A veritable potpourri of images . . . an indubitable hodgepodge, if you will . . .

Small Things:

Family party this afternoon, so of course I forgot to schedule this . . . what’s new?

Lolita

Needs no words.

LM Montgomery

Yep, that’s me.

Want this so much. Words cannot do justice to my craving for such a superb taste treat . . .

San Fermin, Running of the Bulls in New Orleans, July 12

Enough fluff . . .

Big Things

NEWS ALERT:

Residents Of Toledo Are Urged NOT To Drink Or Boil Water, Water Contains Algal Toxins. Boiling the water in Toledo will NOT destroy the toxins, it will increase the concentration of toxins in the water. Do not give any water to your pets or livestock. If you live in Toledo, Ohio and need water, call 734-997-7500 to see if they still have some available for delivery.

Bigger Things

and finally, in the “I had to read it to believe it” category:

I know that I am late to the game in discussing the following, but hey, in this case, better late than never truly cannot be understated:

People actually complained that the character of Rue in The Hunger Games trilogy was black. I have to admit that I am completely stymied by such a reaction. I just don’t get it. I mean, what gives, people? The color of a character’s skin determines your level of compassion? A character who you assumed was Caucasian actually wasn’t, and that means you have a reason to complain? Who are you? But more importantly, how do you manage to survive with such a small, small brain?

For more information, I am offering this link to a March 2012 article in The New Yorker: “White Until Proven Black: Imagining Race in Hunger Games,” as well as this link to a related blog article: “‘Why is Rue a Little Black Girl?’ – The Problem of Innocence in the Dark Fantastic.” Both articles reference these:

 

and these:

and then these:

All of this is about a character that author Suzanne Collins described on page 45 as follows:

“And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11. She has dark brown skin and eyes, but other than that’s she’s very like Prim in size and demeanor”

Folks, get real.

More later. Peace.

Music by Mourning Ritual, “Bad Moon Rising”

“Choose your words meticulously and then let them rumble up from some deep furnace of conviction.” ~ Ron Suskind, A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League

The richer and more copious one’s vocabulary and the greater one’s awareness of fine distinctions and subtle nuances of meaning, the more fertile and precise is likely to be one’s thinking. Knowledge of things and knowledge of the words for them grow together. If you do not know the words, you can hardly know the thing.” ~ Henry Hazlitt, from Thinking as a Science

“He also taught us hundred-dollar words as playthings: Why say “a little” when you could say “a paucity”? Why say “a lot” when “a plethora” was so much more fun? One of our summer games involved him in instructing me and my brother, Hank, to “mosey”, “sidle,” “amble,” “strut,” and “skulk” across the room—forcing us to put physical sensations to those words we only read. How did it actually feel to sidle? Do you do it sideways?” ~ Robert Lane Greene, from You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws, and the Politics of Identity

 


 

The Word

Down near the bottom
of the crossed-out list
of things you have to do today,

between “green thread”
and “broccoli,” you find
that you have penciled “sunlight.”

Resting on the page, the word
is beautiful. It touches you
as if you had a friend

and sunlight were a present
he had sent from someplace distant
as this morning—to cheer you up,

and to remind you that,
among your duties, pleasure
is a thing

that also needs accomplishing.
Do you remember?
that time and light are kinds

of love, and love
is no less practical
than a coffee grinder

or a safe spare tire?
Tomorrow you may be utterly
without a clue,

but today you get a telegram
from the heart in exile,
proclaiming that the kingdom

still exists,
the king and queen alive,
still speaking to their children,

—to any one among them
who can find the time
to sit out in the sun and listen.

~ Tony Hoagland

                   

Words

The world does not need words. It articulates itself
in sunlight, leaves, and shadows. The stones on the path
are no less real for lying uncatalogued and uncounted.
The fluent leaves speak only the dialect of pure being.
The kiss is still fully itself though no words were spoken.

And one word transforms it into something less or other—
illicit, chaste, perfunctory, conjugal, covert.
Even calling it a kiss betrays the fluster of hands
glancing the skin or gripping a shoulder, the slow
arching of neck or knee, the silent touching of tongues.

