March 24, 2015

Passed on by Michael Palmer, this set of penguin images from the uber humor site (offering “funny pictures, quotes, pics, photos, images, videos of really very cute animals”):

Ah, but what’s the story?

Where do you get your facts?

March 24, 2015

From an opinion piece “Why Movie ‘Facts’ Prevail” in the NYT on February 15th by psychology professor Jeffrey M. Zacks:

This year’s Oscar nominees for best picture include four films based on true stories: “American Sniper” (about the sharpshooter Chris Kyle), “The Imitation Game” (about the British mathematician Alan Turing), “Selma” (about the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965) and “The Theory of Everything” (about the physicist Stephen Hawking).

Each film has been criticized for factual inaccuracy. Doesn’t “Selma” ignore Lyndon B. Johnson’s dedication to black voting rights? Doesn’t “The Imitation Game” misrepresent the nature of Turing’s work, just as “The Theory of Everything” does Mr. Hawking’s? Doesn’t “American Sniper” sanitize the military conflicts it purports to depict?

You might think: Does it really matter? Can’t we keep the film world separate from the real world?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Studies show that if you watch a film — even one concerning historical events about which you are informed — your beliefs may be reshaped by “facts” that are not factual.

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Elise Partridge

March 24, 2015

The story starts with this poem about X in the April 2nd issue of the New York Review of Books:

X, a C.V.

I stand, legs astride, a colossus—
or dancer in fifth position, wide port de bras.
Polymorph strayed into English,

sometimes pronounced like Americans’ z,
in French I’m often silent; in Pirahã the glottal stop;
a fricative in Somali.

Vector, Cartesian axis,
chromosome, bowling-strike. Pirate-map cynosure;
at a letter’s close, a kiss.

I do plebeian duty in tic-tac-toe,
range marble façades. Paired with y, I dodge—
variable incognito.

I lend myself to comets of cryptic orbit,
ally with rays that pierce time’s edge.
I’m default sci-fi planets.

In my Roman hours,
I was ten.—Later, the name of millions:
those never granted an alphabet’s power.

Then I read the contributors’ notes in the NYRB.

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Peeps time in Japan

March 23, 2015

As Easter approaches (April 5th this year), Peeps naturally come to mind (substantial posting on Peeps here). Peeps are endlessly versatile; here’s Grace Kang on Serious Eats, taking Peeps to Japan, in the form of Peepshi (Peeps sushi):

(Hat tip to Beth Linker.)

Yes, they’re appalling. But cute.

The end of March

March 23, 2015

Today’s Frazz:

Ok, buh-bye is indeed an iamb, but it’s not a lamb. Anyway, the end of March is eight days away.

More male dancers

March 23, 2015

Back on the 10th, I posted on a beautifully muscled and athletic male ballet dancer (and his dance belt). Now some follow-ups, starting with a couple of photos from Mike McKinley (balletomane and former Trock) — another ballet dancer, one with extraordinary musculature, and a male pas de deux (as a bonus, naked) — which led to Matthew Bourne and his paired male dancers.

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Purses on the runway

March 23, 2015

[This posting links to a definitely X-rated video, not for kids or the sexually modest.]

A very odd video on the Bilerico website, posted by Bil Browning on March 18th, with the commentary:

I’m sure this is meant to be shocking or titillating, but a better word to describe it is “creepy.”

Male models strutted their stuff naked during a fashion show in Madrid. From the eerie music to the looks on the models’ faces, there’s nothing that says “sexy” about this parade of penis. Not only does it completely distract people from the purses, I can’t even tell you the name of the designer. The person who uploaded the video didn’t bother to include that info.

(Hat tip to Mike McKinley.)

The models’ faces are utterly affectless (as they are in many fashion shows), and they make no eye contact with the audience.

The models have bodies of quite a range of types (though all of them are fit; they are male models, after all) — but with a very narrow range of races/ethnicities. The receptacles they are carrying are all white, but they too are of a range of types, ranging far beyond purses.

And yes, not at all sexy, even for phallophiles. But funny — Browning seems to think inadvertently, but it could have been intentional.

Morning names: Confrey, comfrey

March 23, 2015

From my subconscious this morning: Zez Confrey (definitely a memorable name), and then comfrey.

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The perils of [sic]

March 22, 2015

(From my enormous backlog of Things to Blog On.)

In The Atlantic of December 2013, a letter (p. 13) from Tom Bourne of Woodstock VT:

The word sic is used to indicate an incorrect word in a quote. Why, then, does Karl Greenfeld use it after a perfectly correct its? I can only assume someone thinks its should be it’s here: “We have also to read 79 pages of Angela’s Ashes and find ‘three important and powerful quotes for the section with 1-2 sentence analyses of its [sic] significance.’ ” The possessive its is fine just the way it is. I’ll bet both Greenfield and his daughter know that. How about your proofreader?

The Copy Desk disputed this in a reply; see if you can anticipate its content. And then we’ll talk a bit about the perils of [sic].

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Lab mix

March 22, 2015

Today’s One Big Happy:

If you don’t know the snowclonelet template X mix for dog hybrids (poodle mix, shepherd mix, etc.) and don’t know that Lab can be a clipping of Labrador Retriever, then you’re thrown back on things you do know  and have to treat lab mix as a compound meaning something like ‘something mixed up, created, in a lab’. Cue Frankenstein.


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