scribbles posted in April, 2007

spring bulbs

Monday, April 30th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

Have you noticed how at any one time there are always three bulbs in your home that don’t work and only 2 in your spare-bulb draw?   Is there a name for this effect?   Outcandescence as oppose to incandescence?  

I’m gradually replacing the incandescent lighting solutions (bulbs)  in  :: The Wendy House ::   with alternatives,   like the pictured porch light.

spring bulbs
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taste of rust

Sunday, April 29th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

Irony.

I was tempted to buy this bottle to find out if the title referred to the flavour. The flavour of  a rusty implement such as a gardening  trowel.   Maybe this wine will bring back memories of pre-ambulatory childhood.

Maybe the name refers to the wine’s humour or wit.   I wonder what ironic humour tastes like?  

Whatever the reason for the name,   it caught my eye and nearly sold me a bottle that I wouldn’t have looked at twice otherwise.   Nice work by the marketing team…..

taste of rust
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scientific citrus

Saturday, April 28th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

The combined science of citrus and ginger”  

Citrus is Science?  

Ginger is Science?  

These two ‘Sciences’ can be combined?  

Its enough to confuse a person into tripping up and bumping her nose on the floor.   Do they mean ‘good effects’   the good effects of citrus combined with the good effects of ginger?   If that is what they mean then I can continue walking without a nose bleed.   I can’t be sure.     It gets worse.   Exfoliating body scrub?     I can scrub my body without exfoliating it?    Sometimes I can be so pathetic without noticing it.    

science = good effect  

scientific citrus
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cute accent #2: dumb struck

Friday, April 27th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

Wendy:   How-do-you-do (handshake)  my name’s Wendy

My  self-introduction to a boy who could prove a useful work contact.  

Wendy:   Blah-di-blah-di blah, blah, blah…….does that sound reasonable to you?

I pause to let him reply.   Silence.

He’s still actually holding my hand and just gazing into my eyes.   This behaviour is not unusual amongst US boys when they first hear me speak.     I slowly removed my hand and decide to let him recover speech on his own time.

Wendy: I’ll arrange for us to meet for 30 mins or so to work-out the details of blah-di-blah-di-blah,   does that sound ok?

Sometimes people snap-out of it when they realise I’m  going.   He smiled and nodded,   I smiled then  pranced out of the room….

cute accent #2: dumb struck
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tea drinking correlates with low ovarian cancer rates in Sweden

Thursday, April 26th, 2007 | tags:  |

twenty-nineth in a series of  posts about taking tiffin with  (black) tea  in the NW USA Sweden.

Thursday Tiffin #29: tea drinking correlates with low  ovarian cancer  rates in Sweden

It’s disappointing that the BBC report implies that a correlation could be a causal link.   Drinking tea in Sweden may also correlate with some other factor,   e.g. drinking milk, that is actually causing  the reduced ovarian cancer rates measured in tea drinkers.   While the numbers of   women (60,000) tracked in the longitudinal  (1987 to 1990) research are impressive shere numbers alone cannot influnce whether it is possible to determine a causal link between ovarian cancer and tea drinking.  In a correlational research design your cannot conclude causality.   Full stop.   Period.  

tea drinking correlates with low ovarian cancer rates in Sweden
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outstanding stunt double

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 | tags:  |

thirty-nineth post in a Wednesday series  revealing boyfriend requirements that lead to  Wendy’s singleness.

Reason # 39:    outstanding stunt double

My boyfriend has to pose with all sorts of things,   people and animals,   from national monuments through flower blossoms  to china tea-cups.    My current,   outstanding boyfriend stunt-double is more than many a  newcomer dare take-on:

outstanding stunt double
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eccles cakes

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 | tags:  |

Eccles cakes.  

Eccles cakes are now famous throughout the world. As early as 1818 they were said to be sold “at all the markets and fairs around and are even exported to America and the West Indies”  

They are not available in the works canteen or the local fridge.   While there are plenty of alternative treats,   every now and then,    particularly NOW,  a girl needs an Eccles cake on impulse…      

eccles cakes
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3 bits of fabulous banter »

did you decide to stop reading that book?

