Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Word of the week - synecdoche

When a part is used to represent the whole.

For example, "This rancher can raise 50 hands for the cattle drive", when the rancher can actually raise 50 men that have hands.

"This baron can raise 50 swords for the king" might also be called synecdoche, although some would consider it more properly "metonomy".

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Here's Lucy!

Lucy, "the oldest and most complete skeleton of any adult, erect-walking human fossil" (although I am not so sure about the "human" part, her brain wasn't much larger than that of a chimp), is on tour to the United States, according to Physorg. If you are an admirer of ancient fossils, you should be able to see her at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Or you could just buy me a drink.

HT to ArchaeoBlog, which also pointed me to this cool National Geographic article on why the Great Flood might not have been all that great.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Quote of the day

Their rumpled clothes, their unwashed and unshaven faces, and their uncombed hair all testify that they are oblivious to their bodies and to the world in which they move. These are computer bums, compulsive programmers.

Joseph Weizenbaum 1976

Sunday, February 08, 2009

"Yesterday in a naked way"

The best part of this Language Log post about words and phrases that are spelled the same (but mean different things) in different languages are the examples in the comments.

(The title happens to be what the Dutch "hier en nu" (here and now) would mean interpreted as French)

Another example was a Danish freight elevator titled "Godsfart"

Stimulate me, Uncle Sam!

Not that we don't get enough ads for "Get YOUR share of the stimulus" on Facebook, but this transparent bid (or, to be fair, parody of such) for loot is actually funny.

Yes, all of the economic stimulus should go to bloggers.

Especially me.