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I [p]owned it. [Apr. 22., 2014|06:24 pm]

mikiedoggie
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |Mordor]
[Aktuelle Stimmung |taking initiative]
[Aktuelle Musik |hum of the fan]


I took off the last two exclamation points.
(Original title: Own It! Taking Initiative!!)


So one of the things I'm still getting used to at the larger firm is all the non-billable work that is part of my ongoing 'professional development.' One thing that has come up a few times since I've been here - presentations.  Last fall I gave a presentation on the state of bad faith law in Illinois to a large group of clients.  A short while ago, for purposes of internal training (lawyers have to attend so many hours of continuing learning education a year), my firm asked me to co-present an hour long presentation called "Own It! Taking Initiative!!"

I didn't want to do it. How do you talk about "ownership" for an entire hour in the context of a legal career? Without sounding like you are padding the entire hour.  It took a bit of research.

Since I was co-presenting with a partner, I took the standard approach - I prepared the whole outline and presentation and sent it to him for comments a full week before we presented.

I got no comments (he was really busy, actually) and we presented earlier today via video telecast to all 16 offices.  We never did a run through. I was in Chicago and the partner was in San Francisco. We went back and forth on some topics, which was a bit tricky with the slight (but annoying enough) time delay.  From my understanding, everyone thought the two of us integrated the discussion really well without any idea that it was our first run through.

After it was over, I got some nice comments: good content; I'm clearly very comfortable speaking; it was a very well done hour of discussion topics; I'm energetic and engaged.

Even better, one of the partners that attended in our Chicago office spent 30 minutes talking to me and giving me some good constructive criticism on areas that I could work on for my next presentation. I'm a comfortable speaker, but not always a polished one. It was a very insightful talk, because I certainly can look for ways to improve.  I've got another seminar in front of a bunch of clients coming up in about six weeks.
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My beautifully incongruous house pet [Apr. 23., 2014|12:10 am]

alcippe
A photographer is coming to my studio this weekend to take pictures of me and Rasputin. She's doing a series based on people and their pets and when she heard about me and my 'special pet' she knew she needed to get in touch. Should be interesting.
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Obsequiously Lamenting [Apr. 22., 2014|05:42 pm]

mallorys_camera
[Tags|, , , ]



Fab time with BB cruising the Bed-Stuy last night. Those tacky storefronts on Bedford Ave, retrofitted over the façades of what once were residence hotels and social clubs 150 or so years ago, reminded me somehow of that Siracusa basilica that incorporates plinths and columns from an ancient temple to a Greek god (now nameless) into its walls. Syncretism! That’s the ticket. It was a fucking trip and a half.

We ended up literally five blocks from the House of Usher, and of course I was half tempted to go visit except that I’d dragooned Max and Liza there not ten months ago, so instead BB and I wandered through Prospect Park where I looked for Dinah and Stella (didn’t see ‘em) and fell in love with the way the lengthening rays of the sun seemed to illuminate the Long Meadow in a kind of Palladian glow.

It was the last day of Passover and the Hassidim were out frolicking. I mean that quite literally: We watched them do a bizarre Maypole dance in Grand Army Plaza. The streets of Williamsburg and Crown Heights were teeming with them. Who knew that there was such diversity in the Hassid mix, that the Williamsburg Hassid wear white tights with their frock coats and those strange circular hats that look like beaver fur cheese wheels turned on their sides, while the Crown Height Hassid make do with modified Homburgs and suits that were the height of designer fashion back in the Great Depression?

“They’re different sects,” BB told me.

“And yet they worship the same Yahweh,” I said.

“Try telling that to the Big Reb,” BB said. “You’re almost as much fun to do road trips with as Claudia. The sex is better with Claudia though.”

BB and I don’t do sex. We’re strictly in the sibling zone.