Monday, April 23rd, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

 Yes

Book:   Tis. A Memoir.   Frank McCourt

Franks use of plain language, provides a raw, powerful, funny and poignant walk through the experience of emigrating to America.    It’s an impressive book.      I’ve finally given up trying to read it  half way through.   I’ve no stamina,   I got bored.   The story simply wasn’t gripping enough to make me drool over what might be on the next page.     The rest of this  review is based on  the first  half of the book.  

🙂

Ratings explained

Synopsis:

In 1949 a nineteen year old boy, the  author,  from Limerick (Ireland) emmigrates to his dream city,  New York.      The book is a sequel to Angela’s  Ashes that easily stands alone.  

“that’s what you’re faced with when you come to America, one decision after another” p54

Themes:

  • Immigrants: Everyone is American and something else laden with prejudices.   Spicks,   Mickeys, Polacks, Pueto Ricans, Natives, Greeks, Swedes, Chinks.   Rather than an absence of prejudice the book paints  a complex, explicit and diverse prejudices.  
  • Poverty:   America’s not like you expect it to be after watching films,   there is poverty here too.   The book makes explicit comparisions between poverty in Limerick, Ireland, and New York.    
  • Health: nealry every character’s health is vividly  described,  conjunctivitus,  arthritus, blood infections,  alcoholism.   How these conditions effect their ability to  earn money and pay for  health care  et.
  • real Americans:   just like you see  in the movies.   We see these  people from a  distance as they go to church or stay in hotels.   These people go to college,   have blond blue-eyed girlfirends,   are healthy, smell clean have  amazingly white aligned teeth,   always  have food available and warm homes:

“they can afford to smile because they all have teeth so dazzling if they dropped them in the snow they’d be lost forever” p59

did you decide to stop reading that book?
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dichotomy in the universe of closed questions

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

Waffle Warning

dichotomy in the universe of closed questions

a ‘closed question’ is a question that has a specific answer,   answers like:

Lets suppose that in the universe of possible questions there are an infinitie number of closed questions.  

What is the dichotomy in the universe of closed questions?   The dichotomy is between questions that can be answered ‘no’ such as   ‘Wendy,   do you live in an igloo?’,   and questions that can be  answered ‘yes’ such as  “Wendy do you live in a wooden house?”   Tonight’s beer-induced Wendy-epiphany is that this dichotomy of closed questions may not be equally populated.   I suspect that there are more possible questions to which the answer is ‘no’ than there are questions to which the answer is ‘yes’.   This suspicion is based on the following preliminary analysis:

Take this question structure as an example:   “Wendy, do you live in a   [insert word here]?”

If the inserted word is a physical home-type without counting all possible insertions  I am estimating that the answer is more often No than Yes.  

Example physical home-type:   house, bungalo, igloo, TeePee, tent, hotel, skyscraper, apartment, condominium, flat, tree,  bath, lake, road  

If the inserted word  is some other plausible descriptor of living conditions I suspect there is  still an obvious weighting towards no over yes.    

Example plausible descriptor:   mess, illusion, happy place, circus, bubble, dream, fantasy

If the inserted word is not plausible  the answer is most likely to be no

Example not-plausible words:  pin, parrot, toe-nail, bling, 43

There are more no than yes answers in the range of possible answers.   People tend to produce ‘yes’ answers,   it’s been studied by psychologists so that they can create and understand the results of questionnaires.   Since people tend (bias?) to agree, to provide ‘yes’ answers,  the tendancy  has been  given the  fancy name of    ‘acquiescence bias’.        

People, not psychonlogists,  use skill and prior knowledge  to help raise the baseline for the production of ‘yes’ answers above  that which would be predicted by either a

  • model that assumes the answers produced are a proportionally representative subset of all possible answers  (More ‘No’ responses), or  
  • counter-balanced   (half no, half yes) answers approach normally used in questionnaire design to ‘control’ the bias.    

Some people, and psychologists,  are so cunning they minimize asking questions that can be answered no and can effectively use this acquiescence bias to move towards, and gain, a concensus.   People are wonderfully clever like that;   giving each other the opportunity to say yes.

I really like questions where the answer is ‘yes’,   I’ll leave you with this example:

Wendy would you like another beer?”

