Perspective: n. point of view; subjective evaluation of relative significance; frame of reference.
Pachyderm: n. elephant. from the Greek pakhudermos – thick-skinned. Also the symbol for the GOP.
In various versions of this ancient parable from India, a group of blind men (or men in the dark) touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each one touches a different part, but only one part, such as the side, the tail, the leg, the tusk. They then compare notes on what they felt, and learn they are in complete disagreement. We understand then that reality may be viewed differently depending upon one’s perspective, and that what seems an absolute truth may only be partially true.
[I've written about this story and the word "perspective" before - four years ago as we were getting to know Sarah Palin...]
One of my feng shui clients is a mediator who often deals with warring families. She had one large blank wall in her office for which I had recommended some piece of art that gave her clients a sense of the work they were doing together – perhaps something implying peaceful solutions, the light at the end of the tunnel, problem solving…
Her brilliant idea was to commission a piece of art that illustrated the story of the blind men and the elephant, visually conveying how it’s possible to “see” a problem from one (limited) point of view, and also recognize that other points of view could be equally legitimate. She found a skillful quilter, Rosie Rhine, who translated the story to fabric:
The story of the blind men and the elephant is extremely flexible. A few months ago New Yorker cartoonist Tom Cheney used it to depict the sorry state of our economy, perhaps from the points of view of different economists, political players or suffering citizens:
Posted in Funny (Phunny?), Nouns, P nouns, Practical feng shui
Tagged blind men and elephant, pachyderm, parable, perspective, Practical feng shui, Rhino QUilting, Rosie Rhine, Tom Cheney
Petite: adj. French word for small
Palmier: n. a crunchy, buttery, slightly sweet multi-layered French pastry
Deux petites palmiers et un rose
I am addicted to these little pastries. Although they’re wonderful with coffee, I prefer something more healthful for breakfast. So I have one (two? they’re small…) for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of Earl Gray tea.
TJ’s sells them in a box of ten (twelve?), and they stay fresh for at least a week – maybe more – but they don’t last long enough around here to test that hypothesis. Fortunately for my waistline, TJ’s is all the way on the other side of town, so I only get over there occasionally.
In the regular grocery store I never buy prepared foods because I do a much better, healthier and safer job of cooking from scratch. But I always find myself succumbing to TJs treats. Have you had their cashews coasted with a spicy Thai lime seasoning?? Their little cookies … like the triple ginger, or the lemon wafers. They have the best canned tuna anywhere (in olive oil). Don’t get me started.
I always leave TJs happy, feeling like I’ve been on a great hunting expedition and scored! This guy’s illicit TJs video “commercial” pretty much says it all:
Patty-cake: n. a traditional American rhyming-clapping game an adult plays with a baby, to the usual delight or both.
Here’s a hilarious new twist on Patty-cake. Two cats play, voiced-over.
Paean: n. a song of praise (from the Greek)
Perusing YouTube to replace a precious Muppet video (P is my Favorite Letter) which had lost its link, I discovered several other old Sesame Street paeans to the letter P. Nothing tops “P is my Favorite Letter”, but “Peter Piper’s Products” comes close…
Pew: n. Pew Research Center, a non-partisan center that looks at American values, religion, and the public life.
Pew-sitter: n. a person who goes to church regularly (the bench is called a pew).
Churchgoers more likely to back torture, survey finds
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new analysis.
More than half of people who attend services at least once a week — 54 percent — said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified. Only 42 percent of people who “seldom or never” go to services agreed, according the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than 6 in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only 4 in 10 of them did.
Honestly this doesn’t surprise me one whit. Jack Cafferty at CNN asked viewers for comments and here are some choice ones:
–Pastors need to address the paradox and say, “You can’t be pro-life and at the same time be pro-death penalty, pro-guns, and pro-torture.”
–I’m not sure that the ‘faithful’ finding torture acceptable should surprise us. Isn’t that what Islamic fundamentalists do? All radicalized forms of thinking lack innate tolerance — that’s what radicalism does, whether it’s based on religion, politics, culture, money or anything else.
–Why? Why?! Really? Jack, c’mon… Can you say, “Crusades?” Can you say, “Holy War?” Can you say, “Jihad?” Nobody loves man’s inhumanity to man more than those who have God on their side.
–Having been tortured sitting through all of those sermons, I think it’s no wonder churchgoers want to share the misery.
