11.16.09 – A Monday

WORD

foment [foh-ment] v. 1. to instigate or foster (discord, rebellion, etc.); promote the growth or development of: to foment trouble; to foment discontent 2. to apply warm water or medicated liquid, ointments, etc., to (the surface of the body)

BIRTHDAY

Tiberius (42 BC), Eddie Condon (1905), Burgess Meredith (1908), Griff Rhys Jones (1953), Dwight Gooden (1964), Diana Krall (1964), Lisa Bonet (1967), Martha Plimpton (1970), Oksana Baiul (1977), Maggie Gyllenhaal (1977)

STANDPOINT

OK, so I had a whole big thing written about how modern society is making the free-thinking individual an endangered species, but, for once, I want to recollect my thoughts on it, and rewrite it. So it’ll be here tomorrow. Count on it.

“If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.”  – Albert Einstein

QUOTATION

Now I know the things I know, and I do the things I do; and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you!Dorothy Parker

TUNE

Recently, I’ve been giving a closer listen to Time To Die by The Dodos. I think “Two Medicines” is the best track on the album. I’ll probably change my mind by tomorrow. But right now, that’s my official stance.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Man, does everyone have a sex tape nowadays? Carrie Prejean, the moron who used to be Miss Calfornia, apparently let an old boyfriend tape her masturbating. And now some porn company has a hold of it. Just a matter of time before it gets leaked, if it hasn’t all ready. People get rich over this kind of shit. Even in this economy.

→ I don’t care what you think. I’ll admit it. I have always loved Allen Iverson. His current debacle with the Memphis Grizzlies might, sadly, be his swan song in the NBA.

→ I used to do a segment on this blog named Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Check out how Cracked.com ripped me off. Also, they probably did it better than I ever did.

Advertisements

05.12.09 – Tuesday

Word: augur [aw-ger] n. 1. one of a group of ancient Roman officials charged with observing and interpreting omens for guidance in public affairs 2. soothsayer; prophet ∞ v. tr. 3. to divine or predict, as from omens; prognosticate 4. to serve as an omen or promise of; foreshadow; betoken: Mounting sales augur a profitable year ∞ v. intr 5. to conjecture from signs or omens; predict 6. to be a sign; bode: The movement of troops augurs ill for the peace of the area

Birthday: Florence Nightingale (1820), Henry Cabot Lodge (1850), Katharine Hepburn (1903), Archibald Cox (1912), Mary Kay Ash (1915), Julius Rosenberg (1918), Yogi Berra (1925), Burt Bacharach (1928), Tom Snyder (1936), George Carlin (1937), Ron Zeigler (1939), Steve Winwood (1948), Gabriel Byrne (1950), Billy Squier (1950), Ving Rhames (1959), Bruce McCullouch (1961), Emilio Estevez (1962), Vanessa A. Williams (1963), Stephen Baldwin (1966), Tony Hawk (1968), Kim Fields (1969), Samantha Mathis (1970), Jason Biggs (1978)

Standpoint: Depending on who’s talking, internet porn is either (a) an addiction as strong as alcoholism and gambling, (b) a productive way for couples to keep things fresh or (c) the downfall of society as we know it. As I see it, it’s just like everything else in that it depends on what you do with. If you’re one of those people who can’t leave the house to do basic things like go to work or buy groceries because you’re too busy sitting at your desk watching people have sex, it probably be best for you to unplug your computer and drop it off the roof. If you’re someone who enjoys it on a casual basis without breaking any laws or hurting anyone else, go ahead and have some fun. If you think that internet porn is going to turn your husband and children into sex-worshipping zombies, you should probably try to get out of the house more.  

The opinions are as numerous as they are debatable. But one thing you can’t really argue with is internet porn is easily accessible. When I started my first blog, I relied heavily on pictures to accent every post. So I used Google Image Search a lot. Probably far more than was originally intended. And I always found that, no matter what word or phrase I typed in, I would inevitably come across some sort of lewd sexual activity.

So, I thought it might be interesting to see if that is actually true.  Have we, as a society, found a way to make just about anything erotic? Could I put any word into Google Image Search and find naked people involved in sexual acts? I decided to try it.

For the purposes of this experiment, I defined porn as anything that couldn’t be shown on network television. It might not be the accepted gauge but it’s how I did it. Also, in the interest of keeping this blog respectable, I’m not going to go into detail about the particulars of any of the images. You’ll just have to take my word for it. Or try it yourself. Here’s a list of  random words that I used – starting with items that were in front of me at the time and continuing with whatever popped into my head – and how many images I had to go through to find some inappropriate content:

  • “camera” – 95th image
  • “bottle” – 5th image
  • “key” – 24th image
  • “phone” – 37th image
  • “book” – Search Expired (Google only allows the first 1000 images to be viewed)
  • “sidewalk” – 188th image
  • “brick” – 262th image
  • “desk” – 467th image
  • “chair” – 223rd image
  • “office” – 16th image
  • “girlfriend” – 11th image
  • “boyfriend” – 42nd image
  • “wife” – 2nd image
  • “husband” – 115th image
  • “pregnant” – 11th image
  • “female” – 4th image
  • “male” – 4th image
  • “woman” – 9th image
  • “man” – 26th image
  • “bear” – 40th image
  • “arm” – 200th image
  • “leg” – 16th image
  • “foot” – 5th image
  • “hand” – 10th image
  • “breakfast” – 924th image
  • “brunch” – 461st image
  • “lunch” – Search Expired
  • “dinner” – Search Expired
  • “snack” –  Search Expired 
  • “love” – 64th image
  • “romance” – 229th image
  • “flirting” – 59th image
  • “big” – 1st image
  • “crazy” – 6th image
  • “fun” – 94th image
  • “great” – 6th image
  • “boredom” – 62nd image

So what did all the image searching tell me about internet pornography?

