington, who was Thomas Jefferson’s illegitimate son. Hey, that’s what I heard from some other black professors at a major university.

    George invented the steam engine and the cotton gin but some white mofos stole the idea, just like that bunch of Greek homos in Athens did 7,000 years ago when they took the best inventions from the those scores of brilliant African cities in the Sudan and Congo.

    Let me also clue youse in to the current situation here: 80% of the American population is gay and another 80% is black or Hispanic. Asians are really white people in disguise, they’re the short white aliens. Wait, you say those numbers don’t add up? They don’t have to; that is a hegemonic patriarchal racist construct that has held us all back for centuries.

    Thank goodness the English professors and antifa heroes are straightening all this out now.

  19. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Actually, as enjoyable as it it to mock these stupid SOB’s, they don’t seem to care or even notice. I wonder when it’ll be time to stop mocking and start shooting.

    In the immortal words of Tuco, “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”

  20. Greg Norton says:

    Even though I’m not a fan, I really like David Tennant and Matt Smith. The previews I saw always made it seem they were having fun along with the audience. Capaldi’s previews came across as much more serious.

    Ratings peaked with Matt Smith’s first year, and the numbers have been significantly off since Capaldi took over. I don’t blame Capaldi as much as the writers.

    I did get caught up with “Death In Paradise” over the last couple of weeks. Grace Stone, who plays Ardal O’Hanlon’s character’s daughter, is really cute, and O’Hanlon has restored a bit of the “fish out of water” aspect to the show.. The numbers will probably be even bigger for Series 7 next January.

  21. Dave Hardy says:

    ” I wonder when it’ll be time to stop mocking and start shooting.”

    Within our lifetimes, I reckon. All it needs is some kind of trigger event somewhere; doesn’t even have to be a big one, just something that snowballs. It may have already happened, I dunno. I do know that a lotta folks are losing patience with all this shit.

  22. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “I do know that a lotta folks are losing patience with all this shit.”

    No kidding. That’s especially obvious around here. Pretty much everyone around here is a Deplorable, and they’re all getting very tired of the crap. It was bad enough when the factories and jobs disappeared. But that wasn’t enough for the elites. Now they want to rub our faces in it.

    But I think it’s a mistake to assume that all of the elites feel that way. Hell, I could be put into the elite group, based on educational level, income, my lack of religion, my support for gay rights, etc. etc. So could more than a few of the posters here. In fact, probably most of them. But we’re not elites where it matters. We’re Deplorables in that respect.

  23. SteveF says:

    I wonder when it’ll be time to stop mocking and start shooting.

    Twenty or thirty years ago, I imagine.

  24. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    More like 50 or 60 years ago. But we Normals are a patient lot. Too patient, it’s becoming clear.

  25. SVJeff says:

    Dave, did you happen to overlook my treatise over in/on the double secret probation thread?

  26. Jim Cook says:

    With HAM radio testing, Volunteer examiners are not allowed to say how many questions you missed if you did not pass the test. Instead we are encouraged to tell you study some more and try again latter. We usually will also not say much if you just barely passed. It is not unusual to congratulate some one who got questions on the test all or nearly all correct.

    I am not sure how much of an impact this will have, I suspect not much, but starting in September people apply for a HAM radio license will have to indicate if they have ever been convicted of or plead guilty to a felony. if they answer yes they will have to send a letter to the FCC giving details about the crime. The FCC will then decide if they are to get a license. According to the regulations this question should have been ask all along, but it was left off of the form when they were revised years ago.

  27. MrAtoz says:

    The FCC will then decide if they are to get a license.

    You would think FELON = NO LICENSE would be the goobermint response. But no, some pencil pusher will have the fate of your license in your hand. This way they have more power over you. Hmm, how do I feel today, Bzzzt, NO LICENSE for you!

  28. Dave Hardy says:

    “It was bad enough when the factories and jobs disappeared. But that wasn’t enough for the elites. Now they want to rub our faces in it.”

    There it is.

    The elites who instigate and enable a lot of this stuff and who actually pay attention to us think it’s funny what they’re doing, no doubt. Such antics as making male officer cadets wear high heels; forcing Army troops to shower naked with trannies; arresting toddlers for high crimes and misdemeanors in the elementary skools; yanking out Confederate statues and memorials; etc., etc., the list goes on and on.

    Sooner or later, though, they’ll hit “pay dirt,” and we’ll all see how funny they think it is then.

  29. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The FCC grabbed authority over radio spectrum in the 30’s. There’s no Constitutional or other basis for that, let alone letting the ITU have anything to say about it. I’d be a lot happier if there were no laws or regulations concerning radio spectrum. Well, period, but right now I’m thinking about the FCC. GRRRR.

  30. ech says:

    I can’t help but wonder what was behind this week’s somewhat surprising casting for the lead on “Doctor Who”.

    BBC considered having a woman play Doctor 6, so it’s been canon for a while that the Doctor could be female.

    I don’t have a problem with it, but I can list several UK actresses who would be better in the part. Something odd happened in the last two weeks

    One of problems that you run into is availability – who has a hole in their schedule that fits with their production schedule, etc. The actress chosen was a regular character on Broadchurch and the new showrunner for Doctor Who came from that show.

  31. CowboySlim says:

    To be PC, I am going to call the University and ask them to retract my BSChE; all my engineering professors were male.

  32. SteveF says:

    I’m trying to think if any of my professors at RPI was a woman. I don’t think a single one was, nor a single TA. Nor the admissions officer, the dean of the EE dept, or my advisor.

    Wow. I must be old.

  33. lynn says:

    I’m trying to think if any of my professors at RPI was a woman. I don’t think a single one was, nor a single TA. Nor the admissions officer, the dean of the EE dept, or my advisor.

    Wow. I must be old.

    I don’t remember if anyone of the faculty at TAMU Engineering was a woman. Surely, there was at least one out of the 100 to 200 engineering profs. There were around 5,000 or 6,000 students in Engineering then. I did have several women in my ME classes who were much sharper than me (and told me so when I pulled the only honest A in Thermodynamics II).

    I am getting old, it has been over 35 years since I graduated.

  34. SteveF says:

    much sharper than me (and told me so when I pulled the only honest A in Thermodynamics II)

    Ha! Been there, not only with women complaining about grade disparities. “That wasn’t a fair test!” “The professor didn’t tell us that would be on the test!” “That wasn’t covered in class!” “I don’t test well!” “I just had a bad day!”

    That last one I can somewhat sympathize with. First two semesters of calculus I had a 97 average or thereabouts … or would have, if I hadn’t had a bad day for one test each semester. Bad enough days that my average was dragged down to a B each semester.

    I graduated with quite a good GPA. Alas, records were scrambled when the school switched from paper to computer, and the transcript I got a few years ago wasn’t mine. There were many course similarities, as would be expected of anyone who’d graduated in EE, but the course specifics and the grades and especially all the extra math courses were totally different.

  35. MrAtoz says:

    I had three female profs at Uni (UW-Stevens Point). Two were for Psychology and Child Psychology. Both flaming Libturdians in the early 70’s. One for “Geometry From a Non-Euclidena Viewpoint”. She was a great prof and an obvious Deplorable.

  36. MrAtoz says:

    How come our latest Aircraft Carrier can have a nuke plant, but civilians can’t?

  37. SteveF says:

    What I hear you saying, MrAtoz, is that we should steal that carrier and make it the centerpiece of our private shipping protection service.

    Quite some years ago, I looked with some other people into outfitting some crappy little freighter as a surprise for pirates around Indonesia or off the Horn of Africa. At that time, late 1980s, it was pretty well totally illegal, the ship would be seized by any law-abiding nation, blah blah blah. And now a number of companies are doing just that. -sigh- It’s depressing to be right too early.

    Though, getting back to the aircraft carrier, it would take one hell of a camouflage job to disguise that big-ass sucker as a crappy little freighter that dingleberries in zodiacs would attack.

  38. Greg Norton says:

    BBC considered having a woman play Doctor 6, so it’s been canon for a while that the Doctor could be female.

    It goes back a few years before that. Tom Baker started it, at the press conference announcing his departure.

    The show was such a train wreck by the time Doctor 6 came along that I think it is a good thing that a female Doctor was not introduced at the time. The actress would have been blamed for the show’s demise in the late 80s.

    One of problems that you run into is availability – who has a hole in their schedule that fits with their production schedule, etc.

    Auntie Beeb is also cheap (Tilda Swinton was *not* going to happen), but I still think Jodie Whitaker was a last minute decision.

