Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nothing Says Lanvin Like My Sin Roasted Au Vin -- Popcorn by The Colonel # 93

More on kippers: To be “done up like a kipper” (a kipper is a breakfast fish) can mean to be literally or figuratively wrapped up tightly like a purchase of kippers that the butcher encloses carefully so the smell won’t transmit to your other groceries. A toddler in a snowsuit can be said to be “done up like a kipper.” ☯

The Greeks and Romans were big on naming rhetorical figures and logical steps and missteps. Perhaps the best known is the logical error “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” (“after this, therefore because of this”). A close modern English-language cousin is the statistician's “correlation ain’t causation.” ☯

Defining “art” is notoriously difficult, with one of the toughest parts being how to distinguish bad art from non-art. “Just because it’s bad art doesn’t mean it’s not art.” And: “Just because it’s good and beautiful doesn’t mean it’s art.” ☯

Just because human activity hasn’t yet caused ecological catastrophe (a debatable proposition) doesn’t mean it never will. To hold otherwise is to fall into the fallacy “nil semel contigit” (literally, “nothing happens for the first time”; idiomatically, “it can’t happen because it has never happened before”). ☯

There’s an ethical version of the same fallacy, called the bureaucrat’s fallacy: “It would be wrong to do it that way because we’ve always done it this other way.” ☯

Winter seems to be over, but no one wants to be the first to put the snow shovel away and take the blame for causing the next spring blizzard. ☯

Tree huggers can have sharp tongues: “In nothing does man, with his grand notions of heaven and charity, show forth his innate, low-bred, wild animalism more clearly than in his treatment of his brother beasts. From the shepherd with his lambs to the red-handed hunter, it is the same; no recognition of rights -- only murder in one form or another.” --John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)  ☯

“A square peg fits perfectly into a round hole, and a round peg into a square hole, if only each is the right size. That’s the motto and the glory of good placement services: a fit needn’t be a match.” --Sir Harry O. Triggerman ☯

There are now speed-dating services for pet dogs. Lieber Gott im Himmel. ☯

A friend who is right-handed bemoaned her right-side troubles: a torn right-shoulder rotator cuff, an eight-pound benign right-side abdominal tumor, and a broken right leg requiring a steel rod and perma-pain. She asked the doctor if they couldn’t make a mirror-image clone of her left side and use it to replace her right side. The doctor said, “Not this week, but stay tuned.” Doctors shouldn’t get people’s hopes up like that. ☯

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.” --the Mad Hatter, in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

“If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the mornin’, I’d hammer in the evenin’, and I’d collect overtime.”  --not Pete Seeger ☯

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but Mr. President, it’s the bees and spiders again. Where can I get a job?” --A. Lincoln and Firesign Theater ☯

“For some reason pigs are often shown in chef’s hats, as if they collude in their own demise; it is I suppose a backhanded tribute to their intelligence -- if they got the upper hand, they would grill us.” --Richard Brookhiser (Dear Rick, The bloody shapeshifting pigs have gotten the upper hand, and they are grilling us. That’s why they’re shown in chef’s hats. It’s their way of rubbing our snouts in it. Love your work. --The Colonel) ☯

“A lexicographer's business is solely to collect, arrange, and define the words that usage presents to his hands. He has no right to proscribe words; he is to present them as they are.” -Noah Webster, lexicographer and libertine (1758-1843)  ☯

“If you torture data long enough, they will confess to anything.” Or as the Brazilians put it, “Statistics are poetry.”

Rumor is, a beloved local figure of the feminine persuasion will soon be dispensing advice, and not just to the lovelorn, from her perch at The Middletown Eye. Negotiations may yet fall through, but we’re keeping our fingers and toes star-crossed. The rumor alone has drawn heart-rendering pleas like the one reproduced below. ☯

“Dear Auntie Beth,  While sitting on a circular bench around the trunk of a tree in the park near my home, I noticed my feet kicking something under the bench. On inspection it turned out to be a cheap gym bag holding $100,000 in small bills and a note reading “Dear Hit Man, Your victim will be getting out of his Crown Victoria on the second level of the First Sergeant Henry J Szczesny Parking Garage in New Britain at 2 p.m. Tuesday.” I have clearly blundered into a transaction that doesn’t concern me, but I have certain friends and can get that guy popped for, like, three grand. Would it be all right to do that and keep the other $97K myself? After all, the payer would be getting what he paid for, and if some overpriced hit man doesn’t get paid for a job he doesn’t do, so what? I should mention that I could really use the money at this particular time to pay back some high-interest loans that have really gotten out of control. Thanks. Signed, Ethical Benchsitter”  ☯

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