It’s baaaack! National Poetry Month that is!

It’s that time of year again, when poets begin to think of making merry delights in verse for the gardens of your mind!  In case that came out to flowery for you to understand, April is National Poetry Month.

Dust off your Frost,

Polish your Goldsmith,

Frolic with Herrick,

Or just join Service and the boys

Whooping it up in the Malamute saloon!

The Malamute Saloon was the first saloon to open in Los Angeles after the repeal of prohibition.

The Diagram Prize – or how to avoid being bored witless at the Frankfurt Book Fair

In case you were unaware, the The Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year, originally known as the Diagram Group Prize for the Oddest Title at the Frankfurt Book Fair, commonly known as the Diagram Prize for short, was awarded last Friday.

The award is a humorous literary award that is given annually to the book with the oddest title. The prize is named after the Diagram Group, an information and graphics company based inLondon, and The Bookseller, a British trade magazine for the publishing industry. Originally organised to provide entertainment during the 1978 Frankfurt Book Fair, the prize has since been awarded every year by The Bookseller and is now organised by the magazine’s diarist Horace Bent. The winner was at first decided by a panel of judges, but since 2000 the winner has been decided by a public vote on The Bookseller’s website.

This year’s winner? 

Previous Diagram Winners:

1978 Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice
1979 The Madam as Entrepreneur: Career Management in House Prostitution
1980 The Joy of Chickens
1981 Last Chance at Love – Terminal Romances
1982 Population and Other Problems: Family Planning, Housing 1,000 million, Labour Employment
1983 The Theory of Lengthwise Rolling
1984 The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History, and Its Role in the World Today
1985 Natural Bust Enlargement with Total Power: How to Increase the other 90% of Your Mind to Increase the Size of Your Breasts
1986 Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality
1987 No Award
1988 Versailles: The View From Sweden
1989 How to S–t in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art
1990 Lesbian Sadomasochism Safety Manual
1991 No Award
1992 How to Avoid Huge Ships
1993 American Bottom Archaeology
1994 Highlights in the History of Concrete
1995 Reusing Old Graves: A Report on Popular British Attitudes
1996 Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers
1997 The Joy of Sex: Pocket Edition
1998 Developments in Dairy Cow Breeding: New Opportunities to Widen the Use of Straw
1999 Weeds in a Changing World: British Crop Protection Council Symposium Proceedings No. 64
2000 High Performance Stiffened Structures
2001 Butterworths Corporate Manslaughter Service
2002 Living with Crazy Buttocks
2003 The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories
2004 Bombproof Your Horse: Teach Your Horse to Be Confident, Obedient, and Safe, No Matter What You Encounter.
2005 People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It
2006 The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification
2007 If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs
2008 The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais
2009 Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes
2010 Managing a Dental Practice: The Genghis Khan Way
Published in: on March 30, 2011 at 8:08 AM  Leave a Comment  
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OMG that’s so OED. Or, taking a wander through the weird world of very English words.

The folks at the Oxford English Dictionary have an almost overwhelming job: keeping up with the changes of the English-speaking world. The OED is updated four times a year (March, June, September, and December) and the March revision has just arrived, and oh what a laugh!

Here’s a list of 176 new words that have been added to the OED. Those in BOLD (only 46) are ones that we’d never heard of!  Because they are currently updating the R section, there’s a preponderance of  r words.  Some of which we’re not sure we even

