Walk This Way

We all do it, to some extent.  Christians do it more than Atheists.  What is IT??!

“IT” is to assume that other people think, feel, and act just like you do.

It is like comparing British English to American English.  The words are the same, but the conclusions they reach and the information they convey, are vastly different.  I think that I felt it, but I had it clearly pointed out to me by a young, Atheist YouTuber.

He had been raised as a fervent, evangelical Catholic.  In his teens, he began to question!!  By twenty, he admitted that he had become an Atheist.  His Bible-thumper Mother was appalled, and tried to lure/force him back.

First, she accused him of “Just blindly believing what those Atheist books say.”because she blindly believed in a book.  He explained that he had not read most of the books she was worried about, and the couple that he had, he had not read until after he had declared himself an Atheist.

While he had not read the evil Atheist books, and had arrived at his position through years of careful study and research, she then accused him of just unquestioningly accepting the non-religious claims of Atheists who establish themselves in authority – because she unquestioningly accepts the self-declared authority of The Catholic Church.

I recently listened to a Christian apologist try to wiggle out from under an Atheist complaint about the Christian concept of infinite punishment in Hell, for the finite crime of not believing.  His justification was that, the infinite punishment was not for merely not believing, but that Atheists die, and go to be judged, and are cast into Hell, and the infinite punishment is because, even in Hell, they continue to ‘deny God.’

I find this apologist scenario preposterous.  Any Atheist who dies, expecting to just fade out, who finds his spirit, his soul, his consciousness, his personality, still coherent and miraculously transported to Heaven, faces God, is condemned to Hell, and who is suffering horrible tortures – would admit to observed reality and accepted truth – not petulantly continue to ‘deny God,’ whatever that means.  But the Christian apologist believes that the Atheist would – because he would!

Frank Turek, a Christian debater, whose slick, used-car-salesman face beams down from the top of this post, was asked if there was any information or argument that might make him change his mind.  He responded with a Bible verse which orders the loyal to reject anything which might cause them to doubt.  No matter how reliable, proven, or convincing the facts and evidence are, Turek and his ilk will simply deny it!  😳

To even try for a non-believer to have a discussion with a Christian about morals/morality, seems doomed to failure.  It will not become a debate or a conversation.  It is like two solitudes, shouting past each other.

The Christian will allege that there are Objective Morals, things which are good or evil, whether or not people exist.  Without any evidence that either of them exists, they claim that God defines and enforces morals, despite the fact that great swathes of Good Christians disregard and disobey them, filling prisons, divorce courts and rehab facilities.

The very words morals, and morality have been hijacked by Christian debaters.  Like sin, they are something that their God wants mankind to do, or not do.  Atheists have ethics, and evolution-induced empathy.  If Atheists can get Christians to agree that reduction of harm and increase in happiness and wellbeing is an acceptable subjective basis, then we have Objective Atheist Morals, and all without God.

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.

Make Book On Humor

Subject: Muslim Bookstore

So, I was walking in the mall and I saw that there was a Muslim Bookstore.

The sign outside led me to wonder just what exactly was in a Muslim bookstore, so I went in.

As I was wandering around taking a look, the clerk gave me the stink eye, but asked if he could help me.

I know I didn’t look like his normal clientele, so I asked, “Do you have a copy of Donald Trump’s Book on his U.S. Immigration policy regarding Muslims and Illegal aliens?”

The clerk said, “Kiss my ass, Get out, and Stay Out!”

I said, “Yes, that’s the one. Do you have it in paperback?”

***

This Ought to Make All Grandpas Feel Warm and Fuzzy

A six-year-old goes to the hospital with her mother to visit her Grandpa. When they get to the hospital, she runs ahead of her mother and bursts into her Grandpa’s room. “Grandpa, Grandpa,” she says excitedly,  “As soon as my mother comes into the room, make a noise like a frog!

“What?” said her Grandpa.

“Make a noise like a frog because my mum said that as soon as you croak, we’re all going to Disney World.”

***

A retired older couple returned to a Mercedes dealership where the salesman has just sold the car they had been interested in to a beautiful, leggy, busty blonde in a mini skirt and a halter top. The old man was visibly upset. He spoke to the salesman sharply, “Young man, I thought you said you would hold that car till we raised the $55,000 asking price. Yet I just overheard you closed the deal for $45,000 to the lovely young lady there. And if I remember right, you had insisted there was no way you could discount this model.”

The salesman took a deep breath, cleared his throat and reached for a large glass of water.

