Sunday, 19 October 2014

Entertainment stuff from the week 13-19/10/14

Hi so-called readers,

Welcome to my so-called blog, where i do some so-called writing, using so-called letters.

I write it with my so-called body, and a so-called computer, which is plugged into the so-called wall, using a so-called plug socket.

None of this would work without so-called electricity (or any so-called energy, for that matter) or the so-called World Wide Web.

Some of so-called you might be so-called wondering why this so-called week's so-called article is so.. so... so-called.

Well, it's because there seems to be an annoying linguistic habit virulently spreading through the infantile journalists of the BBC.

Sorry - the so-called journalists of the so-called BBC.

That annoying habit, is to call everything that is not 'so-called' a so-called whatever-it-might-be.

For example, fracking is not actually 'so-called fracking'. It's just called 'fracking'.

Synthetic biology is not actually 'so-called synthetic biology'. It's just called 'synthetic biology'.

Space weather is not actually 'so-called space weather'. It's just called 'space weather'.

That's its name. That's what it's called. Call it that.

Intermediate workers... the Blues Highway... repo markets and shadow banks... telematics boxes... Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS)... sockpuppet accounts... capital investment... the Cowes Floating Bridge... STEM subjects... all are "so-called", according to various BBC journalists. And that's just the BBC alone.

The expression 'so-called' implies that a name is euphemistical or inappropriate in some way.

For example, a correct usage would be:

"...the so-called journalists of the..." :-P

This construction implies that there is false, or at least doubtable, legitimacy to the use of the term that follows 'so-called' in the sentence.

An example of usage might be this:

[on telephone] "Hi, is that the consumer watchdog? This so-called plumber said he could fix our pipes, and now our house is knee-deep in dirty water! Can you help us?"

There's no point using the term 'so-called' if you're just saying what something's called.

This is called a blog, where i do something called writing, using letters. I write it with my body, and something called a computer, which is plugged into the wall, using something called a plug socket.

None of this would work without something called electricity (or any energy, for that matter) or something called the World Wide Web.

Such flagrant abuse of linguistics by journos gives the impression that they're all unpaid teenage interns who have yet to learn how to employ the English language, and are instead just reiterating rote-learned mistakes.

I have been Tap, and this has been a lesson in how to speak English.

The next lesson will be on... no kind of schedule whatsoever :-P

'The Chaser's Media Circus - Trailer'

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh :-D

Episode 1's listed in 'contemporary stuff'

'The Saga of Psychic Sally and the Persistent Skeptics'
It goes on...

Limerick of the week:

Limericks can fit in a tweet
If carefully crafted and neat.
But please make them rhyme
In strict rhythmic time,
And never leave one incomple

(Inspired by Ariane Sherine)

In other news:

A woman in South Shields had a surprise when the phone number of her grandmother sent her a return text. Superstitionists, of course, have jumped at this, suggesting risible life-after-death non-explanations; but what actually happened is very banal. Due to the limited number of numbers available, retired user accounts get recycled - after a lag period, the number is given to a new user. After this time, the woman's texts were not going to her grandmother's phone, but to someone else's.

"NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has provided the first optical images of ice and other frozen volatile materials within permanently shadowed craters near Mercury's north pole. The images not only reveal the morphology of the frozen volatiles, but they also provide insight into when the ices were trapped and how they've evolved, according to an article published today in the journal, Geology." There's a good picture, at the link.

Sea otters, that eat clams and crabs by cracking open their shells, have been found to have dental enamel 2.5 times as strong as humans'. The researchers found that their teeth have 19 layers of proteinous gel, compared to modern humans' 14, that were also arranged in more highly circular patterns than in modern human teeth. I say "modern" because the intent of the research was to compare and contrast with Paranthropus boisei teeth (human relatives from 1.2 - 2.3 million years ago) who had teeth more like modern sea otters have. This suggests that they required stronger teeth, to cope with their diet, which in turn indicates what that diet might have been like.

The US company Giant Microbes, which sells fluffy toy anthopomorphisations of bacterial and viral pathogens, has apparently been doing a roaring trade in their Ebola design. I know for a fact, that Professor Martin Poliakoff, who's famous for the Periodic Videos YouTube channel, is very keen on using pets' toys to demonstrate chemical bonds and orientations, so these would be very useful for anyone willing to demonstrate, in 3D, what various germs look like. I wonder what proportion of the sales upsurge has been to people looking to use them in this context.

Scientists from the Department of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University and the Biodiversity Research Center, have named a snail species in dedication to equal marriage rights efforts. "When we were preparing the manuscript," Dr. Lee explains, "it was a period when Taiwan and many other countries and states were struggling for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights. It reminded us that Pulmonata land snails are hermaphrodite animals, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs in single individual. They represent the diversity of sex orientation in the animal kingdom. We decided that maybe this is a good occasion to name the snail to remember the struggle for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights."

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

'The Chaser's Media Circus - Episode 1'

'10 amazing bets you will always win - NEW! (Ep 12)'

'The Secrets of Sleep - A Week in Science'

'The Confession 2'

'Fais moi confiance (Justine Le Pottier)'

'FRANCHEMENT- Le cadeau'

'Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast - with Mark Gatiss'

'Man using self-service till on verge of emotional breakdown'
“I think that technically speaking, I’m actually watching someone get bullied by a till.”

'Why are all our children getting measles, ask Homeopathy fans'
"With MMR vaccinations dropping well below the 95% needed to prevent outbreaks spreading in the community, people who don’t believe in ‘that science stuff’ have been urged not to try and kill their babies."
{Homeopathy: there's nothing in it}

'Police receive tip from psychic claiming they are far too gullible'
“People will say that this psychic is a fraud, but how could they possibly have known details about how we’ve previously listened to psychics?”

'Outrage as disabled man suggests Tory MPs ‘not worth the minimum wage'
“I turn up to the House of Commons at least once a month, all I ask is a fair pay packet of around seventy grand a year.”
{The context: Lord Freud hangs on as... (in case the MSN links break, search those words)}

'Everyone racist'
"UKIP voter Simon Williams told us, “I’m not racist, I just think that foreigners are dirty scrounging scumbags who should be put on a boat back to wherever they came from”."

'Prof Brian Cox to unravel mysteries of automated customer service systems'
"Cox went on, “Clearly there is an ordered system at play here, but learning how it works is akin to discovering the Higgs Boson – really fucking difficult. I hope to simplify it for my viewers during the series”."

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word Of The Week: waster --  someone who wastes opportunities or their life; a discarded piece of pottery; or as a verb, something or someone that destroys things

Etymology Of The Week: 'argon' -- meaning the element with 18 protons in its nucleus; the name means 'lazy' from 'a-' ('lack') and ergon' ('work'), so-named because argon is a noble gas, that does not react with, well basically anything, under STP

Quote Of The Week: "[Abstinence-only sex education] is a little like saying "just hold" at potty training" - Roy Zimmerman

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

'Cybermen than and now'

'Sugar free sugar?'

'Richie Rich and Casper'

'Python Autopsy: Boar had been eaten whole! - Ultimate Killers - BBC'

'How Do They Do That? - Red Dwarf'

'Red Dwarf - Howard Goodall: Settling The Score'

'WATCH: ‘The Big Bang Theory’ With More Laughter Added In'
Sympathetically hilarious :-D

'Soup of the Day or Week?'

'Gok Wan Wok Gun - The Impressions Show with Culshaw and Stephenson - S3 E2 - BBC One'

'The Whole Hog'

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