Waffle warning over  

dichotomy in the universe of closed questions
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1 wonderful musing »

living in a bath

Saturday, April 21st, 2007 | tags: ,  |

The man who lived in the bath
made waves with his belly laugh,
joyfully farted bubbles,
and lost track of his troubles.

Warm wet water caresses,
cleaning bodily messes,
and some self-massage, perhaps,
lured him to turn on the taps.

Drinking a liquid diet,
Reading books in the quiet.
Friends ceased to stop by, or call,
Soon, he saw no-one at all.

Wrinkles started the first day,
then, loose skin floated away.
Things started getting weird
when he just disappeared.

Scientists start to conject,
what really did happen next?
Did he just let himself go,
float over the overflow?

Forensic bathometry
helped to solve this mystery
beyond reasonable doubt
We know he never got out.

Ph. unbalanced water
lead to untimely slaughter.
Bath residue, inspected,
Confirmed what we suspected.

Like bath salts roughly sprinkled
Soften skin tightly wrinkled.
The secret is resolved,
He actually dissolved!

Poem inspired by Mr. AFH’s predilection,  the many forensic TV programs broadcast on US TV and a really humbling experience at work.
living in a bath
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cute accent #1: one word can drown the point

Friday, April 20th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

Wendy:   “blah-blah,   blah-di-blah-di-blah, now THAT’s AWESOME!”
Canadian: snigger, snigger snigger have you ever heard a Bostonian say Awesome?” snigger
Wendy: “Um,   no
Canadian: “it’s good to hear someone who doesn’t sound like they come from Boston say Awesome,   though I’ve completely missed what you thought was awesome,   can you remind me?”

Call me paranoid,   but I suspect many Americans are so busy silently sniggering over the way I’ve pronounced a word that they don’t actually hear what I’ve tried to say.   This Canadian was exceptional both in laughing out loud and in admitting to missing my point.   I like these kind of exceptions.

cute accent #1: one word can drown the point
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The bitterest pill (I ever had to swallow)

Thursday, April 19th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

twenty-eighth in a series of  posts about taking tiffin with  (black) tea  in the NW USA .

Thursday Tiffin #28: The bitterest pill (I ever had to swallow)

For those people that do not like to take their tea wet,   in water, infused,   my local Fridge supplies a dried, pill format.   It made me wonder how people ‘wash down’ the pill,   with a swig of water?   On the rare occassions I have to swallow something dry  I normally wash it down with a mug of Tea.

The bitterest pill (I ever had to swallow)
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random shyness attacks

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 | tags:  |

thirty-eighth post in a Wednesday series  revealing the Brownian motions of  Wendy’s singleness.

Reason # 38:  random shyness attacks

Random attacks of shyness can happen:

  • during professional presentations.
  • in the supermarket check-out queue.
  • walking along a street.
  • chatting over a pot of tea.
  • during parties.

Random attacks of shyness can result in behaviours that are not considered socially desirable,   such as:

  • stuttering.
  • temporary memory loss (scattiness).
  • falling over.
  • drivelling.
  • hiding behind the furniture.

people have been known to challenge the validity of this singleness reason, prior to their chair collapsing,  with variations of the following sentiment:

HA! You?   SHY?   Rubbish!   Hahahahahaha”

random shyness attacks
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Tombstones #8: the big recycle

Monday, April 16th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

Tombstones #8: the big recycle
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Tombstones #7: the earth is verging on flat

Sunday, April 15th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

the earth is verging on flat,   and if it isn’t,  in this here graveyard, we’ll roll the earth ’til it darn well looks flat.  

This ancient rusty garden roller was hidden under a Yew tree in a Devonshire graveyard,   covered in recent mowings and this year’s Ivy growth ready for use in the summer.   In the Church of England    Vergers often arrange for the care of the graveyard,   rolling the grounds.  

Is there a connection between the verge at the roadside and a Verger?    I’ve only been able to find,   create,  a tenuous link using  this phrase on the Vergers Guild of the Episcopalian Church website, my highlight:

assists the clergy in the conduct of public worship, especially in the marshalling of processions

it looks like part of the verger’s job description is making sure that processors don’t trample on the verges.

