Dried Roses

Sunday cat pix

A bit of sun in the back window.
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Musa & Josie, 26 Nov 2008

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LinkDecember 8, 2008 in Cats

Pattern of the week

Click the View button to see the pattern used as a background. Download it.
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LinkDecember 8, 2008 in Patterns

Clear sailing on the high seas of the whirlwind

This Modern World
Source: Tom Tomorrow, This Modern World, via Salon
The outcome [of the current financial situation] essentially depends on the ability of the Obama administration to rejuvenate capitalism’s “animal spirits” by substituting the benevolent fist of government for the now invisible hand of Adam Smith.
Update: We thought we had a winner. But the competition is fierce.
And what I want to do is make sure we have jobs for these workers and we have first-class American automobile companies, and we’re not going to do it with the barnacles of unionism wrapped around their necks.
Has Sen. DeMint (from South Carolina) ever seen a barnacle? Maybe he means anchovies.
Addendum: I now know where those animal spirits come from. See 13 Feb 2009

LinkDecember 12, 2008 in Current Affairs

Sunday Cat Pix

Keeping the pillow warm.
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LG, 13 Dec 2008

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LinkDecember 14, 2008 in Cats

Dep’t of Dead Language

Gravitas had a perfectly fine sense in Latin. It meant ‘weight’. Stones fall because they have gravitas. Smoke rises because it has levitas, the opposite of gravitas.
On its way through Ellis Island, gravitas was cozened by someone’s PR guy (and I mean guy) into thinking it had a more important job to do. It would now denote that quality in people—oddly enough, almost all of them men—which makes reporters swoon in fits of deference. Whenever I see someone use it, I say to myself: This person’s brain has taken a holiday.
Our first example illustrates the point:
Has gravitas Deficient in gravitas
Fred Thompson Sarah Palin
Fred is still one of my favorite US politicians, or at least former politicians. The guy just has such a gravitas that you just have sit up to take notice.
[O’Reilly:] OK, the Rasmussen poll shows that most Republicans like Sarah Palin, and they’d like to see her run again. The general polls show that most Americans don’t believe she has the gravitas.
Needless to say, as our next example shows, you can’t be a leader if you don’t have gravitas.
Has gravitas Deficient in gravitas
John McCain The New Orleans Saints
Whatever might be said of John McCain’s response back then, it was a response. Mac was acting the way you’d expect a president to act. Obama, on the other hand, had to be dragged off the campaign trail while displaying all the gravitas of a pouting schoolboy.
This team’s window to win a championship is still open for a couple of years, but it can’t afford to throw away campaigns like this one […] because they don’t have the gravitas to impose their will on opponents.
Gravitas, for all its, um, gravitas, is a delicate quality. For example, if you have grey hair, even prematurely grey, you may be eligible. But if you’re too young, even the most granitic of coiffs may fail to overcome your juvenile levity.
Has gravitas Deficient in gravitas
David Gregory David Gregory
Enjoying a gravitas boost from his prematurely salt-and-pepper mane and friendships with Tom Brokaw and other of the legendary figures of NBC News, the Los Angeles native quickly became one of the hottest personalities in network news.
Instead of simply naming a successor to Russert […], executives are considering the possibility of multiple hosts, including a trio of panelists. That could help address any shortcoming in gravitas seen in Gregory or Todd, each of whom is still in his 30s.
In this respect, gravitas is like baldness. You have to be born with it, even though it doesn’t show up for decades.
Has gravitas Deficient in gravitas
Frank Langella Richard Nixon
For all his attempted gravitas, Nixon was a shifty-eyed lightweight and transparent phony, whereas Langella is a born Shakespearean. Finally, Nixon has the stature that eluded him in life!
Some things, alas, will never have even the slightest gravitas.
Deficient in gravitas
Return of the Jedi
Britney Spears’s bio
While many young fans love the cuddly Ewoks, others are rather disappointed that the film lacks gravitas.
First a big hat tip goes to Pedro Castro, whose gorgeous, lush cinematography made me feel like I was watching something wayyy more important than I was (just like that sweeping camera work on The Hills. MTV has cornered the market on fake swelling gravitas).
And finally: a crack investigative reporter has discovered that under the new administration we will all experience an increase in gravitas. Maybe that will make up for not having a job or a 401(k).
Caution: Museums with tantalizing gift shops can defeat the purpose and plonk you right back where you started, in full shopaholic mode. You must resist. You must gird your loins with your newfound gravitas and fight the temptation to buy those Smokey and the Bandit shot glasses.
Find more Dead Language here.

LinkDecember 15, 2008 in Current Affairs · Language

Sunday cat pix

Josie and her whiskers. Click on ‘View’ to see.
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LinkDecember 21, 2008 in Cats

Dep’t of Dead Language, Superfluous Words Div.

Uberblockbuster. Ridicule it now.
DiCaprio and Winslet (Mendes’ real-life wife) are longtime off-screen friends reteaming for the first time since the 1997 uberblockbuster “Titanic.”
Don’t you wish you had a “longtime off-screen friend”? They make very nice accessories.

LinkDecember 24, 2008 in Language

Sunday Cat Pix

Yes, she does mind if I take a picture. But I did anyway, because that’s what we humans were put here on earth to do.

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LinkDecember 28, 2008 in Cats