Friday, July 30, 2004

New Words

New Words

bushamey (noun)
High crimes and misdemeanors

bushify (verb)
To distort intelligence

bushrepellisations (plural noun)
Deliberately misleading statements

bushawativattropriva (noun)
Outrage fatigue

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"Do you really want to get rid of George W. Bush?"


How to start your week with a positive outlook

1. Open a new file in your PC
2. Name it "George W. Bush"
3. Send it to the trash
4. Empty the trash
5. Your PC will ask you: "Do you really want to get rid of George W.
6. Answer calmly, "Yes," and press the mouse button firmly.

(via "RushIsRot" at The DU Lounge)

The 10 worst album covers of all time

Graphic Horror

Not for the squeamish:

The 10 worst album covers of all time

10 more

And a lot more here: show and tell galleries

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Word of the Day: Jobbernowl

Word of the Day

Jobbernowl (n)

A blockhead, a stupid person

Mr. Dour yelled "jobbernowl!" and slammed down the phone. Apparently, it was another wrong number.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Close Encounter

Close Encounter

Today, I was on my way to where my car is parked, and saw a casually dressed bloke (about 30, shorts, sleeveless T shirt and baseball cap, needed a shave) standing near it and having a loud, animated conversation with . . . no one. He was going on and on about sitting on a sofa. "If I want to sit by you on the sofa, what's the matter with that?" he kept saying, with variations, while gesturing wildly with his hands and staring into space. Feeling rather spooked, I decided to approach the car from the opposite side--until I noticed that he had something in his ear, with a thin cord winding down from it into his pocket. Maybe the whole world hasn't gone insane after all, I thought.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Poem: A Visitation

Random Acts of Poetry

A Visitation

He’s here again, nosing out of the woods,
testing the evening lawn.
Who could shoot him in his tawny pause,
shatter his heart or pierce

that swooping pylon of neck?
The thin, impossible chic of those legs,
those velvet-swaddled horns—
Plato spoke of such perfection.

A deer visits and grace overflows,
cleansing a tainted day.
It’s not that I bow before nature
or adulate elegance, or see in this a sign.

It’s just that here, now, time rests
and I forget all pretense and irony.
With his stately gait, his intricate crown,
he could be one of the mythical kings,

taking a numinous form,
doing me an improbable honor--
me alone. Stupidly, I shout "look!"
He looks up and is gone.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

"It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death."
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Suggested Reading and Links about Dreams

I Have a Dream

This beautiful page of suggested readings on dreams and dream interpretation includes links to Freud's classic The Interpretation of Dreams, essays on Tibetan Buddhist dream yoga and Jungian dream analysis, G. William Domhoff's piece on "The Purpose of Dreams," and advice on "How to Remember Your Dreams" from The Lucidity Institute. The site's main page also offers a free service for answering general questions about dreams. Dream on . . . .

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

U.S. Newswire - Labor Department Launches Web Site to Help the Homeless

Theater of the Absurd

U.S. Labor Department Launches Web Site to Help the Homeless

' "This Web page furthers the Administration's commitment to helping the homeless, including homeless veterans," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, who serves as vice chairman of the Interagency Council on Homelessness." '

Yes, all you homeless people with laptops and modems, now you have your own website . . .

(OK, I know some homeless people have it together enough to use computers in libraries. But those are the ones who probably have all the information available on this site.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Word of the Day: Tantara

Word of the Day

tantara (n)

A trumpet or horn fanfare

Augusta always made quite an impression. Whenever she entered a room, I could almost hear a tantara.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Alice in Wonderland Online

Down the Rabbit Hole

cheshire cat

Here's an online version of Alice in Wonderland, featuring illustrations from nine historical artists (including Tenniel) and two contemporary artists. Lewis Carroll's hand-written draft of the book, Alice's Adventures under Ground, with his own illustrations, is here.

Alice always reminds me not to take life so seriously. You're nothing but a pack of cards!

(via The Presurfer)

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Strange Eating

"Tastes Just Like Chicken"

Someone asked me today what the strangest food was that I had ever eaten. I didn't have to think for long. Back in the days when I used to travel for work, I once tried sautéed bull testicles in Mexico; on another trip I had baked pigeon in Morocco. (I ate the latter, served with rice, with my fingers, which is how they eat dinner in Morocco.) I don't recall that either had a particularly sharp taste. I wouldn't have guessed that I was eating anything out of the ordinary from the taste alone. I'm not sure which of the two was the "strangest" -- probably the testicles, for the shock value. I'm more often reminded of eating the pigeon, though, since I don't often see bulls outside my window.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Is "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" a real word referring to Irish hookers?

Something Quite Atrocious

Is "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" a real word referring to Irish hookers?

No. But the article above provides some interesting clues about where and how it may have been coined. It predates the Disney film version of Mary Poppins and never appeared in the original P.L. Travers books.

(via grow-a-brain)

Ultra-realistic pencil drawings

Pencil on Paper

You will have a hard time believing that the pencil drawings at Gas Tank City aren't photographs or paintings. I'd say these ultra-realistic pictures are a testament to both mimetic genius and human endurance.

(via things)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Bush to screen population for mental illness

The Madness of King George, continued

This really is beyond parody:

Bush to screen population for mental illness

"President Bush plans to unveil next month a sweeping mental health initiative that recommends screening for every citizen and promotes the use of expensive antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs favored by supporters of the administration."

That's all we need -- W deciding who among us is "mentally ill" (perhaps those who don't support his policies?) and requires antipsychotic medication.

Oh brave new world . . .

