Word Choice

The New York Times has a cool applet up that lets you scan Bush’s State of the Union Addresses (including a speech in 2001 that technically doesn’t count) for word use instances and frequencies. It lays out all the texts side-by-side and highlights in red each instance of your word. Off to the right, it…

Exampletax

Yesterday I stumbled across this interesting article (published in The Linguistic Review but available on the web at the preceding link) by Rens Bod (winner of the 2004 Best Name in Linguistics Award) called Exemplar-Based Syntax: How to Get Productivity from Examples. I’m not sure it completely delivers on the title. For those not in…

Interview with the Vampire

It seems that this is to be Objectivist Weekend. I get a lot of my general internet reading done during breakfast – the news and what not. Yesterday I stumbled on this four part interview with Nathaniel Branden – conducted by Alec Mouhibian. I had intended not to blog today, but I thought this was…

The Virtue of Clear Language

An interesting comment on an earlier post about Objectivism questions my assertion that disliking cynical people is part of Objectivism’s cultural ethos. On the surface, this is exactly right. After all, a cynic is typically someone who despairs of finding anyone motivated by anything other than selfishness. Since Rand likes to talk about Selfishness as…

Barbara Branden on Smoking

OK – last Objectivism-related entry for today, I promise! But reading on the internet for the original post, I ran across this interesting page on Barbara Branden’s site. It has to do with smoking and her belief that it isn’t really addictive. I’m posting this here because I’ve always felt the same way. Admittedly, I…

Pretty Cats

In doing some internet reading for the previous entry I ran across some truly beautiful cats. They’re Diana Mertz Hsieh’s cats; she’s involved in the Objectivist Movement and was Nathaniel Branden’s webmaster for years, as a volunteer, it seems. She has since decided to stick with orthodoxy and renounce the Brandens, whom she claims she…

Something Like a Review

Dr. Purdom is doing some volunteer work for the county helping draw up new voting districts. It’s an interesting problem he’s working on – namely, how do we draw up districts and then distribute voting machines to make sure that everyone gets a fair chance to vote? In the extreme cases, theoretically speaking, the voting…

I am the Arm, and I Sound Like This

This is mostly in response to a comment on an earlier entry in which I defended the existence and quality of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me – the “prequel” movie that appeared about a year after the series proper was cancelled. A lot of fans of the Twin Peaks TV show understandably dislike the…

Forbidden Fruit

An interesting entry on Mr. Tweedy’s blog says that he’s ordered some absinthe. Anyone who’s seen Moulin Rouge! will have heard of it. It’s a liquor made with grand wormwood and a collection of other herbs – highly alcoholic – and generally has a bitter, anise flavor. I’ve never had any myself, but I understand…