“Well, what can I tell you? She had the cash ready, didn’t need any financing help, and, Sir, just look at her, how could I resist?”, replied the grinning salesman sheepishly.

Just then the young woman approached the senior couple and gave the car keys to the old man.

“There you go,” she said. “I told you I could get that idiot to lower the price. See you later Dad, Happy Father’s day.”

***

Better than a Flu Shot!

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all.

One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room.  She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea. As he sat facing her old Hammond organ, the young minister noticed a cut glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water, and in the water floated of all things, a condom!

When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat.  The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist.

“Miss Beatrice”, he said, “I wonder if you would tell me about this?” pointing to the bowl.

“Oh, yes,” she replied, “Isn’t it wonderful? I was walking through the park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease.”

“Do you know I haven’t had the flu all winter?”

Book Review #27

Through no fault of my own, I managed to read another book which is older than me.  It is over four decades older, though to categorize it as a book, is perhaps generous.  It was only 68 pages, a couple of them being photos from a trip.  It is said to be the first English-language book produced in this German-speaking town.  I did not acquire it just to tick off a reading challenge sector.

The book:  A Canadian’s Travels In Egypt

The author:  Ward H. Bowlby K.C.

The review:  If you Googled ‘Vanity Press,’ there would be a picture of this ego trip about an Egyptian trip.  A local historian publishes a weekly newspaper column.  He mentioned that he had a pdf file of a carefully-scanned 1902 original.  He would forward a copy to anyone who asked – so I asked.

Ward Bowlby was a big noise here in then-Berlin, Ontario, at the end of the 19th century.  He had attended Ontario Law College in Toronto, being first in his class each year.  He came from a well-to-do family.  Besides generous fees, paid by other local captains of industry, he owned a large timber/lumber company during a significant period of city growth.

In the winter of 1898/99, he felt that he had earned a little vacation.  This was not your average on-the-cheap tourist-class jaunt.  Ward, and 8 of his family and friends, took a four month getaway from a cold, Canadian winter, including two months on a Nile houseboat.

They went by train from Berlin to New York City, and boarded a steamer.  Over 11 days, they visited Gibraltar, Pompeii, and Naples.  Then they transferred to an Italian steamer for a trip to Alexandria.  After eight days in Cairo, which included a visit by the two men in the party to an ‘Arab music hall,’ where they were suitably scandalized by half-naked belly-dancers, they chartered a Nile tour-boat.

They got as far upstream as Aswan (Assouan), and then returned, visiting village markets, Luxor tombs, the Sphinx, and the Great Pyramids.  Bowlby kept a daily diary of the Egyptian portion, later turning it into a published travelogue.  After Egypt, the party spent 10 days in ‘The Holy Land’ – Palestine, long before the (re)creation of Israel.  Sadly, Bowlby kept no notes about that segment of the trip.

He had 56 copies printed, and bound with leather with gilt lettering.  He autographed each copy, and gave them to people he wanted to impress.  I don’t know how common these travelogues were at that time.  This one has the feel of the quiet bombast of, This is something that I could afford to do, and you can’t.  The K. C. behind his name, above, indicates, not merely a lawyer, but King’s Counsel.  He suffixed each autograph with ‘Esq.’

The manuscript itself was as tedious as the year-end newsletter you might receive from any bragging almost-friend.  The basic story though, was like watching the Hercule Poirot movie, Death On The Nile, an interesting historical glimpse into the period actions of some monied Canadians.

’22 A To Z Challenge – D

 

A number of word-nerds often wish that some older, arcane and archaic words were still in common use, if only to provide insults for the office prankster, the Karen supervisor, and the sneak-thief who steals lunches from the break-room refrigerator.

Then there are terms that even word historians wonder how and why they came into existence, and no-one misses when they’re gone.  Such a one is

DELIVERLY

When I first ran into it, I thought it was just a misspelling.  Even when I checked it on a dictionary site, there was the red underlining, but it admitted that it was real, and meant
adverb Archaic. quickly, deftly.
A Middle English word dating back to 1300–50

If we had quickly and deftly, why did we need deliverly??  It is related to the old command to, “Stand and deliver!”  This was not about a parcel, or a speech.  It referred to a quick, deft, armed response to the challenge.

Everything old is being used for something new.  People are not shopping at bricks and mortar stores anymore.  Instead, they buy online, and have things delivered to them.  I occasionally see FedEx, or Purolator, or DHL, or even Canpar (Canadian Parcel Service) trucks in the neighborhood, but there’s not a day when I don’t see a local, Intense Delivery Service, Mercedes Sprinter van, delivering up and down the street.