He’d overscheduled himself, which is something that people with reserves of vitality and sensual appreciation as enormous as BB’s tend to do. He starts most mornings with four miles on his treadmill. Then he spends the day fielding phone calls, closing deals, and running around to meetings, while at night his social calendar overfloweth. If he leaves one thing untasted, he’s afraid he’s gonna miss out on some sine qua non that only in the afterworld will he realize was life’s sole indispensable state condition. So he leaves nothing untasted.

Me, I’m just the opposite. Give me the smallest crumb of a good time, and I’ll dine out on it for days. And sleeping is my favorite hobby.

BB had only gotten four hours of sleep the night before so by the time we got around to dinner, he was practically under the table. So I caught the 9:04 pm Metro North back to Poke town, read Brideshead Revisited for an hour and a half on the train, and spied surreptitiously on the businessman across the aisle who was looking at porn on his iPad. The businessman liked Asian girls with big fake tits. Not my type at all.

###


Everything’s happening.

Nothing’s happening.

Spring in the Hudson Valley is beautiful even in a shithole like Poughkeepsie. Daffodils sprout up in front of crackhouses. Forsythia set the vacant lots afire.

I got the application for the DC job in. We’ll see what happens from here. Diminished expectations are the secret to all happiness.

I’ve been watching a miniseries called The White Queen, based on a series of somewhat vapid historical novels by Philippa Gregory, which of course, I’ve read because hey! The War of the Roses, you know. Plus John of Gaunt! Was he a stud muffin or what?

Anyway, Anne Neville, the Earl of Warwick’s daughter, is a character in The White Queen, and watching one of her scenes, all of a sudden, completely unbidden, Anne Neville’s speech from Shakespeare’s Richard III came into my mind:

Set down, set down your honorable load
If honor may be shrouded in a hearse
Whilst I awhile
something-or-other lament
The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster


And then I remembered: Ages ago, I’d memorized this soliloquy for some play I was auditioning for. It had sat there taking up space in my brain, a neuronal squatter for – what? 35 years? It bugged the shit out of me that I couldn’t remember the adverb that went with “lament” – I’d had a hard time memorizing it even back then, I seemed to recall. Finally I had to look it up: Obsequiously. Right. Right. A word whose definition has utterly changed since Shakespeare’s times so that today it carries connotations of hypocrisy and facetiousness, whereas back then it was a word for respect, which you apparently used with a straight face.

Language is such a Petri dish.
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Idea [Apr. 22., 2014|04:03 pm]

fengi
I think an event or group or place called The Madam Defarge Knitting Club would be a great thing. I do not know if I have the wherewithal to organize such a thing, but I may commission the logo and dream.
"It does not take a long time," said madame, "for an earthquake to swallow a town. Eh well! Tell me how long it takes to prepare the earthquake?"
"A long time, I suppose," said Defarge.
"But when it is ready, it takes place, and grinds to pieces everything before it. In the meantime, it is always preparing, though it is not seen or heard. That is your consolation. Keep it."
Years ago some friends and I considered forming an art group called "The Sisyphians" (sic intentional) but we could never get past the start.

I've been fascinated with movements and manifestos since I read about DaDa and the Surrealists in High School. I even attempted to start my own club called Grt Nitz which was about nothing. The word "Fengi" comes from that time. When it comes to manifesto types, my sympathies lie more with the Dziga Vertovs than the Sergei Eisensteins. I'll explain that contrast sometime, suffice it to say, Chicago overall is the Vertov of urban culture (along with most of the rest of the nation.

Anyway, over the years numerous group names have burbled through my mind, enough to fill an imaginary textbook on cultural movements. I don't think I'm alone in this, the impulse to invent a tribal name with mythic meaning beyond those life imposes upon us rest in many people, I think, and is expressed in many ways. Be it philosophers, activists, gangs, artists or whatever, we all have epic titles for the revolutions stirring in our souls.
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Eastertide [Apr. 22., 2014|03:08 pm]

lil_m_moses
[Tags|]

4 Easter pics start on Flickr here. Jo got some more, plus a couple nice ones of me and the little one together, but hasn't yet downloaded them. We neglected to get any of all three of us.

