Monday, May 24, 2010

Chuck's Birthday, etc...

I missed Chuck's birthday.  Yikes!

Here's some stuff I did with a photo of tree bark.

The Final Days..

...before Commencement are here!  Outside sweating seniors, reunionists, and tourists navigate a yard full of folding chairs.

Inside JB attempts to fix a faulty floppy (yes, we still have data on floppies).

Things don't go very well........

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Flowers of Evil

These are Chuck and Jerry's poppies with some Photoshop adjustments.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Is It Summer Yet?

Baby robins have been sighted, and it is my belief that this nest outside the Harvard Neighbors door was their hatching-place.  The first time I noticed it, there was a bird tail sticking out from it.

The Loeb House garden continues to breed enormous blooms, probably the result of genetic engineering.

These girls were wearing bunny ears.  Why?

This tree near Loeb House has great bark.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Real Thing

First, I have added a few new old sci-fi magazine covers to a Picasa album.  You may want to check it out.

 Second, you may have noticed my new profile picture with my new glasses.  I also got magnetic clip-on sunglasses in amber with little purple crystals on the magnets.  That's not clear in the accompanying shot,  But you can always look at a similar pair here.

Third, as an extra, added, free, bonus gift (at no extra charge) I got this lens cloth in a case that doubles as a certificate of authenticity. What a comfort to know that I can silence any  doubters that come my way!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Why Doesn't "Shampoo" Mean Imitation Excrement?

  And I've also been curious about the trend in using nouns as verbs:  people and corporations are busy parenting, partnering, journaling, mentoring, tasking, and friending.  However, a check of the Oxford English Dictionary Online (no link because you have to subscribe) revealed that these uses had antique appeal.  Check out ye olde quotations.
PARENT as a verb goes way back.  Note the 67-year gap in usage after 1908.
1663 G. MACKENZIE Religio Stoici (new ed.) 22 Churlishness and close-handedness parented by avarice.
1884 W. F. CRAFTS Sabbath for Man (1894) 192 Even a republican government is compelled to parent such of its people as are not capable of self-government. 1908 J. FLYNT My Life 307 It was a silly and unpatriotic thought, no doubt, and it was probably parented by a variety of factors. 1975 Listener 13 Mar. 340/3 Over 75 couples..have already been approved as adoptive or foster-parents... Many..are most suitable candidates to parent the child in question. 1994 Daily Tel. 16 Feb. 10/2, I watched my parents parent the country much the same way they parented my family.

a1616 SHAKESPEARE Cymbeline (1623) I. vi. 122 A Lady, So faire, be partner'd With Tomboyes.
1819 Blackwood's Edinb. Mag. 5 592 A respectable accompaniment of lads and ‘lasses free’; with whom it is time to partner ourselves on the green. 1898 Times 10 June 11/4 Harry Vardon, who was partnered with Bob Simpson. 1909 Westm. Gaz. 8 Feb. 12/4 Supposing a plus 3 man is partnered with a steady player whose handicap is 8, the two as a foursome side would be handicapped at 5. 1970 J. EARL Tuners & Amplifiers i. 14 Most amplifiers can be partnered with a tuner of matching style and size. 2000 Petcare Jan.-Feb. 3/3 Finally the dog is partnered with a disabled person during a two-week intensive residential course.

 1. trans. To record in a journal.
1803 J. KENNY Society 107 Oft o'er the journal'd tale she cast her eye. 1892 Idler May 461 His journaled impressions of America.

MENTOR as a verb is younger than the others.  It's an American invention.
   trans. To act as a mentor to (a person, team, etc.); to advise or train (someone, esp. a younger and less experienced colleague). Also intr. and in extended use.
1918 Indianapolis (Indiana) Star 24 Mar. (Sport section) 1/6 Cleo O'Donnell, whose headline job is coaching the footballers, is mentoring the baseball squad at this time. 1948 Mexico (Missouri) Evening Ledger 6 Oct. 7/3 LaBrucherie mentored for 16 seasons at Los Angeles high school. 1976 Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 103 184 Dr. Gould has..mentored several graduate students. 1981 N.Y. Times 16 Aug. VIII. 8/6 The true progress will come when we reach the stage of mentoring the brokers of the next century, androgynously. 1990 E. KRAFT Reservations Recommended vi. 209 He's proud of having had the idea that led to inventing it and proud of having..‘mentored’ the gadget through its development. 1996 Big Issue 15 July 26/2 Levi's head of human resources is mentoring our director of personnel and training.

1530 PALSGR. 753/1, I taske, I put or sette one to his taske what laboure he shall do or what he shall paye, je tauxe.
1588 SHAKES. L.L.L. II. i. 20 But now to taske the tasker. 1667 WOODHEAD St. Teresa II. xi. 93 Let her task, and employ them in..Exercises. 1784 COWPER Task II. 23 Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;..Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat With stripes. 1828 Life Planter Jamaica 154 The negroes complained more of the [fact] of being tasked, than..of the additional labour.

 3. To act as a friend to, befriend (a person, cause, etc.); to assist, help. arch. or poet.
1562 J. HEYWOOD Prov. & Epigr. (1867) 89 Freende they any, That flatter many? 1581 SAVILE Tacitus' Hist. IV. xxxix. (1591) 198 Kings which frended the cause. 1600 HOLLAND Livy XXXI. xi. 779 They had undertaken the warre upon king Philip, because he had friended and aided [auxiliis juvisset] the Carthaginians. a1618 SYLVESTER Maiden's Blush 967 Shee all the gods requires To friend her love, and further her desires. 1676 W. ROW Contn. Blair's Autobiog. xii. (1848) 434 Reports came that the King would friend Lauderdale. 1855 SINGLETON Virgil I. 27 Do thou but at his birth the boy..O chaste Lucina, friend.

Why noun when you can verb?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

How Will We Hide From ET?

I recently watched Dangerous Crossing, a noir shipboard mystery which included Michael Rennie.  It was an excellent little mystery  wrapped in studio fog.  I then remembered that Rennie played the noble alien Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still.  He was one of the helpful aliens.  But now Stephen Hawking says we should avoid alien contact.  (Presumabley he's a fan of The Invaders or Robot Monster.)

OK, we could stop SETI, but what else are we supposed to do? Should we turn out all the lights at night, so it looks like nobody is at home?  While this would aid our environment, I don't think it would save us from alien invaders.   Presumabley these advanced aliens have super-duper telescopes or robot scouts who search out good planets for them to conquer.  If we are lucky, Jupiter and Saturn will hide us or at least divert attention by their bigness.  If we are not lucky, then we will probably have to just surrender.

Where can this lead but to a new government agency devoted to anti-alien affairs:  the Homeplanet dept. for Interplanetary DEfence (HIDE).  They will spend jillions of dollars developing a whole-Earth cloaking device.  

 Klaatu and his Earthling helper

I'm hoping Hawking's comments will revive the long-defunct Extraterrestrial Anti-Defamation Organization (ETADO).  I used to enjoy their website.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Flowers on Steroids?

Look at the huge flowers in front of Loeb House.

This flower is as big as a baby's head.

A bee doing its job.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Dance Around the Maypole

These Victorian little girls celebrate May Day .