Quick Roundup 32

Monday, March 13, 2006

I'm getting ready for a beast of a presentation tomorrow. While I try not to let anything keep me from posting, if you don't hear from me until some time tomorrow, that would be why.

A Word of Thanks

I would like to thank the editor of Capitalism Magazine (who, I think, prefers to remain anonymous) for publishing this column. Getting published at what has been a favorite web site of mine for years is an honor, and marks further progress towards my goal of establishing myself as an opinion writer.

He's back!

The General, author of the well-regarded Benjo Blog, and a friend of mine, has returned to blogging in a limited capacity. Stop by there and say "Hello!"

She's back!

I recently heard from Sarah Beth, who seems to have started posting again as well over at Reclaim Your Brain.

He's busy.

I've been meaning to mention this for awhile now.... The Resident Egoist has been up to his eyeballs and has had to stop blogging regularly, but there is some good news.

[I]t is my intention to come back when I get a lighter schedule; this however, I don't expect any time soon.


Now on to better news: starting this moment, I will be offering free web hosting to Objectivists who want, or need it. That is, if you want to set up a personal weblog, a community forum, a mailing list, or a simple blank HTML page, etc.... and you need webspace to host it, let me know and I will see how I can help you ... if I can indeed help you. Did I mention that only Objectivists [or students of Objectivism] need apply? Good.
He's famous!

Zach Oakes's review of Atlas Shrugged is now a Spotlight Review at Amazon.

He's on the front lines!

Don Watkins, who now works at the Ayn Rand Institute, has filed this report on his first days there, including a nice first-hand look at a freedom of speech event at UCLA.

They're four!

I see that Noodle Food now has a fourth blog team member.

It's alive!

A friend sent me the following news of a recent significant scientific discovery.
A team of American-led divers has discovered a new crustacean in the South Pacific that resembles a lobster and is covered with what looks like silky, blond fur, French researchers said Tuesday.

Scientists said the animal, which they named Kiwa hirsuta, was so distinct from other species that they created a new family and genus for it.

The divers found the animal in waters 7,540 feet deep at a site 900 miles south of Easter Island last year, according to Michel Segonzac of the French Institute for Sea Exploration.

The new crustacean is described in the journal of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

The animal is white and just shy of 6 inches long -- about the size of a salad plate.

In what Segonzac described as a "surprising characteristic," the animal's pincers are covered with sinuous, hair-like strands.

It is also blind. The researchers found it had only "the vestige of a membrane" in place of eyes, Segonzac said.
Scandalously absent from the report is the answer to the single most important question anyone with a serious interest in crustaceans would have: "But is it tasty?"

Here's some good blogging advice.

Don't obsess over getting noticed by "A-List" bloggers, or living up to the unsolicited opinions of "blog snobs". The former will save you needless frustration, and the latter will save your readers needless boredom.

You tell me....

Which is goofier: Islamic basketball (HT: Mike N) or a "sin tax" on "workahol"?

This one's for Bubblehead.

Co-founder and Fearless Leader of the group submarine blog Ultraquiet No More sometimes has me laughing out loud when I visit his blog. The title of this recent posting, "Sorry to Harsh Your Mellow, Dude", was enough. Something about that phrase is just so damned ... perfect.

I already had a vague idea of what it meant, but on reflection, I realized that if I were pressed on the matter, I wouldn't really be able to explain it, so here's an explanation (and a link to a site that I could easily waste a day on). I reproduce it here in the spirit of edifying the public. As a bonus, the question is in a more formal-sounding dialect of English, making for a nice contrast with the expression itself.
Q From Pierre Garon, Canada: "I read in the newspaper the following sentence: 'And if that is not enough to harsh his mellow, his pal wades in about making the rent and getting his act together'. I make a wild guess that harsh one's mellow might mean to 'harry one some more' but it might be a case where your lights are needed."

A You're pretty much there. Don't harsh my mellow is American slang, meaning variously and roughly "don't treat me badly", "don't get on my nerves", "don't make life difficult for me", roughly the same as buzzkill in phrases like "don't be such a buzzkill". It's a development of US campus slang, in which in the 1980s harsh became a verb in the sense of "to mistreat", "to be very unfair to".

The longer expression seems to have originally been West Coast drug and hacker slang of the middle 1990s. It became more widely known in 1997 when it turned up in The Online Adventures of Ozzie the Elf on ABC television. When Ozzie is criticised by an elf in Santa's workshop, he says, "Don't harsh my mellow". Since then, as you've discovered, it has begun to appear from time to time in mainstream newspapers and magazines; I've seen it in Time magazine and also in the issue of Fortune for March 2003: "That guy really harshes my mellow, and I don't appreciate it". However, it has not yet become, and may never become, a common slang term in the USA.

Mellow here was presumably at first a reference to that gentle high one gets during a drug trip but may well now have been modified to refer to any comfortable feeling of being at ease. To harsh it is to introduce a jarring or discordant note, usually because you're being criticised or leaned on by some figure of authority.
And since he's a father, he might consider purchasing the tee shirt!

He, too, is back!

(If he was ever really gone, that is.)

Paul McFedries, whose web site Word Spy, I used to follow religiously, but which I am pretty sure he quit for awhile to write a book, is back. Any time you hear some odd new term being used all over the place, this is where you should go. For example: "Am I a good blogger, or do I suffer from chronic male answer syndrome?"


Thanks to last week's Junkalanche, I have some new readers. I am always glad to get new readers and I'd like to thank each of them for stopping by.

One of the new readers, Steve, is also a blogger, at Earth News Today. Most recently, he noted that al Zarqawi might soon be chased out of Iraq by the Iraqis themselves. Interestingly, the development also appears to signal cracks in the "insurgent" "base" (pun intended).

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the "plug" Gus!

Gus Van Horn said...

Any time!

I might do another since I noticed yesterday that your "I have returned!" post seems to be bumped to the top, over some newer material.