18 December 2008

Grades are in; semester's over.

After the daily blogging last month, we've had a little hiatus. But it's December, after all, a Busy Month for the academics. Not just the holidays, but all those papers! All those finals! All those excuses, both excellent and not!

Let the games begin.

08 December 2008

Oxford English Dictionary, Changing With the Times

This just in:

Words taken out of the Oxford Junior Dictionary include: Carol, cracker, holly, ivy, mistletoe, dwarf, elf, goblin, abbey, aisle, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, minister, monastery, monk, nun, nunnery, parish, pew, psalm, pulpit, saint, sin, devil, vicar, coronation, duchess, duke, emperor, empire, monarch, decade adder, ass, beaver, boar, budgerigar, bullock, cheetah, colt, corgi, cygnet, doe, drake, ferret, gerbil, goldfish, guinea pig, hamster, heron, herring, kingfisher, lark, leopard, lobster, magpie, minnow, mussel, newt, otter, ox, oyster, panther, pelican, piglet, plaice, poodle, porcupine, porpoise, raven, spaniel, starling, stoat, stork, terrapin, thrush, weasel, wren. Acorn, allotment, almond, apricot, ash, bacon, beech, beetroot, blackberry, blacksmith, bloom, bluebell, bramble, bran, bray, bridle, brook, buttercup, canary, canter, carnation, catkin, cauliflower, chestnut, clover, conker, county, cowslip, crocus, dandelion, diesel, fern, fungus, gooseberry, gorse, hazel, hazelnut, heather, holly, horse chestnut, ivy, lavender, leek, liquorice, manger, marzipan, melon, minnow, mint, nectar, nectarine, oats, pansy, parsnip, pasture, poppy, porridge, poultry, primrose, prune, radish, rhubarb, sheaf, spinach, sycamore, tulip, turnip, vine, violet, walnut, willow.

This is, apparently, cause they represent a Britain which no longer exists. England is moving on. They have new words, though, such as blog, broadband, MP3 player, voicemail, attachment, database, export, chatroom, bullet point, cut and paste, analogue, celebrity, tolerant, vandalism, negotiate, interdependent, creep, citizenship, childhood, conflict, common sense, debate, EU, drought, brainy, boisterous, cautionary tale, bilingual, bungee jumping, committee, compulsory, cope, democratic, allergic, biodegradable, emotion, dyslexic, donate, endangered, Euro Apparatus, food chain, incisor, square number, trapezium, alliteration, colloquial, idiom, curriculum, classify, chronological, block graph.

I'm still annoyed that the language no longer sustains words like swyve and swink, though, so there's no point in me getting all riled about this. And one of those words wouldn't have been appropriate for a children's dictionary, anyway. But I don't know HOW I'm going to explain all this to the corgi.

06 December 2008

Rhys Graduates Bad Dog Class Magna cum Laude

We're back from the last "Bad Dog Class" (marketed as "Adult Basic," but we knew better), and not only did Rhys graduate, he took a prize for the longest "sit-stay." We could have gone on longer, but everybody was so congratulatory, we got distracted.

So I have a dog who can "sit-down-sit-stand-down-sit" pretty quickly (though not as precisely as the dog who took THAT prize), can "sit-stay," can "heel," and even refrain from pulling whilst in class, and is just bright as a button, and then goes home and barks till we all want to pull our hair out -- or at least get in a mass and pretend we're sheep and do whatever he wants -- and nips at our heels until we all want to pull our hair out -- or at least get in a mass and pretend we're sheep and do whatever he wants -- and considers himself the boss of the house, and can't be trusted not to pull when we're walking down the street. Cause he has an agenda. Unless we're in class, where his agenda, being to do whatever he has to do to get the CHEESE, is MY agenda, cause I have opposable thumbs.

But he's got a prize from obedience class.

It was stuffed toy. Within five minutes he had the squeaker and most of the stuffing out.

Life's good, for corgis.

And lord knows they're entertaining.

05 December 2008

More Octopus Stories

Apropos of our octopus fashion yesterday, we have the news from Coburg, Germany, that the zoo's octopus is bored cause the aquarium is closed for the winter, so he's shorted out the overhead light by squirting ink at it, he's been juggling the hermit crabs, he's been throwing stones at the glass and damaging it (he's going to be Real Sorry, if he keeps this up), and he's been changing the decor of the tank, which makes his neighbors unhappy.

Much like Rhys, when he hasn't gotten to the dog park enough.

04 December 2008

Finally, Some Good News

The subject of my post yesterday depressed the hell out of me, so I'm glad to say this morning that the news is that, even though the world has currently gone over a very high cliff in its quest to get to hell in a handbasket, nevertheless the fall fashions are going to cheer us all up: affordable, flattering, and appropriate.
I am so looking forward to teaching "Political Drama" whilst wearing this.
(From the VECONA Fashion Show in Brugge, courtesy of Boing Boing.)

03 December 2008

That's Enough.

France is set to propose a United Nations resolution, on behalf of the 27-member European Union, calling on govenments worldwide to de-criminalize homosexuality.

This concerns the imprisonment and execution of men and women around the world, because homosexuality is punishible by imprisonment in 65 countries in the world -- and death in several of them.

The Vatican opposes this resolution because it could lead to "reverse discrimination against heterosexual marriage."

Better that the United Nations refuse to take a stand on the imprisonment and executution of gays, than that they be allowed, anywhere, to marry?

In what way is this Christian?

02 December 2008

Your Tuesday Collection

Abbie the Cat is back today -- he's been gone for a while (not like the time he was LOST, which was AWFUL, but more like he just hasn't been posting), but is back to tell us all about his tuna fish prize for something or other -- being a sassy cat, I gather, which he nearly got twice but the humans got in the way.

Also, consider yourself warned: do NOT go to the snake temple and fall into a trance. Cause it's a pain in the butt for everybody else. You want to know WHICH snake temple, you say? Sorry, can't help you there. I'd just avoid tackiness at all of them; that way you'll be safe.

Also, if you're in England, looking for holiday cheer and activities, you're too late, alas, to go to the "Lapland New Forest Theme Park," with its promised "real log cabins, a nativity scene, husky dogs and other animals, as well as a 'bustling' Christmas market." It opened on Friday, hundreds of people complained to the BBC, the website was down by Monday, and, well, you're too late. Too bad -- it had lots of Christmasy English mud, and some depressed reindeer. It cost 150 pounds! (This translates to $225 today!) And then you had to pay more to use the broken ice rink and see the chained up barking husky dogs!

There are currently four Facebook groups concerning the dreadfulness of Lapland New Forest.

The manager says that the park's not a ripoff; it's just that there were a few rainy days there, alas. Also he says the ice rink has been fixed.

No word on whether the reindeer are still depressed.

01 December 2008

December: All About Thanks

The NaBloPoMo theme for December is thanks.

The word "thank" goes back into Old English, pretty much unchanged -- that's how important it is -- BUT it originally meant "thought" -- that is, as in "think."

Ha ha, NaBloPoMo! Ha ha! So, really, anything we think is a thanks. So all our thoughts count, for December. Even the little ones, like this.

For which we can be thankful.