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January 30, 2004

This, That, and the Other

  • As a follow-up to my Silvergirl Research Day entry below, I ask you, the dy reading public: what albums were you raised on? For me it was Bridge Over Troubled Water by S&G and -- lord help me -- Anne Murray's Greatest Hits. (The latter was a 45. Ha! (except the laugh is probably on me since I bet a fourth of my readers don't even know what a "45" is (or maybe this site doesn't skew nearly as young as I like to imagine (and maybe I have no fucking clue how to use parentheses correctly.).).).).

    If there is a record you remember fondly -- or if you have kids and have found a CD that both you and the twerps enjoy -- lemmie know in the comments.

  • Freaks & Geeks on DVD. Awww yeah.
  • I don't think of it as wearing a hand-free headset despite not owning a cell phone, I think of it as free license to talk to myself on the bus.

  • Bad Review Revue: The Perfect Bore

    Critics weigh in on the new teen / S.A.T. / heist film The Perfect Score:

    "Scholastic craptitude." -- Desson Thomas, WASHINGTON POST

    "Everyone involved should go straight to detention and think about what they've done." -- E! ONLINE

    "Apparently edited with a roulette wheel. " -- Lou Lumenick, NEW YORK POST

    "A dull film with unsympathetic characters brought together by a gimmicky premise that's handled with no imagination and a pristine fraudulence of emotion. Aside from that, it's great." -- Mick LaSalle, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

    "Ocean's Eleven for people who can't count past six." -- Marc Mohan, PORTLAND OREGONIAN

    "X is to Y as this shit is to boring." -- Ed Park, VILLAGE VOICE

    Judging by RottenTomatoes.com, the perfect score works out to be around 19%.

    January 29, 2004


    Checkout line at the grocery store, conversation between my cashier and my bagboy, neither of whom looked to be over twenty:

    Bagboy: I like Dean.

    Cashier: Dude, Dean blew it.

    BB: Yeah, I guess.

    C: Dean reminds me of one of those guys ... y'know, those guys? From Hawaii?


    BB: Hawaiians?

    C: No. You know, the, um. The hippies.

    BB: Dean reminds you of Hawaiian hippies?

    C: Exactly.

    January 28, 2004

    Research Day: Who The Hell Is Silvergirl?

    I have been listening to (and learning the lyrics from) a lot of Simon & Garfunkle songs in preparation for The Squirrelly. After all, that's what I was raised on, and look at what a wunderkind I turned out to be. Besides, there's nothing like singing The Sound Of Silence to your child to provide him the existential angst of overwhelming emptiness that most childhoods sorely lack these days.

    In particular I've been focusing on "Bridge Over Troubled Water," because it's 66.66% Daily Affirmation. The first two verses describe how the singer is "on your side / when times get rough / and friends just can't be found,", etc. etc. It's all very Stand By Me-esque. But then, in the third and final verse, we get this:

    Sail on silvergirl
    Sail on by.
    Your time has come to shine.
    All your dreams are on their way.
    See how they shine.
    Yo, Silvergirl! What are you doing sailing through my nurturing and supportive lullaby?!

    In Googling this, I gathered more supporting evidence for a hypothesis I coined while researching Hotel California: "Any ambiguous lyric in a song released between 1964 and 1982 will be interpreted as encouragement of drug use or Satanism." Specifically, the first few websites I checked out regarding Silvergirl all claimed that the entire ballad was a tribute to smack:

    Last Trumpet Ministries: "Paul Simon referred to heroin as being the "Bridge over troubled waters." In that infamous song he referred to the bridge as a 'silver girl', which is the street name for a heroin needle."

    In The 70's: Meaning of Lyrics From Songs of the 70s: "My dad told me that this song was about 'shooting up' or IV drug use. He said the part where they say 'Sail on Silver Girl, sail on by, you're time has come to shine....' is about the needle. I don't know how true this is but when you listen to the rest of the lyrics you could see how they might be singing about using drugs to escape the pain of the world."

    And so on.

    Fortunately -- and unlike Hotel California -- it didn't take me long to get the skinny on this myth. Here's Paul Simon himself refuting the rumor in an Song Talk interview:

    SongTalk: [Do] people come up with perverse ways to read your songs?

    Simon: Well, yeah ... but to sustain those interpretations, you'll find that people just have to twist themselves into a pretzel to do it. I mean, there was a whole period of time where Bridge Over Troubled Water was supposed to be about heroin.