  39. Greg Norton says:

    I’m trying to think if any of my professors at RPI was a woman. I don’t think a single one was, nor a single TA. Nor the admissions officer, the dean of the EE dept, or my advisor.

    We had female professors in Engineering at South Florida in the late 80s. The only woman lecturing in EE turned out to be as much of a sleaze as any of the male professors. DoD money did bad things to the program and the heads of the people in charge of things.

  40. Dave Hardy says:

    I not only have read and studied the recent proposals by MrAtoz and MrSteveF (both former armed forces officers) WRT to stealing a carrier and running it as our own private shipping security vessel, and

    I APPROVE!

    WRT woman professors, hahahaha…I got y’all beat six ways from Sunday on that score! I had just the opposite situation during my English major and grad skool courses a quarter-century ago. And ya know what’s so disgusting and evil? The two male professors I had, one in 18th-C British Literature and the other in Medieval Philosophy, were BY FAR the best of the whole bunch. BY FAR.

    At my first grad skool, 100% of the students in the Physics Department were guys; the Comparative Literature Department was the other way round. Guess which group I got along with best? And I didn’t care for ANY of my fellow female grad students and only a couple of the males, both of them from either Ireland or the UK, and who were extremely well-read and personable.

  41. lynn says:

    much sharper than me (and told me so when I pulled the only honest A in Thermodynamics II)

    Ha! Been there, not only with women complaining about grade disparities. “That wasn’t a fair test!” “The professor didn’t tell us that would be on the test!” “That wasn’t covered in class!” “I don’t test well!” “I just had a bad day!”

    Oh no, Jamie and her twin sister, both in ME, regularly kicked my butt in grades. We study grouped together occasionally and they were very intelligent. They also took less hours per semester than I did. And they were very cute redheads.

    I got married my senior year and my wife and I went to the on campus movie theater one Friday night (cheap !). Jamie was there, saw me, came over and sat in my lap. My wife did a slow burn as I said, “Hi Jamie, this is my wife Pam”. Jamie continued to talk for a little while and then went back to her sister. I had no idea that Jamie was ever interested and then had to explain her to my wife for the rest of the night.

  42. lynn says:

    How come our latest Aircraft Carrier can have a nuke plant, but civilians can’t?

    Watts Bar 2 started up late in 2016, the latest commercial nuclear power plant in the USA. Four more are expected to be online by 2021. I’ll believe it when I see it.
    http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-t-z/usa-nuclear-power.aspx

  43. SteveF says:

    Just set up* a 6×8-ish tent on our deck for two girls to sleep overnight. They’re both hugely excited, as neither has done anything like that. I see this as a failing on my part, never having taken my daughter camping for real. In my defense…

    Both mothers are fretting about the danger of sleeping in a tent on the deck of a house in a very good neighborhood, in the middle of summer, with the door a few feet away. They’re happy the girls are excited but are worried that sleeping on the hard deck, with only a 6″ foam mattress underneath them, will hurt them. One mother, I won’t say which, was wondering if it would hurt their growth. They’re worried about the cold (in the middle of summer in a temperate climate, mind you, with projected nighttime low of about 65F). I think the other girl’s mother was wondering about criminals coming up onto the deck but my wife reassured her. I think.** The other girl’s mother is staying overnight, sleeping on one of the couches in the family room in case they need her. And to, you know, nip any possibility of growth, self-reliance, and independence in the bud.

    The girl who often stays with us was supposed to join these two but isn’t. From what wasn’t said, I think her mother is having another episode and the father, rather than get the kid away from the nutcase, is taking the easy route by keeping the family together for a few days.

    * With the assistance of the 10-y-o and the almost 10-y-o, the five-minute job didn’t take much more than ten.

    ** Both mothers are Chinese. Both are fluent in English but commonly drop into Mandarin for convenience or for notional privacy. I can follow along, mostly***, but not when they get yammering along.

    *** Which pretty well ruins the alleged privacy from unwanted ears. It’s extremely amusing to join a conversation in either English or Mandarin and show that I understood what someone was trying to say behind my back. You know, like “Don’t trust him. All American men want is to have sex with you.”

  44. lynn says:

    *** Which pretty well ruins the alleged privacy from unwanted ears. It’s extremely amusing to join a conversation in either English or Mandarin and show that I understood what someone was trying to say behind my back. You know, like “Don’t trust him. All American men want is to have sex with you.”

