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It's not mine anymore, it's TheIRS. Sun Jan 03 The end-of-year bonuses don't stop just because the year is over. Here's the seventh crummy. On Sunday, our last day of vacation, Sumana and I went to the Guggenheim museum for the first time. We'd planned to go about a week earlier, and then we got to the museum and there was a line wrapping around the block, in freezing cold weather. We went to the Cooper-Hewitt museum instead.

Which was really small for the price, and also really preoccupied with the people and corporations that had been given awards by It turns out you can buy Guggenheim tickets online, so I bought some for the 3rd. I cannot stress enough how important it is to buy tickets in advance. You don't want to be standing in the cold for 90 minutes.

When we got into the museum we saw that the wraparound line wasn't even the whole line. There was insane chaos on the ground floor including milling tourists, a coat check off to the side, a small pond conveniently located for falling into, and a whole other winding line to the ticket sales area itself. I should have seen this coming. My general theory of Frank Lloyd Wright is that his stuff is really beautiful but would be aggravating to use.

Frankweilerprobably within an hour I'd reach for a magazine and bash my hand on something right-angled. And the Guggenheim is an amazingly well-designed museum so long as nobody is in it. At the Met, the main entrance is really noisy and as you go into the exhibits it gets quieter and quieter.

SBS Program Guide for Documentary | Queensland (QLD)

The entire Guggenheim is one big room. The whole time you're at the museum, you're in the same room as hundreds of people waiting in line for tickets, discussing with their friends what to do next, making phone calls, etc. You can't get away. They're a hundred feet away, but it's a hundred feet straight down through open air. You can see and hear everyone else just fine. If you're the Guggenheim's only visitor, you'll find toilets are distributed for maximum convenience.

Seemingly on every turn of every level you'll find a unisex toilet. That one person at a time can use. In real life you get people waiting in lines outside a toilet, blocking the ascent for everyone else, not willing to give up their space in line in hopes that a quarter-turn up or down the corkscrew is a toilet that doesn't have a line. The same phenomenon happens whenever a timeline or exhibit description is painted on a wall.

The Guggenheim is full of little inset niches containing artworks each, where people can stand and admire the art without blocking traffic. This is good design. Good thinking, anticipating that an art museum would have art in it. Unfortunately, the same allowances have not been made for random walls with text on them.

Bottom line, people stand immobile before these walls, reading, and you can't get past. One good thing about the Guggenheim is the reading room. It's just a quiet room full of art books. Sumana and I killed time in there, reading did you know that Alexander Calder painted full-size working airplanes?

One of which was blown up in the movie "Bad Boys"? I haven't mentioned the art itself because that changes all the time, and the museum's architecture is eternal.

Kandinsky's stuff started out pretty dull--Sumana compared it unfavorably to Chagall, and I don't like Chagall in the first place.

But around the time he joined Bahaus, Kandinsky literally shaped up. He started using stencils, clean lines, and proto-airbrush techniques, yielding nerdily precise paintings that look like scientific diagrams eg.

I wrote down the names of our favorite paintings and I'll try to round up some links to pictures later. I'm absolutely not someone who tries to interpret abstract art in representational terms, but if you rotate 's "Black Grid" ninety degrees counterclockwise, it really looks like a seascape with airplanes, modern for steamships, and old-fashioned sailing ships, all in front of a city.

Plus a black grid and a bunch of random shapes in a corner to fool you. Kandinsky is awesome, the Guggenheim is aggravating. Unfortunately, the other owns a lot of the one! We were talking about this at the New Years party; how the Guggenheim really loves collecting Kandinsky, how Charles Simonyi seems determined to buy up every Lichtenstein painting in the world. What artists would you buy up, if you had, say, a billion dollars to spend on art and could thus acquire a good chunk of anyone's ouvre?

Thu Jan 07 My now-undirected ongoing search for the phrase "awesome dinosaurs" has picked up another example of what if this was music would be called dinocore. From The Aviary I found out about a series two is a series! I got copies today and they're awesome. Minus points for stereotyping dinosaurs based on their species which I also did. I'm in Boston, having fun with friends.

And there's a New York performance in March! Our ringer was a ringer for the same In odious Lebowski's rotten game. Art Clokey died on Friday. I've been a Gumby fan for ages--I'm pretty sure it's the first thing I ever saw on television[0]--but I didn't know much about Clokey until I watched the biopic "Gumby Dharma", which was really excellent and which I should have mentioned on my film list.

