36-24-36 Fibbing Friday

Pennsitivity101 is going with Alter Egos this week.
Prominent figures, but who would you match as their alter ego?

  1. Boris Johnson

Bozo the Clown.  No-one would suspect that one orange-haired, goofy-talking fool was really a different orange-haired, goofy-talking fool.  The only danger might be that there would accumulate a critical mass of inane silliness, and we could have a political and philosophical meltdown, and a severe case of Estonia Syndrome – because China wouldn’t want anything to do with it.
2.  Madonna

Mae West.  The bloom is off Madonna’s rose.  The line, ‘Come up and see me sometime.’ is beginning to sound a little desperate.
3.  Victoria Beckham

The Wicked Witch of the West.  Don’t tell me that you haven’t thought that too!  😳  “Fly, my pretties – and bring me back all the profits that my Nigerian Prince scams legitimate businesses earn.”
4.  Roger Federer.

John McEnroe.  Finally, Roger the quiet, Roger the stoic, Roger the well-mannered, could let his internal Dennis the Menace loose once in a while.
5.  James Bond

Thomas Stewart, owner/proprietor of the finest artisanal oat-based vodka distillery in all of Scotland.  ‘Tell the Sassenachs that it’s exclusive and eco-friendly, with a low carbon footprint, and soon they’ll be at Hadrian’s Wall, throwing Pounds and Euros at Glencoe, to purchase it.  They will be shaken – and stirred.
6.  Ebenezer Scrooge

Stay-Puft, the Marshmallow Man.  Give him a little scare three times in one night and he goes all soft and mushy and sweet.  If this keeps up, soon I’ll be the only grumpy old dude left.  😉
7.  H.G. Wells

Project manager for Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space project.  He could show them how to actually get off their butts, and off the surface of the planet.
8.  Agatha Christie

Madame DeFarge.  Actually, Agatha Christie has caused more deaths, as she sat knitting, knitting, knitting her devious murder plots together.
9.  Liberace

A bank manager.  A critic once savaged one of Lee’s programs in a newspaper review.  An assistant told him of the pan, and asked if it upset him.  Liberace replied, “I cried all the way to the bank.”
10. Winston Churchill

A Cuban cigar-maker with a pet bulldog.

Pillow Talk

I was comfortably lounging on the couch, and doing it in a highly competent, professional manner.  I was searching for a blog theme – something that I could compose a post about without too much work, but still interesting to my readers.  Suddenly I thought, Eureka, (or maybe it was Gesundheit – one of those Greek words)!  I’ll do a bit of research, and write about us seniors’ new BFF, the pillow.

The word “pillow” dates back to the 12th century.  It comes from the Latin pulvinus, which means “cushion,” but archeologists say that pillows of various kinds, ranging from plant-filled skins, to comfortable rocks, have probably been used far back into human prehistory.

The oldest known pillows date back to the oldest civilizations, with references to pillows in ancient Sumerian cuneiform texts.  Ancient Egyptians placed feather-filled pillows in the tombs of their mummified dead.

Pillows are mentioned in the Bible, but they are not referred to favorably.  The Book of Ezekiel says, Woe to those who apply pillows to their elbows.  Scholars believe that the text refers to ‘false prophets,’ who Ezekiel felt were insufficiently austere.

You know how your pillow sometimes feels too warm, and you have to keep turning it over to get to the cool side?  Well, now a company called “Sooth-Soft” has come out with The Chillow, “a fluid-filled, eco-friendly, cushioning device, that keeps you cool without electricity.”  It’s actually gotten rave reviews, and they make one for dogs, too.

Are you the laziest person on Earth?  (Why else would you be reading my post about pillows?)  The PerCushion Pillow Phone could be made just for you.  It’s a combination pillow/cell phone, with a microphone, loudspeaker, and Bluetooth wireless connection built in.  When the pillow rings, just lie there and answer it.  Genius!

In 2015, Jeanette Hall, a taxidermist in Nevada, started offering to transform deceased cats and dogs into pillows – for $75-$100.  Unfortunately, the offer led to “hundreds of hate emails from around the globe.”  The outrage baffled the taxidermist, who claimed that she had many happy customers.  “Most people were happy that Fluffy was still on the couch.” She said.

Sleep researchers have discovered that, when clocks are set back an hour at the end of Daylight Saving Time, car accident rates plummet, probably because of the extra hour of sleep.  Try to get some additional sleep on your comfy pillow, but don’t wait an extra hour to read my next exciting, informative post.  😀

***

BTW:
Happy birthday to me.
Happy birthday to Me.
Happy birthday, happy birthday,
Happy birthday to me!

