Here is a collection of notes to various really, really obscure references and puns and other stuff in the essays that, if either of us had a life, I wouldn't be writing and you wouldn't be reading.
|A scientist replies...|
Where to begin?
First, I can't wait to hear how you will pronounce your derived equations on the air.
Second, your assessment of neoteny as an evolutionary "strategy" seems generous, at least to me, since I have always dismissed neoteny as little more than a genetic reluctance to ever throw anything away. I think however you may have a point.
Third, I respectfully submit that your equation correlating the calculated center of hirsuticity (COH) on the aging male body overlooks two phenomena, one internal and the other external. Is it just a coincidence that the COH shifts as though attracted by gravity (the external force) and more or less in parallel with the changing distribution of adipose tissue towards lower skeletal muscles for whom tone is merely a memory (the internal force)? Is a little covariance speculation called for here?
And by letting neoteny rear its ugly juvenile head, you flirt with 'ontegeny recapitulates phylogeny', which then runs the risk of disappearing into the dim gloom of Hegelian dialectics. Sorry, I think that sentence was prompted by your essay this past Saturday, which I enjoyed.
M J Temple O. Carm., Ph.D.
Related Essay (245)
|1. "... presence of his own Absinth" As they say 'Absinth makes the heart grow fonder', |
...or is it 'Absinth makes the brain grow blubber'?
Related Essay (254)
The picture of the BK ad is not very good. I suspect they got wind of this essay, because as soon as I started writing it, they vanished from my TV screen and scampered, whimpering to hide behind the skirts of their whopping Dad. I was forced to capture a still from a rather low quality vid snatched by someone on YouTube.
The Germans and the eyebrow were made of sterner stuff, so I got a better image.
1 I Really did it as a penance for the guilty pleasure of having just re-read all of Thomas Love Peacock's delightfully intellectual novels, to adjust the balance of my intellect back to neutral.
2 BK text from the web
Whopper Jr.: "Let's go take 'em out, yeah?"
Chicken Crisp: "Yeah."
Whopper Jr.: "We've got business to handle!"
Whopper Jr.: "Hey, can I - can I get a Whopper Jr., please?"
Wendy's Speaker: "This is - this is not Burger King. That's at Burger King. Sorry."
Whopper Jr.: "Can I get some flame-broiled beef, please? Got any of that?"
Wendy's Speaker: "Uh, we don't do that here."
Wendy's Speaker: "Do you want a sour cream and chive potato?"
Whopper Jr.: "A baked potat- a baked pota- are we in Russia?
3 I know the Reich didn't officially become Großdeutsches until ten years after VW started, but it was all the same guys, so cut me some slack here---I mean I've just been watching ads for you.
Related Essay (397)
| 1 "... adjust your heartstrings before leaving" Back in the old days in the old country, when I was growing up, I remember how the public lavatories had signs near their exits that read "PLEASE ADJUST YOUR DRESS BEFORE LEAVING". Whether this resulted in the extremely low incidence of cases of indecent exposure experienced at the time, or instead was inspired by their very high incidence I don't know. And of course 'DRESS' was meant in its widest sense (as in 'formal dress') rather than as an indication of widespread cross-dressing, but I always harboured a sneaking suspicion that in the 'Ladies' bemused women were staring at "PLEASE ADJUST YOUR TROUSERS BEFORE LEAVING", while back at the Council Offices some poor dyslexic employee was being hauled over the coals. |
My phrase is, of course, a reference to that.
Related Essay (20)
"...When þe nyghtegale singes..."
The beginning of a forteenth century love from the Harley Lyrics.
'When the nightingale sings, the woods grow green.
Leaf and grass and flowers sprout in April, believe me'
or something like that.
Related Essay (207)
"twentieth century sinning..." No that is not an error, and it's certainly not something I want to discuss here.
Related Essay (313)
1[ad. mod.L. Anglicitāt-em, f. Anglic-us, after Latinus, Latinitāt-em, Latinity: see -ITY.]
English quality, as of speech or style; English idiom.
2[Variant of the Scots CURFUFFLE n. (perh. influenced by KER-?), now the general form in colloquial use.]
