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Shrove Tuesday — wot today is — is known as Pancake Day here in Jollye Olde. They make pancakes, traditionally, to use up flour and eggs before Lent.

Which makes no damn sense, if you ask me. Flour keeps forever (if it’s dry) and eggs is laid by chickens, who will presumably continue to do so despite anyone’s position in the liturgical calendar.

Anyway, you don’t see them eating pancakes here so much as running races where everyone dashes down the high street flipping one in a pan. And they aren’t pancakes, they’re crêpes.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with a nice crêpe, except if a certain hypothetical weasel went into a Little Chef and ordered pancakes expecting to get the IHOP Big Breakfast. That was a sad, sad hypothetical weasel.

The English also traditionally had enormous football matches on Pancake Day, ruleless affairs in which the flower of each little town’s manhood turn up to kick the shit out of each other while a football looks on helplessly. A few towns maintain the tradition.

If you’re interested, Brit papers are full of pancake articles today, most of them illustrated by photos of American-style flapjacks oozing maple syrup. Which made Uncle B cross. Teehee.

NB: Zsa Zsa is spending her 99th birthday in the hospital. Is another longstanding Dead Pool favorite about to fall? Don’t count on it; that is one tough old broad.

sock it to me

February 9, 2016 — 9:07 pm
Comments: 9

Oh, dear


Oh, dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. In what’s being called “the design fail of the year,” San Fran designer Lehu Zhang apparently really and truly didn’t mean this minimalist monkey to look like a Communist propaganda poster for gay sex.

Eh. Well. Gong Hey Fat Choy, y’all. Happy Year of the Fire Monkey. Here’s a better article about Chinese New Year, what am today.

sock it to me

February 8, 2016 — 9:11 pm
Comments: 19

Sadly, there isn’t a Church of Crom


I’m not even positive there’s a t-shirt. This link on Pinterest doesn’t seem to go to an actual shirt on Etsy.

Oh, well. I probably wouldn’t be all that good at smiting. Or wearing a brass bikini, for that matter.

Have a good weekend, y’all!

sock it to me

February 5, 2016 — 9:49 pm
Comments: 16



So, this guy died today. Joe Alaskey. He voiced Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny and Sylvester.

If you’re thinking he looks too young for that and who the heck is he anyway, you’re quite right — he’s one of the voice actors who took over after Mel Blanc died in ’89. Alaskey himself was a comparatively young 63.

So. Non-story really. Condolences to his family.

Sorry I’ve been avoiding politics lately. I have a good excuse: I’ve been avoiding politics lately.

It’s gotten to the point I’m considering shaving my head and joining a hard-ass religious cult of some kind. Preferably one with a savage deity and a martial arts component.

Anyone want to start one…?

sock it to me

February 4, 2016 — 10:51 pm
Comments: 15

Immortality on the cheap



Here’s a fun game on a rainy day. Go to eBay (you can go to .com, but I think .uk is more fun). Search for collectables/postcards. Refine your search to “used“.

Voilà — you hear dead people.

The one in the picture is of Brighton Pier. The message on the back is “have not seen many of these about, have you.” 1903, I think.

Or how about, “Meta[?] wants me to say that the Bishop is going to be consecrated on St Paul’s Day in Westminster Abbey but she is not certain if she will be able to go up with you for it, as probably a houseful is coming that day. She will be very sorry if she cannot as she would v. much like it. With love from T.B.H. We have had a yet better account of Auntie.”

Some of the most interesting are too illegible to transcribe properly. On a Valentine: “A love letter. That is what. Annie said good bye.” It was neither signed by nor addressed to Annie. It was never sent.


sock it to me

February 3, 2016 — 10:39 pm
Comments: 4

Oh, I think I know this one…


This came across my threshold tonight: Being a ‘morning person’ has a genetic basis, 23andMe study says.

Now, usually when I get a news article from 23andme, it’s from their own site. And that’s cool, because when they talk about the relevant SNP, they give a link to your result on that particular marker. In other words, click here to see how you scored on this one.

The article linked above is to The Verge, though, and the linked article is the source study — a proper scientific paper not cut up into weaselly-digestible chunks.

But that’s okay. I know how I score on this one. I have three copies of the genetic marker for ‘I will rip out your spleen and piss on it if you speak to me during my first waking hour.’

sock it to me

February 2, 2016 — 9:16 pm
Comments: 11

Wherein Weasel channels Mr Wizard


Illustration pinched from this fun introduction to optical microscopy

Refractive index is a measure of how much light is bent — or, to put it another way, slowed down — by a transparent or translucent material. Light moves through water 1.33 times slower than it does through a vacuum, so the refractive index of water is 1.33.

