Midway Point [DOT 6/4/22]

Halfway to the weekend gang! Hope you’re all having a good week thus far.

Ya no shit.

‘I didn’t win the election’: Trump admits defeat in session with historians


Okla. lawmakers approve bill to make performing an abortion illegal



Stock futures inch higher ahead of Fed minutes release

This is really neat.

The remarkable brain of a carpet cleaner who speaks 24 languages

She’s got her pink on!

Have a good one!



  1. This Very Good Hound does not need a slide.

    Meanwhile, my thoughts are abroad, wondering whether Liam Gallagher’s thoughts on the British judicial system have merit.

    I always get Liam Gallagher confused with the consciously decoupled ex-Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin.

    Also, Prince Andrew . I’ve read elsewhere that Royal Watchers and Palace Insiders say that this reveals that Randy Andy is still Her Majesty’s Favo(u)rite, she believes he is not guilty, and while she’s still around he isn’t going anywhere. Royal Watchers and Palace Insiders (don’t know if it’s the same group) also assert that when the Queen is gone (an outcome almost too unbearable to imagine) Prince Charles (who will then be King Charles III) and Prince William will make sure that he never shows his face in public again. (That’s a lot of parentheticals.)

    Meanwhile, disgraced though he may be, the grift goes on for Randy Andy, with the entire House of York, Fergie, Bea, and Euge all getting a cut of the action.

    • …if that’s a dog’s life…I’d maybe trade…looks more fun than my day

      …liam…is kind of over-committed to the bit…his brand is a particular kind of (UK) northern prick…& despite all the money oasis made he’d have an absolute meltdown if anyone suggested he wasn’t still 100% working class lad…it wasn’t a particularly charismatic look in a teenager/twenty-something back when he was singing his brother’s tunes…at his current age…he’s basically trying to be the guy from shameless?

      …& as for the no-sweat prince…they talk about how the other half live but a world in which someone might just give you the better part of 3/4 of a million quid on someone else’s behalf for ostensibly no reason in particular is hard to fathom?

      …I don’t think I know anyone who’s enough of a royal-whisperer to accurately quantify what significance liz letting him prop her up in public might have…but there’s a good number of more-distant-from-the-throne royals who exist mostly beyond the pr spotlight so I should think getting put out to pasture might be quite easy to adjust to?

      • I don’t think it’s going very well for Randy Andy as it is being semi-cloistered. He’s very much a “do you know who I am???” kind of guy and if people get the idea that he’s being shunned what will he do for an income? He has no salable skills whatsoever except for the fact that he has the Queen’s private number and the switchboard will put him through.

        If I’m remembering this correctly, when Prince Philip died, Andy’s tail was a-wagging because, as is tradition, everyone would get to break out whichever uniform they possess that is most prestigious and festoon themselves with all their honorary medals. Prince Harry was stripped of most, if not all, of his military-related titles and honorary positions, so he’d have nothing to wear. In deference to him the Queen decreed that everyone show up in mufti. Andy was pissed, but little did he know that in less than a year’s time he wouldn’t have had anything to show either.

        • …in broad strokes I guess I’ve always sort of strayed towards the view that their respective stints in one or other branch of the military were…perhaps not up to the level of a noble tradition…but one I could respect…that seemed largely to be intended to make sure the family had a reasonably developed sense of service & bit of an understanding of the importance of keeping everything ticking along if a vast & unwieldy conglomeration of people was going to do something other than seize up & devolve into a dangerous mess

          …but it’s entirely possible that from andrew’s point of view a bit of rank to pull might have been the best bit & that’s what’s hurt him the most to lose…on the other hand…he (I think) spent quite a lot of time in various places “furthering the interests” of british business in a supposedly general but most likely fairly specific ways…so…unless, say, the house of saud is going to feign offense & not being sent a top-shelf example of royalty next time they try putting him in rotation…I dare say he’ll still manage to get his fill of people paying him due deference?

  2. The projection these days has reached a whole new level.

    Why do wanna-be-nazis vote for nazi-haters like Tom Cotton?

    Also, look out! Ben Shirapo, who recently called Trudeau a nazi, is really focusing on the important issues like “cancel culture” by pouring his energy into checks notes cancelling “gay cookies”

    • The GOP strategy is to cover up their hard work to allow Putin to recolonize Eastern Europe and gain huge influence over US politics by accusing Biden of being soft on Russia.

      The stupidity is the political press could be making hay out of putting the GOP on the defensive. The juice is so much better from all of the usual man bites dog, tough talking GOP as weak appeaser framing that should be going on.

      But all they do is swallow GOP talking points whole. And the danger is that Putin is still working with the GOP right now to attack the West and undermine US politics. And the DC press is enabling this.

  3. The article about the hyperpolyglot is incredible. Imagine if they had a guild and were tasked with preserving dying languages around the world. They could learn them, formally preserve them in writing/audio/video files. Then even teach those those languages to future generations of people who have become disconnected from their heritage language and want to learn more.

    • I worked with a guy who was a hyperpolyglot. It was kind of his job, as he had to work with texts in any number of foreign languages, and the last time I talked to him about a decade he said he had a working knowledge of something like six languages and fluency in about a dozen others. I don’t doubt him; I’ve heard him speak and interact in maybe eight languages.

