TNET 42: Clamp With Style

I would not be able to invest this much effort into a tool, but it is nice to see that someone does.

Open thread, talk whatever you want, avoid being the exit end of a digestive tract.

Previous thread.


  1. says

    Gorgeous. Not anything Id be using to work with…

    Folks, I’m at my wits’ end on what to do with my BFF. Now, you might say that my wits’ end is not that long anyway, but I really have no clue. I told you before, she’s single, the first lockdown was hard for her, and we’re sliding into localish lockdownish territory again. My whole state is in “red (more than 50 new infections for 100.000 inhabitants within 7 days). Being a small state, some local clusters will do that. In my county it was one large funeral, which shouldn’t have been allowed, but was perfectly legal, and now we cannot celebrate the little one’s birthday because 25 km away lots of people caught Corona. That isn’t fair, and I’m angry as well, at the politicians who allowed and encouraged that behaviour, at the people who then thought it was a really good idea to hold such a large funeral, and at the politicians again who now drastically limit our private lives while we can still go to a pubs and restaurants and indoor concerts. I get that. But she? She is now at the level where she thinks that all measures were and are useless, because the numbers just dwindled with the good weather and now rise with the bad weather. Now, while the weather does play a role, it does not explain why countries much more to the south of us started to see a huge increase in cases much earlier, nor why Germany is still doing relatively well. but what am I telling you, you are sensible people.
    She just wants this all to be over. Somebody to have a solution. I’m glad she’s too smart to turn a Covidiot, but she’s really losing it. She no longer even hears what people are saying. Yesterday we met in our friends’ garden, had a lovely (though cold) afternoon with baked potatoes, blankets and a long walk and of course we talked about what’s happening and how this will affect our friend group and we said that if the hard restrictions are in place at New Year’s Eve (No more than 10 people from maximum 2 households), we’ll just split: Family A and B are parents and daughter plus family, so they can celebrate together, and she comes to our place and we celebrate together.
    At that point she broke out in tears, asking us if we realised that this would mean that she’d be alone at Christmas and New Year’s Eve? Like, we hadn’t just said the exact opposite? We repeated that she’s always welcome. She can move in with us, something we already offered during the first lockdown, only then she wouldn’t come because she was afraid of killing us all with Covid… But she’s so lost in her misery that she won’t even do the things that would help her.

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 4

    The only way I can see her making sense would be that she doesn’t want to be alone in Xmas and New Year’s Eve but doesn’t want to celebrate them in the family way, but even that is a stretch. I wish I knew a way to pull her out of the darkness, if time and the amounts and kinds of socialization that are possible now aren’t sufficient, but I don’t, really.

    While it’s been claimed that online/teleconferencing doesn’t provide the kind of reinforcement of mental well-being that face-to-face sessions do, I feel that the job hunting course (that the unemployment office offered me) with online group sessions made me feel better, people were nice and I felt better about myself. Also, some other online “coffee break” sessions have been nice.

  3. lumipuna says

    How lucky it is when you arrive at the dentist’s office five minutes late, and they call you in ten minutes late.

    And you can afford private dental care in the first place (reportedly, there’s a huge covid-related backlog of undone dental work in Finland, mainly from last spring, and it seems to be mainly an issue in public dental care for some reason).

    And then the dentist finds a deep cavity in a worn-out tooth that was going to be removed anyway.

    I naturally lack three of the usual 16 adult teeth in my upper jaw. One is a missing molar, two are missing incisors. One of my upper jaw baby molars refused to shed, so it was removed in my late teens to help the underlying adult tooth come out. Another baby molar was simply sitting in a gap, with nothing to push it out. Recently, it had been badly worn out, and now I finally had it removed. It was an easy operation, as far as tooth removal goes.

    I guess now I’m finally dentally adult. Tooth fairy charged me just short of 100 euro for the removal and roughly same amount for the preceding examination.

  4. says

    Ice Swimmer
    Yeah, online face to face interactions are the one thing we can add to our list. We’re also planning spontaneous open air get togethers in parks and such. Nothing in the Covid regulations OR good common sense says we cannot just go for a walk together and each of us brings a thermos. I also finally gave in and asked my brother in law for advice, breaking all “you’ve got a therapist in your family, what do you do now” etiquette. We’ll just drop Covid as a topic, try to do as many things together as possible and see where it goes.

    I was lucky to get my major dental work done over summer. It was scheduled for April and the it got cancelled and eating while missing a middle molar on either die was no fun.
    The little one needed to have two milk teeth removed as well. The adult teeth did break through, but behind the milk teeth. I always called her my little shark, whose teeth grow in rows, but it was no use. She’s got braces as well, and I’m sorry for the day she’ll have to have some teeth removed to make space.

