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Wednesday: April 30, 2008

Plagiarism or Allusion?

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:27 AM GMT-0500

Karl at Protein Wisdom quotes North Carolina governor Mike Easley as saying that “Clinton” (Hillary, not Bill, I presume) “makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy”. No one seems to have noticed that he appears to have stolen the idea from an aphorism of the late Frank Rizzo, two-term mayor of Philadelphia: “I’m gonna come on so strong I’ll make Attila the Hun look like a faggot”. Perhaps it’s an allusion or inadvertent reminiscence rather than conscious plagiarism: Rocky and Rizzo make for a double connection to Philadelphia. Either way, I suppose you have to be a Democrat to get away with this kind of thing.

Just Whom Does She Think She Is?

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:02 AM GMT-0500

On Pajamasmedia, Roger Kimball quotes a letter from a professor to her (former) students, threatening to sue them for poor course evaluations. Although he inserts one ‘SIC’ (why the capitalization?) in the second sentence of her letter, it really needs two:

I regret to inform you that I am pursuing a lawsuit in which I am accusing some of you (whom shall go unmentioned in this email) of violating Title VII of anti-federal [SIC] discrimination laws.

Neither Kimball nor nor any of his 6 commenters (as I write) nor any of the 43 commenters on the original Dartlog post notes the gross misuse of the relative pronoun: ‘whom’ should of course be ‘who’. An odd error for someone who “taught writing this year at Dartmouth College”.

Sunday: April 27, 2008

Faux Pho: Surprisingly Tasty

Filed under: — site admin @ 5:07 PM GMT-0500

This Chicago Boyz post on “Eatin’ Cheap” reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to post. I recently discovered how to make ramen noodles not just acceptable but downright tasty. Add a handful of bean sprouts, some fresh basil and cilantro leaves, and a dash or two each of lime juice and tabasco. In other words, add all the easily-procured ingredients of pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) except the beef. The result is only half as good as the pho at a Vietnamese soup kitchen like Pho Cali in Raleigh, but that’s still approximately four times as tasty as plain ramen, and it takes roughly three minutes to put together. It’s still quite cheap, especially if you buy the cilantro, basil, and bean sprouts at an Asian grocery store, and the added vegetables make it healthier, too. Other additions I’ve tried haven’t been half so tasty: an egg or some bits of green onion help a bit, but in my experience white onion, carrots, spinach, and mushroom (all uncooked) do nothing for ramen, singly or in combination, except make it more nourishing.

Wednesday: April 9, 2008

How Times Change

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:48 PM GMT-0500

Ten or even five years ago, not one person in twenty would have been able to guess what the correct answers to these two questions would be today:

  1. To avoid harrassment by government-supported censors, a political website in ___________ recently moved to a hosting company in ___________.
    1. Guatemala – Costa Rica
    2. Honduras – Belize
    3. Nicaragua – The United States
    4. Panama – Canada
    5. Canada – Panama
  2. Considering only political and social freedoms, not agricultural products, which of the following is more accurately described as a “banana republic”?
    1. Panama.
    2. Canada.

A Different Kind of Classic

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:28 PM GMT-0500