    SongTalk: Yeah. 'Silvergirl' was supposed to be a syringe.

    Simon: That's a tough one. It's a tough one to prove cause, of course, it's absolutely not so.

    So who was this elusive Silvergirl? In another interview, this one with Playboy (work safe link), Simon spilled the beans:
    Playboy: When you wrote Bridge Over Troubled Water, did you know immediately that you had written a hit?

    Simon: No, I did say, "This is very special." I didn't think it was a hit, because I didn't think they'd play a five-minute song on the radio. Actually, I just wrote it to be two verses done on the piano. But when we got into the studio, Artie and Roy Halee, who coproduced our records, wanted to add a third verse and drums to make it huge ...

    The last verse, it was about Peggy [Simon's girlfriend, later to become his wife], whom I was living with at the time: 'Sail on, silver girl ... / Your time has come to shine' was half a joke, because she was upset one day when she had found two or three gray hairs on her head.

    Bah. These things always wind up so mundane.

    Moral: if you want to be remembered as a songwriter who routinely encourages drug use and Satanism, it's better to write lyrics like:

    And so the flaming argyle hid
    Behind a copper flute
    I really enjoy smoking crack
    O Beelzebub my master.
    Bonus Research Day Fact #1 : I found zero corroboration for the claim that "'silver girl' .. is the street name for a heroin needle". See: Google: ("silver girl" OR silvergirl) heroin needle -bridge. Oh those Last Trumpet Ministries -- I'll never trust them on matters of street slang again!

    Bonus Research Day Fact #2 : Paul Simon was married to Carrie Fisher??! I had no idea.

    January 27, 2004

    Instructions For NH Voters

    Welcome to the New Hampshire Democratic primary. Please select one of the following candidates:

    Clark, Wesley
    Dean, Howard
    Edwards, John
    Kerry, John
    Kucinich, Dennis
    Lieberman, Joseph
    Sharpton, Al


    Democrats: Please vote for the candidate that you think will receive the most votes. Remember: the key to this election is electability, so do NOT vote for the person you would prefer to see as President. Instead, choose the person that you predict the most other people will prefer to see as President in the general election. Also remember that the Democrats will only win if they can attract conservatives "Crossover" voters, so imagine a right-wing Republican -- preferably someone who holds political views antithetical to your own -- and vote as you think he would.

    Republicans: If you are a Republican trying to "spoil" the primary, your goal will be to vote for the LEAST electable candidate. Try to figure out which candidate the Democratic caucusgoers would vote for if they were voting their conscience instead of voting for who they think will get the most votes, and vote for that person.

    Thank you for your participation! Democracy works because of voters like you!
    January 26, 2004


    I wept because I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet.

    And Christ, all that guy could talk about was having no feet. He'd be, like, "Return of the King? No, I haven't seen that movie ... because I have no feet!" Or "thanks for the pie but I didn't really enjoy it, what with the having no feet and all."

    So I reminded him that there were men with no legs. That shut him up.

    Plus, then I found my shoes under the bed, so everything worked out great.

    January 23, 2004

    IKEA Strategy Guide

    Today I am The Morning News Non-Expert.

    January 19, 2004

    How Time Flies

    Hey, whoa. The second anniversary of defective yeti skulked right on by me. I started this whatever on January 10 of 2002, and have somehow managed to keep at for 24 straight months, which is pretty much longer than I have engaged in any activity not regulated by my brain stem.

    I attribute my dedication to two things: (a) idiot drug junkies on my bus who keep saying hilariously stupid things that I feel compelled to put down in hypertext, and (b) you guys, who, for reasons I find largely unfathomable, keep reading this ridiculous thing and leaving awesome comments.

    Last year, upon hitting the one-year mark, I hemmed and hawed about continuing; this year I know for a fact that I'll be posting for another 52 weeks at least. (Although I expect output to drop for a while after The Squirrelly arrives. My output, I mean: I'm sure The Squirrelly's output will be voluminous.) I've gone from the stage where I was crazy-excited about the yeti to the stage where I kind of viewed it to a chore to the point where I can't imagine not writing here every few days. So I guess quitting is no longer an option, really.

    That said, I'm taking this week off, both to celebrate the anniversary and because I'm having my first honest-to-goodness freak-out about the prospect of a small human being joining the Baldwin Clan. I will therefore be devoting the rest of the week to obsessively researching the Consumer Reports rankings of onesies and having the radiator fluid in my car changed for no obvious reason.