Perspective: n. a mental view or outlook
I need to lighten up. I’m trying to let go of enough possessions that I can sell this place and move into something more manageable. The current boat anchor I’m trying to offload for a decent price is a humongous executive desk – so far no luck.
Speaking of boat anchors…
A friend read my post about the humongous desk I’m still trying to sell and commiserated over the stunning rate at which the value of material possessions declines. Here’s her sad story:
I bought a Split Cal King Adjustable Tempurpedic bed four years ago for over $6600 because I was having a LOT of back issues and didn’t want to wake Larry when I got up and down in the middle of the night. Hated it from the get-go but the company would not take it back because the very expensive bases were special ordered. This despite my having a witness who was with me when I bought it and heard the guy say we could return it.
Last month I took pix, put it on Craig’s list, got a couple of nibbles, but more questions than I cared to deal with. The bottom line was either have Macy’s take it away when they delivered the new mattress we just bought or give it away.
I gave it to my cleaning lady who split it, one for each child’s room.
I’m my own cleaning lady, so that donation strategy won’t work, but I’m going to give selling it another go this weekend on Craigslist. Wish me luck. It’s become my boat anchor – a symbol of all that holds me down.
[A version of this is cross-posted over at my new blog, Getting to Less.]
Party-pooper: n. A person who ruins a party by either stopping the fun or not participating in a certain activity
Patriot: n. One who loves, supports, and defends one’s country
The Texas Republican party is such a joke. Half of them love America so much that now the Democrats are in charge they want to take their marbles and go home. Markos’ post was so priceless today that I give you the whole thing:
We now know that half of Texas’ Republicans want to secede from the United States. So I have some questions for that crowd:
- Are you flying an American flag? Because you don’t get to do that when you cry and take your ball home.
- Do you have a bumper sticker that says, “These colors don’t run”? Because it sure looks like you’re running.
- Do you still pretend that your party is the “Party of Lincoln”? If so, what part of Lincoln exactly, would that be?
- Since you’ve spent the last eight years saying “America, love it or leave it”, is that an admission that you don’t love America? Because we liberals loved it and stayed, even when your idiot of a president was trashing the place.
- Was your patriotism (My country, right or wrong) so skin-deep, that it depended 100 percent on the guy in the White House?
You do realize that the Cowboys will no longer be “America’s Team”, right? Though they’d dominate the two-team Texas Football League (TFL).
- That $200 billion Texas got in defense contracts between 2000 and 2007? No more of that. No more Ft. Hood. No more NASA. No more federal largesse. You okay with that?
Performance: n. the execution of an action; a public presentation
Gotta love this seemingly impromptu song and dance number at the train station in Antwerp. And Julie Andrews’ voice still gives me chills.
At least this made a big enough splash to get passersby attention. When Joshua Bell played in a Washington Metro station last year, very few even turned their heads! Unbelievable – he’s one of the world’s finest vioinists.
Preposition: n. a function word that typically comes before a noun phrase to form a modifying phrase – examples: with, for, up, in out, of, beside
I always loved grammar, especially diagramming sentences. It made the language so orderly.
Thanks to Garrison Keillor’s Writers Almanac, which arrives in my inbox every day, I learned about humorist and biographer Morris Bishop, born this day in 1893, who wrote a poem about prepositions.
[Bishop] was a brilliant scholar, fluent in German, Swedish, French, Spanish, Latin, and modern Greek. He wrote biographies of Pascal, Champlain, La Rochefoucauld, Petrarch, and St. Francis. But we remember him best as the author of light verse, such as this:
I lately lost a preposition:
It hid, I thought, beneath my chair.
And angrily I cried: “Perdition!
Up from out of in under there!”
Correctness is my vade mecum,
And straggling phrases I abhor;
And yet I wondered: “What should he come
Up from out of in under for?”
Presidential: adj. of or relating to the President
Pooch: n. affectionate slang for dog
Portuguese: adj. from the country of Portugal
Today’s biggest news story (apart from the rescue of the captain from the Somali pirates…)
The Obama family got its dog – a Portuguese Water Dog they’ve named “Bo,” after Bo Diddley. Rumor has it that the president is already calling him “Diddley.”
One wag suggested calling him “Bark Obama”…
Portuguese Water Dog puppy - cute or what???
Bo is six months old and comes from the same kennel that supplies Teddy Kennedy with pooches – in fact he’s a gift from Teddy.
I’m a poodle person myself, but I can certainly see the charm in this dog. Poodles, however, have shaved faces and feet, which cut way down on tracked in mud and food-caked mustaches.