Saturday, October 31, 2009

Best of AC & DC Vol. II

Longtime associates are well aware of the deep respect I hold for a bootleg compilation of AC/DC songs that my dad purchased in Indonesia in the mid-80's. A few years ago I made a follow up compilation of songs that were left out of this first, historic, volume. (In emulation of first volume, I did not center my compilation around popular tracks--such as "You Shook Me All Night Long"--instead, I included less well-known tracks that actually stand up better to repeated listening.) But I can't seem to find a copy of my "Best of AC & DC II". And I can't remember what I put on it. So I just made a new version of "Best of AC & DC II". If I'm ever able to find a copy of the earlier version, it will be interesting to compare the two.

How to remember the order of streets in downtown LA

"From Main we Spring to Broadway, and then over the Hill to Olive. Wouldn't it be Grand if we could Hope to pick a Flower on Figueroa?"

From "Los Angeles A to Z: An Encyclopedia of the City and County" by Leonard and Dale Pitt

It is also mentioned on the USC Geography Dept's downtown walking tour website. Check out their list of recent variants on this idea.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Linguistic Relativity

"Consider a rainbow or a spectrum from a prism. There is a continuous gradation of color from one end to the other. That is, at any point there is only a small difference in the colors immediately adjacent at either side. Yet an American describing it will list the hues as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple or something of the kind. The continuous gradation of color which exists in nature is represented in language by a series of discrete categories. This is an instance of the structuring of content. There is nothing inherent either in the spectrum or the human perception of it which would compel its division in this way. The specific method of division is part of the structure of English.

By contrast, speakers of other languages classify colors in much different ways. In the accompanying diagram, a rough indication is given of the way in which the spectral colors are divided by speakers of English, Shona (a language of Rhodesia), and Bassa (a language of Liberia)."

Image and text from H. A. Gleason's "An Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics (Revised Edition)" (1961), p. 4.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Clifton's "Pacific Seas" Cafeteria Postcard

The story behind Clifton's is downright amazing. Watch this documentary.

Monday, October 26, 2009

One Hot Babe

I stole this photo from someone's fridge at a party in college.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ndali Lodge

Located in western Uganda, the Ndali Lodge is easily one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nice Line

"Evidence which, taken at its face value, leads to an absurd conclusion
must be worth less than at first appears." K. S. Woodworth, Review of Schultz (1906)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Clothes, Language, and Thought

Got to add this quotation to my collection:

"Language is not a cloak following the contours of thought. Languages are molds into which infant minds are poured." Brown and Lenneberg "A Study in Language and Cognition" (1954)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Queens Tour

(Photo by Wy-dogg)

18 stops in 10 hours:

1. 5 Pointz
2. NY Art Book Fair (Wyeth knew everyone here)
3. Titanic House (videotaping and still photography are permitted)
4. Scrabble Street (though we couldn't find the sign, we found the street)
5. Taste Good Malaysian Cuisine (you may not be allowed to take pictures of their toilet, but they serve the best food I've had in NYC so far this year)
6. Bohack "B" (this was for Wyeth)
7. Bumped into Kevin Walsh leading a Forgotten-NY tour that was also looking at the Bohack "B"
8. Van der Ende-Onderdonk House
(almost stepped in a horse-sized pile of dog shit, the house was uncharacteristically full of people for a special event, our tour guide was upset that he hadn't gotten to meet the Dutch royal family, and they didn't even mention the house's role in the Apollo space program)
9. Arbitration Rock
(the history of moving this rock led Will to make some Wittgenstein-ish "what happens if standard meter bar shrinks or expands" jokes)
10. Archie Bunker's House (neither Will nor Alex had heard of "All in the Family")
11. Detour to Forest Hills because I mistyped the address for Louis Armstrong's house into Google Maps. But when I then mistakenly got into someone else's car and tried to drive away, everyone thought that was really funny.
12. Loew's Valencia/Tabernacle of Prayer (gonna have to go back to this on a Sunday, in order to see the interior)
13. Louis Armstrong's House
(wish I had recorded our tour guide's impression of Louis)
14. The Panorama at the Queens Museum of Art (still planning to throw a party in the elevator here)
15. Unisphere (took some photos for our liner notes)
16. Joseph Cornell's House (this was for Meg)
17. ToyQube Designer Toys
18. Taiwanese Karaoke Gastropub
(there was some serious sense/reference confusion going on when I re-entered this place from another restaurant around the corner, thinking I was going into a different gastropub; this was especially funny because I had just falsely told the host out front that I thought my friends were in the back, which turned out to be true)

Our soundtrack was a homemade CD of songs by jazz artists who lived in Queens, and then a CD each of Run DMC and the Ramones.

I think it is fair to say that I am in the upper echelons of tour guides.