  5. lumipuna says

    Giliell -- You mean you had both sides of the mouth in some emergency dental condition, and difficulty accessing a dentist? I’m sorry, that sounds scary in addition to uncomfortable.

  6. says

    Oh no, it wasn’t an emergency. It was partly my fault. Some years ago I had a molar removed on my left side, and I never got around to having it replaced. It wasn’t even the money, it was my intense dislike of dentists and some mild trauma from my wisdom tooth removal. So I had resorted to mostly chewing on b by right. There I had an old crown. Occasionally that crown would fall out, always taking a bit of the tooth with it. The dentist would reattach it, reminding me that I needed to get that shit fixed so indeed at the start of the year I started the process: filling out the application form for my health insurance, choosing my variety, waiting for the OK from my health insurance, getting their OK, getting an appointment. About three weeks before the appointment the old crown finally gave up the ghost. But three weeks was OK. But then Covid came and all major dental work was postponed for several months. I wasn’t in pain, but I had quite a hard time eating shit that requires actual chewing.

  7. lumipuna says

    OK, thanks for clarification.

    Speaking of dental procrastination, I was supposed to have a 2-year checkup about exactly one year ago, but forgot and maybe just felt too lazy during the winter months. Then, since covid and the stories of clogged dentistry services, I’d still be delaying if the tooth hadn’t started feeling slightly sore.

  8. Jazzlet says

    Can you make it clear you are expecting her for the holidays by asking things of her as well as by saying she should come to you? So maybe discuss what she might contribute to the feasts or whatever, so she knows you are counting on her presence in a more visceral way than just (not) hearing the invite. I don’t know if she’d think you were just exploiting her … I hope the outdoor get togethers help.

    Rather to my amazement I have not only had a telephone appointment with the consultant about the growing lump on my left ring finger, but I now have an MRI appointment for it to be scanned in detail. The consultant is pretty sure he knows what it is, but the ultrasound I had before COVID wasn’t sufficiently informative, and the lump has grown more since them as well as both becoming more painful, and affecting the sense of touch above it on about a third of my finger. He thinks it is a giant cell tumour ie not malignant, but I think isn’t sure whether to leave it or to try to remove it, apparently they tend to grow back so removal may be pointless.

    We were bad and went away for a long weekend with friends, and I am glad we did, it was so good seeing them. It was wonderful cooking for each other and eating each others meals, something we haven’t been able to do all summer. Jake was thrilled to be with us all together and loved having other people to throw sticks for him, he wasn’t so impressed with them collecting wood to burn!

    But then we came back to the shitstorm of the way the Governemnt are trying to make the bad deal they are giving Greater Manchester (Labour) Mayor Andy Burnham’s fault when even previously uber-loyalists like my Conservative MP said attempting to get the Governmeent to listen was “like talking to a brick wall”, and all of his local colleagues agree. The way they “negotiated” then said “Yah boo we’re not even going to give you what we offered” is bad enough, but what the hell do they thinkk anyone like the EU or anyone we are trying to do trade deals will take from that? Especially on top of their admitted willingness to break international law when they think it’s “necessary”. Fucking idiots the lot of them.

  9. StevoR says

    The Aussie TV show ‘Planet America’ just had a great interview w Mary Trump. Sadly not finding it or the extended version of it that was promised online (esp youtube) yet.

    Meanwhile, in case anyone was wondering and apparently this idea has been doing the rounds, no, the giant meteor* isn’t going to save it for 2020. Phil Plait has a good debunking here :

    on the not-so-new idea of an asteroid hitting before the USA’s election specifically 2018 VP1 which is firstly, too small to actually do more than produce a dramatic lightshow and secondly, not going to hit Earth anyhow merely fly reasonably close to it..

    We do however have the Orionid metor shower visible for pre-dawn skies like 4 am -- 5 am here :

    and a few incl some double asteroid near fly pasts of our planet to look forward to as well :

    and this close pass does give us some opportunities to do some interesting science potentially so there’s those.

  10. says

    I voted. Yesterday I did the ballot research and filled out the ballot, this morning I tried to take it to the dropbox at City Hall. Which turned out to be harder than expected; the whole lane including the loop to access the box was blocked for an unspecified “special event”. But Paul found a place to wait and I walked back.

    So I voted. If I can get Kitty to do her ballot before Saturday, I’ll take hers to the box on Saturday. Emily has mailed hers from Scotland. Paul’s planning to vote in person once early voting starts on the 30th. I think he’s out of his mind because polling places will be mask-optional in California, but I’m just a silly old woman, what do I know.

