1. Are you on a campaign to convince us Frog Applause can be just-another funny-pages comic? This one is, as usual, more interesting for the style than the humor. But yes, it does have humor.

    (BTW why does your tag use Teresa’s Persian name, which I think has been superseded?)

  2. (BTW why does your tag use Teresa’s Persian name, which I think has been superseded?)

    Good, catch, Deety. It wasn’t meaningful, just hasty work: the Tags have an autofill with previously used ones, and after typing “Teresa” I clicked on the wrong suggestion. Being corrected now, thanks.

  3. I’m glad to see we can’t distinguish Tomato from Tomahto, or Potato from Potahto.

  4. The Andertoon is great, only anyone who works at a company of any size knows that there are FAR more HInderdesk staff than Helpdesk staff. Our BPU is legion.

  5. Dickens, in one of his late masterpieces, Little Dorrit, invents a public agency called “The Circumlocution Office.” Their portfolio was HOW NOT TO DO IT.

  6. I feel that the Hinder Desk will keep me laughing all day.

    “Is there anybody on Earth who actually pronounces it “po-tah-to?”
    No, nowhere, at least not before George Gershwin put it into a song. I’m hesitant to blame him, because my own mother, who grew up in Wyoming, had some very strange word pronunciations, and became a speech therapist, play director, and teacher of English as a Second Language, (Gershwin’s home, Brooklyn,NY is of course nearly the opposite of such isolation as Wyoming.)

  7. Rule of thumb: If the flowers cost under $10, it’s a vase. If they cost more than $10, it’s a vahse. That’s old, tho, so you’ll have to adjust for inflation.

  8. Grawlix, being British I would call it a vahse rather than a vayse like most people here. But nobody calls it a potahto.

  9. FWIW, there’s a commercial that came out a while back for Uber Eats with Mark Hamill and Patrick Stewart duking it out to play on the rivalry of Star Wars and Star Trek fans. Hamill orders something with no tomatoes. Stewart orders something with extra tomahtoes.

  10. Mark M – As another Brit here, I reckon it should be “Hamill orders something with no tomaytoes. Stewart orders something with extra tomatoes.”

  11. I heard this joke on a radio comedy show.

    A woman went for a Broadway audition and sang the following:

    “You say tomato and I say tomato.
    You say potato and I say potato.
    Tomato, tomato, potato, potato…”

    At this point the director stopped her and said “Thank you, Miss Levine.”

    “It’s Levine!” she replied.

    Hmmm….. the joke seemed to work OK when the guy said it on the radio.

  12. For some reason I used to think film composer Elmer Bernstein was the brother of composer / conductor Leonard Bernstein. But no, they were unrelated; and used different pronunciations for their surname.

  13. From Wikipedia for Elmer Bernstein:

    He was not related to the celebrated composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, but the two men were friends.[4] Within the world of professional music, they were distinguished from each other by the use of the nicknames Bernstein West (Elmer) and Bernstein East (Leonard).[5] They also pronounced their surnames differently. Elmer pronounced his name "BERN-steen", and Leonard used "BERN-styne".

  14. The Andertoon is great, only anyone who works at a company of any size knows that there are FAR more HInderdesk staff than Helpdesk staff.

    Greater job satisfaction for the former.

  15. The potatoes confused me. I thought they were worried about something. Took me a few beats to realize those are eyes rather than plewds.

  16. The horse in the restaurant reminded me of a story in one of Oliver Sacks’ books. A patient in the facility had a brain injury that affected the visual system for the left side of her field of view. At each meal she would only eat half of her food. She could only see the food on the right side of the plate. She ate that until the plate looked empty to her.

    She complained that the meals were too small, and the neurologist told her that there was always food on both sides of the plate, and she was seeing the left side as empty even when it had food.

    Note: I knew someone who had brain cancer which caused a similar condition. Visual signals were blocked at an early stage in the right hemisphere (left field of view) visual cortex, and in the absence of information, the later stage just made up stuff. He was an accountant, and in a column of numbers “173852” might appear as “346852”. Someone walking in from left to right would suddenly pop up out of nowhere in the center.

    If the patient was like my friend, she probably saw a full plate with the left half being filled in to match the right half, but as she ate food off the right half, it would correspondingly disappear from the left half.

