Saturday, April 30, 2016

Poetry Break: Horse Sins

Gift Horse
Hans Haacke

The importance of "of":

Horse Sins
Never look a gift horse in the mouth of.

And never end your sentences in a preposition . . . unless you want to.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Poetry Break: Tardiness Incentive?

The wisdom of clods:

Tardiness Incentive?
The early bird catches the worm, eeyuck!

You go on ahead . . .


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Poetry Break: Engrish Tee-Shirt?

Google Images

Do not commit calligraphy:

Engrish Tee-Shirt?
Excretion is the greater f*rt of bowels, or?

Sounds almost Shakespearean! 'Tis pity it's a horrible pun . . .


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Poetry Break: Nowheresville

Nowheresville, USA, 2013
Lorenzo Laiken

Let's visit nobody's hometown, because nowhere is now here:

There's no place like home, but utopia.

Silly Simile . . .


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Poetry Break: Humble Pie

Eating Crow
Crow on Menu

Hungry? Okay, here's the deal:

Humble Pie
There's no free lunch, or I'll eat my words.

And since my words are empty, there're no calories!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Poetry Break: Tales of Baseball

Samurai Pitcher
Paul Sancya/AP

Play Ball!
Tales of Baseball
A pitcher's worth a thousand and one swords.

Casey, mighty Casey did strike out.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Poetry Break: Claustrophobia

Listing Right? Or Left?
Conversations with Consumers

This'll keep'em on their toes:

Keep your friends' clothes in your enemies' closet.

. . . and bell the cat, too.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Poetry Break: Your Dirty Mind

Flocking Together
Google Images

Today's poetry one-liner is:

Your Dirty Mind
Birds of a feather f**ck together.

Let's get the flock out of here!


Friday, April 22, 2016

Poetry Break: Double Negative

Pay the Syntax Attention
Google Images

Negativity's a downer:

Double Negative
Better late than never ever never.

Whichever comes last . . .


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Poetry Break: Phronesis


Just a word to the wise.

Hope for the breast, but beware of the wurst.

That suffices.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Poetry Break: Taught a Logical Truth

Let us reflect upon glass houses . . .

Taught a Logical Truth
People who live in glass houses shouldn't.

But if you do, as the good book says, just don't throw stones, or sticks, they'll break both glass and bones! Yes, I'm sure the  good book says this. You just haven't looked hard enough.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Poetry Break: Tautological Truth

Fortune Smiling on You Up Close

Logic Lesson!

Tautological Truth

Fortune favors the bold and fortunate.

If only fortune favored the bald . . .


Monday, April 18, 2016

Poetry Break: Peninsulas!


Time for a geography lesson:

No man is an island; we're pen-islands!

There's at least a connection . . .


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Poetry Break: Bad Grammar

Good Grandma / Bad Grandma
"I said bad grammar, not bad grandma!"
Artist: Michael Andryc

Wise old saying?

Bad Grammar
When the going gets tough, the toughs get gone!

Leaving us to deal with guff . . .


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Poetry Break: God's Middle Knowledge

William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig, expert on Middle Knowledge, neither endorses nor rejects this one-liner poem:

God's Middle Knowledge

The sneaky wheel gets the grace - damn it all!

So . . . make a sneaky-squeaky noise unto the Lord!


Friday, April 15, 2016

Poetry Break: History Depletes Itself

Sack of Rome in 410
As seen from a medieval distance . . .

Alaric in 410:

History Depletes Itself
When in Rome, conquer as the Romans did.

Alaric did!


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Poetry Break: Mighty Fine Distinction

Maybe Byrne's a Maybe-er?
Probably Not
Photo Borrowed from Byrne-ing Up

This traditionless proverb has not existed for a very, very long time:

Mighty Fine Distinction
The pen is maybe-er than the sword.

Its nonexistent 'proverbialness' stretches forever into the past.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Poetry Break: Addition

Even Odd . . .
Google Images

A proverb in English:
Two wrongs don't make a right, they make an even.

Which sounds rather odd . . . but even odd is normal.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Poetry Break: Zeno's Game Theory

Zeno the Eleatic's Paradox

Better by half?

Zeno's Game Theory

Well begun's half done: Thence by halves, half fun!

Boundless half steps lead nowhere . . .