  11. StevoR says

    My nightmare scenario for the USA’s election and, through its consequences and influences and impacts, the rest of our world.
    Trump cheats his way into staying in power despite another actual election loss.

    I fear Trump voters will all vote on the election day and intimidate (& worse?) the other non-Trump voters trying to vote then. That they’ll then claim “victory” even when -- because of all the many more Biden voters voting early -- they’ve actually lost in a landslide then try to stop the count and throw out or ignore or suppress -- or all three -- the Biden majority. That with a packed Supreme Court and all the Repub governors and officials, they”ll rig it so Trump can stay in power by foul means.

    Because he sure cannot win if the election is free and fair.

    But will it be? We’ll see. I fear this could get very messy and ugly very fast indeed and, yes, even potentially end in Civil War.
    I hope not. I fear so.

  12. says

    Yeah, i think this is the last chance for the USA for many, many years. I really can’t do with the people who are “but Biden…”. I don’t think I know any US leftist who is “Yay, Biden”, but having the choice between some milquetoast classic (neo)liberal and a fully fledged fascist, the right thing to do should be as obvious as the mask in your face. Oh, wait…

    Family life in Covid times.
    I’m doing the shopping for my parents again.
    My mum sends me a shopping list via WhatsApp.
    I dutifully buy everything on the list.
    My flip-phone dad leaves a message on my answering machine where the pizza is, that was not on the shopping list…

    Good for you and Emily. I don’t understand Paul either…

  13. says

    Giliell, all the hugs. I did a lot of shopping for my mum after my dad died -- she made up cutesy-poo names for things and I had to guess what she meant. Also, there was always at least one very important thing she didn’t put on the list, but I still should’ve known she needed it.

    As for Paul, well, he’s the family extrovert. He loves going to crowded places and people-watching and talking to random strangers he’s in line with. Kitty gave me her sealed ballot; I’ll drop it off when I go out tomorrow.

  14. says

    I absolutely miss the times when my gran was still alive and mobile enough for us to go shopping together. I’d take her to Aldi like once a month, she’d have a long list of things, and she’d be self-conscious about buying so much, which was cute. And one thing I could count on was that there#d be something missing on her list, which she would absolutely remember as soon as we were waiting at the check out, which meant that I’d sprint through the whole shop and hopefully make it back in time before it was time to put things into the trolley again (there’s nobody who packs your shopping in Germany).
    It must be a difficult time for Paul then.
    Well, my BFF seems to be calming down. We all met yesterday, then she stayed for dinner, so she knows she won’t be alone for however long it takes. We mostly managed to avoid the subject “Covid”. problem is, I’m not in the emotional state to debate it calmly and rationally. I’m worried sick about school starting again tomorrow (while she is working in a safe office) and I am therefore severely lacking patience.

  15. says

    I got up at 5 AM. Why, you ask? Because Paul decided that today is Manly Man Vision Quest Day, and he wanted to leave before dawn. This is what he does around his birthday every year; it’s part of the whole birthday experience. As with everything this year, he had to modify his plans. Instead of driving far away and spending the night in a campground or at a cheap motel, he’s just going to drive north for a while, find a truck stop for breakfast, then sit in a wilderness and think big thoughts. Then he’ll drive home again. So we were both up early. Shadow’s happy.

    Giliell, I’m glad your BFF is calming down. Best of luck with school!

  16. lumipuna says

    Shit is weird.

    Three months ago, after lengthy procrastination, I started a personal PayPal account, mainly to support my favorite blogging networks and international news outlets, For that, I shelled out some personal info and my debit card number. I even tried to read the highlights of the user agreement.

    My donations caused 1.99 euro transaction fees specifically and only when I donated to PZ Myers. I never figured out the logic in that pattern. Overall, not too expensive I guess?

    Now, the account is asking me to verify my identity by downloading an electronic copy of passport or other formal ID (lol what even are those ???? sounds like a security risk?). Unless I do that, my account will be apparently locked at some soon to come date. At least now I was able to spend the ca. 20 euro I had there as a leftover stash.

  17. StevoR says

    @ 12. The Aussie TV show ‘Planet America’ just had a great interview w Mary Trump. Sadly not finding it or the extended version of it that was promised online (esp youtube) yet.

    Still not found the extended interview but the full show is on youtube here :

    With the Mary Trump interview starting at the 10 minutes mark here.

  18. StevoR says

    On an Astronomically rare Hallloween Blue Moon :

    Phil Plait on the latest, just posisbly, might be depends on a lot of factors that we don’t know about potentially habitable new exoplanet -- TOI-700d :

    It does orbit a red dwarf which could rule it out though given those stars tend to flare and may well destroy atmospheres of any earth-like world around them early on. Though again, we’ don’t really know.

