Archive for September, 2011


September 30, 2011

A while back, a friend wrote me about an Anglican indaba in Canada, going on to explain to me that an indaba was a conference with a serious purpose and that the term originated in South Africa. Then the September 14th Princeton Alumni Weekly arrived, with the story

Princeton ‘indaba’ supports effort
to develop new African leaders

So now, a few words about indaba and its spread.


Frontier Scrabble

September 30, 2011

From the October 3rd New Yorker, this cartoon by John Klossner:

A peek into the little-known world of hard-core Scrabble in the Old West.

The velocitized Toad

September 30, 2011

Today’s Zippy, with a speeded-up Mr. (the) Toad:

Velocitize isn’t a Bill Griffith innovation, but it hasn’t been around for a very long time.


Vik Muniz (and me)

September 29, 2011

Now at the San Jose Museum of Art, the exhibition “So, Who Do You Think You Are?”, in which

Through portraiture and the figure, artists explore the notion of individual identity and the commonality of our human nature. [9/25/11 – 1/15/12]

Among the works in the show is Vik Muniz’s 2003 Self Portrait (I Am Too Sad to Tell You, after Bas Jan Ader) (Rebus), a chromogenic print:



September 29, 2011

From the Summer 2011 issue (#42) of Cabinet magazine, this piece of found art:

by David Bunn, Forgetfulness (discarded catalogue card from the Los Angeles Central Library), 2011.

The special theme of the issue is forgetting, with pieces on censorship, document shredding, and the forgotten knowledge of herbal abortifacients, among other things.

Category in need of a label

September 29, 2011

From “A game of catch-up” in the September 24th Economist (p. 5 in a special section on the world economy):

Moreover, the great convergence has spread beyond India and China. Three-quarters of biggish non-oil-producing poor countries enjoyed faster growth in income per person than America in 2000-07, says Arvind Subramanian, of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in his new book, “Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China’s Economic Dominance”. (link)

(relevant NP bold-faced). I’m not sure which countries belong to this category, but it would be really useful to have some less clunky way of referring to it. (At the moment all the ghits for the biggish label are to the Economist article or Subramanian’s book.)


Comma chameleons

September 29, 2011

Found via social media, this poster, apparently from the blog Epic Ponyz:


Financial back-formation

September 29, 2011

Insider trading is much in the news these days (see, for example, Roger Lowenstein’s piece “The Greed Police” in the NYT Magazine of September 25th), so it was probably inevitable that the back-formed verb insider-trade would appear. I heard it first on KQED-FM yesterday morning, but it’s been around for a while in print, in some abundance.


than stuff

September 28, 2011

A summary of various phenomena involving the comparative P (subordinator or preposition) than, focusing on non-standard variants.


Gayboys going ARRR!

September 27, 2011

It’s a week past (International) Talk Like a Pirate Day, but here are two cute gayboys out in their pirate hats:

— with bonuses for scholars of queer underwear (especially the lace-up number on the right).

(Hat tip to Chris Ambidge.)