Showing posts from May, 2009

A.W.A.D. - Words with Origins in Numbers

with Anu Garg

We may think only mathematicians or economists or auditors have to deal with numbers, but numbers are everywhere. They're in beautiful patterns, they are in the spiral of a mollusk, in the arrangement of seeds in a sunflower, and beyond. Though it may not be obvious at first glance, all of this week's words have their origins in numbers.
PRONUNCIATION: (verb: di-KUHS-ayt, DEK-uh-sayt, adjective: di-KUHS-ayt, -it)
MEANING: verb tr.:
To intersect or to cross
1. Intersected or crossed in the form of an X
2. Arranged in pairs along the stem, each pair at a right angle to the one above or below

ETYMOLOGY: The word originated from Latin "as" (plural asses) which was a copper coin and the monetary unit in ancient Rome. The word for ten asses was decussis, from Latin decem (ten) + as (coin). Since ten is represented by X, this spawned the verb decussare, meaning to divide in the form of an X or intersect.
NOTES: Samuel Johnson, lexicographer extraordi…

Which Side of the Brain...

I kinda like the picture, that is neat. Of course I'm never good at stuff like that.

Here is what the "scarily accurate program said about me...

"Right brain individual:
Right brain individuals are intuitive, creative and imaginative. They are flexible and are concerned with the bigger picture rather than details. They are impulsive and spontaneous and do not like time limits. They have difficulty explaining ideas verbally and prefer illustrations to verbal instructions. Careers: Architects, Artists, Salespeople, Psychiatrists, Musicians, Politicians, Teachers. (Interpersonal, Emotional, Musical, Spiritual, Talker.) Welcome to being completely wrong about something. I am the non-mathematical, emoting side of the brain. I am terrible with numbers, learning foriegn languages, sales, musical anything. I love music but that is as far as any musical ability goes. I think this is scarily INaccurate. But its Facebook and that is not your one-stop shopping for scarily accurate quiz…

Some How This is not MY Colour!

Orange personalities are the creative adventurers in the colour spectrum. They have an inner urge to be creative, active and enjoy life to its fullest. They are also individual and independent and integrate physical and mental qualities. They enjoy the challenge and excitement of forming and shaping physical reality.
Orange personalities love to imagine and plan strategies for their next adventure or project and then put those plans into action. They need to be involved in the actual working process and want to physically shape and form their own ideas.
They have difficulty sitting back and letting other people do things for them. They are always busy building, organizing and shaping their projects and physical reality. An Orange personality's motivation in life is based on how much pleasure and satisfaction they get out of their own adventures, challenges and creative projects.
They want to be adventurous, creative and live out their own ideas.

A.W.A.D. - Terms Making Use of Fabric Metaphorically

with Anu Garg Clothing -- one of the three necessities in life. No wonder words about clothing and fabrics are woven into our language. There are numerous idioms: people are advised not to wash their dirty linen in public, even adults like to have their security blankets, though emperors often don't have clothes. The word silken can be used to describe food and voice and touch; from woolgathering to cottonpickin', the list of idiomatic use of fabric words is a long one. This week we'll look at five terms that make use of fabrics metaphorically.
MEANING: adjective: 1. Academic or scholarly 2. Informal; casual; outdoorsy 3. Made of or resembling tweed
ETYMOLOGY: After tweed, a coarse woolen fabric made in twill weave, preferred in casual wear, for example those in academia or in the country. The origin of the word tweed is not certain. It's probably an alteration of Scots tweel, influenced by the river Tweed that flows along the border between En…

A Great Party for 2009

The best image went up a couple of days ago, so there was no reason to post it here. Our installation dinner was a success, and I think all who went had a great time. The food was excellent, the drinks flowed, dancing was ongoing and everyone was smiling and having fun! What more can one ask for?Our youth squad, all beautifully dressed for the event and ready to show us old-timers how to really get down and party!
The conga line. Luis is sorry he missed that!

