ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Apr 16, 2019

This is the chat you're looking for! Join us every Tuesday to talk about everything else!

Live chat with Alexandra Petri at 11 a.m. ET. Submit questions and comments for her to respond to now.

Past ComPost Live Chats

Connect on Twitter: @petridishes And catch up with the blog here!

Hello, everyone! It is Tuesday! 

Last weekend my wife and I were about to cook some mixed new potatoes from Costco. She noted that the redskinned ones kept better than the whites. Then she said "The Washington Redskins don't need to change their name - they need to change their mascot; it should be a potato. Racism solved!" I agreed that was brilliant. She then added, "and they're in 'potato country' so it even makes sense." "Idaho is potato country" I observed. "Well, they're right next to it." I explained about the D.C. part of Washington. Not a big sports fan, my spouse.

This was a whole journey! She has a good point about the potatoes, but I want to learn more about what it is like to inhabit a world where they are the Washington-state-based football team. 

What are your thoughts? I haven't seen it yet. There's a part of me that wants to -- I'll certainly see the movie -- and part of me that doesn't, because (1) I feel as if I've already heard of things I would consider spoilers, and I don't want more, and (2) I fear I'll be disappointed somehow. Should I just watch it already?

Ooooh, let's discuss! Shall we start a spoiler-enriched zone? I would love to hear people's thoughts! I say watch it! I always watch the trailers. And it's just a minute!

How fast of a typist are you?

I am decently fast, but there is something the matter with my laptop keyboard that puts w's at random in the middle of words every time I rest my hands on the keyboard, and so I have to go back and pick them out, which slows me down somewhat. 

I looked through the list of Pulitzers yesterday and was surprised not to see your name listed. I was even more surprised to realize that they don't have a category for "Outstanding Pun-Filled Online Chat." Really?!? Or did they do away with that category after Gene Weingarten won two Pulitzers?

Ha, I think it was the second Weingarten win (for the chat, as you say) that confirmed them in their decision to do away with it. All that could be said in the medium, they felt, had been said. 

I posted my Notre Dame photos, confused my parents by mispronouncing it, and thought sad songs to myself all evening. Your piece was lovely, by the way.

Thank you. I am glad the rose windows made it! 

Why do they tell us who's back? I'd like to be pleasantly surprised when I see beloved (or feared) old characters return.

I think I'd like to be mentally prepared, actually! 

Jon Snow / Aegon Targaryen is going to find the Infinity Stones in the crypts so they can use the Force to go back in time and turn Thanos away from the Dark Side.

Of course: Rey is a Targaryen! I get it now. 

Rouge One was extensively re-shot and re-edited after the trailer was released.

Yes! Lucky filmgoers never got to see anyone say, "It's a rebellion, isn't it? I REBEL!" or whatever the line from the trailer was. 

Head over to Tor, the SF publisher. They had several blog posts and lots of comments deconstructing it last Friday:

Now I'm intrigued by the concept of how one would go about being a geography fan. Rooting for more maps? For current maps to say the same? For there to be logical map upheavals? 

I am amazingly fast at the keyboard. For some strange reason, though, what I type can be hard to read and interpret.

I have the same prowwwwblem! 

Haven't kept up with the news much lately.

Yes, that is correct. Their slogan was "Thanos: It's a Snap!"

Cartographers Rule! Elsewhere in the WaPo there is this map related story: Capital Weather Gang ‘Many people can’t find themselves on a map,’ laments Alabama meteorologist

I can only find myself on a map at the mall. 

If it also says, "Here Be Dragons" find the Exit and head towards it quickly, preferably "Not Pursued by a Bear."

A good mall map will label the Pursued By A Bear exit to distinguish it from the regular exit! 

Do we see the Falcon in flight? I think that warms my heart more than anything, so I might have to watch it for that.

You do see a custom TIE Interceptor in flight...

If we write a song about maps, I say we have to rhyme "equator" and "Mercator". I hope that's enough to get me a songwriting credit.

I think half of this is some projection, on your part! 

Last week she said, "I've been single for 10 years, it's not a long shot. Somebody just needs to grow a pair and step up," she said. "I'm shockingly available." Me too! Charlize, honest, I lost your number. I tried 867-5309, but a Jenny answered. Then I tried 634-5789 and some guy named Wilson answered. Can your people call my people (me)? Coffee, drinks, Netflix and Chill. Whatever. You name it. I'm free and single, and ready to mingle!