It's got fourth-wall-smashing interviews with Gumby and Pokey themselves--I'm pretty sure Gumby claims that Pokey was prone to cocaine binges, or maybe vice versa. At this point in my life I'm becoming accustomed to the likelihood that any random old person has accumulated a whole lot of interesting life experiences, but even so, Art Clokey's experiences were a couple standard deviations further out than I was expecting. There was Gumby, and, I believe, the Thundercats.

A good issue, but the whole time I was reading, I was waiting for the story that fulfilled the promise of the cover. A spaceship landing or, I suppose, taking off near a stegosaur! Which story would it be? Well, I'm at the end of the magazine, by process of elimination it's gotta be "Sea Change" by Scott Baker. But no, it was just a misleading cover image that has nothing to do with any story in the magazine.

I think the best story is "Sea Change", despite the stegosaurus disappointment. Although it has a little too much of a "I went on vacation and had a really evocative experience, so I wrote a story" feel. So maybe the Tiptree is the best. They're both very good. Points deducted for puns. It's always strange to be on the New York subway reading about someone trying to blow up the New York subway.

Garnett's "Still Life" are both the "eternal youth is possible but only for the rich--and at what cost? George Zebrowski is now officially my "writer whose work I find compelling when described but disappointing when I read it. The Incompleteness Theorem says it can't happen. The author knows this. The characters in the story know this. They spend much of the story exchanging dialogue: Ted Chiang did it better "Division by Zero". MathFiction also loves "Division By Zero".

In movie reviews, Harlan Ellison can't shut up about how great Brazil is or, indeed, anything. It's an enjoyable column. Algys Burdis's book review column contains a review of Schismatrix and The Postman, which I just read. Also the phrase "Now, Bruce Sterling is what they have begun calling a 'cyberpunk'", and these two footnotes: This will be a notable shame, in his case.

Clarke's whale from Childhood's End. Fortunately, in most realities this footnote does not exist. No interesting ads apart from some classifieds pushing Halley's Comet kitschthe cartoons still suck. Apples to Apples variant fever! Now Zack's got it! I was hoping that Up Against the Wall, Motherfucker!

It's not, though, just a pretty simple boardgame in which Sumana's alma mater no, the other one is the board. There's also Battle of Seattle. Have you heard about the new corduroy pillows? I was watching Computer Networks: That's about 13 gigabytes, which will fit on a couple DVDs today but which was damn impressive in Some Moore's Law style inflation shows just how impressive: They must have had a whole tape library devoted to that weather data.

Thu Jan 21 I decided to do something similar to my adventure to find the first known mention of the ARPAnet in popular culture.

I'd find books that mentioned Nethack but were not books on computers or game design. This adventure was fun but noticeably less successful. There were a number of government documents and books about oil mentioning "nethack agreements", but this was just an OCR error for "netback". I also saw one "setback" become "nethack".

There was a collection of User Friendly comics and one of BBspot news stories. I found only one work of prose fiction that mentioned the game Nethack: Here's my machine-aided English translation of part of the section called "Rogue": The system, which had seemed to boot normally, was suddenly seized with hiccups. The screen was going mad.

Instead of presenting the expected prompt, Dyl found himself in the middle of a game of Hack, the successor to Rogue, itself the originator of Nethack. Something tells me that in these dungeons are two antagonists which expect me," whistled Dyl.

Kube-McDowell's "Vectors" contains the string "nethack", but it's a cyberpunk nonsense word "covered with nethack gear"possibly used as an in-joke. Marylin Schrock's "Wake Up, Church! Astral Projection and The Church" tries to bring 80s-style Bible-thumping fantasy buzzkill into the Internet era by, near as I can tell, taking claims of astral projection at face value and blaming it all on Satan. The player must sacrifice the Amulet of Yendor to a deity in order to win.

On the other end of the spectrum, a Christian nerd with the ominous nom de plume of "Anakin Niceguy" has self-published "Rethinking 'Getting Serious about Getting Married': I know that religious leaders were always mounting assaults on me until I got married.

The earliest recollection of 'liar liar pants on fire' that I have been informed of dates back to the s, from a lady born inUK. Are you aware of similar ironic expressions meaning 'good luck' in other languages? A Katherine Hepburn movie? Let me know also if you want any mysterious expressions adding to the list for which no published origins seem to exist.

Gold does not dissolve in nitric acid, whereas less costly silver and base metals do. The use of nitric acid also featured strongly in alchemy, the ancient 'science' of attempting converting base metals into gold.

An 'across the board' bet was one which backed a horse to win or be placed in the first three, or as Wentworth and Flexnor's Dictionary of American Slang suggests, across the board meant a bet in which " Additionally it has been suggested to me that a similar racetrack expression, 'across the boards' refers to the tendency for odds available for any given horse to settle at the same price among all bookmakers each having their own boardseemingly due to the laying off effect, whereby the odds would be the same 'across the boards'.