The Merriam-Webster defintion of Verge    differentiates the meanings like this:

1 a (1) : a rod or staff carried as an emblem of authority or symbol of office (2) obsolete : a stick or wand held by a person being admitted to tenancy while he swears fealty b : the spindle of a watch balance; especially : a spindle with pallets in an old vertical escapement c : the male copulatory organ of any of various invertebrates
2 a : something that borders, limits, or bounds: as (1) : an outer margin of an object or structural part (2) : the edge of roof covering (as tiling) projecting over the gable of a roof (3) British : a paved or planted strip of land at the edge of a road : SHOULDER b : BRINK, THRESHOLD <a country on the verge of destruction — Archibald MacLeish>

One way of imagining the  relationship between these two meanings is that the stick/wand/staff  (1a) is used to shepherd people on the borders/limits/marigns/edge (2a)  back into the fold.

Tombstones #7: the earth is verging on flat
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Tombstones #6: Violet Bart

Saturday, April 14th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

 

Violet Bart died in her 16th year on April 14th 1883.  On the gravestone Violet’s parents express their affection for her  with the words ‘beloved daughter of“.   No reason is given for her youthful demise.       Her gravestone is exceptional for England because it includes a black and white photograph that appears to have survived it’s 124 years outdoors extremely well.

Tombstones #6: Violet Bart
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sweater 101

Friday, April 13th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

Nurse:   what’s the problem?
Wendy: I’ve had a fever for 3 days
Nurse: what’s your temperature?
Wendy: I don’t know, I don’t have a thermometer (feels extremely  guilty for failing this social communication requirement,   I haven’t transformed my experience into a standardised, shared,  language a  thermometer scale)
Nurse: how do you know you’ve got a fever?
Wendy:   alternating between profuse sweating and cold shakes with some hallucinations?

sweater 101
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Tea: better than water

Thursday, April 12th, 2007 | tags:  |

twenty-seventh in a  healthy series of  posts about taking tiffin with  (black) tea  in the NW USA.

Thursday Tiffin #27: tea is  better than water

An allegedly  independent study funded by the UK Tea Council concludes that tea is better than water,   it does not  dehydrate,   it includes anti-oxidants and flouride and is good for your heart.    I bet that a Tea promotional organisation funded research project finds this positive effect of tea was an astounding suprise to  you,  my oh-so-clever readers 🙂

The BBC reports the research in an uncritical way that lacks details of how it was conducted thus hiding our ability to assess its virtue.   Here are some excerpts from the report:

Tea not only rehydrates as well as water does, but it can also protect against heart disease and some cancers, UK nutritionists found…     …Dr Ruxton said: Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water. Water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it’s got two things going for it. … …Tea drinking is most common in older people, the 40 plus age range. In older people, tea sometimes made up about 70% of fluid intake so it is a really important contributor,”

Tea: better than water
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food-centric conversationally challenged

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

thirty-seventh post in a Wednesday series detailing the food-centric truth’s behind Wendy’s singleness.

Reason # 37: food-centric conversationally challenged

Often I find food a rather dull conversational topic.   It can be made interesting by  focussing on the  social,   political, environmental and cultural practices that  influence what is produced  and how it is eaten.   I sometimes find myself in the company  of people who converse about food quality, production techniques, and  restaurant reputation.   Let’s call these people ‘foodies’.  I am not sufficiently well equipped to deeply engage in a conversation with these foodies.    

I’m not particulalrly interested in the varied subtle differences in the quality and preparation of various food-types or chefs.   I have rarely if ever watched the food channel, or read the substantial dining section in the NYT.   I have watched Jamie Oliver but that’s got nothing to do with my cooking or eating its about the political social cultural dynamics of eating.  I am shamefully disinterested in learning about the differences between  wines or paying to experience a subtle taste-difference.   I’m happy with cheap plonk.     I’m happier still if someone who does study and care about wine  chooses  it on my behalf so I don’t have to make a decision.  

By contrast I do care about who I’m dining with and the way the place that I dine works to support our conversation.   I’ll happily go to the same restaurant several times in one week to be in the company of gorgeous people where the background noise is sufficiently low to enable conversation.   I’ll happily prance  into a greasy spoon for a good giggle with a couple of rowdy friends,   often this is preferable because it doesn’t dent my budget so badly.   Foodies, eating out,  are often expensive friends.

