Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Readers Write and some comments


My apologies in not posting yesterday, I was under the weather.

Why does feeling unwell get described as being “under the weather”? 

It intrigued me after I wrote it and I looked into it, finding that there is no definite origin.

The two common origin explanations are both nautical:
  • that passengers who became seasick in times of bad weather, when the rocking motion of the ship increased,  were sent below decks and were thus described as being 'under the weather';
  • that the phrase is a shortened form of "under the weather bow," which is a reference to the windward side of the ship's bow, the side taking the brunt of the high seas.

Readers Write . . .

David B, who hails from Derbyshire in the UK, took me to task for the comments below the following old pic:

Diver Chester E. Macduffee and his 400 pound diving suit, an early version of modern-day scuba gear.

David B writes:
Hi Otto 
I love to be pedantic and Chester E. Macduffee's diving suit is not a forerunner of modern SCUBA diving equipment. The principal is quite different. Those heavy diving suites supplied oxygen at atmospheric pressure whereas a SCUBA set supplies oxygen at the pressure appropriate to the depth at which the diver is operating. That is why the SCUBA diver can dispense with the heavy suit.
David is correct, thanks David. I should have remembered the days and lessons of Sea Hunt.


If you were going down in that suit, would you not want something a bit more substantial than the hook and coathanger thing at the top you get you to the floor and, more importantly, to pull you out again?

Am I the only one who, on seeing the pic, was reminded of Robby Robot in the 1956 film Forbidden Planet, with Leslie Nielsen in a straight dramatic role, and Anne Francis?

Robby with Anne Francis in the film

Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen in Forbidden Planet, before he discovered comedy

I posted a dv joke in the Funny Friday collection, which made fun of a sexist male. I asked can a joke about domestic violence ever be funny, even if it is an anti-dv joke?

Son Thomas responded by email:
With regard to your question about DV jokes I understand the general consensus is that one can punch up, not down. You'll find some feminist commentary that even rape jokes are permissible where it is not denigrating the victim(s) and especially where it is highlighting the absurdity of some social attitudes towards it. Sarah Silverman did a great stand-up piece when she had a go at male comedians lazily making rape jokes in an attempt to be edgy, but made a few zingers herself while she was doing so. By way of example, she pointed out the significant problem of under-reporting by victims with words to the effect of "I love rape jokes and nobody ever complains. But then rape victims traditionally aren't really complainers"

I, of course, do not find child abuse funny. However, I think "paedophile priest" jokes have been an absolutely vital part of the public discourse in that they've completely demolished the Catholic Church's demands to be treated by the general public with the reverence and respect to which it seems to think it's entitled, such public reverence and respect being part of the reason it got away with covering its tracks for so long.
Funnily enough, although I had invited feedback on the issue, Thomas’s was the only comment received.

In contrast, my question as to whether there was too much street art in Bytes and whether people were getting sick of it elicited a number of responses:

I’m never ever sick of the street art – it’s wonderful.
- Shirley G

The art, the quality of the detail and the images affect my emotions and makes my day. More my friend, more.
- Wayne B

Mate, these people are geniuses, marvellous how they do it. Have a nice day.
- Arthur T

I am definitely NOT getting sick of the street art Otto. There is some amazing work so see.
- Philip C

I'm with you Otto - love street art! 
My favourite from this batch was the toddler sneaking out at night to pain the stars - visually pleasing but also a spiritual reminder that appreciation of nature is often rekindled in the adult by their children (I remember a busy day but squatting on the footpath to watch a line of ants with my son) and the beauty that children themselves bring to the universe
- Sue P

Thanks, people.

The street art image Sue is referring to is this one:


The following piece of street art, so simple yet so profound, had me thinking about issues raised . . . 

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