Introduction: When you eat a whole bowl of popcorn, there are always unpopped kernels left at the bottom. This is that bowl of kernels. Enjoy!
☻ Some people would rather talk about their faults, flaws, and follies than stop talking about their dear selves. (Credit: Joe Addison)
☻ In the U.S., we mean more by "democracy" than high-turnout elections, Soviet-style. But we have poorly articulated what that "more" is. We need to do better.
☻ The history of typography in five minutes of stop action may be seen here.
☻ Here's a woman (Barbara Lynn) in charge of a band before Janis Joplin and Gracie Slick. Also, notice that she plays her guitar left-handed. We like this performance of this song a lot.
☻ Is there anything perennially cooler than Booker T and the MGs doing "Green Onions"?
☻ What does it mean that "Just as it is possible to be above flattery, it is possible to be below flattery"? Minor research reveals the following ingenious answer: one who distrusts everyone necessarily distrusts sycophants.
☻ English in America is growing more diverse, not less. Regional dialects are flourishing alongside standard English, and Americans are becoming something like bilingual. They speak two Englishes.
☻ Many words of Indo-European origin that existed in Old English (Anglo-Saxon) dropped out of the language as it evolved into Middle English and Modern English. The loss has been more than made up by the flood of foreign words of Indo-European origin that poured into English during the same period. As a result, English is the most Indo-European of living languages.
☻ Can you picture all of the following nine colors? Verdigris; titian; bisque; puce; cattleya; smalt; damask; jasper; and bittersweet. If you can, you're one in vermillion.
☻ "Snowbroth" means "melted snow."
☻ "Anatopism" (a thing out of place) is the geographical equivalent of "anachronism." Imagine the movie "High Noon" but with every building a pagoda. The word is pronounced a-NAT-o-pism. Inflected forms: anatopismatic, anatopistic, anatopic. See also parachronism, paratopism, and The Plasmatics.
☻ If your child is using an outdoor voice indoors, you could yell, "Enough already with the anatopism, Teknon!" This will help build your child's vocabulary. It also assumes your child's name is Teknon, which may not be the case. No need to rename your child; simply substitute your child's name for "Teknon" in the example given.
☻ Children need encouragement. If your child gives a correct answer to a question, tell him it was a lucky guess, so he'll have a good, lucky feeling.
☻ Having twins is getting more common. Wills and Kate were thinking of having Royal Twins instead of The Royal Baby, but decided it would be too common. The twins, if both boys, would have been George Alexander Louis ("Jeb") and George Louis Alexander ("Dubya"). If a boy and a girl, the girl would have been Georgia Alexandra Louisa ("Sparky"). If two girls, the second was to have been Georgia Louisa Alexandra ("Saxegotha"). According to a palace namer of names, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of copyright infringement, they "tried Peggy Sue, tried Betty Lou, tried Mary Lou, but they knew they wouldn't do," so Georgie it is.
☻ To deflect innuendos of nonstandard substance use, we urge you not to go here and not to start scrolling down once you get there.
☻ In Scotland, two tongues in addition to Modern English are spoken. One they call "Gallic" and it's Scottish Gaelic, a non-Germanic language. The other is "Scots," which, like Modern English, is a descendant of Middle English. Scots is more like English than Gallic is. How different are "lake" and (Scots) "loch"?
☻ "You can tell a clever man from his answers and a wise one from his questions."
☻ "Don't cross the street in the middle in the middle in the middle in the middle in the middle of the block. Teach your eyes to look out, teach your ears to hear, walk up to the corner where the coast is clear. And wait, and wait, and wait until the light turns green."
☻ Announcer: "The Adventures of Superman" -- Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!
Voices: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman!
Announcer: Yes, it's Superman -- strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan legacy medium, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American Way! And now, another episode in the exciting Adventures of Superman.
☻ I dreamed I saw Jor-El last night/ Alive as you or me/ Jor-El, I said, Krypton's long years dead/ It never died, said he/ Looking green as green can be/ Yes, very Kryptony.
☻ "Beer is the reason we get up every afternoon." --Queen Victoria (attributed)
☻ "Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps." --Emo Phillips
☻ I dreamed I called Joe Flood last night/ Telephonically/ But Joe, I said, you're darn well fed/ "Niagara Falls," said he/ And I just let him be.
☻ Are you still sad because Menudo broke up? This ditty, from the University of Australia Department of Philosophy, will cheer you right up:
Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table
David Hume could out-consume
Schopenhauer and Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.
There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya'
'Bout the raising of the wrist.
Socrates himself was permanently pissed.
John Stuart Mill of his own free will
On a half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato, they say, could stick it away,
Half a crate of whiskey every day.
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
Hobbes was fond of his dram,
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
"I drink, therefore I am."
Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed--
A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed.