Free Forum Friday October 8 Edition

by Monotreme

I have something to say, so I’m jumping the gun slightly on FFF. It’s Friday in the Central and Eastern US time zones, so I declare it Friday. Fiat Dies Veneris. Let the comments begin.

I’m glad the Echidna was on the ball with this post. Thursday is Buddy Beers night in my department so this was not a big priority. Salut!

Mr. Universe

About Monotreme

Monotreme is an unabashedly liberal dog lover, writer, and former scientist who now teaches at a University in an almost-square state out West somewhere. |
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54 Responses to Free Forum Friday October 8 Edition

  1. Monotreme says:

    My dog Roxy “stars” for just under a second in the new Kim Richey video:’s at 0:27, four words after The Naked Guy™. Her word is “that”.

  2. Realist says:

    Fiat Dies Veneris, indeed. I seem to recall hearing about that being the philosophy of the Bush administration. Really.OK, I can knock off the politics in the free forum.Monotreme shall make no post respecting an establishment of party, or prohibiting the free association thereof; or abridging the freedom of posts, or of the rebuttal; or the right of the people peaceably to snark, and to petition the platypus for a web address for grievances.Just thought I’d point that out.

  3. filistro says:

    Wow, Roxy’s hit the big time! Green hat and all.She looks very fetching. I see a big future for this girl.I also liked the bald naked guy doing Rodin’s “Thinker.” (What can I say? It’s Friday, and I’m a shallow person 🙂

  4. filistro says:

    So this week I’m interested in birthdays. Casual research among my artsy friends and acquaintances has revealed, over and over, that in any group of published authors or successful artists, about 80% will have birthdays in February, March and April.Since I think astrology is complete nonsense, I’m left wondering why this is. My current theory is that people born in those months had the first trimester of gestation during the warmest, sunniest months of the year, and maybe all that Vitamin D somehow causes over-development of the right brain whoch supposedly controls creativity and imagination.(Damn, if only there were a neuroscientist in here… :-)So if there’s any truth to the gestation theory, it follows… doesn’t it… that Southern hemisphere artist/writers should have birthdays in August, September and October. (Hmmm… any Aussies in the room?)Also, all you math-science analytical left-brain types should have your birthdays in late summer and early fall.So… do you? Please log in and let me know when your birthday is, and whether you consider yourself mainly creative and intuitive (right-brain), or mainly analytical and numbers-oriented (left-brain.)My birthday is in March, and I’m so right-brained that I’m apt to topple over if I don’t compensate by leaning a bit leftward while walking 🙂

  5. Monotreme says:

    The thing is, Roxy hates dressup, being photographed, all of it.Her cousin Frost, on the other hand, really likes it. Ingrid, Frost’s owner, is the Assistant DA in Yellowstone County, Montana. She won a prize for this one.

  6. Monotreme says:

    My birthday is this month. Roxy’s is March.

  7. filistro says:

    Monotreme… scientist.. .October. So far I’m batting 1000! (I should shut the project down now before I get conflicting data…)(Frost has a troubling Phil Spector look..

  8. marc miwerdz says:

    Its time for baseball to introduce some form of instant replay or umpire review to bring this game into the technological age.If tennis or even golf can see fit to use available media to ensure they get it right,baseball surely would not want to be a dinosaur.And dont call me Shirley

  9. filistro says:

    marc… I agree. I think managers should have 3 call challenges per nine innings, and 2 more in extra innings. When’s your birthday?

  10. Monotreme says:

    Because my friends and I always take things too far, we started the Société de Canard de Chien de Troupeau.(Yes, I know it’s pidgin French. I didn’t name it, and I don’t know if the person who did, butchered the language on purpose or by accident.)

  11. filistro says:

    Roxy in modest prairie gown… LOL.She needs the big hair too, though.

  12. Jean says:

    fili,re: My birthday is in March, and I’m so right-brained that I’m apt to topple over if I don’t compensate by leaning a bit leftward while walking.So is mine. My birthday is also in March.

  13. Monotreme says:

    The dress was ordered from, a site that, sadly, is no longer active.A wig with poofed-up wings and a ponytail would be a good idea, though.

  14. Monotreme says:

    I don’t know about instant replay. I guess I feel that baseball and football are essentially different.Football, as many many other commentators have pointed out, is a product of the American Technological Era. It’s full of technical terms and it’s very much a product of the Industrial Age (Green Bay, Detroit, Chicago).Baseball is, at its roots, a bucolic, pastoral sport.However, my idealized version of each game has been corrupted, and so maybe Mark is right. Maybe it’s time for a technical infusion into baseball. It feels like crossing the Rubicon. It just seems like a sign of the End Times to me.