Jack from Car 69 and me having a good time!

The Macarena at full strength and me front and center. I'm not the best in show for this but I know the steps and have a lot of fun doing it. I enjoy the coreographed dances like the Macarena, Cotton-eyed Joe and others.

My five years of service award - yay! It's hanging in my office at work with my high calls plaque from 2005. Next year I hope to squeeze in another high calls one. It feels good!

I'm not exqctly sure of the signifigance of the paper bag with the smiley face but …

A.W.A.D. - Verbs

with Anu Garg

"They've a temper, some of them -- particularly verbs, they're the proudest -- adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs -- however, I can manage the whole lot of them!" boasts Humpty-Dumpty in Lewis Carroll's 1872 classic, "Through the Looking Glass".
If verbs are in fact as conceited as Humpty-Dumpty claims them to be, perhaps they can be forgiven for their hoity-toity ways -- after all, they are the ones that bring a sentence to life.
How many of this week's five verbs can you manage?

PRONUNCIATION: (di-SIM-yuh-layt)
MEANING: verb tr., intr.: To disguise one's intentions, thoughts, motives, etc. by pretense
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin dis- (apart, away) + simulare (to simulate), from similis (like). Ultimately from the Indo-European root sem- (one) that is also the source of simultaneous, assemble, simple, Sanskrit sandhi (union), Russian samovar (a metal urn), and Greek hamadryad (a wood nymph).
USAGE: "Charles Cla…

The Photo

of the party! The best one...

A.W.A.D. - Positive Counterparts of Negative Words

with Anu Garg

Negativeland is the title of a slim novel I came across recently that's written with a constraint. Here's how it begins:
"None of the stations played anything good, but I kept at the buttons, pushing off songs from a childhood we were all supposed to have had. Commercials bothered me more than ever, news was propaganda, and traffic reports were no more useful than the weather. It wasn't yet 1988, and I was driving home from Tacoma."
Notice anything interesting in this paragraph? Anything in common in the three sentences? Well, the title of the book gives a hint. Each sentence in this book has something negative going on. All 186 pages of it. And it's a tribute to the author that his self-imposed constraint doesn't constrain the storytelling. There's a long tradition of writing with self-imposed constraints. There's a group called Oulipo that has tried many things, often with admirable results (also see lipogram and univocalic).
To pur…

It Was Time for a Change

This wasn't really a change. I had this look some time ago. Maybe four years ago. But it seems that the different options for the layout haven't changed in the years I've been blogging. What a pity. It is a wide selection - kind of - but mostly it is the same 12 or 16 templates in different colour schemes. So, not truly a huge selection.
But change the title and the image at the top, finagle the colours to work more for you and suddenly life is good!
And since that ferocious kitten Siobhan has taken over, this is a good look for it. (She is ferocious, but she loves me even if her idea of great affection is sinking her teeth into whatever available square inch of my foot is visible.)
This will be a positive thing. Sometimes you just need to change a couple of things to make life really nice. I can't change the house or renovate a room, so I change what I can.I'll be posting about some things this weekend: the unbelievable weather; the new Star Trek movie, which is awes…

Article - Top Baby Names in the US

Barack, Miley move up; baby names Emma, Jacob rule

WASHINGTON – Barack and Miley move up, but the classics still rule. Emma is the top baby name for girls, Jacob for boys. Emma's surge to the top in 2008 ended Emily's 12-year reign as the No. 1 baby name for girls, the Social Security Administration announced Friday. Jacob held onto the boy's crown for the 10th straight year.
Barack may have been the man of the year in 2008 as Obama won the White House, but the president still trails the king. Barack moved up a record 10,126 places to No. 2,409. Elvis is still in the building, though he slipped from 673 to 713. In the midst of last year's election, Isha Kallay of suburban Washington wanted to name her newborn son after the future president. But she feared that Barack would become too popular, especially if he won. "That's why I named my baby Obama because I wanted my baby to have a special name that other people don't have," Kallay said from her home in…

