A short list of long words

Apophenia: the tendency to mentally relate a series of potentially unrelated ideas.

When someone employs apophenia, they seem to be bouncing randomly from one subject to the next, making connections between things though the connections are questionable.

Extrasensory: not related to the five common senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell).

A person could develop an extrasensory decision-making model for their life and get along just fine, possibly better than the alternative.

Pragmatic: of or related to the practical.

The best way to be when exercising your inner capitalist. Not the best when going on a date (in that case it would be better to be romantic).

Phlegmatic: showing or having few emotions.

Yes, I know, we’re all jealous of the “phlegmy” ones. They seem to have no worries.

Schizophrenia: the tendency to relate unrelated realities.

A question I’ve been pondering lately is this: how would you know the difference between schizophrenic visions and visions associated with xenosthesia? How could you possibly discern? It’s basically the age-old question of whether a person can diagnose their own sanity. Does a diagnosis require an objective opinion? Then again, the best doctor would be able to tap the vein of xenosthesia.

Xenosthesia: the ability to experience all of the emotions and sensations and knowledge of another being.

In an ideal example of this, the experiencing subject would have access to the knowledge of the subject being experienced, though the subject being experienced wouldn’t necessarily know anything was happening. For the experienced to know they were under scrutiny would require them to have a measure of xenosthesia as well.

Obsession

Count how many times a person mentions a particular topic. Find the topic with the highest count and you’ve found their obsession.

For some, an obsession will be a sport. They might be a bit zealous over hockey or hang gliding, baseball or bocce ball.

For others, they might obsess over politics or public figures, civil rights or civil unrest.

Still others will have an undivided focus on religion. Whether it is one religion, or a variety, will depend on the individual.

An interesting aspect of obsession is that it’s not exclusive to those who love the sport, or the debate, or the religion. People who have a dishonest disregard for a topic can also be obsessed. These are they who will deny their obsession even when confronted with the count of how often they bring up the topic. They pretend outwardly to consider the subject unworthy of their precious time, all the while injecting every possible conversation with their pet talking point.

To be fair, not every obsession is unwanted. Not every obsessed person is annoying. There are the rare flints who light fires inside conversations with their cheerful focus. The few who can inspire others to enjoy the same topic they do are masters of the art of conversation.

How do these rare gems do it? Usually by humor. At times, with clever analogies. Even others, by brilliant story-telling.

The flip side are the annoying ones. How do they annoy with their obsession? By forcing it, whatever the obsession is, where it’s unwanted, presenting it through gripes and complaints, iterating and reiterating, and ignoring any outside opinions, facts, or figures to contradict their set opinion of the obsession.

When it gets to the point where a person denies being obsessed and yet still drives the topic into every possible conversation, it can get really weird. Others will start to wonder how the person can be blind to the sea they’re swimming in. How does the mind get so enveloped and so oblivious at the same time? Is there a part of the brain that hides the annoying habits from the rest?

Do old men who tell the same joke every time you see them have this part of the brain engaged full time? Science wants to know.

“Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before.”

Mother

Mother’s Day is May 9th, 2021.

Making cookies is a hobby I most likely gained from my mother. She taught a great many things, and one of the best lessons is to enjoy life. You don’t know my Mom, though you could imagine her, if you think of a woman quick with a laugh and a hug, generous, charitable, happy, who almost always has cookies somewhere in the house. Why does she always have cookies? They make her happy. Even more because sharing them makes her happy.

This is how I start cookies, with lots of butter. I like to smash the butter with a fork. Never use a machine, if you’re capable. You might be surprised how much fun it is to grind up butter with only your forearms and an ordinary stainless steel utensil. Plus, if you have any frustrations, this is a good way to work through them. Better to take it out on a bowl full of butter than someone you love.

Add all the other ingredients, like flour, eggs, sugar, and for chocolate chip cookies, baking soda. Mash all that together with a fork as well. What’s that you say? Your forearms are burning? You’re awesome. If it helps, try to think of how many calories you’re burning mixing these cookies and how many you’ll intake when you eat those cookies. You’r burning more than you eat. Tomorrow, you can make some more. And the next day, and the next.

Share them with your mother.

Recently Viewed: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This is a post about movies and movie ratings and cowboys and violence, and a renegade bum.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, or as it was titled in Italian: “Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo” is a movie which will draw you in. It tells a story of three men on the trail of buried treasure. Each of them has qualities and skills. Each man has his own story, a life’s path which happens to collide with the others.

There’s the Good, played by the now legendary Clint Eastwood. His path takes him to the treasure because he tries to help a dying man. The dying man imparts some knowledge to the Good and he keeps the knowledge through the film, only giving hints to the other two men seeking the treasure at times he feels it prudent.

There’s the Bad, played by the equally legendary Lee Van Cleef, whose character kills men, women, and children indiscriminately. His character is known as “Angel Eyes” and his role is the one I think should have given the film it’s R rating. As soon as he’s introduced, we see him murder a family. It’s clear from the beginning, he has no interest in other humans. His is the Sociopathic Irony, since he wants the gold, the treasure, but he doesn’t want any other humans to stand in his way. If the world had no other humans, the gold could have only a subjective value. It would quickly become worthless without other humans around to give it that objective value. 

