Friday Four

Friday, April 15, 2016

1. Little Man has taken to saying, "Bye-bye, house!" and "Bye-bye, school!" at the ends of trips to and from daycare, which shows me that he is beginning to thread together the day's routines. Dropping him off there has also become, not surprisingly, much more calm or more tearful, depending on his mood.

2. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend all but the first quarter hour of the hearing that included Alex Epstein's inspiring Senate testimony in favor of fossil fuels Wednesday morning. There are a couple of clips posted at The Objective Standard, and Epstein himself has published the transcript of his testimony at Forbes.

Many would congratulate Epstein for "speaking truth to power," but I'd say he successfully reminded a few on the panel that, without truth, there is no power, and in more ways than one.

3. I know that my interest probably strikes most of my readers as esoteric, but I'll indulge myself anyway with a couple of recent discoveries about the Emacs text editor: First, someone has gotten the 1960's-era software to run on Android. (If I further indulge myself in one of these, I'll definitely try this.) Second, someone has created a package to "lint" prose in Emacs. I am more likely to try this.

4. Moving forward a decade, a 1970's military food survey that included made-up items as a kind of control yielded the following interesting result:

For the record, here are the nine lowest-ranked foods, from the bottom up -- all nine are so bad that service members ranked them beneath foods that don't exist at all:

Buttermilk, skimmed milk, fried parsnips, low-calorie soda, mashed rutabagas, french fried carrots, prune juice, stewed prunes, french fried cauliflower. [bold added]
Agreed, but let me add that there are foods (e.g., casu marzu) you just can't make up that I am certain would rank lower and are even outright hazardous.

-- CAV


Dismuke said...

Gee - they ought to go easy on the prunes. Stewed prunes are delicious and they are increasingly difficult to find. Used to be they were a regular staple in cafeterias and at places that served breakfast - though back when I remember them being commonplace it was pretty obvious that the people who were ordering them were elderly. Heck - it is getting hard to find a cafeteria anymore. Today's old people are not as cool as yesterday's old people were. Someday stewed prunes will enjoy a well-deserved renaissance.

When my father was in the military they used to serve creamed dried beef over toast - and their name for it was "*@#& on a shingle."

Gus Van Horn said...


Hah! How could I forget that I know someone who likes stewed prunes? I shudder to imagine, much less Google what bizarre variant of these some isolated corner of the world might have developed...

My Dad, who'd been in the National Guard, also was familiar with shit on a shingle.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus, Dismuke,

Military institutions weren't the only ones with a cafeteria serving SoS. My elementary school did as well. They also served a kind of 'burger' that we dubbed "Barbequed Beef Barf on a Bun". (Nope, it wasn't vomitus from a domestic ungulate. That aspect is addressed in my next paragraph.)

The invariable complement to either of these 2 entrees was something they claimed was cooked spinach. We believed what really happened was that the cooks were sent out into a neighboring cow pasture, interrupted the cattle chewing their cud and stole the cows' erstwhile breakfast as the 'vegetable' component of our lunch.

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


Your tale reminds me of one I heard in Catholic school of a cafeteria in a seminary featuring a small sign reading Fidem scit. ("He knows the faith."). The joke is that the phrase is, in ecclesiastical Latin, pronounced much like "Feed 'em shit," in English.