Paintings with Eye Patches

To the right of our main circulation desk here at UIUC, hangs this painting vernacularly titled "Guy with Eye Patch." Eye-patch paintings exist, I think, in alignment with statues wearing glasses, in that the easily removable optical gear is preserved for posterity.

And having found many more eye-patch photos and paintings online, I think I'll have to blog/think about this more. In the case of the eye patch, I understand why the patch would be part of the painting; in the case of glasses, I still think it's goofy.



definition: the valuing and overvaluing of the page, typically written.


On Punctuation

I heard Paula Rabinowitz give a talk the other day involving an analysis of punctuation, and it reminded me of some of Nicholson Baker's work on the history of such punctuation marks as the semicolon and comma dash.

That's right, the comma dash: a combo-deal involving a comma and an em dash put together. Why don't most of us use the comma-dash? Or even know about it? Like the Carolina Parakeet, the comma dash went bye-bye.

[warning: bird-name segue] Eric Partridge and John Williams Clark have a nice book dealing with the topic in an unusual, mathematical way; see You Have a Point There: A Guide to Punctuation and its Allies. It's a GoogBook, so you can read it without much bother.

What's funky about what Partridge and Clark do is that they assign values to various punctuation marks in order to develop a value-based guide to usage. First, however, they contextualize some of the various ways punctuation marks can be combined:

So, as you can see, the comma-dash would rank between the comma and the semicolon. Of course, as a currently marked mark, that might throw off the ratings. Have you scored your punctuation marks today?

As Nicholson Baker points out, we tend to think of punctuation marks as static, unchanging, and absolute ... kind of like language. But punctuation marks and how they're used change. As CP reminded me this morning, I posted a little while ago about how folks here at the U of Ill are in the biz of inventing some pretty funky new marks.

So yeah,— go forth and punctuate.


Phony Travel Books

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - An author for the Lonely Planet travel guidebook series has claimed that he plagiarized and made up large sections of his books, an Australian newspaper reported on Sunday. [...]

"They didn't pay me enough to go to Colombia. I wrote the book in San Francisco. I got the information from a chick I was dating -- an intern at the Colombian consulate," the newspaper quoted Kohnstamm as saying.

Full story HERE.


Found Friday

Provided by one of the interns here at Found Friday (fed ID #23958-sgljg-38). I plan to store it in my new Birding Vest, just so you know.


Birder Vest

Have you seen my new vest? Yeah, I wear it to teach in. I wear it to go birding in. I even sleep in it. How could I possibly survive without this piece of gear?