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Dead Pool Round 112: Now! With that new kitten smell!

This round goes to KMM with Aretha Franklin. She was only 76 (you can tell you’re getting old when you can say things like “only 76”), but I heard it was pancreatic cancer. Mean bastard.

On with the show…!

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.

August 17, 2018 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 89

Progress report

We’re doing fine, thanks. Growing and getting bolder. But there’s an unforeseen snag.

When we explained to the cat rescue people that one of our cats was crazy territorial and aggressive (that would be Mad Jack), they said the thing to do was leave kitten in his cage in a central location. Eventually the other cats would get used to the smell and sight of him and decide he’s no danger.

We got through the initial meeting. There was some hissing, maybe even a growl from the adult cats. Baby trilling and meowing and purring and wanting to make friends in the worst way.

After that…the old cats simply refuse to come into the room with him. It’s the living room…the place we all usually hang out. Even the two grownup cats who hate each other obey a truce in the living room. But now they’re hanging out in the back room or upstairs or outside and refuse to deal with the little one at all.

They’ve gone on strike.

He badly needs to come out of that cage and leap around and do kitten things, but we simply cannot trust Jack until we see them together more.

What do?

August 16, 2018 — 9:32 pm
Comments: 18

Worst case of coffee table rings ever

This again. Though we’ve had some rain now in our little corner of Jollye Olde, it’s still pretty dry and droughty everywhere. And we know what that means: 1,500 newly discovered archaeological sites poking out of the dry grass.

The one in the picture puzzles me. The article describes it as “a circle of pits, and later burial mounds and traces of a settlement.” But the circles look too neat and round to be super ancient. And they overlap so much! This was a very busy place over a very long time. For some reason.

‘Retha Franklin has joined the choir eternal. KMM takes the dick. You know what that means: NEW DEADPOOL FRIDAY.

August 15, 2018 — 8:03 pm
Comments: 19


This room is in the attic of a Seventeenth Century stately home in North Yorkshire. There’s an old, old legend that a woman called Mad Mary was once locked up in it for life.

In 1839, Charlotte Brontë was working nearby as a governess. She toured the house, heard the legend and BOOM, Jane Eyre.

The staircase (at right) was paneled over in 1880 and the room was lost. It was only rediscovered in 2004 when the current owner began major renovations. They have supposedly left it just as they found it.

Here are a couple of articles about it in the Telegraph and the Independent. The story is several years old, but I only ran across it today and was sure you would love it.




August 14, 2018 — 9:14 pm
Comments: 10

Ah, that felt good

This is a scene from the village fete of a very posh, very beautiful little settlement we visited this weekend. It’s the thing where you throw wet sponges at some poor bastard in the stocks, no doubt in aid of some charity or other. And, yes, he’s wearing a mask of Donald Trump.

People who inject politics where it doesn’t belong. Am I right?

It’s one of our favorite fetes. Rich people throw out the damnedest thing. Last time, we got an enormous (if not absolutely complete) Minton tea service for, like, £5. No great triumphs this year, but we got some good books and some jam from the Bible society and a sausage on a roll.

I debated saying something to Trump Mask Guy for harshing my mellow. I’d regret it forever if I didn’t, youknow? so as we were leaving, I walked up and whispered in his ear, “I voted for that man, and I have never regretted it.”

Couldn’t see his face 🙁

August 13, 2018 — 9:35 pm
Comments: 23

What do I need to learn more about…?

Bought myself a pair of bluetooth headphones so I can cordlessly listen to something interesting while I do all this boring housework. I’ve paired them up with my old phone — the one I baptized in the toilet. Helpful hint: old cellphones make perfectly good wifi devices after you take the phone chip out.

I’ve been listening to podcasts and YouTubes, which I find a much better work aid than music. I’ve got a good selection of English history, true crime, ghost stories (I’m as psychic as a potato, but I love me a good ghost story).

I’m kind of deficient in the sciences — I’ve found a few, but I’m not wild about any of them. The one about gut microbes is short and infrequent. The big mainstream science ones are so far all NPR-ish and twee, if you know what I mean.

Any recommendations? Not just science, I mean. Anything talky-talky you like to listen to.

Not working all the time, though. Tomorrow, we have two fetes and a barbecue. Have a good weekend!

p.s. I found my cache of NRA t-shirts. Woot!

August 10, 2018 — 9:38 pm
Comments: 21

The best part of any major housekeeping operation…

Is finding all the superfluous, stray, half-empty and out-of-date booze, and ‘cleaning it up’.

I’m all about sacrificing for my fambly.

August 9, 2018 — 9:47 pm
Comments: 25

Weasel versus hair


I got this thing in the mail today. What’s even sadder is, I was kind of excited about it.

It’s a rubber brush, good for tweezing cat hair out of carpets. So I’m told.

I’ve been reading ‘helpful housecleaning tips’ websites. Which is pretty seriously out of character.

Have I mentioned my cousin is coming to visit in a few weeks?


August 8, 2018 — 9:48 pm
Comments: 14


Five thousand years ago — like, very nearly when they think Stonehenge was built — and for five hundred years afterward, the monument was used as a burial site. They’ve known this for a long time. Excavations in the early Twentieth C uncovered lots of bone fragments that were, in an unusually wise move for the time, reburied for later generations to examine.

That’s us, with our fancy pants machines. The bodies were cremated, so there’s no DNA analysis or anything like that. But they can do that new thing where they analyze the strontium signature to tell where a person’s from. No, I don’t really understand how that works.

Well, in this case, because of the condition of the fragments, they can only tell where the person spent the last ten years of his (or her) life.

This is the interesting bit. Of the 25 individuals they’ve identified, 15 came from the area around Stonehenge, and 10 came from West Wales. Yeah, where the bluestones come from — those very early stones in the henge. The ones they’re always trying to figure out how the hell they moved them so far.

They think they’ve identified both men and women, and they say high-status individuals — though you have to wonder if that last bit is speculation, unless there’s something they can tell about diet or bone wear.

The story has appeared in several places right now, because the studies are new, but here it is from Science News.

I love this stuff. And don’t even start on me with the druids. Druids were later, probably.

August 7, 2018 — 9:44 pm
Comments: 9

That there’s a fox

I knew they’d bred foxes to be tame in Russia, but I didn’t realize it was part of a deliberate scientific study. They bred friendly foxes to friendly foxes and aggressive foxes to aggressive foxes and now (in a process they probably didn’t imagine when they started out sixty years ago) they’ve been able to sequence both genomes and compare.

There are about a hundred gene differences between the two groups of foxes, but they zeroed in on one gene in particular — one that is associated with with autism and Alzheimer’s in humans. That bit isn’t relevant, I just thought it was weird and interesting.

The thing I thought was cool: as the fox generations became friendlier, they developed things like white spots, floppy ears, curly tails. Physical characteristics we associate with domestic animals.

A NatGeo article about the study is here, which links to the actual study.

August 6, 2018 — 9:08 pm
Comments: 9