    Plus on why even conservatives are voting against Trump and a summary of some of the worst lowllghts of his term :

  19. StevoR says

    Fernandez’s Sword-nosed Bat (Lonchorhina fernandezi) :

    is an example of a horror story forcreated by Halloween fora harmless -even beneficial species of bat that humans (esp Westerners here*) think is frightening and a problem for us and yet we’re actually the one’s attacking and destroying it for no good reasons.

    Despite it being Venezuela’s only endemic bat species -- found only in a south western region of that nation -- and a very remarkable one in appearance -- apart from its wikipage & IUCN Red List page ( www (dot) iucnredlist (dot) org/species/12271/22039142 ) this has been one of the hardest species for me to find information on. This is a species that has suffered catastrophically from Vampire bats -- not from competition with them (well not as far as I can tell) but rather from our hatred for them and confusion with them. This has resulted in them being destroyed by poison, explosives and gassing in their caves due to people not knowing or caring that they are actually a different species and not the Vampire bats which feed on -- but don’t kill -- rancher’s and farmers livestock. Habitat destruction for logging is also a key factor in this species being driven to the brink of extinction.

    The smallest in its genus of Sword-nosed bats (Lonchorhina) a class featuring, well, as suggested a long sword like “leaf nose” which scientists think has evolved to help in echolocation, it seems little studied and, in fact, the only one’s ever found are all males! There seems to be virtually no photos of this species available and only around 150 individuals of them remain meaning this elusive, harmless -- indeed, as an insectivore beneficial to us -- species could be vanishing almost unknown in the darkness of our own human ignorance and fear.

    See also :


    which notes :

    Human–wildlife conflicts create collateral damage when people attempt to control one problematic species and inadvertently kill others. I observed a collateral damage problem in southern Costa where people seeking to control common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) indiscriminately killed sympatric, non‐target bat species (e.g., by baiting bats with poisoned bananas). To learn about this phenomenon and its causes, I developed and implemented a questionnaire based on the theory of planned behavior. In a sample of 504 men, 14 percent had individually killed 1–115 bats within the past 5 yr, 68 percent had killed bats as children, and 27 percent said that they would kill bats that they found roosting on their farms, even if they could not identify the species. Men who intended to indiscriminately kill bats thought that it would reduce disease transmission to livestock, whereas men who did not intend to kill bats thought that killing bats would reduce ecosystem functioning and/or damage nature. Ultimately, men were more likely to intend to indiscriminately kill bats if they knew less about bat natural history and/or had previously suffered vampire bats attacking their livestock. Men knew more about bat natural history and were less likely to harbor indiscriminate bat‐killing intentions if they had experienced some form of environmental education. My results suggest that environmental education will be most effective for bat conservation when combined with farmer support to ameliorate perceived livelihood risks associated with vampire bats.

    Showing how education and raising awareness of the plight of some species can be cruical in saving them.

    * I gather that in Chinese & Tibetan culture bats are seen as lucky and among other things their wings inspired the shape of their Junk’s sails.

  20. StevoR says

    ^ Fix : is an example of a horror story created by Halloween for a harmless -even beneficial species of bat

  21. says

    Urgh, I can’t hear election news. I’m not in a good place right now. I can’t even imagine how my Murican friends must feel.
    Covid stress is currently taking a bit toll on me.

  22. says

    Giliell, I feel you. I would ignore the US elections if it were not for the fact that when America sneezes, the whole world catches a cold.

    I hope the package arrives soon enough and that it will cheer you up a bit. I am pissed that it did not arrive yet, it was supposed to be express delivery. But I must stress to you to be very, very careful with the contents. I just bled all over my work without knowing where I have cut myself -- I had to search, because I did nto feel a thing. I must come up with some better idea on how to hanlde sharp blades during work, my current way is clearly not sufficient.

  23. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly and Giliell, thirded on the U.S. election news or lack thereof. Fuck the covid (it rhymes with the NWA song).

    Charly @ 26

    Would mail gloves designed for cooks and butchers be too clumsy for the final sharpening and packing?

  24. says

    Charly, I know what you mean. I once cut myself with my beloved Finish knife and I only noticed because broccoli isn’t supposed to be red.

    Well, we got new regulations for school, again. I’ll post a teacher’s Corner tomorrow.

  25. says

    @Ice Swimmer, packing and sharpening are not a problem with regard to safety, problem is shaping and finishing the handle. During that time I need to handle the knife by the blade a lot even if the blade is not fully sharpened, it can be partially sharp due to the polishing process.