    Anyway, she thought about this and came up with a solution. She would eat until the plate looked empty. Then she would rotate the plate to a position where there appeared to be food on both sides. Then repeat. Eat, rotate, eat, rotate.

    Perhaps the horse’s friend could rotate the side dishes into his field of view.

    “Out of sight, out of mind.”

  17. Thanks, Mark. The blinkered horse dining also made me think about humans with cerebral accidents. I recall a somewhat jocular remark that GPs should be alert to adult male patients who show up neatly shaved on one side, unkempt on the other, may have had a “silent stroke”.

  18. That sounds fishy to me. Normally your eyes scan around the area constantly unless you make a very determined effort to fixate. I do know that the brain integrates[1] and fills in, which is why you have to work a bit to find your blind spot, but that seems excessive.

    These days, might right eye sees better at close distance, but I’ve started getting cataracts in it. So if I look at my e-reader with just the left, the letters are fuzzy. With just the right, deformations in the letters appear. With both I get pretty sharp letters and relatively little deformations. The brain’s sorting it out.

  19. You know there is that big split-crossover in the visual circuits? So it’s not that each eye goes to a different hemisphere for the visual cortex — it’s the right and left halves of the visual field, from both eyes, that go to the different sides of the visual cortex.

  20. Mitch: yeah, but Brian raises a valid point: OK, so let’s say the left side of your visual field is not there because of an injury to the right hemisphere, so you look at a plate of food, you don’t see the left side of it, the brain fills in what it thinks is there. But as you look at the plate, your eyes are going to be scanning the whole thing — they’ll dart to the right to get a closer look at what’s there, they’ll dart to the left, they’ll dart to the far left, they’ll dart to the top, they’ll dart back to the middle, etc., etc. When they dart to the left, the left side now becomes the center of the visual field — you still won’t see the left side of the left side, but you will see the right side of the left side — if that side is empty, your brain will see that the right side of the left side is empty, so why won’t it go, “oh, the plate is actually only 3/4 full”? And why won’t the sudden discrepancy trigger it go, “wait a minute, something is weird here” and dart the eyes over to the far left side, so it can see the far left side as the center, and go, wait, now there’s even more empty, and so on? I would love to see some eye tracking experiments with these patients: do their eyes really not dart into the area the brain is making up, is the brain “covering up” its own failings by deliberately not gathering more evidence? Or what is happening? I think it would be really, really interesting!

    (I ranted before on this site about how I disliked Oliver Sacks’ writing, his “just so” stories, and that he never seems interesting in basic, obvious follow up to some of the things he describes:

  21. Mark in Boston – I am presuming the lady singer pronounced it Lee -vine (as in grape vine) – I have a client who pronounces his name this way (well two of them – his wife does also).

  22. Robert has never understood why I like books by the 3 Bronte sisters (except “Wuthering Heights” – to explain why I don’t like that one would give away the plot) and hate books by other women authors of the same period and country.

    For our “Saturday night movie and dinner out pandemic substitute of movie on TV while eating takeout Chinese food for dinner on Saturday night” this past week he was all excited he found the movie”Emma” (the latest movie version of the book by Jane Austen) to watch. By the time it was done he understood why I don’t like her books.

  23. Visual processing can be VERY odd. When you are actively looking at something like a plate of food, even if it’s off center, the left side of your brain will process the right side of the plate and vice versa. My friend could not fix his problem with the columns of numbers by moving the paper to the right. Fixating on the leftmost number did not help.

    You might think your visual system maps things to your visual cortex like a projector projecting an image on a screen. Not quite. The final image doesn’t bounce around with every little motion of your eyeball. It’s assembled from many layers of processing. Normally the left and right sides are so well integrated that it all seems like a continuous field.

    The things my friend saw were very odd and hard to describe. When there were two people sitting in chairs in front of him, he said that the one on the right looked normal. The one on the left appeared to be sitting in a chair that was floating a foot or two higher than the other; there was a wall but no floor and no other furniture.

  24. Though actually this one is a minor CIDU for me, in terms of “pandemic tradition” calling for cake?

  25. A party is a party is a party, no matter what the reason. We’re having a small canine (six people, 9 dogs) get-together Saturday, our first since 2019, and THERE WILL BE PIE!!!

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