Monday, January 26, 2009

Mischmasch and Snarge

Mischmasch: n. a hodge-podge; a mixture of dissimilar ingredients; a jumble.

Everyone has probably heard the latest on the Vatican embracing technology and that it now has its own YouTube channel. The channel has been live for about 5 days now and it already has about 20 videos. All of them are very short (maybe due to our attention spans?), ranging from 30 seconds to 2.5 minutes.

The always interesting Language Log has an entry on this interesting new(?) word: snarge. (I can't find a pronounciation guide -- is it hard "g" or soft "g"? It looks like it ought to be soft, but I would prefer the hard "g".)

Apparently it means "the residue of birds that have struck an airplane" as used by the people at the National Museum of Natural History. This, of course, was inspired by the amazing story of the pilot who successfully crash landed his plane on the Hudson with all 150 people aboard surviving.

Another use of the word snarge appeared in the 1925 book Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases meaning "any ugly or unpleasant person", which could be applied to the attitude displayed by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who defends contraceptives being added to the economic stimulus bill. She was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos as saying, "contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government." And that from a "devout practicing Catholic". Ha!

On the other extreme, the LeFebrite SPX bishops narrowly avoided excommunication when Pope Benedict XVI lifted the ban in favor of dialog with the schismatic traditionalist group in the hopes of affecting a reconciliation. Remember guys: excommunication is not a punishment but a remedy for the wayward soul.

And finally, the FDA approved human embryonic stem cell trials on humans to see whether the cells are safe to use in spinal injury patients. "But it will happen soon, and it would have happened sooner if it weren't for the ridiculous Bush policies", said a ridiculous Dr. Okarma who stands to make a lot of money from the associated patents.

Let's see: human embryonic (baby humans) ... trials on humans. Hello! It's Soylent Green!

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