My Picks for Top Tweets: 12 August 2017

Day 8. I think this might be better than I’ve ever done on a diet. Perhaps if food were words I’d look better? I can’t move onto the tweets without a comment on the North Korea situation though.

Today’s developments are once again making parts of my posts in preparation out of date. The impromptu press conference Trump just had would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. He’s standing there with his National Security Team who are all doing their best poker faces possible. However, that didn’t stop certain unconscious body reactions.

I took particular notice of Secretary of State Tillerson and UN Ambassador Ayotte, as they were on either side of him. Their anxiety at how the president would respond to certain questions was palpable. Then their relief or horror at his responses was also noticeable. Trump’s announcement that the US military might go into Venezuela was clearly a shock and surprise to both.



Then this:

His refusal to take the call is for no other reason than he doesn’t know what to say. He has no plan – he just likes to talk tough. He thinks it makes him look like a strong leader. But that only works with stupid people, and not forever. The way to stop bullies is to stand up to them – they almost always deflate in confrontation. Trumps history of settling out of court, despite his denials that he does that, shows he’s not really as tough as he pretends.

Even Fox News commentators who normally support Trump are criticizing his rhetoric, especially in relation to North Korea. For example, Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard on ‘Special Report’ today (11 August US time/12 August NZ time):

I think he’s got to be careful not to become “the boy who cried wolf” here. … The tough talk is just fine but I think people have to continue to believe that you might actually do these things. And the more that you make those kind of threats the less effective they are.

(I will probably plagiarize myself in one of the North Korea posts I’m writing – don’t be surprised if you read the last few sentences again.)

But on with the show!


Cat Tweets


Other Animals Tweets

A wee cutie to start us off in this category …

Hilarious, but I’m glad I wasn’t staying there!


Very cool!


Does it know? I think so.


Mammoths fascinate me. I wish they were still around.

Dinosaurs are cool.

Political Tweets

I do not think he knows what those words mean. Worse, he doesn’t understand why it’s so important.

I’ve said this before – there’s always an old Trump tweet for the occasion …

Something else I should be writing about. Teen pregnancy is a problem in New Zealand too, but it’s getting better, so we know how to fix it. An increase and improvement in sex education in schools, wider availability of contraception, enabling teens to get contraception without parental consent and more. The same thing has also led to a decrease in abortions. So Trump does the opposite, with the Christianists Price and Pence cheering him on. It’s disgusting.

Some good news on the political front, in case some of you haven’t heard about it yet.


In response to a tweet about Scott Pruitt dismantling the EPA


I never saw this coming! However, I bet Gingrich is seeing the way the wind is blowing and has been looking for an excuse to jump ship for a while.


And a little irony to finish off the politics…

Science Tweets

I always knew fruitcake could last a long time. In fact a good one is better if it’s made several months ahead. But this?

Global warming is still getting worse. When it’s really cold, Fox News insists that proves there’s no such thing as global warming. They’re reporting the record hot temperatures in northern hemisphere recently, but global warming doesn’t get a mention.

Entertainment Tweets

Bloody gorgeous! Except for the cigarette. Who wants to kiss someone who’s been smoking? It’s interesting how smoking was part of the portrayal of sexy back then.


I admit, I don’t really know who Channing Tatum is, though I’ve heard the name, but this is fun all the same.

History Tweets

Imagine learning to type on this!

This situation was far more perilous. Luckily, Trump wasn’t in charge then.

Religion Tweets

I could fill this post up with Alex Jones nuttery every day.


Which was in response to this tweet.


Since same-sex marriage became legal in New Zealand, a third of the licences issued to same-sex couples have been to Australians coming to New Zealand to marry.


There’s hope for some of them yet though …


No, it’s not the legacy of partition, it’s the legacy of religion.

Architecture Tweets



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14 Responses to “My Picks for Top Tweets: 12 August 2017”

  1. Steven in Tokyo says:

    I began writing Japanese in 1980, when it was done strictly by hand, preferably with easily erasable pencil. Then I got a Japanese typewriter, some time in the mid-80s. It was a big flat board with 2600 characters or so. It worked just like the one in the photo: select a character and push! Then we got word-processors that turned typed-in sounds into a variety of characters to choose from, and it just got easier and easier as the machines got cleverer. Now I can type Japanese more quickly than I can type English, especially with my own computer, since it’s so used to the vocabulary that I use! It always takes a while to break in a new one, though.

