geonames.org is pretty good at what it does. I tried Melugu, in Malaysia (where we lived in 1965-66, as Peace Corps volunteers), and sure enough... It does pretty well for Martinsville, ME, the non-nucleated hamlet near our present location.
There's stuff I admire but don't aspire to do myself, and video blogging is in that realm. This morning my blogstream presents me with abundant evidence of yet another of those tectonic shifts in Web presentation that redefines the possibilities of the medium. The conjunction of these three seems to me like new territory, and I'm certainly gonna enjoy the ride:
There's an interesting exchange on blogging and academic careers in the most recent issue of The Chronicle Review, centered on Yale's non-hiring of Juan Cole, but provoking thought on Career in a more general sense. Juan Cole's response is a good starting place, but the seven linked pieces ("Related materials") are bones worth chewing upon.
Christina Wodtke's Elements of Style for Designers is a useful reminder of things one might choose to do, or not, drawn directly from Strunk and White's ave atque vale list of admonishments. As I read through the list, I reflected wincingly that I regularly and wilfully violate most of those injunctions for habits that lead to Good Writing, as many antiprescritivist postings at Language Log suggest I may, if I like.
why trust building the "first mile" of the Net to people who never wanted it in the first place, who have always felt threatened by it, who can imagine their customers as nothing other than "consumers" of one-way "content", and who want to create scarcities and insert billing valves everywhere they can? Because they're the only ones in a position to do it? That's not a good enough reason. It's also not true.
The phone and cable companies will be the only ones in a position to do it if we let them lobby that privilege into law. That's their real agenda, and that's the important story here. And it's a lot bigger than Net Neutrality.
The ancient roots of passive avoidance over at Language Log has either everything or nothing to do with the tragedical unwindings in the Levant. For a moment I thought that lexis eiromeneand lexis katestrammene were on a different plane altogether from the bombast and dissembling, (akin to "Here's to pure mathematics, may it never be any use to anybody."), but there's something Hemingwayish and unforesightful about the various actors in the current drama.
Don't miss the diagram at the end, and it's worth meditating upon the statement "Hemingway gives a physical description of a journey through a specific landscape, while Johnson offers an abstract discussion of the reasons for valuing older works over newer ones."
I've decided to try to follow the horrors of the news stream via a conventional Web page, mostly for my own purposes in sorting it (and what I think about it) all out later. Each item is too fragmentary for me to blog sensibly, and there's already too much ill-informed blogventing out there.
WFMU's Beware of the Blog links to a performance of the Finnish Complaints Choir: "Finnish artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen collected the pet peeves and angst-ridden pleas of people in Helsinki and then composed this choral work around the list of complaints...", a 24MB download and I swear, worth every minute of the wait.
Many of us know about these excruciations on "That's amore"...
Somehow this one fell into my ummmm mind as I was shopping yesterday (no apologies for some relaxation of the algorithmical constraints):
When a third of your herd
Hits the dust all at once [well, all at oncet]
That's a murrain
I sent that to my friend Ken, who was able to retrieve (from his email archive) a set constructed a few years ago:
When your chicken is tossed
in a chocolate sauce
that's a mole
At the bris there's the trick
when the guy trims your dick
that's a mohel
Take 2 cups Bechamel
add some cheese you can't smell
that's Sauce Mornay
(and this one is only locally comprehensible, being about the river that flows by Lexington VA):
Float from Goshen to James
with Confederate Dames
that's the Maury
a refinement to the Maury one:
It has Matthew Fontaine's
name from Goshen to James
that's the Maury
(Matthew Fontaine Maury --19th century Father of Naval Oceanography)
another culinary one:
A chestnut glacée
if you say en Français
that's a marron
and for the ornithologist:
Auk! it's no puffin I know
Can't pronounce 'guillemot'
it's a murre
and today Ken contributes:
When a native you see
On the coast of New Z
I happened upon Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word: a language history of the world (Amazon link, and try some of the Explore and Browse options) in a Brattleboro bookstore and I'm gobsmacked again. In Bill Thompson's 9-minute interview with Ostler you'll get a running start at the flavor of the book. Just buy it --at less than $12, what do you have to lose?
Betsy drove up from VA for the weekend, we met in Plymouth NH, and on Saturday we hiked up the Skookumchuck Trail to the AT, then up the north side of Mt. Lafayette and back down the Greenleaf Trail --about 9 miles, our first above-treeline hike since finishing the AT in 2003.