Stan Musial 1920-2013

A dream personified for both those who love seeing poetry in their statistics and those who love seeing the game played the right way, Stan Musial left this mortal coil on Jan. 19th at the age of 92.

Stan Musial smiling in uniform for St. Louis
Trading-card photo © 1953 Bowman Gum.

Wise to the Wordle

For some time now I’ve been planning to add a Wordle graphic to the blog. The one below, set in a font called Enamel Brush, has at this writing just been slipped into the sidebar between my general and exhaustive lists of post labels.

Subjects in varying sizes of cursive script including comics, television, movies, weirdness, blogging, wordply, music, life, kids, and dozens more, some illegibly small

Wordle is an online application created by Jonathan Feinberg. You enter a bunch of text into its box and it produces a nifty “word cloud” out of that, customizable in typeface, color, and (to an extent) layout, with the size of each word or phrase based on the frequency with which it appears in the source.

The bad news is that it doesn’t work quite as easily as I thought it was supposed to work.

Mean and Done

If you’ve ever left a comment on a blog, you may very well have come across “word” verification.

On blogs hosted by Blogger, as elsewhere, the author can select an option asking
people commenting to type a seemingly random bunch of letters to prove that they’re actual humans rather than automated envoys of mischief or malevolence. This used to take the form of a single nonsense string that almost always could be a real word, but wasn’t; then, last year, the hosting service joined the ranks of websites using heinously jumbled-up, visually skewed mixes of characters. Previously the nonsense “words” tended to have vowels and consonants placed in such an order that they were pronounceable, leading me to invent definitions for them based on actual words, morphemes, and phrases they suggested.

I took to sharing those definitions in comments, when they came readily to mind, then filing them away and periodically presenting batches here on my own blog. It was an endeavor not unlike Sniglets, which Rich Hall popularized on HBO’s Not Necessarily the News and in a series of books back in the ’80s, except in reverse. I’ve laid absolutely no claim to being either the first or the best at this, but I’ve been told I’m not bad at it either, and I’m genuinely sorry that the absence of that older format of word verification has led to a near-total shutdown in new definitions.

cztory — [ztoh ree] n. A Slavic tale.

ermend — [uhr mend; ee ahr mend] v. Fix someone up in the trauma center.

archMC — [artch em see] n. Preeminent (or sly) rapper.

It Won't Be Long

Fringe 5.11 The Boy Must Live / Photo of Michael Cerveris as September / Donald with Spencer List as young bald Observer boy Michael

This post is currently down for maintenance.

Clash of the Toy Lines

I dragged some old stuff out of the basement during my sister’s visit with her kids last summer.

Various action figures including Hulk, lying under the front of the Batvan, and Batman himself

My nephew Ishmael (real name classified) had gotten a Batman figure for his birthday — I believe from the 2008 Dark Knight movie line, although I was happy to find one with a gray-&-black motif rather than the solid black seen in the films. He told me that he “really, really wished” for a Batmobile and he thought that we could find one. Aware that no Batmobile per se was in my stash but having discussed with my sister giving him my Kenner Star Wars figures, I decided to literally dust off a couple of great Mego items for him: the Batcave playset and what was officially titled the Mobile Bat Lab; I liked to call it the Batvan.

Future Tense

Art of older Wolverine and Kitty/Kate Pryde cornered in front of a wall, spotlight on them and the poster behind them listing mutants who have been captured or killed, from the cover to 'X-Men' #141 with new text reading 'Welcome to 2013, X-Men... Hope You Survive the Experience!'
Art from cover of X-Men #141 with text based on the cover
to X-Men #139 © 1980 Marvel Comics. Pencils: John
Byrne. Inks: Terry Austin. Colors: Unknown.

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