1946 F. SARGESON That Summer 94, I bet it [sc. the domestic row] ended up in a good old kafuffle. 1959 J. FLEMING Miss Bones xiv. 150 The kerfuffle over the stolen jewels last week. 1960 E. W. HILDICK Jim Starling & Colonel viii. 62 Butcher said he didn't know what all the kerfuffle was about. 1960 A. WYKES Snake Man iii. 38 After this kufuffle was over and we were on our way again. 1965 New Statesman 30 Apr. 693/3 After..some abortive backstage kerfuffles at the National Theatre, Wedekind's Spring Awakening has scraped past the Lord Chamberlain. 1968 'B. MATHER' Springers xii. 130 In the kerfuffle of the last half hour I had forgotten the poor soul's personal needs. 1973 K. AMIS Riverside Villas Murder ii. 40 A lot of our readers are going to think all this kerfuffle over an old skeleton being snatched is..a bit of a joke.
3 Sc. rare. [onomatopœic.]
trans. To throw into disorder; to jerk about; to hustle, treat with contumely. Hence fuffled ppl. a. Also fuffle n., violent exertion, fuss.
1536 LYNDESAY Answ. Kingis Flyting 54 That feynd, with fuffilling of hir roistit hoch, Caist doun the fat. 1635 D. DICKSON Pract. Writ. (1845) I. 177 Thou must be content instead of favour to be fuffled. 1801 HOGG Sc. Pastorals 14 When muckle Pate, wi' desp'rate fuffle, Had at Poltowa won the scuffle. 1819 W. TENNANT Papistry Storm'd (1827) 66 He saw the Vicar..In fuffel'd garb, and plicht ungainly.
Related Essay (386)
"... recent headline" As it has become less recent Reuters seems to have hurled it onto the trash-heap of history---so
I'm preserving it!
UK ARTIST EATS FOX IN POLITICAL PROTEST
December 01 2004 at 12:45PM London - Forget the soiled bedsheets and pickled animals, British art has taken another outrageous turn in an example of the unspeakable swallowing the uneatable. Performance artist Mark McGowan, who counts among his feats pushing a peanut along the road to Tony Blair's Downing Street home with his nose, has eaten a fox, in protest at the public fixation with a government ban on fox hunting. He described the roast fox, which he ate in public, as quite tasty, although he admitted to nearly vomiting at times. "It was a bit like rack of lamb," he said on Wednesday. "The trouble was the retching noises from the other people in the room." Too much attention is paid to fox hunting, he believes. "One million people marched against fox hunting and another million marched for it. The housing estate where I live is full of crack-heads but no one marches to help them," he said. "Everyone gets really worked up about a furry animal, but no one cares about each other." McGowan plans to repeat the performance at an exhibition in London's Docklands on December 15.
By the way, although I suppose Foxiphage is a less regular formation than say Alopephage, it's a lot more fun.
Related Essay (229)
"... this thing about badgers" I have not, so far, been able to determine whether her thing is for the Eurasian (presumably specifically British) badger Meles meles or the American badger Taxidea taxus. I'm sure it can't Zopossibly be the Stink badger, so we won't go there.
Related Essay (244)
|1 Youthful Georgione|
"... as we used to call her, for reasons too obscure" Not too obscure at all really. It's from John Betjeman's burlesque of Longfellow...
Longfellow's Visit to Venice
(To be read in a quiet New England accent)
Near the celebrated Lido where the breeze is fresh and free Gerry Denn (with whom I was working at the time) and I were both somewhat ardentish about Betjeman, so I'm not sure which of us deserves the blame for this onomastical extravaganza.
Stands the ancient port of Venice called the City of the Sea.
All its streets are made of water, all its homes are brick and stone,
Yet it has a picturesqueness which is justly all its own.
Here for centuries have artists come to see the vistas quaint,
Here Bellini set his easel, here he taught his School to paint.
Here the youthful Giorgione gazed upon the domes and towers,
And interpreted his era in a way which pleases ours.
A later artist, Tintoretto, also did his paintings here,
Massive works which generations have continued to revere.
Still to-day come modern artists to portray the buildings fair
And their pictures may be purchased on San Marco's famous Square.
When the bell notes from the belfries and the campaniles chime
Still to-day we find Venetians elegantly killing time
In their gilded old palazzos, while the music in our ears
Is the distant band at Florians mixed with songs of gondoliers.
Thus the New World meets the Old World and the sentiments expressed
Are melodiously mingled in my warm New England breast.
Related Essay (96)
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