With the help of my pillows, and all my other helpers – eyeglasses, magnifying glasses in every room, as of 2:00 AM, E.S.T. I have achieved 78 years of age.  I have not matured like fine wine.  More like milk – chunky and bitter.  😳

’22 A To Z Challenge – M

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forgotten Words – Forgotten Attitudes

What do we want?

GOOD MANNERS

When do we want them?

Right now!

Are we likely to get them??!

F*&@ no!

In a world where the words we use, and our attitudes, are supposedly of utmost importance, words are regularly passing out of use from the English language.  We become dumbed down intellectually, ethically, and spiritually. Here are a few words which have been forgotten, though they were in regular use just a few decades ago. Interestingly, they’re all related in meaning:

Modesty

Humility

Courtesy

Honesty

“I pray thee then, write me as someone who loves his fellow man.”  (Abou ben Adhem)

Donald Trump is gone, although, if he can evade the FBI on his magpie collection of classified documents, he’s threatening to return in 2024.  While he facilitated much of the above, and vindicated it to a too-large swath of the American population, he was not the cause of it.  He was merely a visible symptom of the cultural rot.

As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

Be nice to each other out there.  Okay?  The life you save may be your own.

Thus endeth the reading of the first lesson.  More of the usual drivel soon.

XXXV Fibbing Friday

Pensitivity101 is in a silly mood this week so she decided to invite us to mix and match.
Fictional characters or real people, who would you pair the following with? If you wish, you could give your reasons.

Interviewer;  If you could have dinner with anybody, alive or dead, who would you choose?
Beauty-Contest Blonde;  The live one.

  1. William Shakespeare

Daniel Webster.  As fast as Will With a Quill could make up new words, old Danny Boy could put them in the dictionary.
2. Donald Trump

I was going to pair The Donald, and BoJo, but that’s Dumb And Dumber double jeopardy.  If Dashing Don doesn’t get smart and learn to keep his mouth shut, I’ve located a wholesale importer of Personal Lube that he’s gonna need when he gets sent to Club Fed.
3. Margaret Thatcher

I asked both The Rock, and Jason Momoa, if they would be interested in being her escort, but they both said that she was a better man than either of them.  Instead, I found a SCA armourer who could keep her in steel underpants.
4. Peter Piper

Not that Charlie Brown!  This Charlie Brown!    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbBr2bgAbcM
Why’s Peter Piper always pickin’ on me??!
5. Gordon Ramsay

If Iron Lady Thatcher’s armourer wasn’t too busy, perhaps we could get him to fashion the equivalent of a chastity belt for Ramsay’s tongue, and be able to dine in peace and quiet
6. Jessica Rabbit

Jessica said that she wasn’t really bad, she was just drawn that way, so I would swipe her left with James Dean – the ultimate Bad Boy.
7. Boris Johnson

These guys won’t hang out with him anymore because they claim he stole their act.  He could use a good cartographer to chart his course into political obscurity.  Donald Trump’s hairdresser is free, as is the guy who never got a chance to build that Mexican wall.  BoJo could have him start one at Dover to keep the Eurotrash out of Avalon.
8. Einstein

If we introduced Steven Hawking to Einstein, perhaps he could teach the old dog some new quantum tricks.  If the battery in Hawking’s voice synthesizer didn’t run out of juice, they could discuss The Whichness of the Why until a philosophical black hole formed, and we all rotated into an alternate reality where Woke, and Cancel Culture didn’t exist.
9. Wolverine

He could form a Siskel and Ebert-type duo with Freddie Kruger, and create a podcast about the social significance of Charlie Chan movies.  There would be a lot of sharp dialog and pointed comments.
10. Worzel Gummidge.

I would introduce him to the Oz Scarecrow.  They could debate which one was outstanding in his field, which of them was just a stuffed shirt, who couldn’t keep it in his pants, and how to get a good roll in the hay.

Book Review #28

Days of Future Passed

The shape of things to come!  This author was prescient.  This is where it all began, or at least, a big part of it.

The book: Neuromancer

The Author: William Gibson

The Review:
This book was written in 1984.  I had a chance to read it over 30 years ago.  The son read it, but I passed on the opportunity.  It would not have had the effect on me back then, as it did to read it recently.  I read a post by a blogger who was doing what I am doing, taking old Science Fiction books out of storage, and re-reading them.  His description intrigued me, so I got a 2010 re-published copy from the library.

