How a vegan ingeniously declutters rooms

Subtitled: Picking up a disorderly living space through areal topology, using vectors learned in high-school physics, and a little game- theory (to fun it up).

Areal Topology — a hokey term for tying multiple rooms together

bib.lebowski

Why, Mr. Bill, do you invite us to your silly moments? Our time is valuable, my friend; in other words, what’s in it for us?

Nothing, of course. You simply remind me of nastyish overlords I’ve met, demons exorcised and ilk like that.

Get over yourself and get on with it, so that we might get out of here.

There’s a mathedness to my madness though. Chunks and bits of physics too. I’ve written much computer code in my life and times. Not a single iota do I kid you: I enjoy sporting my code-monkey T-shirt.

There’s a right way and a wrong way of doing things, Bill.

No. There isn’t. Control freaks vex the frack out of me. They really do. Out damned control freaks!

We’re already gone.

At the end of this lesson you should be able to pick up the clutter — with confidence, self-reliance and vigor.

I’ve heard that it takes 9 and a half days to slip into a good habit. Rome wasn’t sacked in a day. How many sacks did it take to hold all that plunder?

rome.sacking

Stage stuff. To borrow a programming term, set up some working storage areas large enough to fill two armloads.

Scan a room. Do you see things that do not belong, such as a dirty fork on a coffee table. Create staging areas as you maneuver the mess. Stage bathroom items, stage bedroom items. All the room is a stage.

Advice: freak thee not out! Don’t spend hours sorting, stacking and reflecting on woeful banes and sisyphusian rock-rolls. Mere seconds suffice to load two arms. Beware and Be Aware: there is a time penalty for breaking dishes. You can count on a plate dropping its gooey contents, such as non-dairy okra dip, upon the very rug that ties your room together.

Conde Nast TagID: cncartoons025158.jpg/Photo via Conde Nast

Place your gathered kitchen articles on the kitchen counter, in the sink, or into the garbage. A hint: dog-lapped plates are not cleaned plates. No they are not.

Another hint for the newbie: never leave a room empty-handed. Perhaps you have found a toothbrush in the kitchen. Might there be other bathroom-bound articles in your midst?

Advanced students will process items discovered in passing. Kick objects to the general area of destination — or kick things backward with your heel.

Are you in the bathroom? Books read are books to shelve, to repurpose, to gift or to donate.  By the bye, bathrooms make great cleaning areas. While you ponder a crossword clue and the squares on a grid, pick up tissues that end up everywhere, all day long even.

PSA: defunding the EPA is a criminally insane act.

Perhaps you kicked a pair of socks to the door jamb earlier on. You might be carrying items of clothing draped on your arm that are destined for the laundry. Bring those clothes together with open arms and deposit them in the appropriate receptacle.

An aside: I once brought along a book to read at the laundromat. Having started a washing cycle, I found my book bobbing about with the suds.

Let’s say that a sleeping moggie prevented you from making the bed. Make the bed, you big lazy, then toss more dirty laundry into hamper. Find books on the night-table that belong someplace: such as a donation box, a fund-raiser tote or on the sofa.

unmade bed

PSA: clothes you never wear are wearable at critical care areas, such as battered-women shelters. Beware of hoarding for hoarding’s sake. Random acts of kindness reward everyone in a civil society, such as the society we are currently not living in. Old towels are needed at animal-rescue facilities. Do not allow the stuff you own to own you, palindromically speaking.

Sort your library by standing on the shoulders of a giant. Here is a bookmark I give to the dear reader(s) who has (have) patiently plowed through the words above. How to sort your library.

PSA: Refrain from eating Meatables®

Thanks for reading.

Post Script: 24 vacuum tube varieties for audio applications.  Handle with caution should you discover any of these while decluttering 🙂

vacuum.tubes.for.audio

 

Post Script 2: Vacuum Tubes and High Fashion:

vacuum.tube.radio.hat

 

 

 

 

 

Crohn’s and Diet — What gives?

A kind reader’s comment catalyzed my thought process to inspire this post. Seriously. My readers are wondrous alchemists that way 🙂

Crohn’s and Diet — What gives?

diet-loses-their-minds

Curiously enough, I need not reset the year on my time-machine dashboard. We’ve recently visited curious stuff in 1975, but this time I won’t rattle on about Singer minicomputers. This time-travel travelogue concerns a close encounter at the shore of the river Styx at age 27.

