During a conversation with a friend this evening, I discovered we were using the word "believe" at cross-purposes. When I said "believe", I meant having any internal perception of an external fact, whether or not accurate (e.g. I believe that my desk is in my room since I can currently see it). But she meant having a hypothesis about something which has not yet adequately been confirmed (e.g. I see the desk and now I know it's there, I no longer believe it's there). I wonder how common this difference is, and how much disagreement it causes.
Seven Standing StonesI've been looking through old school exercise books. This is from June 1986; I was eleven.
Leda and the swan
The only excuse I can give you for the following is that I dreamed it last night. It's a filk of the signature tune of the Disney film "Beauty and the Beast".
Tale as old as time
Walking through the heath
Thought she saw a goose
Doesn't know it's Zeus
Wings around her heart
Then the bird is gone
Feel a little joy
Start a war in Troy
Leda and the swan.
Hans von Pillow
Today we remember Hans von Pillow (1784-1860) who was the first to say "Mein Gott! People are lying on their beds without anything to rest their heads on. Let me invent a bag filled with duck feathers. Jawohl!" (None of this is actually true.)
Double-dactyl: Godfey of Boullion
Godfrey of Bouillon
Founded a kingdom, which
gave him a shock:
Being a king would seem
Thus you may see that he
came of good stock.
In the Exeter Book, which is in the possession of Exeter Cathedral and was written around the year 990, there are many riddles. Here is one.
"I am a wonderful help to women, the hope of something good to come. I harm only my slayer. I grow very tall and erect in a bed; I am shaggy down below. A very comely peasant's daughter, a proud maiden, dares sometimes that she grips at me, rubs my red skin, plunders my head, confines me in a stronghold. She soon feels
my meeting, she who forced me in, the curly-haired woman. I bring tears to her eyes."
The answer is of course "an onion". From this we can surmise that the English sense of humour has changed very little in a thousand years.
(Original text: "Ic eom wunderlicu wiht wifum on hyhte neahbuendum nyt; nægum sceþþe burgsittendra nymthe bonan anum. Staþol min is steapheah stonde ic on bedde neoðan ruh nathwær. Neþeð hwilum ful cyrtenu ceorles dohtor modwlonc meowle þæt heo on mec gripe ræseð mec on reodne reafath min heafod fegeð mec on fæsten. Feleþ sona mines gemotes seo þe mec nearwað wif wundenlocc. Wæt bið þæt eage.")
"We should be taking steps to celebrate Easter in creative new ways: in art, literature, children’s games, poetry, music, dance, festivals, bells, special concerts, anything that comes to mind. This is our greatest festival. Take Christmas away, and in biblical terms you lose two chapters at the front of Matthew and Luke, nothing else. Take Easter away, and you don’t have a New Testament; you don’t have a Christianity... This is our greatest day. We should put the flags out." -- Tom Wright
This email about the BBC interview says: "Morning or early afternoon is best for us as we would have to travel back in time for it to be on our 6.30pm programme."
I have just realised it means: "We would have to travel back... in time for it to be on our 6.30pm programme" and not, as I've been thinking for hours, "We would have to travel back in time... for it to be on our 6.30pm programme."
The funny thing is that I wasn't awfully surprised by the misreading. I mean, Doctor Who works there and all.
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.
If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!