Yet the stones remain less real to those who cannot
name them, or read the mute syllables graven in silica.
To see a red stone is less than seeing it as jasper—
metamorphic quartz, cousin to the flint the Kiowa
carved as arrowheads. To name is to know and remember.

The sunlight needs no praise piercing the rainclouds,
painting the rocks and leaves with light, then dissolving
each lucent droplet back into the clouds that engendered it.
The daylight needs no praise, and so we praise it always—
greater than ourselves and all the airy words we summon.

~ Dana Gioia

                    

Music by Seether, “Words as Weapons”

If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .

“Honey, get in here. Honey! Honey get in here! They’re introducing the chairs! Honey, you’re gonna miss it. Hurry up! They’re introducing . . .
You said you were gonna tape it!” ~ Jon Stewart, commenting on CNN’s lead up to exclusive Hillary Clinton interview (June 18, 2014)

This week is particularly long because it contains last Friday’s stuff, which never materialized . . . oh well . . .

We’re having a heatwave, and you would think that people would be smart enough to know this, but apparently not, so . . .

Dogs don’t have the same ability to deal with heat that humans do. If you see a dog stuck in a hot car, do something about it.

Feeling quite curmudgeonly lately:

Just saying . . .

Shakespearean insults, feline style (more here):

As You Like It

Henry IV, Part One

King Lear

So bizarre that it would probably work:

Augmented Reality Technology . . . in a bus stop:

“It’s not fair to me, and it’s not fair to other men like me,” he continued. “Having to live with society’s expectations that I accept women just the way they are takes an enormous toll.” ~ From an Onion article, “Increasing Number Of Men Pressured To Accept Realistic Standards Of Female Beauty”

A few from Life Hacks:

  • If you ask Google Maps for walking directions from The Shire to Mordor, it tells you that “One does not simply walk into Mordor.”
  • Dabbing vodka on your face reduces the chance of acne breakouts by tightening your pores. (Does this make your face drunk?)
  • If you’’re ever kidnapped and they tie you up and cover your mouth with tape, lick the tape until it comes off.

I’m just not sure . . . I mean . . . art, right? Or maybe just very artistic garbage?

Remember the blob?

Let me pause in my curmudgeonliness for a brief squee moment:

In this week’s episode, Jon Stewart addresses praying the gay away in Texas (language):

“If you’re one of the six million Texans without health insurance, maybe it’s time you tell them you think your arthritis is making you gay.”

Why would anyone think this is a good idea?

Just so you know that I’m not the only one whose curmudgeonliness hits warp speed when doused with too much heat, here is a link to a cake recipe . . . a cake recipe that devolved into communists, fascists and the definition of liberals, and oh yes, Obama. It’s worth the five minutes of perusal time (but much too long to include here in totem).

If you ever drop glass, put a piece of bread on it. The consistency of the bread will pick up even the smallest shards. ~ Life Hacks from Ultra Facts

And finally, because I am feeling so curmudgeonly (and not quite superior after reading the cake apocalypse feed), how about a grammar refresher, via Time via Inc.com?

Adverse and averse

Adverse means harmful or unfavorable; “Adverse market conditions caused the IPO to be poorly subscribed.” Averse means dislike or opposition; “I was averse to paying $18 a share for a company that generates no revenue.”

But you can feel free to have an aversion to adverse conditions.

Affect and effect

Verbs first. Affect means to influence; “Impatient investors affected our roll-out date.” Effect means to accomplish something; “The board effected a sweeping policy change.” How you use effect or affect can be tricky. For example, a board can affect changes by influencing them, or can effect changes by implementing them. Use effect if you’re making it happen, and affect if you’re having an impact on something someone else is trying to make happen.

As for nouns, effect is almost always correct; “Once he was fired he was given 20 minutes to gather his personal effects.” Affect refers to emotional states so unless you’re a psychologist, you’re probably not using it.

Compliment and complement

Compliment is to say something nice. Complement is to add to, enhance, improve, complete or bring close to perfection. So, I can compliment your staff and their service, but if you have no current openings, you have a full complement of staff. And your new app may complement your website.

For which I may decide to compliment you.