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Another Amusingly Awesome Pair of Horoscopes [Apr. 22., 2014|02:42 pm]

lil_m_moses
[Tags|, ]
[Aktuelle Stimmung |synergistic]

Libra Horoscope for week of April 24, 2014
"The supreme pleasure we can know, Freud said, and the model for all pleasure, orgasmic pleasure, comes when an excess tension built up, confined, compacted, is abruptly released." That's an observation by philosopher Alphonso Lingis. I bring it to your attention, Libra, because I expect that you will soon be able to harvest a psychospiritual version of that supreme pleasure. You have been gathering and storing up raw materials for soul-making, and now the time has come to express them with a creative splash. Are you ready to purge your emotional backlog? Are you brave enough to go in search of cathartic epiphanies? What has been dark will yield light.
Aquarius Horoscope for week of April 24, 2014
You need to take some time out to explore the deeper mysteries of snuggling, cuddling, and nuzzling. In my opinion, that is your sacred duty. It's your raison d'etre, your ne plus ultra, your sine qua non. You've got to nurture your somatic wisdom with what we in the consciousness industry refer to as yummy warm fuzzy wonder love. At the very least, you should engage in some prolonged hugging with a creature you feel close to. Tender physical touch isn't just a luxury; it's a necessity.


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Thinking about the history of impertinent intrusive investigation... [Apr. 22., 2014|08:24 pm]

oursin
[Tags|, , , , , ]

... into matters that are surely people's own business.

I was quite surprised, looking it up, to see that the Queen's (formerly King's) Proctor is still A Thing, legally.

I found this wonderful article by ESP Haynes*, a character who constantly crops up in my research, apropos of matrimonial law, censorship, etc, condemning the evils of the situation respecting in early C20th Britain from a lawyer's viewpoint (I've always assumed, on rather slight evidence, that he was probably go-to guy for the left-liberal intelligentsia for their own divorces, prosecutions for obscenity, etc).

My dr rdrz know that I am not exactly a cheerleader for the medical profession, but in the 1930s, due to anxieties around depopulation and maternal mortality/morbidity and abortion, it was being suggested that miscarriages should be made notifiable. NO WAI said bodies such as the BMA, this will only deter patients who need our help from seeking it.

*Though the OCRing of the scan of the original text has clearly not been subjected to proof-reading.

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It begs the way we see the world [Apr. 22., 2014|07:08 pm]
languagelog

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=11945

Brad Plumer, "Two Degrees: How the World Failed on Climate Change", Vox 4/22/2014:

"If you’re serious about 2°C, the rates of change are so significant that it begs the way we see the world. That’s what people aren’t prepared to embrace," says Kevin Anderson, a climate scientist at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research. "Essentially you’d have to start asking questions about our current society and how we develop and grow."

A few years ago, we looked into the whole "begs the question" question: "Begging the Question: We Have Answers", 4/29/2010; "Begging the Question: We Have Examples", 5/1/2010.

But I missed the interestingly diverse range of ways that beg has been re-lexicalized as a result of people's attempts to make some sense of question begging: it can be taken to mean "(the question) comes up", or "(something) brings up the issue of", or just plain "(someone or something) asks". Some internet examples:

The question therefore begs the way to combat obesity or maybe the slightest excess weight as well as answer is based on healthy eating.

And during all this, you'll get sexual theory that underlies the actions, which begs the way into the next level of the book…

It begs the way I feel about my wife and the music just makes me want to cry….for joy.

The question begs — what is the role of P-glycoprotein in normal physiology?

Verdict begs: What happened to civility?

Forty Years After Martin Luther King's Assassination, the Question Begs: What if He Had Lived?

Admirable – but the question begs what, if any role DISPERSANTS play in this training?

I love the question Facebook begs: what have you been up to?