  15. filistro says:

    Jean… thanks. Isn’t it spooky?RIGHT-BRAINED PEOPLE ARE BORN IN LATE WINTER!C’mon, Treme… put away the doggie dresses and weigh on with a theory. This is fascinating.

  16. filistro says:

    Speaking of Australian cattle dogs… I once featured one as a character in a book. He sort of took over and became a main protagonist. He was such an interesting, complex character … sly, vindictive, lazy, mischievous, very smart and oddly lovable. (Hey, sounds like Bart, doesn’t he :-)Throughout the book I was strongly tempted to kill him, but ultimately he found redemption and a happy ending. I still get fan mail about him.

  17. Realist says:

    I was born in the fall, and I’m definitely one of those analytical types. Maybe you’re onto something. Or just on something. Who knows?

  18. filistro says:

    @Realist… I was born in the fall, and I’m definitely one of those analytical types. Okay, this is officially getting scary.

  19. marc miwerdz says:

    Hi Filistro… My bday is 11/26 I think you can safely say that the older kids in the classroom get the best experience out of the school system. I was always the most immature year after year and have always thought this has had a major impact on my adult relationships. It comes as no surprise to me that kids born in jan feb mar apr are more sure of themselves and would take to an artistic bent more readily than their younger classmates

  20. marc miwerdz says:

    9Hi Filistro… My bday is 11/26 I think you can safely say that the older kids in the classroom get the best experience out of the school system. I was always the most immature year after year and have always thought this has had a major impact on my adult relationships. It comes as no surprise to me that kids born in jan feb mar apr are more sure of themselves and would take to an artistic bent more readily than their younger classmates

  21. dr_funguy says:

    While my personal example supports the generality being proposed (October; scientist), I am weary (and wary) of the right-brain left-brain pop psychoanalysis. The model came about from studying people who’s’ corpus callosum (which connects the two brain hemispheres) was severed. Most of us have intact connections and the functions attributed to either hemisphere tend to be distributed between both hemispheres in normal brains. From wikipedia:”Broad generalizations are often made in popular psychology about certain functions (eg. logic, creativity) being lateralised, that is, located in the right or left side of the brain. These ideas need to be treated carefully because the popular lateralizations are often distributed across both sides.”

  22. filistro says:

    Marc, that’s something I hadn’t even thought about. You’re definitely right about the age of school starting, though…. 6 months is an eternity in terms of confidence and maturity when you’re 5 years old.However, I’m not sure about the adjustment component. Lots of my creative friends born in late winter are neurotic, self-absorbed and terrible at relationships.

  23. Monotreme says:

    @Filistro:Better than that, I can unite the baseball and birth month threads.Magical, eh?

  24. Mainer says:

    October 10 here Fili. Never been sure which side of my brain I’m in. I do think Marc is onto some thing though. Two of my boys are September lads and they are military and trucking my March babe is a musician and instrument builder. Cool.

  25. dr_funguy says:

    I want her to run, am I the american Peeple? Run Sarah Run.Palin-Angle in 2012

  26. filistro says:

    Doc… if the spring-artist, fall-scientist connection isn’t related to neuroscience or physiology, what do you think might be the cause?Because it’s really true, you know. I was once on an e-mail loop with 21 other writers who all had the same publisher. 18 of us had birthdays in February, March or April.I’ve never had much to do with numbers types until I discovered 538 and the amazing science of polling… but they seem to have autumn birthdays.Isn’t that fascinating? Really, it is.

  27. shortchain says:

    I was born after April and before September (OK, May), a middle child, and I’m ambidextrous. Intuitively, I’d say I’m analytic, but everybody else claims I’m intuitive.I’m with the dr on this issue. The only other guy’s I know with my birthday or close to it are, in no particular order, 1. Career military, 2. hippy, and 3. engineer.If you are trying for a significant statistical effect, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

  28. filistro says:

    Mainer! Happy Birthday!… well, in two more days… In Canada you’d be a Thanksgiving baby, which is appropriate. I give thanks for you regularly 🙂