Monday, April 11, 2016

Poetry Break: "Cyclops' Perspective"

Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, 1802
Landesmuseum Oldenburg

No man has blinded him!

Cyclops' Perspective
Time and tide wait for no man but Odysseus.

Penelope waited twenty years . . . the "No-Man" was always late.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Poetry Break: Magic All

Brent Carnduff

Let's sit for a spell.

Magic Call
Hexameter will put a spell on you on you.

Odd, that hexameter's not a sesquipedalian word.


Saturday, April 09, 2016

Poetry Break: Adler's One-Liner

Where's Robert?
Google Images

An old friend named Robert Adler inspired this one-liner:

Adler's One-Liner
A penny saved's a penny earned, to coin a phrase.

It's Adler's One-Liner. Inspired by him, I've supplied only the title.


Friday, April 08, 2016

Poetry Break: Sticks and Stones?

Yes, another one-liner . . .

Like this 'Pentameter' Line?
Sticky stones may break my bones, but mud will stick far longer!

This blog's one-liner is nearly as little less than haiku as it is so nearly much more than pentameter . . . but not quite.


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Poetry Break: Ars longa, vita brevis

Ars longa, vita brevis
Michael Bataille
Paris, France

Mere words masquerading as wisdom:

Aphoristic Old Saw
Life is short, art long, except one-liners.

But get to work anyway, already!


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Chance Encounter with Student

Victorious Student in Accidental Encounter

I finished my Monday class at 3:15 in the afternoon and hurried to the subway, where I -- to my great astonishment, for I walk fast -- saw a student from that same class board the same car of the same train as I had just boarded.

She was deep in conversation on her smartphone and didn't notice me, so I left her to her business until my transfer station was coming up, when I waved my hand before her face and got her attention. She looked up and appeared greatly surprised to see me.

A few moments later, she was standing beside me, and we both realized that we were transferring at the same station, Wangsimni. Even more surprising, we were to board the same next train, the one on the Jungang line!

To celebrate all these coincidences, my student took a selfie of the two of us, as you see above, now at Wangsimni Station, but just shortly before our train arrived, and we boarded it for the final stretch.

I soon got off at Mangu Station, leaving her on the Jungang line and homeward bound . . .


Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Poetry Break: Misheard Proverb

Candlelight and the Darkness
Google Images

A one-line poem channeling my misspent youth:
Misheard Proverb
Better to light a candle, then curse the darkness.
In other words, don't get the darkness all riled up before you've got a light to fight back with!


Monday, April 04, 2016

Poetry Break: Seaming Soteriology

Quilting Seam
Google Images

Another one-liner poem:
Seamy Rhyme
A stitch in time saves nine just doesn't rhyme.
So, why nine? Is it some magical number? Nope, it just happens to rhyme . . . except it doesn't.


Sunday, April 03, 2016

Splendor in the "s" . . .

Horace Jeffery Hodges
Bruno Littlemore,
The Greats

. . . and glory on the door.

My department has a new professor, a woman, and since she had no available office, I volunteered to share mine, partly because I use it only for storing books and records - the English Lounge is my place to meet students, for they have plenty of room to sit and wait if several show up at the same time.

Anyway, the staff in charge of adding names to doors added the name of the new professor to my door . . . and removed my name! I therefore contacted the TAs in my department for help:
My name is no longer on my door. I think that the administration thought that when I volunteered to share my office with a woman, that meant I was moving out of my office. Could my name be put back on my door?
A prompt response came:
Your name on the door will be engraved soon. Probably the person in Facility Team made a mistake. How do you want your name to be written? H. J. Hodges, Horace Jeffery Hodges, or Horace J. Hodges?
I'd never been given such wide-open choice, so I went for the gold:
Thanks. I want my name written Horace Jeffery Hodges the Great.
I waited for my glory to be recognized, but when I checked the other day, not only was "the Great" missing, so was the "s" of my family name Hodges:
Horace Jeffery Hodge
I turned again to the TAs for help:
Thank you for the help with my name. Unfortunately, the person in Facility Team made another mistake. Instead of "Horace Jeffery Hodges" on my door, there is "Horace Jeffery Hodge." In other words, my family name is lacking the final "s." This is easy to fix because the door has space at the end of "Hodge" for an "s."
I then added a PS:
PS "the Great" was also missing, but there's no space on the door for that.
The TAs replied:
The Facility Team told me that missing "s" of your name will be revised soon. Thank you for understanding the Great was missing because there's no space on the door for that.
I figured that was good enough - my greatness is recognized, but it is too great for the commonplace doors of our quotidian world . . .

That's glory for you!


Saturday, April 02, 2016

Miss Hurd Leer Ricks

New Love Album 2015
Allison Weiss

I spent several days humming the tune to "The Same," a song on Allison Weiss's album New Love, which had this brilliant chorus:
I'm not lonely like I used to be
I get older and I notice things
We all got feelings that we can't explain
We're all a little bit insane
That fourth line was a killer! I loved the song for that brilliant line alone! Until I looked up the lyrics:
I'm not lonely like I used to be
I get older and I notice things
We all got feelings that we can't explain
We're all a little bit the same
What a letdown! What a disappointment! Ms. Weiss ought to change that line to mine, retitle the song "Insane," and pay me royalties! At any rate, here are the full lyrics, and a link to the performance:
The Same
Is anybody never really over anyone?
Is anybody lying when they say they're having fun?
Does anybody feel like checking out and going home?
I can't be alone

Does anybody feel like kissing strangers when they're sad?
Does anybody wonder how it ever got this bad?
Does anybody wish that they could change the way they are?
It can't be that hard
It can't be that hard

I'm not lonely like I used to be
I get older and I notice things
We all got feelings that we can't explain
We're all a little bit the same

Is anybody sleeping? Is it just me wide awake?
Is anybody dreaming of the changes they would make?
Has anybody felt like they can't take it on their own
I can't be alone
I can't be alone

I'm not waiting like I used to be
I get older and I notice things
We all got feelings that we can't explain
We're all a little bit the same

When it feels like a long shot
We've been there too
When it feels like you're all talk
We felt like you

Cause we all got feelings that we can't explain
Yeah, yeah, we're all a little bit the same
A little bit the same
A little bit the same
A little bit the same
A little bit the same
Good song anyway . . . but it could have been great.


Friday, April 01, 2016

No Muslim Prayers for Souls of Non-Muslims?

Belgian Imams

According to a Memri transcription of Clip No. 5418, "Belgian Imams Refuse to Pray for Souls of Non-Muslim Victims of Brussels Attacks" (March 26, 2016). Apparently, to pray for non-Muslims is forbidden by Islamic law (sharia)! But the Council of Belgian Imams were somewhat flexible on this issue, as we see from the summary that Memri provided:
According to the UAE-based Al-Ghad Al-Arabi TV channel, the council of Belgian imams rejected a recent initiative to pray for the souls of the victims of the Brussels terror attacks on the grounds that praying for non-Muslims ran counter to Islamic law. In the report, which aired on March 26, Sheikh Abdelhadi Sewif, Chief Imam of the Great Mosque of Brussels, said that one could get around this by avoiding the word "prayer" and calling it a show of solidarity with the families.
As indicated, here are some excerpts provided by the Al-Ghad Al-Arabi TV channel:
Voice of reporter: Once again, Belgian mosques find themselves in the midst of a controversy, following an initiative by an official institution to hold a prayer for the souls of the victims of the Brussels attacks. This initiative was rejected by the council of imams, on the grounds that this runs counter to the Islamic shari'a,and that such a prayer can be held only for the souls of Muslims.

Sheikh Abdelhadi Sewif, imam of the Great Mosque of Brussels: We cannot pray over the souls of non-Muslims, but if we do this, we don't have to call it a prayer. We can call it something else: "solidarity with the families of the victims." We can stand by them and support them . . .

Imam Mohammad Ghali: There is disagreement about this among the scholars and the public. [Some] say that it is prohibited to pray for the souls of non-Muslims. But since this was a general event, in which Muslims as well as non-Muslims [were hurt], we address all of the victims, and wish them peace, mercy, and health.
This prohibition on prayers for non-Muslims is odd, for I know that many imams raise Christians and Jews up to Allah during Friday prayers. Oh, hold on. That's when radical Imams pray for Allah to curse Christians and Jews and destroy them.

But notice that the Imams got around the prohibition by not calling the ritual a "prayer."

If only Islamic law were ever so flexible . . .

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