Christians pray to Jesus, but get no reply. They pray to Jesus for parking spaces closer to the mall, to win the lottery, to make their boss disappear, to lose weight, to restore Donald Trump to his lost presidency, for their kids to win the little league game, for better business sales, and other really important stuff. And yet nothing ever happens. But would you respond if someone called you by another name? If your name was, say, Bob, or … click below for more!
A Repugnance of Republicans. A Sycophancy of Saundersonites. A Conspiracy of Conservatives. A Misanthropy of MAGA-Hatters. A Cowardice of Councillors. A Laziness of Reporters. A Slyness of Staff. A Corruption of Politicians. A Disingenuity of Candidates. A Fallaciousness of FOX Commentators. A Malice of Mayors. A Lying of Lobbyists. A Bloviation of Bloggers. The Game of Venery is all about coming up with collective (aka corporate or multitude) nouns under which to group animals, people, professions, and things. And the … click below for more!
(Warning: I swear in this post… frequently. You can’t write about swearing without actually swearing a bit. Or a lot. Easily offended folks might want to look elsewhere.) I find myself swearing more often these days than I ever did in the past, at least at home (not at my wife, of course). I’m not sure whether that’s a condition of my age, or the result of decades of experience that has left me with a weary recognition that the … click below for more!
When the clock struck three in Julius Caesar, you probably scratched your head, knowing that striking clocks didn’t exist two millennia ago in the play’s setting. In Caesar’s time, people checked sundials or water clocks (clepsydra), neither of which — inconveniently for the Bard — chimed. It would be almost 1,300 years after Caesar that the first “weight-driven mechanical clock was recorded in England” (in1283). It’s just one of several well-known anachronisms in Shakespeare’s plays. Roman timekeeping by sundial also … click below for more!
One of the more delightful books in my personal library is a reprint of the 1883 American edition of English as She Is Spoke, described by Wikipedia as, …intended as a Portuguese–English conversational guide or phrase book; however, as the “English” translations provided are usually inaccurate or incoherent, it is regarded as a classic source of unintentional humour in translation. Even a quick glance at its suggested English phrases and you’ll see the humour. It reads more like a guide … click below for more!
A few years back, during one of our Toronto mini-vacations, I was browsing in the shop of the Art Gallery of Ontario, and I came across a small book that had no words, just pictures. No, it wasn’t a book with pictures of artworks or photographs: it was a story, told entirely through common icons, symbols, and emoticons. Pictograms, looking not unlike a modernized version of Egyptian hieroglyphs. There wasn’t even a book title on the cover. There were no … click below for more!
We recently watched the Darmok episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, my third time seeing it, and I was struck again at how brilliant and quirky it was. Possibly the best of all the ST:NG’s 178 episodes. And, apparently, a lot of other fans agree with my assessment. Wikipedia describes it: The alien species introduced in this episode is noted for speaking in metaphors, such as “Temba, his arms wide”, which are indecipherable to the universal translator normally used … click below for more!
Watching American political dramas like their presidential elections is both entertaining and frightening. Yet it is also strangely educational. it has taught me a basic tenet: Americans as a people know little to nothing about politics. Not just about international politics, but their own. It is a commonly held belief outside American borders that Americans are remarkably unaware of the history, politics, leaders, or even existence of other nations, but are often equally ignorant of their own. There are far … click below for more!