03.11.11 – a friday

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word

paucity [paw-si-tee] n. 1. smallness of quantity; scarcity; scantiness: a country with a paucity of resources 2. smallness or insufficiency of numbers; fewness

birthday

Lawrence Welk (1903), Rupert Murdoch (1931), Sam Donaldson (1934), Antonin Scalia (1936), Bobby McFerrin (1950), Douglas Adams (1952), Wallace Langham (1965), Lisa Loeb (1968), Terrence Howard (1969), Johnny Knoxville (1971)

standpoint

Bathroom reading. It’s kind of a touchy subject. There’s a few different lines of thought on the issue. Some just don’t do it. Others can’t get the deed done without. Still others insist they think it’s gross but they secretly partake.

As for me, I’m willing to admit I read in the bathroom. Not something I’m bragging about but I won’t deny it. And, for the past six months, since I moved into this house, it’s gone from a casual perusing of a magazine or a comic book and moved into the realm of an actual learning experience.

I’ve got my roommate Dan to thank for that and his subscription to a periodical I’d never heard of before – mental floss.

Unlike the rags that feature dogshit stories about where Reese Witherspoon is vacationing with her children, mental floss consists of short bursts of knowledge that actually translates into something to talk about.

Here’s just a sampling of the things I’ve learned about in the bathroom over the last six months.

→ The t-shirt first appeared in 1913 as regulation underwear for the U.S. Navy.

→ Chinese scientists have actually found a use for discarded cigarette butts, creating a process that transforms them into a compound that prevents steel pipes from corroding.

→ Due to a 12-year civil war that ravaged it, the African nation of Burundi‘s population is almost 50% people under 14 years old.

→ Starfish don’t have brains.

→ When someone on Twitter gains 500,000 followers, that’s called a Wheaton after Wil Wheaton who was the first celebrity to hit the 500K mark.

→ A chimpanzee will most likely drown if you drop him in the water, but a classic VW Bug would float if you drove it into a lake.

→ For some weird reason, Bill Clinton once said, “I’m someone who has a deep emotional attachment to Starsky and Hutch.”

→ In the 1974 NHL Entry Draft, Punch Imlach, GM of the Buffalo Sabres, took Taro Tsujimoto of the Tokyo Katanas in the 11th round. The league had never heard of the guy but it made the pick official anyway. It was later found out Imlach had created Tsujimoto to show his disdain with the length of the draft process.

I could go on and on but I’m gonna stop. No worries, though, I’ll be making this a regular segment as my bathroom tutelage grows larger.

quotation

You know, we’ve got to do it someday…throw away all the guns and invite all the jokers from the North and the South in here to a cocktail party…last man standing on his feet at the end wins the war. ↔ Alan Alda (as Hawkeye in the pilot episode of M*A*S*H)

tune

Back in 1991, there were two bands called Nirvana. One was the over-glorified trio fronted by Kurt Cobain. The other was a bunch of Danish guys who changed their name to Kashmir. Here’s a song I stumbled upon recently by the latter, “Ophelia.”

gallimaufry

Watch out, people, in a mere eight days the Supermoon is coming. And, apparently, it’s pissed.

“Halle Berry Shares Mommy Tips With Pregnant Alyssa Milano.” That an actual title of an actual article someone actually wrote that people are actually reading. Christ. It’s embarrassing to be a member of the human race some days.

This chick is really committed to the acting process. No one told her The Wire wrapped up production a few years back.

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11.24.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

ancillary [an-suh-ler-ee or, especially Brit., an-siluh-ree] adj. 1. subordinate; subsidiary 2. auxiliary; assisting n. 3. something that serves in an ancillary capacity: Slides, records, and other ancillaries can be used with the basic textbook

Note: A friend of mine used “ancillary” in a sentence the other day, and I was ashamed to admit, while I determined the word’s meaning from the context, I was unable to accurately define it.

BIRTHDAY

Bat Masterson (1853), Scott Joplin (1868), Dale Carnegie (1888), Lucky Luciano (1897), William F. Buckley Jr. (1925), Paul Tagliabue (1940), Pete Best (1941), Ted Bundy (1946), Dwight Schultz (1947), Linda Tripp (1949), Denise Crosby (1957), Edgar Meyer (1960), Keith Primeau (1971), Colin Hanks (1977), Katherine Heigl (1978)

STANDPOINT

Man! Everyone is going batshit over the recent release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

And, I mean, my guess is all the praise is warranted.

It was, most likely, a great movie. All the inferred twists. All the supposed turns. The brooding guy with the wall of hair was expected to be really good. The rest of the cast seemed superb, especially those dudes who turn into werewolves. The one scene, where the one werewolf is chasing some girl across a backyard toward a house and, then, some guy shows up on the porch, and he starts running at the action, but once he nears the sprinting young lady, he jumps over her while becoming a werewolf himself, taking a defensive stance as if to suggest to the werewolf who was originally in pursuit, “Hey, dude! You can’t eat her. I’m kinda digging on her. You cool with that?” 

Maybe he was cool with that. Maybe he wasn’t. Maybe he was annoyed because this guy liked the girl who was running. Maybe he was annoyed because this guy liked every fucking girl he ever saw who was running. Maybe he’d finally had enough. Maybe he decided, right then and there, in that backyard, he was going to take a stand. Maybe something happened after that where the girl miraculously lived. Maybe she tragically died.

I’ll never know. I’ve only seen the previews. And that’s all I’m ever gonna see.

QUOTATION

If you don’t like doing something, but you still spend most of every day doing it, then you’re cheating yourself. If you hate your job – and you probably do – and fantasize endlessly about quitting, then you should quit. Quit the job you hate. I’ll say it two more times: Quit the job you hate. Quit the job you hate.Ted Rall

TUNE

 So, something great someone can do is introduce you to quality music that, otherwise, would’ve never come your way. Two nights ago, I was with an (increasingly) good friend playing Scrabble (the result of which was a draw, no question), drinking red wine and listening to a guy named Joe Pisapia on the stereo. Solid stuff. Try “River Song” and you’ll know I’m right. Like I’m right about this supposedly dubious Scrabble outcome.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ When reading online news, I rarely smile. However, reading about Oprah ending her “talk show” brought on an ear-to-ear grin that almost hurt my cheeks. OK. Not really. But I am psyched about it.

→ I’m encouraging everyone of you to take a serious look at every book in your house after I read about a London family who’d no clue there was a first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species sitting in the bathroom for the past 40 years or so.

→ OK. You caught me. I haven’t been updating this blog as much as I used to. I apologize for the fact I’ve recently rediscovered that, after a year hiatus, I’m allowed to have a life. Awww. I can’t stay mad at you folks. I’ll update as much as I can. Thanks for reading. Seriously.