The story itself is not all that exciting –by today’s standards.  His protagonist is a computer hacker who can mentally access, not merely individual computers, but can surf the entire Internet.  Of course, the author doesn’t call it that.  The term, and the function, did not exist back then.  He did not coin the term Cyberspace, but this book popularized it.  Soon, readers and other authors were regularly using it.

In 1984, computers, and their interconnectivity, were far less common than in his then-future fiction.  Since he couldn’t call it the Internet, he coined the term The Matrix.  While this author, and this book, are not completely responsible, they both heavily influenced Tron, and the three Matrix movies.

The précis reminded me of Johnny Mnemonic.  A bit of research revealed that, 17 years later, he shuffled some concepts around and wrote the novel that another Keanu Reeve movie was based on.  Microsoft had incorporated in 1981, but the microsofts (small m) that the hacker uses to jack in, are nail-sized inserts that plug into a socket at the base of his skull, like Sim-cards, or SD cards.  They contain relevant data, and operating code – the Apps of their time.

The plot involves the hacker either slicing or surreptitiously oozing past security protocols, to free a manacled A.I. – Artificial Intelligence.  The story also contains a couple of computer ‘Constructs’, which are essentially the uploaded knowledge, experience and personality of hackers who were killed while online.

This author impresses me like the deaf composer, Ludwig von Beethoven.  He conceptualized huge amounts of technology that he couldn’t see, but which later came to exist.  Finally, there is another peculiarity, not of the story, but of the particular copy of the book that I received.

It is in the page numbering.  Each page is numbered in the lower corner.  Each number is underlined.  The underlining on the right-hand, or Recto page, extends to the edge of the page, across the thickness of the sheet, and continues till it underlines the number on the left-hand, or Verso page.

Infinitesimally and imperceptibly, the numbers and the underlining rise and fall several times through the book.  If you firmly close the book and look at the lower edge, the ink forms an EEG brain-scan readout.

Thirty For Fibbing Friday

No theme this week, so pensitivity101 wants to see where your imagination takes you with these.

  1. What is a bandana?

That is the industry term for the female leader/singer/writer of a rock musical group – someone like Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders, lamenting the loss and urbanization of rural Ohio, in her song My City Was Gone.
2. What is a rum baba?

It’s what alcoholic sheep drink.
3. What is a marinade?

It’s a new flavor of cooling, summer drink, that tastes like seafood.
(And seagull shit, seal snot, whale sperm, and rotting kelp – sales are not good!)
4. What is an asset?

A pre-pubescent female Kardashian child.  They usually have names only a drug dealer, or psychotherapist could love – like Chicago, Psalm, North, Saint, Penelope Scotland, True, or Reign)
5. Who was Apollo?

He was the male half of the former American pop singing duo, Paul and Paula, best known for their 1963 million-selling, number-one hit record, “Hey Paula”.
6. What is meant by BYOB?

Times are tough, and finances are tight, even among the monied elite.  Unless you’re someone like Randy Andy, attending a NXIVM party, where all the willing female company is paid for, it means you have to Bring Your Own Bimbo.
7. What is a pekingese?

It’s my favorite variety of Chinese cuisine.  The duck is tasty, if a bit dry and chewy.  It’s hard to find a restaurant that serves it though.  They only exist where stray cats are plentiful.
We no see you cat.  You stop ask.
8. What is a crockpot?

This is the ridiculously wrong information, answers and opinions that you will receive from someone who just had their medical marijuana’ prescription filled at one of the now ubiquitous cannabis dispensaries.
9. What is meant by upbeat?

This happens mostly, though not exclusively, in Southern, Appalachian, America.
(High School is open agin.  Y’all git yer lazy ass outta bed and go, or ah’ll whup ya good!)
10. What does it mean to recycle?

It’s when you’ve had to give up working from home for a day and rode your bicycle all the way to the office – only to find that you’ve forgotten your office key at home.

Speaking English Like A Frenchman

In 1066, William of Normandy rowed across The Channel, became William the Conqueror, and took England.  In a spirit of fairness, his descendants gave scores of words to the ‘English’ language.

Here is a list of French words and phrases that are commonly used, but have not officially been adopted.

Je ne sais quoi – a special, indefinable quality
Her fancy clothing had a certain je ne sais quoi.

Habitué – a person frequently visiting a place
As an habitué of the bistro, he headed to his usual table.

Billet-doux – a love letter
Stewart’s first novel was a billet-doux to his home town.

Bric-a-brac – a collection of ornaments
Among my aunt’s bric-a-brac was a glass angel that she treasured.

Flāneur – one who idly strolls around and observes
Paul spent the day as a flāneur on the streets of Montreal.

De rigueur – required by fashion or convention
A jean jacket is simply de rigueur this season.

