Archive for the ‘Categorization and Labeling’ Category

Alphabet soup

September 1, 2016

Yesterday’s Bizarro:

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

Here on AZBlog, we’re on the case, in the 1/23/11 posting “The alphabet soup of sexuality and gender” and the 2/11/11 posting “SemFest 12!” (a paper with the title: “Categories and Labels: LGBPPTQQQEIOAAAF2/SGL …”).


Alarming annals of cinematic lexicography

August 4, 2016

Lexicographers’ eyes are rolling at the prospect of a movie about the Oxford English Dictionary with Mel Gibson in the role of the dictionary’s editor and Sean Penn as an early contributor to the project. The story from Rolling Stone yesterday, “Mel Gibson, Sean Penn Slated to Star in ‘The Professor and the Madman’: Oxford English Dictionary creation story heads to the big screen”:

Mel Gibson and Sean Penn may act together for the first time in a forthcoming adaptation of The Professor and the Madman, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The book, written by Simon Winchester, tells the origin story of the Oxford English Dictionary. Gibson is a longtime fan of Winchester’s tale: he acquired the rights to the bestseller in 1998, the same year it was first published in the U.K.

Gibson is slated to portray Professor James Murray, who oversaw the creation of the O.E.D. starting in 1857. The Hollywood Reporter suggests that Penn is “in negotiations” to appear opposite Gibson in the role of Dr. W. C. Minor, an important early contributor to the dictionary. Minor has a colorful backstory: a former surgeon in the U.S. army, he was locked up in an insane asylum during the period when he furnished Murray with more than 10,000 dictionary entries.

The screenplay for The Professor and the Madman was written by Farhad Safinia, who will also direct the film. Safinia has worked with Gibson before: the two co-wrote Apocalypto, which hit screens in 2006.


Cute pornstars

July 23, 2016

(A number of gay pornstars, but no man-man sex and just a bit about male bodies, so somewhat racy but probably not a danger for kids or the sexually modest.)

I start with a gay pornstar whose performances I enjoy, for several reason: Tommy Defendi shown here in a porn publicity shot (back on 7/23/11, he was featured in flagrante in an AZBlogX posting):


Here I’m primarily focused on faces and evaluative judgments of them. Defendi’s face is certainly attractive; he’s a good-looking man, but the question is: in what category of masculine attractiveness? And what label to apply to it? — at the high-masculine end, ruggedly handsome or just rugged; or handsome; or beautiful; or cute; or at the low-masculine end, boyishly cute or just boyish. I’d label him cute, along with some other pornstars, some male models, and a fair number of mainstream actors (all men whose livelihood depends of their faces and their bodies, among other things).

To come: very brief notes on Defendi. Comments on categories and labels in the domain of male attractiveness. Further examples of cute gay pornstars, of a variety of types. And a note on cute male actors outside of porn, notably Matt Damon.



July 22, 2016

Today’s Bizarro, on categories in the domain of sexuality and gender:


(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

Some brief introductory words on homosexual, gay, and queer. Then on LGBTQ. And on to a recent NYT Magazine article on queer. Which leads, remarkably, to the Penrose triangle (of interest to scholars of both perception and art).


On the digital media front

July 11, 2016

Report from the home front on digital media: CDs and DVDs. I fervently hope that I have now unearthed all of the discs. The CDs have mostly all gone away (but see below), but not until I copied them onto iTunes. (As a result, just in the category iTunes labels Classical Music, I have 14,376 tracks, or 43.4 days’ worth. I have gone back to playing these files during the night, instead of getting classical music from WQXR-FM in NYC.)

For the DVDs, I have given away two big boxes of them (judging them to be things I’m unlikely to want to watch again) and might get rid of some more, but for the moment what I’ve done (with Kim Darnell’s help) is to sort the bulk of them (gay porn discs are still to come) into categories that I can use to find them — a complex exercise in categorization and labeling that definitely stretches the mind.


The avocado slicer

June 18, 2016

In today’s postimgs on the bon appétit magazine’s website, “Why the Last Thing You’ll Ever Need Is an Avocado Slicer” (a 6/16/16 piece by Alex Beggs). An illustration:

We are now in the the large KITCHEN-DEVICE category, the conceptual domain of implements, devices, tools, appliances, utensils, instruments, apparatuses, contraptions, and gadgets for use in the kitchen.


Girl Genius

June 11, 2016

… a comic book, webcomic, and book series centered on the character Agatha Heterodyne:


You should really look at the text

June 10, 2016

… or maybe you think that any publicity is good publicity — if you are the author of this e-mail that came to me yesterday:

Dear Arnold Zwicky, We would humbly request that you consider adding [site X] as a dating site link on your page [1/20/12, “Christians”]:

We are the largest free Christian dating site in the world and have been around since 2007. We are currently working hard on our memberships and have marketed the latest versions of our Google Play Android app and iOS app to the Christian community. Thank you for your consideration. God Bless, David



From late winter

June 1, 2016

Back in late January, I posted about a visit to the Gamble Garden in Palo Alto for a breakfast outdoors, among early spring flowers and

some winter-blooming ornamentals that I haven’t yet posted about: red hot poker [which brings us to a plant family not previously posted about here: Xanthorrhoeaceae, #57 on this blog], strawflowers, and Euryops virgineus (honey daisy) in particular [also Asphodelus, asphodels]. I’ll get to them in a later posting, a posting in which I’ll also get to [two] plants from the Gamble’s Australian desert garden, plants that are probably blooming here now because they’re still on a Southern Hemisphere internal clock [Chameleucium uncinatum and Boronia crenulata].

Not in bloom, but very noticeable, was an agave [much like Agave americana, with its great big, spiky, fleshy leaves]

That day was just after my man Jacques’s birthday (his 74th). Today is just before Jacques’s 2003 death day (on Sunday), so there’s a certain symmetry to these two plant postings.


Three natives

May 24, 2016

A brief visit to the Gamble Garden in Palo Alto on Monday (brief in part because my joints weren’t up to much walking), with Juan Gomez. Some things we could admire from afar, as lush spreads of gorgeous blooms, including annual sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus), in an extraordinary range of colors, trained on wooden teepees. We tarried mostly in the California native plant section, which had lots of wonderful things, three of which I’ll report on here: two species in genera I’ve reported on, and one brand-new genus (in a recently created plant family).