Last, but certainly not least or less legendary, is Eli Wallach as the Ugly. His character’s name is “Tuco”. In a different kind of irony, let’s call it Movie Rating Irony, his role is the one that gained this movie it’s R rating. He is wanted by the law as a petty criminal (very much like the Good—they have this quality in common), and he meets up with the Good early on and calls him “Blondie” for the duration of the film. In one of the greatest ideas for movie criminals, Blondie turns Tuco in to the authorities for the bounty money, then rescues him, and they both ride off into the sunset with the money.

Though I just now made it sound like they only steal the bounty money one time, they actually do it multiple times, enough times you’d think they didn’t need the buried gold, and that’s not the end of the movie. Tuco and Blondie get in lots of mischief together, not the least of which is coming across Angel Eyes several times and getting away from him almost as many. He catches up with them. He gets the upper hand enough to make you worried. Before I give you all the details, let me tell you how it ends. It ends like this: “Blondie! You know what you are? You’re a son of a—“ Ah-uh-ah-uh-aaaah, Wah-wa-Waaah (The unforgettable theme music picks up from there as the movie ends.) So there you go. You know how the movie ends, but if you’ve never seen it, understand the complexity of the plot is worth a view.

Now for the reasons you might not want to watch it. The R rating. Apparently, nudity of any kind, even the brief, non-sexual, non-suggestive, nudity of this film took a higher toll on movie ratings back in the 60s than killing did. According to legend, the R rating was given because of the renegade bum, less so because of the murders. Personally, I think that’s a bit backwards. Make your own jokes at this end of the conversation, but seriously, murder is worse than nudity. Granted, it’s a movie about war, the Civil War to be specific. A lot of death is involved in war, so to make a movie about war and not include death might be a bit fanciful, to say the least. In my personal opinion, you can’t just cover your eyes when Tuco gets out of the tub and say you didn’t watch a rated R movie. There’s still some sick and senseless killing portrayed throughout the film.

Whether you agree with the R rating of this film or not, it is fun to watch. It’s fun to watch Blondie get the upper hand over Tuco and Angel Eyes when it seems like they should have the advantage over him. It’s interesting to see these fictional characters stroll through historical events and fit themselves in seamlessly. There are explosions and horse races and sharpshooters and tender emotional moments and edge-of-your-seat moments. There’s enough going on to keep the audience interested from start to finish.

Drawing power 1

Interest factor 1

Offensive factor 0

Range of emotion 1

Character factor 1

Style 1

Length 1

Total: 6 star film

OK is not okay.

Since man lived in a cave the arguments over words have been enduring. If you’ve ever had an argument about words, you know how ludicrous the battles can be. However, if you haven’t, then you might be surprised at how many ways people can argue about words.

The word okay, for example, has shown up on my radar lately. It can be the brunt of many debates. It could be argued that okay is not a word, but two mashed together. It could be said that it is a word, now that it’s been used long enough with an unchanged definition. It could even be said that okay is the least okay of all words ever.

Etymologists have tracked down one likely origin for the word okay. A news man, in a literary joke, that is still being played out on people today, spelled the words all correct as oll korrect. The initials stuck in the public mind as a way of giving an affirmative. The initials o. k. lasted for a while, went through multiple growth spurts, became capitalized, shrank back down and became a phonetic word sometimes spelled okey and other times spelled okay.

I bet you could guess why okay has changed so many times. . .that’s right, because everyone loves to argue about words. From wordsmiths to musicians, poets to plumbers, sign makers to marketing hacks, from writers to readers, the debates never end. A person sees a word, likes it that way, and that’s how they always want to see it. They’ll argue ‘til they’re ill, for the sake of a word.

One odd thing about the spelling of okay as OK, is when it’s capitalized. o.k. seems normal. Even ok is written how it would normally be pronounced. OK though, capitalized, suggests shouting, which could be confusing to the reader.

All capitalized words are to be pronounced as a shout. Three examples:

“HELLO,” came a voice from the well.

Sailor to shore: “AHOY, you land lovers.”

As soon as everyone was enjoying the movie, some joker came in with, “FIRE!”

Notice in only one of the examples above is there an exclamation point. If a word is capitalized, you don’t always need an exclamation point, because loudness is understood. Writers should take note how the words in the above examples show the reader what’s happening. Let’s do one more example:

The medic administered a sedative, asked how the patient was doing, and heard him become more calm. “Thanks for the painkiller doc. I wasn’t doing so well, but now I’m feeling OK.”

Did you feel how calm everything got at the end? How the sedative was making the patient settle? No? Me either. It’s a strange little writing hiccup, and it can easily be avoided. Here, though, I’m not even endorsing okay. The word at the end could be any number of words (fine, swell, superb, nothing), as long as they’re not capitalized.

The end of my argument is for correct usage. OK is not okay. The meaning may be the same, but the mood is not. OK would work beautifully if someone was at the bottom of a well.