Archive for December, 2017

El Bruto commands

December 31, 2017

(Riff on the Daily Jocks ad of 12/29/17. Men in their underwear. Doing stuff. Free verse. You have been warned.)

(#1)

El Bruto
Wants you to
Pump! up your
Underwear, you’ll
Do what El Bruto
Wants, else he’ll
Crush your
Puny self
Between his
Muscular thighs ’n
Leave you a
Spent husk

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A Zippy query

December 31, 2017

Yesterday’s Zippy has a flat 2-d version of the Pinhead on a bench in earnest conversation with a similarly flat female figure (not at all Pinhead-like):

(#1)

The question is: what is that female figure, with its diamond cut-out just below the neck?

I got no connection, and was unable to get Google Images to see the figure as anything but a tree (despite my attempts to brush out the greenery). Symbols for women’s toilets have round heads rather than trapezoidal ones, and have no cutouts. Google searches for female figures with diamond cutouts pulled up some dresses with such cutouts:


(#2) Nicholas black diamond cut out gown

and some Wonder Woman images:


(#3) Wonder Woman cartoon, with abdominal cutout

but nothing like the figure in #1.

On the chance that the figure was actually a public artwork or a type of bench or chair with the female figure on it, I tried several more searches, but was led instead to some really interesting public/street art and ultimately to the Museum Kampa in Prague in my last post, where I found some unexpected penguins (but no women with diamond-shaped cutouts).

So I throw myself on my readership of this blog (and Facebook and Google+). Anyone recognize the figure?

News for penguins, penises, and Totoro

December 31, 2017

… on New Year’s Penultimateve (term from Stephanie Shih), yesterday: 2 penguin bulletins, 3 penis items (including two seasonal gay porn ads viewable in full on AZBlogX), and Totoro Linzer cookies for the holidays.

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George Booth at 90: elephants and holidays

December 29, 2017

The 1/1/18 New Yorker cover, by George Booth:

(#1)

To come: about this cover; Booth covers for the holidays; the metaphorical idiom elephant in the room and its exploitation by artists and cartoonists.

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News for penises: artwatch

December 29, 2017

Penises are a not uncommon feature of artworks — especially folk art and (of course) male art, but also “fine” art; especially as a natural concomitant of nudity, but sometimes as the focus of the artwork; and especially in works meant for private viewing, but also in public art. Occasionally, it all comes together, in pieces of public art that are about penises: giant phallic sculptures, wall paintings and the like. Phallic sculptures appear occasionally in this blog (or AZBlogX, if I’m not sure that the Fine Art Exemption applies to the case in hand), and there’s been at least one wall painting: an enormous depiction of a pendulous penis, in Brussels, in my 9/23/16 posting “News for penises and their simulacra”. And now this erect phallus, on Broome Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan:

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Bromance for Biffs

December 28, 2017

The background, in two previous postings: about the tv show Teen Wolf, two of its central characters (Stiles and Derek, who start out antagonistic towards one another but become friends), the actors who play these characters (Dylan O’Brien and Tyler Hoechlin (pronounced like Hecklin), respectively), Stiles and Derek in Sterek slash fiction and art (where they are lovers / boyfriends), and the real-life (intense but non-sexual) bromance between O’Brien and Hoechlin as Biffs (bffs < best friends forever).


(#1) O’Brien and Hoechlin in a physical Biff moment

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Expletive syntax: I will marry the crap out of you, Sean Spencer

December 27, 2017

The quote is from the American tv show Psych — illustrating a construction I’ve (recently) called Vexoo (V Expletive out-of Object), an emphatic alternative to V + Object. So, in the title quote above,

V: marry + Ex: the crapout of + Object: you

conveying ‘really, really marry you; totally marry you’.

Vexoo is a syntactic construction, an assemblage of formal elements, with restrictions on what lexical items can occur in specific slots (Ex in Vexoo is the + {crap, shit, hell, heck, fuck, piss, snot, stuffing, tar, daylights,…}), with an associated semantics (crudely expressed in the gloss for the example above), and with associations to particular sociocultural, stylistic, and discourse contexts.

English expletives occur in many very specific idioms (a fuck-up, raise hell, shitgibbon, etc.), but they’re also central elements in a number of syntactic constructions. Coming up below: a brief inventory of some of these constructions.

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Operator symbols

December 27, 2017

From Kim Darnell on Facebook:

Surely I am not the first comic geek to study linear algebra who looked at the symbol for direct sums [see here] and thought, “That’s just the symbol for the X-Men rotated 45 degrees.”

This, of course, makes me wonder what superpowers the mutant known as Direct Sum would have.

There are, in fact, Unicode symbols for “circled plus” (used for the Direct Sum operator) and also “circled times” (though I’m not clear on what operator the latter is used for):

⊕ ⊗ vs. + ×

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Morning tetrameter naming

December 27, 2017

The morning began with:

Xenophon Bellerophon

Two Ancient Greek names — the philosopher, historian, and soldier Xenophon and the mythical hero Bellerophon — together making a line of trochaic tetrameter (when the secondary accents on phon are treated as accented in the poetic line).

As a linguist, I had hoped that the phon in these names would be the Greek ‘sound’ stem, so that Xenophon would be equivalent to an English noun xenophone, referring either to someone who speaks a foreign language (parallel to Anglophone and  Francophone) or to a non-native sound, from a foreign language (like the voiceless velar fricative [x] in relatively German-faithful pronunciations of the noun Bach in English).

But apparently not (though the etymologies of the names seem to be uncertain). My hopes are dashed.

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to pizza-make

December 26, 2017

Another chapter in the story of synthetic compounds and 2pbfVs, most recently treated (at some length) in my 12/23 posting “they kitchen-kissed again”. The new datum came to me from Mike Pope, who found it in a piece on the Ozy site, “The World’s Most Beloved Food is Under Serious Threat” by Silvia Marchetti on 9/28/16, where I’ve boldfaced the 2pbfV to pizza-make (in its PRS form):


Gamal, an Egyptian pizza chef in the Rome neighborhood of Ostia (link)

When you stop by for a quick lunch at a pizzeria in Rome, you expect to see Roman or Neapolitan chefs in front of brick ovens throwing pizzas in the air to give them that roundish shape. Today, though, the pizza makers you encounter are more likely to be Egyptian, Pakistani and Indian, who pizza-make with sublime artistry. In fact, according to Confcommercio, Italy’s food retail association, 2 out of 5 pizza makers in Italy are Egyptian or Moroccan.

But there are still aren’t enough hands to make dough into discs: The country that invented the world’s most heavenly flatbread, says Confcommercio, needs 6,000 pizza chefs.

Why pizza-make, and not make pizza? Both are possible; the second is stylistically unremarkable, while the first is notable; the first is a word (albeit a compound), while the second is a syntactic phrase; and they are truth-functionally equivalent, but the first implicates something beyond the semantic content that they share — that the making of pizza is framed as a distinctive, unitary activity, involving the pizza-maker directly and essentially. Anybody can make pizza, but it takes someone special  — an expert, a craftsman, a professional, someone like Chef Gamal — to pizza-make. (more…)