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February 16, 2018



So, if Marion Hammer, that NRA republican c*nt, had been shot in the head a long fucking time ago, in the street, like the dog she is, how many children, with names like Meadow .... their parents having lovingly chosen those names for their newborns and dressed them for their first day in kindergarten, in a public school, an institution republican vermin want to kill, and perhaps later judged as volunteers dear Meadow's science fair project for a proud honorable mention ... would be innocently schlepping to school tomorrow morning, a little bored, a little lost, a little teenaged, and yet vividly alive, if not for c&nt Hammer.

Hammer's an abortionist, of the post-born variety.

She is a murderer.

She's a republican.

She will hang.

She'll be maybe 1,019,718th in line at the gallows.

i am obliged, even if only as something of a formality at this point, to note that the posting rules prohibit calls for the assassination of any person.

the posting rules also cite Naziism as a kind of ideological ne plus ultra, fwiw. they are almost 15 years old at this point, perhaps they are a reflection of a kinder, gentler, more innocent time.

that said - c'mon man, give it a rest. we love you dude, but you can't just use us as a place to vent your bile. you have better things to say, say those.

and all of that said, yes, hammer has made a mission and also no doubt a handsome living out of promoting the unfettered availability and use of instuments of death.

my guess is that Parkland has not altered her point of view in any way.

some people freaking love guns and everything about them. if someone exhibited the same enthusiasm about poisons, or biological toxins, or explosives, we'd be alarmed, and would no doubt do something about it.

go ahead and advertise some napalm for sale on craigslist. i hope your local coppers pay you a visit. you should hope so, too.

but guns - any kind of guns - are all good. they are celebrated.

it's perverse.

Perverse, indeed.



it's probably a coincidence that the current head of the Moon family also owns Karh Arms.

It's so f**ked up. Stranger than fiction.

Hey, Count. How about something on the state of Spring Training and the number of free agents still rattling around? Just for a little variety.

Yes, russell, I should not have pulled the trigger on that post.

Delete it if you wish.

Not meaning to pile on, but what Thor said to Bruce Banner in Thor Ragnarok

Hey, big guy. Sun's getting real low...


"During National Rifle Association annual conventions, when about 80,000 gun owners spend a few days focused on seminars, events, and meetings, America seems to be safer, new research suggests.

More specifically, the rate of firearm-related injuries when NRA members gather en masse falls by 20% nationwide, according to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine."
Gun injuries fall during NRA conventions, study says

Well, if you have the biggest gun enthusiasts spending the week in a gun-free zone....


You know you've got a problem when you have a call for Congress to shut down your policy (on Yemen in this case) from Bernie Sanders (noted arch conservative) and Mike Lee (flaming liberal):

You just don't get a more bi-partisan rejection than that!

thanks, count.

Since this is an open thread, does anyone else get stuck having to put information into a spreadsheet that is far better suited to being conveyed by a narrative in text?

What is it about spreadsheets, especially when you're talking about a relatively small amount of information that isn't inherently quantitative, and there isn't much in the way of interrelation between the elements? Can't people just read one friggin' paragraph about something?

And I always feel like I'm being asked what color comes between 7 and 8 when I'm trying to fill in the stupid boxes.

I think maybe it's an attempt to fashion something like a slide show. But without the negative connotations of making things ultra-simplistic.

And no, clearly some people do have an issue with reading a whole paragraph. (Let alone a multi-page briefing paper....)

Since this is an open thread, does anyone else get stuck...

Hey, there's always PowerPoint!


too long; try PPT

A disconcerting perspective on Brexit - not that I wasn't thinking along those lines all along, but it's nevertheless frightening to see it spelled out:


Hey, there's always PowerPoint!

And if that's not enough, create dynamic links between your spreadsheet data and your PowerPoint slides.

What really drives me nuts is they're asking for information they've always asked for, but we used to simply write a short narrative for each project. No one read any of it, of course, but it was simple, and I could present whatever facts as I saw fit by writing words explaining what the status was at a high level. I wasn't (literally!) boxed in by a bunch of weird questions that don't quite make sense to me.

Maybe I'll just put "N/A" everywhere. Then they can ask me what's happening, and I'll just tell them. Then they can fill in their stupid spreadsheet, since it's such good idea for something/someone.

