Thursday, November 15, 2012
Let’s start with US English.
The winner is GIF (Graphics Interchange Format). Katherine Martin, head of the U.S. dictionaries program at Oxford explains that “the GIF has evolved from a medium for pop-cultural memes into a tool with serious applications including research and journalism, and its lexical identity is transforming to keep pace.”
GIF was originally released by CompuServe in 1987 and has become popular in recent years for its ability to have users make humorous commentary on topics ranging from sports to political elections.
Two other words battled GIF for the top spot: YOLO which stands for “You only live once” and “Superstorm” after the major storm that affected the Eastern U.S. during the first week of November 2012.
Not surprisingly, UK English has a different word of the year. The winner is “omnishambles“, which is defined as “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations.”
A runner up was the word “Pleb“, taken from the Roman word “plebs“. It is used as a derogative term to describe “a member of the ordinary people or working classes.”
Funny enough being the word of the year does not guarantee that those words will actually be included in future editions of the Oxford English Dictionary!
A word that took the top spot is previous years is “egosurfer” to describe a person who keeps googling him/herself.
No matter if these words will be included in official dictionaries; they speak volumes about our pop culture!
Which word would you choose to be the word of the year? My favorite is “Fiscal Cliff”!
Friday, October 26, 2012
And for the stargazers among you –Draco is also a constellation in the far northern sky! Dragons in Greek mythology quite likely have inspired the constellation's name, including Ladon, the dragon who guarded the golden apples of the Hesperides, and was killed by Hercules as part of his 12 labors. According to Greco-Roman legend, the dragon Draco was killed by the goddess Minerva and tossed into the sky upon his defeat.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
He recently published his eBook “Oh Myyy! On Life, the Internet and Everything”
To give you taste of his delicious tongue-in-cheek humor:
“Somewhere along the way to the digital age, somebody decided that cats conjugate improperly when speaking English and love to eat cheeseburgers. For some other mysterious reason these assumptions stuck, and a new breed of cat memes made their way onto the Interweb.
I do love cats, but my fans love them even more. Factoid: There are something on the order of 86.4 million pet cats in the United States alone. This explains the success of the musical “Cats” (It certainly wasn’t the non-existent plot). Whenever I post an image with a cat in it, I can count on a baseline of tens of thousands of likes and shares. Even if the cat is really ugly.
You probably know that some of the most popular videos on YouTube are cat videos. If you haven’t seen the “Ninja” cat and the “Paddy Cake” cats, you aren’t very good at surfing the net. There are even YouTube videos about how popular cats are on YouTube.
A cat-based video is so much more likely to be played and shared that I’ve considered creating YouTube promotions for my show “Allegiance” with cats playing all of the internment camp guards and internees. Apart from being in highly questionable taste, I’ve never successfully figured out how to make some of the cats look Japanese—besides putting cute little rice paddy hats on them.
Right now at least half of you have an image of a cat in a rice paddy hat.
I’ve lately asked myself what the fascination with cats is. Much of the attraction derives from their highly “human”-like expressions and the rich variation in their size, color and, often, girth. We humans can all see our own exploits, frustrations, and failures in their eyes and their efforts, more so than almost any other creature.
By contrast, dogs are commonly portrayed as “one-note” creatures that have more unconditional, simpler expressions. It also explains why there is no musical called “Dogs”.
Saturday, October 06, 2012
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroken;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Monday, October 01, 2012
In the process, he also criticized his rivals. For those of you who are not familiar with Ellory, he is 47 year-old writer, based in Birmingham, West Midlands, UK.
His full name is Roger Jon Ellory. He lauded his own novel A Quiet Belief in Angels as a "modern masterpiecee" and said that readers should "just buy it, read it and make up your own mind".
Amazingly enough, Mr. Ellory, who is a bestselling British crime writer, wrote fake reviews to market his work. He used pseudonyms to pen glowing reviews about his "magnificent genius” online.
"All I will say is that there are paragraphs and chapters that just stopped me dead in my tracks," he wrote. "Some of it was chilling, some of it raced along, some of it was poetic and langorous and had to be read twice and three times to really appreciate the depth of the prose … it really is a magnificent book."
In the process, he also criticized his rivals. "
Ellory has admitted posting the reviews on Amazon, and apologized for his actions.
