Unfortunate symbol

by Chris Bertram on March 21, 2004

Dan Dennett has an example somewhere where he imagines that someone discovers the score of a hitherto lost Bach cantata. But by an unfortunate co-incidence, the first few notes are identical to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” thus preventing us from ever having the experience eighteenth-century Leipzigers had of the music. Pauline and I have an interest in Art Nouveau, and, surfing ebay to see what there was for sale, she stumbled on “an exquisite brooch”:http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2696908359&category=58553 designed by Charles Horner of Chester in 1895 or 6. From the description:

bq. The brooch is decorated with a flyfot symbol. In Western traditions, the flyfots arms each represent one of the four elements, and the extention symbolizes that element in motion; thus representing life and movement. It was also used by the Maya, Navajo, Jains and Buddhists. In Scandinavia mythology it represents Thor’s hammer.

Did you know what a flyfot is? No, neither did I.

A suggestion for the Democrats

by John Quiggin on March 21, 2004

Pulling together a few different threads from recent posts, I came up with the following idea. It seems certain that Nader will be on the US Presidential ballot in November and that, while he will get less votes than in 2000, he might get enough to swing the outcome in some states. Also, as I understand things, each state has more-or-less unfettered control over the procedures used to select members of the Electoral College. With 50 states, I assume there must be at least one state where the Democrats control the legislative process (including, if required, the governorship) but which is potentially marginal in the Presidential election. In such a case, it would seem rational to introduce instant runoff voting.

[click to continue…]

Miss Pronuncition

by Brian on March 21, 2004

“Language Hat”:http://www.languagehat.com/archives/001217.php has an excellent post up about a silly list of ‘mispronunciations’ that’s been apparently doing the rounds.

To get the full effect you really have to read the whole thing, but I will answer one of Mr. Hat’s questions. No, of course the author of the list doesn’t recommend pronouncing the _c_ in _Connecticut_. As every fule nose, the correct pronunciation is ON-NECK-TEA-COO.