    Dude, that is the BEST time to leave. And listen discretely around the corner.

  45. Miles_Teg says:

    “All American men want is to have sex with you.”

    Just tie up one or two of your sheep next to your bed to show where your preferences lie…

  46. nick flandrey says:

    Well, one of mine will be off to GSA sleep away camp for 5 days, sans parental overwatch. From her point of view, the ponies will make up for it 🙂

    n

  47. Dave Hardy says:

    From the Murkan Derps As All-Time Losers Department:

    http://www.internationalman.com/articles/how-the-elites-betrayed-working-class-america

    Near the end of it is the vast disparity between us and them, wider than ever, and all of it perfectly planned and deliberate. They seem intent on killing the golden goose that lays all those golden eggs with little or no regard for the consequences.

    While also popping open Pandora’s Box.

    “Both mothers are fretting about the danger…”

    This stuff has gotten more insane each year. However did us old Normals manage, and some of us through absolutely horrific childhoods, too. (not mine; I was pretty much OK most of the time except for a few minor beatings from parents and teachers until I got to be six feet tall and crazier than a shit-house rat).

  48. Dave Hardy says:

    From the OFD Archive of Past Rants Department:

    “It’s simply embarrassing to be friends with the Saudis. No, we cannot conduct foreign policy with only neutral and peaceful countries. But sometimes a man looks at his pals and sees something so ugly he thinks less of himself. Our alliance with this squalid little Kingdom is demoralizing.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449662/us-saudi-arabia-alliance-embarrassing-morally-strategically-costly

  49. lynn says:

    http://www.internationalman.com/articles/how-the-elites-betrayed-working-class-america

    Near the end of it is the vast disparity between us and them, wider than ever, and all of it perfectly planned and deliberate. They seem intent on killing the golden goose that lays all those golden eggs with little or no regard for the consequences.

    I still think that the USA is slowly heading into a dystopia. But if the ATMs stop working, look out !
    https://www.amazon.com/Soft-Apocalypse-Will-McIntosh/dp/159780276X/

  50. lynn says:

    The other girl’s mother is staying overnight, sleeping on one of the couches in the family room in case they need her.

    I hear the sound of a helicopter !

  51. MrAtoz says:

    It’s not me!

  52. Bill F. says:

    “I had three female profs at Uni (UW-Stevens Point). Two were for Psychology and Child Psychology. Both flaming Libturdians in the early 70’s. One for “Geometry From a Non-Euclidena Viewpoint”. She was a great prof and an obvious Deplorable.”

    Non Euclidean geometry rocks! Or maybe I should say “bends the rules”.

  53. Bill F. says:

    We have a female engineer in our group. I was on the interview team and asked her why she wanted to be an engineer. She said it was from watching “Apollo 13”. She is a real engineer!

  54. SteveF says:

    As it happened, both mothers slept on couches downstairs. Because, you know, dangers. And little girls who might be scared. And, you know, reasons.

    The girls seem to have been much less concerned. They apparently* were up talking until midnight, having fun and not realizing the immense dangers that surrounded them, when the mothers told them to shut up and go to sleep or there’d be no more sleepovers. That worked. Then the girls were up at 0530-ish, probably woken by the morning chorus. They wanted to go hiking in the woods behind the house, but the mothers wouldn’t let them because of the danger of falling down and getting hurt and not being able to get back to the house, but I gave the girls a cell phone and that was a good enough safety device to allow them to go out.

    Sheesh. You’d think that no kid ever survived to teen years without being swaddled in cotton wool. Is it the fact that my daughter and most of her friends are only children, or effectively so? (I have the two sons, but they’re much older and have been gone for years.) By contrast, I was the eldest of six. Is it because the mothers are all in their late 40s or 50s? By contrast, my mother was in her 20s when I was 10. Because of the constant barrage of horror stories, true or less so, waiting for anyone who cares to go looking for them? Simply a sign of increasingly fearful times? Or is it just that my wife is a neurotic nutcase and all of her friends are, too?

    Sheesh.

    Regardless, the girls had a great time. And neither of them died or suffered life-altering injuries.

    * I was asleep before then, having been woken up before 0400 Saturday morning when my own precious darling knucklehead came stumbling in.

  55. SteveF says:

    We have a female engineer in our group. I was on the interview team and asked her why she wanted to be an engineer. She said it was from watching “Apollo 13”. She is a real engineer!