I can neither agree nor disagree with this, nor find any certain source or logic for this to be a more reliable explanation of the metaphorical expression, and so I add it here for what it is worth if you happen to be considering this particular expression in special detail. The basis of the meaning is that Adam, being the first man ever, and therefore the farthest removed from anyone, symbolises a man that anyone is least likely to know.

Out of interest, an 'off ox' would have been the beast pulling the cart on the side farthest from the driver, and therefore less known than the 'near ox'. This extension to the expression was American Worldwidewords references the dictionary of American Regional English as the source of a number of such USA regional variations ; the 'off ox' and other extensions such as Adam's brother or Adam's foot, are simply designed to exaggerate the distance of the acquaintance.

Alligators were apparently originally called El Lagarto de Indias The Lizard of the Indies'el lagarto', logically meaning 'the lizard'. Initially the word entered English as lagarto in the mids, after which it developed into aligarto towards the late s, and then was effectively revised to allegater by Shakespeare when he used the word in Romeo and Juliet, in It seems ack S Burgos that the modern Spanish word and notably in Castellano for lizard is lagartija, and lagarto now means alligator.

Cohen suggests the origin dates back to s New York City fraudster Aleck Hoag, who, with his wife posing as a prostitute, would rob the customers. Hoag bribed the police to escape prosecution, but ultimately paid the price for being too clever when he tried to cut the police out of the deal, leading to the pair's arrest.

Meet the Demoman in Minecraft

In describing Hoag at the time, the police were supposedly the first to use the 'smart aleck' expression. The Old French word is derived from Latin 'amare' meaning 'to love'. Traditionally all letters were referenced formally in the same way. The ampersand symbol itself is a combination - originally a ligature literally a joining - of the letters E and t, or E and T, being the Latin word 'et' meaning 'and'. The earliest representations of the ampersand symbol are found in Roman scriptures dating back nearly 2, years.

If you inspect various ampersand symbols you'll see the interpretation of the root ET or Et letters. The symbol has provided font designers more scope for artistic impression than any other character, and ironically while it evolved from hand-written script, few people use it in modern hand-writing, which means that most of us have difficulty in reproducing a good-looking ampersand by hand without having practised first.

The theory goes that in ancient times the pupil of the eye the black centre was thought to be a small hard ball, for which an apple was a natural symbol. Logically the pupil or apple of a person's eye described someone whom was held in utmost regard - rather like saying the 'centre of attention'. Strangely Brewer references Deuteronomy chapter 32 verse 3, which seems to be an error since the verse is definitely Erber came from 'herber' meaning a garden area of grasses, flowers, herbs, etc, from, logically Old French and in turn from from Latin, herba, meaning herb or grass.

NewspaperSG - The Straits Times, 5 June

The word history is given by Cassells to be 18th century, taken from Sanskrit avatata meaning descent, from the parts ava meaning down or away, and tar meaning pass or cross over. In more recent times the word has simplified and shifted subtly to mean more specifically the spiritual body itself rather than the descent or manifestation of the body, and before its adoption by the internet, avatar had also come to mean an embodiment or personification of something, typically in a very grand manner, in other words, a " The virtual reality community website Secondlife was among the first to popularise the moden use of the word in website identities, and it's fascinating how the modern meaning has been adapted from the sense of the original word.

The idea of losing a baby when disposing of a bathtub's dirty water neatly fits the meaning, but the origins of the expression are likely to be no more than a simple metaphor. Wolfgang Mieder's article ' Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater' full title extending to: Murner, who was born in and died inapparently references the baby and bathwater expression several times in his book, indicating that he probably did not coin the metaphor and that it was already established in Germany at that time.

Later the use of bandbox was extended to equate to a hatbox, so the meaning of the phrase alludes to someone's appearance, especially their clothing, being as smart as a new hat fresh out of a hatbox. In more recent times, as tends to be with the evolution of slang, the full expression has been shortened simply to 'bandbox'.

In the US bandbox is old slang late s, through to the early s for a country workhouse or local prison, which, according to Cassells also referred later ss to a prison from which escape is easy. These US slang meanings are based on allusion to the small and not especially robust confines of a cardboard hatbox. I am additionally informed thanks V Smith that bandbox also refers to a small ballpark stadium with short boundaries enabling relatively easy home runs to be struck in baseball games.

The bandbox expression in baseball seemingly gave rise to the notion of band's box in a small theatre, which could be either an additional or alternative root of the expression when it is used in the baseball stadium context.

