Dispatches from Outland
A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants. Copyright © 2003 Roy M. Jacobsen.


Friday, January 10, 2003  

Keep Your Eyes Peeled Department: Over at joyfulchristian, Jeffrey Collins has the following:

I'm watching Fellowship of the Rings and I noticed something. On the bridge in Moria, just before he falls, they show Gandalf drop his sword, Glamdring, and his staff on the bridge. However, in The Two Towers, Gandalf is shown fighting the Balrog with Glamdring, during and after his fall. Something seems a bit odd about that.


Well, it did look like that, but something that caught my eye was that Gandalf, as he fell, caught Glamdring just before he caught up with the Balrog. So rather than it being a case of a sword that was not there/there, it's a case of wizards who fall faster than swords and Balrogs. (Or maybe he used the Force to catch the sword.)

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 11:23 AM
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Welcome To My Nightmare Department: I'm definitely getting a bit too tired this week. I dreamed about Bee Gees bobble-head dolls; for reasons that seem perfectly rational in dreams, I was looking for an Andy Gibb one.

I mean, who in their right mind would want an Andy Gibb bobble head? I was a bit scared to do a Google search on that particular combination of words, but there must be a small measure of sanity in the world, because I didn't find anything.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 7:13 AM
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Thursday, January 09, 2003  

Must See Tee-Vee Department: Over at The Corner, John Derbyshire has a modest proposal for what to do about "reality" shows like Joe Millionaire: "If the Romans had had this technology, they'd have kitted out the girls in leather bikinis, given them swords, nets, and tridents, and let 'em fight it out. Now that would be worth watching."

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 11:36 AM
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Overused Phrases Department: "No pun intended." I've seen it (or the contrary "Pun intended") in far too many articles lately. A recent one spoke of how "the wireless theme also connects (no pun intended) to the future of home entertainment..." Look, I don't care whether the writer meant to make a pun there or not, but he didn't really. A pun is "a witticism involving the playfull use of a word in different senses or of words which differ in meaning but sound alike." Granted, wit is a highly subjective area, but the double meaning of "connect" in this context is too easy to be really witty.

Here, as in all to many cases of people saying "no pun intended," it seems like they could just as well say "Dude, you said 'connect!' Heh, heh!" a la Beavis and Butthead.

If you meant to make a pun (and Heaven help you if you're afflicted with this malady, as I am), then let it stand or fall on its own. If you didn't mean to make a pun, but the word lends itself to punnery, accept it quietly as a gift from our language without saying "Oh, look here! A pun!"

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 10:36 AM
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Wednesday, January 08, 2003  

When I Grow Up Department: At supper this evening, we were discussing possible professions. It all started with Jen announcing that she did not want to be a lawyer. After a bit of back-and-forth with Jen and Tish about being lawyers, movie stars, etc., Nick announced that he wanted to be in the Beatles.

Sounds cool to me.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:21 PM
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Hmmmm Department: James Lileks rambles about for a bit and then talks about Apple releasing a bunch of new apps. One of the things he mentions is that, in his experience, each iteration of a product is "more powerful, leaner, and has no bloat whatsoever."

Well, in my experience, each iteration of MS products is more powerful, and the latest version of Windows (XP Professional is what I use at home and at work) is a thing of beauty and a joy (compared the the crash-bucket that was Windows 98). But part of me always wonders if I'm missing something by not using Apple products.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:48 AM
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Monday, January 06, 2003  

Bookmarks Department: Bene Diction hasn't moved again, but he's got a domain of his own now: http://benedictionblogson.com/. Woohoo!

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:29 AM
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Quote Of The Day Department: "History teaches us that whatever happens to California--smog, road rage, tofu, coffee that is mainly air, cell phones, the belief that abdominal muscles are attractive, Shirley MacLaine, people taking rollerblading seriously, grandmothers sporting new, fragrantly inappropriate bosoms--eventually happens to the rest of the nation." -- Dave Barry

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:26 AM
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