25 Mar

More Old English because I am a geek.

Via Languagehat: The New Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, with periodic news reports in Old English, like the original Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Here’s a modern English translation) .

This is the latest entry in the current Chronicle:

Ymb ?isne d?g ymb Wala ceastre in Su?-Waziristan provinciam in Pakistane Pakistanes fyrd fohte wi? beorgweargum ond Bin Ladenes heafod?egne, ond neah in Afghnistane Americisce fuhton wi? Talibaniscum.

Languagehat also writes today about a book that I have sitting on my table, waiting to be read: Simon Winchester’s The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. Like me, he got it for Christmas. Unfortunately, he didn’t like it.

18 Mar

But… it doesn’t include “blog”!

The Old English Computer Glossary is a wonderful assortment of computer terms in Old English. I’m currently typing this post in an eagðyrel of my ymbsceawere. When I’m done, I’ll uphladan it to the brytta, and it will be on the WoruldWideWebb!

(Yes, I am aware I am most likely not using the correct form of uphladan — I’m assuming that’s an infinitive, and I’ve never studied Old English so I’m not just going to guess the correct form of the top of my head. )

I love the pure straightforwardness (hey! That sounds like a good old-fashioned Anglo-Saxon compound word itself!) of some of these terms, which don’t really sound all that different from modern English. Examples:

  • welcome message: gretingword (greeting word)
  • digital: fingerlic (fingerly)
  • dust cover: dusthelm (dust helmet?)
  • hexadecimal: sixtynelic (sixteenly)
  • nerd: oferleornere(overlearner?)

Since I haven’t actually studied OE yet I’m just guessing at those literal translations there. Neat, though, aren’t they?

16 Mar


I was push-polled yesterday. The poll, ostensibly gathering information about support for Initiative 297, was pretty transparently intended to push one away from voting for Bush. I would never vote for Bush anyway, but it was still pretty funny (and rather insulting, really) how obvious it was.

The last part was something like “Knowing that George W. Bush does not support the removal of 75,000 truckloads of radioactive waste from the highways of Washington State, would you be extremely likely, slightly likely, slightly unlikely, or extremely unlikely to vote for him? And knowing that John Kerry does support the removal of 75,000 truckloads of radioactive waste from the highways of Washington State, would you be extremely likely, slightly likely, slightly unlikely, or extremely unlikely to vote for him?” Uh huh. I suppose Dubya also kicks bunny wabbits and eats endangered pandas with toast for breakfast, too… But, anyway, I guess the poll isn’t really intended for me, but for the swing voters who might actually change their minds based on this sort of thing.

What was funniest was when the surveyor (who had a strong Canadian accent), read a section of the script that referred to Spokane and Puget Sound being terrorized by toxic waste, and she pronounced it “SpoKAIN” and “PUHgget”. I laughed and said “Let me help you here; it’s ‘SpoKAN’ and ‘PYOOjet.'”

“Oh,” she said, “I’ve heard it both ways, SpoKAIN and SpoKAN.” Um. Not from anyone from Washington, you haven’t!

Somehow I think she continued to mispronounce it to everyone else because she didn’t believe me.

11 Mar

Sounds like a sick joke or a bad horror film, but…

Apparently human remains may have gotten into meat from the Pickton pig farm, site of Canada’s worst serial-killing case.

At least it didn’t get into the supermarkets or anything like that — the farm was an unlicensed slaughter facility, and apparently “very unsanitary.” Pickton gave the meat to friends and visitors, however, and there were a lot of visitors at that pig farm.

My first impulse was to make a “Canadian bacon” joke, but it really isn’t that funny.

08 Mar

Typefaces seen at Walt Disney World

There are few sites that serve both font geeks and theme park geeks. This massive Disney fonts list is one. Want to know which font is used in the logo for Mickey’s Star Traders, or which font is included in the posters for the Haunted Mansion? How about the old Epcot logo font or the font used in the Magic Kingdom guidemaps back in the ’70s? It’s all here including links to purchase the fonts or find freeware alternatives. Wow.

06 Mar

Danny’s Land

A blog of amusement park, ride theory and oddball transportation links: it’s pretty nearly tailor-made for some of my geekish obsessions. I haven’t had time to browse in detail, but any blog that talks about scary dark rides, vintage theme parks, bad Disneyland fashions, Save Disney, and soundtrack music for the GM Futurama II ride all on one page is worth exploring. (Via MeFi.)

06 Mar

No sympathy for the tow trucks

Following up the recent towing saga discussed here: it seems that West Coast Towing has been trying an end-run around state law that prohibits certain predatory towing practices (in their case, impounding cars without getting an express authorization for each tow), by claiming that federal law that deregulates the trucking industry prevents the state from regulating towers. (Towists? Towsters? Towistas?)

But it gets uglier: a former employee claims that West Coast, among other questionable actions, actually moved legally parked cars into illegal positions in order to tow them. Towing industry representatives point out that when towing companies make the decision whether a vehicle should be towed, it’s a huge conflict of interest, but TBT Towing GM Rick Woodrow, who recently made a couple of appearances in these pages, is quoted as saying “Probably every tower is rooting for West Coast.” (As one of my friends said after reading this: Rick, when are you going to hire a publicist? Because quotes like that are not helping your cause.)

Yesterday, striking a blow for the good guys, a U.S. District Judge rejected West Coast’s attempt to overturn a cease-and-desist order that blocks them from the “blanket authorization” tows. West Coast owner John Tillison claims to be suffering from “a tremendous loss of reputation and goodwill.” I wonder why he blames the state and media, but not his own company’s illegal actions?

04 Mar

“Not bad, but I think I preferred Braveheart”

A glossary of useful Aramaic terms to keep in mind while watching The Passion of the Christ, including:

Ktaabaa taab hwaa meneyh.
It’s not as good as the book.

Feelmaa haanaa tpeelaw! Proo’ lee ksef dmaa!
This film is terrible. I want my blood-money back.

Ayleyn enuun Oorqey?
Which ones are the Orcs?

Oh, and the Braveheart comment mentioned above is Baseem, ellaa saabar naa d-etstebeeth yateer b-Lebeh d-Gabaaraa!

(Post edited to add:)

For more Passion fun, there’s the transcript of the film’s blooper reel.

03 Mar

…and Portland is next

Multnomah County in Oregon will begin issuing marriage license to same-sex couples, starting today. Still no sign of any such thing in Washington. The article linked above says that King County Commissioner Ron Sims says he won’t allow county staffers to conduct same-sex marriages, though he supposedly doesn’t oppose them. The article also adds that Sims, as an ordained minister, is forbidden by his church from conducting such marriages. I certainly hope that isn’t what is making him forbid the county to perform them—the National Baptist Church shouldn’t set policy for King County.

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