Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cool idea for an adult theme park [title updated]

No, not that kind of adult.

An underwater museum.

What will they call it, Egyptland?

Theology and Linguistics

Here is an entry in Language Log that would interest those with interest in the Latter Day Saints.

For those who aren't going to follow the link (sigh), the author compares the divinely translated English with the English of the Book of Mormon, and concludes:
Such evidence presents us with two choices. One is that the omnipotent and omniscient creator of the universe did not control the grammar of Early Modern English. The other is that the Book of Mormon was written by a semi-literate farm boy acquainted with the King James Bible, whose grammar and style he unsuccessfully attempted to emulate.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Then she was tied to the feet of wild horses and torn apart limb from limb."

Here is a bit of biograpy, the story of Brunhilda. No, not the witch from the comic strip, but the historical Merovingian who might have inspired the female rivalry in the Nibelungen saga.

Women could not rule the country under Salic law, but she controlled it (the area now in the center of Germany) in the names of her sons. When her husband was still alive, his brother married her sister (both sisters came from what is now Spain, at the time controlled by the Visigoths). The sister Galswintha, however, was not much fun and tried to spoil everybody's fun by throwing out the prostitutes and mistresses. Fredegund, one of the mistresses, managed to get her killed and became the new queen - the beginning of a not-so-beautiful relationship with Brunhilda, who apparently resented the death of her sister. The brothers warred.

After Fredegund had Brunhilda's husband assassinated, Brunhilda managed to snag her Fredegund's stepson instead. The stepson didn't make it. However, Brunhilda managed to rule in the name of her son (by her first husband)until the son turned 13.

After her son died, she ruled again in the names of her grandsons. When the oldest was old enough to rule, she managed to get a lover of hers in high position (by getting somebody else killed), and to get her younger son in conflict with the older. Her younger son probably killed the older, and became the ruler until his death - at which time Brunhilda took over again in the name of her great-grandson - until this youngest king was killed.

Then the army of the Franks and Burgundians joined into one, all shouted together that death would be most fitting for the very wicked Brunhilda. Then King Clotaire ordered that she be lifted on to a camel and led through the entire army. Then she was tied to the feet of wild horses and torn apart limb from limb. Finally she died. Her final grave was the fire. Her bones were burnt.

Technology Tips

Here are a few for the novice.

My favorite (didn't actually know this):
Whatever technology you buy today will be obsolete soon, but you can avoid heartache by learning the cycles. New iPods come out every September. New digital cameras come out in February and October.

The most important (everybody knows this, but who actually acts on it?):
Come up with an automated backup system for your computer. There’s no misery quite like the sick feeling of having lost chunks of your life because you didn’t have a safety copy.

Hat tip: The Dynamistress

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lyric of the week

Life during wartime - Talking Heads

Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons,
packed up and ready to go
Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway,
a place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance,
I'm getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstore, lived in the ghetto,
I've lived all over this town

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain't got time for that now

Transmit the message, to the receiver,
hope for an answer some day
I got three passports, a couple of visas,
you don't even know my real name
High on a hillside, the trucks are loading,
everything's ready to roll
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nightime,
I might not ever get home

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
This ain't no mudd club, or C. B. G. B.,
I ain't got time for that now
Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh, PA?
You oughta know not to stand by the window
somebody might see you up there
I got some groceries, some peant butter,
to last a couple of days
But I ain't got no speakers, ain't got no
headphones, ain't got no records to play

Why stay in college? Why go to night school?
Gonna be different this time
Can't write a letter, can't send a postcard,
I can't write nothing at all
This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
I'd like to kiss you, I'd love you hold you
I ain't got no time for that now

Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock,
we blended with the crowd
We got computer, we're tapping pohne lines,
I know that ain't allowed
We dress like students, we dress like housewives,
or in a suit and a tie
I changed my hairstyle, so many times now,
I don't know what I look like!
You make me shiver, I feel so tender,
we make a pretty good team
Don't get exhausted, I'll do some driving,
you ought to get some sleep
Get you instructions, follow directions,
then you should change your address
Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day,
whatever you think is best
Burned all my notebooks, what good are
notebooks? They won't help me survive
My chest is aching, burns like a furnace,
the burning keeps me alive
Try to stay healthy, physical fitness,
don't want to catch no disease
Try to be careful, don't take no chances,
you better watch what you say

Definition of the week


adj : arousing or provoking laughter;[syn: amusing, comic, comical,funny, laughable, mirthful]

This one is often used in arguments when mocking somebody else's point of view

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Signs McCain is Hurting....

After seeing some blatantly racist attacks on Obama such as the Obama Food Stamp and the lynched Obama ghost, it was a bit odd to have Professor Drezner point out that even racists are voting for Obama.
So a canvasser goes to a woman’s door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she’s planning to vote for. She isn’t sure, has to ask her husband who she’s voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, “We’re votin’ for the n***er!”

Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: “We’re voting for the n***er.”

Quote of the Week

The Bush administration, having entered office as social conservatives, leaves office as conservative socialists, proprietors of the most sudden large expansion of the state's role in the US economy since mobilisation for the second world war.
Brad De Long, via MR