Thursday, October 20, 2005

2005-08-31 025 London in the summertimeI have to admit that I haven't been to many presentations at which the one of the questions at the end comes after the following: "So-and-so, Independent on Sunday". Listening to the Government's Chief Scientific adviser (which sounds slightly oxymoronic, doesn't it?) on climate change proved to be quite interesting, if a little frustrating. It's odd to hear the former head of Downing (hmm, is the Cantab's version the same man who named the Street?) suddenly lapse into political not answering the question. It's made even more strange when contrasted with the objective scientific attitude and political cynicism displayed a few seconds before. Obviously insulting the boss isn't the done thing.

Anyway, the whole thing can pretty much be summed up with "Be afraid, be very afraid", coupled with some slightly dubious logic (which was very rare in the whole thing - just a couple of poor choices of example) and some diplomatic comments which verged on the bitchy.

Oh, remind me not to be me, and thereby leave stuff too late, and end up running things round everywhere, because while running up escalators is great for toning my calf muscles, it's not so great when they start aching.

And remind me to stop using the phrase "I do my best work at the last minute; it's just normally more than a minute's worth", because while possessing a please degree of paradox, it is really just an excuse for being disorganised and lazy. Although lucidity usually hits at 1 am (or it could just be "oh sod it" hits at 1 am).

But being disorganised has it advantages, as it means I don't bother to remember that somewhere in the small print of a timetable that it said an event was an hour and a half later than usual. Guess who ran in slightly late only to meet a group of slightly bemused people who had also neglected to read the blurb until they arrived. Disabling "but what do I do now" left us lingering for a few minutes, during which time the guy running the event turned up and started setting up, dragged us in and started. Turns out that the event was at the normal time, despite being not the normal person (it was organised by several third parties. Next week they're planning a sampling session in a brewery). And it means we get to find out which the disorganised, and now better briefed, third of the group was.

But moving on from such petty matters, the last post analysis of changing street names has already brought a flood of visitors (maybe just the one). Checking out other sources from that linked search I found a Wikipedia article* on the subject in hand (no pun intended, well, maybe a bit once I realised it would be a pun). From that I came across found this Telegraph article on the names of parts of the body and their actions.

Except it's the Telegraph and not the Guardian, and so certain words cannot be used - in an article about them. Can you see the problem here? Oddly it doesn't count if the depraved word is in a compound word. I had to resort to Google to find out the noodle thing (but from the description I suspect rather a few people would be expected to do that). So now I know what that is, and both meanings (which oddly enough I hadn't bothered looking up until then).

But curiously it comes up with suggestions for words that should have been in the reviewed book, but which weren't; camel-toe, furtle, and the verb trombone. The first one I know, although I don't know how, and can't say I've ever had reason to use it. The second had me reaching for the OED only to realise the internet is much better at this sort of thing (furtive fondle, should you be as uninitiated as I. Is it me or does the definition have a hint of Mr Kipling about? Another furtive fondle, Vicar?). For the third I guessed at the meaning, assuming it was a reference to growth analogous to deepening the instrument's pitch. Completely wrong on that on as well. If you want to know, go Google.

But then I had to Google Onanism, which I thought was something to do with oneness, or connecting with the inner self, which it sort of is.

In light of this article, one does wonder just what they get up to in that great angular phallus at Canary Wharf. I know the Spectator indulges in this sort of thing (hands up if you've watched More4 since that was on. So far my viewing of the channel was patches of the opening night when not cooking, so NewsLite on drugs and the first quarter of an hour of the Daily Show, which was funny (but with American timing), but apparently the programme went downhill after the break, followed by the Blunkett thing).

Anyway, I can't imagine that vocab being common parlance at the Socialist Worker (if ever there was a paper that ought to carry the words "where sold").

*Which disagrees with what I said. The Wikipedia article states it was near the Barbican, and then has the article which states it is off the south of Cheapside listed as the second reference (according to my map reading, that's not the same place. Perhaps it's near in the same way Trafalgar Square is near Tottenham Court Road, i.e. it is, but quite a lot of things are much nearer). But some of the references are things like the Telegraph article - not so much references, more vaguely related. They even have a link to an Evening Standard article by Brian Sewell, which only mentions the name in passing, and who uses longer sentences than I do, with less punctuation.

And with that revelation, I’d better finish.


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