Sad to admit, it has stopped at our place more than a few times.  The wife will say, “I wonder if that knitting pattern book that I ordered, will be delivered today.” – and her tablet will chime, with a photo of the package on the porch.  So, if you want your delivery deliverly delivered, use an Intense courier company.  😉

How was my delivery of this post?  Please be quick and deft with your responses.  😀

It’s Not Funny – Until It Is

Twice Upon A Time, I had 51 completed, composed blog-posts in a word file.  Then I accepted a challenge to Blog Every Day in April.  Even before the first of the month, my stash had dwindled to about 40.  I threatened to include a humor/joke post or two, to pad out the month, perhaps even a whole week of comedy, but I did not do that.

Instead, I plucked d one from here, and one from there on the list.  At the end of April I still had 26 posts in my list.  Still lots, right??!  Then I realized what they were.  There was a Fibbing Friday post for each month, until December.  That’s 9!  Likewise, I had an Atheism vs. Religion post for every month till December.  That’s another 9 – total 18!

I had 2 Book Review posts.  I could compose another one, but I’m sure my followers don’t want to always read about what I’m reading about.  I have a couple of Word Origin/Usage posts, but all word and no play, makes Jack (and Jacquie) unhappy readers.

Until the next load of bullshit is delivered, and splashed onto some pages, I need to keep my fans in good humor.  Here’s an extra dollop of funny for this week, and probably another next month.  Read ‘em and leap…. to the conclusion that Hump Day is as amusing as Mondays.

Late, Great, One-Liners

Procrastination is the art of….
….keeping up with yesterday.

Don’t be so open-minded….
….that your brains fall out.

He who farts in church….
….sits in his own pew.

God didn’t create anything without a purpose….
….but mosquitoes come close.

Dogs prepare you for babies….
….Cats prepare you for teenagers

I don’t want to brag, but….
….I finished my 14-day diet in three hours.

I have a pen that writes underwater….
….It can write other words, too.

Any salad is a Caesar salad….
….if you stab it enough.

There’s no snooze button on….
….a cat that wants breakfast.

Anyone who doesn’t know what shampoo tastes like….
….has never washed a dog.

If one door closes, and another opens….
….you house may be haunted.

Mix a four-leaf clover with poison ivy….
….and you’ll have a rash of good luck.

The five-second rule does not apply….
….when you have a two-second dog.

There’s a time and place for decaf coffee….
….Never, and in the trash.

Adulting is soup….
….and I am a fork.

Waffles are just pancakes….
….with abs.

Espresso may not be the answer….
….but it’s worth a shot.

What do you call dental x-rays?….
….Tooth pics.

I was trying to make a pun about quicksand….
….but I’m stuck.

Cats have 32 muscles in each ear….
….all to help them to ignore you.

Autocorrect can go straight to he’ll.

Autocorrect has become its own worst enema.

Rhinos are just….
….fat unicorns.

Pigs are magical animals….
….They turn vegetables into bacon.

A lion wouldn’t drive drunk….
….but a Tiger Wood.

’22 A To Z Challenge – C

 

 

I am green, but not with envy, when I can Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Christian Apologists sometimes ask, even if the claims were false, what is the problem with believing “If it’s not hurting anyone?”  A YouTuber recently held up a newspaper headline – “Woman scammed of $160,000 by mother/daughter fortune tellers who promised to rid her of demons.”  There is no ‘not hurting anyone!’

Anyone who believes one thing without good reason, has a mental predisposition to believe other false claims.  Her Christianity had convinced her that angels and demons existed, and she paid the price.  That brings me, highly incensed, to the word

Crucible

a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures.
a severe, searching test or trial.

Arthur Miller wrote a book titled “The Crucible.”  It was a rebuke against McCarthyism in the early 1950s, disguised as a novel about the Salem Witch Trials.  There was only one death attributed to McCarthyism, a wrongfully-accused Senator who committed suicide.  Scores of careers and lives were ruined.  In Salem, 24 people died.  19 innocent women were hanged.  4 more died from appalling jail conditions, and one man was tortured to death – all because of lies and fake news, gullibly believed.

Lightening up just a bit, I’m going to recycle a story about a friend who also reused  and recycled by melting down beverage cans, and broken lawn furniture and storm doors in small crucibles which he purchased online, to produce little aluminum hexagons that he used to pave a portion of his back yard, around the barbecue pit.

