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Friday, March 31, 2006

Portello Numero 6: Blog Del Rob

Ever wanted to read my blog in Italian? Well, me, either. But it's kind of cool to see the translated version. Someone recently ran my site through a translator to read it in French. Oui, French! And that got me kind of curious as to how the site looked in other languages. As I'm not fluent in anything but English, I can't tell how good of a job the translators are doing, but it's kind of neat.

FYI: I tried to get Google to translate the French version back into English for me, but it told me "non!" I played around further and had Alta Vista's Babel Fish translate the French version back, and it kind of worked, but everything was pretty garbled. Not sure whether to blame Google or Alta Vista or myself for that one.

FYI, part two: Translating my site into redneck (the site's term, not mine) was kind of interesting, too.

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The gunsel pumped metal with his gat at a bird on the gooseberry lay

I love mysteries and often enjoy reading hard-boiled books from the 20s, 30s, and 40s, with their particular brand of slang. Somewhere along the way, I found a web site that includes a very interesting glossary of some of those terms. It's a fun read, and makes me think that we might need to add a "talk like a gangster" day to the world's repertoir, a kind of companion to talk like a pirate day.

The same site with the glossary has a fun article about Dashiell Hammett's use of the term gooseberry lay and how he turned the term "gunsel," which originally meant something along the lines of "catamite," on its ear.

I particularly love that fact that the article involves two pillars of the mystery community: Hammett (who, of course, wrote The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, and other classics) and the article's writer, Erle Stanley Gardner, best known as the writer of the Perry Mason mysteries.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What's on my wall

I know nothing about the cartoon Brewster Rockit, but it's run by the Dallas Morning News in its free Quick paper (and quite probably in the regular paper itself). One of the strips caught my eye and made me laugh, and I finally got around to clipping it out and sticking it on my wall. So I'll share it with you and point you over to the site where you can read more like it.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A great fish story

I don't generally keep up with the fishing circuit in detail, but I was very excited to hear that Chris McCall, my cousin-in-law, won a recent competition, the Stren Series Central event on Sam Rayburn. Way to go, Chris. And it sounds like you pulled in a great catch, too.

You can read the whole story here.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Donut burger?

My goodness. I'm kind of speechless on this one. Read about it on Spork Boy's blog.

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Too... many... spaces...

In school, I was always taught to leave two spaces after the end of every sentence. The reason for this was that the original typewriters had only monospaced fonts; people needed the extra space for a visual cue that a sentence had ended.

Well, hardly anyone uses typewriters anymore. Computers use proportionally spaced fonts and, as a result, writers now only need to use a single space after a mark of punctuation.

A fellow copyeditor retrained me in this, explaining the reasoning to me and convincing me to stop hitting the spacebar that extra time. It was a bit jarring at first; it wasn't what I'd been taught. But after about a day, I got used to it.

For some reason, though, many people have never been taught to stop adding those extra spaces. Almost always, when I'm asked to edit a document, one of my first steps is run a search and replace, converting all double spaces into single ones. It's not a huge deal, but it's a pain. Someone needs to get out there and communicate to people that that extra space has gone the way of the dodo, disco, and "Dingoes Ate My Baby."

So there.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Watch your cows!

I have no idea what this site is all about, but it is pretty clever and amusing. Probably some of that there viral marketing I done read about, yup.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

My favorite grossly inappropriate headline of the week

This one cracked me up, although it's clearly in poor taste and I'm wondering how it managed to get past the editors at Reuters:

Prosthetic legs returned; police stumped

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Drak Pack

Thanks to Spork Boy (I can't type that with a straight face, Michael) for using his IMDb fu to track down the show I was looking for, which it turns out was called The Drak Pack! You can also read more about those crazy guys here. I only vaguely remember this show, but the vague memories are fond ones. Thanks, man!

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Recommended reading

Tape: Bush, Chertoff Warned Before Katrina
"In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage."

Read the whole article.

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Does anyone remember...

A cartoon (probably from the 70s) that featured a teenage wolf man, Frankenstein's monster, and Dracula? I think that maybe they fought crime.

So far my Google fu is not working its usual magic.

This is bugging me.

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