To help overcome my glaring social  disability I have worked on  the ‘Tea’ thing,   you’ve seen this happen through  the taking tiffin plog posts.      It’s proved a popular series.  I have been introduced to people as the freak wench   lady with a blog about tea.   I don’t get introduced as the crazy  spinster lady with a blog about why she’s single.    People even ask me about tea as-if I’m a specialist,   very flattering,   not really true, maybe that’s part of being a foodie conversationalist.   People strike-up conversations with me about things that I’ve written-about in   my tea series.    Yet.    A peak at my blog statistics clearly implies that snoopers are more interested in why  I’m single.    Few if any people actually strike-up a conversation with me on this topic.   My tea theme is a socially acceptible conversation topic the reasons why I’m single seem less conversationally acceptable.

food-centric conversationally challenged
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Pianos in public

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 | tags:  |

Ever since stumbling across a grand Piano being played in the stairwell of a shopping centre I’ve been curious about the places that pianos might be found.   I’ve set up a flick-r photo-group to find Pianos in public  to explore the possibilities.   Here are few examples:

Toronto Metro station:
Toronto Metro Piano

Impressive wheels:
Piano on Wheels

Cremation:
Death of a Piano

engine replacement:
Piano Car 2

Sidmouth Sea Seranade:
Sidmouth pianist

French riviera:
French Riveria

Pianos in public
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easter hat

Monday, April 9th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

Inspired by LaCroix’s project to take one photograph per day.   I’ve started ‘Project hat’.  

 Project hat is an attempt to document my collection of over 50, uncounted,  hats.  I’ll  gather the photographs of the hats  in their natural use habitat.   It may take some time because some hats are rarely worn.   Here’s hat #9, a baseball cap that I captured in an impulse moment of boredum while waiting for my Vista laptop to boot…

Yawn….

easter hat
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cross?

Sunday, April 8th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

A fleeting moment where  one of these men may be cross with the other,    or one man crossed the other.     The presence of a cross design in the forground seemed a subtle suggestion and reinforcement of their possible relationship.  

Segue from Cross to Easter.  

All websites that I found descrbing the origins of the Easter rituals superficially refer to pre-christian religiouns citing fertility and birth making the  connection with eggs and bunnies.      This website is exceptional because it provides more  and plausible details of some of the pre-christian  influences on our current Easter practices and words.     For example the link to the word “East”,   where the sun is reborn.   Here’s a relevant paragraph:

The festival of Eastre was celebrated by the Pagans on the vernal equinox, the first day of spring. The Goddess was said to take the form of a Hare, so effigies of these animals were made to worship her, the origin of the good old Easter Bunny. The Goddess Eastre, the Teutonic Goddess of Fertility is in her aspect of mother to be. Her symbol is the egg, symbolizing fertility in nature and rebirth from the long winter months and the symbol of rebirth since ancient times. The Egyptians and Greeks would bury eggs in the tombs of the dead as a sign of resurrection, and the egg was especially important in the Pagan Eastre festival as a symbol of nature being reborn over again. Therefore, real eggs would be decorated and given as gifts on this day. The Goddess is fertile, rich with promise and potential life. (It is from the word “oestre” that we get the word “oestrogen” / “estrogen” – the female hormone). To the Saxons she was Ostara, in myth she is said to have amused children by turning her bird into a rabbit, the rabbit then laid colored eggs much to the delight of the children.

cross?
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PMT treatment #1: bunny bounce balancing

Saturday, April 7th, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

First  in a  monthly (moon cycle) series of posts that detail ways to  reduce overt mood related  PMT (USA = PMS) symptoms.  

PMT treatment #1:   bunny bounce balancing

  1. find cute small soft plushy,   in this example its the Easter bunny.
  2. balance said plushy on foot.
  3. jiggle foot to produce plushy-balance challenges (and baffle nearby cats).
  4. jump up-and-down to make plushy-balancing even more challenging.    Push yourself to the absolute plushy-balancing limits.   This could be the birth of an extreme sport…..
  5. attempt to photograph wobbling plushy mid-bounce.
  6. blog about the  experience.