    • rickflick says:

      I’m not sure I understand how the word processor works. You type in the phonemes?
      I think the Japanese must be quicker to type because each character can stand for a complete word or idea, whereas, in English you have to type in many letters to form one word. I’m a little puzzled though as to how all the thousands of kanji symbols are represented by so few input elements.
      I’m curious what domain you write in that makes things more difficult. It is a technical area requiring much jargon?

      • My understanding is there are three types of characters and only one type is it one character is one word. Some words are made up of several characters representing sounds, and I can’t remember the third type. I’ll leave it to someone who knows to explain!

    • I’ve often wondered how they work – especially since I obtained a Japanese sister-in-law and most of her Facebook entries are bilingual. I want to learn Japanese as I’m now an aunty to bilingual kids as well now, and the knowledge that I could write it so easily on a computer makes that more attractive.

      • Steven in Tokyo says:

        I’d recommend trying it, Heather. It’s much easier to learn how to write Japanese now, because all you have to do with Japanese language software is to be able to recognise the word that you are after.
        Perhaps I should explain a little. There are two syllabaries, one for Japanese words, inflections, and particles, and the other for words derived from foreign languages, like チョコレート chokoreeto for chocolate. Then there are the Chinese, or SIno-Japanese, characters, of which you need to know probably more than 2000. A lot of vocabulary is made up of combinations of two or more characters, and there are lots of homophones, words with the same pronunciation but with different meanings and written with different characters. Kousei (or kōsei), for instance, can take up to about 30 different forms, though perhaps only half of those are common. When you want to put one of them into your text, you just type kousei, and the word-processing software gives you a choice of words with that sound, from which you select the one you want. If the first one that comes up is not the one you want, you just hit the space bar until the one you want appears, and you hit return when you have the one you want.
        I work in Japanese music history, and use a fairly limited if specialized vocabulary in my specialist writing, but as a university professor I also have to write more general texts, as well as administrative things. My computer is very used to me, however, and usually gives me the word I want as the first alternative.

  2. Steven in Tokyo says:

    (This is to replace a comment that appears to have disappeared into the ether.)
    Heather, I think that Japanese, with its fairly simple sound world, is a lot easier to learn now than it used to be, with the development of word-processing software. The two syllabaries—one for ‘indigenous’ Japanese words and the other for words derived from foreign languages—are not so hard, but what used to be so difficult was learning how to read and write all of the difficult vocabulary, which is written with combinations of Chinese (or Sino-Japanese) characters. Now all you need to be able to do is recognise the word, since the computer supplies you with all the different ways of writing homonyms.
    To give an example, kousei can be written in about 30 different ways, each with different meanings, although perhaps only about half of them are common. To put a word pronounced kousei into a text, you just type in those six letters, and then choose from the alternatives the computer gives you. If the first one that comes up is the wrong one, you hit the space bar, until the one you want appears, which you then select by hitting return. It’s simpler than it sounds.
    I work in the field of Japanese music history, which has a lot of jargon, but the computer has learnt which words I favour, and gives me them to me quickly. I also write more general texts, and administrative stuff as well, but the computer seems to learn fairly quickly!
    I will leave it there, just in case this disappears into the ether as well …

    • Thanks! I got this one. The other one never arrived this end, so I can only imagine where ut went. It sounds like it would be less difficult than I expected. It’s so different to what I’m used to I imagine I’d still find it tough though!

    • rickflick says:

      Thanks for filling in some details. I do not intend to learn Japanese, but it’s interesting to know a bit about how it works.

  3. Lee Knuth says:

    Especially liked the one from Aunt Crabbie. Perfect!@

  4. Mark R. says:

    I once found an octopus in a tide pool on California’s Pacific coast…I put it in a bucket and it turned bright red like the one in the tweet. After observing it for a few minutes and showing it off I put it back.

    Tim Minchin is a treasure. And I had no idea same sex marriage was illegal in Australia. So if a gay couple gets married in New Zealand, does Australia recognize the marriage as legal?

    Alex Jones: only in America, land of the loons. (Though I know his ilk can be found anywhere; we’re just the best at creating them.)

    “Trump was a fucking oracle.” I wonder if anyone ever re-tweets this type of ironic tweet back to Trump.

    Thanks for the 8th day of memorable tweets!

    • Yes – a same-sex marriage in NZ is legal in Aussie, though there may be some restrictions that other couples don’t face. There’s a close relationship in multiple areas between NZ and Aus.

  5. nwalsh says:

    The same situation was evident in Canada from 2005 until recently Americans were coming to Canada to be married.

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