...or antagonyms: words that are their own antonyms, such as "cleave."

And, of course, there's a list of these lexical and semantic oddities.



I just want to put my head down on my desk, I'm left so stunned by the brazenness of corporations.

US GM spokesperson, Sherri Woodruff: “GM thinks there has to be closer cooperation between the government and the private sector, but we don’t advocate a single-payer system for the U.S.”

Canadian GM spokesperson, David Patterson: “The Canadian plan has been a significant advantage for investing in Canada."

Forehead slapping details and more dumbfounding corporate bullshit here.


Fun with Google Local

Search engines can be fun. Go to Google local, enter your city, and type away.

Here is a search for assholes in Washington, D.C. And here's a search for drug dealers in Seattle.

Ah, the joys of adolescent pleasures. (Wonkette made me do it.)

The Constraint in Splinters

The text was composed as a right triangle with "wood" repeated down the hypotenuse:


This may be kind of an acrostic variant of the snowball, though in a snowball words are not usually broken across lines and the original structure is preserved.

I love having some word secretly threaded through the text like this.

from Wood

Whose old Eden unwrites our sorrows? Behind an apple's waxy glow shone nights of obligation, need, and ordinary awe. To unbite one portal through the old wall by the sword....


Your Inner European

Your Inner European is Italian!

Passionate and colorful.
You show the world what culture really is.

Who's Your Inner European?

Surprised me — thought for sure I'd be French. Ah, well.


Speech to Text

Jason Nelson has taken recorded sounds, used a speech to text converter to generate text, and then redacted / collaged the text. Because the converter is trained to his voice, it makes all sorts of "errors."

Seems a little like diastic reading because it would be deterministic. Presumably, the process would generate the same output for any repeated input.

That iPod Thing

I don't own an iPod and don't download MP3 files. But, hey, I want to participate. So, here's what the RDM setting on the car's CD player selected during the commute:

  • "Behind Blue Eyes," The Who

  • "Experiment IV," Kate Bush

  • "Buried Alive," Echo and the Bunnymen




Unitarian Jihad

Necrophilia II

"A Culture of Death, Not Life" by Frank Rich in today's NYT. (Registration required or go to BugMeNot.com to get a working username and password.)

Also, take a look at "The Proper Reverence Due Those Who Have Gone Before" over at Pharyngula. It contrasts human history with sacred history in a different, refreshing way.


The Gendered Text

Researchers have developed a program that can determine the gender of a text's author with 80% accuracy.

The article points out that it's small words — pronouns and prepositions — that mark the differences. This isn't exactly surprising if you recall the research on authorship of the Federalist Papers back in the 60s. There, too, it was the small words that most clearly marked authorship.

What I'd really like to do is get the software and see how long it would take me to learn to fool it.


An Iraqi Watches American Television

...at the always interesting but infrequently updated Baghdad Burning.