Curiosity begs… What is your opinion on Unitarian Universalists?

The question begs. What language are you translating?

 So the question begs, what is this going to cost US?

The question of the ontology behind it is intriguing because it really begs whether this is a legitimate question to ask or whether we're just able to ask this question since we did come into existence.

A thought-provoking piece that begs whether we should rethink medical privacy to accelerate advancement.

This begs whether the United States should have invaded Afghanistan in the first place.

This definition begs whether every expression can be put into standard form; the answer is positive and provided by this lemma.

 

 

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My tweets [Apr. 22., 2014|12:01 pm]

e_ticket
[Tags|]

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happy Earth day! [Apr. 22., 2014|11:30 am]

bitterlawngnome


Camassia leichtlinii, native to the central West Coast of North America; 9142
© Bill Pusztai 2014

Right click the image for a larger version.

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News from AFER...... [Apr. 22., 2014|10:19 am]

osodecanela
[Tags|]
[Aktuelle Stimmung |quixoticquixotic]

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Some junk [Apr. 22., 2014|08:32 am]

nihilistic_kid
Thanks for all the condolences. I won't be going down for the funeral, which has to happen right away for both logistical and liturgical reasons, but will be attending the mnemósynon in about forty days.

I've been enjoying the new LJs I'm reading now. Ever since I started my day job, nearly six years ago now, I've had little time/ability to write about daily life. My friend Caren used to blog, years ago, "Put on clothes, went to work" every week day, and now I see why. I suppose I could write about Oliver's green poop! It's green!

nick_kaufmann is trying to get people to visit his website by launching a guest-blog thing called "The Scariest Part." Today I write about the scariest part of my UK-hardcover-only title The Last Weekend. Check it out. (People who want the book, but who don't want to pay for transatlantic mail, should probably order from Borderlands Books, which has copies in stock.)

I liked this interview with Cheryl Strayed over at Scratch Magazine. It's about money, which is everyone's favorite subject:

I needed it to pay my rent. I had accrued $50,000 in credit card debt to write that book. The same thing happened later with Wild, only I was in deeper debt. So I got that check for Torch, and it was gone the next day. I actually paid my credit card bill. Poof!

Then I did revisions, and I had a baby, and the next check didn’t come until 2005. I got my third check in February 2006, when it was published, and my final check when the paperback came out in 2007.

So I sold my book for $100,000, and what I received was a check for about $21,000 a year over the course of four years, and I paid a third of that to the IRS. Don't get me wrong, the book deal helped a lot—it was like getting a grant every year for four years. But it wasn't enough to live off. So, I guess it was a humbling lesson!



Finally, re: the Hugo Awards, I presume my comments from before the ballot came out make more sense now, right?
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(kein Betreff) [Apr. 22., 2014|09:53 am]

mlr
my amz wish list.

do you have one?
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Three Partitions [Apr. 22., 2014|09:34 am]

ann_leckie

I wanted to post these links earlier, but I didn’t want them to get lost in the week’s excitement.

This month’s fiction at GigaNotoSaurus, as I’ve mentioned previously, is “Three Partitions” by Bogi Takács. I’m particularly pleased to have this story close out my editorship.

I could spend some time explaining why that is, but as it happens, Bogi eirself has written some notes on eir blog about the story, which I commend to your attention: “Story Notes: Three Partitions” and “More on Three Partitions”

That second link is responding to/expanding on a very interesting and insightful post by Rose Lemberg, “Bogi Takács’s “Three Partitions,” and the rabbinical approaches to nonbinary gender”

All very interesting and worth reading. Do check them out.

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

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The birds and the bees are out in force [Apr. 22., 2014|03:28 pm]

alcippe
There must be something in the air and/or water that is making men act really odd. Yesterday I went to an 'Easter Eggstravaganza' party and I swear the single men were like a swarm. One stood out from the rest as a possible candidate for getting to know better, but then he started doing that 'casual back rub' thing and getting really touchy feel-y, which I found super intrusive. He started to exuded a thorough confidence that he was going to get laid, which made me thoroughly confident that I wanted nothing to do with him.