The vacuum tubes in my time machine are powered by  rearranging electrons. This permits movement through time, according to a red-herring theory concocted one day while waiting on a bus to Eureka. I’ve heard that one theory is as good as another.

I’ve discovered an intriguing tattoo inspired by experience with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — something quite striking IMO.

ibd.inspired.tat

 

Sorry, but we suspect you’re just belly-aching, Bill. We’ve heard that Crohn’s is all in your mind. For the record, would you be nice and admit that?

No.

I visited my doctor on a Friday afternoon —there was unrelenting fever and stomach pain. The pain and fever were still there on Monday morning — so my doctor, being the gullible type,  told me to get my guts to the emergency room. They assigned the nearest available surgeon, one who knew how to remove several yards of intestine. The surgeon was not known for his bedside manner — he informed me that I’d brought the disease on myself by worrying too much. His advice: stop worrying and it will go away — QED.

Bill, you’ve simply become more gutless.

I guess so.

Let’s shove some electrons in the other direction: to 1978. Just a simple corollary if you will. Time is straight-forward stuff. It has a past, a present and a hypothetical future.

This time ’round I had the same Crohn’s flare up symptoms, but something unusual caught my eye while pissing in the pot — gases and solids came out with the liquid. It seems that a fistula (a tunnel) grew from an intestinal wall and connected with my bladder, thereby compromising my urinary tract.

In other words, Bill, you decided to strain the nation’s provisional health care system AGAIN. Had you listened to the wise advice of that first surgeon and changed you state of mind…instead you became ever more gutless.

This time an excellent team of surgeons were available to perform simultaneous intestinal and bladder operations. I spent the following nine weeks in a hospital bed, weaning off Prednisone by eating popsicles three times a day.  Hyperalimentation was a new technique invented by Dr. Stanley Dudrick. A tube was inserted near my right collar bone, through a vein and into my heart. Simple dumping into veins would clog immediately My weight before the hyper-A was 51 kg. Under hyper-A resulted in a weight gain of 454 gram per day.

erase.the.dividing.line

After a surgery for removal of some more intestine, and an attempt to reconnect healthy tissue to healthy tissue, I woke up with a colostomy — it reminds me of that gentle expression “We’re going to cut you a new asshole” ; in other words, I eliminated solid waste when the excrement reached that rectal alternative. The takeaway: two weeks after that surgery I was back at work and regaining strength.

We do like that part about the rectal alternative, but we do not approve of your language. Just trying to keep things civil here. You’re not very nice, are you?

Junk food is still food

I encountered that chunk of idiocy while researching this post.

Well, you got to die of something

Sadly, nutrition does not interest most physicians. There are head-shaking doctors who rail against vegan patients that have the temerity to answer a questionnaire with an honest response.

you.are.what.you.eat

It’s very much left to personal choice, and what is called dietary freedom. I suggest this caveat — you’re bucking trillion-dollar industries when you question the consumption of sentient-animals.

You are told that malabsorption results in low B-12 levels, that the most effective solution is cow consumption — the more the better. Bon appetit.

There is not much funding available for the promotion of vegan diets. Following the money leads you to profitable enterprises — a trillion dollars is not chump change.

vegan.world.jpg

When I finally realized that cheese, dairy and eggs meant both bad karma and bad health, my health became much better. Perhaps it’s the positive influence of all my kind readers :-).

Diet is only considered if there is a handy pharmaceutical prescription to address it — a little special remuneration in back pockets perhaps, provided by the nattily dressed and manicured, not to mention Happy. HAPPY. H A P P Y Big Pharm reps.

 

Thanks for reading.

I Heart Libraries

Libraries are sacred institutions, but they are also hated institutions.

old.libraries

Hordes of ravagers have more than decimated vast libraries of unknowable knowledge. Thoughts in bound form fall regularly to fell fiends, book burners, surf Nazis and the ignorami of all eras.

It seems that Gaia has already survived five extinction events. Here’s a thought for a cloudy day — the same sun did shine over each: before, during and after the curtain fell. Same old Sol. How many of those five included library detonations? My steampunk time machine isn’t good enough to slip a nanosecond into the past; however, if I ever succeed in traveling back though each extinction event, I already have a book title in mind:

The Seven Wonders of Five Ancient Extinct Worlds by Bill Ziegler the 1947th.

