Dr. Weevil: The Weblog Dr. Weevil: The Weblog

Powered by WordPress

Sunday: December 18, 2005

Civilization And Barbarism

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:47 PM GMT-0500

While we’re on the subject of wieners, I’ve always been irritated by people (not always French) who think that eating fast food is a sure sign of barbarism, particularly when Americans do it. Food is not the highest thing in life, even when accompanied by choice wines. I once spent nearly $80 on food and entertainment during an evening in New York City: $75 for a ticket to Götterdämmerung at the Met plus two dollars and change for a couple of hot dogs and a papaya juice at Grey’s Papaya (72nd and Broadway) beforehand. I would gladly have spent more on dinner, but $80 was all I had. Should I really feel less civilized and sophisticated than someone who spent $80 on dinner?

Is This A Theme?

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:32 PM GMT-0500

Three things I learned this fall, two in the last two days:

  1. That Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie is not a bad (short) movie, though The Nightmare Before Christmas is even better. I’d seen the latter before, but had somehow managed to forget most of the plot, the fact that it’s more or less a musical, and even some of the more amusing bits, such as the mayor’s two faces and the way the Boogie Man dies. (Hope I didn’t ruin it for readers who might be upset at hearing that he dies!)
  2. That Frosty Morn Wieners are also not bad, considering they sell for 99¢ for a package of ten at Food Lion. To be precise, the taste is not bad: the color is a disturbingly radioactive shade of pink.
  3. That one of the scholars mentioned in the footnotes of Anthony Grafton’s The Footnote: A Curious History bears the unfortunate designation “P. P. Wiener”. I would have been tempted to violate the usual bibliographical rule and give him more names and fewer initials.

More Disillusionment

Filed under: — site admin @ 3:37 PM GMT-0500

Natalie Solent quote a reader who tells us more than most will ever want to know about the medical meaning of the word ‘fistula’. I found out what it meant twenty years ago when I temped for a day or two as a medical transcriptionist. I convinced them that my ability to recognize and spell just about any word derived from Latin and Greek would compensate for substandard typing speed. It did, though I had to consult my colleagues about a couple of terms that turned out to be French, including ‘bruits’ (pronounced ‘brooeys’, not ‘broots’) which is some sort of sound made by the (healthy? unhealthy?) heart. Solent’s post reminded me that knowing the medical meaning of ‘fistula’ has detracted from my pleasure in reading the less scurrilous genres of Latin verse, where fistula is frequent and means a shepherd’s pipe or pan-pipe.

Seen While Indexing

Filed under: — site admin @ 3:24 PM GMT-0500

One of the most disillusioning sentences I have ever read was in a medical text I indexed a few months ago:

The breast is a modified sweat gland that consists of two components.

I didn’t write down what the two components are, but I do recall that they’re not ‘left’ and ‘right’.