He issued a statement saying: "The recent reviews – both positive and negative – that have been posted on my Amazon accounts are my responsibility and my responsibility alone. I wholeheartedly regret the lapse of judgment that allowed personal opinions to be disseminated in this way and I would like to apologize to my readers and the writing community."
The Crime Writers Association has issued a statement condemning the practice of using fake identities on blogs, Twitter or Amazon to promote a writer's own work and give bad reviews to others, calling it "unfair to authors and also to the readers who are so supportive of the crime genre", and adding that it is looking to set up a membership code of ethics.
What do you think? Clever marketing or deplorable promotion?
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Her poetry is like a chocolate box - there is a flavor for everyone. Some poems are quite graphic and might offend sensitive souls (e.g., 'Carnal" and "Hags to Bitches") , while others are PG.
She also cleverly uses layout to entice her readers, which I did not see for a long time... Just read "The She Beat" and "Homme" to get the picture.
My personal favorite?
When I look into you
All the words I want to say
Seem to disappear [...]
T.L. Curtis is a social worker residing in Louisville, Kentucky. She can be reached at www.tlcurtis.us
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Around April 14th, 1664 Danish Elsje Christiaens came to Amsterdam at the age of 18. She was born in “Sprouwen”, which is quite likely Dutch for the island of Sprogo.
She wanted to work as a maid (or servant girl) and rented a place to sleep in the cellar of a boarding house. At the end of the first month, the manageress of the establishment came to collect the rent of one “daalder” (€ 0,68 or US$ 0.89). However, Elsje was not able to pay, since she had not been able to find any work yet.
The next day, the manageress asked again. At that point, the women started to argue. The manageress threatened to confiscate her chest containing her (meager) belongings. Their fight became physical when the manageress hit Elsje with a broomstick. Elsje then grabbed an ax that was near the cellar and hit the manageress on the head. The woman fell down the cellar stairs and died.
Elsje panicked, ran outside and jumped in the Damrak (at that time the mouth of the Amstel River). She was dragged out of the water and arrested. After two interrogations, she was convicted on May 1, 1664. The execution was considered to be fitting the crime: she was hanged in front of the town hall and the executioner hit her several times with the murder weapon on her head.
The body was then transported to Volewijck (at that time moor land that contained a gallows field). Her body was tied to the gallows with the ax hanging next to her head “in order for air and birds to devour her”. When Rembrandt learned about the faith of Elsje Christiaens, he rowed over to Volewijck where he made two drawings of the executed girl.
Centuries later, in the 1960s, archivist Ms. I.H. van Eeghen became fascinated by the two drawings. Although art historians dated the drawings around 1655, she realized that none of the Rembrandt experts had ever bothered doing any research in law archives to find out more about the subject of the drawings.
She started to go through 25 years of recorded confessions and found out that the only woman ever to get the death penalty at that time was a Danish maid called Elsje Christiaens.
Based on her findings, she was able to accurately date the drawings at the beginning of May 1664. She was pleased as Punch that the lauded Rembrandt experts erred 8-10 years with their dating, stating: “Elsje Christiaens, who once served as an example to deter others from committing crimes, is now once again serving as an example for art historians to be careful with their dating solely based on style criteria!’
I find it amazing how a young immigrant that was executed two weeks after entering a country in search of employment is talked about and blogged about almost 450 years later......Furthermore, this story involves three women: the murderess, the victim and the archivist.
I wonder....would Rembrandt have been amused?
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Sunday, September 02, 2012
The content of the manuscript falls into six sections:
- Botanicals containing drawings of 113 unidentified plant species;
- Astronomical and astrological drawings including astral charts with radiating circles, suns and moons, Zodiac symbols such as fish (Pisces), a bull (Taurus), and an archer (Sagittarius), nude females emerging from pipes or chimneys, and courtly figures;
- A biological section containing a myriad of drawings of miniature female nudes, most with swelled abdomens, immersed or wading in fluids and oddly interacting with interconnecting tubes and capsules;
- An elaborate array of nine cosmological medallions, many drawn across several folded folios and depicting possible geographical forms;
- Pharmaceutical drawings of over 100 different species of medicinal herbs and roots portrayed with jars or vessels in red, blue, or green, and
- Continuous pages of text, possibly recipes, with star-like flowers marking each entry in the margins.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Under the slogan “We Make Fairy Tales Come True”, the frog is turned into a prince, and the ugly witch in a sexy vixen. But their latest ad might get them in hot water...it depicts the makeover of the Andersen’s mermaid into a buxom, stiletto wearing, beauty.