I’ve recently mentioned the untimely demise of a local library jewel in 1955. My home town is well known for such epic fails. Would that eye rolls might forestall them.

An esteemed librarian recently shared a magnificent find among recently orphaned books — a volume maistly Scotch (language).  Check it out here, or at your local library.

first.port.of.call

Lisa and I lovingly offer resting shelves for orphaned books dropped at the library door. Devoted friends o’ the local library open their basement walls this Thursday at 9:00 A.M. Set your alarms.

Here’s a thought I’ve for you brought — marvelous books inherited are unexpected and sudden fun:  intensely beautiful gilded Danish language volumes (50 cents each), Edwardian Era novels, Bobbsey-Twin originals, Girls of Central High, and the apocryphal So You Like Vacuum Tubes?

bobbsey.twins

Lisa is currently reading this 50-center: First Port of Call by Elizabeth Jordan.

A cult classic with crisply flowing pages like Rock of Three Planets.

We once found two crisp twenty-dollar notes in one book we purchased, each used as bookmarks. Interestingly enough the boxes of books bought that day: $44 for a couple hundred books.

So, how large is our library of misfit books? A few thousand and in every room. A thousand donated back to the orphanage.

libraries

About six years ago I catalogued 1500 of our books online; however, exigencies and other stuff — like time — placed it on the backest burner. It’s on LibraryThing 🙂

Thanks for reading.

 

…don’t say anything at all

Bill, you have crafted the perfect post title. Please take you own advice — say nothing…at all

 

Nice and Kind

Random acts of niceness?

One of first posts I wrote for this blog is Nice People Explained — 22 months ago. It’s about a philosopher who is tut-tutted in many circles: Bertrand Russell. That particular essay introduced me to the very concept of what it means to be nice in polite society — a form of expedience that keeps the wheels of industry churning and chugging, becoming accustomed to certain niceties. Leo Tolstoy was ahead of his time and ours.

Leo-Tolstoy-Quotes-27-I-Sit-On-A-Mans-Back-Choking-Him-And-...-Quotes-768x756

Yesterday I read great stuff on a great  blog that I recommend to you. May I direct your attention to the eponymous ShelbyCourtland. Great and timely stuff there IMO. Coincidentally, some people would not think Shelby very nice. Speaking up for the exploited doesn’t get the job done. Well, that’s nice, BUT.

Well, there’s a wide chasm between nice and  kind. Kurt Vonnegut did not say be nice, the word Kurt chose was “kind.” Many do not consider him a very nice person either. I once met an unkind person who had met Vonnegut once, and reported that he was not very nice.

You are wasting your time, my friend. By the way, have you ever heard the one about the nice nun who, let’s say ‘got the job done’ in certain elementary school classrooms of the 1950’s?

By “getting the job done” I think you mean training classroom bullies on the nicer points of humiliation? Yes. Thought very nice, very nice indeed.

nuns.with.rulers

Here’s my hypothesis: Nice people conform to the expectations imposed by authority to perpetuate the way it’s always been done and the ways that always work. They never rock boats or speak out of line. They don’t laugh at crap hounds like Jeff Sessions, lest they be likewise incarcerated. There’s nothing remotely fascist about that, is there?  Boats are not for rocking — unless the boats are carrying refugees from profitable wars initiated by the nicest country on Earth. Endless war to stop all those wars that end inconveniently: for armament suppliers. Endless slaughter of fellow sentient beings in technologically advanced death camps — it’s what’s for dinner.

Perform random acts of kindness when they are totally unexpected. Do them often. Do them creatively, even playfully. Get off someone’s back?

Smart and Pleasant

I’m asking Elwood P. Dowd to take over here while I visit the restroom. Please be kind to Mr. Dowd, who knows both smart and pleasant:

“Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

Here is a clip from the 1950 version starring Jimmy Stewart featuring the snippet above.

elwood.p.dowd

My mother, in addition to always calling me Billy, used to say to me “If you don’t have anythingnice to say…”

Or was it “…good to say?” Well let’s find out what good old Google reports on good and nice:

  1. Hits for nice: About 793,000 results (0.93 seconds)
  2. Hits for good: About 220,000 results (0.46 seconds) 
OK, let’s divide 793 by 220 and see if we obtain a result. Right.
Nice Defeats Good
Rather dour fare for a Saturday morning, don’t you know? Your really should have followed through with “… don’t say anything at all.  
Quite right, time for something restful and delightful, in full measure 🙂
The best place I know for taking a breather is upon a sentient cloud. Let’s jump in for a worthy discussion on the proper use of the ellipsis, to whit one written by Esme.