I’ll let you know tomorrow in Part 2. For now, have a look over the results and tell me what conclusions you come to.

Quotation: Freedom lies in being bold.Robert Frost

Tune: They’re called People Under The Stairs. The song is “Plunken ‘Em.” Listen to it. Good, right?

Gallimaufry: There’s some rumblings about A.J. Jacob’s The Year of Living Biblically being made into a feature film. I wonder if it will stir up any controversy? ∞ Am I alone in feeling that if Carrie Prejean were to smother herself with her own breast implants, wait, I don’t even care enough to finish that sentence. ∞ If you’re not a hockey fan, tomorrow night’s Game 7 between the Capitals and the Penguins might just make you one. It promises to be one of the best Game 7’s in recent history. Check it out.

Incoming: Tomorrow – Part 2 of my Image Search experiment. Thursday – Your latest entries for Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Friday3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead.

04.23.09 – Thursday

Word: milieu [mil-yoo] n. surroundings, esp. of a social or cultural nature: a snobbish milieu

Birthday: William Shakespeare (1564), James Buchanan (1791), Cow Cow Davenport (1894), Lester B. Pearson (1897), Shirley Temple (1928), Roy Orbison (1936), Lee Majors (1939), Sandra Dee (1942), Hervé Villechaize (1943), Joyce DeWitt (1949), Michael Moore (1954), Jan Hooks (1957), Valerie Bertinelli (1960), George Lopez (1961), Timothy McVeigh (1968), John Cena (1977), Kal Penn (1977), Jaime King (1979)

Occurence: 1985 – In the most unpopular move in soft drink history, The Coca-Cola Company replaces Coca-Cola Classic with New Coke. Three months later, the original is back in stores.

Standpoint: It’s time for this week’s edition of Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Let’s get to it.

  • “figuratively” vs. “literally” – Literally, everyone is abusing the word “literally.” (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.) But it’s almost true, I guess. If you’re like me in that you (a) have normal hearing and (b) understand the English language, then you know what I’m talking about. For example, a statement like, “The party was so packed. There were literally 2,000 people in that apartment.” Sure, I understand that there were a lot of people at the party. But unless the host lives in one of the most impressive apartments in the history of indoor dwellings, then I think the numbers are a bit off. To put it lightly. Rather, the word “figuratively” should’ve replaced “literally.” “Figuratively” means “metaphorical” or “not literal.” “Literally” means “in a literal manner” or “word for word.” So all these people saying things like, “Jesus, it’s literally been raining for 20 straight days,” or, “You should’ve seen the dog park. There were literally like 700 dogs down there today,” need to simply substitute the word “figuratively” for “literally.” The problem here? It won’t happen. “Figuratively” just doesn’t roll out of the mouth the same way “literally” does. It doesn’t convey the same feeling or deliver the same kind of impact. So, sorry, folks, I think we’re stuck with this one. Literally.
  • “My Bad” – Once, an employee of mine showed up for work about two hours late on a very important day. First thing he said to me? “Sorry, Josh, my bad.” I just about shot through the roof. “My bad” has become one of those things that people say in lieu of an apology. I think it started with pro athletes who say it frequently after a missed pass or a dropped ball. But showing up two hours late for work? I needed a little more than that because I was already completely certain it was “his bad.” I wasn’t sitting around wondering if the guy was late because of something I might’ve done. I knew that the blame rested squarely on that clown’s shoulders. So, do me a favor. Unless we’re playing flag football and you miss me wide open by a mile in the end zone, don’t bring out “my bad.”
  • “Same Difference” – As with “My Bad,” this falls into the category of “lazy sayings.” One article I read qualified it as a “verbal shrug.” I think that about sums it up – it’s the equivalent of “whatever” nowadays. “Same difference” isn’t so much misused as it’s overused. It really should be “same thing, no difference,” but that’s not how most mean it. Mainly, it’s used in the same way as, “I’m just saying.” It’s just a conversational device for one to end an argument in which they are wrong without having to admit it.

Tune: Last summer, I listened to “Sultan” by What Made Milawaukee Famous about 4 times a day. I like the use of horns. Also, pretty great name for a band.

Gallimaufry: I was working and didn’t get a chance to watch it, but according to everyone who did, this week’s disco episode of “American Idol” was pretty awful. I heard it described as “a trainwreck”…Tonight, the Flyers face elimination in their first-round playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. If the Flyers can’t pull it out, losing to a team with as little heart as the Penguins will be tough enough. But what might be worse is losing to a team with some of the most pathetic fans in sports history. Disgraceful. And we in Philly get a bad name as fans…For the record, I think Perez Hilton is annoying and probably secretly loves all the celebrities he shreds on a daily basis. But, after some deliberation, I think what he did to Carrie Prejean during the Miss USA competition was a pretty strong and calculated move.

Incoming: Tomorrow3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and 5 Things You Should Say To Your Waiter If You Want Him To Dislike You.