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Alexx: *complaining about how one of his favorite TV shows got cancelled*
Kestrell: Did you just call it Netflakes?
Alexx: No, but I approve of that word.
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I've been enjoying Alexx's descriptions of signs he sees, but I really wish there was a Website where someone collected and captioned the best signs.
Yeah! "the semiotics of protest signs" --someone needs to do this as a thesis!

For now, could I ask people to caption the signs in this article?

I would also be interested in people leaving comments regarding their favorite signs.
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Posted mostly for the amusement of you know who you are. My screenreader does weird things with pronounciation marks, but you can find these words with their proper spelling and more at

from _The Portable Veblen_ (2016)
Elizabeth Mckenzie

block quote start
Her thoughts wandered. "You know, I wonder if the gentlemanly title of squire could be connected to the word squirrel. Way back, of course. Although I've heard it comes from the old Greek skiouros, which means shade ass."
He jauntily lifted his tail and fanned it out over his backside!
"I know the old English was aquerne, like acorn. And the German word for squirrel is Eichhornchen, which means something like oak-kitty. Nothing to do with squires or knights at all. In fact, your name is used derisively a lot of the time. To be squirrelly is to be crazy, nutty, weird. Outside the norm. And to squirrel something away is to be a hoarder, a stasher, a miser, a skinflint.
"Why has your name been so abused?
"It's not fair."
block quote end

Appendix C: 65 Ways to Say Squirrel

Azerbaijani--d l
Read more... )
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"The Name of the Roue"

Now I have the image of Maurice Chevalier wandering around the abbey singing "Thank Heaven for little girls..."
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Pelf is money gained in a disreputable manner, as in,
Pirates plunder pelf!
Mostly, I just posted this because I wanted to get that bit of alliterative silliness out of my ssystem. Also, for those of you who play Scrabble, this seems as if it would be a really useful word.
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What it was supposed to be: Purgatorio
What I heard: PurgaTokyo
The scanno: Purgatokio
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What I heard: "Caroling iron"
Is this some sort of blunt object carried by carollers in order to enforce payment of the figgy pudding? Sadly, no.

What the word actually was: a scanno of "Carolingian"

Carolling Carolingians carrying carolling irons? Could this be a new tradition?
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Found as an epigraph in a book about the philosophy of Abelard:

Suae specialiter suus singulariter
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I was listening to clips from a new Woody Guthrie compilation CD, and came across another compilation, titled "Til We Outnumber 'Em," which had a great MP3 by Craig Werner. He told a story about how, in the early days of his radio show, Guthrie would tell racist jokes, until he received a letter from a young black man who said that those "jokes" were hurtful. Then comes the heroic part: Guthrie apologized on his show and said he hadn't thought about what he was saying, because "it ain't about being perfect, it ain't about being politically correct, it's about dealing with the times we mess up."
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Diogenes the Cynic 5th century BC
a.k.a. "The Dog"

I have come to debase the coinage.

I am a citizen of the world.

When I die, throw me to the wolves. I'm used to it.

A. I am Alexander the Great.
B. I am Diogenes, the dog.
A. The dog?
B. I nuzzle the land, bark at the greedy, and bite louts.
A. What can I do for you?
B. Stand out of my light.

One wrong will not balance another to be honorable and just is our only defense against men without honor or justice.

There is no stick hard enough to drive me away from a man from whom I can learn something.

Bury me prone: I have always faced the other way.

Even with a lamp in broad daylight I cannot find an honest man.

I pissed on the man who called me a dog. Why was he so surprised?

Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves, whistle and dance the shimmy, and you've got an audience.
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This is the epigraph to _The Encyclopedia of the Dead_ by Danilo Kis; I am including the translation given by Google, but it doesn't entirely make sense to me, so I wanted to make sure the translation was correct before I banged my head against it some more.

Ma rage d'aimer donne sur la mort comme une fenetre sur la cour.

["love my rage faces death as a window onto the courtyard"]
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Drunk, Jane spoke as though she were Nancy Drew. I was a fool for a girl with a dainty lexicon.

Michael Chabon, from _Mysteries of Pittsburgh_
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Katherine Hepburn is my favorite actress ever, as she starred in my three favorite films: "Bringing Up Baby," "The Lion in Winter" (in which she played Eleanor of Aquitaine, my favorite historical figure), and "Desk Set" (I always wanted to grow up to be the character Hepburn plays in the movie), so I'm pleased to find such a perfect quote from her:

If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun.
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Did you know that Mark Twain was a fanboy for Helen Keller? What is it about curmudgeons and blind women?

Here is a letter from Twain to Keller

My favorite bits:

1. block quote start
I must steal half a moment from my work to say how glad I am to have your book and how highly I value it, both for its own sake and as a remembrance of an affectionate friendship which has subsisted between us for nine years without a break and without a single act of violence that I can call to mind. I suppose there is nothing like it in heaven; and not likely to be, until we get there and show off. I often think of it with longing, and how they'll say, "there they come--sit down in front." I am practicing with a tin halo. You do the same.
block quote end
I expect that it was this sort of encouragement which resulted in J. Edgar Hoover keeping a file on Keller...

