What is best in life?

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Conan might say “to crush your enemies… and hear the lamentations of their women.”

Giovanni Rucellai, however, would say… “There are two principal things that men do in this world. The first is to procreate, the second is to build.” And isn’t what he built oh so very pretty…

Making Wikipedia a better place

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Wikipedia is, by far, one of the greatest innovations of our age. It does for the information available on the internet what Boyle’s innovation did for the scientific method (he got a group of reliable witness to attest to the “fact” of the vacuum created within his laboratory – the facts were now represented by the people, taking people out of science, effectively). What i love about Wikipedia is the list of sources and further readings at the bottom of any good page – SO much more effective than a google search.

Now, i realize the problem with Wikipedia being used as an authority for those of us unable to discern the grains from amongst the chaff, but, frankly, it’s not like Britannica or the OED are the be all and end all of their respective types of reference works either.

So, what have i been doing lately? Writing the entry in Wikipedia on my FAVOURITE work in the entire world (LOL), Boccaccio’s De casibus virorum illustrium. It is taking me a long time to write out all the lives included, translate them into English and then find the appropriate wikipedia page to link to. It is nice to play with the text. I’ve never had access to a complete edition before and now i have to take the time to figure out which figures are included, how they are, and why they’re important. It’s procrastinating – but to an end.

Of course, reading all these other wiki pages has inspired me to edit other errors, add references that should be there and correct errors i encounter (like the erroneous claims that Boccaccio’s On Famous Women has 106 (it’s 104) tales and is the first example of a collection of women’s biographies in Western Literature (it is the first SURVIVING example – we know of others that were written but destroyed or lost).

Children’s Lit: Yet another way to avoid schoolwork

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Ah. Harry Potter, Peter Rabbit, Curious George, Doctor Seuss, the Berenstein Bears, Clifford, Olivia, the Babysitters’ Club, The Borrowers, Watership Down – how i love thee.

Veronica and i share a childish passion for literature aimed at people supposedly less intellectually developed than us. Ha. Yesterday hours, and yes i mean hours, were spent wandering around the children’s section of the local Chapters. We are amassing collections of the classics (sadly, only two books of the “classics” section have not been read by me: Anne of Green Gables and A Wrinkle in Time. Veronica owns both) in consumer-frenzy and procrastination.

I bought and read Le Petit Prince last week. i had never read it before, if you can believe it. It was glorious. It was quaint. It was moralizing. It was sweet. It was pedantic and at times predictable. I couldn’t decide what it was about… ok, i am relatively sure that the flower is supposed to be a stand in for womankind, and that would be highly chauvinist, but i don’t give a damn. I love stories with pictures. I also love woodcuts (and, hence, Gustave Dore).

A Wrinkle in Time is my new “fallin’ asleep book.”

Are there any suggestions?

102 out of 240 movies

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Supposedly if you’ve seen over 85 movies, you have no life. There are 240 movies on this list. Feel free to steal my “work-avoidance” material. This week began with the best intentions for actually getting work done – but i’ve since rec’d a curveball of minor car accidents, class cancellations and one horrible, dry cough to ensure i feel vindicated in my lazy-assness.

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
() Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
() Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
() Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total so far: 6

(x)The Princess Bride
()AnchorMan
() Napoleon Dynamite
() Labyrinth
() Saw II
() White Noise
() White Oleander
() Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
() The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total : 9

() Scream
() Scream 2
() Scream 3
(x) Scary Movie
()Scary Movie 2
() Scary Movie 3
()Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
(x) American Pie 2
(x) American Wedding
() American Pie Band Camp
Total : 13

() Harry Potter 1
() Harry Potter 2
() Harry Potter 3
()Harry Potter 4
() Resident Evil 1
() Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
(x) The Village
(x) Lilo & Stitch
Total : 16

(x)Dirty Dancing
(X) Finding Nemo
(x) Finding Neverland
() Signs
(x) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(x) White Chicks
(x) Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
(x) Robots
Total : 25

() Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
() Universal Soldier
(x) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
() Deep Impact
() KingPin
(x) Never Been Kissed
(x)Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
() Eight Crazy Nights
() Joe Dirt
() KING KONG
Total : 30