  29. filistro says:

    shortchain… you seem like a true Renaissance man. Multi-talented, multi-faceted, difficult to categorize.But I suspect overall you’re more in Our camp than Theirs… because you’re just SO good with words…And I’m not all that worried about “significant statistical effect.” Being an airy, bubble-headed creative type, I’m content to have feelings about things… and then call them fact. I also ignore contrary data.”Proof” is just such a rigid concept 🙂

  30. shrinkers says:

    May birthday is May 4. Just missed the window.It may have to do with when the cutoff for the school year is. People nearly a year older get into the class. Born before that, they get into the previous grade. I don’t have time to extend the thought, someone else do the math…

  31. shrinkers says:

    Oh and I am a middle child. I’m into fiction, history, high tech (I work as a software consultant), magic (yes, really), and I play guitar and piano. And I have an Australian Cattle Dog. I hate long walks on the beach (too boring) but I love a good single-malt with an expensive cigar.

  32. Jeff says:

    Labor Day — and I’m an analytical numbers and finance guy.

  33. dr_funguy says:

    I do think its facinating.Remind me to relate the story sometime of sitting in a bar with three guys, all of whom discovered they had the same birthday (different years though).I suspect, if the correlation holds, that it has to do with development in relation to school admission. My other point is that personality types cannot be neatly boxed, I am artistic, for an analytical-science type. Musician, photographer, etc. I think one way to approach this analytically is to use a personality assesment (Myers-Briggs or whatever flavor you prefer) and do some kind of statistics related to birth order, age of starting first grade, various birthday related stuff (sun sign vs. birth month vs. day of year or something). I think it is important to use an independant measure of personality type that captures some of the complexity as opposed to career choice, which is after all not always a good choice for the personality.Anyone need a thesis topic?

  34. filistro says:

    @Jeff.. Labor Day — and I’m an analytical numbers and finance guy.Jeff! Bless you… NOBODY is more left-brain than you, and you bear out my theory!I’m so pleased, I even apologize for threatening to whack you with my Barbie doll 🙂

  35. filistro says:

    Doc… Not sure I’m buying the “time of school admission” theory. It’s interesting, but I’d take more convincing.After all, being a math-science whiz is no easy thing. School starting time tends to hold back academic progress, while the math-science kids are generally smarter than everybody else in class.I really think it has something to do with seasonal conditions during pregnancy.

  36. Mainer says:

    Watch her closely Jeff, I’m betting she still has the doll hidden up her sleve. I once knew a guy that had a beautiful night stick presented to him that had carved ladies the whole length of it. Quite impressive actually, some people are just so talented. But I doubt he ever dared to use it, certain imprints being some what destinctive. So I sit here and imagine an episode of CSI Manitoba and some forensic type matching the boob patern of various tools and dolls to the indents in some victems head……

  37. Mainer says:

    Maybe Fili but for years we noted that kids that were the youngest in a given class tended to struggle the most. Now interestingly enough it also appeared that when they got into college or life in general that they would over a period of time cut the effect of that lag until many of them showed little sign of it. Now one issue was always being able to accurately track progres post high school but the data we did have was quite interesting. One tidbit we started following was how many of those that coasted through high school were often the ones that then struggled the most with real life…..never did get enough data to really mean any thing but what we had kind of surprised many of us.

  38. Realist says:

    I’m content to have feelings about things… and then call them fact. I also ignore contrary data.”Proof” is just such a rigid concept 🙂Bart? Is that you?

  39. Realist says:

    @Jeff,Labor Day — and I’m an analytical numbers and finance guy.How appropriate to be born on Labor Day. 😀

  40. filistro says:

    @ Realist.. Bart? Is that you?LOLOLOLOL!!!Oh, that’s good. Funniest post of the week!LOL…

  41. Monotreme says:

    I want to know what Pete Kent’s birthday is.

  42. Monotreme says:

    More data for the “Publicly Released Polls are Trayf” file: just tweeted this. How can a candidate’s numbers swing by 18 points in the absence of a driving narrative? It makes absolutely no sense. Either the one-point lead was crap, or the 19-point lead is crap, or they’re both crap. I vote for “both”.

  43. WA7th says:

    Primarily left-handed ambidextrous and mixed-brained, I crunch numbers by day and play music at night, and was born early November, sharing my birthday with Will Rogers, Walter Cronkite, Art carney, Delbert McClinton (rules!), Sean Puffy Fresh Diddy Dude Combs, and Ric Ocasek. Of the better musicians who are friends of mine, there are many with late October birthdays. Of my favorite musicians of all time, Oct/Nov and March/April birthdays predominate.