No, don't put "N/A" everywhere. How about "see cell C17", where C17 has "see cell E83", etc. etc.

Well, they *could* ultimately lead to a "N/A".

On the subject of shooting rates during NRA conventions...what if the NRA national convention was combined with the NRA cruise? I hear that the Bermuda Triangle is especially nice for those.

s/NRA cruise/NRO cruise/

Interesting article, novakant, thanks.

...it was simple, and I could present whatever facts as I saw fit by writing words explaining what the status was at a high level. I wasn't (literally!) boxed in by a bunch of weird questions that don't quite make sense to me.

Maybe your real problem is with the questions and not the spreadsheet. ;-)

Of course, you may not want to listen to me, because I love spreadsheets almost as much as I love bread. I use them for all kinds of things they probably weren't meant for. But I hate questionnaires and polls, which always box you into inadequate spaces unless they involve the simplest of factoids.

My daughter is a writer, and she and I have been trying to write a novel together for years. It's mostly in my hands at this point (that's why it's not done), and I have almost everything about it in a spreadsheet except the actual prose. Outline, timeline, notes on maps I want to draw, lists of cross-references, family histories, village history, etc. etc.

On the Balloon-Juice writing threads, people often mention software they like that is designed to help authors manage big projects like novels. I tried installing one of those once but found it unintuitive and time-intensive just to set up. Finally I threw up my hands and said: what do I need this for, I have Excel!

I have almost everything about it in a spreadsheet except the actual prose.

In 5th grade, I got the one lesson that I actually remember (as opposed to merely knowing I must have learned) from grammar school: how to outline. I tend to use it for anything I am writing that is going to be more than a page long.

And it has the added bonus that if folds neatly into a PPT slide, if I'm required to produce something like that. Including putting the core idea of a paragraph or section into a short phrase that is, essentially, a bullet point.

Maybe your real problem is with the questions and not the spreadsheet. ;-)

Yeah. One large cell for each project requesting a paragraph describing the current status of the project. Then I’d have no problem with the spreadsheet!

you could write a project summary and put one word in each spreadsheet cell.

I use them for all kinds of things they probably weren't meant for.

do you... paint with them?



As a matter of fact, I do. Nothing like the artist at your link, but just playing around with math and color. I would like to do more of it, and more complex ones, but don't have time right now. Maybe when I retire, though admittedly at that point I will probably want some other environment than Excel. GIMP has a Python extension...but I'd have to learn some Python...and GIMP itself is anything but intuitive. We'll see.

Newton's method on x^4 = 1 (hat tip to James Gleick's Chaos):


Or some kaleidoscopes:


Or this one, which was a visual solution to a puzzle our boss once gave a bunch of us around the water cooler:

red and blue

Wow, JanieM.


i've written many fractal drawing programs in my day, but i would have never thought to do them in Excel!

here's my crowning achievement:

int x=0,c=0,a=60,_=a;for(float i=-20,o=0,O=0,l=0,j,p;j=O*O,p=l*l,

it prints the Mandelbrot set.

I met an archivist by the name of Mandelbrot over Christmas, and asked him if he was any relation. He said he was a cousin, but had no idea what the Mandelbrot set actually was. I, a non-mathematician, had to explain. All I could do was describe what the pictures looked like.....

the mathematical description completely fails to convey how awesome the thing looks when drawn with all the pretty colors.

I wrote my first Mandelbrot program in the mid-'80s. Took all night on a mini computer to fill the screen.

One thing I do have in common with the artist at cleek's link:

Starting a new hobby usually requires a hefty investment in both time and equipment, but when 77-year-old Tatsuo Horiuchi retired and wanted to take up painting, he passed on the pricey brushes, paint, and canvases, and decided to use an app already installed on his Windows PC: Microsoft Excel.

Since my job stopped being straightforward programming a long time ago, Excel/VBA was the only tool I had ready to hand when I wanted to start playing around. I'd go right on using it, except that Excel has a limit of 64000 unique cell formats. Even 256*256 (R and B, B and G, or whatever) exceeds that, never mind all three colors. So certain kinds of nuance and shading have limits...

P.S. I'm going to steal your crowning achievement and adapt it....

It wouldn't be the first time. ;-)

Crap..."your" meaning cleek's....

Time to focus on just one thing for a while, like work.

Another unexpected use of Excel I've seen was an animation of an internal combustion engine.

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