2. block quote start
Oh, dear me, how unspeakably funny and owlishly idiotic and grotesque was that "plagiarism" farce! As if there was much of anything in any human utterance, oral or written, except plagiarism! The kernel, the soul--let us go farther and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances in plagiarism. For substantially all ideas are second hand, consciously or unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources and daily use by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them any where except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral calibre and his temperament, which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing.

When a great orator makes a great speech you are listening to ten thousand men--but we call it his speech, and really some exceedingly small portion of it is his. But not enough to signify. It is merely a Waterloo. It is Wellington's battle, in some degree, and we call it his but there were others that contributed. It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a telephone, or any other important thing--and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite--that ninety-nine parts of all things that proceed from the intellect are plagiarisms, pure and simple; and the lesson ought to make us modest. But nothing can do that.
block quote end

3. Oh, and here is my favorite Mark Twain quote about Keller:
Blindness is an exciting business, I tell you; if you don't believe it get up some dark night on the wrong side of your bed when the house is on fire and try to find the door.
- quoted by Helen Keller, Midstream
from this page on Mark Twain quotes about Helen Keller

4. And last, but not least, here is an online exhibit about Twain and Keller, their friendship, and parallels in each of their lives
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Again, from Umbie, regarding his review of a book on modern art which he seems to think may have been a bit narrow-minded and reactionary:

"If you are clever enough at this point to skip several chapters of the book, many traumata of reading will be eliminated..."
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is that, while other authors would fall back upon the paltry phrase "Words fail me," Eco takes up the challenge to create truly fantastic images. This is Eco describing a tacky tourist trap in California after he has been on a pilgrimage of tacky tourist traps.

block quote start
The poor words with which natural human speech is provided cannot suffice to describe the Madonna Inn. To convey its external appearance, divided into a series of constructions, which you reach by way of a filling station carved from Dolomitic rock, or through the restaurant, the bar, and the cafeteria, we can only venture some analogies. Let's say that Albert Speer, while leafing through a book on Gaudi, swallowed an overgenerous dose of LSD and began to build a nuptial catacomb for Liza Minnelli. But that doesn't give you an idea.... No, that still isn't right. Let's try telling about the rest rooms. They are an immense underground cavern, something like Altamira and Luray, with Byzantine columns supporting plaster baroque cherubs. The basins are big imitation-mother-of-pearl shells, the urinal is a fireplace carved from the rock, but when the jet of urine (sorry, but I have to explain) touches the bottom, water comes down from the wall of the hood, in a flushing cascade something like the Caves of the Planet Mongo.
block quote end
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I am still piecing together fragments of Greek poetry, although I did recover enough sanity to ask Alexx if he would visually proofread the text at some point, because I'm only on page eighty.

What I heard:
38 Loving girls more than Jell-O.

What is actually printed in the text:
38 Loving girls more than Gello.
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And yet, somehow, I can't find it in myself to deny that this sentence makes a weird kind of sense to me...

The aim of literature ... is the creation of a strange object covered with fur which breaks your heart.
Donald Barthelme

April 7, 1931: Postmodernist short story writer Donald Barthelme was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 82 years ago today.
from GoodReads quote of the day
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I wonder if Samuel L. Jackson knows how many readers want him to read to them?
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1. _Introduction to Planetary Geomorphology_ by Ronald Greeley (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
Nearly all major planets and moons in our Solar System have been visited by spacecraft and the data they have returned has revealed the incredible diversity of planetary surfaces. Featuring a wealth of images, this textbook explores the geological evolution of the planets and moons. Introductory chapters discuss how information gathered from spacecraft is used to unravel the geological complexities of our Solar System. Subsequent chapters focus on current understandings of planetary systems. The textbook shows how planetary images and remote sensing data are analyzed through the application of fundamental geological principles. It draws on results from spacecraft sent throughout the Solar System by NASA and other space agencies. Aimed at undergraduate students in planetary geology, geoscience, astronomy and solar system science, it highlights the differences and similarities of the surfaces at a level that can be readily understood by non-specialists.

2. _The Phonological Mind_ by Iris Berent (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
"Humans instinctively form words by weaving patterns of meaningless speech elements. Moreover, we do so in specific, regular ways. We contrast dogs and gods, favour blogs to lbogs. We begin forming sound-patterns at birth and, like songbirds, we do so spontaneously, even in the absence of an adult model. We even impose these phonological patterns on invented cultural technologies such as reading and writing. But why are humans compelled to generate phonological patterns? And why do different phonological systems - signed and spoken - share aspects of their design? Drawing on findings from a broad range of disciplines including linguistics, experimental psychology, neuroscience and comparative animal studies, Iris Berent explores these questions and proposes a new hypothesis about the architecture of the phonological mind"--


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