  44. Mr. Universe says:

    February. I’m guessing nobody will be surprised if I claim right braininess.

  45. Mr. Universe says:

    You musician types should check out Mainer’s kids website. He makes some interesting instruments. I forget the address. Mainer?

  46. shiloh says:

    March 29 ~ My bd was on Easter:1959 = 51964 = 101970 = 16Next time 2043 = 89but, but, but the big one is 2054 = 100 ~ you’re all invited 😉 even Bartles and Jeffrey!My mom’s bd is March 29.My sister’s bd is Dec. 24, and all thru the house, not a creature was stirring, except my sister …The last American troops were withdrawn from Vietnam on March 29, 1973March 29 in historyMarch 29 was always around the Academy Awards before they moved it up a month recently and the NCAA basketball tournament final game.March 29, 1976 ~ Indiana beats Michigan and the Academy Awards same night. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) wins best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Adapted Screenplay, the big (5) equaling It Happened One Night ~ (1934) and Silence of the Lambs ~ (1991).carry on

  47. filistro says:

    @WA7th… Of my favorite musicians of all time, Oct/Nov and March/April birthdays predominateI remember reading somewhere that music and math skills are more closely related.. ie, they arise from the same part of the brain and are distinct from, say, language.When you think about it… music IS math, actually. It’s counts, beats, numbers, and consistent interconnectedness. shiloh… my birthday is March as well. (Same day as Albert Einstein, actually. Go figure, eh? 🙂

  48. filistro says:

    shiloh… you were born on your mother’s birthday?I know we all consider you a GIFT… but that’s just ridiculous 😉

  49. Monotreme says:

    I was born on my mother’s birthday. There is an amusing, if completely fabricated, family story that goes along with that.

  50. Monotreme says:

    Researchers noticed the Sun is “behaving very strangely”. Sun locked itself in the bathroom. “What’s wrong?” the researchers asked.Sun would only say “Nothing”.

  51. shiloh says:

    @FiliI know we all consider you a GIFT… but that’s just ridiculous~~~~~Actually, mentioned previously I was adopted, so my mom had to wait (3) mos. before receiving her present. But she got a great deal lol, $10 adoption fee, initially and then she had to raise me. 😉 My cousin adopted a Chinese girl in 2001 and had to fly to China, etc. and it cost a small fortune. Told my mom at the time she was lucky as she only had to go down the road apiece to pick up me and my sister.>My youngest nephew bd 5/6/78 and he has a son born 5/6/99, believe it or not.>March 29, 1991 Lee Atwater political strategist (R), dies of brain tumor at 40btw, after I was adopted, mid ’50s, was when adoptions in the U.S. became a lot more expensive and an administrative hassle. My sister and I were adopted thru a Catholic charities group and one of the stipulations lol was we had to be raised Catholic as my dad was Protestant ~ but he could care less re: religion. They wanted to adopt another child, who was Puerto Rican, but were denied because my dad wasn’t Catholic and they were a different ethnic group, which was just plain ignorant. Hey, it was the ’50s, eh.And now you know the rest of the story … TMI

  52. mclever says:

    I agree about left brain and right brain being misnomers, because (distributed functions aside) there is obviously a lot of popular confusion about what the labels mean. Still, it has become a convenient shorthand for linguistic/logical vs. visual/spatial preferences. The tricky thing about “right brain” vs. “left brain” when talking about mathematics is that while arithmetic is fundamentally a “left brain” activity, higher-order mathematics and mathematical theory (dynamic bifurcations of non-linear, second-order differential equations, anyone?) are fundamentally “right brain.” Similarly, depending how one approaches engineering, it can be either one, too. Spatial intelligence is “right brain”, remember, so engineers who are good at visualizing solutions are using their “right brain” skills, but the detailed calculations are “left brain.”Creativity is often associated with the right brain, but this is incorrect. Painters and sculptors are right brain because of the spatial/visual aspects of their work. On the other hand, writers who engage in linguistic gymnastics are using their LEFT brain! Language is a “left brain” activity, remember.My birthday is in July. When I take the personality tests, I score off-the-chart “right brain”, but I can also play in the “left brain” space very capably when necessary. I was an amateur painter and a musician before my current career in software implementation, and I’ve commented previously on my affinity for math and science… My parents are an artist and an engineer, so my proclivities are probably derived more from my upbringing and genetics than from my month of birth. One brother (Nov bd) is a writer, and another (Jan bd) is a computer tech and soldier.:-)

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