Celebrity Apprentice Coming to a Close

We are watching the most recently aired Celebrity Apprentice and how disappointing that Clint's team did not win. Their advert for Chicken of the Sea was by and far the best. Even if you take out the musical side, their advert was just so much better.
And Annie, after she won, really showed how personal and poorly she took the major snubbing she took at Joan's hands. Maybe she should feel bitter about it, but she pointed out several times that Joan was personal and she wasn't. Wrong. She clearly took it personally.
I have to say now, watching Brande meet with Piers, he went right in for the kill: he thinks what I think, that she is an idiot. She couldn't spell "crap"! She said to Piers that she was bright and I said, "Only her hair."
When he met with Joan, she was great. She stood right up for herself and remained steadfast in her summation of Annie Duke. I think Annie is a snake but calling anyone worse than Adolf Hitler is a wee strong. But Joan is a…

Global Update For Swine Influenza

Influenza A(H1N1) - update 18
6 May 2009 -- As of 16:00 GMT, 6 May 2009, 23 countries have officially reported 1893 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection.
Mexico has reported 942 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 29 deaths. The United States has reported 642 laboratory confirmed human cases, including two deaths.
The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths:
Austria (1)
Canada (165)
China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1)
Colombia (1)
Costa Rica (1)
Denmark (1)
El Salvador (2)
France (5)
Germany (9)
Guatemala (1)
Ireland (1)
Israel (4)
Italy (5)
Netherlands (1)
New Zealand (5)
Portugal (1)
Republic of Korea (2)
Spain (73)
Sweden (1)
Switzerland (1)
United Kingdom (28)

WHO is not recommending travel restrictions related to the outbreak of the influenza A(H1N1) virus.
Individuals who are ill should delay travel plans and returning travellers who fall ill should seek appropriate medical care. These recommendations are prudent measures which can …

E-mail From CDC: Swine Influenza

Update on Situation
The ongoing outbreak of novel influenza A (H1N1) continues to expand in the United States and internationally. CDC expects that more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths from this outbreak will occur over the coming days and weeks. CDC continues to take aggressive action to respond to an expanding outbreak caused by novel H1N1 flu.
CDC’s response goals are to:
Reduce transmission and illness severity, and provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by this emergency.
CDC is issuing updated interim guidance daily in response to the rapidly evolving situation. This includes updated interim guidance for clinicians on how to identify and care for people who are sick with novel H1N1 flu now that more widespread illness has been detected in the United States. CDC recommends that testing and antiviral treatment be prioritized for those with severe respiratory illness and those at highest risk…

How Stupid Do You Think We Are?

Just a few samples of scam e-mails from mental midgets who, instead of getting a real job like normal people are actually doing this...
(WARNING: Do NOT trust any e-mail address like this!)

This is to officially inform you that (ATM Cash Card Number 5179123456789120) has been accredited in your favor.Your Cash Card Personal Identification Number is 822. The ATM Card Value is $900,000 Thousand USD. You are advised to contact Mr. Tom Smith for delivery as soon as possible:
Mr. Tom Smith
Tel: +2340699495
with the following information
Note Carefully: Cost of delivery is $ 95 Dollars. (Say, "Hello, Gotcha!")


Article - Mercury Much More Dynamic than Previously Thought

NASA astronomers continue to learn more about Mercury

NASA's Messenger (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) spacecraft has offered researchers unique glimpses into Mercury that were previously unknown. During an October 6 flyby of Mercury, Messenger learned the small rocky planet has massive impact craters, volcanoes, and magnetic tornadoes. More than 1,200 images were taken during the second Mercury fly by, with researchers getting a glimpse of another 30 percent of the planet's surface.
"This the first time we have seen terrain exposed on the floor of an impact basin on Mercury that is preserved from when it formed," Center for Earth and Planetary Studies research director Thomas Watters said in a statement. "Terrain like this is usually completely buried by volcanic flows."
This is an important find for researchers because ancient impact basins normally are flooded and filled by volcanic flows, though this one has not been the cas…

Parrrrr-Tay Tonight!