I understand that the shortest distance between two dots is another dot. So let us lose ourselves  in aethereal clouds; particularly after sloughing through this dour post.

Hey, did you know that fog is a cloud resting on the ground? We live just south of Cincinnati, I once saw the tallest building in town pointing out above a wonderful white cloud one morning while driving to where ever the heck I was working at that time.

Thanks for reading.

LEGO, AUDIO, VIDEO: I Read, I Hear, I See

As April 30 yielded to May 1, I recalled that Old-Time Radio will have passed the wand over to New-Time Television exactly 55 years ago this coming September 30; in fact, the final two shows turned their microphones off on the same day.

JD_Button

In the unlikely event that you have already guessed which two programs made it curtains for that classic era, I roll the timpani — or cue the crickets.

Und so:

  1. Suspense
  2. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar

Three suggestions for those new to the realm — a land wide, deep and satisfying.

  1. Vic and Sade
  2. Pat Novak for Hire
  3. Inner Sanctum
Vic-And-Sade-mp3
Paul Rhymer was the genius behind Vic and Sade

I have a soft spot in my heart for programs that settle into my psyche by way of sound waves — words existing on the printed page give your mind the means to fashion words to worlds. To use my sagacious father’s favorite phrase

“Well, let’s put it this way” — I prefer lego (I read) and audio (I hear) to video (I see). Reader or listener rather than viewer, what gives? Reading and listening demand more of the imagination. Theater of the Mind. Not my coined phrase, but dramatically accurate.

 

vacuum.tube.radio.deviant.art

Personally, viewing alone is like drinking alone — the experience doesn’t end well. It might work splendidly for thee, but not for me. In other words, judging my readers is never my aim (file under marginalia).

On with the show.

Watching TV with others involves participation. Joel Hodgson is the genius behind MST 3000 — an absolutely brilliant concept that sets Hodgson’s haplessly condemned yet innocent victim off planet, and forced to watch amazingly bad movies, a torture you may have experienced personally. Joel and his Bots (his own creation by the way) breaks that fourth wall too, perhaps a fifth wall.

Full disclosure: Lisa would rather shout VIDEO, ERGO SUM to my AUDIO, ERGO SUM. Well, let’s put it this way: we complement each other. So there!

video-ergo-sum-680x400
I view, therefor I am

During my years in West Germany (1971 to 1973), watching television was only good for language learning. Here is a recommendation for the next time you surf 255 channels — set subtitles to another language. Better still: watch a foreign film and set the subtitles to a language you want to learn. Experiencing a world without English language is a rare delight. I recommend it most heartily.  🙂

Advertisers want to make you think that the volition is entirely yours. IMO (only?), we do not live in the best of all possible worlds. Though you might be surprised to read that veganism is an effective remedy for that  imposition of schizophrenia upon readers, listeners and viewers. Blood-toothed marketers wish to either introduce or reinforce product loyalty. FTS say I. Out damned blood! FWIW, I pay an annual fee to keep this site advertising-free.

Addendum: I didn’t know that FTS was a sports term, so I pass that torch to my sports broadcasting alter ego. It was intended as a term of frustration directed at frustrating the darker side of advertising. Channel to ESPN-42 for more 🙂

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Vegan to Veganism — the Followup

N.B. This post was inspired by a very kind reader’s comment on my previous post. It’s my way of thanking an anonymous reader for the inspiration to create this article 🙂

I often add deprecating words of imagined critics to challenge my writing — they appear as italicized green-text segments. This time I turn those naysayers away and add complimentary words to complement the genuine words of a non-naysayer. 🙂

Thanks for this Bill! But my curiosity is not yet fully quenched! How did your family and friends take your change?

Though the green sheep in the family, I was blessed, or kindly ignored, by family and friends. They have allowed me the space and penchant to follow the way of the iconoclast. Tilt damned windmill! I try to reciprocate in kind, but when you stand up for eliminating THE entree from the plate 24/7, you must expect onslaught and outrage:

Vegan protein icons

Whaaat?

You’re kidding.

You’re not serious.

