February 2009
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Day February 18, 2009

Twitterer of the Day

HotAmishChick:

Obama Sushi

At least that’s what we think it is.

Quote of the Day

Still on the books is Article 19 Section 1 of the 1874 Arkansas Constitution:

“No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court.”

Scenes from Pakistan

From The Big Picture:

The government of Pakistan announced on Monday that it would accept Islamic Sharia Law to be implemented in its Swat Valley region, as part of a truce with local Taliban leaders. Militants had been demanding Sharia law, attacking opponents, burning scores of girls’ schools and banning many forms of entertainment. Gun battles between Pakistani security forces and militants have killed hundreds, while up to a third of the valley’s 1.5 million people have fled. A nuclear power with a growing economy, Pakistan’s government is still struggling for control of the country, coping with internal clashes and terrorism, that can bleed over and involve neighbors and allies, including militant attacks in India, and excursions into Afghanistan – inviting U.S. military operations that follow the attackers back into Pakistan.

Question of the Day

What do you have for a ringtone?

I have the ringtone that mimics the phone ring from 24. It was more fun two years ago when Mrs C. and I were binge-watching 24 dvds and everytime my phone rang I would pick it up and refer to the caller as Chloe and request her to send the russian submarine schematics to my screen immediately. I lost a lot of friends that year. But wrong numbers have never been more fun.

Now I’m just too lazy to change it.

The Trilogy Meter

I’m probably the last blogger to post this but it was too good to pass up. I agree 100% with it.

(via everywhere but created by Dan Meth)

Space Ship for Sale $3500.00 or best offer

Only 300 million miles on it!

(via SciFi Brewed Daily)

The Proper Way To Wash and Dry a Cat’s Tail

Diagramming the Obama Sentence

From The Millions:

The diagram, though, offers several insights. First, the elegant balance of the central construction (My view is that x, and that y, but also that z) shows that Obama has a good memory for where he’s been, grammatically, and a strong sense of where he’s going. His tripartite analysis of the problem is clearly reflected in the structure of the sentence, and thus in the three main branches of the diagram. (Turn it on its side and it could be a mobile.) The third “that” – thrown in 29 words into a 43-word sentence – creates three parallel predicate nouns. And then there’s a little parallel flourish at the end: “I am more interested in looking forward than I am in looking back.”

Nothing feels tacked on; the “ums” and “ahs” Obama sometimes inserts into his speeches are not meant to buy time to think about substance, or to long for a teleprompter (sorry, conservative bloggers), but to make sure his long sentences stay on solid grammatical terrain. At the same time, Obama’s confidence in the basic architecture of his sentences allows him to throw in some syntactically varied riffs and qualifiers: an absolute phrase here, a correlative conjunction or comparative adjective there.

By contrast with the syntax, the diction is quite straightforward, which may account for why the majority of Americans, unlike their pundit overlords, don’t seem to feel that Obama is talking down to them. The verbs here are all “to be” verbs, given weight by participles like “prosecuted” and “interested,” and by the muscular commonplaces, “above the law,” “looking forward” and “looking back.” The only superfluous adjective is “clear,” which sounds positively Bush-like, even as it serves to qualify the clause it’s attached to. Even more remarkable: by virtue of the third “that,” this is a complex sentence, but not a compound one. Like “I’m the decider,” it has a single, copulative predicate.

Daily Dose of Ingersoll

Over the vast plain, called life, we are all travelers, and not one traveler is perfectly certain that he is going in the right direction. True it is that no other plain is so well supplied with guide-boards. At every turn and crossing you will find them, and upon each one. is written the exact direction and distance. One great trouble is, however, that these boards are all different, and the result is that most travelers are confused in proportion to the number they read. Thousands of people are around each of these signs, and each one is doing his best to convince the traveler that his particular board is the only one upon which the least reliance can be placed, and that if his road is taken the reward for so doing will be infinite and eternal, while all the other roads are said to lead to hell, and all the makers of the other guide-boards are declared to be heretics, hypocrites and liars. “Well,” says a traveler, “you may be right in what you say, but allow me at least to read some of the other directions and examine a little into their claims. I wish to rely a little upon my own judgment in a matter of so great importance.” “No, sir,” shouts the zealot, “that is the very thing you are not allowed to do. You must go my way without investigation, or you are as good as damned already.” “Well,” says the traveler, “if that is so, I believe I had better go your way.” And so most of them go along, taking the word of those who know as little as themselves. Now and then comes one who, in spite of all threats, calmly examines the claims of all, and as calmly rejects them all. These travelers take roads of their own, and are denounced by all the others as infidels and atheists.

Robert Green Ingersoll – “Individuality” (1873)


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