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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
From Our Abecedarian Blog . . .

Today — January 30, 2015

Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
Dan suggests a book someone should write:

I wonder if anyone has taken the trouble to catalogue English verbs that are used both transitively and intransitively and which exhibit a substantial difference in meaning between the two. "He drinks tea." "He drinks." That sort of thing. For all I know, that's the case with most of them, and the catalogue would be a weighty volume. Transitive verbs are apparently an irresistible source for neologisms. You just check to see whether an intransitive form exists and is doing anything in particular. No? Dude, that's low-hanging fruit. "He walked"; i.e., "He was acquitted." I'm not sure when that one first appeared, but I suspect it's modern. If I were going to waste my time on such a book, I'd print the intransitive expression on the right page, with a transitive continuation on the next page (following an ellipsis, perhaps). It would be an entertaining read, as you could almost physically feel the shift in meaning as you turned the page, and besides, some of them are quite whimsical. "They parked." A young lady's virtue hangs in the balance. Turn the page.  "...the car." She remains intacto. Even more fun would be a collection of transitive verbs currently lacking an intransitive use but listed as if they did, and letting the imagination land where it may. Practically poetry. "He brings." Roll it around on the tongue. Suggests to me a generous and helpful type of person. "I like Fred. He brings, you know?" "Yeah, I know what you mean. The world needs more bringers."

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Precursors (permalink)
Here's a precursor to the Ghostbusters theme (with the catchphrase, "I ain't afraid of no ghost"), from Thrilling Life Stories for the Masses, 1892.  The caption reads, "'I'm not afraid of no old ghostesses,' said Harold."


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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
From The Ingoldsby Legends by Thomas Ingoldsby, 1866.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
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This May Surprise You (permalink)
Asclepius [Aesculapius] originated as a sideshow attraction.  This we find documented in The Comic History of Rome by Gilbert Abbott A'Beckett, 1897.


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Staring at the Sun (permalink)
"The ship that sailed into the sun," from Lilliput Lyrics by William Brighty Rands, 1899.


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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Ill-fame and innocence" from The New Hyperion by Edward Strahan, 1875.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
. . . read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Is Today The Day? (permalink)
30
January 2015

“Today is the day to be open to others.”

—Mary Mackenzie, Peaceful Living, 2005

From the outrageous to the inspirational to the hilarious, here’s a daily reminder to break out of the old grind and do something unexpected, for the fun, the challenge, or the heck of it.

If today simply isn’t your day, click here to have a different day.


Music Box Moment (permalink)
Do you deserve a nostalgic breather?  Through the delicate workings of the music box, even the most dramatic compositions seem to play only for you.  You’ll hear even a very familiar piece in a whole new way.  Courtesy of home recording pioneer Ken Clinger, here’s today’s music box selection.  It will sound surprisingly good even through built-in computer speakers, and it will cut through the ambient noise of the office without being distracting.

Featured in Today’s Music Box:
Passacaglio (Martini)
performed by Ken Clinger
If you could use another Music Box Moment, choose a piece:


There’s a Signpost Up Ahead (permalink)
One's life path is marked by crossroads and signposts.  If you are confronted with making a choice today, perhaps the signpost displayed here will help to characterize your situation and guide you to make a decision.  If you need more guidance, refresh this page for another symbol.  If both signs are the same, perhaps any choice will lead to the same outcome.

The signs are inspired by a system of symbols entitled "Spiritual Diagnosis," developed by Dr. Robert McNary of Montana.  Dr. McNary actually creates nine-faceted mandala charts for people and interprets the symbols with uncanny accuracy.  Dr. McNary's web site is RockyMountainAstrologer.com.
> view a larger version of your signpost . . .
Yesterday — January 29, 2015

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
From In the Forbidden Land by Arnold Henry Savage Landor, 1898.


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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"His eyes rested on a form that made his blood run cold."  From The Works of Charles Dickens, Household Edition.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
. . . read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Can you guess Major Twiggs' branch of the military?  From The History of Mexico and Its Wars by John Frost, 1882.


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Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"A poetical ruin," from Love Lyrics and Valentine Verses by Charles Maurice Davies, 1875.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
. . . read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .



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