The idea is that as workload permits, sectors can be combined and split again without having to change the frequencies that aircraft are on. You may have noticed that for a particular 'SID' 'standard instrument departure' - the basic take-off procedure you are almost always given the same frequency after departure. By 'bandboxing' two adjacent sectors working them from a single position rather than two you can work aircraft in the larger airspace at one time saving staff and also simplifying any co-ordination that may have taken place when they are 'split'.

To facilitate this the two frequencies are 'cross-coupled'. This means that the controller transmits on both frequencies simultaniously and when an aircraft calls on one, the transmission is retransmitted on the second frequency. Therefore the pilots are much less likely to step on one another and it appears as if all aircraft are on the same frequency. Then when traffic loading requires the sectors to be split once more, a second controller simply takes one of the frequencies from the other, the frequencies are un-cross-coupled, and all being well there is a seamless transition from the pilots' perspective!

I am therefore at odds with most commentators and dictionaries for suggesting the following: The 'bring home the bacon' expression essentially stems from the fact that bacon was the valuable and staple meat provision of common people hundreds of years ago, and so was an obvious metaphor for a living wage or the provision of basic sustenance.

Peasants and poor town-dwelling folk in olden times regarded other meats as simply beyond their means, other than for special occasions if at all. Bacon was a staple food not just because of availability and cost but also because it could be stored for several weeks, or most likely hung up somewhere, out of the dog's reach. Other reasons for the significance of the word bacon as an image and metaphor in certain expressions, and for bacon being a natural association to make with the basic needs of common working people, are explained in the 'save your bacon' meanings and origins below.

Additionally the 'bring home the bacon' expression, like many other sayings, would have been appealing because it is phonetically pleasing to say and to hear mainly due to the 'b' alliteration repetition.

Expressions which are poetic and pleasing naturally survive and grow - 'Bring home the vegetables' doesn't have quite the same ring. According to Allen's English Phrases there could possibly have been a contributory allusion to pig-catching contests at fairs, and although at first glance the logic for this seems not to be strong given the difference between a live pig or a piglet and a side of cured bacon the suggestion gains credibility when we realise that until the late middle ages bacon referred more loosely to the meat of a pig, being derived from German for back.

Whatever, the idea of 'bringing home' implicity suggests household support, and the metaphor of bacon as staple sustenance is not only supported by historical fact, but also found in other expressions of olden times. Given so much association between bacon and common people's basic dietary needs it is sensible to question any source which states that 'bring home the bacon' appeared no sooner than the 20th century, by which time ordinary people had better wider choice of other sorts of other meat, so that then the metaphor would have been far less meaningful.

In other words, why would people have fixed onto the bacon metaphor when it was no longer a staple and essential presence in people's diets?

Fascinatingly the establishment and popularity of the expression was perhaps also supported if not actually originally underpinned by the intriguing 13th century custom at Dunmow in Essex, apparently according to Brewer founded by a noblewoman called Juga in and restarted in by Robert de Fitzwalter, whereby any man from anywhere in England who, kneeling on two stones at the church door, could swear that for the past year he had not argued with his wife nor wished to be parted from her, would be awarded a 'gammon of bacon'.

Seemingly this gave rise to the English expression, which according to Brewer was still in use at the end of the s 'He may fetch a flitch of bacon from Dunmow' a flitch is a 'side' of bacon; a very large slabwhich referred to a man who was amiable and good-tempered to his wife. This meaning is very close to the modern sense of 'bringing home the bacon': Brewer says one origin is the metaphor of keeping the household's winter store of bacon protected from huge numbers of stray scavenging dogs.

In that sense the meaning was to save or prevent a loss. The establishment of the expression however relies on wider identification with the human form: Bacon and pig-related terms were metaphors for 'people' in several old expressions of from 11th to 19th century, largely due to the fact that In the mid-to-late middle ages, bacon was for common country people the only meat affordably available, which caused it and associated terms hog, pig, swine to be used to describe ordinary country folk by certain writers and members of the aristocracy.

Norman lords called Saxon people 'hogs'. A 'chaw-bacon' was a derogatory term for a farm labourer or country bumpkin chaw meant chew, so a 'chaw-bacon' was the old equivalent of the modern insult 'carrot-cruncher'. See also 'bring home the bacon'. It's simply a shortening of 'The bad thing that happened was my fault, sorry'. The word bad in this case has evolved to mean 'mistake which caused a problem'. It's another example of the tendency for language to become abbreviated for more efficient and stylised communications.

In this case the abbreviation is also a sort of teenage code, which of course young people everywhere use because they generally do not wish to adopt lifestyle and behaviour advocated by parents, teachers, authority, etc.