() A Cinderella Story
()The Terminal
() The Lizzie McGuire Movie
() Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
()Dumber & Dumberer
(x)Final Destination
() Final Destination 2
() Final Destination 3
() Halloween
(x) The Ring
()The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
() Flubber
Total: 33

() Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
() From Hell
() Hellboy
(x) The Secret Window
(x) I Am Sam
(x) The Whole Nine Yards
(x) The Whole Ten Yards
Total: 39

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
()Child’s Play
() Seed of Chucky
() Bride of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
(x) Just Married
(x) Gothika
() Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
(x) Remember the Titans
(x) Coach Carter
() The Grudge
(x) The Mask
() Son Of The Mask
Total:47

(x) Bad Boys 2
() Joy Ride
() Lucky Number Sleven
(x) Ocean’s Eleven
(x) Ocean’s Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
() Lone Star
() Bedazzled
() Predator
() Predator II
() The Fog
(x) Ice Age
() Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
() Curious George
Total: 52

(x) Independence Day
() Cujo
() A Bronx Tale
() Darkness Falls
() Christine
(x) ET
() Children of the Corn
(x) My Bosses Daughter
() Maid in Manhattan
() Frailty
() War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
(x) Rush Hour 2
Total: 57

() Best Bet
(x) She’s All That
(x) Calendar Girls
() Sideways
() Mars Attacks
() Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
() Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
Total : 65

(x) X-Men
() X2
() X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
() Sky High
() Jeepers Creepers
() Jeepers Creepers 2
(x) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday
(x) Reign of Fire
() Equilibrium
() The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
() Cruel Intentions 2
() The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
Total: 75

() Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
() Old School
() The Notebook
() K-Pax
() Krippendorf’s Tribe
() A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
() Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old-virgin
Total: 77

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total 83

() Baseketball
(x) Hostel
() Waiting for Guffman
() House of 1000 Corpses
() Devils Rejects
() Elf
(x) Highlander
() Mothman Prophecies
(x) American History X
() Three Amigos
Total: 86

() The Jacket
() Kung Fu Hustle
() Shaolin Soccer
() Night Watch
(x) Monster
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(x) Dawn Of the Dead
( ) Willard
Total : 90

() High Tension
() Club Dread
()Hulk
(x) Hook
() Chronicle Of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
() 28 days later
() Orgazmo
() Phantasm
(x) Waterworld
Total: 91

(x) Kill Bill vol 1
(x) Kill Bill vol 2
(x) Mortal Kombat
() Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
() Wolf Creek
(x) Kingdom of Heaven
() the Hills Have Eyes
() I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
(x) Army of Darkness
Total 96

() Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
() Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
() Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x)Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
() Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
()Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total: 99

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
() Animatrix
() Evil Dead
() Evil Dead 2
() Team America World Police
() Red Dragon
()Silence of the Lambs
() Hannibal
Total: 102

Planethood

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Last Sunday evening i helped Veronica study for her astronomy test. during the course of this very interesting task, the status of Pluto as a dwarf-planet came up for discussion.

Apparently ‘planethood’ is not defined as a body orbiting the sun, but rather a body of a certain size orbiting the sun – and this size is defined as ‘having enough gravitational force to clear it’s own orbit.’ For those of you who are having a similar reaction to mine (what the hell does that mean?) – Pluto is not big enough to ensure that it does not go catapulting into stuff on it’s way around the sun.

Ok. Now – why the sudden change? What could possibly possess astronomers to strip Pluto of planet-status all of a sudden and to the chagrin of a generation of schoolchildren who learnt the catchy mimetic device My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas to learn the order of the planets.

Firstly, apparently a rather large asteroid has been discovered in the belt between Mars and Jupiter that would be a planet if the size criteria were in place. Apparently it made more sense to reduce the number of planets orbiting our sun to eight rather than increase it to ten (or eleven… i think there’s another dwarf-planet past Pluto). Ironically, the astronomer who came up with the ‘orbital clearance’ criteria refuses to call Pluto a dwarf-planet.