      He’s always asked which is the hardest language to learn. His answer? Arabic. And partly that’s because it is a very situational and nuanced language, and a lot of what you would say and how you would say it depends on whom you’re speaking to and the circumstances.

      • …I always sort of assumed the hardest languages for someone like me would likely be something like mandarin/cantonese/japanese on account of the completely different approach to the written stuff & the whole tonal thing

        …but I think the answer varies a lot based on the speaker’s native tongue…& though I don’t know if there’s anything to it someone once made a very convincing (at least to me) case that you’d be hard pressed to beat starting with the (it’s technically more of an “a” but the person telling me stuck to “the”) berber language…since according to them it set you up with the ability to give voice to a broad enough range of phonemes that there was little in most other languages you’d struggle to pronounce given a bit of practice


        …one of those things I’d sort of like to be true because it sounded plausible…but really I don’t know?

        • I’ve been told that to learn to speak rudimentary Chinese languages and Japanese is pretty easy because they don’t conjugate as much and the words string together in a pretty straightforward way. “I go tomorrow.” “She come here yesterday.” This is what I’ve been told anyway. Writing it, though, is another matter. I believe there are simplified ways to do this, so rather than combining lots of sounds into one whole character there is a “simplified” version. This is how they deal with foreign words, I think. So “Cousin Matthew” would be the complex character for “Cousin” and then more than one character to deal with “Ma” “th” “ew.” Or maybe even M a t t h e w, like American Sign Language.

          A tangent, but I just finished this exhausting project and am procrastinating before I move on to the next. We were at my dentist’s office yesterday (Better Half is my home nurse and has to accompany me whenever I leave the neighborhood, to give me an assist with transportation) and the receptionist and I got to talking about ASL. His sister is deaf in one ear and is in training to become fluent in ASL with an eye toward going into teaching. I had a few deaf friends and pretty much all they taught me were vulgar terms, because they were good lip readers and learned to speak intelligibly enough. I taught him this  but made him swear he wouldn’t deploy it in front of his sister.

      • My mom is a polyglot. She grew up in Cambodia and learned to speak many of the surrounding languages like Vietnamese, Lao, Thai, Cantonese on top of Khmer and French (they colonized them). If she has an interest in a language (due to a new friend or a wish to travel to a new country), then she will study it and pick it up quickly. But if she loses interest then she also loses the language. Over the years she learned to speak German, Spanish and Italian. I am jealous fascinated by her innate ability to aquire languages, a skill that didn’t get passed on to me womp womp womp. My sister however is also great at learning new languages but her interest fades quickly.

    • I read a (science fiction?) novel many years ago (can’t remember the name now) about a group of polyglots that had to work around the world to coordinate defenses against an alien invasion (I think — it was a LONG time ago — SOME type of adversary). They had to work together because they had areas of specialization (like Romance or Asian languages). Anyway, your post tweaked a long-lost memory. I googled but nothing looks quite right.

      One thing about being an old — I remember long out-of-print books sometimes.

      • …drawing a bit of a blank…but happy to try to help figure it out if you can think of any more clues

        …can think of one or two less-old sci-fi books that were good in translation but that’s not the same thing at all…though “the three-body problem” was a good trilogy on the off-chance you’ve not run across it already?

        • Well, on the flipside there’s a novel about a Hungarian polyglot who’s due to give a presentation at a linguistic conference in Helsinki but somehow gets on the wrong plane and finds himself in a strange city where no one speaks or understands any of the languages he knows, and the same applies to him with theirs. It would probably be considered somewhat Kafkaesque, except the tone is rather more along the lines of, “Well, isn’t this a big pain in the ass!”

          Plus, the guy manages to get laid, and somehow I can’t imagine that really happening in Kafka’s fiction (though perhaps that wasn’t so much the case for ol’ Franz in real life).

    • I feel like the guy in the article should be able to leverage his abilities better, but they point out at the end that he seems to be on the autism spectrum. It just feels like a tremendous resource that’s not being used. Your preservation idea is a good one. It would be nice if someone could pay the guy to do what he loves and something we clearly need.

      • It doesn’t surprise me that he has fallen through the cracks given his background. Even affluent white parents of Autistic kids have to fight for adequate care and education every step of the way.

  4. RE: ‘I didn’t win the election’ — I’m sure one of my uncles is disgusted that Trump “gave up”. Actually, two of my uncles.

    RE: @MatthewCrawley I always get Liam Gallagher confused with the consciously decoupled ex-Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin. — Now you’ve done it. You are going to find out that Mr. Gallagher loves to hold a grudge and hates Mr. Martin. Agree with @SplinterRIP on the northern prick branding. Spot on. Noel, I can stand. Liam, nope.

    • …with you on the liam/noel distinction…but I never did understand the appeal of coldplay or chris martin…not to the point of bearing a grudge…but it could be the nearest I’m liable to get to finding myself on liam gallagher’s side of anything?

      • …I wouldn’t use it on about folks hereabouts but I’d admit to being fond of the phrase “hard of reading”…& not above deploying it on occasion?


        The Tylenol hadn’t kicked in yet.

        Also, given the sheer amount of projection from the GOP and how they obsess over the pearl-clutching what if the homosexuals are near the children, my brain was like oh that’s totally feasible that those dipshits are super thirsy for dick.

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