On language

Slate looks at when “boo” became a scary word, and what word other languages use.

Perhaps the first appearance of boo in print comes from the book-length polemic Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence Display’d (1738), in which author Gilbert Crokatt defines it as , “a word that’s used in the north of Scotland to frighten crying children.” (It’s not clear why people in Scotland would want to frighten a crying child.)

If you found that even mildly interesting, I encourage you to listen to Slate’s Lexicon Valley episodes about “fuck” and “pussy”.

November 15, 2015

Cast of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory reunite

The cast of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory reunited on Today for the 44th anniversary of the movie.

God I hated Veruca Salt.

November 15, 2015

Guns N’ Roses reuniting?

Rumor has it that Guns N’ Roses will reunite and tour next year.

Guitarist Slash ​has confirmed that he ​and lead singer​ Axl Rose have​​ ​reconciled after ​almost a decade of ​arguments and now Los Angeles music insiders close to the band say they ​have tentatively​ agreed to perform together again in 2016.

First Playboy now GNR? This is the end-times people. Maybe those batshit crazy rapture believers are on to something?

(I’ll believe it when I see it)

November 11, 2015

The above cartoon was published on page 73 of the November 9, 2015 issue of The New Yorker and was drawn by Danny Shanahan.

I’m not sure what’s going on over at that once fine publication, but clearly their fact-checking department is failing them.

Everyone knows that Bruce Wayne, along with his mother, Martha, and father, Thomas, were walking through an alley after attending a showing of Mark of Zorro, when they were accosted by a thief who attempted to rob them. While it is unclear if Martha was shot or had a heart attack when Thomas was shot, one thing is clear: she died as a result of the robbery. Bruce, heartbroken, decided that he would wage war on criminals; he trained extensively in martial arts, mastered detective skills, and adopted the persona of a bat to prey on the fears of criminals.

How could they get it so wrong?

Also, Bruce Wayne doesn’t have a sister.

Roger Moore’s martini

Roger Moore gives us his recipe for the perfect martini, which includes this little zinger:

The worst martini I’ve ever had was in a club in New Zealand, where the barman poured juice from a bottle of olives into the vodka. That’s called a dirty martini and it is a dirty, filthy, rotten martini, and should not be drunk by anybody except condemned prisoners.

You know, I’ve never really liked martinis, but I’ll give this one a shot just to see if it makes a difference.

November 4, 2015

Ikea uses children’s drawings to create toys

For its Soft Toys for Education charity drive, Ikea used children’s drawings as the basis for the toys.

The 10 winning entries have been recreated in loving detail by Ikea’s toy designers, and the creations are now on sale as part of the chain’s annual fundraiser. For each toy purchased, Ikea will donate one euro to children’s education projects via Unicef and Save the Children.

They look really well done.

October 27, 2015

World’s most expensive cracker

A cracker, which came from the Titanic, sold at auction for £15,000 (about $23,000).

It was part of a survival kit stored within one of the ill-fated ocean liner’s lifeboats and was kept as a souvenir.

The biscuit was kept by James Fenwick, who was a passenger onboard the SS Carpathia, which went to the aid of survivors from the ship.

He put the sweet snack in a Kodak photographic envelope complete with the original note, which stated “Pilot biscuit from Titanic lifeboat April 1912”.

I bet it’s a bit stale.

October 27, 2015

Playboy going nudeless

Playboy will no longer publish photos of nude women.

In August of last year, its website dispensed with nudity. As a result, Playboy executives said, the average age of its reader dropped from 47 to just over 30, and its web traffic jumped to about 16 million from about four million unique users per month.

The magazine will adopt a cleaner, more modern style, said Mr. Jones, who as chief content officer also oversees its website. There will still be a Playmate of the Month, but the pictures will be “PG-13” and less produced — more like the racier sections of Instagram. “A little more accessible, a little more intimate,” he said. It is not yet decided whether there will still be a centerfold.

Do you hear that? Is that the sound of hell freezing over?

October 13, 2015

Congrats to the NFL

September was the first month since July 2009 that no one in the NFL was arrested.

It’s good news for the NFL, which underwent one of its most controversial years in its history in 2014, including high-profile situations such as the Ray Rice assault case and Adrian Peterson’s arrest for child abuse.

The publication of that news is going to jinx it.

October 4, 2015

Yogisms

In honor of Yogi Berra, the AP posted some of his more widely known ‘Yogisms’:

On a slipping batting average: “Slump? I ain’t in no slump. … I just ain’t hitting.”

On pregame rest: “I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4.”

On the fractured syntax attributed to him: “I really didn’t say everything I said.”

It’s sad to think that people today will remember him more for this than for what he did on the diamond.

September 23, 2015