    I'll be back on the 26th, and should have a piece in The Morning News later this week.

    Thanks everybody!
    Matthew Baldwin

    January 16, 2004

    Friday Afternoon Scratchpad

    The defective yeti How To Drink Without Becoming An Alcoholic Program

    My coworker told me his new year's resolution: he had decided to only drink once a week.

    No, I replied. No, no, no. I tried this, and it's a bad idea, here's why: one, you'll fall off the wagon by February 13; and two, you'll probably fall off the wagon by January 27.

    Besides: you're supposed to drink every day -- Science says so. That why I thunk up The defective yeti How To Drink Without Becoming An Alcoholic Program, and have more-or-less adhered to it for a couple of years. It has worked so well for me I'd be remiss not to share it with the world.

    So here it is. Are you ready? Okay, write this down:

    No more than one drink a day except for one time a week.
    That's it! You get your Science-prescribed daily-glass-o-red-wine and you get your weekly three-beers-with-the-buddies outing.

    The trick is to remember the caveat: "No carryovers!!" If you forego your nightly drink, you don't get two the following day (unless it's your designated "one than one" binge). Likewise, you only get a single "more than one" day per calendar week -- no carryovers!!

    Works for me.
    True Fact

    Speaking of drinking, I recently walked from the Rendezvous to my bus stop at around 11:00 at night, following one of my aforementioned three-beers-with-the-buddies outings. As the Rendezvous is on 2nd and Bell and my bus stop was on 4th and Stewart, this necessitated travel through some Seattle's Sketchy Neighborhoods, so I reflexively adopted my Badass Motherfucker gait, a mode of walking that involves long strides, a puffed-up chest, and lots of scowling.

    (Note: I was raised in the suburbs, so my perception of a Sketchy Neighborhood is probably way skewed. I consider any block that doesn't contain a Dairy Queen, a Blockbuster or an antique store to be a "Sketchy Neighborhood". But work with me, here.)

    At some point I got the munchies and dug some food left over from my lunch out of my backpack. I began snacking on that as I walked.

    But then I saw my reflection in a store window, and realized that my choice of foodstuff pretty much negated any advantage gained by my strutting. Because here is a 100% true fact, folks: nobody looks like a Badass Motherfucker while eating baby carrots.

    In recent weeks I have been sneaking links onto my sidebar. I was being all stealthy 'n' shit because, in most cases, I was embarrassed they weren't there already. But I'll fess up:

    Sites that really should have been in the sidebar since the inception of this site: Dooce, Que Sera Sera and I, Asshole. I have no excuse.

    Update: Holy crow, I just realized that I never put Choire Sicha on my sidebar. Whatta idiot. Me, I mean, not Choire. Anyway, he's there now. Dumb dumb dumb. Uh: again, that means me.

    Sites that have been around for a while but, for some reason or another, I only recently discovered: Public Defender Dude, Coudal, Dong Resin's Joint.

    Newish sites by cool people: WULAD , Danger Blog.

    Back from the dead: Mr. Pants. Year Of The Smore, yo.
    Spoiler Candidates

    Says Wesley Clark's campaign: "Lieberman is like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense: He's dead and doesn't know it yet."

    Jeeze -- just blurt out the ending, why don't you?! What if everyone followed your example?

    • Clark: "The Republicans' feckless approach to foreign policy has so radically changed the world that, like the Planet of the Apes, it's no longer even recognizable as Earth."
    • Dean: "When it came to authorizing the war in Iraq, the other candidates were like the characters in Murder In The Orient Express: they all did it."
    • Gephardt: "Kucinich's worldview is so idealist that he reminds me of Charles Foster Kane, pining for the halcyon days when the most important thing in the world was a sled named Rosebud."
    • Kerry: "George Bush is like Luke Skywalker: powerful because his father is a influential figure in a evil organization."
    • Mosley-Braun: "If you don't vote for me you will wind up with a candidate who, like the main character in The Crying Game, is a man."
    For The record

    Go Edwards.

    January 15, 2004

    Kerry Enjoys Surge

    Speaking at the Sanford Center earlier today, Senator John Kerry reveled in recent polls showing growing support for his presidential aspiration. "Do you like the surge?" Kerry asked the crowd of more than 200 people. "Are you ready to add more surge? Are you ready to make more surge, more surge? And are you ready to make more and more surge?"

