Posts Categorized: fun stuff

A play on words, or I should go out and take more sun-pixels

I love the web comic xkcd, as it is so much more than a comic with layers of commentary and critique – some so grokkingly subtle. Yesterday’s xkcd was a delightful, gentle play on words – Winter:
Today, the Economist has an article on English Purism: What might have been, which is channeling a more explanatory side of xkcd’s word play. The Economist is delightful in their own way:

“Any language in contact with other languages borrows words. And English has always been, of course, a master borrower. A west Germanic language brought over with the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, it first took a lot of Norse from invading Vikings, then even more French from the Norman conquerors of 1066. When the English later themselves became conquerors, they promiscuously took on words from languages all around the world. And as science and medicine advanced, English writers took to coining words from Greek and Latin roots.
Barnes, who wrote poems in his Dorset dialect, didn’t like this. He thought the English showed no self-respect when they reached to classical languages to make learned words. He deplored the loss of old Anglo-Saxon words like inwit, earthtillage and bodeword, replaced by conscience, agriculture and commandment. And where terms had to be coined for new things, Barnes wanted them to be created from Anglo-Saxon roots: he recommended sun-print as a calque for the Greek-derived photograph (“light-writing”).”

I love spacelight for the sun, inwit for conscience, little flappers for birds, whale-road for the sea, and sun-print for photograph.
Although, what should we call a digital still photograph? Sun-pixels?

And off to the desert I go…

Bee flying between aloe flowers

Photo taken by Ms. Jen last Sunday at the Huntington desert garden with her Nikon D800 and 50mm lens.

Sun 12.22.13 – I am off for 24 hours in Glamis to take photos and do some pretty darned dark sky star peeping – providing my brother will drive me out to darker skies in his sand rail.
Yes, I have brought 3 pairs of ear plugs with me.

Angry squirrel is defending his palm tree! His Tree! Not yours!

Angry squirrel is defending his palm tree! His Tree! Not yours!

Mon 12.16.13 – Yesterday morning when I went on my photowalk at The Huntington’s gardens, this squirrel rumbled me. He made a great deal of noise, tail thumping, and evil glares to let me know that I WAS VIOLATING HIS TERRITORIAL BOUNDARIES. It was very funny and cute.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and the Nikon 50mm 1.4G lens.

Comet ISON, In Memoriam

I love a well written obituary, one that not only sums up the life lived but also gives a glimpse into the real or imagined personhood of the deceased.
Karl Battams has written a witty and wry obit, In Memoriam, for Comet ISON C/2012 S1:

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)
Born 4.5 Billion BC, Fragmented Nov 28, 2013 (age 4.5-billion yrs old)
Born in a dusty and turbulent environment, comet ISON spent its early years being jostled and struck by siblings both large and small. Surviving a particularly violent first few million years, ISON retreated to the Oort Cloud, where it maintained a largely reclusive existence for nearly four billion years. But around 3-million B.C., a chance encounter with a passing star coerced ISON into undertaking a pioneering career as a Sungrazer. On September 21, 2012, ISON made itself known to us, and allowed us to catalog the most extraordinary part of its spectacular vocational calling.
Never one to follow convention, ISON lived a dynamic and unpredictable life… >>