Then there was the extremely talkative, nice-in-a-grandmotherly-sort-of-way Irish writer guy who actually seemed like he might be good friend material but Christ, nothing more than that. He got extra points for knowing what orgonite was, though.

The highlight of the day was being tapped on the shoulder by a cute guy on the U-Bahn and being slipped a note with his phone number and a little drawing of a cup of coffee and a smiley face. I might actually follow up on that one.
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The city of Mr. Andreessen, South Korea [Apr. 22., 2014|11:48 am]
languagelog

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=11927

By now, the sinking of the South Korean MV Sewol on April 16, 2014, with 476 persons on board, is known to the whole world.  Especially tragic is the fact that most of the passengers were high school students on an outing and that the ship's captain had behaved in an extremely irresponsible manner, resulting in the deaths of many individuals who might otherwise have been saved:

"South Korean President: Actions of sunken ferry captain 'akin to murder'".

Checking background information for the students, Rachel Kronick was looking at the Baidu page for Ansan si 안산 시 (Ansan City; Chinese 安山市), where most of them were from.  Surprisingly, she found that the name of the city in roman letters is currently listed as "Mr Andreessen".  As Rachel says, "A very interesting choice of transl(iter)ation!  And I thought it might make good blog fodder for you."

So how did the city get this weird name in English (according to Baidu)?

"Mr. Andreessen" is Marc Andreessen, a noted software engineer with a distinctive surname. He is best known as co-author of Mosaic, the first widely used Web browser.

Marc Andreessen's full name in Chinese is usually given as Mǎkè Andélǐsēn 马克·安德里森.  Occasionally, however, he is referred to by the much shorter, Chinese sounding name Ān Shān 安山.  It seems that Baidu got its wires crossed and rendered Ansan si 안산 시 (Ansan City; Chinese 安山市) as "Mr. Andreessen" (Ān Shān xiānshēng 安山先生).

When I first started to investigate how this switch occurred, I was confused by the fact that there seemed to be two 安山 ("Tranquil Mountain"), one in South Korea and one in China.  It turns out, however, that, though the names sound identical in Mandarin and in Korean, the city in China is actually called 鞍山 ("Saddle Mountain").  It also happens to have a small percentage of Koreans, around 10,000 out of a total population of 3,584,000.  Not only that, 安山 (Gyeonggi Province, South Korea) and 鞍山 (Liaoning Province, China) are sister cities.

I'm sure that there's a tremendous amount of sadness in both cities after the horrifying capsizing of MV Sewol last week.

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Food Log [Apr. 22., 2014|07:25 am]

lil_m_moses
[Tags|]

Food LogCollapse )

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Testing Wrap-Up Monday CrossFit [Apr. 22., 2014|07:16 am]

lil_m_moses
[Tags|, ]

We're getting the dregs of the level 1 testing done this week, along with more usual WOD action.

1. Snatch Balance, 3 sets of 5 EOMOM: 15 kg warmup and first set, 20 kg second and third sets.

2. High Hang Snatch, 3 sets of 5 EOMOM: 15 kg for 2 sets, 20 kg for the third set.

3. Deadlift, find 3-rep max, Level 1 = 125%/150% body weight, last was 95 kg in July: 45, 55, 65, 75, 85 kg, then failed to lift 90 even once. Might have gotten something in between, but was mentally done and class was ready to move on. 85 is still about 130% of my body weight, so that's fine.

4. "Annie": 50-40-30-20-10, with 17 minute cutoff for today:
a) double-unders
b) situps

I finished in 10:41, at Rx, which was middling good for the day. Some finished in as little as 6 minutes and change, some only got partway through.