    Kerry's elation was also evident as spoke with reporters following the speech. "The American people have a thirst for crisp, clean, refreshing solutions," he told ABC's Cokie Roberts, whom he affectionately referred to as "The Coke" several dozen times. "And I'm pleased that the press is no longer giving Howard Dean a free pass on his various reversals. Whenever you see the doctor, pepper him with questions about his controversial statements on Iraq. I want that doctor peppered."

    The rising poll numbers are good news for a candidate that has been dogged by allegations of impropriety. Rivals for the Democratic nomination claim that an unnamed corporation recent gave Kerry's campaign enormous contributions in return for product endorsement. While Kerry acknowledges a recent influx of funds, he dismisses claims that he is providing anything in return as "sheer fantasy." "No amount of money," said Kerry, "is going to prevent me from doing what sprite for America."

    Footnote 1: I totally not making up that surge quotation.

    Foornote 2: In doing "research" for this post, I came across the best legal boilerplate ever: "We love your dedication, we love your passion ... but also want to remind you that, no matter what you do to promote SURGE and SaveSURGE.org, make sure it's legal! SaveSURGE.org cannot be held responsible for your actions. Thank you all, you're the best!"

    [ link | News]

    January 14, 2004

    I Am My Anti-Drug!

    The Queen calls me at work:

    The Queen: Guess what.

    Me: AJ is your favorite Backstreet Boy.

    Q: I just saw you on TV.

    M: You ... huh?

    Q: I was watching the local news and, in the middle of a story, there was this huge close-up of your face.

    M: Really? What was the story about?

    Q: The pleasurable effects of smoking marijuana.

    M: Whaaaa-?

    Q: They were talking about some new study that says the buzz people get while running is chemically similar to a marijuana high, and they were showing footage from a gym. And I was, like, 'hey, I think that's Matt in the background.' And then, all the sudden, your face was filling the screen.

    M: Wow, crazy. I must have been the best looking guy in the gym; it's the only explanation.

    Q: I don't think so. Actually, you looked pretty unpleasant.

    M: So they were talking about the euphoric effects of pot while showing a picture of me sweating and grimacing?

    Q: Yep. You probably stopped a hundred kids from experimenting with marijuana.

    January 13, 2004


    Since I used to maintain the board game site acesup.com, and because I now write about board game here from time to time, I often get email from folks asking if I know of game groups or game stores in the Seattle area.

    I've been meaning to improve my CSS skills for a while anyhow, so I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone and create a website devoted to the Seattle boardgame community. Thus, my new side project: http://www.seattlespiel.com.

    [ link | Games]

    January 12, 2004

    Pushing Daisies

    I rarely care enough to send the very best, but I recently saw this card at Hallmark and considered picking up a few:

    Wow, talk about useful! I mean, that's got to be one of the subtlest death threats I've ever seen.

    IT Guys ... In The Elevator!

    Overheard in the elevator:

    IT Guy 1: Sure, I know that band. They're pretty good.

    IT Guy 2: I have their album, if you want me to burn you a CD.

    IT Guy 1: That would be cool. But burn it as mp3s, not as CD tracks. I don't even bother with CDs any more. Over Christmas I converted all my CDs to mp3s and then used a 25 foot cable to connect my server to my stereo. So now I just run the whole thing from my PC.

    IT Guy 2: Yeah, I did that too. 'Cept my PC is in the room adjacent to the living area, so I have a 50 foot cable.

    Oh, brother. At least when guys discuss their cars there's a modicum of subtlety about what they're actually comparing.

    January 09, 2004

    Lord Of The Ring Of Fire

    By the way, halfway through The Return of the King I figured out that the entire Lord of the Rings saga is an allegory for pregnancy.

    Seriously, check it out. You got your Frodo and your Sam, trudging to the Crack of Doom, right? And that's about as apt a description for pregnancy as you're likely to find: nine months of trudging to Mordor. (Fun fact: "trudging to Mordor" was euphemism they used on I Love Lucy before they could say "pregnant" on the air!)

    But only one person is the appointed bearer. And that poor sap has to carry the burden the entire way, a burden that just gets heavier and heavier as the weeks wear on. The bearer gets increasingly tired and cranky as they approach their destination -- and who can blame them? Their good-for-nothing companion doesn't do anything useful, except flit about and say things like "jeeze, I wish I could carry the burden for a while!" and occasionally fight off an enormous spider and/or fetch chocolate ice cream.

