November 22, 2004

Damn kids, get off my lawn! [Open Thread]

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at November 22, 2004 1:50 PM

Last week's quote ("I am going to suggest that you think about biological warfare in terms of a TV show called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”) comes from a policy paper entitled Biological Warfare and the 'Buffy Paradigm' (pdf), which I found on Slacktivist. The paper is entirely serious, and uses Buffy to illustrate the flaws in the current US approach to bioterrorism.

The new quote is on the other end of the difficulty scale: Trival; 0.5 points.

Weekend notes: I cleaned the apartment, went to lab, played D&D, and finished System of the World. (This did not leave me time to watch Stanford get crushed like a bug.) I was a bit dubious when I picked up Quicksilver back in January, but the whole Baroque Cycle quite exceeded expectations, and I enjoyed it more than Cryptonomicon. (Comparisons to Snow Crash are a bit harder to make.) Neal Stephenson should be commended for actually bothering to write an ending this time, since he usually stops immediately after the climax. Anyway, it was a good series. Next up: China Mieville's Perdido Street Station

Today is the 41st anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.


( Happy Birthdaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!)

Posted by: Vanessa | November 22, 2004 2:27 PM

Happy Birthday, Arcane Gazebo! So, gotten Halflife 2 yet or should we send it to you as a b-day present? :)

Posted by: Zifnab | November 22, 2004 3:07 PM

This quote's source is one of Sensei Barazi's favorite movies. It is also the source of the infamous quote, "Those aren't pillows!"

Posted by: Joshua Hime | November 22, 2004 4:42 PM

Also, excepting that it would confuse the quote of the week, may I suggest changing "Get off my lawn!" to "get out of my damn bushes!"

Posted by: Joshua Hime | November 22, 2004 4:44 PM

Happy Birthday!

Um, besides that... I can't remember the last time I actually knew one of your damn quotes... I think I thought I knew a couple times, but I'm pretty sure I've *never* actually known right off.


Stephenson's writing style actually has a self-similar structure--he often neglects to write the ending to the book as a whole, just like (at least from what I recall from Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash) how, when writing a particular scene, he only writes up to the point where "any further details should be obvious and/or unimportant", and moves on.

Oh, and in case you were wondering if Half Life 2 was any good... I finished it on Saturday. Aside from technical complaints (mainly Steam being stupid and long loading times), the game is excellent from start to finish. Somewhere fairly early on, I found myself saying, "gee, this is like the most fun thing ever!" Later, I kept saying, "no... *this* is the most fun thing ever!"

Perhaps the best way to sum up my feelings about the game is by saying that, while I was playing it, I tended to be very loud. (OMG, it took my three tries to spell "loud". My brain is melting!)


Posted by: Lemming | November 22, 2004 6:53 PM

Thanks, everybody!

Zifnab: As a matter of fact, I don't have Half-Life 2 yet... :)

Lemming: That's true about Stephenson now that I think about it; he only writes about what he finds interesting. The Baroque Cycle follows several characters over about 50 years, but he skips over large blocks of time, and even some important events which the reader is filled in on through conversations that happen later. (Although sometimes this enhances the impact, like hearing Bob Shaftoe's encounter with Louis Angelesey as told by the latter.) I'm also reminded of the scene in Snow Crash which ends with something like "...and the rest was just a standard chase scene."

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | November 22, 2004 11:44 PM

So... have a mailing address that would work? :)

I agree about Stephenson, and most of the time i'm completely ok with that... but some stuff needs the endings! :) System of the World was great though, absolutely no complaints.

Posted by: Zifnab | November 23, 2004 12:44 AM

I'm always more careful around what for some is a dreaded day, but it seems you've likely had your shock therapy above, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!:)

Posted by: Mylanda | November 23, 2004 1:37 PM

Oh, I recently finished The Night of the Dance. Very good. :) One part that was weird was the repeated use of 'leif', in places where it appeared to have meant 'like'. Is that a common speech pattern in texas? I really enjoyed the use of language throughout the book, but that one word kept throwing me off cause I didn't recognize the connection.

. o O (Mailing address?)

Posted by: Zifnab | November 23, 2004 8:21 PM

Glad you liked Night of the Dance; Scared Money is even better. :) I haven't (or at least don't recall having) heard anyone say "leif" the way it's used in the book, but it may be just that the specific Texans I know don't use it. I believe my dad modeled Spur's speech patterns after certain people he knew. Maybe I can direct him to this thread so he can enlighten us. :)

Mailing address:
1385 Shattuck Ave Apt 106
Berkeley, CA 94709

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | November 23, 2004 9:36 PM

Okay guys "lief" (remember, i before e except after c) was once commonly used in the South and dates back at least to Shakespeare. In all honesty I don't remember anyone using it much other than my grandfather (who died in '76) so I expect it is truly archaic by now. It means "gladly".

Faulkner has a character in AS I LAY DYING who says "I'd liefer"- as in I would rather. But that is the only instance I have ever seen of that particular idiom- and since that was set in Mississippi I'd liefer ignore it.

Glad you liked the book Zinfab.

Posted by: Dad | November 24, 2004 5:41 PM

According to the OED (no link since it's subscription-only) "lief" dates back all the way to Beowulf, and comes from the same Germanic roots as the word "love".

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | November 29, 2004 4:40 PM
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