Lego Rules the World

August 31, 2008

Here are some great interpretations of the world as seen in LEGO.

LEGOs defy logic and re-create Waterfall of MC Escher

Take that treehugger!

Even the world of politics ( yes, that IS Governor Sarah Palin!)

and of course, the Beginning of the World from my perennial favorite, the Brick Testament!

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Red State/Blue State

August 31, 2008

The Pop Vs Soda Map

Is there some hidden message in our ideas about Red state/Blue state politics that the media analysts are missing? Whether you ask for “soda” or “pop” to quench your thirst tells a lot about your regional linguistics, according to an article published last year in the “Isthmus” a Madison, Wisconsin weekly newspaper. Written by a linguistics and philology PHD from University of Madison- Wisconsin, Luanne von Schneidemesser, who is also an editor for the Dictionary of American Regional English, the study reveals the complicated relationships involved in quenching your thirst.

pop: dominates the Northwest, Great Plains and Midwest. The world ‘pop’ was introduced by Robert Southey, the British Poet Laureate (1774-1843), to whom we also owe the word ‘autobiography’, among others. In 1812, he wrote: A new manufactory of a nectar, between soda-water and ginger-beer, and called pop, because ‘pop goes the cork’ when it is drawn. Even though it was introduced by a Poet Laureate, the term ‘pop’ is considered unsophisticated by some, because it is onomatopaeic.

soda: prevalent in the Northeast, greater Miami, the area in Missouri and Illinois surrounding St Louis and parts of northern California. ‘Soda’ derives from ‘soda-water’ (also called club soda, carbonated or sparkling water or seltzer). It’s produced by dissolving carbon dioxide gas in plain water, a procedure developed by Joseph Priestly in the latter half of the 18th century.

I remember that in Boston, working as a bartender in the 80’s, I had to be careful when people ordered a “tonic”, a term used generically for any bubbley drink, not to be confused with my favorite bubbley- champagne thank you! And here in Los Angeles, we order a soda, because pop is so obviously a fashion reference and not a soft drink!

And here is a sobering thought: Americans drink, on average 43 gallons of soft drinks every year! And here is a related “scary thought“, thanks to artist Chris Jordan’s, “Can Suerat”.

Thanks to Strange maps for this post info- that is why it is on my blogroll!

we can not go back now!

August 30, 2008

The Democratic Convention was great. We watched it on C-Span or PBS since the cable channels and networks were so terrible! How novel to be able to watch a speech and NOT have it interrupted by ads or being told what someone with an opinion to sell you has to say. Hilary and Bill made great speeches. And so did Biden, Kerry and Michelle. And Obama continues to amaze.

And how moving to have the convention on such an important anniversary for this country.

My mother, who passed away five years ago, was at the March Against Poverty in 1963. I grew up outside DC and remember that day well. When she came home, she knew she had seen history. I had wanted to go, but she was worried because of the reports that there would be rioting, and so had not taken the risk of having me with her. I remember she apologized for that, with great emotion for what she felt she had denied me, an experience of a lifetime. It made thinking about that this anniversary very moving for me, remembering my mother as well as seeing the outcome of Dr King’s dream, in Barack Obama’s nomination.

If Obama wins the presidency it will be a watershed moment for this country. A watershed “moment” that began in my lifetime, 40 odd years ago, with laws that LBJ signed in 1964 and 1965. Since that time, the Democratic Party has lost the South to the Republican Party in every national election. To the shame of Republicans, their party has proved to be all to happy to incite fear and loathing; of other races, other countries, other religions; just fill in the blank, anything to WIN. And I am sure they will go that way again to win this election.

My advice to all my friends: Turn off the TV (or switch to C-Span) and Get Active! This election was never going to be easy no matter who was our nominee, folks.

And like Obama says, we can not go back now!

From the great blog- wonkette

this image from the great blog- wonkette

more than just how many…

August 23, 2008

..the question is also how much. The issue of the quantity of homes owned by the McCains brings up many corollary issues. Thanks to Talking Points Memo, the bit about wealth and it’s influence is best explained by daughter, Meghan, who posts her own McCain Blogette, on the campaign trail. It is there that you find the BIG PARTY for the Washington Press Corps at the private McCain ranch in Sedona. They are all having a great time. Politico gave Cindy McCain flowers? Wow, that explains a lot.

Is this why the press corps does not correct any of the countless errors about Obama, and mostly just ignores or repeats them? At least the gaffe about his houses has a resonance that even the press and cocktail corps can not ignore. The issue is how many- and how much we will all pay for it!