Oh, half y’all are physics geeks. You know this. I only know it because when I was a kid I thought I could invent an iridescent surface by combining painting materials with greatly different refractive indices. A thin layer of something on top of a thick layer of something with a very different RI will make a rainbow. Soap bubbles. Motor oil in a water puddle.

I failed, but let’s not dwell on that.

All this is by way of introduction to this cool video I ran across this evening. Because they have identical refractive indices, this is what happens when you dip a borosilicate rod (i.e. what Pyrex used to be before they changed the formula) into a beaker of cooking oil or glycerin.

I feel terribly, terribly cheated that real scientists don’t sit around doing this kind of shit all day.

sock it to me

February 1, 2016 — 10:12 pm
Comments: 18

Dead Pool Round 82: Abe, we hardly knew ye

Abe Vigoda. At last. Howard Devore took the dick, but do shout out in the comments if you’d ever picked ol’ Abe before. You won’t win a prize or nothing, I’m just curious how many different people tried it with such a long-running favorite.

A short round, but not the shortest ever. Let’s get busy…

0. Rule Zero (AKA Steve’s Rule): your pick has to be living when picked. Also, nobody whose execution date is circled on the calendar. Also, please don’t kill anybody. Plus (Pupster’s Rule) no picking someone who’s only famous for being the oldest person alive.

1. Pick a celebrity. Any celebrity — though I reserve the right to nix picks I never heard of (I don’t generally follow the Dead Pool threads carefully, so if you’re unsure of your pick, call it to my attention).

2. We start from scratch every time. No matter who you had last time, or who you may have called between rounds, you have to turn up on this very thread and stake your claim.

3. Poaching and other dirty tricks positively encouraged.

4. Your first choice sticks. Don’t just blurt something out, m’kay? Also, make sure you have a correct spelling of your choice somewhere in your comment. These threads get longish and I use search to figure out if we have a winner.

5. It’s up to you to search the thread and make sure your choice is unique. I’m waayyyy too lazy to catch the dupes. Popular picks go fast.

6. The pool stays open until somebody on the list dies. Feel free to jump in any time. Noobs, strangers, drive-bys and one-comment-wonders — all are welcome.

7. If you want your fabulous prize, you have to entrust me with a mailing address. If you’ve won before, send me your address again. I don’t keep good records.

8. The new DeadPool will begin 6pm WBT (Weasel’s Blog Time) the Friday after the last round is concluded.

The winner, if the winner chooses to entrust me with a mailing address, will receive an Official Certificate of Dick Winning and a small original drawing on paper suffused with elephant shit particles. Because I’m fresh out of fairy shit particles.

January 29, 2016 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 81

G’bye, Buddy


Well, well…Buddy Cianci died today. Probably the most corrupt politician I’ve lived under. When I first moved to Providence, there were dark rumors going around about him, and the following year he was arrested — for, if I remember correctly, kidnapping a state trooper, tying him to a chair and putting a cigar out on his chest.

Anyway, in or out of prison, the people of Rhode Island were happy to elect him over and over again. Six times. He was a much beloved figure, despite everything, not completely without reason. This obit catches the flavor of him pretty well.

Many thanks to reader Formerly Known as Skeptic for letting me know. And thanks to Buddy for giving me something to post about tonight — been out drinkin’ with the neighbors and just got in.

sock it to me

January 28, 2016 — 11:45 pm
Comments: 4

Insidious government is insidious


Dry January is a thing here. Or perhaps an attempted thing. It can be hard to tell how much of a public health campaign is genuine, how much it’s working and how much it’s just one more scolding voice in the howling cacophony of government nannying.

Dry January is funded by an organization called Alcohol Concern, which is a fake charity. Fake charities are a thing here, too.

Here’s how it works:

►Government wants people to, say, drink less
►Up pops a charity, say, Citizens Concerned that Government is not Doing Enough to Make People Drink Less
►All of CCGDEMPDL’s funding, somehow, comes from the government itself
►CCGDEMPDL spends the money lobbying government to do that thing government wanted to do in the first place

Ultimately, if it hangs in there long enough, CCGDEMPDL may get some corporate sponsors or even individual donors, but government remains its biggest benefactor. So it’s government lobbying government to do things government wants to do. Meanwhile, out go big wads of public money, in come a few more cushy jobs for cronies in the governing class.


I made it almost all the way through (my not entirely) Dry January before I discovered Ginuary! Business lobbying me to buy products so they can make money — that familiar old relationship seems downright wholesome by comparison.

sock it to me

January 27, 2016 — 8:49 pm
Comments: 13