Saturday, January 14, 2017

Piracy Report “Greenwashed” -- The Colonel Carries On #66

By Abigail Presterjohn and Maria Vaughan-Trapp  

Epigraph: “If nothing is verifiable, all news is fake and the only criterion is what you like, hence cocooning.” --Binyamin Britten-Bradlee

πŸ’ͺ January thaw; full moon. Maureen Dowd says there’s a bipartisan consensus in Washington that it’s time to flip out.

πŸ’ͺ Blurbs from the cover of “Red Rum: A Backwards Murder. An Alexander Archipelago Mystery” by Zagonna Fall:

πŸ’ͺ “You’ll laugh the spilkes out of your genechtagazoink!” --Linda Richman

πŸ’ͺ “Heartwarming!” --Webster’s Dictionary

πŸ’ͺ One of life’s little mysteries is why there’s no short word for “verbosity.” You have to to go to great lengths to describe it: circumlocution, diffuseness, garrulity, logorrhea, long-windedness, periphrasis, prolixity, redundancy, windiness, wordiness, and more.

πŸ’ͺ At the other end of the spectrum, there’s “pith.” And vinegar.

πŸ’ͺ Hawaii may be the remotest archipelago in the world. Before waxing prolix (or surfboards) about Hawaii, a word about the etymology of “archipelago.” Sit down, this will fascinate you.

πŸ’ͺ “Archipelago” is from the Italian “arcipelago,” literally “the Chief Sea,” referring to the Aegean Sea, considered “chief” because of its many islands.

πŸ’ͺ The Ancient Greek is ἀρχι- ‎(arkhi-, “leading,” as in “archdeacon” and “archangel”) +‎ πέλαγος ‎(pΓ©lagos, “sea”). Then the word was extended to mean any sea with many islands, then to the islands themselves, the present meaning.

πŸ’ͺ Now, as the Beach Boys so memorably put it, back to Hawaii. Its presence in the middle of the gigantic and almost landless Pacific Ocean -- the Pacific being the most visible geographical feature of the planet as seen from space --  makes Hawaii the genetically remotest place on Earth in that, for its size, Hawaii has the highest percentage of species that exist nowhere else.

πŸ’ͺ Polynesian mariners arrived around 400 CE and transformed the ecology of the islands. Captain Cook and others came in the 1700s, transforming the ecology of the islands again. (James Michener said it better, but with less pith.)

πŸ’ͺ This history raises questions for conservationists and preservationists: what’s to be conserved, preserved, or restored in a place like Hawaii? When was it pristine?

πŸ’ͺ The question’s not unique to Hawaii: what to conserve, preserve, and restore in Australia, first settled by humans about 60,000 years ago: out with camels and rabbits? Out with whitefellas? Or out with everybody, Aboriginal peoples, too?

πŸ’ͺ To restore a thing to its original state, you need to figure out what its original state was. The Big Bang is a useful thought here. If you pick a non-original period as the golden age, it’s hard to come up with a rationale that doesn’t boil down to “because that’s what present elites want.”

πŸ’ͺ “MCLE” means mandatory (or minimum) continuing legal education. A company sells webinars that are “EZ” to watch anywhere, anytime, on any device. It’s Without the explanation, it’s easy to think it’s something Irish and sapphic.

πŸ’ͺ Another such outfit is “myCLE,” which is typographically disturbing, and also looks like an annoyingly weird spelling of the grand old Hebrew archangelic name “Michael.”

πŸ’ͺ Failure is not the opposite of success, but part of it. Doubt is not opposed to faith; faith without doubt is not a living thing. And beauty without a flaw is not the highest beauty.

πŸ’ͺ I came upon a delightful bit of lorem ipsum: “snorple dialectic fizz goop.”

πŸ’ͺ Edna St. Vincent Millay’s middle name was not a family name, but the name of the hospital where she was born.

πŸ’ͺ The English name “St. John” is pronounced “sin gin.” Wouldn’t “Sin Gin” be a good brand name for an alcoholic spirit? Sounds Japanese somehow.

πŸ’ͺ Turns out isn’t about disgusting things on lawns.

πŸ’ͺ  The Kenyan proverb “Any calabash with a bottom can stand upright” brings to mind a deceased entertainer associated with the following taglines:

πŸ’ͺ “It’s a catastrostroke!”

πŸ’ͺ “I’m mortified!”

πŸ’ͺ “Surrounded by assassins!”

πŸ’ͺ “Everybody wants to get into the act!”

πŸ’ͺ “Hot-cha-cha-cha-cha!”

πŸ’ͺ “Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are!”

πŸ’ͺ He covered “Frosty the Snowman.”

πŸ’ͺ Today's emoji is meant to condition you to think you're reading muscular prose.

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