1.0. Bits and Pieces

Pablo Casals, was asked why, at the age of 95, did he still practice the cello 6 hours a day?

Casals answered, “Because I think I’m making progress.”

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My favorite word is Phlogiston, I like the way it sounds and even the way it’s spelled, but most of all, I like what it means.

It is an element, completely without substance, that was presumed to exist.  When combined with another element, the new compound had the quality of flammability.

Phlogiston has achieved mythic status as a metaphor for obsolete theories–for something believed to exist and its name survives long after the mistake is proven. You must be alert for opportunities to use the word since they don’t come up in conversation very often.

Do you have a favorite word?  Please share it and its story.

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A number got a new name recently.  A pedaflop is one quadrillion calculations per second.

When I was a kid the largest number that had a name was a decillion.  Beginning with a billion, the series, each a 1000 times greater than the preceding number is, trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, and decillion.  (in the U. S that would be 1 followed by 33 zeroes, in the UK 1 followed by 60 zeroes.)  The number did not have much use since it exceeded the number of atoms in the universe.   In those days a billion was unimaginably large.

At some point a number was named that was 1 followed by 100 zeroes.  It is a googol.  I thought the search engine was named for the number.  But that spelling is Google, probably after Barney Google.

Hard to imagine what we’ll ever need numbers that large.  But we do need ever larger numbers to measure Bill Gates’ pocket change and the national debt.

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I don’t wear a watch, I don’t have a dashboard clock, I don’t have an alarm clock, the my microwave is not plugged in, when I plug it the clock blinks 12:00.  My computer and my cell phone know when Daylight Saving Time comes and goes.  For the first time in my life I did not forget to change any of my clocks—because I don’t have any clocks that needed to be changed.   Is Freedom no clocks left to watch?

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Am I the only one who thinks Donald Trump is late to the party?  Raising a question of the President’s birth certificate.  Can’t his publicists come up with something a little fresher to get you back in the news?

Preview of things to come:  The Bareass Bookseller of Quartzsite, Arizona.

Below:  Business as usual at the Oasis Bookstore.

11 Responses to 1.0. Bits and Pieces

  1. Colleen Rae says:

    Wow, what a nice tan!
    Top of the list for my favorite word is – onomatopoeia. (I had to look it up to spell it correctly.) It is any word that sounds like what it means. Example – Swishhhhhhhh. Sexxxx. Splash…… (I’m sure there are other words other than beginning with s. I just can’t think of one right now). When writing a novel or short story it is always interesting to use a word that sounds like what it means.

  2. Colleen Rae says:

    One of my favorite words is onomatopoeia. It is any word that sounds like what it means. Example – Swishh – sex – splash…(I’m sure there are other words that don’t begin with s. Just can’t think of one right now). When writing a short story or novel it is interesting to use words that sound like what they means in narrative or descriptions.
    Wow,that guy in the bookstore has a great tan! The desert can really turn one brown!

    • allevenson says:

      onomatopoeia is also a favorite of mine.

      I spent several hours with the bareass bookseller today. Lots of notes. There are several stories there that will make for fun blogging.

      AL

  3. Dave L says:

    Trouble with men our age is that bare ass is an embarassment, not due to the bare but the lack of ass.

  4. Dave L says:

    Do we remember the “tintinnabulation of the bells” coined by E.A.Poe?

  5. AL PEDERSEN says:

    HI, BUDDY, WHEREVER YOU ARE. IF I AM MY USUAL ACCURATE SELF TINTINNABULATION IS RINGING IN THE EARS, A MALADY WITH WHICH I AM AFFLICTED. WHEN ONE IS ALONE, ANY DISTRACTION IS WELCOMED. SINCE THIS IS A FORM OF COMPANY, I’M THANKFUL FOR THE DISTRACTION. I HOPE YOUR TIME ON THE ROAD CONTINUES TO BE FRUITFUL AND EXCITING. PLEASANT TRAVELS FROM BIG AL

  6. karen wittgraf says:

    Favorite word??? I have so many, but guess the word rapture has it, simply because it stirs up the ultimate emotions. The top of the mountain has to be rapture, a pair of beautiful eyes are rapturous, music can send me to a rapturous place and there is rapture in nature, in literature, in dance.
    However, there is no rapture in the buck naked bookseller. But, I want his story!

  7. Ellen says:

    I know I can check the new time on the few clocks I change against my cell phone, but I still miss the Time Lady…. Calling POPCORN ensured I had the right time! I trusted her more than my cell phone. Now, I’m always a bit discombobulated (one of my favorite words – I like the way it bounces off the tongue) after changing my clocks.

    • allevenson says:

      The POPCORN LADY is still around? How nice to know. These days I need a number to call to tell me the day of the week. LOL. Discombobulated, eh? That is another good one. BTW, I like the new FB pic.

      AL

      • Ellen says:

        Thanks Al! But as to the Popcorn Lady, no she’s gone. Which is why I miss her! They “retired” her a couple of years ago after some 40 years of telling time. I guess there were some cost coming up and “they” decided it wasn’t worth it…. there were a couple of articles about her and an interview of the woman who originally taped the voice…

  8. Vikki williams says:

    I like the word antidisestablishmentarianism. It can be utilized in several different ways depending on what you want it to mean, since it contains two oppositions and is a contradiction in itself. Very tricky…Vikki

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