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The Mail and the 5000 scroungers next? [Apr. 22., 2014|10:08 am]

oursin
[Tags|, , , , , , ]

I daresay the sorry tale of the sleazoid Mail on Sunday reporter who ripped off a food bank and then reported on this as Shock! Horror! charities give food to people who represent themselves as being serious need, even when they are lying scumbags journalists in desperate search of a story has already been drawn to everybody's attention.

A question which I think has not been addressed here is, and precisely what checks are already overstretched Citizens' Advice Bureaux and food bank charities supposed to make when people come along, fill in the requisite forms (no, I have no idea how this parses as 'No questions asked') and appear to be in need of their services.

Me, personally, I would not be happy if donations I had sent to a food bank turned out to have been applied not to buying actual food and possibly to relevant administrative costs, but to the hire of private investigators to make intrusive inquiry into whether the people applying were really in need.

Hello, the 1930s and the Means Test - 'Oh look, you could sell or pawn your meagre family treasures before trying to go on Public Assistance'.

This hits a low in 'investigative' reporting involving massive misrepresentation and wasting the time and resources of charitable organisations previously occupied by the 1974 Babies for Burning case - depressingly the first several pages appear to be either copies of this noxious work for sale or uncritical or disingenuous citations by pro-lifers - but this from Hansard (scroll down) contains a summation of the case including the lying to a government Select Committee by one of the authors (go, go go, Renee Short!). I wouldn't doubt that there were clinics in the 1970s which were making a nice commercial business as a result of the 1967 Abortion Act, but the authors clearly preferred to go after the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the Brook Clinics, etc, possibly because they did not have to pay for appointments in order to lie about being pregnant in the first place.

What next we ask? I am sure there is some kind of negative spin that could be put on the Good Samaritan, possibly questions about whether the man set upon by thieves had brought that upon himself or was the victim of a falling out among said thieves rather than a deserving victim?

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C2E2, Et Tu! [Apr. 22., 2014|02:29 am]

princeofcairo
[Tags|]

Which is to say, the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo AND YOU!

Hopefully and you, certainly and me. And mforbeck. But not wordwill, as he will be at a swankier, or at least less Spider-Mannish, conference in North Carolina (hard as it may be to believe that such a thing could be) and shan't be on either of these two panels no matter what the lying website tries to tell you with its lies. And its Spiders-Man.

Saturday, April 26

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Crowdsourcing: Kickstarting Your Way to Success

Matt Forbeck, Kenneth Hite

The emergence of Kickstarter and other crowdsourcing services has revolutionized and reinvigorated the marketplace for creator-owned projects. Learn the Dos and Don'ts of a successful project from an all-star panel (Forbeck & Hite) of creators who have successfully funded projects that have far exceeded their goals. (Room S403)

Sunday, April 27

3:45 PM — 4:45 PM: The State of Play in Tabletop Roleplaying Gaming

Matt Forbeck, Kenneth Hite

A panel of professional RPG Designers (Matt Forbeck & Ken Hite) discuss the state of RPG play, design, and the industry, and they look as far into the future as they can. They'll spotlight great games you might have missed and highlight designers to watch. (Room S403)
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(kein Betreff) [Apr. 22., 2014|07:56 am]

oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] mme_hardy!

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Are there any folk familiar with the Wiltshire dialect of English? [Apr. 21., 2014|08:44 pm]

linguaphiles

[varyar]
[Tags|, ]

If so, I'd be supremely in your debt if you could give the following passage a run through with a red pen. A bit of background that may help: this takes place in 1889 in the fictional county of Barsetshire. To simplify things, I've decided to represent the rural dialect of said county with that of 19th century Wiltshire.

As for the four characters, William and Frome are upper middle class men from the city of Barchester who've gone into the country to hunt, John is William's servant and assistant, and Sam is a friend of John's. (Frome brought a man along, too, but he has no lines in this scene.)