    But as bad as the journey is, it's the ending that truly sucks: the agony of carrying the burden is nothing compared to letting it go. The bearer gets all, like, "I can't do it, it's impossible!" and the companion stands around heming and hawing and lamely asserting "sure you can!" And then, out of nowhere, a creepy-looking bald-headed creature comes onto the scene.

    Skeptical? Further corroboration!

    • At the end of pregnancy, women endure "The Ring of Fire"; the climax in The Return of the King involves The Ring and fire. I mean, what could be more obvious? (Note: I'm not going to describe the Ring of Fire here for a variety of reasons, #1 being that the more times I type the phrase "Ring of Fire" the more likely I am to get that Johnny Cash song indelibly stuck in my head. So if you want to know what it is, Google it or get yourself knocked up.)
    • The One Ring causes the bearer great discomfort; according to The Queen, having a small person inside of you perpetually kicking your kidney is also something of an inconvenience.
    • When people see the One Ring they feel an almost irresistible urge to reach out and grab it; likewise, strangers in the supermarket are seemingly compelled to reach out and touch The Queen's belly.
    • One of the side-effects of carrying the One Ring is that the bearer does not age; one the side effects of being pregnant is that your hair stops falling out. No, for real. The Queen currently has a head of hair so big that it would make women from Texas burn with envy.
    • I am pretty much the spitting image of Viggo Mortensen. Case closed!
    (For those of you who have lost track: the due date is February 21st.)

    The Bad Review Revue

    Love Don't Cost A Thing: "An inept and sleazy remake of a bad movie that easily edges From Justin to Kelly as the dullest major-studio release of the year." -- Lou Lumenick, NEW YORK POST

    My Baby's Daddy: "Diapers, even from three babies, can't stink worse than this." -- Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

    Paycheck: "Doesn't come within a light year of even science-fiction plausibility." -- Jack Mathews, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    Mona Lisa's Smile: "To call it one-dimensional would be an act of charity." -- Carrie Rickey, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

    Chasing Liberty: "The film does provide one solid reason to display a little patriotic fervor: we have the freedom to avoid such rote, shallow dullness." -- Connie Ogle, MIAMI HERALD

    January 08, 2004

    Movies: Return of the King

    I was a little apprehensive about The Return of the King. I mean, I knew it would be great -- it was, after all, filmed concurrently with the other films, with the same cast and director and source material. But Peter Jackson was passed over for the "Best Director" award in the last two Academy Awards ceremonies, and I was worried that, if the final installment was not as over-the-top great as the first and second, he might not get his due.

    I needn't have feared; The Return of the King lives up to the astounding precedent set by The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, and Jackson will almost certainly get his statuette.

    And yet, I couldn't help but be ever-so-slightly disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was fantastic -- my favorite movie of the year, even. But after investing so much time into watching and rewatching the first two films, I wanted a Big Finish, I wanted the last movie to be even grander and more sublime. But, honestly, how could it? With the characters and cinematography showcased in Fellowship, the war scenes and the eerily realist Gollum on display in Two Towers, Return was left with little new ground to break. And I knew that, even before entering the cinema. But, still. When RotK failed to exceed the films before it, a little voice inside of me kinda went "darn."

    My enjoyment of the film was also vaguely sullied by the fact that I didn't rewatch The Two Towers before going to see RotK. I had honestly intended to do so in the weeks before the premiere, but I never got around to it. Consequentially, I spent much of the first hour of the film trying to remember all that had happened before. As with TTT, Return gives viewers no "Previous On Lord Of The Rings" recap --which, frankly, is how it should be -- so those who didn't refresh their memories before heading into the theaters may have found their transcendental viewing-experience occasionally interrupted by thoughts of "wait -- who's that guy, again?" So if you're the one guy in America who hasn't seen RotK yet (Brent Wilson of Gerbil Junction, Iowa,) and you happen to be reading this, take my advice: rewatch the first two films now.

    (Return of the King also contains the only deviation from the books that I object to -- a matter, for the sake of Mr. Wilson, I will discuss in the comments, so as to keep spoilers off this page.)

    Well, enough carping -- Jackson gives me three of the greatest movies I've ever seen and all I can do is bitch. Seriously: Return of the King is, like its predecessors, a wondrous and enthralling experience. Even at three-and-a-half-hours I never felt it to be overlong or ponderous, and at times I found myself marveling that such a lengthy film could move at a breakneck pace. And, having read the book, I knew how things wrapped up, so I had no objection to the plethora of endings.