    Thumbs up!

  56. ech says:

    I’ve had female engineers on my teams and as bosses. All were competent.

  57. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    It’s beginning to change for the worse, but STEM majors still have to be smart and hard-working. I dread the day when we have diversity-hire engineers designing bridges and buildings.

  58. Dave Hardy says:

    It’s all good; anecdotal evidence indicates that there are a dozen or so competent female engineers and scientists out there; not to worry!

  59. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Actually, my experience has been similar to what others have mentioned: most of the women scientists and engineers I’ve known have been competent, and sometimes much more than just competent. There just haven’t been many of them, which I attribute both to the smaller sigma of women’s IQs and the fact that girls/women are less likely than boys/men to be Aspergers, which is pervasive among scientists and engineers.

    As a matter of fact, the very first “real” scientist I met was when I was in late elementary school or early junior high. One of my classmates, Kathy Kwolek, lived two blocks from our house. Her aunt visited one time and I met her. She was Stephanie Kwolek, a chemist with Dupont. Among other things, she invented Kevlar.

  60. Dave Hardy says:

    Hats off for Dr. Kwolek, then!

    All by herself she’s made up for countless useless female (and male) English and Comp Lit professors!

  61. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The progs hate the fact that intelligence really, really matters–in fact, biologically it’s pretty much head and shoulders above any other genetic aspect of people–and there’s nothing that can be done to make stupid people smart. It’s just so anti-egalitarian. All of these stupid people can never, ever hope to be smart. Their children are likely to be about as stupid as they are. It’s just SO UNFAIR.

    They can’t affect the reality, so they focus on affecting the trappings. It’s cargo-cult thinking, and I use that word loosely. If smart people have college degrees, why all we have to do is make sure everyone can have a college degree. Jeez.

  62. SteveF says:

    Yep. And when it’s noticed that people with STEM degrees are in more demand in the job market and command higher salaries, well then, the obvious solution is to force STEM schools to take a more diverse incoming class. And then force STEM schools to lower standards so that more of the diverse class can graduate.

  63. Dave Hardy says:

    You boyz have it all figured out pretty well.

    Keep in mind, however, that the neo-Marxists heavily involved themselves in making this come about over the past 80 years. They did it in their own countries and the results have been less than pretty.

  64. lynn says:

    But it will work this time !

  65. Dave Hardy says:

    That’s right, Mr. Lynn! We just gotta double down on it! Break a few eggs to make an omelet, ya know! (V.I. Lenin)

    Screw reading the history of previous attempts and the consequences. And I just saw a stat that says Millennials will only pay attention to an ad for five or six seconds, so you gotta make it quick!

    History of the Soviet Empire in six seconds. Or the Cuban, North Korean, Chinese, Romanian, etc., etc.

    Radical egalitarianism and Diversity writ large. We saw how that worked in the Vendee circa 1789 in France.

  66. Bill F. says:

    Re: women and STEM. A few years ago, a co-worker and I were eating dinner with a supplier we work with often, at a conference in Vegas. The supplier, in this case, is a French woman with a Ph.D. in ME (heat transfer). She is very striking in the way that women from Europe can be. She is also very nice to visit with and does not exhibit many Asperger’s symptoms.

    The discussion moved to the +/- of RPN calculators, at which point we all stopped and said something like: “we are in Vegas talking about calculators – what is up with that?”

    Not long after that, we had a similar moment while discussing versions of Excel…

  67. lynn says:

    She is also very nice to visit with and does not exhibit many Asperger’s symptoms.

    Cool ! And speaking of Aspergers, I watched “The Accountant” again yesterday.

    The discussion moved to the +/- of RPN calculators, at which point we all stopped and said something like: “we are in Vegas talking about calculators – what is up with that?”

    Really cool ! I can remember having that conversation in ME study group in college between the HP 25 and the TI something or other.

    Not long after that, we had a similar moment while discussing versions of Excel…

    OK now, that is just getting weird. Everyone knows that Excel 2003 was the best Excel ever.

  68. JimL says:

    I prefer 2016 above all others. The enhancements to formulas for error checking are pretty handy.
    =ifna(vlookup(c1,LooupRange,2,false),””) beats
    =if(isna(….))
    hands down.

    Slicers on tables are a god-send.

    And there are a LOT of other formula additions to be welcomed.

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