It's that time - time for the Installation Dinner for Parsippany's Roackaway Neck First Aid Squad! It's the one night of the year that all of us are off and get to have a great time at a restaurant with dancing, music and (for most) alcohol. We all work hard when we are on, but boy can we party with the best of them!
I'm so dressed up, no one'll recognise me!

The dinner is a little later in the year than usual - this is generally a winter event, February or March. But any time of the year is fine for a good time, really, and it is rare that these dinners disappoint. There will be representatives of other squads there and all kinds of awards given and swapped - oh, hey! I may be getting one - five years of service - so I won't be left out. And the officers on the Executive Board will be sworn in to office (despite the fact that we have held them since December 2008) by... it should be the Mayor of Parsippany but I'm sure I'd heard he couldn't ma…

And the Next Wife Swap...

This one, Brazenwood/Taylor, which aired on 24 April 2009, has the Taylors, the husband who is a cowboy and immersed in the cowboy culture. I had no idea that being a completely sexist pig was what it took to be a cowboy. That seems wrong. I understand it is more masculine culture to be in, but this much? And cowboys can be very intelligent; not this guy. Calvin Taylor is a mental midget.
His wife, Heather, is a homey, comfortable woman who is down to earth and pleasant. I find her very likeable. She is not an astronomy lover, but she definitely pooh-poohs astrology. I find astrology mostly amusing but not a science by any means. But I can understand her attitude when meeting the Brazenwoods.
Kelly Brazenwood is a 37-year-old husband who is really around 5-years-old. I accuse Luis of being immature, but I put him at 14-years-old because he is sexually mature and raunchy (that is not a shared quality in front of other people, just for me), but this guy is a little kid. He thinks he's…

An Interesting Wife Swap...

I'm catching up on our Wife Swap recordings. I'm watching the epiode Burroughs/Padovan-Hickman one that aired on 17 April 2009. The one I watched just before was really quite satisfying - the families both learned a lot and seemed to really take it to heart. This one, however, is back to the familiar mold of putting families that are so totally diametrically opposite families together that they almost can't get along.
This is interesting, though, because the Padovan-Hickmans have electricity but don't use it, don't flush often, go for a week without showering and then the whole family uses the same bathwater... I can see where that would be hard, especially for me in that I have very oily skin and hair and would look rather wretched after the next day.
But the family themselves are very likable and fun, the father looks more like a kindly grandfather, but really is quite intelligent and pleasant. I would have trouble with the clean thing and I'd miss my iPod and …

Saturday 9 Meme: Settling the Score

Saturday 9: Settling the Score
1. Do you feel that you have “a score to settle” with anyone?
No, I'm not one to hold a grudge. I'm a little pissed off with Governor Corzine, though. He wants to cut the EMS training budget in half, the same guy who was tooling down the highway at 90 miles an hour (speed limits apply to us, not him), wasn't wearing a seatbelt, and had an accident! Next time, he can set his own damn leg!
2. Do you own anything that you think is unbreakable?
I have discovered that anything can be broken... the cleaning people have broken things, the kitten and both of my long-gone babies broke many an item over the 18 years that I had them. On the very rare occasion there have been kids in our house, they've certainly been interested in touching everything under the sun. That is not far from breaking things, which isn't their fault. Kids are not gentle.
3. Tell us about a crazy thing you did in high school.
Ummmmm, that has to be a long list. I mean, cutting…