    Besides being clunky, mail gloves would destroy the sharp edge and the rings would make indentations and scratches in the wood. Not to mention that they do have loose bits and I am doing still a lot of work on belt-grinder, buffer, and drill -- i.e. fast spinning machinery. So gloves or loose clothing of any kind are a bad idea and I won’t wear them no matter what anyone says. It is better to grind a piece of your nail or skin away -- it grows back -- than to have whole finger ripped off. Tight fitting kevlar gloves might work, just might -- but they are still clunky.

    I will probably make some impromptu simple universal sheaths from bad/old leather. That should work better than my current method and it adds a few mm thickness to the blade so I can grab it more firmly.

  26. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly @ 29

    I see. The handling sheaths, made of leather and possibly reinforced with wood sound like a good idea.

    For the first time in my life (almost 46 years), I’ve had a tooth removed by a dentist. The first cavity I’ve ever had weakened the tooth and it cracked and had to be pulled off. The only pain the dentist caused during the process, (apart from slight the injection pain for the local anesthesia) came when she accidentally pulled my beard. Now the gum is a bit achey.

  27. voyager says

    I read that this morning. Brilliant and I think Dylan would agree.
    (I must admit that particular Guiliani video did cheer me up, but I still have plenty anxiety about the American situation.)

    Ice Swimmer
    I hope the removal heals up quickly. Will you be getting a bridge?

  28. Ice Swimmer says

    voyager @ 32

    The tooth that was removed was the second premolar, I don’t want to have a bridge unless it’s necessary. If the neighbouring teeth are in a good condition, destroying them for the bridge doesn’t feel like a good idea. So far, the healing process has been ok, no great pain, the blood clot has stayed in place and the gum seems to be closing.

    I’m wishing the best for you and Jack!

  29. voyager says

    Ice Swimmer
    I’m glad to hear that it’s healing up, and I hope you can manage to eat well without the bridge.
    Take good care of your teeth.
    I’ve lost all of mine, and now have a full set of dentures, Eating is not as much fun anymore.

    4.5 hours is a long time. Congrats on your brave survival.
    t’s amazing how much we take for granted being wired and connected. Most of my life was spent without computers or the internet, but now I rely on it daily.

  30. says

    Good healing, Ice Swimmer

    4.5 hours? Chigau, I’m proud of you.

    Me, I’m over there pretending to be a plant or so. School is crazy right now. Not just the ministry not protecting us, but dumping more and more work on our heads, but also kids and parents going crazy. Apart from all the usual fights we had a father storming into class one day beating a kid to having to inform CPS that they need to remove another kid from home NOW because she’s beaten black and blue. Which is exactly the reason why I don’t want schools to close again completely, because hers is a case that we missed during lockdown and could only get things into motion once we figured out what was happening when we went to hybrid teaching in May.

  31. says

    Oh, i forgot the kid who is all acting out because his mother finally told him that she won’t take him back (his father has long made that clear). On a certain level he already knew that. But oh fuck…

  32. Ice Swimmer says

    voyager, Giliell

    Thanks, I will take care of my remaining teeth. All of my grandparents have had dentures, but they have never talked about how it feels to have them, apart from the only remaining one complaining about his new dentures he got last year fitting badly at first (AFAIK, they now fit OK).

    Chigau @ 34

    I’m hoping my residential and mobile internet won’t fail simultaneously. 4.5 hours is a long time. I’m going to have my water cut off for up to 10 hours on Thursday, but I think I’ll make do with a few buckets of fresh water. One cannot replace the internet connection with buckets of data, anymore.

    Giliell @ 36

    Take care of yourself (including but not limited to regular watering as well as sufficient light and darkness). On a more serious note, the ministry should give you the protective gear and resources, it’ll be cheaper that way in the long run.

  33. voyager says

    That sounds very stressful. It’s a shame teachers need to act as social workers. Take good care of yourself.

  34. StevoR says

    @ ^ voyager : Seconded and extended to everyone here. Please be safe and get through this. Things generally are looking pretty ugly and scary now but there are green shoots growing on black trunks and hopes rising with good reasons tiothink things can soon turn that metaphorical corner and improve. Whether vaccines or Biden and La Ninas and more..


    Well, the iconic Arecibo Dish which still does good science is struggling and in a very worying an increasingly dilapidated state :

    Australia’s supposed “leaders”are just a misogynist drunken disgrace esp Christian Porter and Tudge; member so of our ruling class, folks as seen here :

    On Four Corners : Inside the Canberra bubble: Liberal ministers’ relationships with staffers prompted ‘bonk ban’ altrhough arguably our PM’s Climate Science Denialism and love for fossil fuels is ultimately even more corrosive and toxic for our collective futures.. (Yes, I like a beer or three myself on occasion but still..)