  • about round, adv.
  • ambigram, n.
  • banh mi, n.
  • Barnard’s star, n. (see above picture)
  • bet-hedging, n.
  • bet-hedging, adj.
  • biker, n.
  • biologic, adj. and n.
  • calligram, n.
  • car crash, n.
  • couch surf, v.
  • couch surfer, n.
  • couch surfing, n.
  • cream crackered, adj.
  • crème de cassis, n.
  • Divehi, n.
  • dot-bomb, n. and adj.
  • dotted line, n. and adj.
  • drill-down, n.
  • dubplate, n.
  • Dutch colonial, adj. and n.
  • ego-surf, v.
  • ego-surfing, n.
  • English colonial, adj. and n.
  • fabless, adj.
  • fnarr fnarr, int. and adj.
  • gnasher, n.
  • gremolata, n.
  • headline, v.
  • headlined, adj.
  • headlining, adj.
  • hentai, n.
  • heteronormative, adj.
  • heteronormativity, n.
  • Hindutva, n.
  • June, n.
  • kleftiko, n.
  • la-la land, n.
  • lari, n.
  • LOL, n.1
  • LOL, int. and n.2
  • lumpenintelligentsia, n.
  • meep, n. (and int.)
  • meep, v.
  • muffin top, n.
  • non-dom, n.
  • non-domicile, n.
  • non-domiciled, adj.
  • OMG, int., (n.), and adj.
  • pap, n.5
  • pap, v.3
  • party-crasher, n.
  • party-crashing, n.
  • party-crashing, adj.
  • radioprotectant, adj. and n.
  • rotograph, v.
  • rotoscope, v.
  • rotoscoped, adj.
  • rotoscoping, n.
  • rototill, v.
  • rototilled, adj.
  • rotten egg, n.
  • Rotterdammer, n.
  • Rottie, n.
  • rottle, n.2
  • rotty, adj.
  • rouding time, n.
  • rough-cut, adj.
  • rough-cut, v.
  • rough-dress, v.
  • roughed-in, adj.
  • rough-in, n.
  • roughstock, n.
  • roulade, v.
  • roulading, n.
  • roulette, v.
  • roundman, n.
  • round-nose, adj. and n.
  • round-trip, v.
  • roupily, adv.
  • Roussanne, n.
  • roustabouting, n.
  • routed, adj.2
  • router, n.6
  • routery, n.
  • routineness, n.
  • rowdily, adv.
  • rowed, adj.3
  • rower, n.3
  • rowlock, n.2
  • Royal Free disease, n.  We don’t know and we don’t want to know.
  • royalness, n.
  • rozzle, v.
  • RSA, n.2
  • Rt. Rev., n.
  • Rt. Revd., n.
  • Ru, n.
  • rua, n.
  • ruach, n.
  • rub-a-dub, v.1
  • rubber-banded, adj.
  • rubberization, n.
  • rubberize, v.1
  • Rubisco, n.
  • rubrene, n.
  • rubrification, n.2
  • rubus, n.
  • ruck, v.7
  • ruckly, adj.2
  • rude, n.1
  • rudimentarily, adv.
  • ruesome, adj.
  • ruff, n.10
  • ruff, int. (and n.11)
  • rufiyaa, n.
  • Rugby sevens, n.
  • rugelach, n.
  • rugulate, adj.
  • ruleful, adj.
  • rumble-de-thumps, n.
  • Ruminal, adj.1
  • rumminess, n.1
  • rumour control | rumor control, n.
  • Rumping, adj.
  • rumspringa, n.
  • run-and-shoot, adj. and n.
  • runathon, n.
  • runchick, n.
  • Rungu, n.
  • runiform, adj.
  • run-round, n.
  • ruote, n.
  • Rupert, n.
  • RUPP, n.
  • Ruppia, n.
  • rural economics, n.
  • Rurales, n.
  • ruralite, n.
  • Russellite, n.1 and adj.
  • Russellite, n.2
  • Russellite, n.3
  • Russophilia, n.
  • Russophobic, adj.
  • Russophone, n. and adj.
  • russula, n.
  • rusticate, adj.
  • rusticator, n.
  • rusticle, n.
  • Rusyn, n. and adj.
  • Ruthenic, adj.1
  • ruthenous, adj.
  • Ruthian, adj.
  • rutinic, adj.
  • rutting, n.2
  • ryanodine, n.
  • ryotei, n.
  • ryugi, n.
  • Second Coming, n.  Really, this is just now making it into the OED?
  • singledom, n.
  • Skidi, n. and adj.
  • smack talk, n.
  • smack talking, n.
  • smack-talking, adj.
  • spinback, n.
  • state-run, adj.
  • stonewash, n.
  • stonewash, v.
  • stonewashed, adj.
  • suicide door, n.  First  created in the 1920s, and only now in the OED
  • taquito, n.
  • tetri, n.
  • tinfoil hat, n.
  • Wag, n.4
  • wassup, int.  Really?  That’s not even a word.
  • yidaki, n.


    Published in: on March 29, 2011 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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    Alright ladies, get your curl on. It’s the CapitalOne World Women’s Curling Championships 2011


    In case you missed it, the Capital One World Women’s Curling Championship 2011 began March 18 and concluded March 27  in Esbjerg, Denmark.
    Many countries have been broadcasting it but in America, we only are privy to the final 4 championship matches (after they’ve happened), which will air starting today through the 31st, at 5PM Eastern, on NBC Universal Sports channel.

    Teams from the following nations qualified for the 2011 event: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Korea, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, USA. But we really only expect Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, and maybe China to make it to the final games.

    We’re rooting for Sweden. It’s not anti-American. It’s pro-blonde.


    Published in: on March 28, 2011 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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    As Mad and as Merry as a March Hare!