The problem? She closely resembles Ariel of the Disney movie.] The ad created a storm in a teacup in the USA. Many critics were not happy with Disney’s portraying of princesses, claiming that they have the impossible figure of a Barbie doll and are therefore sending the wrong message to young girls about the definition of beauty. But worse, the ad might infringe on the IP of Disney.
As a parent, I would be far more concerned about the original fairy tale by Andersen, where the op is performed with a sword (and no anesthetics a far as I remember!)
Disney’s legal eagles might take action, but ifor now, Clinica Dempere is enjoying its free press! Beats the hell out of issuing press releases and having a PR company promote your services for lots of $$$$.
It I would work for Clinica Demere, I would say “bring it on”, and contemplate which fairy tale to use in my next ad...Cinderella springs to mind!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
In a separate statement, Time spokesman Ali Zelenko said the magazine accepts Zakaria's apology, but would suspend his column for one month "pending further review."
He stated: "what he did violates our own standards for our columnists, which is that their work must not only be factual but original. Their views must not only be their own but their words as well.
Media reporters noticed that passages in Zakaria's column about gun control that appeared in Time's issue 20 of August issue closely resembled paragraphs in an article written by Harvard University history professor Jill Lepore. Her assay was published in the April 2012 issue of The New Yorker magazine.
Zakaria's column "The Case for Gun Control" starts with a paragraph containing the following text: “Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at UCLA, documents the actual history in 'Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America.' Guns were regulated in the U.S. from the earliest years of the Republic."
Jill Lenore's New Yorker "Battleground America" assay starts with: "As Adam Winkler, a constitutional-law scholar at U.C.L.A. demonstrates in a remarkably nuanced new book, 'Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America,' firearms have been regulated in the United States from the start."
In his statement, Zakaria "unreservedly" apologized to Jill Lepore, the Time’s editors and his readers.
Was it enough? Obviously, since both Time and CNN have reinstated Fareed Zakaria after conducting their plagiarism investigations, stating that it was "an unintentional error and an isolated incident".
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Turns out that the French perfume house Robertet has created a fragrance claiming that it helps weight loss. The quite improperly named Prends-Moi Eau De Minceur or Take Me (in the sexual meaning of the word) Slimming Scent. How very French.
According to the manufacturer Veld’s, the scent contains Betaphroline which stimulates the release of B-endorphins in the skin. This is supposed to trigger "an immediate sensation of well-being, a reduction in stress and an increase in contentment reducing the need to overeat."
The Centre of Biological Research and Cutaneous Experimentation claims that 70% per cent of women in a trial said that the perfume did indeed have an effect on appetite, influencing eating habits and 75% found their well-being boosted.
- The Centre is a private French laboratory that tests beauty products for paying customers to substantiate their claims. Thee results are based on statements of users.
- No measurements of e.g., weight or body mass index were performed. In other words, all are results are subjective – placebo effect anyone?
Dr. Kim Bell-Anderson of the School of Molecular Bioscience at the University of Sydney found that there are "absolutely no peer reviewed publications to support this product." She could also not find even one shred of research suggesting that a product could permeate the skin to increase endorphin release.
It this product is really successful, should it not carry a warning for women that have eating disorders? Why are there no supermodels toting the fragrance? Well, we do know why......
Veld’s obviously has a great marketing and legal team. They are very clever with their wording by stating that “people feel as though their appetite is reduced" rather than making solid claims.
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Since his vest is so famous, it even has its own Twitter account. Weiner's ad boasts, "Jeffrey Eugenides doesn't have a book out this summer, but Jennifer Weiner has ... The Next Best Thing."
The similarity between the two ads is clearly intended; Weiner sports the same vest, the colors and layout of the ad are the same, and Weiner clearly copies Eugenides – outfit, posture, just look at the image!
Weiner tries to justify her rip-off as good old tongue-in-cheek fun. However, by cleverly leveraging social media, she uses viral marketing for personal gain – piggyback riding on a more reputable and famous author.
Weiner claims: "I saw the billboards, thought, 'Wow, how brilliant (an ad in Times Square!)' and, 'Wow, those are interesting fashion choices!' (Vest, paisley shirt). From then, it was just a question of finding a vest that fit me (thanks, Men's Wearhouse!), and getting the right expression of un-smug, yeah-I've-got-a-Pulitzer, bitch confidence."
