Tag Archives: language

Friends in Need

Eastgate’s Tekka has relaunched, with a science fiction short story about a kid going to the shelter to adopt a pet. Which gets interesting when the pets talk: The big orange guy stritches gain and yawnies. “Call me Maximus,” he intros. “I’m a genius. I make trouble for fun. What do you do, Sally?” Eliza [...]

A Pun and Some Japanese Fanish History

Dai means big, as in the Daibutsu. Con is short for “convention,” as in science fiction conventions. That’s why the gentleman in the photo has a giant radish on the back of his tunic. In 1983, at Daicon 4, a group of animators premiered a fan video. The over the top sequence introduced several visual [...]

The ampersand

[ via Lance Nathan ] The symbol & is derived from the ligature of ET or et, which is the Latin word for ‘and.’


GUBU is an acronym standing for grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented. Surprisingly, this came about to describe an infamous event in Ireland, and not the current state of play in American politics.

Acronym Overloading

Scott Reynen’s post on RAS Syndrome reminded me of another problem in my jargon-rich life. At my job we’re: Working on a Course Management System Going to integrate a (Job) Candidate Management System into existing systems Looking for a replacement Content Management System Now, I need a Context Management System to remind me which CMS [...]

Menus for Conversations

Many of the people I encountered in Montreal started conversations with strangers like me by saying “Hello/Bon jour!” It signaled they were prepared to use either language. That reduced my anxiety. It left the choice of language to me. And if my pidgin French failed me, I knew I could try again in English.

Extreme 05

I’m at Extreme Markup Languages all this week. Elliot Rusty Harold and Simon St Laurent have been blogging the conference in full. Here’s the presentations that grabbed me so far. ERH showed us a tool, written in Java, for ofuscating an instance of XML so you can send it to someone as a test case [...]

When Fear of Mistakes Gets in the Way of Getting Work Done

Following-up on documenting one’s mistakes. Patrick Nielsen Hayden found a entry in Peter Flaschner’s blog about overcoming paralysis by giving yourself permission to make mistakes. Your brainstem really does equate missing an important deadline with danger. And when it detects danger, it changes your behavior. Run! Hide! … I’ve found the best way to side-step [...]

Age of Wonders, Continued

From a mailing list: Anyone know of someone knowledgeable about Klingon? It is a wondrous age we live in when someone can ask this with a straight face.

Why Does Miskatonic University Hate America?

From some notes at Psuedopodium on Cheney feeling better. Given a newspaper or a cable network, Cthulu’d be an American hero.

Vow of Silence

So here’s a story: John Francis, disturbed by an oil spill caused by a tanker collision, stops using cars, buses, trains, and planes. He tires of arguing to justify his decision. So he stops talking, for 17 years. Now you’d think that a guy who does that would end up, at best, being a colorful [...]

Meta Best of 2003

[ via W6 Daily ] The list of lists for 2003.

Lexicon: A Game of Parahistory

Lexicon is a parlor game, where a group of ‘scholars’ take turns writing entries for an imaginary historical encyclopedia. This would be a great exercise for creating the background in games like Shadows in the Fog. [ via Ginger Stampley ] She’s part of the new collaborative weblog on role playing games:

Daily Japanese Lesson

Random Chaos has a daily lesson in Japanese. Oh, and it’s using PHP, so if you think you need .Net or Java to write an international web application, you’re BAKA.

Full Employment Ontology

In response to Mike Champion’s repeating of the eternal question: “who’s going to markup all the data for the semantic web?”, Simon St. Laurent suggests: On the bright side, it could be a great employment program that would last a long long time. Maybe that’s not enough benefit? Note for distopian SF writers: since any [...]