Whaaat?

A reflexive response to homo sapiens’ rejection of all things never questionable.

You dare countenance baser instincts, to sin against the natural law? Beasts naturally sacrifice their corpus by dint of birth. It’s frail folly to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge.

animal-rights-ego-vs-eco-hoodies-men-s-hoodie

I also imagine that back then veganism was much harder and much less accepted than it is today.

Graduating from university in the year of Woodstock 1969 and Earth Day occurred the following year. Insanity by political edict in Vietnam would never occur again. Nixon flew away in a disgrace that many of my peers vowed to avenge. Whiplash by pendulum swing was inconceivable — but it was only five years away.

A certain nihilism set in with what I call “Mourning in America” 1980.

Whiplash happens.

Did you join an animals rights group?

Peter Singer (Animal Liberation) rocked the planet with his unspeakable recommendations in 1975. E.F. Schumacher suggested that small was beautiful.  It seemed the conventional wisdom would follow in steady due course — but not politically and not personally. My wife died in 1983. I became a single parent until Lisa showed up to rescue us. She got the chance to shop for groceries with a vegan in 1993. TVP and canned vegan fare were tucked away in an a nondescript top shelf. Those cans got lonely up there.

And about the detoxifying, I agree. When I first went vegan, I had detox symptoms too, but then I also gave up coffee, sugar and alcohol completely.

I successfully detoxed from alcohol after a single rehab week in Falmouth, KY. Heroin peers began to outnumber the alcohol-devotees. Break time at the picnic tables there led me back to cigarettes for some months. I was the only person to show up at a smoking-cessation series — my last puff was taken in the parking lot of the hospital sponsoring the series. I’ve saved the certificate of completion.

ToxicSpiceLatte-e1414120720331
I have mine without the above. What’s it called?

Let’s say that coffee ‘never hurt me none’, so I’m still with that Kodachrome. Sugar that doesn’t come with real and true fruit, sugar in empty-calorie form remains a crutch that I haven’t discarded. It’s bad news without a single redeeming social value, but I stock up on figs, dates and the such to counter the sugar molecules.

Thanks again for this post!

Thanks so much for the prodding. It’s been enormously helpful to answer your thoroughly wonderful questions.

Thanks for reading.

From Vegan to Veganist and Beyond

A fellow blogger recently submitted a question to this desk, actually it’s not a desk but a dining room table without dead animals on it.

el.dolor.es.igual
Animal liberation. human liberation

How long have you been vegan?

So I decided to ramble on about it right here…

…in a bid for garish aggrandizement, Bill?

No, in consideration of all the fellow sentient-beings that I have not killed by proxy several times today and several times tomorrow. Enlightenment brings more than inspiration and a healthier lifestyle — it entails (not entrails) a responsibility for passing the word forward for a better world.

It started with a flyer on a nondescript table in a university hallway 30 years ago (now three-sevenths of my life) — reasons for adopting a vegan diet. It was as dramatic as it was nonchalant.

During the first ten years I discovered that vegetarianism (keeping eggs, dairy and cheese in your diet) kept my body supplied with animal-derived molecules that fueled a craving for animal byproducts — the organs that excrete toxins, including your skin, were self-sabotaged. Detox is not pleasant, but there is no alternative. Not tossing meatables into a shopping cart results in fewer factory-farm orders for meatables.

I also discovered that fermented liquids might be a perfectly vegan alternative lifestyle choice, not all poisons come in animal-laden packages. That detox was also not very pleasant — just speaking from experience.

This great little saying is still my favorite for its truth and pithhood:

Every time you eat or drink

 

lunchables.uploaded.taco
W.T.F.!

Search the internet for ‘vegan’ and ‘health’ to find statements from people who tried to become vegan but suffered from fatigue until they went back to meat. It takes as long as a year for toxins and craves to leave the body. “Out damned toxin!” But it literally liberates your mind and your brain.

In your opinion, Billy. Spam brought the Philippines into this modern world. Capiche? 

I have discovered personally that your brain seeks alternate paths when not blogged down by crap. Check out the ingredients on fast-crap that people chew and chug all day. Dozens of long-named laboratory labels are strange, but not as loathsome as their crave-inducing effects. But who am I to question trillion-dollar industries?

 

meatables
Veganism is brain friendly

How can 97% of the consuming public be wrong, Bill? Think about it and shut up.