    Plus palate cleanser a good news story here:

    on saving a beaut little frog species

  35. StevoR says

    @ chigau (違う) :

    I hope y’all have seen this

    Yes and loved it. Thankyou and seconding that recommendation.

    Thinking recommendations, just stumbled on this guy’s youtube channel Crime Pays but Botany doesn’t :

    Which might not be to everyone’s taste and WARNING : SWEARING (lots and lots and lots of) and narrated by a guy who is quite a character but also who really knows his botany and geology and more. That Pholisma sonorae (sandfood) is also one odd and amazing plant.

    One of so many that this channel has some great if NSFW-y clips about.

    Oh and in astronomical news this :

    Via Phil Plait the “Bad Astronomer” is not just historic but absolutely staggering in scale. When a kilonova could be a magnetar birthing fusion of neutron stars.

  36. Desert Son, OM says

    Hello, Never-Ending Thread and Affinityites,

    20th November: Caine’s birthday.

    Here’s to the memory of one of the best teachers I ever had, with special thought for Rick and those who were close to her. A part of her life and work lives on in this space, cultivated by those now tending Affinity’s digital garden, bloggers and commenters alike. Thanks to you all.

    Greetings and consensual pounce-hugs (if desired) to Giliell and chigau from this ragged and itinerant visitor.

    There’s a lovely dog in my care with back pain flaring up and difficulty walking today, so I am ensconced with her, administering meds and the gentlest scritches, nuzzles, and all loving kindness.

    Affinity, I hope this finds you all delightfully surprised by something beautiful.

    Still learning,


  37. voyager says

    Desert Son, OM
    Thanks. We’ve declared Nov. 20th as Founder’s Day and have a post up to celebrate the day.
    I hope the dog in your care finds comfort. Please give him a gentle bit of love from me. My boy Jack has also been suffering from the pains of old joints and it’s heartbreaking.

  38. Desert Son, OM says


    Just saw the post. Thank you all, and thank you for your kind words about the dog.

    Still learning,


  39. says

    Thanks, Robert
    I do take all the hugs. I’m a hugger who is currently restricted to hugging only three people, the majority of them adolescents who don’t always want to be hugged.
    Here’s to community
    *raises a glass of 16 yo Lagavulin *
    I hope the poor doggie’s health will improve. Gentle doggie snuggles from me (and a treat, but that’s a secret).

  40. chigau (違う) says

    Hugs gratefully received and returned.
    and an extra hug (with drugs) for the doggie

  41. chigau (違う) says

    On another topic:
    when one moves from living with another person to living alone…
    walking into a kitchen full of dirty dishes…
    there is no one else to blame

  42. says

    There’s also nobody who keeps you from ordering pizza, again.

    Three and a half week until the winter holidays, and our idiots in charge are currently planning to lift some restrictions for the holidays. Not because we got the second wave under control, but because it’s the holidays. This probably means I’ll have to disappoint some people who think “being allowed to” is the same as “advisable”…

  43. Jazzlet says

    So the idiot has announced the rules around christmas and they are fucking insane. You can ‘bubble’ three households of any size together. If someone lives in a shared house they can go ‘home’ and then that ‘home’ can bubble with two aditional households. So you could have five people sharing a house, all going ‘home’ to different households of say five people four of whom could have returned from different shared houses, seeing the members of two further households say of six each five of whom could be from a further ten different houses, then all return to their original shared houses at the end of the five day holiday, and that would be within the fucking rules. With no limit on how much time people in the bubbles can spend together or what they do when they are together. The stupid git might as well have said ‘do what the hell you want’ and it wouldn’t be more guaranteed to spread disease.

  44. StevoR says

    Some good advice here that just might be a life-saver in the unlikely but possible event of a bad encounter with snakes and domestic animals :

    Hopefully folks won’t need it but worth being aware of I think.

    probly more useflu now for my fellow Aussies and other Southern hemisphere-ers since its (almost!) Summer now. Facing two days in a row of forecats temps over 40 degrees Celsius here. (104 Fahrenheit.)

  45. says

    Same nonsense here : 10 people plus all kids under 14. And of course, immediately afterwards our friends asked if we were going to celebrate New Year’s Eve all together as usually.
    I told them they’re free to hate me, they’re also free to celebrate together, but we’ll stay the fuck at home.

  46. StevoR says

    So, paradox here which I’d love people’s thoughts on please -- why is this globally widespread yet rare earthstar fungi so endangered -- what is behind its scarcity and endangered status please?