Esprit de l’escalier – a perfect retort, formulated too late
A comedian went home after being heckled, and finally delivered his esprit de l’escalier to the cat.

Sang-froid – self-possession under stress (literally – cold blood)
The butler retained his sang-froid during his employer’s crisis.

Ā la carte – ordered separately from a menu
Not hungry enough for a set meal, Terri ordered baked potato and creamed spinach ā la carte.

Renaissance – cultural revival or rebirth
Toronto’s restaurant scene was undergoing a renaissance.

Contre-jour – with a camera facing the light
Matt positioned his grand-nephew contre-jour to produce a halo effect.

Armour-propre – self-worth
Getting dissed by a nerd wounded Rory’s armour-propre.

Éminence grise – a person with no official title, but great influence
Years of insightful posts had made Archon an ėminence grise in the blogosphere.

Laissez faire – a non-interference approach
Small businesses benefit from laissez faire economics.

Roman ā clef – thinly-veiled novelistic accounts of real people or events
George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a roman ā clef about the Russian Revolution.

I prefer to speak my French in plain English.  Aside from a couple of these which have finally been naturalized into the language, I don’t use any of them.

’22 A To Z Challenge – L

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was going to be sure that I had an L of a post for this letter, then I thought, “Why be satisfied with half-measures?  Let’s go for a Double L version.  Words with two Ls in them are fairly common, but I have several which begin with two Ls.

I recently read a user strongly questioning silent letters in English words – particularly the silent G in words like ‘sign.’  Often, silent letters perform the same functions as accents in French, or Spanish.  They tell you how to pronounce the word.  If there were no G in sign, it would be a sin.

The Welsh language is well-known for its rather cavalier, creative spelling.  It has used a couple of its superfluous Ls to build names with.  There is (Desmond) Llewellyn, who was James Bond’s Q foil in several 007 movies.  His name means that he is a leader.

There is also the Welsh name, Lloyd.  Lloyd is a Welsh surname originating with the Welsh adjective llwyd, most often understood as meaning “grey” but with other meanings as well. The name can be used both as a given name and as a surname.  There is Lloyd Bridges, who went on a Sea Hunt, and then for an Airplane ride, and Doc Brown – Christopher Lloyd.

Not to be out-done, South American Spanish has also given us a couple of double-L words.  The funny animal that lives in the Andes is a Llama.  The funny animal that lives in the Asian mountains is merely a lama.  When you descend from the Andes, you might come out onto the llano, which is a flat plane.  It started as a ‘plano,’ but spelling drift is inevitable.

I’d like to blame these double initial letters on something like pronunciation rules, but I find no such basis.  😀

Turdy Tree Fibbing Friday

Ailments is the theme for this week and pensitivity101 is sure her readers can come up with new definitions or explanations for the following.

  1. What is carpal tunnel?
    It’s the wormhole that runs under the English Channel, from Dover to Calais, even if the train doesn’t, and they have to send crews with golf-carts in to drag the shipwreck asylum-seekers’ victims out.
  2. What is tennis elbow?

It’s a type of arthritis, contracted by leaning too long on a damp bar in the clubhouse, while you’re trying to serve up a little love by bragging about how great your tennis stroke is.  That’s why it’s called a racket.
3. What is a pulled muscle?
It’s the reason that teenage boys have a lock on their bedroom door, so that Mom doesn’t just walk in.  When I hear that an athlete has a pulled groin muscle I think, ‘Shouldn’t he be practicing with the rest of the team, instead of playing with by himself?’

  1. What is tinnitus?

It is how most bachelors feed themselves – a tin of soup, a tin of stew, a tin of spaghetti, a tin of beans, a tin of raviolis, a tin of chili, a bunch of tins of beer.  Only mac and cheese, and pizza, come in cardboard boxes
5. What are crow’s feet?

An expensive delicacy it Iraqi restaurants, costing mucho dinars.  They are seasoned with cumin and coriander, and served with couscous, tzatziki sauce and taftoon bread.
6. What are hammer toes?
It’s an affliction suffered by really klutzy DIY handymen.  They don’t even have time to smack their thumb with the hammer, before they drop it on their foot.

  1. What is pink eye?

It’s a new, hybrid species of salmon, obtained by crossing the ‘silver,’ Pacific, Sockeye salmon, with the redder-fleshed Atlantic salmon.  They’re having trouble releasing it into the wild.  They keep trying to swim back to the laboratory.
8. What is vertigo?

