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Hello to everyone,

This journal is mostly public because most of it contains poetry, quotations, pictures, jokes, videos, and news (medical and otherwise). If you like what you see, you are welcome to drop by, anytime.

Have a look at my archives as well--especially if you're interested in quotes or poems--take a look at the "quote of the day" and "poem of the day" tags; there's also a fairly large collection of items under the "inspiration" tag.

My mirror / backup site is http://med-cat.dreamwidth.org/


(Painting is by Eleanor Pollen and was found via levkonoe--many thanks!)

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[reposted post] Friday word: Zetetic

...because we can always use more z-words!

-Proceeding by inquiry or investigation.

From mid 17th century: from Greek zētētikos, from zētein ‘seek'.

Used in a sentence:
"His zetetic habitudes have proved to have rather practical applications."

Curiosity killed the cat! But that’s just because the cat wasn’t at all zetetic. If the fumbling feline had adopted a more precise methodology, his inquiries may have had a more fruitful outcome.

(from The Grandiloquent Word of the Day FB page)

About hedgehogs:

Hedgehog (European) Hedgehogs have about 5000 spines. Each spine lasts about a year then drops out and a replacement grows.

Why sharks don't get cavities:

“(The surface of) shark teeth contains 100 percent fluoride. In principle, sharks should not suffer from cavities. As they live in water and as they change their teeth regularly, dental protection should not be a problem for sharks.”
Where did nickel get its name?

Nickel gets its name from the German word "kupfernickel" which means "devil's copper." German miners named ore containing nickel "kupfernickel" because, although they thought the ore contained copper, they were unable to extract any copper from it. They blamed their troubles with this ore on the devil.


Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, 2010 Пётр Ильич Чайковский. Опера "Пиковая дама". Песенка Томского "Если б милые девицы..."

Tomsky's song, "If the sweet girls..."

(yes, this takes place in a casino, and they've all had a few, as you can tell by the state of their dress)

(lindahoyland and I were discussing this opera, and we both thought other people here might enjoy this comic piece from it)

Lyrics and translation:Collapse )

[reposted post] Friday bonus word: What's another word for thesaurus? ;)

Seen on the Grandiloquent Word of the Day desk calendar for today, Jan. 18:

Synonymicon (n.): a lexicon of synonyms. The elusive answer to the question, "What's another word for thesaurus?"

Bonus facts from the same calendar: January 18th is Winnie the Pooh Day, and Unsliced Bread Day.

Smile ;)

This Dad was super thoughtful to leave his teenage son a note with and some cash to order a pizza. Even better is that he specifies that he left the money with “Meatloaf”.

As it turns out, Meatloaf is the cat, who is still daintily holding a twenty-dollar bill between her paws. Let’s hope the son was willing to share his pizza with this talented kitty!


(there are more funny notes from parents in that gallery)

And now, in other important news...:P

Police Incidents: Spider

Arachnid's violent death rudely relegated to the mere parenthetical

Police in Western Australia responded to an emergency call over what turned out to be an arachnophobic man screaming at a spider, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

A passerby in suburban Perth had called police after hearing the man repeatedly yell, "Why don't you die?!"

The Wanneroo police log of the incident read, in part, "No injuries sighted (except to spider)." The man apologized for inconveniencing police.

(The Washington Post Express)


Happy New Year!

A few vintage mini-greeting cards:

Dolly Dingle's New Year cards

"Gratitude", by Clyde McGee


For sunlit hours and visions clear,
For all remembered faces dear,
For comrades of a single day,
Who sent us stronger on our way,
For friends who shared the year's long road,
And bore with us the common load,
For hours that levied heavy tolls,
But brought us nearer to our goals,
For insights won through toil and tears,
We thank the Keeper of our years.

(Clyde McGee)

(from my LJ archives, came across it and thought I'd post it here again)

Happy upcoming New Year to everyone!

A New Year's wish

Я хочу пожелать вам улыбок –
Самых искренних, добрых и светлых –
Сколько в небе блестящих снежинок,
Сколько хвои у ели на ветках!

Я хочу пожелать вам удачи
И успеха в любых начинаниях!
Чтоб решались любые задачи
И чтоб сердце дружило с сознанием!

Я желаю вам мира и счастья,
Пусть мечты и желанья сбываются.
Все обиды, болезни, ненастья
Пусть уходят и не возвращаются!

Я хочу пожелать вам достатка,
Пусть растёт он и приумножается.
Пусть дела ваши будут в порядке.
И пусть жизнь вам всегда улыбается!( из интернета)

Vintage Soviet New Year's cards

They are charming, and different from other vintage greeting cards; have a look:

Here's a funny one:

(naughty rabbit!)

And a more serious one:

(bullfinches were common in New Year's cards)

20+ more cards here!
Some people said they'd like to hear more--hope you enjoy ;)

Ded Moroz ("Grandfather Frost") is the Slavic equivalent of Santa Claus, but he acts just a bit differently from the St. Nick that Americans are used to. He does wear a long red fur coat and fur-trimmed hat, but Ded Moroz also carries a magical staff, and instead of sneaking down chimneys to deposit gifts before disappearing into the night, he actually shows up at New Year's parties to give kids their gifts. He’s also accompanied everywhere by his granddaughter Snegurochka, the Snow Maiden.

