Category Archives: Home

“Hearest thou what these say?”

A few weeks ago, on our last afternoon in Ithaca, my son was trying to talk to my niece’s daughter, who was a few days away from turning 10. Wearing a Ruth Bader Ginsburg shirt that said ‘Dissent’ on it, … Continue reading

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Spring Might (Finally) Be Sprung

Seen in the yard yesterday:

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1166 (And All That)

I came across something that interested me the other day: the year 1666 is the one you get when you list all seven Roman numerals in order, from highest to lowest: MDCLXVI. (As Captain Jerry said when I told him this, it’s … Continue reading

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The More Things Change

“The area of government is as confused as anything we can identify. And one need only look at TV coverage of either House or Senate to see that we do not have a government at all but merely a group … Continue reading

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Newspeak about the Tacos of the Tex-Mex, Sexist, Maoist, R&B, Hot-Rodding, NATO, Zydeco Jet Set

Here’s an interesting thought: what words entered the English language the same year you entered the world? The Oxford English Dictionary (aka OED) has a ‘Birthday Word Generator’ that provides you with at least one answer. A more complete selection … Continue reading

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Tell Me Something I Don’t Know

The word from Washington: “Searching the Internet for information may make people feel smarter than they actually are, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.” As usual, large results are being interpolated from a small sample of … Continue reading

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“Hi Yo, Stravinsky!”

Many years ago (50, by now?) in Mad, Dave Berg published one of his ‘The Lighter Side of’ cartoons showing two boys watching an orchestra on TV. The conductor tells his young audience, “We’re going to play The William Tell … Continue reading

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You Can’t Get There From Here

I was curious yesterday about the distance from Portland to Portland, but discovered that according to Yahoo! Maps, there’s no way to go from one to the other. Maybe I should have asked the way to Millinocket.

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Mightier than the Sword?

I just found out about Cormac McCarthy’s Olivetti typewriter, which he bought in 1963 for $50 and a mere 46 years, plus about 5 million words, later sold at auction for $254,500. Like many people, I also had a Lettera … Continue reading

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My Sister Wants to Know

…what this thing (these things?) is/are. “How should I know?” I said. “The people at Ask Metafilter can tell you in five minutes,” she said. ??? * * * Well, it wasn’t five minutes, but it was less than an … Continue reading

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