July 2010


All things being equal, I’d still rather be the flamethrower…you know, just in case mine runs out of fuel, I won’t end up toasty bits.

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I wonder if this is partly responsible for the excellent color mastery that many romance language speakers seem to have.

As it happens, English color words may be especially difficult to learn, because in English we throw in a curve ball: we like to use color words “prenominally,” meaning before nouns. So, we’ll often say things like “the red balloon,” instead of using the postnominal construction, “the balloon is red.”

Why does this matter? It has to do with how attention works. In conversation, people have to track what’s being talked about, and they often do this visually. This is particularly so if they’re trying to make sense of whatever it is someone is going on about. Indeed, should I start blathering about “the old mumpsimus in the corner” you’re apt to begin discretely looking around for the mystery person or object.

Kids do the exact same thing, only more avidly, because they have much, much more to learn about. That means that when you stick the noun before the color word, you can successfully narrow their focus to whatever it is you’re talking about before you hit them with the color. Say “the balloon is red,” for example, and you will have helped to narrow “red-ness” to being an attribute of the balloon, and not some general property of the world at large. This helps kids discern what about the balloon makes it red.

via Why Johnny Can’t Name His Colors: Scientific American.

Having worked with designers for a few years now, I would have assumed you understood, despite our vague suggestions otherwise, we do not welcome constructive criticism. I don’t come downstairs and tell you how to send text messages, log onto Facebook and look out of the window. I am willing to overlook this faux pas due to you no doubt being preoccupied with thoughts of Missy attempting to make her way home across busy intersections or being trapped in a drain as it slowly fills with water. I spent three days down a well once but that was just for fun.

via Why never to ask favours from the designers – webPress.

As if you didn’t already know this.

I write like
James Joyce

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

via I Write Like

Lieutenant Baker observed a telescope pointing out of a slit. Crawling under the opening, he emptied the clip of his M-1 rifle, killing two German soldiers inside the position. Then he came upon a well-camouflaged machine-gun nest whose two-man crew was eating breakfast. He shot and killed both soldiers.

After Capt. John F. Runyon, his company commander, who was white, joined the group, a German soldier hurled a grenade that hit Captain Runyon in his helmet but failed to explode. Lieutenant Baker shot the German twice as he tried to flee. He then blasted open the concealed entrance of another dugout with a hand grenade, shot one German soldier who emerged, tossed another grenade into the dugout and entered it, firing his machine gun and killing two more Germans.

via Vernon Baker, Black Medal of Honor Recipient, Dies at 90 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com.

Found this lovely little performance from the inestimable Julie London while perusing the very excellent website of the Brazilian group called Ceu Vagarosa.

At just over a minute, this video of Nelson Cavaquinho is not long enough and yet just right.

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