… in the age of resources on the web. Today’s Zits:
Well, there have been Cliff’s Notes around for some time — but they are books, with pages. Just not many pages.
From recent images sent on by Chris Ambidge, five that could have gone on AZBlogX (though they are not visually X-rated) but would also fit here.
Today is the third and last day of the IvanFest at Stanford (Structure and Evidence in Linguistics, a conference honoring Ivan Sag). A slideshow of Ivan photos goes by before the sessions begin and in breaks. My favorite:
This shows Gazdar, Klein, Pullum, and Sag, in alphabetical order from left to right, in (I think) 1984, while they were finishing the manuscript of:
Gerald Gazdar, Ewan Klein, Geoffrey Pullum & Ivan Sag, Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar. Basil Blackwell, 1985.
– looking for all the world (except for that computer) like a reasonably well-behaved rock group on an album cover.
From the NYT on April 23rd0, “E. L. Konigsburg, Author, Is Dead at 83″ (by Paul Vitello):
E. L. Konigsburg, a children’s author and illustrator who twice received the nation’s highest award in children’s literature [the Newbery Medal] — she won it in 1968 for her second book, edging out the runner-up, which was her own first book — died on Friday [April 19th] in Falls Church, Va.
Two things: a note on the pleasures of her most famous book, and a note on her pen name.
Following on my posting about Shel Silverstein, on to another children’s book author, Dr. Seuss, this time through an article in NewScientist (print edition of April 20th): “Miracle mix looks like liquid but shatters like glass” by Lisa Grossman, beginning:
Walking on water is possible – just as long as it contains corn starch. Now it seems this miracle mixture, dubbed oobleck, can also shatter like glass. Knowing how and why could help guide its use in soft body armour and car suspensions.
Oobleck gets its name from the artificial gloop that falls from the sky in the Dr Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. It has a split personality because the corn starch exists as a solid suspended in liquid water. Gently poke real-life oobleck and your fingers easily slip through, but slap it and it suddenly stiffens.
Just in the past two days, four more deaths of people who have given me pleasure through their work: Ed Fisher and Peter Workman in the NYT yesterday, Jonathan Winters and Maria Tallchief today. There’s some linguistic interest in there.
Back in February I posted about Michael Erard’s travails in (re)titling his book on hyperpolyglots, Babel No More (subtitle: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners) for his UK publisher, Gerald Duckworth. Duckworth’s disliked the American main title and argued for Superlinguists instead, but Michael (and other linguists, including me) objected. In the end, he thought they’d settled on Mezzofanti’s Gift as the main title. Now Michael has written me about the amazon.uk page for the book, which has this illustration:
But the page lists the book title as:
Mezzofanti’s Gift: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners
I can’t wait to see what the book actually looks like.