    The Fellowship Of The Ring will always be my favorite of the three, simply because I vividly remember the moment when amazement washed over me halfway through the film as i realized they weren't going to screw it up after all. And then Two Towers came along and somehow managed to be every bit as good. Return of the King didn't exceed my expectations, per se, but it was every bit as good as I'd hoped. And taken as a whole, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is surely one of the finest achievements in the history of cinema. Jackson deserves ever single award he is bound to receive.

    Note: The comments are not spoiler-free.

    January 06, 2004

    Shake It

    Yesterday the Mars Rover sent back detailed photos and video of the planet's terrain; today NASA released the first audio recorded on the Martian surface. During the 24 minute broadcast, listeners could discern the faint whistling of world's thin atmosphere, the low rumblings of tectonic movement, and, in the background, the distant but unmistakable strains of Outkast's "Hey Ya!"

    [ link | News]

    January 05, 2004

    Ahead Of The Curve

    The trick to making a bajillion dollars off a fad, of course, is to get way ahead of the curve.

    That's why, for a limited time only, I'll be selling bumperstickers (and other merchandise) to my conservative readers.

    Be the first to slap one on your car, January 21, 2005!

    Update According to whois, "impeachdean.com" was registered in Novemember of last year. So was "impeachclark.com." Curiously, "impeachkucinich.com" is still available ...

    January 02, 2004



    Pat Robertson said Friday that God told him President Bush will be re-elected in a landslide.

    "I think George Bush is going to win in a walk," the religious broadcaster said on his "700 Club" program on the Virginia Beach-based Christian Broadcasting Network, which he founded. "I really believe I'm hearing from the Lord it's going to be like a blowout election in 2004. It's shaping up that way," Robertson said.

    Earlier on the program, Robertson had explained that he wanted to share "some of the things that I believe the Lord was showing me as I spent several days in prayer at the end of 2003 ..."

    For the record, here's the full list of God's 2004 revelations:

    • President: George W. Bush
    • Superbowl Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    • Best Supporting Actress: Renée Zellweger, Cold Mountain
    • Utah State's "Lucky Seven" Numbers For the Week of June 13-19: 03 04 16 20 43 47 55
    • Killer Stock Picks: AMGN, HRB, JNJ, MSFT, HRB
    • People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive: Hugh Jackman
    • Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize: Clay Risen
    • Hot New Diet: Dr. Grummley's Carbopalooza Slimdown Program For America
    • Number between 1 and 10 that Timmy McGarret is thinking of: 2
    • Date of Rapture, For Real This Time: October 14th

    [ link | News]

    January 01, 2004

    Matthew Baldwin, Perpilocutionist

    There are so many fabulous words over at the Glossary of Linguistics and Rhetoric that it's hard to pick favorites, but here are some of mine:

    • Apophasis: Mentioning something by declaring that it shall not be mentioned. "I need not remind you to get your Christmas shopping done early."

    • Cacography: Poor handwriting; also, incorrect spelling.

    • Dontopedalogy: An aptitude for putting one's foot in one's mouth.

    • Exergasia: Repeating a point by using different figures of speech to give the impression of saying something new.

    • Exonym: A name by which one people or social group refers to another but which is not used by said group to refer to themselves.

    • Fis phenomenon: The phenomenon where children reject well-meaning adult attempts to mispronounce a word in the same way as a child. Child: "Fis." / Adult: "Yes, it's a 'fis'." / Child: "No, 'fis'!" / Adult: "Oh, a fish." / Child: "Yes, a fis."

    • Graphospasm: Writer's cramp.

    • Illeism: The practice of referring to oneself in the third person.

    • Litotes: Understatement by negating the opposite. "I was not disappointed with the news."

    • Mendaciloquence: Lying as an art; adroit prevarication.

    • Perpilocutionist: One who expounds on a subject of which he has little knowledge.

    • Tmesis: Inserting a word in the middle of another. "Hoo-bloody-ray" and "un-freaking-believable."

    [ link | Links]

    Found God

    The person sitting across from me on the bus this morning was engrossed in a small, slender magazine. His lips moved and he occasionally muttered unintelligibly in his enthusiasm. I assumed he was focused on a religious tract of some sort, as he seemed like a man doing his daily devotional.

    He was so absorbed in his reading that he almost missed his stop. As the bus pulled away from the curb at 4th and Marion he suddenly looked up, leapt to his feet in alarm, and hollered "back door!" As he scurried past me I caught a glimpse of the book's title. It read "WORLDS GREATEST WORD SEARCHES."