I don't have it, but if I ever run into her I will be sure to let her know that one of my friends from an anonymous weekly online chat is single, too! Everyone else please do the same!

We can write a new verse to "Lydia the Tattooed Lady."

I am just now discovering the original verse, and, wow, I bet she regrets getting that tattoo of Andrew Jackson now, though not as much as her social security number (one hopes it is not prominently visible). 

I thought it was a bit much that they used a Full Windsor knot on the TIE...

This led me down a rabbit-hole of different types of TIE and tie and in conclusion I now want a Star Wars-themed Thai restaurant. 

For the Map Song: Meridian and Amphibian

*types furiously*

Wait, what is the song about? Are we just singing about how we love maps writ large? (Maps writ small are much harder to see, anyhow.)

It's so outdated and distorted. Winkel-Tripel, maybe, or Authagraph are better choices. And the former is easier to rhyme.

Winkel-Tripel is already a near rhyme! And there's always the Gall-Peters!

All maginfication is correct. Keep correcting. What can't be seen can't be correct. The doctor can bury his mistakes. The press can print a correction. All the architect can do is advise the client to plant vines.

....Afternoon Delight!!! Thanks for somehow putting that crap song in my head.

You are welcome, and now I am trapped in there with you!

I don't know why but I'm hearing that in my head as. gall peters gall peters gall peters in a lyrical, high, little repetitive melody from a musical..that I can't quite name

Music Man, maybe?

There's also got to be a line that has both Mauritius and Mauritania.

This song is getting more and more complicated! I feel like we're all over the map with it! But let me see what I can do in these next five minutes! 

"Gall Peters" sounds to me like "saltpeter," which is famously a lyric in 1776. It's not high-pitched or lyrical though.

more trilling....not calvin. or lionel Almost like flower song duet but..not

which one? The one that goes "skywalkers in flight, afternoon delight?" "Gonna find my sister in the sky so wide With Obi Wan Kenobi as my jedi guide My motto's always been "but no, my father died." Why wade into the middle of the cold dark side?"

...yes, that one!

Both Episcopalian and Sesquipedalian, in rapid succession (like second century emperors).

I am largely underwater on this, like a mortgage or a globe, but it's coming!

also I fee like whippoorwills are involved. But, then again when aren't they?

Whatever you'd like it to be, you're the author. I mean, if the Kingsmen can mumble these supposed lines: "A fine little girl, she waits for me/ Me catch the ship across the sea..." surely you can do something similar. (But don't plagiarize! The courts have been rough on that lately.) Or two and a half minutes, if you want it played on Top 40 radio.

This whole chat is starting to turn into that West Wing "Big Block of Cheese" episode where the Cartographers for Social Equality are trying to persuade C.J. to get the White House to back an Inverted Peters Projection map.

Well, just in the interest of putting all of us out of our misery, here are some verses about maps! This falls as flat as the earth doesn't. 

<!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073741899 0 0 159 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Cambria",serif; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:"Cambria",serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} -->

Going to find a map that I can respect

I’m sick of losers who just project

Of Mercator

I’m a hater

The only thing correct on that map

Is the equator


I like the Peters map, it has Gall

To suggest that Africa exists at all

Gee, PS

As far as I can guess

The authagraph’s a tetrahedron, yes?


This map’s looking quotidian

That’s a sub-prime meridian

We might have a better attitude

If it used better latitude

But at least the longitude is prime

In the (Greenwich) mean time


Does this song have a chorus?

Does this song have a verse?

Compared to the Behrmann is this song even worse?

It lacks any meter

It’s not written to scale

If this song were a map

This song would just fail

It is dragon, like the thing at the edge, it is clear

And unlike at the mall, you wish you were not here.  

I must say, I find it pretty damn (dame) sad that the whole world is falling over itself to go on about how much Notre Dame meant to them (another selfie in front of ND...really? It is not about you), when we heard almost nothing about the burning of the National Library in Brazil, which has no money for repairs and cannot every get back the centuries of artifacts and knowledge lost (recordings of now-dead native languages, etc). I find that loss almost too horrible to think about.

The National Museum was absolutely a horrible loss, you're right. It's painful to think of all the knowledge that's just gone.

There are globes in globes. There is no alternate except experiment. Nothing is absolute. The Barr Report leaves us with mere guesses.

And on that note, I am out of here!

Have a great week, everyone! Enjoy that colorful report! I'll be on Twitter (@petridishes) and the blog if you need me (! 

In This Chat
Alexandra Petri
Recent Chats
  • Next: