Survey Says…

July 1, 2011 at 1:39 am (By Randy)

Thought this 1939 Fortune magazine survey of public opinion was interesting. After looking at it, and some of the other survey questions and data also available at this webpage, there’s a lot that seems as familiar and debatable today as it was then.

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New Words…

July 1, 2011 at 1:33 am (By Randy)

  • activist, n: One who favors a more active policy; specif., in the World War, one who favored a more energetic action in prosecuting, or in taking sides in, the war.
  • airplane, n: A form of aircraft, heavier than air, which is driven through the air by a screw propeller, and which obtains support by the dynamic reaction of the air against the wings. Airplane is commonly used to designate airplanes with landing gear suited to operation from the land. If the landing gear is suited to operation from the water, the specific term seaplane is generally used. Cf. SEAPLANE, below. Airplanes are classified as monoplanes, biplanes, triplanes, quadruplanes, or multiplanes, according to the number of parts into which their main supporting surface is divided. The form airplane has been officially adopted by the United States Army and Navy, Bureau of Standards, etc.; aëroplane is still generally used by British writers.
  • bootleg, v: a. To transport or sell alcoholic liquor in prohibited territory. b. To transport or sell anything illicitly, as uninspected milk. c. To transport, esp. to import, illegally; as, to bootleg aliens into the country
  • cosmocracy, n: a. A government including the whole world. b. The people of the world, esp. when regarded as the source of government.
  • Diesel engine, n: A type of internal-combustion engine in which the suction stroke draws in only air, which the compression stroke compresses so highly that the heat generated ignites the fuel (as crude oil), which is sprayed into the cylinder under high pressure.
  • Great White Way: That portion of Broadway, in New York City, which centers around Times Square; — so called from its brilliant electric illumination. esp. of the theaters, at night.
  • IQ: Abbr. Intelligence quotient.
  • jazz, n: a. Music. A recent type of American music, esp. for dances, developed from ragtime by introduction of eccentric noises and negro melodies, and now characterized by melodious themes, dance rhythms, and orchestral coloring.
  • movie, n: A moving picture or a moving-picture show; also, in pl., with the, moving pictures or moving picture shows as a class. Slang or Colloq.
  • nucleus, n: Chem. a. a characteristic and stable complex or atoms to which other atoms may be variously attached. b. According to modern theories of the atom, a positively charged central part surrounded by revolving electrons.
  • rayon, n: A glossy fiber, resembling silk, made by forcing cellulose through minute holes and drying the filaments in air or chemicals; also, a fabric woven from this material.
  • sleeping Bag, n: A kind of large baglike receptable, of peltry, duck, blanketing, or the like, used by explorers, prospectors, hunters, and others for sleeping in outdoors. 
  • super: A prefix freely used in recent formations, after superman to signify a person, animal or thing which surpasses all or most others of its kind or class, as in power, size, or other characteristics; as super-dreadnought, supersubmarine, super-Zeppelin. Many of these formations on super-, however, are thus far occasional, or nonce uses only; as superace, superairplane, superbrute, superbuffoon, supercannon, superclown, superconscience, supercritic, superculture, superdetective, superdramatist, superego, supergoddess, supergovernment, supergun, superhorse, supernation, supernurse, superpatriotism, superpilot,superrace,superrifle, superservant, supersnob, superstate, superthing, superthtrill, supertramp, supertyrant, superwar, superwoman.
  • windshield, n: A shield or screen of glass set in a metal frame, extending upward from the body of a motor car to protect the occupants from wind, rain, etc.
  • Yuan, n: The monetary unit of the Chinese Republic, since January, 1914; also, a silver coin containing 23.98 grams of pure silver. It is equivalent to .644 of a haikwan tael, or .464 cents, U.S. Currency. Called also Yuan dollar.

Webster’s New International Dictionary (1927)

(Via The Atlantic)

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California Calling…

July 1, 2011 at 1:23 am (By Randy)

California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation today requiring any on-line retailer with affiliates located in the state to collect the state’s sales tax on all purchases made by Californians whether or not made through those affiliates.  Supporters figured the California market was too large for on-line retailers to disown their affiliates. terminated the accounts of all 25,000 affiliate residents in the state today. terminated all of their affiliates in California as well. itself continues to have no physical presence in California, so the state isn’t likely to begin collecting sales tax on Amazon’s internet sales. 25,000 Californians lost an income source, however. That worked well, didn’t it?

FWIW, Associates aren’t the storefronts and other sellers seen on Amazon and other websites. Sales tax has always been collected on any sales by businesses and independent sellers physically located in California. Associates are more likely to be bloggers and others who don’t actually sell or stock anything. They earn referral fees (commissions)  if someone clicks through from their website and makes a purchase from or any of its independent sellers. Commissions are reported to the state as taxable income.

Depending on one’s point of view, this is sad or humorous. This Los Angeles Times article seems clueless to me, but that seems to be the way things are at the state’s largest-yet-ever-shrinking newspaper.

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Look Out Below!

May 22, 2011 at 9:14 pm (By Randy)

As of the first quarter of this year, property prices in my neck of the woods fell 53% off their highs and then appeared to stabilize. Three houses on the market today are being offered for 25-35% less than equivalent sales in February.

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All Asea at Sea

April 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm (By Randy)

In the off-chance anyone is wondering, I’m temporarily at sea. Some might say this is nothing new and, in fact, a permanent condition. Be that as it may, for the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting

Aboard the Zuiderdam!

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What Friends are For

March 17, 2011 at 12:14 am (By Randy)

A frazzled spaniel attracts the attention of a film crew shooting footage of the devastation left behind by the tsunami, leading them back to what at first appears to be its dead companion. It turns out the other dog was only injured. Both animals were later transported to safety and are receiving medical attention.

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Inexorable Power of the Sea

March 14, 2011 at 10:58 am (By Randy)

What begins as a trickle effectively destroys a town in less than seven minutes:

A Google street view of the area before the tsunami can be seen here.

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Sendai Quake

March 11, 2011 at 9:52 am (By Randy)

If you ever wondered what a massive earthquake feels or looks like up-close and personal, watch this video recorded in a house in Sendai while it happened:

And here’s what it was like inside a Tokyo supermarket about 250 km south:

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Copy-editor Opening?

March 6, 2011 at 11:03 am (By Randy)

Headline for Sacramento Bee front-page article:

Embattled Southern California city of Vernon in a battle to survive

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Hail Portlandia!

March 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm (By Randy)

Having lived in the Portland in the ’90’s, I can definitely relate to this funny series of short clips currently appearing on IFC. What I really wanted to embed was this short clip from this series: Hide & Seek, but this trailer is very well done.

(Via Outside the Beltway)

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