Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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#47 – Cool Words

Words I love:

  • characterological
  • exegesis
  • juxtaposition
  • phagocytosis

Words I hate:

  • problematize
  • hegemony

Words I feel like I should love or hate, but about which I haven’t yet formed an opinion:

  • evaluand
  • expectorate

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I <3 data clouds

Saw this over on Derek’s blog. Tweetcloud.com will make a data cloud from your Tweets. Here’s mine:

The words “blog” and “posting” are huge because I have my Twitter set up so that my blog postings are automatically set up to appear as Tweets that start with “New blog posting: [title of blog posting]” What I can’t figure out is why the word “new” doesn’t appear in this cloud.

This also reminds me of the cloud I made up from my thesis – I blogged about it here, but you have to go to this link to see the cloud. And you totally should check it out, ‘cuz it’s damn cool.

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Stress Hurts Your Brain

At work, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about addictions, trauma, violence, and mental health. And to be honest, it can be a really downer reading things like “Most violence against adult women is perpetrated by intimate partners” and “…past victimization increased the risk of a new rape incidence by a factor of seven and increased the risk of a new physical assault incidence by a factor of three,” and “…women who reported being raped in the preceding 12 month months averaged 2.9 rapes in the preceding 12 months…”1,2 all day long.

But the following sentence in a paper about the effects of stress on the brain that I was reading today made me smile:

Along with epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinepherine, glucocorticoids are essential for surviving acute physical stress (evading a predator, for example) but they may cause adverse effects when secretion is sustained such as when waiting to hear about a grant renewal.2, 3

Also making me smile in this paper were the use of the words: hippocampi (the plural of “hippocampus,” the structure in the brain that is involved in learning and memory) and Cushingoid (to describe people with Cushing’s syndrome, a disease in which individuals produce excessive amounts of glucocorticoids (a hormone we produce in response to stress).

Say them with me: Hippocampi.  Cushingoid.  Fun to say, right?

Oh yeah, and the moral of the story is stress hurts your brain.  So chill out already. =)
1All three of these quotations are from: Najavits, L., Weiss, R. D., & Shaw, S. (1997). The link between substance abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder in women. American Journal on Addictions, 6(4), 273-283.
2Emphasis added
3Sapolsky, R.M. (1996). Why stress is bad for your brain. Science, 273, 749-750.

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Addicted to Scrabble

My name is Beth and I’m addicted to playing Scrabble online. And the thing is, I’m terrible at it. I don’t have the patience, the vocabulary or the inclination to do math that Scrabble requires. Jorge was giving me tips the other night, but I’m still no good. Yet…. I. can’t. stop. playing. it. As I type, I have 8 games on the go.

Perhaps I keep playing because I do things that amuse me, like this:

sex scrabble1

Hee hee. I played sex for 10 points.

Also, amusing is:

sex scrabble2

Hee hee. My rack.

It helps that I have the sense of humour of a 12 year old boy.

I will say, however, that I’m improving. As evidenced by this screenshot:

sex scrabble3

That’s right. I played sex for 30 points this time. I’m now officially 3 times better at playing sex. It must be true, because it’s on the internets.

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Cool Words: Clusterfuck

I think that “clusterfuck” is a seriously underutilized word. I propose we use the word “clusterfuck” far more often in daily life. Like, “this traffic is a real clusterfuck” or “My student loans are one clusterfuck of a situation” or “Fucksocks, that’s one hell of a clusterfuck.”