And here's some real evidence of mental maturity.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Word of the Day: hebetude

Word of the Day

hebetude (n)

Mental dullness or slowness

The inept Mayor Smalltree's re-election would depend entirely on the hebetude of the townspeople, Malechi thought.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Poem: Moving Day

Random Acts of Poetry

Moving Day

With the rooms empty
and every door ajar
and the boxes down the stairs,
a potent stillness,
the outrider of change,
drifts in,

brushes the baseboards,
maunders and swirls,
finding no one in the livingroom
nothing in the kitchen
to stop or delay it,
only faded shades,

floors that creak,
dustballs in corners,
blank spaces on walls.
Forgotten objects--
a missing shoe, a broken toy,
magazines and coat hangers,

a glass by the sink,
old newspapers,
last year's calendar--
alone testify
to someone's life,
this interrupted story.

Once, fingers wandered
over guitar strings;
the bathroom mirror
held tired faces,
a day began and ended
that mattered somehow,

footsteps were heard,
a door opened,
babies screamed, children left.
Now, only the light changes,
like the sky relected in water,
a vague and broken image.

At night, the lights of cars
rushing up the street
animate the walls
and make shadows dance
like dogged memories
across the bedroom floor.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Saturn's rings in color

Ring Thing

There's something almost hypnotic about these color photos of Saturn's rings, via the Cassini spacecraft now in orbit around the planet. A slightly higher resolution image is here.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Alcohol: Not my drug of choice


I don't know why I've never been driven to drink, as things have happened to me (as they do to all of us, I suppose) that could have sent me to the bottle. But beyond the first beer, or the second glass of wine, I don't care much for alcohol. I don't enjoy the mental fog it brings, and it has never made me uninhibited--just the opposite. I become extremely cautious about what I say and do, knowing that I'm not quite in my right mind anymore.

My drug of choice is caffeine. It makes me feel smarter, perkier, more alive. I drink enough of it so that it doesn't make me nervous, even after the fourth cup of the day. And, to my knowledge, no one has ever proved that it has any ill effects, except on, maybe, fetuses. (I'll stop drinking it if I get pregnant.)

American coffee is weak, anyway. A Brazilian I met once referred to it as "brown water." They drink it 100-proof down there.

I'm in good company: caffeine is the world's most popular drug.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Word of the Day: Gowpen

Word of the Day

gowpen (n)

a double handful

Lacking a cup, Gavin drank a gowpen of water from the stream.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Sharp’s sub-1mm e-book reader

Paper Thin

Check out this new e-book reader. Are we getting closer to the "electronic paper" promised land?

Google Search: "my hero is"

According to Google

My hero is . . .

my Mom
my older brother
created and written by Paul Mendelson
my friend because she always cheers me up when I am sad
Michael Owen
clearly a 'fish out of water' comedy
a teacher who challenged me to find out what I believe in and gave me the courage to stand-up for it
my wonderful husband
my fiancee Spc. Jesse Sibson of the 153rd Engineer Battalion out of Huron SD
a special place we have designed to allow you to recognize the special hero in your life
an interactive site made for the entire family
a Big Bear Production
a British comedy about a superhero named Thermoman
a fighting man
an interactive educational website
my father
my teacher
no exception
an interesting look at education in Korea
not a huge fan of the Bush administration
a wonderful person
slowly but surely winning audiences over
John Chapman , also known as Johnny Appleseed
Itzhak Perlman

Monday, July 05, 2004

Why I rarely watch local TV news

Why I rarely watch local TV news

I live in the New York metro area. Truly newsworthy events in this area usually show up on the national news. Sports and weather coverage I can get on the web. I don't like news stories about horrible traffic accidents, babies falling out of windows, etc. There is nothing I can do about these upsetting things. Most of all, I don't like phony "happy talk." (That's why I also don't watch morning talk shows.) Why does anyone watch local TV news?

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Random Acts of Poetry: Match

Random Acts of Poetry (summer rerun)


Electricity lost,
that little redhead
exploded for us,
igniting a tiny
scratch dazzle
in the big dark place.

Your face bloomed,
orange and guileless
in the match-light:
a flicker
out of childhood,
out of a sulfurous dream.

Fade to black.
So it is with our kind.
I endured it,
not despairing.
I let drop
that little cinder bone,
the dead stick.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Prominent DC Shrink Diagnoses Bush to be a Paranoid, Sadistic Meglomaniac

The Madness of King George, continued

Prominent DC Shrink Diagnoses Bush to be a Paranoid, Sadistic Meglomaniac

"A new book by a prominent Washington psychoanalyst says President George W. Bush is a 'paranoid meglomaniac' as well as a sadist and 'untreated alcoholic.' The doctor's analysis appears to confirm earlier reports the President may be emotionally unstable."

My Pet Goat: The Real Story

Quote of the Day

"The girl had a pet goat. She liked to go running with her pet goat. She played with her goat in her house. She played with her goat in her yard. But the goat did something that made the girl's dad mad. The goat ate things. He ate cans and he ate cakes. He ate cakes and he ate cats. One day her dad said, that goat must go. He ate too many things. The girl said, that if you let the goat stay with us, I will see that he stops eating all those things. Her dad said he will try it. So the goat stayed and the girl made him stop eating cans and cakes and cats and cakes. But one day a car robber went into the girls house. He saw a big red car in the house and said, I will steal that car. He ran to the car and started to open the door. The girl and the goat were playing in the back yard. They did not see the car robber. More to come."

--From "The Pet Goat"
by Siegfried Engelmann & Elaine C. Bruner
Lesson 60, page 153
Reading Mastery 2, storybook #1
SRA (Scientific Research Associates)
McGraw-Hill, 1995
ISBN# 0026863553

This is the story that W continued to read with the elementary school class for several minutes after he was informed that a second plane had struck the World Trade Center. (Contrary to popular belief, the class was not reading from a stand-alone children's book called My Pet Goat; no such book exists.) More information about this can be found here.

Such a fascinating little story . . .