Word Wednesday.

Malevolent

Adjective.

1: having, showing, or arising from intense often vicious ill will, spite, or hatred.

2: productive of harm or evil.

-malevolently, adverb.

[Origin: Latin malevolent-, malevolens, from male badly + volent-, volens, present participle of velle to wish.]

(1509)

“He had a vision of that lone velvety ear, fluttering like a huge malevolent moth through the attics at the Schloss.” – Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand, Fred Vargas.

Word Wednesday.

Antipathetic

Adjective.

1: having a natural aversion; also: not sympathetic: hostile. Opposed, averse, contrary; having or showing antipathy.

2: arousing antipathy.

Antipathetically – adverb.

Antipatheticalness – noun.

[Origin: Greek antipathḗs opposed in feeling, anti– + –pathēs, adj. derivative of páthos, with –etic by analogy with pathetic.]

(1630-40)

“Schnee, the colony’s governor, called upon Fu Hao in the unexpected company of his antipathetic military counterpart, Oberstleutnant Lettow-Vorbeck.” – Everfair, Nisi Shawl.

The Rising Tide of the Theocalypse.

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. (YouTube).

Educational standards have hit a new low with the Tiny Tyrant and De Vos, and it looks like they are about to be delivered yet another blow. Does anyone think that Liberty ‘University’ is any sort of high standard when it comes to education? Outside of Trump, that is, who always finds a crowd of acolytes there.

Jerry L. Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, will be part of a White House task force, an official from the White House told The Chronicle on Sunday.

The news is the first official comment from the White House on the topic since Mr. Falwell told The Chronicle in January that President Trump and others in his inner circle had asked him to head up a task force on reforming regulations related to higher education.

Even so, information on the task force’s role, membership, purview, and timing is still scant.

“We are working on a task force that Jerry Falwell will be involved with,” was all the official would say on the topic for now. He is someone who was authorized by the White House to speak on the subject but not be named.

[…]

Mr. Falwell said he and others at Liberty have also been developing position papers on various higher-education topics which he has shared with the White House and the U.S. Department of Education. At the White House, he said, he’s been sending the papers to Andrew Bremberg, who is an assistant to the president and director of the Domestic Policy Council, a White House agency that has under prior administrations exerted considerable influence on higher-education policy.

Let me guess: god, god, prayer, god, bible, god.

The full story is here.

Word Wednesday.

Gauche

Adjective.

1a: lacking social experience or grace; also not tactful: crude.

1b: crudely made or done.

2. not planar.

– gauchely adverb
– gaucheness noun

[Origin: French, literally, left]

(1751)

“I got out of my car, map of Glasgow in hand, and asked her for directions I did not need in an English I hoped was gauche and charming.” – Irene, Pierre Lemaitre.

Facebook, Oh Facebook XVII.

Clay Higgins. © Facebook.

We open with republican congressman Clay Higgins, who seems to be a tad fuckin’ bloodlusty.

In a Facebook post, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.), a viral YouTube star who was elected to Congress last November, argued that Christendom “is at war with Islamic horror.”

“Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down,” Higgins wrote. “Hunt them, identity them, and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”

Oh, but it’s ever so bad that some of those people you so demonize feel exactly the same way, right? That makes them evil, but being an indiscriminate bloodthirsty killer is okey dokey if you’re white and at least nominally christian. Got it. Don’t go speaking like you represent America, either, because you sure as hell don’t represent me.

“Not one penny of American treasure should be granted to any nation who harbors these heathen animals. Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter,” Higgins said in the post.

Oh stuff it, you obnoxious blowhard. This isn’t pirate land, and no one is after your “treasure”. What other nations do isn’t any of your business, Clay. Many of them are setting a fine example of how to be an excellent nation, and how to focus on integration, love, and empathy, rather than how to be a self righteous psychopath. Every single person who elected this fucking idiot? You should be godsdamned ashamed of yourselves.

Via The Hill.

Then there’s Harvard students…

Harvard College rescinded admissions offers to at least ten prospective members of the Class of 2021 after the students traded sexually explicit memes and messages that sometimes targeted minority groups in a private Facebook group chat.

A handful of admitted students formed the messaging group—titled, at one point, “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens”—on Facebook in late December, according to two incoming freshmen.

In the group, students sent each other memes and other images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children, according to screenshots of the chat obtained by The Crimson. Some of the messages joked that abusing children was sexually arousing, while others had punchlines directed at specific ethnic or racial groups. One called the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child “piñata time.”

After discovering the existence and contents of the chat, Harvard administrators revoked admissions offers to at least ten participants in mid-April, according to several members of the group.

The Harvard Crimson has the full story.

Word Wednesday.

Nascent

Adjective.

Coming or having recently come into existence.

