Sunday, April 30, 2006

National Anthems: Star-Spangled Banner

May I add my dos centivos to the Spanish-language Star-Spangled Banner controversy? Here's a compromise. Let's translate the lyrics to Spanish, then back to English, using Babel Fish:
The Oh, opinion can you see, by the early light of the dawn, what we hailed so proud in flashing last of the twilight? Of whom ample rays and shining stars, with the dangerous fight, on embankments we watched, so galantemente we flowed? And the red fulgor of the rockets, the pumps that exploded in air, gave the test with the night that our flag still was there. Opinion of the Oh, that flag still stars-star-spangled shakes on the Earth of free and the home of the brave one?

And for German-Americans:
OH -, legends can do you, by the early light of the dawn, which see so proudly we hailed at last shining of the dawns? Who expanded strips and bright of stars, by the dangerous fight, over the RAM parts did we fit, did flow so courageously up? And the red sharp gloss of the rockets, the bombs, which burst in an air, gave proof by the night that our marking sign was still there. O legends, moves these star star spangled flag already over the country of the free and the house of the courageous wavelike?

Music Videos: YouTube

YouTube has a wealth of Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry videos. Some highlights:

  • Ferry's cover of "Let's Stick Together", with then-girlfriend Jerry Hall playing the vamp - before she dumped him for Mick Jagger.
  • And from 1978, from his post-breakup album, "The Bride Stripped Bare", his cover of the Velvet's "What Goes On". He always looks like he's passing a kidney stone when he sings, but his features are even more contorted with disgust as he sings, "Here we go again/I thought that you were my friend".
  • My favourite video from the 1980s, "Slave To Love".
  • Sexy video for Roxy Music's "The Main Thing" - apart from the teeth-brushing at the end. That woman has very poor technique.
  • Ferry solo again with "This Is Tomorrow" - poor sound quality but interesting for Bryan's shades (matching the "In Your Mind" album cover) and Chris Spedding on guitar.
  • Roxy Music performing "Out Of The Blue", c. 1974 with Bryan sporting the airline pilot look, and Eddie Jobson on perspex violin. Best violin solo in rock?
  • And "Out Of The Blue" from their 2002 reunion, with a cute blonde violinist (but with a boring old wooden violin).

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Words: Aptronym

Slate adds Tony Snow to their list of Aptronyms. An aptronym is "a name that is aptly suited to its owner". My doctor shares his practice with Dr. Michael Karing. He's married to Dr. Barbara Wood, an OB/GYN. Why isn't she a urologist like David P. Wood? Meanwhile, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is studying erectile dysfunction.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Simpsons: Quotes

The Onion A.V. Club presents Simpsons Quotes For Everyday Use. They left out a few:

  • "Unlikely, sir. They spell and pronounce their names differently." (When you want to gently correct your boss, like Smithers did when Mr. Burns asked if Richard Nixon was related to "Homer Nixon".
  • "It's a perfectly cromulent word." (When someone queries your vocabulary.)
  • "Then why did I have the bowl Bart? Why did I have the bowl?" (When you finally see through someone's subterfuge.)
  • "Help Me, Jebus!" (When you resort to prayer.)
  • "Take it outside, God-boy." (When someone else resorts to prayer.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Words: Bloody

Why do we use "bloody" as a swear word? Take Our Word For It says it's either from "Our Lady" (meaning Mary, the mother of Jesus), or from the nickname, "Bloody Mary", for Mary, Queen Of Scots. adds "God's blood" or "By our Lady", or it may be a reference to menstruation.

But everyone seems to agree that "zounds" derives from "God's wounds".

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sports: Antonio Alfonseca

The Onion's headine from October 2005: "Antonio Alfonseca Once Again Leads Major-League Relievers In Fingers". Alfonseca was born with six digits on each hand and foot. This condition, Wikipedia says, is known as polydactyly (check out the xrays!). His nickname is "El Pulpo" (The Octopus). His name is an anagram of "Neonatal fiasco, no?" and "Anal acne is on foot". I just think he's a fat bastard. 250 pounds my ass.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Music: Joke/Puzzle

Complete this hilarious joke:

It was November 1980. A Sunday evening. I was listening to the Top 30 on Radio 1, waiting to hear who was "top of the pops". I heard a commotion from the laundry room. Reluctantly, I got up to investigate.

When I went in to the laundry room, what did I see but a box of detergent, flying around the ceiling. And clinging desperately to the box was none other than Debbie Harry. The box zipped from side to side, as if trying to shake off Ms. Harry. She stared down at me and said...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Music: MP3 Blogs

The always useful Torr links to Binky The Doormat, who links to:

Lyrics Quiz: Cute

  1. You're the cutest thing that I ever did see. I really love your peaches, want to shake your tree.
  2. My sister looks cute in her braces and boots, a handful of grease in her hair.
  3. Although she may be cute she's just a substitute 'cause you're the permanent one.
  4. And he looks so cute (all night long) in his little red suit (all night long).
  5. And he's cute in his mohair suit. And he keeps his pockets full of spending loot.
  6. Well she looks like a model on the cover of a magazine. But she's too cute to be a minute over seventeen.
  7. Now your dancing child with his Chinese suit, he spoke to me, I took his flute. No, I wasn't very cute to him, was I?
  8. I thought it was cute for you to kiss my purple black eye, even though I caught it from you.
  9. If I were a shopping center, I'd sure be embarrassed. I know I'd never get a date with some cute little building, like from Paris.
  10. It was really not so cute to play without a parachute. As he stood upon the ledge, looking out, he thought he saw a brook.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Music: Answer Songs

Possibly the greatest title for an answer song ever: "Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken" by Scottish band Camera Obscura. You can stream the song. (Not as good as the Commotions' song but I like the singer's voice.)

Know any other good answer songs?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Cliches: That's What I'm Talkin' About! (Revisited)

Eric says there are some times when it's appropriate to say, "That's what I'm talkin' about!"

Yeah, I guess so.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Words: Obscenity

Saw Ira Glass tonight at the Majestic Theatre. As part of his lecture, he complained about the effect the FCC's recent rulings have had on his show ("This American Life"). He went into detail (humourously) about the case of Bono saying, "This is f---ing brilliant" at the Golden Globes.

Here's the FCC's original ruling in October 2003 that this was not obscene. "..The performer used the word "f---ing" as an adjective or expletive to emphasize an exclamation." (And they don't obscure the f--- word like I do.)

Here's the FCC's opinion on appeal from March 2004 where they flip-flopped. Among other things (and this is what really boggled Mr. Glass) they wrote that "(The 'F-word') invariably invokes a coarse sexual image." I love how they never bother to get to the bottom of Bono's actual quote - don't they have a VCR? They refer to Bono "reportedly" using the F-word at another awards show - again, couldn't they verify that?

Anyway, these FCC rulings are a lot of fun to read because of all the profanity and obscenity.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Hoax: April Fools' Day

The Museum Of Hoaxes lists the Top 100 April Fools' Day Hoaxes Of All Time. I love #18 - "In 1981 the Daily Mail ran a story about an unfortunate Japanese long-distance runner, Kimo Nakajimi, who had entered the London Marathon but, on account of a translation error, thought that he had to run for 26 days, not 26 miles."

Reuters has three of this year's English crop - not very good. You can listen to the Guardian's faux Chris Martin pro-Tory song. The full story.

Music: MP3 Blogs

Take Your Medicine has a studio leak of the new Radiohead album (for today only). Good to hear it's a proper tune, although the lyrics are as enigmatic as ever. Also some news on the Smiths reunion. What a great day, today is!