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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2008-02-20 06:19
Subject: [links] Link salad, Wednesday edition
Security: Public
Location:Nuevo Rancho Lake
Mood:cold and irritated
Music:not much
Tags:contests, culture, funny, language, links, personal, politics, vieos, weird
Don't miss the new ARC contest — Limericks and haikus.

Weird theme parks — (Thanks to danjite.)

EVOL — A very cool short film. (Thanks to willyumtx.)

Cell phones on the moon? — Not to mention this.

Caffeine: A User's Guide to Getting Optimally Wired — Jolt Cola and chocolate twinkies, baby!

Swimming kangaroos — With a bizarre piece in comments about a shark attack on a kangaroo.

World Wine Map Changing With Climate — Man, even grape vines have a liberal bias. Clearly, conservatives should stick with beer.

Barack's Prosody Problem — In which I learn the word "trochaic". frankwu, are you paying attention? This piece is about another of those intangibles which correlate to electoral success.

When I make love to my wife... — Political snark from Ted Rall. (Thanks to goulo.)




2/20/08
Time in saddle: 18 minutes
Last night's weigh-out: 275
This morning's weigh-in: 273.3
Currently reading: The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image, by Leonard Shlain Powell's | Amazon ]
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User: ellameena
Date: 2008-02-20 16:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Okay, I feel compelled to point out that England produced excellent wines during the medieval warm period, a historical epoch that global warming theory officially claims did not exist. So, actually, the grapes are leaning conservative on this one...
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: ellameena
Date: 2008-02-20 16:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's part of the current orthodoxy, based on the "hockey stick" graph--which shows level, consistent temperatures for the past thousand years. You don't have to deny the MWP in order to believe or accept global warming. But the hockey stick graph has been hugely influential, and it is the main reason that our current warming trends are described as unprecedented.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: ellameena
Date: 2008-02-20 17:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Tell me more about your point of view.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: ellameena
Date: 2008-02-20 18:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I completely agree with your response to dbara. (Anecdotally, we are having a cold enough winter here that the state has run out of salt for the roads--I don't know if it speaks more to coldness or more to lack of preparedness.)

My reading of the hockey stick and its implications is actually pretty standard. If you hear talk of "unprecedented" global warming, that all goes back to the hockey stick. Most global warmers (heh) have distanced themselves from that particular piece of research because of the problem you mentioned with methodology--the most obvious being that there is no signal at all for the MWP or the LIA. As far as I know, there is no other strong evidence that our current warming is "unprecedented," although the term itself has been persistent in the debate. That's why I asked for more information--I was wondering if you had seen some other reference on it. The unprecedented part is one of those sticky political issues, but it needn't be. We don't have to be seeing an immediate, extreme, and unprecedented event to be concerned about the effect of human industrial activity on climate.
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Dave Bara
User: dbara
Date: 2008-02-20 17:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
""If the temperature rises two or three degrees (Centigrade), we could manage to see Bordeaux remain as Bordeaux, Rioja as Rioja, Burgundy as Burgundy. But if it goes up five or six degrees, we must face up to huge problems, and the changes will be hard," he said."

Since temps have only increased .7 degrees in the last 100 years, I'll start worrying about not getting my Bourdeax about the year 2808. In the meantime I think I'll go back to reading those science papers from the late 70's talking about a new Ice Age.

Oh and by the way, this winter is one of the coldest on record in the US... so far.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-02-20 20:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh and by the way, this winter is one of the coldest on record in the US... so far.

Weather and climate are not at all the same. Also, the whole point of the discussion is whether past trends are accelerating — looking at past trends as evidence of no current change is the Thanksgiving turkey fallacy in spades.
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When life gives you lemmings...
User: danjite
Date: 2008-02-20 16:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Here is something for the next round. Something wrong.

http://www.shipoffools.com/kitschmas/03_huggable_urns.html
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-02-20 16:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Did you get my email?
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User: ellameena
Date: 2008-02-20 17:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I came back to comment after reading "Barack's Prosody Problem." There's a simple answer to this--we are speaking English. English doesn't have a naturally iambic structure. That's why it's difficult to write sonnets in iambic pentameter, as Shakespeare does. It is much more natural to Latin and Greek, which is why you have whole epics written in iambic pentameter. Barack has more of a problem in that he has a foreign name--and it being iambic rather than trochaic is only one of the reasons it sounds foreign to us, and probably a minor one.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: ellameena
Date: 2008-02-20 18:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Dactylic hexameter is pretty much impossible to write in English, but the troche is much more native than the iamb. This is what I have been taught. We may have to agree to disagree.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: ellameena
Date: 2008-02-20 18:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Now I wonder which one of us is misremembering. I am sure some random person will show up to set us straight.

*waits patiently*
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mssrcrankypants
User: mssrcrankypants
Date: 2008-02-20 20:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Iambs are much more naturally and frequently occurring in spoken English than other metrical patterns. It's really just how the flow of words falls in speech--for the most part. When Marlowe introduced it to the Elizabethan stage, the critics hailed it as Marlow's Mighty Foot (or Line, depending on your source) for its dramatic power and verisimilitude to speeches. Hence all the imitators.

I've read, also, that the pentameter decision fell to how many syllables could be spoken most comfortably in a single breath, particularly by someone in motion (i.e., acting on stage).
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User: ex_truepenn
Date: 2008-02-20 20:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:ws: hamlet
Speaking here as a college Classics major and Ph.D. in English (specializing in Renaissance drama)--just so you know I'm not making this up out of airy nothing *g* :

It is always claimed by various authorities that iambic pentameter is the meter most closely approximating natural spoken English. (I personally have a tin ear for English scansion, so I'm not going to try and demonstrate.) Hence the "naturalness" of blank verse--and if you compare it with fourteeners, oh hell yeah.

Greek and Latin epics are composed in dactylic hexameter. I've never heard anyone say anything about "native" one way or another, but given the fondness of Greek for antepenult stress, it makes a certain amount of sense.
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User: swan_tower
Date: 2008-02-20 21:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Other people have already explained the frequency of iambs in English, but off the top of my head I'd say they do seem to be rare as names. Brainstorming names, I find a bazillion trochees, but I'm having trouble thinking of any iambs. (No doubt they're out there -- but it does seem to be uncommon.)
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