A.W.A.D. - Words Relating Specifically to Men/Women

with Anu Garg
As we head towards equality of the sexes, the same word works fine for both. Today one who teaches is simply a teacher, compared to earlier days when we had teachers and teacheresses, depending on their anatomy. This is a good thing: why have two separate words when a person's gender has no bearing on the job? But sometimes separate words are necessary to convey a distinction. This week we'll feature five words that relate specifically to either men or women, and we'll also include words for him or for her.
PRONUNCIATION: (ma-ri-TOR-ee-uhs)
MEANING: adjective: Excessively fond of one's husband
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin maritus (married, husband)
NOTES: The word to describe a husband who is excessively fond of a wife is uxorious. The word maritorious is rare, while uxorious is fairly well known. What does that say about the relative fondness of husbands and wives to each other? patrocliny/patricliny
PRONUNCIATION: (PA-truh-kli-nee)
MEANING: noun: Inheritanc…

A.W.A.D. - "I Didn't Know There Was a Word for That!"

with Anu Garg

There are two times in life when we are most likely to be lost for words: when we're happiest and when we're saddest. For other occasions, we can usually think of a word. With such a large wordstock in its coffers, the English language is at the ready to supply just the right word. Stock up your verbal reserve with these week's words, words that may make you say, "I didn't know there was a word for it!"
PRONUNCIATION: (puh-REN-di-nayt)
MEANING: verb tr.: To put off until the day after tomorrow.verb intr.: To stay at a college for an extended time.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin perendinare (to defer until the day after tomorrow), from perendie (on the day after tomorrow), from dies (day)
PRONUNCIATION: (moy-ROL-uh-jist)
MEANING: noun: A hired mourner

NOTES: There are some things in life money can't buy, for everything else, there's Mastercard. With the right credit card you could even hire mourners for your funeral or find the righ…

"Mr. President, We have News..."

" won New Hampshire."

Ah, reruns of The West Wing never get old. I was delighted when President Bartlett won. I would vote for him in a heartbeat. I always say that, but it is worth it to say that, to even get to say that!
President Obama is better than the sound of President McCain (although it is hard to admit that an Scottish name isn't good). However, as bad as President McCain would have been, Vice President (as in if-this-guy-drops-dead,-then-I'm-Commander-in-Chief-of-the-free-world), Palin would have scared the crap out of me! I'm still hoping President Obama will do something workable, like stop giving tax rebates (the money's gotta come from somewhere), raping the wealthy (odd to think I married well, but I did), and pushing for EFCA (shiver).
On the other hand, I did not vote for an American African President. I did not vote for any colour, I voted for a person - the best person presented - for the job. And if I was American African, I'd be o…

Article - Honey, I Sunk the Maldives

Environmental changes could wipe out some of the world's most well-known travel destinations
By Megan Angelo
As if an eroding worldwide economy weren’t enough to depress travel this year, some hot spots are facing even scarier scenarios: sinking, melting, or literally vanishing from the face of the earth. Thanks to global warming and tourist wear and tear, locales from the Galápagos Islands to Croatia’s Dalmatian coast are breaking down.
Maldive Islands
Country: Republic of Maldives
At stake: $490 million
On the Ground: This chain of islands in the Indian Ocean is about three feet above sea level, and scientists fear it could be submerged by 2050. A $63 million buffer built in the 1990s hasn’t solved the problem, so the government is in talks to relocate all 386,000 of its residents to either Sri Lanka, Australia, or India. That would end the Maldives’ tourism industry—more than 600,000 people visit annually—which accounts for 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
By the nu…

Article - Tax Payers Get Rude Surprise

I knew this was a bad idea...

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Millions of Americans enjoying their small windfall from President Barack Obama's "Making Work Pay" tax credit are in for an unpleasant surprise next spring. The government is going to want some of that money back.
The tax credit is supposed to provide up to $400 to individuals and $800 to married couples as part of the massive economic recovery package enacted in February. Most workers started receiving the credit through small increases in their paychecks in the past month. But new tax withholding tables issued by the IRS could cause millions of taxpayers to get hundreds of dollars more than they are entitled to under the credit, money that will have to be repaid at tax time.
At-risk taxpayers include a broad swath of the public: married couples in which both spouses work; workers with more than one job; retirees who have federal income taxes withheld from their pension payments and Social Security recipients with jobs that…