Read more...Collapse )
Here's one of the traditional children's songs:


Lyrics and translation:Collapse )

[reposted post] Wednesday Word: Sugarplum

Sugarplum - a small disc or ball-shaped candy.

Sugarplum! The word has mystified generations of children as they wonder if they have ever dreamed of one dancing in their heads :-) This YouTube video should clear up any misconceptions.

Something fun for your Friday/weekend

Cabaret Songs (Everything but mostly Weill), by Ute Lemper


"Always look on the bright side of life"


(and no, I don't like the last part overmuch, in case you'd wondered :P)

Have you signed up for holiday_wishes? ;)

...If not, do take a browse in the comm!

The wishes can be anything, really...and perhaps you might even come across some wishes you could fulfill? :)

Here's the comm:


And, in case you're curious, here's my wishlist:


Smile ;)

The Wurzels: Don't tell I, tell 'ee!

(with lyrics)

Take a look at the video of the Rockettes' Christmas Spectacular, at the Radio City Music Hall, in New York City:


Sunday word: Meretricious

meretricious [mer-i-trish-uhs]
1. Apparently attractive but having no real value, superficially or garishly attractive. tawdry
2. Plausible but false or insincere; specious
3. (archaic) Relating to or characteristic of a prostitute


In many ways, it was a meretricious performance, but it was a gifted one in terms of verbal gymnastics.(the Hansard archive, quoted by Cambridge Dictionary</a>)

She was half-angry with him in the carriage, and said something about meretricious manners. (Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers

"Elementary," said he. "It is one of those instances where the reasoner can produce an effect which seems remarkable to his neighbour, because the latter has missed the one little point which is the basis of the deduction. The same may be said, my dear fellow, for the effect of some of these little sketches of yours, which is entirely meretricious, depending as it does upon your retaining in your own hands some factors in the problem which are never imparted to the reader. (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes )

He was a son of God – a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that – and he must be about His Father's business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end. (F Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)


C17: from Latin merētrīcius, from merētrix prostitute, from merēre to earn money (Collins Dictionary)

Meretricious can be traced back to the Latin verb merēre, meaning "to earn, gain, or deserve." It shares this origin with a small group of other English words, including "merit," meritorious," and "emeritus." But, while these words can suggest some degree of honor or esteem, "meretricious" is used to suggest pretense, insincerity, and cheap or tawdry ornamentation. The Latin merēre is at the root of the Latin noun meretrix, meaning "prostitute," and its related adjective "meretricius" ("of or relating to a prostitute"). The Latin meretricius entered into English as "meretricious" in the 17th century. Shortly after being adopted, "meretricious" also began to be used to indicate things which are superficially attractive but which have little or no value or integrity. (Merriam-Webster)

(reposted from sallymn in 1word1day; many thanks!)


[reposted post] Good morning

[reposted post] librate

librate (LAI-brait) - v., to oscillate (like the beam of a ballance); to remain poised or balanced.

In astronomy, a libration is a wobble, as by our moon, in the apparent position of something, caused by its orbit being not actually circular. The root for these is Latin lībrāre, to balance/make level/bring to equilibrium, from lībra, ballance scale -- and yes the zodiac sign carrying scales is the same root. A .gif of the moon librating:

libration of the moon
Thanks, WikiMedia!


Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/743043.html
You can comment here or there.

[reposted post] Heh...

Holiday_Wishes comms are open!

On Dreamwidth: holiday-wishes.dreamwidth.org/

(yes, I am co-moderating with [personal profile] doranwen again :))

and on LiveJournal: holiday-wishes.livejournal.com/

Do come and join the fun!

This entry was originally posted at https://med-cat.dreamwidth.org/3294459.html. You can comment here, or there using OpenID if you prefer.

15 encouraging phrases in Spanish

August 29, 2016

Source: https://www.upworthy.com/15-encouraging-phrases-a-spanish-speaker-like-me-would-love-for-you-to-learn?c=reccon3

(I've had to clip out the illustrations, as LJ kept telling me the post is too large; do take a look at the link to the original article ;))
15 encouraging phrases a Spanish speaker like me would love for you to learn.
by Alicia Barron

Learning these simple yet meaningful phrases could make all the difference in the world.
I'm a 38-year-old bilingual Mexican-American, and I recently came to a very interesting realization about non-Spanish speakers.

I meet a lot of people at work, on the street, and in my community who want to make an effort by speaking my native language. It's great. But often, they default to the same handful of phrases: "Hola," "Buenos días," maybe a "Como está" once in a while.

I was chatting with a co-worker recently about my work as a writer. I could tell he was very proud of me. When our chat ended, he said, "Si se puede!" I thought, "Dammit!"

Let me explain: "Si se puede" means "yes we can," and it's a renowned cry of Latino pride made famous by American labor leader and social activist Cesar Chávez way before President Barack Obama made it a slogan. A lot of Latinos love that phrase.
But the phrase is so generic now that it has almost taken away the true meaning of his pride.