[Origin: Latin nascent-, nascens, present participle of nasci to be born.]

(C. 1624)

“Near the end of Delancey Street, the smells of sea and fresh water, along with the stench of refuse that those who lived near the waterfront simply dumped off the edge of Manhattan every day, mingled to produce the distinctive aroma of that tidal pool we call the East River. A large structure soon slanted up before us: the ramp approach to the nascent Williamsburg Bridge. Without pausing, and much to my dismay, Stevie crashed onto the boarded roadway, the horse’s hooves and carriage wheels clattering far more loudly against wood than they had against stone.” – The Alienist, Caleb Carr.

 

Word Wednesday.

Vitrification

Noun.

1. The process or act of vitrifying or the state of being vitrified.

2. Something that is or has been vitrified.

Vitrify

Verb -fied; -fying

Transitive verb: to convert into glass or a glassy substance by heat and fusion.

Intransitive verb: to become vitrified.

Vitrifiable – adjective.

Vitrification – noun.

[Origin: Middle French vitrifier, from Latin vitrum glass.]

(1594)

“This is in fact a DEEP SEVEN cadaver, and appears to have undergone some sort of postmortem vitrification process, or perhaps a hibernation from which it failed to emerge, approximately seven million years ago.” – The Jennifer Morgue, Charles Stross.

Cool Stuff Friday.

the artist in front of “Tyrannosaurus” in Chiba prefecture (2016).

“Asura” in Akita prefecture (2015).

Toshihiko Hosaka began making sand sculptures in art school and has been using beaches and sand boxes as his canvas for almost 20 years. His work defies what we typically think of as sand art as he sculpts and carves the loose, granular substance as if it were some malleable form of clay.

There is no core, mold or adhesive ever used throughout the process: just sand. The only trick Hosaka uses (and this is commonly accepted) is a hardening spray applied to his sculpture only after it’s been completed, in order to prevent wind and sun from eroding it for a few days.

Looking at his work, you can hardly credit it, that’s it’s just sand, nothing more, because it’s truly amazing and intricate. He has done sculptures of Musashi Miyamoto, Godzilla, Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Asura, and a massive Kraken, among others. All the ones listed you can see at Spoon & Tamago, and be sure to visit Toshihiko Hosaka’s website!

An octopus sings about overfishing:

Overfishing Song from “Papa Cloudy’s Restaurant” from Studio Creature on Vimeo.

Artist Chuck Miller is fascinated with bodies, as many artists are, however, what fascinates Miller the most is fluidity and complexity of flesh. You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

Milena Ogrizovic beside Monument of the Fallen Fighters. Designer: Dajana Vasic.

Throughout the former Yugoslavia, mysterious and beautiful monuments dot the landscape, initiated by Yugoslav revolutionary Josef Broz Tito and designed by modernist architects. Increasingly forgotten, these brutalist concrete sculptures, which were public monuments to the country’s fallen soldiers of World War II, are revived in Serbian photographer Jovana Mladenovic‘s series Monumental Fear, which not only explores the former country’s triumph over fascism, but echoes the painful split that led to several Balkan states. Mladenovic’s series is also a tone poem meant to celebrate the creativity of the Serbian people, many of them artists facing uncertainty in the wake of the Brexit vote.

After studying photography at Belgrade’s University of Arts, Mladenovic moved to London to pursue her interest in fashion photography at the London College of Fashion. But she soon realized she was more interested in conceptual art and photography. Though she was happy to be in London, exploring avant-garde impulses, Mladenovic started thinking about her home country—specifically, its brutalist Yugoslavian communist monuments unveiled in the decades following World War II.

Fascinating and beautiful work. You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

And last, but certainly not least, Mr. Rogers!

Mr. Rogers is singing about how it’s ok to hug a pillow or pine after a teddy bear, and even though it seems like I’m too old for such things, I feel my stomach drop and I’m suddenly having trouble breathing. I feel like a kid again, and thanks to the 18-day Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood marathon currently streaming on Twitch, over 2 million people have already had the chance to feel the same. The Twitch stream is playing the entire Mister Rogers archive back-to-back in chronological order, including rare episodes that only aired once on terrestrial TV.

Twitch reached out to PBS with an idea for a Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood revival in the lead up to the show’s 50th anniversary. They launched the marathon on May 15, partially thanks to the overwhelming response to marathons of Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting, Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, and Julia Child’s The French Chef on the streaming platform. “We were excited to build on that momentum with this experimental initiative,” Lesli Rotenberg, a Senior Vice President at PBS, tells Creators.

You can read more about this at The Creators Project. The Twitch Mr. Roger’s Stream.

Word Wednesday.

Paraphernalia

Noun plural but singular or plural in construction.

1. The separate real or personal property of a married woman that she can dispose of by will and sometimes according to common law during her life.

