October 9th, 2008

krazy koati

Weave me tomorrow out of today

In the newspaper was a short item about a man arrested after he went to a high school cafeteria, stripped naked, and started ranging incoherently. I had to quip, ``Well, certainly I've had dreams like that,'' and wondered if the guy was perhaps having trouble with the algebra test too. Sadly, the person I made this quip to pointed out that the person was 23 years old (I suggested he was having a lot of trouble with algebra) and did not appear to have any connection with the high school. It's so disheartening to have a decent quip like that fall on ears that don't want any sort of joke on them.

While on the highway I noticed the car in front of me was operated by someone with a strong preference in the forthcoming presidential election, as indicated by the lawn-style campaign sign filling up half the rear window. I suppose I understand the desire to not put bumper stickers on cars, since they don't seem to quite have bumpers anymore and they make such a permanent commitment that becomes sad if your guy loses or embarrassing if he goes all George W Bush on the country. Overall, I was left with the impression that this candidate has at least some supporters who'd rather not be able to see who's approaching them from the right lane than let their preferences be confined to a bumper sticker. (It was an out-of-state license plate, so I suppose it's a good thing this person was driving on a limited-access highway, as I imagine the driver who'd choose to block half the rear window would produce a comic scene trying to navigate a jughandle left.)

Trivia: William Herschel discovered 227 of the 848 double stars he catalogued for the Royal Society. Source: The Age Of Voltaire, Will and Ariel Durant.

Currently Reading: Semantic Antics: How And Why Words Change Meaning, Sol Steinmetz. It's a cute little book with stories about the evolving of various specific words. It's probably better read as something to fill a few moments of time rather than in a block, though: each of the entries is quite short. Some of them are surprising, such as the past work of `girl'; others I had picked up from past experience with this sort of book, such as how `deer' evolved. Others fall in the middle and I've now got an understanding of `meat' as applied to some things that have no obvious meat connection. (It has an Amazon.com review which slams it for just containing these little essays, though, since after all that little old Oxford English Dictionary tells you where words come from and how their meanings change.)