That wasn't his fault, of course. I just would've preferred an "I'm really proud of you" instead. Then I immediately felt terrible for thinking that because how could he know that?

Please don't get me wrong: I appreciate it oh-so-much when non-Spanish-speaking people take the time and effort to say something to me in Spanish. But it would be awesome if there were more common phrases floating around society (besides curse words).

So I wanted to offer up some other options for those friendly Spanish-speaking chats you might want to have. Allow me to be your friendly bilingual guide. :)
Here are 15 inclusive phrases in Spanish that I would love to see become part of our shared vernacular:

1. Great job. / Buen trabajo.

Pronounced: boo-en tra-bah-hoe.

All illustrations by Kitty Curran.

This phrase goes a long way, and it's always nice to feel like what you're doing is making a difference.

2. You have a beautiful smile. / Que bella sonrisa.

Pronounced: ke beh-ya sone-ree-sa.

Go ahead, try it; and I guarantee they'll flash those pearly whites even wider.

3. Would you like to be friends? / Quisieras ser mi amigo(a)?

Pronounced: key-see-air-aws sare me amigo (for a male) amiga (for a female)?

This question could spark the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Promise!

4. I appreciate your work. / Aprecio tu trabajo.

Pronounced: aw-pre-see-oh too trah-bah-hoe.

Recognizing someone's hard work — particularly if they're on the job — is a wonderful thing.Read more...Collapse )

A remarkable real-life story

Donna Cardillo shared this recently on her FB


A variety of links

History and Literature:

The day the guns fell silent, about the Armistice, from The Washington Post.

Something interesting that I'd not heard about, in the last paragraph of the article.

Flanders Fields, and the significance of poppies: over here, in mme_n_b's LJ

Guess who's championing Homer? Radical online conservatives, from The Washington Post.

...Sparta. They would model society on Sparta!... If I ever did agree with their views (which I never did), this would turn me vehemently against them.

The Complicated DNA of ‘God Bless America’. The nation loved the song, which was introduced 80 years ago. But some reviled Irving Berlin for his presumption, as an immigrant and a Jew, in having written it at all, from The New York Times

Medical perspectives:

Sotto Voce: Neurodegeneration often steals something we consider quintessentially human—our ability to speak, from Harvard Medicine

The Name of the Dog, from The New England Journal of Medicine

Sunday word: Woolgathering

woolgathering [wool-gath-er-ing]
1. Indulgence in aimless thought or dreamy imagining; absent-mindedness.
2. gathering of the tufts of wool shed by sheep and caught on bushes.


Really, God thought with annoyance, this woolgathering —at such a moment! (Damon Francis Knight, The Worshippers)

His efforts to explain his success keep wandering off into sunny vales of academic woolgathering (Washington Post, 1998)


Woolgathering once literally referred to the act of gathering loose tufts of wool that had gotten caught on bushes and fences as sheep passed by. Woolgatherers must have seemed to wander aimlessly, gaining little for their efforts, for in the mid-16th century "woolgathering" began to appear in figurative phrases such as "my wits (or my mind) went a-woolgathering" - in other words, "my mind went wandering aimlessly." From there, it wasn't long before the word woolgathering came to suggest the act of indulging in purposeless mind-wandering. (Merriam Webster)

Reposted from sallymn at 1word1day; many thanks!


Today is St. Martin's Festival

...it's mentioned in one of my longtime favorite books, "Colas Breugnon" by Romain Rolland

The St. Martin's festival is celebrated on 11 November, or sometimes the night before, in some regions of the Netherlands, Flanders, northern France, some German-speaking areas, Portugal, Hungary and on the island of Sint Maarten.

The children walk past the doors, sing songs and get something tasty.

(from the Vintage Postcards FB page)
sotto voce (soh-toh voh-chi), adv. or adj., in an undertone, in a low voice

When you say something sotto voce, you say it very quietly. If you're unsure of the lyrics, you can also sing a song sotto voce.

This handy Italian phrase can be used as an adverb: "'Don't look now, but there's an alpaca behind you,' she said sotto voce."

It's also fine to use it as an adjective: "I liked the sotto voce part of your karaoke performance best."

Sotto voce, literally "under the voice," comes from the Latin words subtus, "below," and vocem, "voice."
This is where I saw it, a couple days ago:

I wrote the column for Life letting readers know who I was. It appeared. At the time it seemed an unexceptional enough eight hundred words in the assigned genre, but there was, at the end of the second paragraph, a line so out of synch with the entire Life mode of self-presentation that it might as well have suggested abduction by space aliens:

"We are here on this island in the middle of the Pacific in lieu of filing for divorce."

A week later we happened to be in New York.

"Did you know she was writing it," many people asked John [the author's husband], sotto voce.

Did he know I was writing it?

He edited it.

He took Quintana [their daughter] to the Honolulu Zoo so I could rewrite it.

He drove me to the Western Union office in downtown Honolulu so I could file it.

(from Joan Didion's memoir, "The Year of Magical Thinking")

A few more short examples:Collapse )

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