Sunday, June 10, 2012


So you've certainly noticed by now that I haven't posted anything in nearly a year. That's probably because I've completely forgotten about these blogs.

I should have posted a note like this earlier, but I kept putting it off. I'm no longer updating the blogs. I won't be even in the foreseeable future.

I will however leave the blogs as they are. The links all still work and the navigation bar on the right side still links between the blogs. It'll be open for however long Blogger keeps it up, and available for you all to read.

I may come back to it. I may not. I did enjoy doing it for a while, but then it started to feel like a second job and drained the fun out of it.

Enjoy yourselves and thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28, 2011 : Man in the Moon

The Man in the Moon is an imaginary figure resembling a human face, head or body, that observers from some cultural backgrounds typically perceive in the bright disc of the full moon. The figure is composed of the dark areas (the lunar
maria, or "seas") and lighter highlands of the lunar surface.

In one common Western perception of the face, the figure's eyes are Mare Imbrium and Mare Serenitatis, its nose is Sinus Aestuum, and its open mouth is Mare Nubium and Mare Cognitum. An older European tradition sees a figure of a man (Maria Serenitatis, Tranquilitatis, Fecunditatis and Nectaris) carrying a wide burden (Mare Vaporum and Lacus Somniorum) on his back. He is sometimes seen as accompanied by a small dog (Mare Crisium). Conventionalized illustrations of the Man in the Moon often seen in Western art show a very simple face in the full moon, or a human profile in the crescent moon, corresponding to no actual markings.

"The Man in the Moon" can also refer to a mythological character said to live on or in the moon, but who is not necessarily represented by the markings on the face of the moon. An example is Yue-Laou, from Chinese tradition.

A longstanding European tradition holds that the man was banished to the moon for some crime. Christian lore commonly held that he is the man caught gathering sticks on the sabbath and sentenced by God to death by stoning in the book of Numbers XV.32-36. Some Germanic cultures thought he was a man caught stealing from a neighbor's hedgerow to repair his own. There is a Roman legend that he is a sheep-thief.

One medieval Christian tradition claims him as Cain, the Wanderer, forever doomed to circle the Earth.

There is also a Talmudic tradition that the image of Jacob is engraved on the moon, although no such mention appears in the Torah.

John Lyly says in the prologue to his Endymion (1591), "There liveth none under the sunne, that knows what to make of the man in the moone."

In Norse mythology, Máni is the male personification of the moon who crosses the sky in a horse and carriage. He is continually pursued by the Great Wolf Hati who catches him at Ragnarok. The name Máni simply means "Moon."

In Haida mythology, the figure represents a boy gathering wood, who was taken up from the earth as a punishment for disrespect.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21, 2011 : Luposlipaphobia

Luposlipaphobia - fear of being pursued by timber wolves around a kitchen table while wearing socks on a newly waxed floor, also from Gary Larson's
The Far Side.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 14, 2011 : Soup to nuts

"Soup to nuts" is an American English idiom conveying the meaning of "from beginning to end." It is derived from the description of a full course dinner, in which courses progress from soup to a dessert of nuts. It is comparable to expressions in other languages, such as the Latin phrase
ab ovo usque ad mala ("from the egg to the apples"), describing the typical Roman meal.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 7, 2011 : Schadenfreude


Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. This German word is used as a loanword in English and some other languages, and has been calqued in Danish and Norwegian as
skadefryd and Swedish as skadeglädje.

In German,
Schadenfreude is capitalized, as are all nouns. When used as a loanword in English, however, it is not capitalized, unless the origin of the word is meant to be emphasized. The corresponding German adjective is schadenfroh. The word derives from Schaden (adversity, harm) and Freude (joy). Schaden derives from the Middle High German schade, from the Old High German scado, and is a cognate with English  "scathe ". Freude comes from the Middle High German freude, from the Old High German frewida, and is a cognate with the (usually archaic) English word "frith". A distinction exists between  "secret schadenfreude " (a private feeling) and  "open schadenfreude " (Hohn, a German word roughly translated as  "scorn ") which is outright public derision.

A New York Times article in 2002 cited a number of scientific studies of schadenfreude, which it defined as  "delighting in others' misfortune ." Many such studies are based on social comparison theory, the idea that when people around us have bad luck, we look better to ourselves. Other researchers have found that people with low self-esteem are more likely to feel schadenfreude than are people who have high self-esteem.