Monday, January 30, 2012

Henry Miller's Commandments

Henry Miller

Circulating on Facebook these days is a writer’s list, penned by Henry Miller.  He calls them his “Commandments,” but these guidelines could help anyone who is project-oriented.  Enjoy these notes-to-self Miller wrote while living and working in Paris, c. 1922.  I especially like #7, myself!
Henry Miller’s Commandments:
1.  Work on one thing at a time until finished.
2.  Start no more new books; add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
3.  Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
4.  Work according to the program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
5.  When you can’t “create” you can “work.”
6.  Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
7.  Keep human! See people; go places, drink if you feel like it.
8.  Don’t be a drought-horse! Work with pleasure only.
9.  Discard the Program when you feel like it – but go back to it the next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
10.  Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you “are” writing.
11.  Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Roe v Wade turns 39 today!

Happy Birthday, Roe v Wade!  (Although I don't know too many 39-year-olds in such danger of death and/or dismemberment.)  President Obama has recently vowed to protect women's rights to safe and legal abortions, to protect their rights to choose what is best for themselves -- their bodies and their futures.  But, he faces increasing opposition.  Test your knowledge about Roe v Wade by visiting the informative website below.

Roe v Wade

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The World's Weirdest Sentence

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Notice the period at the end of the preceding line?  That means it is a sentence.  No, really.  It is.  Thanks to Chelsea Brenegan and her linguistics training for enlightening me about the world's weirdest sentence. 

Need help figuring it out?  Think of it this way:  The word ''buffalo'' in the sentence has three meanings -- the animal, the city in New York and the act of ''buffaloing'' which is another word for teasing or bullying.  You could think of the sentence like this: THE buffalo FROM Buffalo WHO ARE buffaloed BY buffalo FROM Buffalo ALSO buffalo THE buffalo FROM Buffalo.

I'm still not entirely sure I get it, but I'm thoroughly intrigued!  What do you think?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Paraprosdokians for thought

Thanks to my friend, Political Science Professor John Langton for sending me this list of paraprosdokians.

PARAPROSDOKIAN:  A figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation.  Some examples:

-- If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

-- We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.

-- War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

-- Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

-- Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

-- To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

-- A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

-- Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.'

-- I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

-- Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

-- A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

-- I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

-- You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

-- Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

-- I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

-- Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

-- Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

-- The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

-- Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

-- A diplomat is someone who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip.

-- Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.

-- I always take life with a grain of salt. Plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

-- When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

Which one is your favorite?  I must say, the tomato one speaks to me! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Why do girls have to buy pink stuff?

Thanks to Sociology and Women's Studies Professor Dr. Lisa Fein for forwarding me this wonderful youtube link.  I want this little girl in one of my future classes.  She is in a toy store ranting about why little girls have to buy "pink stuff" . . . and she obviously gets gender marketing better than many adults do.  My hat is off to little miss pink stuff.  I hope she never loses her insights!

Watch her in action:  Pink Stuff!  She's inspiring.