So… is Pluto a planet or not? Depends on who you ask. It’s amazing how even the most concrete things can get bogged down in definitions.

Lastly, i provide a thought-experiment for your general amusement. Yes… it is reductio ad absurdium, but i don’t care. I think it’s funny.

If i were so fat, stinky and otherwise unattractive that as i walked around on the planet Earth i repelled all other people… might i too be considered a planet? I would, in effect, be orbiting the sun with a cleared orbit… LOL.

Thanks to Wikipedia and Veronica’s astronomy textbook, which i will not go searching in her room for because that would be rude, for this science lesson.

Googlenopes

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I loved this article, so i thought i would share. I might even look into some of the books this writer has published…

Gene Weingarten, “Nope, Yup, Nope, Yup : An ontological treatise on flipping coinage,” Washington Post (Washington: Aug 5, 2007).

Three months ago in this space, a versatile new word was born. A “googlenope” was defined as a phrase that returns no hits when entered between quotation marks into the Google search engine. Until that day, the word “googlenope” was itself a googlenope. Today, it draws more than 1,000 hits, and the number is growing. The phenomenon has spread to Europe. Indeed, without my knowledge, someone started a Web site, googlenope.com, which is devoted to the art and science of what we shall henceforth call . . . googlenopery.

We at Googlenope International headquarters could not be more proud. But semantic pioneers do not get where they are by resting on their laurels. Today, we further plumb the field by finding new googlenopes, and pairing them with googleyups, phrases that ought to be googlenopes, but aren’t.

As always, every time a new googlenope is created and published, it ceases to be a googlenope. In this manner, we shall slowly but steadily create a world where nothing has been left unsaid.

Googlenope: I’d like a middle seat

Googleyup: I’d like to die in a plane crash

Googlenope: world’s funniest proofreader

Googleyup: world’s funniest mortician

Googlenope: accidentally glued my foot to my dog

Googleyup: accidentally glued my dog to the floor

Googlenope: squalor of the French Riviera

Googleyup: splendor of Hoboken, N.J.

Googlenope: armpit hair topiary

Googleyup: nose hair topiary

Googlenope: 14-karat gold spork

Googleyup: 14-karat gold silly putty egg

Googlenope: died in a freak pogo stick accident

Googleyup: died in a freak mushy pea accident

Googlenope: turkey-chip cookie

Googleyup: chicken-chip cookie

Googlenope: sensitive middle linebacker

Googleyup: sensitive mass murderer

Googlenope: finest Cajun food in New Hampshire

Googleyup: finest Cajun food in the Netherlands

Googlenope: God is a bad dancer

Googleyup: God is a bad first date

Googlenope: All philosophers are gasbags

Googleyup: The Ontological Basis of Plotinus’ Criticism of Aristotle’s Theory of Categories

Googlenope: the kiwi and sausage diet

Googleyup: the ice cream and prune diet

Googlenope: worshipped for his knock-knock jokes

Googleyup: worshipped for his penmanship

Googlenope: give Hillary a noogie

Googleyup: give Jesus a noogie

Googlenope: Amish shotgun enthusiast

Googleyup: kickboxing Jewish Republican

Googlenope: the most delicious pus ever

Googleyup: the most delicious vomit ever

Googlenope: a passion for orthodontia

Googleyup: a passion for toilet-seat collecting

Googlenope: the World Blimp Racing Championship

Googleyup: the World Snail Racing Championship

Googlenope: uncircumcised hamster

Googleyup: uncircumcised anchovy

Googlenope: My behind isn’t large enough

Googleyup: Do I look fat in this muumuu?

Googlenope: Himmler loved humanity

Googleyup: Himmler loved a nice plate of salmon

Googlenope: gangsta clog dancing

Googleyup: gangsta accordion music

Googlenope: how to press your pants with a waffle iron

Googleyup: how to shave your legs with duct tape

Googlenope: googlenopery

Googleyup: de-googlenoping


Which one is your favourite – i love “do i look fat in this muumuu?” Asides from the stupidity of the question – how would the internet possibly have the answer to ANY question of this sort?