Sometimes they really are indistinguishable

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke

When a non-techie friend of mine moved to San Francisco, she overheard two guys talking next to her.

“What are you up to,” one of them asks?

The other replied, “Oh, I’m trying to learn Python.”

“Excuse me,” my friend interrupted them. “But I believe it’s called Parseltongue.”

(After living here for a while longer, she became very embarrassed. And though it wasn’t exactly what he meant, I still think Mr. Clarke would approve.)

August 1, 2012… On the way to karaoke

> So the other day — right over there — I saw a bum playing some buckets and another guy right next to him accompanying on an iPad. And, I was like… “This is the future.”
> — K3, Senior Jedi Program Coordinator, Wikimedia Foundation


I found [this comment][megan] amusing:

> Finally, [[Megan McArdle][megan mccardle]] as an approximately 6’ tall, moderately attractive woman — who likes guns — libertarian, objectivist, and conservative fan-bois glommed on to her like a million sperm all trying to fertilize the same egg, which provides its own kind of mockworthy spectacle

The college I went to had a 6:1 guy:girl ratio at the time. Being an institute full of socially stunted nerds just like me, they had their own word for when multiple guys talking to or associating with a single girl: “glomming.” While it has morphed beyond its original meaning—it is short for “agglomeration”—it has become part of our [urban dictionary][urban glom], and the above example shows it in its original definition.

One day during Rotation, I was hanging out on the Triple on the second floor, and watched “glom pools” forming around the night’s new batch of [Freshman][frosh] girls in the dorm’s courtyard below. The image of “a million sperm all trying to fertilize the same egg” is an especially apt description. I can trace a direct line to [my intense shyness][shyness] [around women][photographing women] to that singular and instructive moment.

– **glom** *v.t.* to accost a girl who is already surrounded by multiple guys
– **glommer** *n* a male who gloms serially
– **glom pool** *n* an aggregation of many guys around a single girl

Oh yeah, if any Techers at the time are wondering about all the hacked copies of [CrystalCaltech Quest][crystal quest] on campus—the one where [ResEdit][resedit] to add Caltechisms like the infamous and indestructable “glom monster” toward the end? That was me.

[megan]: “Open Park and Open Thread—Balloon Juice”
[megan mccardle]: “Megan McCardle—Wikipedia”
[urban glom]: “glom—Urban Dictionary”
[frosh]: “frosh—Urban Dictionary”
[photographing women]: “Collapsing the female wave-function”
[shyness]: “Ruby, Photography, and Women”
[crystal quest]: “Crystal Quest”
[resedit]: “ResEdit—Wikipedia. Hacking the game became so popular, they created their own tool which they built into later editions of the game.”

Waiting for neologisms

Dreams are weird things. For instance, there might be a neologism that you understand implicitly—sounds like a definition your friends may make you read aloud in Urban Dictionary to corrupt you, But doesn’t even exist yet..

Here was a weird dream:

She says, “Things have gone a little stale in bed so I’m going to get him a Happy Pen.”

“Oh, what’s a “Happy Pen?” one asks

She rolls her eyes.

Later that day, they come across her boyfriend. “Hey, we heard she’s going to get you a Happy Pen.” they say laughing.

“Look,” he says with frustration. “It’s not just a happy pen. I mean there’s more to it that just that. Maybe an Olive Garden before that and a kiss afterward.”

“Oh, what’s an “Olive Garden”?”

(I”m surprised they aren’t in Urban Dictioanry. You’d think if there’s a Hefty Midget, there’d be these.)

This reminds me of college where I was a house waiter.

After serving dinner the w8rs used to sit at table, drink, and talk. The rule was nobody could leave the dining hall, unless everyone stood up at once. Since the excom was traditionally held by w8rs, most house business was informally handled at this time. The rest of it was frustrate your friends by keeping them from studying.

One of us would make up neologisms for novel sexual acts in the hopes that everyone else would get so offended they’d stand up.

In those days there was no Urban Dictonary; there was, however, the FAQ.

After dinner he’d submit his made-up-shit to

He managed to get a couple of them in the FAQ.

In case you were wondering, the only surefire way to get every waiter to stand up at once was to fart. You precede this period of flatulence with an imperative pun. “Wait!”

“Wait!” someone yells.

(Everyone stops talking and pauses)


“Ahh geez!” (Everyone stands up at once.)

Weapons-grade wingnut

The comments on Balloon Juice can get quite witty. I love the imagery and alliteration in the following:

Wow. That’s some real weapons-grade Wingnut there.

That was used when talking about a purity purge going on over the “ground zero mosque” which is actually a community center with a prayer space. Another commenter wrote:

Calling this a mosque is like calling a casino in Las Vegas a cathedral because it has a wedding chapel.

The unforgiving bush

My wife cannot orgasm from oral sex. I have been told that my technique is awesome, but nothing seems to be working. Please tell me there’s a way.

I passed your letter around the sorority house, and after the laughter died down, it occurred to me that perhaps not all of the women who had praised you in the past were lying. I consulted my trusty feminist bible (I Love You, Ronnie: The Letters of Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan) and was able to ascertain that your wife could have some issues including, but not limited to, body insecurity, mixed feelings about oral sex, pressure to orgasm, and the guilt that she feels while watching you soldier on through the unforgiving bush in a battle that never ends.
—clipped from an Esquire article

And here, I thought that was called humping.

Remind me not to get a lawyer trained at Tennessee

Glenn Reynolds suggests that the U.S. treasury defaults on its debt, Bruce Bartlett trashes it, and Glenn’s defense?

Well, I was hoping for a thoughtful email from an expert, but instead I got a typically intemperate blog post from Bruce Bartlett. Bruce, I’m not trying to turn the United States into Zimbabwe. That would be the guy in the White House, whom you seem surprisingly anxious to defend.

It amuses me that Zimbabwe had a $100,000,000,0000 (that’s one hundred billion) bill before they finally gave up on the currency. In storage somewhere, I have a 1 million mark bank note.

I’m surprised nobody noticed the racist undertone in this response. Bruce Bartlett brought up Zimbabwe because defaulting on the debt was the direct cause Zimbabwe’s economic collapse. The analogy Glenn sets up is: Barack Obama is America’s Robert Mugabe and he’s going to take all the land away from you White people!

While that was most likely completely unintentional, the only adequate defense is that Glenn Reynolds, a law professor and premier conservative political pundit, is both socially insensitive and politically ignorant.

The irony amuses me with the obviousness of it all. (NB Title: Glenn Reynolds teaches law at the University of Tennessee.)