another gem from Davidope, this time as the Eadweard Muybridge of animated dark horses.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
With this ingenious application from the University of Chicago Writing Program, you can write academic sentences (e.g. "The epistemology of praxis recapitulates the historicization of linguistic transparency.") with the best of them.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Mark Twain's responses to a guestbook questionnaire at Duino Castle, on display in the Castle museum. Twain visited Duino in May, 1899, while staying in Nuremberg. 12 years later, between October 1911 and May 1912, Rilke would stay there and find inspiration for his Duino Elegies. Twain's responses to the questionnaire are as follows:
Name and position
(geb. S.L. Clemens)
Ambassador at large U.S.A.
Nürnberg, May 29, 1899
The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it
That I may pass for what I ought to be, not what I am
Favorite author or composer
Das Rauchen [ie. smoking]
The Jungle Books
Old gold (22 karat)
Pure water, adulterated with Scotch whisky
p.s -In 1897, Twain spoke to the Concordia Press Club in Vienna in German, amusing his audience with the speech "Die Schrecken der deutschen Sprache" ("The Horrors of the German Language") For readers with even a rudimentary familiarity with German, Twain's literal translation of the speech into English is equally hilarious.
Evolution truly is mind-boggling; note how mallards have developed cute "dog masks" to win the affection of humans. And speaking of evolution, and the development of such ingratiating traits, Dr. Richard Dawkins has a trick or two up his sleeve also...
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Urban Dictionary, which is not concerned with grammar, defines "book google" as "When you need to figure out something, so you look it up in a book, like in the olden times, when dinosaurs ruled the earth." Does this phenomenon have a name? Another example: in Amazons, Don Delillo talks about "swimming pool shaped kidneys."
Fascinating post by Craig Fehrman at the Millions; a brief history of authors who have graced the cover of Time Magazine from Joseph Conrad (1923) through this week's issue, with Jonathan Franzen on its cover.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
"New Knowledge Environments is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal and open community archive for those engaged in exploring and understanding the nature of text-oriented communication in the past, present, and future." Inaugural issue is Research Foundations for Understanding Books and Reading in the Digital Age.
Many years ago Professor Bjørn Tysdahl wrote an interesting article about James Joyce's use of Norwegian in Finnegans Wake. Joyce had several Norwegian teachers when he lived in Paris during the 20s, and one of them was the great Norwegian poet Olaf Bull. The mellifluous question (Finnegans Wake is uncommonly mellifluous, if not intelligible, as I've noted here and there) "Elsekiss thou may mean Kerry piggy?" is surely a Joycean rendition of "Elsker du mig, min kære pige" (Do you love me, my dear girl?) - and perhaps an echo of Bull's poem "Smerte" (Pain), which concludes "Min elskede - elsker du mig? (My love, do you love me?)
Monday, August 9, 2010
surgeon's knot - the most common of all the secure shoelace knots - at Ian's exemplary Ian's Shoelace Site. I know that many surgeons now favor clogs and crocs, but that's their business; I've been using the knot for three years, and not once have my laces come untied!
A couple of years ago I posted about Mloovi, a neat service that drew on the amazing powers of Google Translate to translate RSS feeds into the language of your choice. Unfortunately Mloovi disappeared from the screen a while back, but now there's another service that does the same thing, FeedTranslate.com. Here's a page of rss feeds from various Norwegian media outlets, translated by FeedTranslate.com into English and assembled in Netvibes.
|A Netvibes page pulling Norwegian news feeds translated by FeedTranslate. Mouseover titles for preview, click-through to read article.|
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Tony Judt died today after a horrific 2 year decline from Gehrig's disease. Judt's last book, Ill Fares the Land, was mentioned here earlier this year as one of several indications that perhaps the excellent notion that the "state can play a significant role in its citizens’ lives without imperiling their liberties" might not be dead after all. Since then I've had a chance to read most of Ill Fares the Land, a rousing tribute to the noble ideals of social democracies. To a Norwegian social democrat the ideas in Ill Fares the Land are not radical, but they are unconventional fare - and carry extra weight - coming from a historian and professor who spent most of his life teaching in the U.S. The book made me want to go and join a march some place, which is unusual. It was based on a lecture he gave at NYU a year ago, which was also his last public appearance. Here are his parting words...([he is quoting a passage from Orwell's Homage to Catalonia] There was much in it [the Spanish revolution in 1937] that I didn’t understand , in some ways I did not even like it. I was not sure that it could work. I was not sure that it did work, but I recognized it immediately as a state of affairs worth fighting for. That I believe is true. Whatever we can retrieve of the 20th century memory of social democracy. And I leave you with that thought. Thank you.)
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Peggy Orenstein works Erving Goffman, Sherry Turkle, and David Riesman into a short, thoughtful and nicely turned performance about Twitter. For a frat boy take on the same existential problems, try Charles Trippy's Twitter ruined my life