    Some of you may not know it but the March Hare, which ended the 13th, is Atlantic Canada’s largest poetry festival. Although the March Hare may not be the best known literary festival in Canada, it is surely one of the most interesting and innovative. Started by 3 golfers who were looking to drum up business during the bleak winter days of March, The March Hare concept has rabbited across the globe. March Hares blend poetry and music and refram traditional forms of entertainment embedded in the culture of Newfoundland and Labrador so as to showcase writing from all over the world in a way that appeals to a popular audience.

    To quote the organizers:

    The March Hare attempts to create the conditions under which it is the quality of the whole experience that is being sought, and it is being sought not just by the organizers and the performers but also by the patrons, who are made to feel that they are an integral part of the enterprise. A populist, democratic philosophy prevails. Traditional stories alternate with contemporary poems, emerging writers appear alongside established writers, local performers share the stage with performers from all over the world, and all of them are accorded the same courtesy. While long-term achievement may be given the nod of respect in the form of an extra two or three minutes at the podium, the time allotments are tight and more or less equal. There are no stars at the March Hare.

    Obviously you missed this year’s March Hare, but you can try to catch him next year. And after that, why not organize a March Hare of your own?!

    Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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    Look out Shack, there’s a new kid on the block — and he’s only 13!

    A few years ago The Shack took the Christian reading world by storm. It was the sleeper book no big publisher would take on that became breakout due to word of mouth and one small publisher that believed in the story.

    Well, this year it looks like there’s a new kid on the block (you can read portions of it on google books): Heaven is For REAL. It’s already number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List, and that’s due almost entirely to word of mouth. With the new media push and Easter right around the corner . . . .

    Thomas Nelson, the book’s publisher, said it has broken company sales records. The initial print run of 40,000 copies sold out quickly and since its debut in November, its been reprinted 22 times, with more than 1.5 million copies in circulation. So what is this book about?

    Just short of his 4th birthday, Colton’s appendix burst and he had to undergo emergency surgery. When he woke up, he told his parents he had died and gone to heaven.  [To be honest, we didn’t hear anyone mention Colton died during the operation, although it was a life-saving surgery].  The book relates the details of the story as well as Colton’s observations, as well as those of his startled parents.

    Much of it similar to what you’d read in any “I died and came back” sort of book, but this book is a bit more interesting because  no matter what you believe, these stories they allow us to peek into the inner workings of a human brain, and in particular a 4-year-old’s brain.

    Most parents wonder just how much a child absorbs from his environment, this book may go far to answering that question. However readers should keep in mind, this is a Christian book. It’s not intended to be a scientific book, and isn’t subject to any scrutiny.  For instance . . . .

    Colton tells his parents he met his younger sister in heaven, and describes her as a dark-haired girl who resembled his older sister, Cassie. When questioned by the Burpos, Colton says to his mother, “You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?”

    Mrs Burpo had suffered a miscarriage years before, but Mr. Burpo claims they’d never told Colton about it. “There’s just no way he could have known,” was Mr. Burpo logical conclusion.  Which sort of gives you an idea of the lack of scrutiny.

    Of course Colton could have known. He had an older sister who was alive at the time. Not to mention numerous friends of the family and relatives who knew, and hover around in Colton’s world.  Everyone knows, just because you didn’t “tell” a child something, doesn’t mean he didn’t overhear you, or someone else talk about it, even in the womb!

    At any rate, it sounds like a good Easter read / gift to a Christian reader, it’s certainly the most popular resurrection story of the year. And, if your of a mind, there’s a small review at the NY Times or you can visit the Heaven is For REAL website.

    Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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    Stand with Japan, at National Cherry Blossom Festival Week 2011

    The Festival invites you to Stand With Japan at the Washington Monument, followed by a walk around the Tidal Basin in the The Festival invites you to Stand With Japan at the Washington Monument, followed by a walk around the Tidal Basin in the spirit of hope and rebuilding.

    Beginning at 6:30pm on March 24, people will gather at Sylvan Theater (15th Street and Independence Avenue, SW) before walking the Tidal Basin. All donations received throughout the fundraising effort will go directly to the National Cherry Blossom Festival Red Cross Online Donation Site, directly benefiting the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami fund.

    People are encouraged to gather to reflect and participate in the walk around the Tidal Basin, where the cherry blossom trees, gifted to Washington, DC from Tokyo in 1912, have stood the test of time for 99 years. Our relationship with Japan is at the heart of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and the Festival is uniquely positioned as a natural conduit to unite the millions of people who want to assist and express their support in a show of unity, and the evening of hope and perseverance occurs before the 16-day celebration begins on Saturday, March 26. The Festival’s diverse and creative programming honors the gift of trees each year and the enduring friendship between the two countries.


    Published in: on March 23, 2011 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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