2009 Notebook: Weak LI
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17 December 2009
No. 7,018 (cartoon)
This tastes like shit with glass shards.

It is.

But isn’t the guacamole lovely?

18 December 2009
Iranian Cyber Army Attack!
As someone who only speaks English, poorly, I shouldn’t do this, but I’m nevertheless going to poke fun at the Iranian Cyber Army’s most recent pronouncement. The presumably Persian activists managed to take control of a popular American Internet site, and insert this copy, which may or may not have been inspired by the people who concocted, “All Your Base Are Belong to Us.

    This site has been hacked by Iranian Cyber Army. U.S.A. think they controlling and managing internet by their access, but they don’t, we control and manage internet by our power so do not try to stimulation Iranian People To.....

    Now Which Country is embargo list? Iran? Usa?

    We push them in embargo list ; )

    Take care.

“Stimulation Iranian People” reminds me of a beautiful Persian woman I once knew, but that’s a story I’ll never tell. Despite the Iranian Cyber Army’s admonition, I think “stimulation Iranian People” is a worthwhile endeavor.

19 December 2009
Twinkles Ferociously
As a mediocre writer, I know just how difficult it is to write really goodly. I imagine the challenge would be much greater if I had to write about astronomy hundreds of times a year. After all, how many ways are there to describe a star?

I was listening to such an astronomy show on the radio today when I heard the combination of words, “twinkles ferociously.” What brilliant writing!

I then remembered how Freddie Mercury née Faroukh Bulsara annoyed Sid Vicious by addressing him as Mister Ferocious. On second thought, perhaps the astronomy writing wasn’t that great; perhaps “ferocious” is just one of those inherently amusing words.

20 December 2009
Ban Christmas!
Christmas is forced upon a reluctant and disgusted nation by the shopkeepers and the press: on its own merits it would wither and shrivel in the fiery breath of universal hatred; and anyone who looked back to it would be turned into a pillar of greasy sausages.

George Bernard Shaw said that, and dang if he wasn’t one prescient hombre. He also said, “The photographer is like the cod, which lays a million eggs in order that one may be hatched.”

Or did he really say either of those things? Shaw’s also quoted as saying, “The photographer is like the cod which produces a million eggs in the hopes that one will reach maturity.” And that sounds a lot like his contemporary, Alvin Langdon Coburn, who was quoted as saying, “Technically good negatives are more often the result of the survival of the fittest than of special creation: the photographer is like the cod, which lays a million eggs in order that one may reach maturity.” Or perhaps Coburn didn’t say that either. But hold everything, I got sidetracked by academic nitpicking.

Where was I?

I remember now. I was going to point out that Shaw wanted to ban Christmas. That seems like a particularly good idea today.

21 December 2009
Half Jewish and Half Christmas
Alina, a Christian, married Jacob, a Jew. And then they begat a couple of children. Their offspring get a Hanukkah gift as well as a Christmas gift, a practice that’s led to some theological and semantic confusion.

“I’m half Jewish and half Christmas,” five-year old Nico recently explained.


22 December 2009
More Cheap Irony
There’s no cheap entertainment like cheap irony. Today’s installment comes from Israel, where forensic pathologists have admitted to “harvesting” eyes, hearts, skin, and bones from a number of corpses without permission.

Jehuda Hiss, who used to run Israel’s Abu Kabir forensic institute, admitted removing corneas from Palestinians, among others.

“We’d glue the eyelid shut,” he explained. “We wouldn’t take corneas from families we knew would open the eyelids.”

I know it’s completely unfair to draw parallels with Nazis, but that really does sound like something from the Josef Mengele school of medicine.

23 December 2009
Turducken and Rôti sans Pareil
Josephine gave me a one-word answer to my rhetorical question of why Americans eat relatively diminutive turkeys instead of massive ostriches at holiday meals. And the answer is this: turducken. Sounds yummy, no?

Here’s the recipe. Stick some stuffing in a raw chicken, then cram the chicken into a duck, then ram the duck into a turkey. Bake the turducken, and you’ve got enough meat to satisfy a German.

Not surprisingly, several different Americans claim to have invented the fleshy feast. But any way you slice it, the turducken is the descendent of the rôti sans pareil, or “roast without equal.” This predictably French concoction consists of seventeen birds, starting with a wee garden warbler, jammed into each other turducken style, but with a certain je ne sais quoi beyond fowl (foul?).

Rice and beans is sounding better by the moment.

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©2009 David Glenn Rinehart