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September 18th, 2007

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk):

farlies
Strange things, wonders, Ferlies (or fairlies) is in common use in Scotland for "sights, show things to be seen." ... [From] Middle English ferly, strange, wonderful; Old English færlic, sudden, unexpected.
--Walter Skeat's Glossary of Tudor and Stuart Words, 1914


Birthday of Samuel Johnson (1709-1784),
English lexicographer, critic, and poet, whose diverse remarks were preserved for posterity by his friend and protégé James Boswell in The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791). One such comment, uttered in December 1779, concerned one of Ireland's most amazing natural wonder, the remote coastal outcropping of cuboid rocks in county Antrim known as Giant's Causeway. When asked how interesting this place might be to a tourist, Dr. Johnson made this distinction: "Worth seeing? Yes, but not worth going to see." An example of Johnson's profoundly subtle influence on future generations of writers may be noticed in such modern guidebooks as the prestigious Michelin series, begun by Edouard Michelin about a century after Johnson's statement. The guides still embrace Johnson's concept on the subject, rating destinations with such terminology as "interesting" and "worth a detour," as well as those they classify as "worth a journey."

-The Gneech

Linkinator

From Arts & Letters Daily: Focus on the words - not on the writer
The problem is not with the author's personality (or appearance), it's with the readers and critics who pay too much attention to it. Focusing on a writer for not "humping his ego" has the same effect as focusing on writers who are outspoken, or attractive; they're two sides of the same coin. What matters is the book, and the book has to stand on its own merit.

From dduane: Wonder Woman, with Kittens! D'Awwwwww! ^.^

-The Gneech

Return of the Linkinator!

From psychologytoday by way of indigoskynet: Keen Cuisine: The Flavor of Cleverness
Dark chocolate has the highest cocoa content, and candy manufacturers are engaged in a virtual arms race to turn it into a health food by boosting its flavanol power even beyond nature's largesse. Not only does milk dilute the overall cocoa content of chocolate, it increases saturated fat levels too, countering cocoa's blood-borne benefits. Still, studies have found that even the fats in dark chocolate may help lower cholesterol levels—and preliminary studies suggest that they may even aid diabetics by boosting insulin sensitivity.

Sweeet. ;)

-The Gneech
Trick or Treat, by Tod
"Trick or Treat" by Tod

Halloween cuteness! Check out his whole Halloween gallery in fact. I love that the work gets back to "Halloween as harvest time" feel, and away from the splatter-and-scribbly-lines crud that's been in vogue for a while now.

-The Gneech

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Fictionlet

Voices were now making their way across the night air, evidently from the small, squat, square building in the middle of this sea of car corpses. Yellow light was spilling out of the far side of the building, illuminating what looked like a probability cloud of flying insects. Brigid and Greg crept up the narrow alleys between cars, and as details became clearer, it became apparent that the building was in fact a trailer, hoisted up on cinderblocks, with the wheels long removed and wiring run to it. There were bars and chicken-wire gratings on all the windows, which seemed superfluous considering that the glass was long gone and the windows had been covered up from the inside by plywood anyway.

There were two sets of voices; one had the tinny and far-away sound of a television babbling to itself at the low volumes characteristic of a household where the TV was never turned off for any reason but just had the volume adjusted down a bit when people weren't actually sitting stupefied in front of it. The second set of voices was much louder, and evidently came from people present.

"Yeah, yeah," said one of the voices, masculine and grainy, "I can just see you goin' to a reunion of that goddamn Bible-thumping family of yours, ha ha HAA ha ha! They wouldn't let you in the fuckin' door."

"HAA ha ha HAA," agreed a second voice, this one feminine and also grainy. "What you mean? I see my momma all the time."

"Yeah, your momma," said the first voice. "Shit, that bitch don't know half about you or she'd kick you out of the family. Ha HAA!"

Greg winced and glanced sideways at Brigid, who just rolled her eyes and pointed down another row of cars. "Come on," she mouthed, but was silent.

"After all that work she did takin' me to church," said the feminine voice. "She thinks I'm goin' straight to Heaven."

"Pfaw shit," said the masculine voice. "You always been a evil bitch. Your cunt's the only part of YOU goin' ta Heaven! Ha ha HAAAA ha HAAA!"

"Ha ha HAAAA ha ha HAAAA ha HAAAA!!!" agreed the feminine voice, at which point Greg looked like he might be physically sick. It was hard to tell which had hit him harder -- what the man had said, or the fact that the woman hadn't immediately decked him for it. With a look of deep anguish, he followed Brigid in the likely general direction of Steggles' wayward car.

-The Gneech

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