2. Personal belongings.

3. a: Articles of equipment. b: Accessory items.

[Origin: Medieval Latin, ultimately from Greek parapherna, bride’s property beyond her dowry, from para + phernē dowry, from pherein to bear.]

(1651)

“Timothy Poe was not at 101 MacDougal Street, but a vast array of drug paraphernalia was. Unfortunately for him, it was more than enough to raise the eyebrows of even the most jaded of Mulvaney’s men: a stash of opium, a bottle of Bayer’s heroin, some cocaine toothdrops, and a dozen hypodermic needles of the type that had pricked Detective Marwin. Though it was not illegal to possess any of these items, it was frowned upon by polite society – and their discovery would do Poe no good.” – A Curtain Falls, Stefanie Pintoff.

Word Wednesday.

Impecunious

Adjective.

Having very little or no money, usually habitually: penniless.

– impecuniosity, noun.

– impecuniously, adverb.

– impecuniousness, noun.

[Origin: in – + obsolete, English pecunious, rich, from Middle English, from Latin pecuniosus, from pecunia, money.]

(1596)

So many conferees came down to the aisle to congratulate my choice of entertainment for the evening I felt overwhelmed. But academics enjoy nothing so much as a golden opportunity to feel superior, and in this case, impecunious and bedraggled professors could sail off having felt that they had bested wealth, beauty, stardom, and Hollywood itself.” – The Edith Wharton Murders, Lev Raphael.

Your Children Will Be Commies! Er, Wait, They’ll Be Transgendered Commies!

Oh, The Red Menace™! Ever present in my life. “America’s” biggest fear and greatest propaganda, the communists under the bed, oh my! Every single time I have thought that the whole fear of a commie had finally died off, it managed to appear again, ever a revenant. There was always a religious zealot or a bigoted conservative willing to reach into the closet and dust off the Red Bogeyman, conveniently updated with whatever was current or trending in culture for any given year. Today, I see absolutely nothing has changed. Seriously, all you bigoted, hateful, conservative Christian asswipes need to come up with a new shtick. The whole red menace thing is unbelievably old, and it’s now incredibly inaccurate, ennit? Really, at least try to keep up with the news, and please, not Fox.

Kevin Swanson has decided that the current Red Bogeyman is Transgendered Commies! Yes, that’s right. All children in public schools will be transformed into transgender commies, this is the new agenda™. I hadn’t received any agenda update, perhaps this one is only going out to idiots.

“The state has an agenda with your children,” he warned. “I realize that this may sound a little bit hyperbolic, it may sound [like] a little bit of an exaggeration—I don’t think it is, because I think if you begin to see the trajectory of where things have gone and you just draw it out for the next five, six, eight years, you’re going to find this is the agenda.”

“The goals of the educational program for your kids in the public schools,” Swanson continued, “the goals of the world for your children is that your kids be transgendered and communist by 20 years of age.”

“Of course this is the agenda,” he said. “Parents, just get serious about it. Do you want your kids transgendered and communist at 18 years of age? Is that your goal? If it isn’t, then maybe you ought to bring a different vision into the education of your children.”

Why yes, that does sound hyperbolic, Kevin. It also sounds downright moronic. You won’t be finding cis children wanting to be anything other than what they are, and you won’t find trans children wanting to be anything other than what they are. It’s quite simple, really. I do think you need to be a bit more specific about the whole transgender-communist connection, what exactly do you have in that department? How does the ever evil transagenda aid in creating more commies? I ask, because I don’t know if you have noticed, but trans people haven’t exactly had an easy time when it comes to being accepted, on both an individual and societal basis. I really don’t think this would be the communist plot of choice.

I remember when there was an attempt to paint The Beatles, and rock and pop music generally with the communist brush, but at least they had a veneer of a connection – mind control! Looseness, immorality, *gasp* sex! I am not getting the connection here. I think it will be a very long time before there are sufficient numbers of transgender commies to make up a conquering army, if that’s what you had in mind. Also, Kevin, make up your fucking mind, from one sentence to the next – are the kids going to turn evil when they are 20 years old, or 18 years old? Details matter, y’know. Also, it’s rather convenient you put the line at adult ages. I really think you ought to just stick with the immoral, godless commie thing. It’s worked for all these decades.

Via RWW.

Word Wednesday.

Ambit

Noun.

1. Circuit, compass.

2. The bounds or limits of a place or district.

3. A sphere of action, expression, or influence: scope.

[Origin: Middle English, from Latin ambitus, from ambire.]

(1597)

“And you do not?” Andso said, straightening. The captain was edging into blasphemy, and that, at least, was in the priest’s ambit. “Do you doubt the Bishopry, Captain?” – The God Engines, John Scalzi.