The AP wire gives good spell-check:
CHICAGO - Presidential candidate John moccasin on Sunday endorsed a proposal to ban affirmative action programs in his home state, a policy that Democratic rival Barrack Abeam called a disappointing embrace of divisive tactics. In the past, moccasin has criticized such ballot initiatives.
I don't get around much anymore, but today I had lunch with Chris Appelgren, who kind of still does. Or rather, his iPhone does, and he showed me this on it:
A New Zealand judge has made a 9-year-old girl a ward of the court so that her name can be changed from Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii, the country's national news agency reported Thursday.
That one is pretty bad, as are many of the others mentioned by the judge. But Sex Fruit and Number 16 Bus Shelter are lovely, if underutilized, names, and perfectly acceptable because they're in the Bible.
Yet more text-cloud narcissism, to augment the t.-c. n. featured in this post.
To wit, here's a wordle-generated graphic made up of a random arrangement of the 150 most commonly occurring words in the lyrics to the songs on Love is Dead:
It's one of my all-time favorite singles, and one of a handful of songs that still play almost daily as fully-realized recordings in my head despite many years of exposure to other items that really ought to have replaced, or at least dislodged, them.
A legal threat from Virgin required that they re-record the vocals to replace the word "Virgin" with "certain," a seemingly minor change that nevertheless makes the re-done version nearly impossible bear. (They had to switch the words around to make it make sense in the new form, altering the scansion, a big part of the reason my brain refuses to process it without protest, I'd imagine.) A truncated recording of the real, non-grating one is on this myspace Freshies fan page. (I don't know where to direct you for the bowdlerized version, and perhaps that's just as well.)
Googling around, I found this article describing Richard Branson's quest to locate Helen, the girl the song was actually written about, in order to include her as a "guest of honor" as part of a promotion for something or other. Which is a bit rich, don't you think?
I've seen quite a few text-cloud applets over the past few years, but Wordle is perhaps the coolest one yet.
Here are the randomly generated Wordle text-clouds of the 150 most common words in the first chapters of each of the parallel narratives in Andromeda Klein, named for their protagonists, Andromeda Klein and Allyston Obeck:
You can click on each "cloud" for a larger image. Pretty neat, huh? And I promise you (whoever you may be, if any) that I wasted practically no time generating them.
Okay, back to work then...
(via Crooked Timber.)
[added]: one thing I learn from this, if the size of the words relative to one another really does accurately reflect their frequency, is that my writing (in both "voices") seems to overuse the word "though." That is, I should maybe try to write fewer equivocal or disclaimer-laden sentences. Come on, Portman, say what you mean! That's what these word clouds are telling me. "Said," "like," "swords" and "Judas Priest" don't bother me all that much, though. I mean, however.
[added further]: okay, I couldn't resist doing one for King Dork's opening chapter ("August.") Tom Henderson's voice is still rather equivocal, judging from the prominent "though," but quite a bit less so than either of the two third person (extremely) limited narratives above. I don't know what it means, if anything, but it does make me want to try to write something with no "though"s at all, just to see what it would be like:
Man cuts off own head.
(via Sasha and a few others.)
Speaking of which, sort of, I'm off for an evening of "punk" at the Edinburgh Castle now. Okay.
I really enjoy all the Atlantic
bloggers "voices," but those grandiose Obama ads on the top and sidebar really wreak havoc with my Safari. I don't know if it's because of the graphic itself or because the server is overloaded by all the blogs that are trying to load them simultaneously - or possibly there is some other cause. But all this Obamatlantic beachballing is kind of a drag.
It's worst when the top banner and the side panel try to load at the same time, which is pretty often. Half the time, I end up having to abort mission, i.e., force quit. I also kind of have to wonder about the theory behind them. What is meant to be the effect of the flash-imated Obama-rise? It's not like they have to compete for attention with all the space-age McCain ads - in fact, now that I think about it, I've never seen a McCain web ad, on the Atlantic or anywhere else. I mean, yes, I guess it got my attention because it made me investigate why my system kept freezing up. I think there is pretty much zero chance he will lose, so why not a nice, easy-going, benign, harmless, still picture with like a flag or something?
I'm doing a couple of readings in San Francisco this week.
(a) this "punk" one on Thursday, July 17, at Edinburgh Castle, 950 Geary St., San Francisco, CA, with Stephanie Keuhnert, Erick Lyle, Blag Dahlia, and Ammi Emergency, and MC Jack Boulware. 6:30-8:30 PM.
and (b) this one on Saturday, July 19, at the Makeout Room, 3225 22nd St., San Francisco, CA. 415 647 2888. With Neal Pollack, Ethan Canin, Tara Jepson, and Po Bronson. 7 PM.
It's gonna be "reading series" style, which means each of the readers stand up one after another and read out loud for ten minutes or so. Plus comedy and music at the Makeout Room. I may end up playing a song or two at the Edinburgh Castle event if I can borrow someone's guitar.
John Derbyshire dips into his teenaged daughter's reading list, samples King Dork, and reports the results on National Review Online.