That whine which you may have heard when you arrived, was not a quad-copter drone, providing Neighborhood Watch security.  That was my mind desperately trying to grind out refills for my random facts posts.  We’ll see how well I do.  Y’all come back now, ya hear.   😎

I Cant Rely On Kindle

I continue to hold my love of dead-tree versions of books, if only because I can get many of them for free, from the Library – and often in LARGE PRINTTo you, with failing eyes, we throw – something you may more easily read.  I am becoming more habituated and inured to the Kindle book variants, especially since a couple of authors, whose series I follow, publish only electronically.

One of the benefits to Kindle is that, when the writer uses an esoteric or unfamiliar word, I need only poke the screen to get a dictionary meaning.  I had hoped that the meaning of every word used in each book would be available, but the dictionary file is on-board, not accessed on the internet.  That hope was dashed, repeatedly, by a recent book.

I read, I knew by the cant of his head, so I poked CANT in the eye – actually, in the A.  I got back, an expression of enthusiasm for high ideals – a sermon or extended oration.  Neither of those seemed to fill the bill, so I took a taxi over to Dictionary.com, which told me that my ‘cant’ meant, a salient angle – a slanted or tilting position.

On the next page, They had not hung the celebratory bunting.  Kindle only offered me two small, seed-eating birds, one European, one American.  My online dictionary was far more generous.  First it told me that bunting was a baseball play, where a pitched ball is gently returned by a stationary bat, or, it could be a hooded sleeping garment for infants (also, bunting bag).  Finally, it admitted that bunting was patriotic and festive decorations made from coarse cloth, or from paper, usually in the form of draperies, wide streamers, etc., in the colors of the national flag.  That’s the one I needed.  Busy word!

The story said, “Fashion was becoming important.  Lacing emphasized waists, and skirts flared out with gores.”  I poked the word ‘gores,’ and got, Gore, Al, Vice-President of the United States.  It’s a good thing they weren’t playing cards, or I’d have been told that trump was the President.  Their boat-launching site was a couple of klicks past the fort.  I should have known better.  Kindle claimed that klicks meant the same as clicks.  Now see here, Kindle, see also: slang, (mainly) military, diminutive of kilometers.

At last, the literary bad guy, returned to his hant.  When I prodded Kindle, it told me that Han was a Chinese river, or a dynasty from 206 B C to 220 A D.  Interesting, but that’s not even the same word.  Dictionary.com only told me that hant was the Scottish form of the verb – to haunt.  I had to go further afield for this one.

I eventually found that, from that Scottish verb form, came the noun which means, an often light-duty structure, temporarily or intermittently occupied, such as a party tent, duck blind or fishing hut.  This all qualifies as an episode of Things I Learned While Researching Other Things.

I am surprised that I was never asked, Did you mean can’t?  I can’t wait to see what I publish in a couple of days.  Are you as excited as I am?  😉

’22 A To Z Challenge – B

 

Good afternoon class.  Today we’re going to discuss a phoney and valueless word, which came to epitomise a phoney and valueless city.  If it fell out of the mouths of anyone other than Englishmen, it would be Birmingham, but the rustic tongues of the northern shires turned it into

Brummagem

bruhmuh-juhm ]

showy but inferior and worthless

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF BRUMMAGEM?

Brummagem, an adjective and noun meaning “showy but inferior and worthless; something of that kind,” comes from the local Birmingham (England) pronunciation of Birmingham. The original (and standard) spelling and pronunciation of the city is bir-; the nonstandard or dialect spelling bru– is an example of metathesis, the transposition of sounds, a very common phenomenon.

Compare Modern English bird with Middle English brid (brid was the dominant spelling until about 1475; the spelling bird is first recorded about 1419).

The name Birmingham is first recorded as Bermingeham in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book (1086); spelling variants with Br- first appear in 1198 as Brumingeham. In the mid-17th century Birmingham was renowned for its metalworking and notorious for counterfeit coins.  At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, there was an abundance of both metal, and men who knew how to work it.  It was easy to substitute cheap steel for valuable silver.

Brummagem entered English in the second half of the 17th century.

My Scottish ancestors, up in Glasgow, might steal an Englishman’s silver coins, or serve him a bowl of dodgy oatmeal, but they’d never stoop to counterfeiting.  Some of them might have been crooks, but they were honorable, honest crooks.   😉  😳