It works….

PMT treatment #1: bunny bounce balancing
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gotten leads to got

Friday, April 6th, 2007 | tags:  |

Many of the online dictionary’s describe the definition of ‘gotten’ as the past participal of ‘got’.   Mumzie thought it best that I not use the word ‘gotten’ or indulge in using ‘got’ for anything other than indicating possession.   I never really heard the word ‘gotten’ in use in   England or the use of ‘got’ to refer to anything other than possession.   Then I came to the USA where both words are liberally used in many different ways that,   at first, felt ‘wrong’ to me.    I looked them up and it seems that  North America has held onto orginal usage of these words that have fallen by the wayside in Britain.   I wonder why.   It can’t all be due to Mumzies instructions…..

This Random House website attempts to tease out the differences between got and gotten:

In modern use the most important thing to remember is that British English has got almost exclusively, to the point where gotten is sometimes considered erroneous. (Some derived forms with gotten, such as begotten, forgotten, and ill-gotten are still in use in British English.) In American English gotten is more common, but got still has fairly wide use.

The use of gotten was previously criticized in American English by critics who used British English as a standard, but it is rarely objected to today.  

Despite moderate study of the variation between got and gotten in American English, it is difficult to draw many firm conclusions. It is generally true that gotten is used for the sense ‘obtained; received’ (“We’ve gotten tickets” means ‘we acquired tickets’) while got is used for the sense ‘possessed; owned’ (“We’ve got tickets” means ‘we possess tickets’). This distinction cannot be made in British English without using a different word.

American English also uses gotten for the senses ‘come’ (“She should have gotten there by now,” not “She should have got there by now”) and ’cause’ (“I’ve gotten them to reply before,” not “I’ve got them to reply before”).

Other distinctions are sometimes suggested, but the usage is highly variable and cannot be easily summarized.

I found this one article that more fully describes a complex set of ways of using  gotten,   for the linguisitcally fascinated amongst you.   Highlights include:

I’ve gotten the answer means I have figured out the answer, rather than I have the answer.

The key is the overlap between the Possessive use of have and the Perfect use of have, plus the fact that one of the senses of get is come to have. If one has come to have a cold, for instance, then one has a cold, and the AmE usage of has got means that one is currently infested, due to the present relevance aspect of the Perfect.

Faced with the overwhelming interpretation of (ha)ve got as simply have, AmE has innovated a new past participle gotten to be used whenever other, non-possessive forms of get are intended.

If one is simply speaking of the acquisition of something, for instance, rather than the current possession, one says I’ve gotten ….. in AmE since I’ve got implies that one still has it, and therefore focusses on the current Possession rather than the Perfective acquisition.

gotten leads to got
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hair it is

Thursday, April 5th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

twenty-sixth in a  fluffy series of  posts about taking tiffin with  (black) tea  in the NW USA.

Thursday Tiffin #26: hair it is

According to a recent BBC report,   Turkish researchers studied 21 women with unusually high testosterone levels. The     women drank 2 cups of spearmint tea a day over 5 days following which their  blood testosterone levels were re-checked.   Researchers concluded that “Drinking the tea twice a day, reduced levels of male sex hormones“.  

No wonder the US tea rooms are all so full of women,   they’re all trying to reduce their testosterone levels.   Why might women want to reduce their testosterone levels?   Reduced testosterone levels correlate with  reduced body-hair (face & chest),   hirsutism.  

Are the women in  US tea-rooms reducing their waxing costs and increasing their girliness quotients?   Clever.    IF you buy into the patriarchially determined fiction that women who remove their hair, waxing, shaving etc are more beautiful,   desirable,   valuable etc,   which of course is only true to the extent that people actually impose this discourse of hairlessness upon us.   This discouse  is much more oppressive here  in the US than in Europe or  the UK.   It’s pretty bad in the UK as illustrated by this doctors statement within the BBC article:

Professor Richard Sharpe…     ….warned that women suffering from hirsutism… …needed proper medical treatment.”

Apparantly hair is a MEDICAL problem not a social value-set.  

Sigh.    

hair it is
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fear of failure

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007 | tags: ,  |

thirty-sixth post in a Wednesday series detailing the frightening truth’s behind Wendy’s singleness.

