Wednesday, March 17, 2004

one for sorrow, two for Joy Three for a girl, Four for a boy Five for silver six for gold. seven for a secret Never to be told the truth. about the United States Trustee Program The Executive Office of the President Executive Order of November which

Courtesy of Google Talk.
Well I started off playing with the Poetry in Translation bit [latest post, 1], which turned it in to ensure, two for the joy, which doesn't seem as fun.

[1] But we've all babelfished[2] everything to hell before anyway haven't we? Even assorted radio stations have set up competitions based on converting song titles into other languages and back again.

[2] Oooh, look at me with my...verbalising sounds right, but it's already got a different meaning...converting brands into verbs a la Hoover. Actually given the amount of comment on Google becoming a verb, and Yahoo not, it seems odd that amazoned or amazoning[3] hasn't obviously cropped up in the media yet.

[3] As in to buy someone something on Amazon - so Mr X in Australia can amazon his friend in Canada a DVD.

And once again the aforementioned variations on trade-marks are just that, so I'm not trying to contest that Googling can involve using Yahoo, or Amazoning can happen through CD-WOW.

Hmm, Google Talk doesn't seem to like my mother's oft quoted phrase "patience is a virtue [possess it if you can, seldom in a woman, and never in a man]"[4], as it goes via Judaism, and Judson Poling (who?) to end in September Manufacturing.

[4] Coming from her? If you haven't already met, Mr Self, I'd like to introduce you to Miss Awareness.

Hmm, what is else is out there? DO's take on the bounds of Europe (anywhere but America). Hate to disappoint you, but the EU's already said it doesn't consider Morocco a potential candidate for membership due to geographic grounds. Presumably they don't fancy having the Sahara as a border (though quite why the states bounding the Mediterranean can't eventually join, I'm not really sure, except for the whole European Union thing).
And as for the eastward end of Europe I think traditionally it goes across to the Urals (so "Russia" is, but most of the former USSR isn't is in Europe), but whether it reaches the Caspian Sea has always been a bit uncertain - various places put the border through the rivers Volga or Don, or the Caucasus Mountains. But Asia begins at the Bosphorus, so much of Turkey is outside this traditional Europe. But then you get into the dubious distinctions of the Middle East and Asia Minor. And given that a chunk of this area is going to join the EU, it seems difficult to tell if Armenia could ever become a member (maybe they'll get round it by renaming the EU the Eurasian Union).

By the way, CNN stories about Georgia are filed under Europe, but the CIA map of Europe doesn't even do much of the Black Sea. As Yankiness is next to godliness [well, being omnipotent], which of these supreme beings should we believe?

Onto other stuff:
Things I have learnt recently. That there's a program on the CBeebies Channel (BBC channel for very young Children) called Smarteenies [presumably a branch of the Smart art program]. I'm now trying to work out how many 3 year olds know what Martini is. I'm guessing it's a pun they're not going to get for many years hence (well until they watch their first Bond film). Unless it's actually derived from "teen", and has the diminutive "ies" on the end. Which sounds like the type of thing that blue sky focus groups come up with, though possibly suggesting toddlers are little teenagers is pushing it a bit (but they do both throw strops...).

That people have craft moments. It happens when they go to do something, but forget what it was. CRAFT in this context standing for "Can't Remember A Fucking Thing". Which sounds a little odd, when heard coming from a very well spoken fifty-something woman in tweeds standing by the bread-knives in Dyas's [an ironmongers based in the South-East, don't be mislead by the dodgy JML adverts].

But now I'm feeling guilty because I realised I was being as judgmental as my mother[5] was, when I was scathing about her being surprised about a young guy, with straggly bleached-blond hair, low-slung baggy cords, hooded top, visible beads on neck and wrist, about 4 rings on assorted digits, and a guitar-case on his back, walking up to a display of newspapers, and picking up a copy of the Telegraph [there's something irredeemably Home Counties about that, 6].

[5] Turning into parents: bad, except when it happens on television, and the parent is Anne Robinson [can't find a link for the television version, and the Telegraph one probably requires a free login. And I've just seen the link for that page - be careful what you put in front of arts].

[6] Although it wasn't in a "waitrosed-up market town", to quote the Guardian (but it has already got a Tesco's, two Sainsbury's and a large M and S, that I know of, so that might explain the lack of the John Lewis Food Division[7]). But I had just seen an Ocado van driving round, so that probably counters it.

[7] What is it with tuppences on escalators? A few weeks ago in the Oxford Street one, there was a group of teenagers, managing to place coins on the handrail of the one the escalators right where people were putting their hands. So the people get on, looking at the floor, go up a little bit, as they readjust their position to examine the back of the person in front, they find money right under their palm. Cue the bemused looks, asking the people around them if they dropped it, and the brighter ones turning round to look at the people at the base of the escalator, and figuring out what happened.

And then much more recently there was another group in a different shop, failing to do the same thing. Very odd.

And another thing: is it just me, or do other people, when seeing the Scotland - Live it/feel it/taste it adverts, start thinking of alternatives? Such as fuck it, sod it, screw it, bugger it, damn it. Just me? Oh well. Though at least it's fun trying to guess if the opening shot of stormy heath covered mountains is an advertisement for A. Scotland, B. Ireland, C. Wales, D. Norway or other Scandinavian country. E. Whisky, F. Whisky from Waitrose. G. Moisturising hand cream, H. Air Freshener, I. British Gas as was, J. Tea, K. Washing Powder, L. Electricity, M. Biscuits, N. Beer, O. The new, utterly crap, Sunday evening television programme on either BBC1 or ITV.

Hmm, they've done their marketing well, as Google is completely stumped when it comes to finding who put out those ads (all I can find is endless ads for car-loans on a tartan background).

Anyhoo, I'm giving up now.

PS. I'm about to disappear for a while, I should be able to post again before then, but I might not have time, so that'll explain it if this blog goes dead for a bit.

PS number 2. Now I'm getting people searching for the symbolism of the frogs in a certain French film frequently mentioned here. This time I really have no clue (well except that "frogs" is a derogatory term for French people, stemming from the stereotyped belief that French people eat frogs' legs a lot, that's when they're not riding bicycles past the Eiffel Tower, in berets and blue and white striped jumpers, with strings of onions or garlic round their necks).

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