The tale of the old AbbeyCollapse )
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Lovecraft Film Festival day 3 [Apr. 21., 2014|05:37 pm]

cassielsander
[Aktuelle Stimmung |impressedimpressed]
[Aktuelle Musik |Episode 100- Noah - Tyler Smith]

And now belatedly to cover the third day of the Lovecraft fest. It was slightly anticlimactic after the great stuff I'd seen on the previous days (and perhaps things I missed: there were at least two original features films, several revival films, and many panels, readings, keynotes, game demos, and more which I could not fit in).

But it was enjoyable nonetheless.

And here is Sunday, in order...Collapse )
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Gaps inside adjunct phrases [Apr. 21., 2014|08:28 pm]
languagelog

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=11924

Linguists have often assumed that the principles of English syntax do not allow a dependency between the head noun and the "gap" in a relative clause to span the boundaries of an adjunct such as a conditional if phrase. They will invent pairs of this sort to illustrate the ungrammatical results:

  1. I'm working with a man that I think you would absolutely hate.
  2. *I'm working with a man that if you saw you would throw up.

In the first, the meaning of the relative clause is "I think you would absolutely hate him", and syntactically there is a gap where the object of hate (underlined) would have been. But in the second, the meaning of the relative clause is if you saw him you would throw up, and the underlined pronoun is inside the conditional adjunct if you saw [him]. Having the gap inside the adjunct is not permitted, they say.

And they mean that descriptively: the claim is not that you ought to avoid sentences like 2 above; the claim is that all speakers have a natural instinctive aversion to syntactic structures of this sort.

But is that true?

Michael Hamiel wrote a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle (published April 19, 2014, p. A10), commenting on a story about an executive who was fired from Yahoo but got a $58 million severance package. "Yahoo is to be commended for raising the bar," he wrote. And he continued:

These are the kind of exit packages that if all fired employees got, state and federal unemployment bureaus could be closed down saving the government millions.

The gap is in the conditional adjunct, which has the meaning "if all fired employees got it". The noun kind in the phrase kind of exit packages is modified by the relative clause that if all fired employees got __, state and federal unemployment bureaus could be closed down saving the government millions.

This is exactly the sort of structure that syntax specialists have regularly said the syntax of English (and perhaps all languages) disallows.

Now, the situation is more subtle than you might think. Nobody doubts that sometimes people who write letters to the newspaper get their letters printed despite the fact that they contain mistakes. (The previous letter in the Chronicle had a typo in it.) So this could be an inadvertent syntactic slip that the editors didn't catch or decided not to fix.

Or it could be crucial evidence that ordinary, unreflective language use is not governed by any inbuilt mental constraint forbidding dependencies between head nouns and gaps that span the boundaries of adjunct phrases.

There's no simple or immediate way of deciding this. Yet the validity of a general syntactic theory will hang on deciding indefinitely many such quandaries correctly. Linguistics ain't easy.

However, Jerry Friedman found some more examples with the same structure in COCA (the Corpus of Contemporary American). This is a quote from Trent Lott:

We're going to look for things that if he doesn't sign, he will catch hell for it.

Here is one from Geraldo:

Nothing that could hurt me, but things that if I had, it would help with my fight against him.

So now it's looking a bit more like the sentences are deep-down grammatically OK, rather than slips, isn't it?

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Culinary [Apr. 21., 2014|09:36 pm]

oursin
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While I was away most of the weekend, and thus there has not been a great deal of culinary activity, over the past week there has been a certain amount of baking.

Monday: due to unexpected extreme furriness of the existing bread, made a loaf of 3 Malts and Sunflower Seed brown flour.

Friday supper: sardegnera with French saucisson sec and a dab. of black olive paste.

Saturday breakfast rolls: basic buttermilk, 3:1 strong white flour and medium cornmeal.

Bread I made when getting in this afternoon: the Collister/Grant My Favourite Loaf, wholegrain spelt/white spelt/einkorn flours, a little wheatgerm, a dash of molasses, a splash of walnut oil. V tasty.

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