Criteria and criterion

“We made the decision based on one overriding criteria,” sounds pretty impressive but is wrong.

Remember: one criterion, two or more criteria. Although you could always use reason or factors and not worry about getting it wrong.

Discreet and discrete

Discreet means careful, cautious, showing good judgment; “We made discreet inquiries to determine whether the founder was interested in selling her company.”

Discrete means individual, separate or distinct; “We analyzed data from a number of discrete market segments to determine overall pricing levels.” And if you get confused, remember you don’t use “discreetion” to work through sensitive issues; you exercise discretion.

Elicit and illicit

Elicit means to draw out or coax. Think of elicit as the mildest form of extract or, even worse, extort. So if one lucky survey respondent will win a trip to the Bahamas, the prize is designed to elicit responses.

Illicit means illegal or unlawful. I suppose you could “illicit” a response at gunpoint … but best not.

Farther and further

Farther involves a physical distance; “Florida is farther from New York than Tennessee.” Further involves a figurative distance; “We can take our business plan no further.” So, as we say in the South, “I don’t trust you any farther than I can throw you.” Or, “I ain’t gonna trust you no further.”

(Seriously. I’ve uttered both of those sentences. More than once.)

Imply and infer

The speaker or writer implies. The listener or reader infers. Imply means to suggest, while infer means to deduce (whether correctly or not). So, I might imply you’re going to receive a raise. You might infer that a pay increase is imminent. (But not eminent, unless the raise will be prominent and distinguished.)

Insure and ensure

This one’s easy. Insure refers to insurance. Ensure means to make sure. So if you promise an order will ship on time, ensure it actually happens. Unless, of course, you plan to arrange for compensation if the package is damaged or lost — then feel free to insure away.

Number and amount

I goof these up all the time. Use number when you can count what you refer to; “The number of subscribers who opted out increased last month.” Amount refers to a quantity of something you can’t count; “The amount of alcohol consumed at our last company picnic was staggering.”

Of course, it can still be confusing: “I can’t believe the number of beers I drank,” is correct, but so is, “I can’t believe the amount of beer I drank.” The difference is I can count beers, but beer, especially if I was way too drunk to keep track, is an uncountable total — so amount is the correct usage.

Precede and proceed

Precede means to come before. Proceed means to begin or continue. Where it gets confusing is when an “ing” comes into play. “The proceeding announcement was brought to you by …” sounds fine, but preceding is correct since the announcement came before.

If it helps, think precedence: anything that takes precedence is more important and therefore comes first.

Principal and principle

A principle is a fundamental; “We’ve created a culture where we all share certain principles.” Principal means primary or of first importance; “Our startup’s principal is located in NYC.” (Sometimes you’ll also see the plural, principals, used to refer to executives or (relatively) co-equals at the top of a particular food chain.)

Principal can also refer to the most important item in a particular set; “Our principal account makes up 60% of our gross revenues.”

Principal can also refer to money, normally the original sum that was borrowed, but can be extended to refer to the amount you owe — hence principal and interest.

If you’re referring to laws, rules, guidelines, ethics, etc., use principle. If you’re referring to the CEO or the president (or the individual in charge of the high school), use principal. And now for those dreaded apostrophes:

It’s and its

It’s is the contraction of it is. That means it’s doesn’t own anything. If your dog is neutered (that way we make the dog, however much against his will, gender-neutral) you don’t say, “It’s collar is blue.” You say, “Its collar is blue.” Here’s an easy test to apply: Whenever you use an apostrophe, un-contract the word to see how it sounds. In this case, turn it’s into it is. “It’s sunny,” becomes, “It is sunny.” Sounds good to me.

They’re and their

Same with these; they’re is the contraction for they are. Again, the apostrophe doesn’t own anything. We’re going to their house, and I sure hope they’re home.

Who’s and whose

“Whose password hasn’t been changed in six months?” is correct. “Who is [the un-contracted version of who's] password hasn’t been changed in six months?” sounds silly.

You’re and your

One more. You’re is the contraction for you are. Your means you own it; the apostrophe in you’re doesn’t own anything. For a long time a local nonprofit had a huge sign that said “You’re Community Place.”