    Myriostoma coliforme, the Pepperpot Earthstar or Salt and Pepper Shaker Earthstar -- the largest of the earthstars -- is a species -- or group of species -- of fungi that is strangely scattered widely globally and yet also rare and in trouble even having gone locally extinct in a lot of areas and thus is today’s Endangered Species of the Day.

    The name for this species comes from the myriad stomae (or holes) in the fruiting body of this earthstar type Basidiomycote fungi and can be remembered quickly* by breaking down into “My Rio (as in the Brazillian city) stoma.” It is inedible, feeds off decaying organic material and grows in humus rich soil on the floors of forests and woodlands with its appearance shifting notably over its lifespan as it develops and then ejects its brown spores due to raindrop splashes with the spores then being wind-blown for dispersal. Myriostoma coliformes is found in Asia, both Americas, Europe, Africa and in NSW Australia too -- possibly as an accidentally introduced species but is still extremely rare and has been previously thought to be extinct in some incl Britain. As its wikipage ( ) notes :

    “Myriostoma coliforme is rare in Europe, where it appears on the Regional Red Lists of 12 countries, and is one of 33 candidate species for listing in Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (the “Bern Convention”). Although originally described from England, it was considered extinct in mainland Britain until it was found again in Suffolk in 2006 near Ipswich, one of its original localities — it had been last reported in the country in 1880. The fungus is considered extinct in Switzerland. Its most northerly location is southern Sweden, although it is generally rare in northern Europe. It is similarly widespread but rarely encountered in North America, although there may be isolated localities, like New Mexico, where it is more abundant. In Australia, where its range is limited to the central New South Wales coast, it may have been introduced from exotic plant material.”

    A genetic study in 2017 found that this largest earthstar species actually contains several hidden species which are very similar yet genetically slightly different. ( See : )

    Personally, I’m not sure quite why this species is threatened and so rare with none of the sources found so far really providing much insight on that. Clearly it would be good to understand much more about it.

    * Tho’ unsure if accurately pronounciation~wise! 😉


    See also forimages of it developingand info :

  47. StevoR says

    Great parody summary song here :

    Via this parody song found on facebok & not yet on youtube sorry :

    Also stumbled upon tonight the prehistoric crustacean with the largest eyes in relation to its size :

    Via another youtube with a comparison of Mesozoic oceanic (& freshwater) critters with some great artwork by
    Mario Lanzas.

    PS Oh and also see NYC Bids Adieu To Donald Trump (In Song) Colbert..

  48. says

    I am not looking at restrictions very closely, because I do not need to. I am not going anywhere unless the daily cases in CZ drop well below one hundred. Which I do not expect to happen anytime before the vaccine is available. I have informed my friends from university that I will not attend our yearly New Year celebration, neither will I go to our small get-together before Christmas. I miss them dearly, they are my only friends and now that I am working at home I do not even have colleagues to talk to. But I live with two elderly parents, who both have several preexisting conditions. Not to mention that I too have those.

    I would love for my nephew to visit, I have not seen him for months. He visited only briefly in the summer when the pandemic was under control. He wants to get a test and come if it is negative, but I am trying to dissuade him from that. He himself is currently probably safe-ish, he works solo night-shifts as security in a hotel that is closed due to the quarantine. But his girlfriend is working at a hospital, although not with Covid patients. And negative test does not mean he won’t get infections in a few days, it only means was is not infectious at the time of the test.

    This week I was driving my parents around a lot. They will both require surgery and hospitalization. So things are not looking good right now.

  49. says

    Turkey Day (aka Ritual Sacrifice With Pie Day, RSWP for short) was put off a day due to the head chef not feeling up to it.

    So today is the day. I’ve been kicked out of the kitchen. Oops, he just opened the turkey and it’s still partially frozen. Good thing we don’t have guests coming and can adjust the schedule as needed.

    I hope all of you are having a good week and staying safe.

  50. says

    Fingers are crossed for your parents.
    My dad went to the hairdresser. Because…

    I made and ordered the annual Christmas gift calendars. Welcome to the “find 13 pics of your kids in a year you didn’t do shit” challenge. With small kids, you take a ton of pics. Every little thing they do. But now you don’t take 23647 pics of your teenager playing video games. Thank goodness I coughed up some money for a decent phone camera when I got my new phone in January, because you’re more likely to just shoot a pic with the phone than carry 10kg camera equipment.

  51. lumipuna says

    Finland is “finally” measuring up and perhaps surpassing the peak of the spring wave of Covid-19. My parents and sister just backed away from their plan of meeting in-person during Christmas holidays. My university was partly open for part of the fall semester, now closing again.

