Tags: wikipedia

Rhymes With Orange

Well, Frak Me

I've recently started watching Battlestar Galatica. It always looked like an interesting series and I saw the exhibit in Seattle and just knew I had to watch that show. This was further hit home when I played a card game a friend improvised to fit BSG. It was a blast and so far I'm loving the show. But I was curious about a word I kept hearing them use on the show: frak.

Frak actually merits its own Wikipedia entry and there is a good bit of history for this fictional word. In the original BSG from the 1970's, it was spelled frack and used sparingly in the show (I've seen about 5 episodes of the original). In the new series, it was shortened to frak because the writers wanted it to be a four-letter word.

It also ties into a larger article about profanity in science fiction. The fact that this is a Wikipedia article on its own was enough to make my mind-numbingly dull day better. One major point it makes is that by having fictional profanities, they can communicate how the characters would normally talk (because soldiers are Orbit gum ads waiting to happen) and still make it past the censors. Firefly did the same thing with "goram" but it doesn't appear to be as widely recognized. Although props to this blog which is entitled "Goram Motherfrakker" This is also a trick used in the young adult novel The Maze Runner where the young men of the maze create their own profanity.

There is one thing I'm wondering. Anytime I've seen frak used on it's own, it only has 1 K but anytime there are letters after it (motherfrakker, frakkin') there are 2 Ks. Why is that and how was it decided? Is there some sort of sci-fi linguistics involved?

Wikipedia's nth Degrees of Separation

I'm back from the Great North. I'd call it the Great White North but this time of year it's remarkably green. Since I was in south Alaska there weren't a ton of misquotes (God bless ocean air). Pictures are forthcoming but I have to narrow it down to my favorites since I took a lot.

In the mean time I decided to satisfy a curiosity of mine. In an recent issue of XKCD the writer notes that if you pick any Wikipedia article and click the first link in the article text (not italics or parenthesis, just plain text) and just keep going doing that, you will eventually end up at Philosophy. 

So far I've tested this theory on the following articles: spark plugs, Daft Punk, giraffes, Ellie Goulding, blog, Germany, ice hockey, television, lava lamp, Warehouse 13, 42, Lindsay Lohan, situation comedy, coupon, slasher film, corset, snoring, Pacific Ring of Fire, LOLcat, tittle, omega, naturalist, macaroni and cheese, Mount Vernon, power metal, black holes, Apples to Apples, Brave New World, Heidi Montag, fairy tale, Martha Washington, and obsidian.

Lava lamp was a little tougher because "novelty item" is the first link and I had to go a little farther down to get to 'Toys,' the first in text link. It was the same with 42. I had to do some scrolling on more than one page but in the end I got there. I was astounded how quick a trip it was from LOLcat to Philosophy. 

My list of topics is remarkably random so as long as you choose something with a proper article (not a disambiguation list), and click the first plain text link in the article, you will end up back at philosophy. I wonder if a philosopher would find any deeper meaning in this.
Sweet Lips

(no subject)

I found this on facebook and thought it deserved to be shared. It's a revamped "12 Days of Christmas" but I'm only including the last verse. Almost everyone knows this song or can find it on youtube so you can figure out how its supposed to go if you don't already know.

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Twelve parrots prattling,
Eleven numbats nagging,
Ten lizards leaping,
Nine wombats working,
Eight dingoes digging,
Seven possums playing,
Six brolgas dancing,
Five Kangaroos,
Four koalas cuddling,
Three kookaburras laughing,
Two pink galahs,
And an emu up a gum tree.

On a completely separate note, I saw a presentation about Celiac disease in one of my classes.  It's a relatively rare condition (although not as rare as it would seem) in which a person is completely allergic to gluten. That essentially rules out almost any and all grains/breads.  They can have rice and corn based products and there are special foods but only in recent years have they not epicly sucked (from what I hear). They can eat eggs, meat, fruit, vegtables and a few other things but eating out is really difficult (beer and pizza are 2 big no-nos). Most people haven't heard about it so I thought I'd give it a shout out on my blog. The girl in my class who gave the presentation has it, an old boss of mine has it and Emmy Rossum (actress & singer) has it proving it's not that extraordinary. Here's the Wiki.

Shake It

Anthropomorphic Animals

I don't know what started me thinking about this. Maybe it was watching James and the Giant Peach at my friend's house a week or two ago. I love kids movies where animals are anthropomorphized. I was recently thinking about a movie I believe my grandfather bootlegged many moons ago that was not from Disney (shocker). (It may be technically since I don't know if MGM owns Disney or if Disney owns MGM. It's the same production people who did Fievel.) It was Rock-a-Doodle which was about a kid having a dream, a singing rooster and a whole barnyard of anthropomorphic animals. (The IMDB)

Speaking of Fievel, I don't think anyone who is in my age has not seen it. I remember having to sing the song "Somewhere Out There" for my Jr High chorus recital. It was an incredibly cute movie about anthropomorphic immigrant mice from Russia who come to America expecting paradise. Like many human immigrants in the late 19th century, they lived in cramped unsanitary conditions, worked in sweatshops and were manipulated by the (literal) fatcats to pay for their safety. It does have a happy ending (name one kids movie that leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth) but it also has an interesting parallel to human life. It may be a funny way of teaching kids history. Unlike Rock-a-Doodle, the world of the humans and special mice exist together rather than separated by magic. (The IMDB)

Another fun anthropomorphic mouse movie was The Great Mouse Detective. Like Fievel's tail, the world of the mice exists along with the world of the people but it draws from an existing fictional character (Sherlock Holmes) to begin its story. It's a plot to take over all of the mice in the UK and it was one of my favorites because it had action, adventure, mystery and talking animals (I would be a vet if I'd had better math and science teachers). (The IMDB)

Funnily enough, both talking mice movies came out in the same year. I guess Mickey and his commrades were very happy. I don't think the skittish little things in my garage at home can say the same since they are normal food-stealing rodents as opposed to the cute talking kinds.

Sweet Lips

Identity Poem

I was watching Identity recently to get in a Halloween mood. I'm a gigantic weenie and can't handle most horror movies but I did OK with this one since most of the horror occurs in 'not reality' (I'd elaborate more but that would spoil the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it. It's not great but it's not bad.)

In the beginning, a killer is reciting a poem that goes:

"When I was walking up the stairs,
I met a man who wasn't there,
He wasn't there again today
I wish, I wish he'd go away"

I googled it and found that it originated from Huge Mearns written in the early twentieth century or so about a haunting in Antoigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. The poem is named after the town. The actual quatrain matches the one in the movie I watched. It was put into a song and a few other fun things. Here's the forum and the Wiki I found.