Monday, November 23, 2015

Random Sequence: horologe

"'Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep.
He'll watch the horologe a double set
If drink rock not his cradle."
--William Shakespeare, Othello, Act 2, Scene 7

horologe (noun) = a clock

My alarm horologe goes off at 6:30 AM. I'm tempted to call it a horrorloge.

museum of london clock

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Link Mania: The Taming of the Xanthippe?

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 is... emoji pictograph. Hmmph. Even "they" or (haha) "lumbersexual" would be a better choice.


Big Words Can Come in Small Packages
Including "benthic" (adjective form of "benthos", TWITO page 20) and "preterist" (TWITO, page 115).


40 Xcellent X-Words
Shakespeare could have written "The Taming of the Xanthippe". I'm kind of glad he didn't.


9 words to use instead of ‘toilet’
No, not that one you're thinking of.... Et tu, Shakespeare?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Photo of the Week: Looking Down (by me)

At the One World Trade Center Observatory
This is me and my son at New York City's One World Trade Center Observatory, standing 102 stories above street level and looking down (at a high-definition video screen, silly!). Click the pic for a scarier close-up.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Word of the Day: fissiparous

What's the word I'm thinking of? Today, it's...

fissiparous [fih-SIP-er-us] (adjective) [TWITO, page 54]

Tending to break apart

"This endless multiplication of somatic cells has been going on under the eyes of numerous observers for forty years. What observer has watched for forty years to see whether the fissiparous multiplication of Protozoa does not cease? What observer has watched for one year, or one month or one week?"
--Herbert Spencer, "Professor Weismann's Theories", in Popular Science (1893)

Cactus wound (fissiparous):
cactus wound
(photo by me)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Story Cubes 11: To the Rescue (fiction)

I couldn't sleep again, so I got up, took a pill, and let the cat out. Then I stood on the back porch, puffing a cigarette and gazing up at the star-spangled sky. The bulb in the porch light had fizzed out, so I had my flashlight with me. I dropped the butt, stamped it out, and was about to go back in the cabin, when I heard on odd sound off in the woods. It was a faint "ahhhh" sound, and for a crazy moment, I thought it sounded like the bleating of a sheep. Then I realized it seemed human, someone wailing weakly off in the trees. Somebody in trouble.

I have a hero complex, so I set off in the direction of the moaning, if that's what it was. I crossed the rickety footbridge over the stream and trotted into the woods. My flashlight made eerie shadows as I hurried down a path, and I started to worry about bears. I kept hearing that disturbing "ahhh" sound, louder and closer. It seemed to emanate from above, not just ahead. Finally it seemed to be coming from directly overhead. I stopped at the trunk of an enormous tree and pointed my flashlight up.

There was a man there, suspended by cords and fabric from the branches. What the hell, I thought, and then realized he was a parachutist. The missing pilot -- the one they couldn't find after the plane crash. But that was on the news a week ago. "You okay?" I yelled. No answer to my question, just another "ahhh." I didn't know what to do. He was way up there, higher than I could climb. I pulled out my phone, thinking I'd call 911, but there was no signal.

I lit a cigarette, closed my eyes, and tried to think. But then -- it was very odd. When I opened my eyes, I was back on the porch, without knowing how I'd gotten back there. The cat was in the yard, coughing up a hair ball and making "ahhh" sounds. I really, really have to stop taking Ambien.


(The bold-faced words are interpreted from the images on Rory's Story Cubes)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Random Sequence: oppugnancy

"Take but degree away, untune that string,
And hark what discord follows! Each thing melts
In mere oppugnancy: the bounded waters
Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores,
And make a sop of all this solid globe...."
--William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act 1, Scene 3

oppugnancy (noun) = opposition; resistance

I just can't "oppug" (?) a word like this.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Link Mania: Jam or Jelly?

Joanna Newsom Vocabulary List: A Guide to All Her $10 Words
My kind of singer/songwriter/harpsichordist.


12 Exceptionally Long or Extremely Special Words
If you've been searching for a word that means "a fricassee comprised of rotted dogfish head, wrasse, wood pigeon, and the roasted head of a dabchick, among other culinary morsels", you'll find it here.


The Weird Words You Learn From Video Games
Have you ever added crenels to a previously unbroken parapet?


18 awesome ways to say awesome
Jam or jelly?

Monday, November 02, 2015

FREE Kindles

Got a Kindle (or the FREE Kindle app on your phone/computer)? Two of my 4-star books on Amazon will be available as FREE Kindle downloads starting Wednesday, November 4, and extending through Sunday, November 8. Tell your friends -- especially if they are logophiles or would like to read a short story about "oddness in the Adirondacks".

The Word I'm Thinking Of

The Iron Box

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Photo of the Week: Mummy (by me)

Photo by me; mummy by artist Norman Kirby. Click the pic for an even scarier view.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Story Cubes 10: Parachute

Trevor stood on the bridge, staring down at the rapid water, and tempted, for the hundredth time it seemed, to jump. A beetle was crawling along the edge, and he kicked it over with his boot. He smiled as it tumbled down, but then his face went blank. "I'm a chicken," he thought. "I'd wish for a parachute the second I stepped off." The gurgling of the water reminded him of the ridiculous little fountain in the backyard of his house -- his former house, the one that caught fire, consuming his dog, his cat, and him photographs. His life's work. All that was left was ashes and that damn, mocking fountain. "Where's my rainbow?" he whispered, thinking of the picture on the saccharine Hallmark card his ex-wife had sent him. At least he still had his Nikon. He aimed the camera at his feet, with the toes of his boots peeking over the edge at the current below. "Decision," he said to himself. "A nice, ambiguous title."


(The bold-faced words are interpreted from the images on Rory's Story Cubes)