  52. StevoR says

    Random hopefully interesting links time -- eggs to salamdders in 10 minutes here :

    On Dollocaris, the huge eyed Jurassic crustacean that looks like it inspired the spacepods in SpaceOdyssey 2001 :

    Plus the clip that introduced me to Dollocaris plus a few more Mesozoic aquatic once-living wonders :

    with scale.

  53. says

    Well, we had the first snow last night. this morning Mr messaged to ask how the weather was. I answered it was a “think hard about how to make it up to me that you put one million things in front of the road salt” kind of weather.

  54. says

    @Giliell, we got first snow too. About four-five flakes. Maybe six, I did not look everywhere.

    This fall and winter are so far the warmest and driest that I remember.

  55. StevoR says

    Despitre no El Nino, Its going to be a record hottest year -- at least in the top 3 -- EVER in our history -- and a clear trend blatant as F here. I’d say its undeniable, but well, .. :-(

    In Australia especially too :

    In other more positive if still potentially upsetting news :

    WARNING : Sexual abuse and rape references.

  56. StevoR says

    For the other Aussies here -and hopefully those overseas who can someone manage to find a way to see it too (ABC iView?) this looks like being a good doco on tomorrow :

    The Adelaide Refugee Vigil starting 5 pm at Parliament House steps then moving to Rundle Mall is on as always too if anyone is interested & ideally able to attend : (& Adelaide vigil for Manus and Nauru on facebook.)

    Oh & the last song from #56 :


  57. voyager says

    I’m sorry to hear that your parents aren’t doing well. I hope the situation with Covid won’t negatively affect the waiting times for their procedures.

    Thanks for all the interesting links. I especially enjoyed the documentary about lantern fish. I hope that I’m able to watch the annual coral reef breeding. The trailer for it looks amazing.

  58. StevoR says

    @ ^ Thanks voyager. It was a great doco and we’ve got part II of it on tomorrow as well. :-)

    Hopefully it will be available on youtube maybe or ABC iView if you can see that? Try this link :


    FOR ANYONE ELSE ON HERE INADELAIDE who might be interested

    Short notice, sorry but protest on tomorrow in Adelaide at the Waite Gatehouse to save not just a historic building but also a twenty great old trees some over a century old. 11 a.m. Corner Fullarton and Cross Roads. Details


    “Rally to save the Waite Gatehouse from demolition this Sunday!
    The State Government has announced that it proposes to proceed with plans to demolish the state heritage listed Gatehouse or Lodge on the University of Adelaide Waite Campus to make way for a massive enlargement of the Fulllarton/Cross Rd intersection. The iconic and historic landmark, dating from 1890, will be lost along with 20 mature trees, some up to 120 years old.This pointless intrusion on University and public property has resulted from a $61 million Commonwealth/State proposal mooted at the last Federal election. Isolated extensive intersection widening is a planning dinosaur, particularly if it will be bookended, for the foreseeable future, by intractable traffic bottlenecks.The project plan states that moving The Gatehouse would be infeasible and too expensive. In fact, the Government’s own engineering report offers the option of successful relocation using modern methodology that has been used before in Adelaide and is commonplace around the world.Surely it is not impossible for the Department of Infrastructure and Transport to modify the extent of the plans, restrict the residential resumption requirements and save The Gatehouse.Read the summary of the plans and misinformation in the Government proposal as outlined in INDAILY yesterday.Join us in opposing this needless desecration of our heritage and history…………….DEMONSTRATION AT THE SITE.
    Waite Campus: Corner Fullarton and Cross Roads (map)Tomorrow

    SUNDAY 6th DECEMBER at 11am.

    Stay COVID safe. Masks and distancing.Please share with your members and friends.

    See you there! “

    See :

    Also in local~ish South Aussie news :

  59. StevoR says

    PS : We’ve got the Hayabusa 2 spaceprobe returning rocks from Ryugu happening tomororw morning 4 am ish local time too -- see :

    Plus :

    The second of a couple of asteroid sample return missions happening currently with the other, NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex mission not due to land its samples from Bennu for a few years time.

    Whilst for something totally different, slow-paced but informative and beautiful :

    A painting of the critically endangered Sulu Hornbill, one of the worlds rarest birds complete with informative discussion on it by the artist as she paints.

  60. says

    Welp. Southern California is back under a stay-at-home order starting Sunday night. It was, sadly, inevitable, but now there are protests and calls for the Governor to be recalled. Which will probably just spread more COVID.

    It won’t really change how we live, but it’s discouraging.