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.

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03.26.09 – Thursday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: elucidate [i-loo-si-deyt] 1. verb (used with object) to make lucid or clear; throw light upon; explain: an explanation that elucidated his recent strange behavior  2. verb (used without object) to provide clarification; explain

Birthday: Nathaniel Bowditch (1773), Robert Frost (1874), Tennessee Williams (1911), Gregory Corso (1930), Sandra Day O’Connor (1930), Leonard Nimoy (1931), Alan Arkin (1934), Harry Kalas (1936), James Caan (1940), Erica Jong (1942), Bob Woodward (1943), Diana Ross (1944), Steven Tyler (1948), Vicki Lawrence (1949), Teddy Pendergrass (1950), Martin Short (1950), Leeza Gibbons (1957), Jennifer Grey (1960), Michael Imperioli (1966), Kenny Chesney (1968), James Iha (1968), Amy Smart (1976), Keira Knightley (1985)

Occurrence: 1969John Kennedy Toole commits suicide outside of Biloxi, Mississippi. Eleven years later, A Confederacy of Dunces is first published. In 1981, Toole posthumously is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Standpoint: “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” Andy Warhol said that. It became a cliché. Even Warhol grew tired of it. Whatever he was talking about, however, is no longer relevant. Fame has changed. It’s no longer fleeting. Once a human being becomes famous, he is famous forever. A while back, television executives discovered something: we don’t want celebrities to go away. Shows like “Dancing With the Stars”, “Celebrity Apprentice” and “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” feature individuals that, once upon a time, we would’ve never heard from again. Jeff Conaway? Tom Green? Steve-O?!? People who were once deservedly in the public spotlight (maybe) continue to reside in it because no one is asking them to leave. We encourage them to hang out and simply remain famous. And it’s because we either (a) associate the celebrity with some sort of nostalgia or (b) are patiently waiting for the celebrity to fail. Why else would we care what Ozzy Osbourne and his family are up to? Or Hulk Hogan and his family? Fame is no longer reserved for the unique and talented. Nowadays, you just need a marketing strategy. Is there any other reason why Kathy Griffin is not the manager of a Los Angeles-area GAP?

Quotation: Without music, life would be a mistake Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Digit: 17 – It’s proven as the least random number, meaning when asked to come up with a random number, people will pick 17 more often than other numbers.

Tune: Last night, I heard one of the most ridiculous songs I’ve heard in a while. Listen to Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows” and tell me you don’t agree. I dare ya.  

Link: Worldometers – Think overpopulation isn’t a problem?

Gallimaufry: I like Alexander Ovechkin but his “Stick on Fire” celebration after scoring his 50th goal was lame. That kind of crap belongs in the NFL not the NHL…More hockey. This article by Seth Rorabaugh about his experience with Philadelphia FlyersScott Hartnell shows how NHL players are different from other professional athletes…Are you a fan of circular logic? If so, you’ll love what is happening with the vitamin B-6…Make sure to check back tomorrow for things to do in Philadelphia over the weekend.