I’m just paranoid I guess. Sorry ’bout that.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

Sneaky Vegan Advertising

This is the story of a hypothetical broadcaster working an apocryphal news desk at an imaginary sports channel. Here’s the proverbial rub — he is a complete fraud, he has no sports credentials and he hasn’t followed team sports at any level since 1965. By sheer coincidence,  this fictional broadcaster goes by the name Bill Ziegler (no relation, or something).

Welcome to a narrow world of sports broadcast. All characters, statistics and coupon offers are spurious.

No sentient beings were consumed during the production of this broadcast. Go Vegan! Yay Veganism!

veganism.history

Transcript of today’s broadcast:

“Good evening sport, and welcome to our first post-Earth-Day program. We have four sports stories to cover today, so let’s get right to the latest news.

  1. Steve Dreadnought graduated from the NCAA (National Cademy of Academic Academies) in 2011, but it was all for naught until Nought got caught by the Astros on Shale Tuesday to become a doglegged free agent. Steve is a tight-end shaver with a bevy of linesman singing for the county of Paris in New Orleans. Nought controls the inside inch of the rail much better than Ben Bright’s Tights® Dawn’s Men and Seeping Cobwebs® is just about the only team remotely comparable to Ben Bright’s Tights. The team factors in with a ratio of twenty plays deep on the curve and thirty angstroms on the narrow —  each tight has the coarse battle scars earned on the course court to prove it.  Course they do. Write me for details.
  2. The Wave Continentals®are back in the wardrobe factory this season, filling in the gaps left by the Easter-Fry Warriors of Bangor®; as I recall, not a single Swigger Sweet could ravel the ball through the parallels as smoothly as Manfred Fried-Fries of Kenosha® — it’s the only place you can expect spectacular scurries thrown through the fourth wall. Seriously. My words say that they are second only to the Lads of Lancaster® I’ve been there — it ain’t never meant grease to donuts to me, but I’ve shelved Bangor Walnuts® for a living. A hard living, yet may the welts of dignity shine through, and with some decent resilience. I’m stowing my pine on the kitchen counter as my ante — they will make it to central division or drop into the Ides before April. Mark my broadcloth and send it to grandma if you don’t thank me later.
who-likes-vegans
Veganism is not just a trend

3. Moving on to the Autumn training hopes of the Gardenia Wafers® now. You just can’t find daylight between the Solid-Pack Drivers of Scant Regard® and the man who drove the wedgies home before breakfast. Sugar-toasted wedge bars are a new sponsor at ESPN-42®, they’re linked and liked everywhere, manufactured by Pistachio Penached Planchette, Inc.® Remember the name, it’s a double-dork franchise opportunity that you’ll only find on ESPN-42. We remain the only media outlet still located at Bent Beach, future home of the Pretense Machines of Machismo® and the Celery Bakers of West-North Eureka®. Try them soon or shoot the balloon.

a.truth.whose.time

Now, back to your program.

4. We’re introducing a new segment on the Big-Arse 42®— the outside line on the Neon Street Outlaws® those up-and-coming loot traders of the salvage yards begin a new season Thursday evening. Beaster the Baker and I are tracking them assiduously, with scented frame you play a wary game, it’s a tooth-swarm with a schoolmarm’s charm  — that’s what we claim and that’s what we tame. The guys and gals in the wardrobe garner their toes when they tracking a branded. Count down from 7 to 3 and you’ll know what I mean. We broadcast solid encounters with genuine street-incredulity — bouncing leatherettes sparring their claim to fame, as fisted and fancy as October’s Clancy®. Yes, it’s a retro-shot for the Donuts of Shame® a gifted pair of bozo twins who can wave a century-old limey bar faster than you can spin the coffee table to a screen-beveled level. Hey, we’ve all been there and this season promises more than pumpkin-scented jet-streams. You haven’t witnessed a charge more challenging than watching a brand expand into your dug-out chug-out — click SportWafers dot com for 50% off the second season-ticket. Take it to the general and sneer at the devil — it’s that kind of mango.”

northern-parula

Thanks for watching. Tune in tomorrow at 8 for more words from our sponsor 🙂

Disclaimer:

  • The information in this book is meant to supplement, not replace, proper (name your sport) training. Like any sport involving speed, equipment, balance and environmental factors, (this sport) poses some inherent risk. The authors and publisher advise readers to take full responsibility for their safety and know their limits. Before practicing the skills described in this book, be sure that your equipment is well maintained, and do not take risks beyond your level of experience, aptitude, training, and comfort level.

