March rambling: don’t be an idiot

floccinaucinihilipilification

sign at the gas pump
Why India’s Muslims are in grave danger.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Coronavirus advice: ‘Don’t be complacent, and don’t be an idiot’ and Medicare for All.

Everything looks fine until it doesn’t.

Weekly Sift: Coronavirus Reaches My Town.

Why retirement insecurity is the new American epidemic.

Rules for Addressing Panhandlers.

The Inclusive Internet Index 2020.

Does Anybody Know Who’s Electable?

What Are Those Strange Things You See Floating In Your Eye?

Bye, Chris Matthews.

Was Jeanne Calment the Oldest Person Who Ever Lived — or a Fraud?

Cookie Monster breaks the Internet.

Touching a camera for the first time in three months.

James Lipton, animated host of ‘Inside the Actors Studio’, dies at 93.

Max von Sydow, Legendary Seventh Seal Star, Dies at 90.

RIP Earl Pomerantz

My wife’s aunt, Emelia Olin obit.

ChangeRoots.com

What is Bipartisanship, Really

Racism, Retaliation and Othering

Donnybrook

He Bears Full Responsibility for Botched Response to Coronavirus in U.S.

Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller Wrote His Coronavirus Speech That’s Tanking Markets and Spreading Falsehoods and Fear.

The Daily Show video: Pandumbic. Late Night with Seth Meyers: Trump Contradicts Experts as Coronavirus Is Declared a Pandemic.

A limerick by Catbird

There once was a POTUS named trump
Whose mind was as sharp as a stump
“It’s perfect!” he crowed
“Test kits? We’ve a load!”
And now we’re all down in the dumps.

Pressed on the ACA, his rhetoric takes an incoherent turn.

How should Democrats fight against a president who has no moral or legal compass?

Newly obtained documents reveal more Secret Service payments to Trump properties.

He Installs Homophobic Racist Tea Party Birther Who Promised to Send Obama ‘Home to Kenya’ as New Chief of Staff.

Language

What is the difference between appoggiatura and acciaccatura? Appoggiatura is “a type of musical ornament, falling on the beat, which often creates a suspension and subtracts for itself half the time value of the principal note which follows while acciaccatura is a short grace note (theoretically taking no time at all), occurring on the beat occupied by the main note to which it is prefixed.”

Definition of meliorism: the belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment.

Words That Describe Incredibly Specific Things, such as erinaceous, jentacular, nudiustertian, qualtagh, and especially floccinaucinihilipilification.

Words Fossilized In Idioms.

Geez, jeez!

12 Regional Slang Words From Across the U.S.

The Origin Of “Piss Poor” And Other Popular Sayings.

Insight of the Day.

Now I Know

The Tampons That Fought Back By Adding a Spine and The Color of Flying Calmly and The Beyond Gold Medalist and A Blockbuster Parenting Move and How Much is a Buttload, Exactly? and The Somewhat-Silent Explosions Made for Dogs and The Snack You Had to Commit a Crime to Try and Why Stop Signs Have Eight Sides.

MUSIC

Philippa Duke Schuyler performing Bach.

Homunculus C.F. by Julia Perry.

Fidelio overture by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Coverville 1298: This Day in Covers: February 25, 1985.

God’s Counting On Me – Pete Seeger.

WHATCHA SEE IS WHATCHA GET – The Dramatics.

Mr. Sandman – The Chordettes. Obit: Lynn Evans Mand, singer of hits with the Chordettes, at 95.

K-Chuck Radio: The Invasion of the Break-Ins.

The Archive Of Contemporary Music — And Its 3 Million Recordings — Is Leaving NY.

Johnny Cash thought his recording career was over. Then he met legendary producer Rick Rubin.

January rambling: surreal logic

conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy

weird_hill.xkcd
Weird Hill from xkcd

4 Ways to Detect Media Bias and Step Out of the Partisan Bubble.

Virtually All Major US Drinking Water Sources Likely Contaminated With PFAS.

Can Bankers Become Allies Against Climate Change?

The forgotten assassination of MLK’s mother Alberta King in 1974.

How do you keep that Christmas Eve feeling?

The Day That Changed Everything. The subhead: “They lost the biggest N.J. high school football game ever played.”

How to treat tennis elbow.

Komodo dragon destroyed BBC camera by trying to have sex with it.

The Critical Importance of Church Choirs.

Can’t find a marriage record? Try looking for a “Gretna Green” marriage location.

Jack Burns, R.I.P.

Every guest star on the TV series Cannon, starring William Conrad. CBS, 1971 to 1976, 122 episodes.

Inequality

World’s 2,153 billionaires hold more wealth than poorest 4.6 billion combined.

Rising inequality affecting 70% of the world.

Americans’ Drinking, Drug Use, Despair Wiping Out Life Expectancy Gains.

