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March 30, 2009

Jabber Walking

About a week ago Jon Gordon of Future Tense asked people to call his Google Voice account and leave a message, any message, for the Google Voice transcriber to work on. I called in and read Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky and here's how it transcribed it (breaks added):

jabberwock.gifjabber walking

hey floors brilly can the slightly toasted
ironing gamble in the way
down on the with the borrow grose
animal morass upgrade

be where the jetta lock my son
the job byte the closet catch
you where the jeff jeff bird and shawn
the from this bender snatch

if you get this mobile blade in hand
long time the names of info you soft
so message to you by the comes in three
wants to the while involved

and i was in the office talk to you stuart
it's trevor walk with elisa playing
came with we went through the told you would
and behold as it came

one two one two and coming through
the republicans krisak
he left a dead and with its head
he can't about something back

and has douse lane the driver walk
coming to my office my name is boy
ohh i'm just taking a break
he totaled in is joy

probably like and the slightly toasted
guy ring and along the way
but on and see where the bro goes
animal mass upgrade

Here's the original for comparison.


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

March 25, 2009

What does "free" mean?

free%20gift.jpgI belong to our local freecycle network in which you can advertise items you are giving away for free or pick up other items people are offering for free. It's a simple idea and, for the most part, well executed. But lately there's been a controversy.

A person on our list noticed that something she gave away showed up on Craig's List. She was "very disappointed" and left the network.

I understand her disappointment, but this got me to thinking, when you give something to someone for "free" what does this mean? Does the giver have any reasonable expectation to say how the thing will be used or not used? What if the item was used for awhile - a month, a year, a decade - and then sold or given away? Would that make a difference? Is this any different than someone buying something and then turning around and selling it for more, as many people do at estate and garage sales? Does it make a difference that these two people are only related through this transaction? What if she gave something to a close friend or family member and then it showed up on Craig's List, would that be different?

These are all honest questions and something I've been thinking about this morning. I can see both sides of this issue, honestly. What do you think?

Going Dutch

wooden-shoes.jpgMy daughter, Emma, and I have been watching "My So-Called Life" together, which has given us a lot of opportunities for some good conversation. This morning, as I was driving her to Harbor City for a high school visitation day, I asked her what was the dating practice among her friends, whether the guy usually paid or if they usually "went dutch."

Apparently she had never heard this term before and, in mock outrage, asked, "What is this 'going dutch?' Is this some ethnic slur against my ancestry?" When I explained that it meant that the cost of the date was split evenly between the couple, she retorted, "Oh, so you just assume that dutch people are fair? I'm incensed."

She then wondered aloud if "going dutch" involved the girl wearing a pointy hat and wooden shoes where she kept money for her half of the expenses.

I love my sarcastic teenage daughter.

March 13, 2009

Musical Collage

This is an amazing project. An artist named Kutiman scoured YouTube for musical clips and then cut, pasted, layered, and mixed them together into seven brand new compositions. Go to his site, Thru-You, and listen to them all the way through. You'll be glad that you did.

March 11, 2009

Reckless Love

romeo%26juliet_6_lg-761144.gifLately I've been thinking about the nature of love as shown in Romeo and Juliet because of recently rewatching Slings and Arrows and Shakespeare in Love.

To recap, Romeo, on the rebound, falls madly in love with the daughter of his father's rival, Juliet. They get secretly married and have a night of unbridled lust. In a flight of rage, Romeo kills Juliet's cousin, and consequently is banished. Lovesick, Juliet carries out a desperate ploy and fakes her own death causing Romeo to take his own life and, as a nice red bow on this, she kills herself.

And this, my friends, is what is held up as the paragon of love.

My 14 year old daughter said it best, "My friends say they want a love like Romeo and Juliet, but they both kill themselves. Yeck."

Romeo and Juliet's love burns bright and brief, consuming everything in its path, and then explodes, creating devastation and grief, though, it should be said, an unhappy peace between their families.

And yet their love, if it can be called that, is compelling. I'd argue it is compelling in the same way as other tragic figures of the stage and history. They get to live out our fantasies while we can safely sit in our seats and watch the train wreck. Like King Claudius, Shylocke, and MacBeth, Romeo and Juliet live out their compulsion fully before our eyes, where society would keep our passions in check.

At the risk of being called unromantic, I think that the love that consumed Romeo and Juliet cannot in any sense be called a mature love, but that doesn't mean that it's not real and vital.

I think that we, stuck in the humdrum of the ordinary really desire this bright, dangerous, and destructive thing. But we don't want the true consequences of a passion that burns so bright.

March 4, 2009


ddrvsddr.jpgMy son gave up video and computer games for Lent, but made an exception for Dance Dance Revolution since it's a physically active game.

So, here's the thing... when I hear "DDR" the first thing I think of is former East Germany. I'm probably just a product of my generation, but am I the only one who thinks that?