She added that she has no plans to wear the vest on her book tour but may "pass it along to the next female author who could use a little Jeff E magic."
Eugenides himself has not responded yet. However, he might consider suing Ms. Weiner for her blatant rip-off….
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Je ne me sentis plus guidé par les haleurs :
Des Peaux-Rouges criards les avaient pris pour cibles,
Les ayant cloués nus aux poteaux de couleurs.
- Charles Baudelaire
Saturday, June 23, 2012
- Share on Facebook
- Share on Twitter
- Share on Pinterest
- Share on Google+
- Share on Linkedin
- Share by email
Sunday, June 10, 2012
The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.
The Gastroenterologists had a sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.
The Obstetricians felt they were all labouring under a misconception.
Ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted. Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the Paediatricians said, "Oh, Grow up!"
The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it.
The Surgeons were fed up with the cuts and decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.
The ENT specialists didn't swallow it, and just wouldn't hear of it .
The Pharmacologists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter...."
The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.
The Anaesthetists thought the whole idea was a gas, but the Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.
In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the law makers in Wellington!
(Note: the author is as yet unknown. If you are the scribe of these clever words, please let me know so I can give you the credit you so deserve!)
Monday, May 14, 2012
But singing along it not that easy, so to help you out, below are the lyrics. It is definetly a clever song!
So here we go.......
Our whole universe was in a hot dense state,
The Earth began to cool,
The autotrophs began to drool,
Neanderthals developed tools,
We built a wall (we built the pyramids),
Math, science, history, unravelling the mysteries,
That all started with the big bang!
Since the dawn of man is really not that long,
As every galaxy was formed in less time than it takes to sing this song.
A fraction of a second and the elements were made.
The bipeds stood up straight,
The dinosaurs all met their fate,
They tried to leap but they were late
And they all died (they froze their asses off)
The oceans and pangea
See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya
Set in motion by the same big bang!
It all started with the big BANG!
It's expanding ever outward but one day
It will cause the stars to go the other way,
Collapsing ever inward, we won't be here, it wont be hurt
Our best and brightest figure that it'll make an even bigger bang!
Australopithecus would really have been sick of us
Debating out while here they're catching deer (we're catching viruses)
Religion or astronomy, Encarta, Deuteronomy
It all started with the big bang!
Music and mythology, Einstein and astrology
It all started with the big bang!
It all started with the big BANG!
Monday, April 23, 2012
The President confirmed that he is having dinner plans at the Cloonster’s Hollywood mansion coming May 10. 150 of Hollywood’s elite will fork out $40,000 each to attend this event, dubbed: “Dinner with Barack.”
But now comes the clever part. There are two seats reserved for Obama supporters. For a sum starting at a mere $3, you can put in a bit to join the Golden Lads. (If you want to know more, you can find details on the Barack Obama website).
Basically, Clooney is crowdfunding with the goal to raise $6 million for his pal Obama.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
A female interviewer from ABC was asking him about his headquarters' sponsorship of a visit by a local Boy Scout Troop and threw him a spin on the old "have-you-stopped-beating-your-spouse" question.
Here's how he handled it:
INTERVIEWER: So, General Cosgrove, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?
COSGROVE: We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery and shooting.
INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?
COSGROVE: I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the rifle range.
INTERVIEWER: Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?
COSGROVE: I don't see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.
INTERVIEWER: But you're equipping them to become violent killers.
COSGROVE: Well, Ma'am, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not one, are you?
The station then went silent for 46 seconds. When it came back on the air, this interview was over.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
The Pulitzer Prize was established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher. Upon his death in 1911, he left money to Columbia University in New York City, which administers the prize. The first Pulitzer Prize was granted in 1917, and continues today as one of the most coveted awards in the world.
Famous recipients of the Pulitzer Prize include President John F. Kennedy, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Robert Frost, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Rodgers & Hammerstein. David McCullough, Eugene O’Neill, Edward Albee, Norman Mailer, and John Updike.
It is a posthumously completed novel, animated by grand ambition that explores boredom and bureaucracy in the American workplace.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
In "Eating Your Aunty is Wrong", Stephen Arnott writes: "Groups of young men in Sussex and Devon used to go "apple howling", visiting local orchards and spouting *doggerel* to encourage the trees to be fruitful. In return the men expected drink or money from the orchard's owner. If they didn't get it they'd return to the orchard and shout curses at the trees."