It’s how my German cousin asked about our destination for an evening out, when he visited.  Vertigo for eine gut time?  Vill dere be dancing girls in dirndls? Vill dere be many steins of gut, Bock beer?  Vill dere be schnitzel und sauerkraut?  Vill I be asked for my papers??
9. What are cataracts?

These are the hackneyed stereotype vehicles that the FBI, the CIA, and every American security force who have been so testosterone poisoned that they can’t spell anything more complex than GMC, use for transportation.  Huge, gas-guzzling monsters, and always shiny black, so that they will stand out, especially in movies.  At least, that’s what my speech therapist told me.
10. What is swimmer’s ear?

It’s the one you have to use to listen to your mother when you’re at the beach or pool, and she says, ‘Now remember, you can’t go swimming for at least an hour after you’ve eaten, or you’ll get cramps and drown.’  It’s an old wives tale, but I don’t think she’d be too happy to be described as either old, or a wife.

Apologists Haven’t A Brain In Their Heads

THAT is MY BRAIN!

At least that’s what the office told me when they gave me the disk of pictures. I have no other pictures of my brain with which to compare, and I’ve never seen my brain in person so as to recognize it from these hazy black and white pictures which I’m told came from a big magnet. It remains entirely possible that the pictures on that disk are pictures of somebody else’s brain.

Or that this is a Xerox image of something made entirely of playdough.(sic) I can’t prove that it’s not.

It may not be my brain on the disk, and in fact may not be pictures of anybody’s head at all but may be computer-generated. It’s not impossible.  Maybe the people with problems that require a brain-scan are the only ones who have brains.

In modern America VERY few people have even seen the inside of ANY mammal skull so as to see that there is a brain inside, let alone any human heads.  The number of medical and scientific personnel who claim to have seen inside a human head is a VAST minority of the total.  They except(sic) that we have sent what three or four rovers all the way to Mars and yet they don’t believe in God.

Atheists say that they have never seen God and that I have never seen God and they demand evidence.  They believe electrons exist, having never seen one. They believe the wind exists having never seen it. They believe gravity exists having never seen it. They believe in all kinds of things they have never seen. You know why? Because they’re not really skeptics. There are just some things they don’t want to believe, so they pretend that they are skeptics, when in fact, they are just rebellious sinners.

Except…. that the correct word is accept.  I would think that you would be familiar with one of the most important words of your faith system, considering the number of things that you are expected to blindly accept.  Perhaps you have never seen it in print, and are just taking someone else’s word for it.

Every med student in every medical college in the USA, Canada, and probably around the world, must assist in the dissection of a human cadaver.  The skull is sawed open.  The brain is removed and examined.  The same is true for most veterinary students, with a dog or cat.  This alone consists of tens of thousands of people each year.  And then there are abattoirs and meat-packing plants….

We can also include pathologists, and coroners and their assistants, and police officers and paramedics, who, too often, get to see human brains that didn’t need MRIs.  Until one of them finds a skull with no brain in it, I’m going to assume they all do, with the possible exception of yours.  They are a minority – but hardly a VAST one – totalling several million people.

While actually seeing God would be a good start to accepting His existence, not all evidence need be visual.  Do Christians have Faith that electrons exist?  Atheists accept that they do because they can see the actions they cause; televisions glow, cell phones communicate with each other, and ovens get hot.

Atheists (and everyone else) can feel the wind blow, and see its effects, from tornadoes, to kids’ kites flying, to wind turbines.  We don’t need to see the wind to know that it exists.  I can see gravity working every time I drop something.  It will accelerate toward the center of the Earth (or any other celestial body).

On Earth, its speed of fall will increase by 9.8 meters/second/squared.  It has done so each and every observed and measured time.  Only when a dropped pen starts drifting upward will I doubt the existence of gravity.  You can tell me that God makes my light bulbs shine or that angels hold my feet (and every other object) to the ground.  I will rely on reasonable expectations based on a history of testable and repeatable actions.

I will believe the hypotheses of reputable scientists, who have shown their work, rather than the far less coherent and parsimonious claims that Christians make.  I will believe in space/time curvature rather than angels.  Atheists often say that they have not been presented with sufficiently convincing evidence, but evidence is information which convinces, or tends to convince, regarding any given matter.  If it does not convince to some degree, it is not ‘evidence,’ it is just another unverified claim.

I want to believe the most true things, and the fewest false things as possible.  Despite your desperate attempt at mind-reading and fortune-telling, I am not a rebellious sinner!  After 2000 years of asking Christians for evidence, the best they seem to be able to come up with is, ‘You just have to have faith, and you won’t know until you die.’  That is unacceptable to me – no sin involved.  👿