n. one who describes or writes about snobs
n. one who describes or writes about snobs
The Anagrammy Awards is a monthly anagram competition. March winners:
My favorite from the hall of fame — this:
TO BE OR NOT TO BE: THAT IS THE QUESTION; WHETHER ‘TIS NOBLER IN THE MIND TO SUFFER THE SLINGS AND ARROWS OF OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE
can be rearranged to spell
IN ONE OF THE BARD’S BEST-THOUGHT-OF TRAGEDIES, OUR INSISTENT HERO, HAMLET, QUERIES ON TWO FRONTS ABOUT HOW LIFE TURNS ROTTEN.
Can’t beat that.
“Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving.” Goethe’s remark is kind but romantic — Michelangelo’s frescoes ennoble the human spirit, but they also illustrate the dangers of scope creep.
The painter signed on in 1508 to repaint the ceiling, at first with simple golden stars on a blue sky. Lacking a project manager, he agreed to add 12 figures, and the slide began. Before he was done there would be more than 300 figures, in scenes depicting the Creation, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the Last Judgment.
As the scale grew, problems multiplied. The Judgment drew objections from Cardinal Carafa, who was scandalized because now a fresco was showing human genitals inside the Vatican. And the artist was forced to make do with male models, because females were too rare and costly.
In short, the Renaissance was plagued by all the same devils that dog modern projects. At least Michelangelo met them philosophically and saw the project through. “If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery,” he said, “it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.”
“When in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.” — Raymond Chandler
Suppose I show you an emerald and ask whether it’s green or grue. It’s “grue” if it’s green today but will turn blue next Halloween.
Which is it? That’s the “new problem of induction,” according to philosopher of science Nelson Goodman. It’s a big problem: Scientists basically assume that the universe behaves consistently over time, but there’s no logical reason to expect this.
A more immediate usage: “Yed” is the color of a traffic signal when the last legal driver manages to get through the intersection. “The existence of the color yed is hotly debated in philosophy, and opposing viewpoints are often taken by traffic cops and vehicle operators.”
n. bad handwriting; poor spelling
Everyone knows Richard the Lion-Hearted and William and Conqueror. Here’s a list of less auspicous royal nicknames:
Worst of all: “Constantine the Dung-Named,” Byzantine emperor from 741 to 775. Supposedly he defecated in his baptismal font in 718. Nice going.
There are a number of ways to solve a simple maze like the one above, by following a wall, for instance, or counting turns. But these don’t always work in high-dimensional mazes, and some require a compass or other orienteering knowledge. Suppose you find yourself in the nine-dimensional Arcturan Insanity Labyrinth, haunted by the six-souled Fury Demon of Ragnab Zeta? What then?
Your best hope is Tremaux’s algorithm, which works in all mazes with well-defined passages. Draw a line on the floor. When you reach a junction, turn around if you’ve been there before; otherwise pick any direction. If you revisit a passage that’s already marked, draw a second line (you’ll never need to take a passage more than twice) and at the next junction take an unmarked passage if you can.
That’s it. If there’s an exit, you’ll find it. If there isn’t, you’ll find yourself back at the start. Good luck with that demon.
“If Christ were here now, there is one thing he would not be — a Christian.” — Mark Twain
Q: How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Such number as may be deemed to perform the stated task in a timely and efficient manner within the strictures of the following agreement:
Whereas the party of the first part, also known as “Lawyer,” and the party of the second part, also known as “Light Bulb,” do hereby and forthwith agree to a transaction wherein the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be removed from the current position as a result of failure to perform previously agreed-upon duties, i.e., the illumination of the area ranging from the front (north) door, through the entryway, terminating at an area just inside the primary living area, demarcated by the beginning of the carpet, any spillover illumination being at the option of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) and not required by the aforementioned agreement between the parties.
The aforementioned removal transaction shall include, but not be limited to, the following steps:
1.) The party of the first part (Lawyer) shall, with or without elevation, at his option, by means of a chair, stepstool, ladder, or any other means of elevation, grasp the party of the second part (Light Bulb) and rotate the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a counterclockwise direction, said direction being non- negotiable. Said grasping and rotation of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be undertaken by the party of the first part (Lawyer) with every reasonable caution by the party of the first part (Lawyer) to maintain the structural integrity of the party of the second part (Light Bulb), notwithstanding the aforementioned failure of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) to perform the aforementioned customary and agreed-upon duties. The foregoing notwithstanding, however, both parties stipulate that structural failure of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) may be incidental to the aforementioned failure to perform, and in such case the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall be held blameless for such structural failure insofar as this agreement is concerned so long as the non-negotiable directional codicil (counterclockwise) is observed by the party of the first part (Lawyer) throughout.
2.) Upon reaching a point where the party of the second part (Light Bulb) becomes separated from the party of the third part (“Receptacle”), the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall have the option of disposing of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a manner consistent with all applicable state, local, and federal statutes.
3.) Once separation and disposal have been achieved, the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall have the option of beginning installation of the party of the fourth part (“New Light Bulb”). This installation shall occur in a manner consistent with the reverse of the procedures described in Step 1 of this document, being careful to note that the rotation should occur in a clockwise direction, said direction also being non-negotiable.
NOTE: The above-described steps may be performed, at the option of the party of the first part (Lawyer), by said party of the first part (Lawyer), by his heirs and assigns, or by any and all persons authorized by him to do so, the objective being to produce a level of illumination in the immediate vicinity of the aforementioned front (north) door consistent with maximization of commerce and revenue for the party of the fifth part, also known as “The Firm.”