Friday, August 23, 2013

The Secret Life of Socks

What if the explanation behind missing socks is not that the dryer ate them? What if there is more to it than meets the eye, something just as sinister?

Think about it. What if the socks are not the victims...but the villains?  Urban tradition has it that they are eaten by the big bad dryers. Yes, this does happen, I've seen the photos. But the dryers might not always be to blame. 

Socks don't have a very nice life. Although I've never sat down to discuss job satisfaction with socks, I wouldn't be surprised if it was low. Frequently in close contact with human feet, often sweaty and smelly ones, being walked all over, and as a result wearing down and suffering gaping wounds. What thanks do they get? None. Once deemed useless, it's into the trash with the banana peels. 

In their non-working hours, they are folded up with another sock who is no choice of theirs. Who knows if they like each others' society? In fact, this is probably why one sock always goes missing before the other. They leave alone because they don't care a straw for their match.

And so, the socks slip away... One by one in the dead of night, out of the laundry basket freshly clean, they make their escape, cleverly framing the poor dryer. 

Socks are not the silent victims of the dryer. Oh no, they are the real villains, deserting their posts, whenever they see the chance and laying the blame on others.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Double L

Old English looks like Welsh and Icelandic combined.  And yet it looks a bit like German.

Speaking of Welsh and Icelandic, double L, "ll" makes the same sound in both these languages and is unlike anything in present day English. It is a voiceless lateral fricative (Ll - Wikipedia). According to one Icelandic pronunciation video, this sound is made by placing one's tongue to one side of the mouth and blowing.  It works for me.

Watch this video to hear the sound.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Scotty is my favorite Star Trek character

I grew up watching Star Trek, but I didn't have much choice. It was my dad's favorite TV show. As a teen, I became a bit anti-Star Trek. I didn't like Captain Kirk all that much. He was supposed to be the handsome one in the show, and I didn't think he was handsome, plus I didn't like his character. He was selfish at times, and always having relationships that only lasted the length of one episode.  So I didn't like him. I didn't like Bones either. He always had a frown on, and he didn't like Spock.

My favorite characters were Mr. Spock and Mr. Scott. Now, everybody likes Spock, except Bones, so I'm not going to go into why he's a cool character.
Mr. Montgomery Scott (Scotty), on the other hand, is rather under-appreciated. So here is a list of reasons why he is my favorite character:

1. He has a Scottish accent.
2. He is the ship's engineer. Nothing screams manly to me quite like "mechanical engineer," except for "soldier." 
3. Always ready for a fight, but yet not entirely without self-control.
4. He doesn't fall in love with every pretty girl. And when he does, it's cute puppy love, yet he's ready to stand by her no matter what.
5. He's brave. One time they needed to test a certain drug that would put a person to sleep, but it was dangerous because there was no surety that the person would wake up --ever. Scotty agreed to be the guinea pig and be put to sleep, while saying that he wanted to wake up in time for the fighting.  

Now in the new movie, Star Trek, Into Darkness (2013), the characters were pretty much the same as the originals. Kirk is an egotistical flirt. Bones still has the propensity to swear. Spock is still logic "man." And Scotty is still my favorite character.

What I really like about Scotty in Into Darkness, is that he stood by his principles, yet is loyal to his Enterprise friends.

Kirk was having questionable explosives loaded on the Enterprise for a questionable mission. Everyone questioned the mission, but Scotty acted.  When asked to sign the papers approving these explosives and thus putting the ship in danger, Scotty refused. A refusal could not be brooked by the captain, so Scotty resigned. He left the ship and the ship left without him. He stood alone and acted on his principles.

However, despite this, he didn't bear any hard feelings towards Kirk deep down.  Kirk called him and asked him to check out a clue for him, and despite calling him "James Tiberius perfect hair" and giving a solid verbal refusal, as soon as the call was over he got up and did what was requested of him.  Such a funny scene!

In the original series, Scotty is played by James Doohan. In the 2009 and 2013 films, he is played by Simon Pegg.