Thanks for reading.

Positive Discourse Analysis

Mira is the author of Everything socio and eco linguistic. In celebration of  the March for Science: Earth Day 2017, I yield the podium to my favorite socio and eco linguist — is there a better way to spend the day than to join me in this audience? No. In all events, allow me to present this esteemed socio-linguini a plaque fashioned from 100% recycled and recyclable electrons. It is an official prize: one bestowed on Mira for inspiring me to write an article on the work of Stephen Keene, Alan Turing and, while we’re at it, George Boole.

Here are the bases for blog-award bestowal:

The candidate must be —

  1. Enthusiastic
  2. Wise
  3. Inspiring
  4. Scholarly
  5. Intellectually curious
  6. Socio-eco-linguistically oriented
  7. Raises her voice for exploitable (and therefore exploited) sentient beings
  8. Writes about text analyses
  9. Appreciates vegan humor

On the other hand, here is a Descartes-Like phrase that does not describe the candidate for blog-award bestowal::

I exploit, therefore I am.

Meine Damen und Herren, darf ich vorstellen?

 

 

Everything socio and eco linguistic

‘Discourse is shaped by relations of power, and invested with ideologies’.

 (Fairclough 1992: 8 in Jaworski and Coupland 1999: 2).

Critical Linguistics: a consciousness-raising tool

According to Tom Bartlett (2010), in the 70s and 80s the study of texts took a political turn in the UK, with the rise of Critical Linguistics (CL) (Kress and Hodge, 1979). The main aim of CL was to reveal how texts can hide or distort important aspects of the events they claim to represent. Analysis focused on grammatical features as well as vocabulary choices. A central aim was to unpackage biases and points of view that were concealed in publications such as newspapers, articles and school books.

One aspect of analysis that is still discussed today is that of agency, the way in which grammar allocates responsibility to participants. Here is an example from Kieran O’Halloran (2003):

  1. Policeshot 10 people today as violence…

View original post 967 more words

Discovering Patterns in Language

Regular expressions. are powerful metamathematical tools, advanced techniques for matching patterns in a text or multiple texts — something fun and something useful. They are concise chunks of cryptic characters that can search a single text or multiple texts for precise patterns. Select an input file, do one thing or very many things to the file, then drop the resulting text into an output file.

regex-to-fa

Stephen Cole Kleene is the mathematician and philosopher who introduced the concept of the regular expression. He worked with Alan Turing and other pioneering types who were intensely active in the 1930’s. Their understanding of a mathematical maneuver called recursion; that led to breakthrough tools in logic — decisions made at superhuman speed and using the processing speed and memory to process words and numbers thrown together and called data. However, beware of the sorcerer’s apprentice phenomenon. Just bewaring.

recursion

An example: look for successive occurrences of WTF (upper or lower case) and substitute “what the fart”.

Through recursion you can stop, go backward a certain of characters, query the findings. Do something with it. Once you become familiar with the meta characters and the syntax, you can do a lot of useful things or destroy many useful things. So save the original file in a safe place and know where your output file ends up.

 

When I was a freelance translator I maintained a translation memory database that kept track of all my translations so that I might be reminded of earlier translations. The software I used was called SDL Trados; however, that was over ten years ago.

Here is one example of how I used regular expression code to insert a carriage return and linefeed whenever a blank space appeared in the original German. Essentially this created records that were one word long — the number of records was the number of words in the text. Then I queried my database for finds. A lot faster than the technique I used when learning German — looking up the words in a large-ass dictionary that I still have on the bottom shelf over there.

mastering.regular.expressions

The same Unix tools developed in the 1960’s remain in the electrons flowing from my screen to yours. They remind me of Arthur C. Clarke’s three laws:

  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke’s Three Laws

Hoping this is somewhat illuminating, or mildly amusing 🙂

Thanks for reading.

P.S. Now for something incompletely different, something inspired by Hariod Brawn’s comment below. It’s an article on The Sound (And Taste) Of Music by Layla Eplett — she brings a platter to the conversation and complements Mariano Sigman’s TED Talk:

 

SoundTasteofMusic
Layla Eplett

Thanks for reading this postscript 🙂