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, one of the earliest uses of the word "doggerel" is found in the 14th century in the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. He applied the term “rym doggerel” to his “Tale of Sir Thopas,” a burlesque of the long-winded medieval romance.
John Skelton, caught in the transition between Chaucer’s medieval language and the beginning of the English Renaissance, wrote verse long considered being almost doggerel. He defended himself in Colin Clout:
For though my rhyme be ragged,
Tattered and jagged,
Rusty and moth-eaten,
If ye take well therewith,
It hath in it some pith.
Since then, doggerel has been employed in most English comic verse, from that of Victorian poet Samuel Butler and Gulliver's Travels author Jonathan Swift to the contemporary American poet Ogden Nash.
The doggerel even has a German counterpart, called Knüttelvers (literally “cudgel verse”). It was popular during the Renaissance and was later used for comic effect by such poets as J.W. von Goethe and Friedrich von Schiller.
Doggerel verse is still commonly heard in limericks and nonsense verse, popular songs, and commercial jingles.
All in all, the doggerel is a fun form of poetry and not so easy to write. So I invite all writers and poets, try your hand at the beautiful art of writing a doggerel!
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
They decided to use Kickstarter to raise $ 50,000 in funds. They were more than successful – they raised over $140,000. “People gave way more than I thought they would,” said Jim Giles. “We have tapped into frustration with the way the internet has promoted quick and cheap journalism and bashed longer-quality stuff, or at least undermined the business model that used to support that sort of thing.”
Matter tweeted on April, 4: “We don't have a set launch date, but it will probably be in a couple of months”. Once Matter is alive, readers will have the option of buying individual stories for 99 cents each or opt for a subscription. The magazine will be monthly at first, and then weekly, assuming everything goes according to plan.
The 99 cents model is clever. Readers can purchase an article and read it on Kindle and iPad. Giles and Johnson leverage the ebooks hype. Some journalists and writers make money via Amazon and news sites such as atavist.net with stories that are too long to be published in a newspaper or magazine, and too short for a book.
Matter wants writers to approach them with vague ideas. The writer then gets matched to an editor very early on — before the piece is even formally commissioned — and the final article comes together as a collaboration between the writer, editor, and publishers.
However, Matter is quite narrow in what it wants to publish. It is focusing on long-form, narrative, investigative news stories about science and technology. To overcome this hurdle, the founders are looking at different models e.g., cooperating with newspapers.
Let’s wait and see if it lives up to its promise of “gripping exposes of online crime, untold tales of environmental threats, inside stories about revolutionary technologies and exclusive reports from the most controversial research labs.” Time will tell.......
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The "Drunk Text" video clip features photoshopped Hilton parroting sentences such as: "I went out to the club the other night, to you know, dance with my b---s."
(really, PH went out to a club? Hold the presses!)
From this one on, the lyrics continue to become even more absurd.
"It was just a drunk text, in my head I was writing a fiction of us," she continues. "Behind my eyes I was begging for things that my lips would never ask. My mouth kept pouring desperate calls with random intent. He asked me if he could text me later. And I say, 'Sure.'
(So a guy tried to chat her up and she was too drunk/stoned/stupid/whatever to give a reply)
"I'm too lazy to type, so I sent a photo I took up a dancer's skirt and I tell him to come and get it."
(Did she send the KK Twitter image?)
"I'm sorry, it was just a drunk text," sings the chorus.
(Collective shudder of all Greek choruses around the world)
"Take the word sex and mix it with texting/ it's called sexting," she says. "When you add drunk sexting, the words just don't make any sense/ It's a hot mess of misspelled obscenities, body parts, and run-on questions."
(Just mix dreck with texting and you get drexting, which is what she has been doing most of her life)
"No one is safe in the Twittersphere anymore," she goes on.
(But where would she be without Twitter?)
“I'll be damned if I end up in some late diner after this with last night's lingerie in my purse".
(The good news is that she wears knickers – at least once in a while!)
"She's like, 'this guy wants you to wet your lips with this bottle.'"
(I hope the writer of this gem was paid very, very well!)
"Are you f***ing kidding me?"
(Yeah, are you kidding us with your stupid "song"?!)