Reason # 36: fear of failure

Friend:   Did you know [Name]* wanted to go-out-with** you?

Wendy: No.   Why didn’t he let me know?

Friend:   he thought he wasn’t good enough for you

Wendy:   a self fulfilling prophecy if ever I heard one

According to Psychology Today corporate Amercia, which employs most of the boys I meet,  focuses on rewarding actual success rather than the type of activities that lead to innovation and success, including effectively dealing with inevitable failures.   This puts the social forces in place that enhance fear of failure.  

*Names have been changed to protect the wussy.

** ‘go out with’ is a British euphamism for girlfriend-boyfriend specific type activities.

fear of failure
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feminine trash

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

it’s just not clear if this sign is labelling products for or products by ‘feminine’s as trash.   Maybe it’s a deliberate ambiguity and the reference covers both!   Hooray!   My only remaining confusion is why such a powerful,   useful,   sign is hidden in  a toilet rest room cubicle

feminine trash
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colour me Kubrick

Monday, April 2nd, 2007 | tags: ,  |

The film ‘Colour me Kublic’ is a light entertainment comedy treasure.   Recommended for John Malkovitch fans,    Stanley Kubric fans,   Carry-on film  fans and British TV/film fans.

:-)  :-)  :-)  

Ratings explained

The film follows the last few years in the life of Alan Conway who managed to maintain his lifestyle by pretending to be Stanley Kubrick in Britain while knowing relatively little about Stanley.   The reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are very varied.

some strengths:

  • Ludwig Van,   plus:   the sound-track is a cleverly constructed pastiche of sound tracks from Kubrick films.   People familiar with the soundtracks use in the original film will  spot visual references to the films,   often comically played.   The quality of this visual and musical treatment is probably attributable to the Director,   Brian Cook, was Kubricks first assistant director for 25yrs and writer Anthony Frewin’s long time working relationship with Kubrick.  
  • Cult quality cast:   John Malkovich as lead and  some fabulous bit and cameo parts by actors who,   arguably, are already cult figures int heir own right.   These are some of the obvious people,   I suspect there were a few more uncredited special appearances:    Honor Blackman,   Leslie Phillips,   Robert Powell,   Richard E. Grant, Peter Sallis, Jim Davidson,   Lynda Barron
  •  Humour:   3 main styles,   Carry-on,   Farce and self-referential.    The Carry-on humour is immediate,   the farce is immediate,   the self-referential often requires knowledge of  Kubrick’s films or British culture.   At one point Malkovitch as  Conway, as Kubrick,  talks about casting Malkovich in his film.   This kind of toying with self-referentialism really tickles my fancy.   The humour also pays homage to Carry-on films by littering the dialog with naughty inuendos.   The Carry-on film reference  is explicitly mentioned by Lynda Barron  who then fabulously goes on to call “Kubrick” “Cuteprick”.  
  • Voice of Wallis:   Peter Sallis is most well known outside Britian for plaing the voice of  Wallace (Wallace and Grommit).   Peter  has one line in the film: “I am Stanley Kubrick“.   The line is  in a chair-collapsingly hilarious scene that references a scene in Spartacus.    
  • Jim Davidson:   plays an aging  North England working-class, gay,  comedian.    There are times when type casting with some built in  irony (gay)  is shere genious.

some areas for improvement  

  • today I am too pathetic to envision any way of improving this.     Check out the Rotten Tomatoes reviews they suggest things like exploring the role of celebrity in society and focussing on character development.   For me,   the film worked fine without these things.
colour me Kubrick
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generic drugs

Sunday, April 1st, 2007 | tags:  |

 

generic?   archetypal?   Does a ‘generic’ drug do all the things that specific drugs do because it’s generic?   The phrase makes me think of the ‘medicine man’ characters that make appearances in US Western films advertising magical cure-all elixias…  

Generic drug  is the  phrase used in the US to refer to the drug behind the branding,   the active component of  packaged medicines.    Fortunes are made by companies branding drugs, its an obscenity I know little about.

I wonder if black Tea qualifies as a generic drug and how much  can I get for my $4?

generic drugs
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