Structural Racism in Medicine Worsens the Health of Black Women and Infants.

Healthcare Algorithms Are Biased, and the Results Can Be Deadly.

IRS grabs the money.

The Liberation of Auschwitz: January 27, 1945.

Recommended reading: Joe Kubert’s Yossel.

Work

Illegal Interview Questions You Thought Were Harmless.

Were Your Rights Violated at the Workplace?

FTC Received Nearly 1.7 Million Fraud Reports, and FTC Lawsuits Returned $232 Million to Consumers in 2019.

Astrogate.

Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.
– Paul Tillich

Books, language, and librarians

Proposed Book Banning Bill in Missouri Could Imprison Librarians.

How One Librarian Tried to Squash Goodnight Moon.

Writing a book series.

You can write “embedded” but you can’t write “imbedded.”

English Needs a Word for the Relationship Between Your Parents and Your In-Laws.

The 5th Annual Tucker Awards for Excellence in Swearing.

IMPOTUS

Expansive Executive Privilege Claims Pose Serious Constitutional Crisis.

The Imperial Presidency Is Alive and Well.

He Boasts Of Obstruction At Davos Press Conference.

Doral Resort Spikes Its Room Rates Ahead Of His RNC Visit.

The Surreal Logic of the China Trade Deal.

“Reckless” Decision to Loosen Firearm Exports Regulations.

The Cost of an Incoherent Foreign Policy.

His Supporters And The Denial Of Reality.

Ten Principles that Unify Democrats (and most of the country).

Now I Know

This Is The Poem That Never Ends. It Just Goes On And On, My Friends. and The Town With No Name and What To Do When Iguanas Fall From the Sky and How a Rock Band Helped Runaway Kids Find Their Way Home and It’s Art Because Someone Says It Is and Why Do Bakers Have Bigger Dozens? and Behold the Power of Dried Plums.

MUSIC

That Don – Randy Rainbow.

On the retirement of conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy: conducting Debussy’s La Mer; playing Rach and Bach and more.

Coverville 1293: The Neil Peart Tribute and Rush Cover Story III.

The Golden Spinning Wheel by Antonin Dvorak.

Tall Skinny Papa– Annie & The Hedonists [Caffè Lena Late Night Sessions]

All About Falling In Love – MonaLisa Twins

Fiddler on the Roof: Dear, Sweet Sewing Machine – Motel (Adam Kantor) and Tzeitel (Alexandra Silber) and Tradition – Tevye is Anthony Warlow, production done in Australia.

How Long Has This Been Going On – Audrey Hepburn, from Funny Face.

The Inner Light – The Beatles.

Acyrologia

I DO curl up in the feeble position.

This is one of those Facebook items, passed along by Grandiloquent Word of the Day, that I loved so much, thought I’d give it its own post. (AND I’m in a river in Egypt.)

How many errors to YOU see?

grammar

One of those words Americans apparently misuse is walla. “The correct word they are looking for is ‘voila’, which loosely translates as ‘here it is’, ‘there you go’, or similar meanings.”
***

I had seen the word “pwned”, assumed it meant “owned,” but never bothered to look up the derivation until Arthur had been pwned. Here’s the Urban Dictionary, again.
***
20 Jokes So Terrible They’re Actually Funny; well, some of them are…

Someone tell me why there is, again, a run of graphics suggesting that Bob Denver, who died in September 2005, died recently. there was a run of these reports in 2012, as I recall, and a couple times since then.

It’s like what SNL used to say about Franco: Bob Denver is STILL dead.

Right on! for the genericized noun

They are not capitalizing Coke because, in part of the country, coke could be a 7-Up or “diet dr. pepper.”

wordbrandsThis newspaper writer I’ve met notes: “MS Word kept capitalizing ‘laundromat.’ I checked, and Webster’s agrees. Westinghouse copyrighted it back in 1947. But. . . . really?” This led to this interesting discussion about all the words that, once upon a time, were capitalized because they were brand names but are not now:

App Store, Aspirin, Catseye, Cellophane, Dopp kit [I had to look this up, even though I’ve had one!], Dry ice, Escalator, Heroin, Kerosene, Lanolin, Linoleum, Mimeograph, Primal Therapy, Thermos, Touch-tone, Videotape, Yo-Yo, and Zipper.

And Dumpster Continue reading “Right on! for the genericized noun”

N is for English as a New Language

English, on a language perspective, makes no sense at all.

english_as_a_new_languagelMy wife is a teacher of English as a New Language (ENL). It has also been called English as a Second Language (ESL), but the NEW designation is more accurate because, for some of these students, English is their third or fourth language.

Here’s a 2008 article about English Language Learners (ELLs) that I think describes the process and problems of learning English for non-native speakers.

The rules for the order of adjectives are nearly instinctive for native-born speakers of English. Continue reading “N is for English as a New Language”