Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Do blogs enable graphomaniacs?

Graphomania is not a mania to write letters, personal diaries, or family chronicles (to write for oneself or one's close relations) but a mania to write books (to have a public of unknown readers). ... Graphomania (a mania for writing books) inevitably takes on epidemic proportions when a society devlops to the point of creating three basic conditions:

1. an elevated level of general well-being, which allows people to devote themselves to useless activities;
2. a high degree of social atomization and, as a consequence, a general isoalation of individuals;
3. the absense of dramatic social changes in the nation's internal life. (From this point of view, it seems to me symptomatic that in France, where practically nothing happens, the percentage of writers is twenty-one times higher than in Israel.

.. The mainspring that drives her to write is just that absence of vital content, that void. But by a backlash, the effort affects the cause. General isolation breeds graphomania, and generalized graphomania in turn intensifies and worsens isolation. The invention of printing formerly enabled people to understand one another. In the era of universal graphomania, the writing of books has an opposite meaning: everyone surrounded by his own words as by a wall of mirrors, which allows no voice to filter through from outside. ... One morning (and it will be soon), when everyone wakes up as a writer, the age of universal deafness and incomprehension will have arrived.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Art "thing"

It's not the guy without arms and legs hanging on the wall. (Click the mouse to change colors.)

If the above painting of "Lucy in the Field with Flowers" inspires you, see more at the MOBA.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Recent stem cell breakthroughs could open up all sorts of advances into fluffethelium research

Sunday, November 18, 2007

More MD-politicos/terrorists

*Alexis Carrell (vascular, transplant surgeon, eugenicist, Vichy sympathizer)
*Benjamin Rush (physician, American patriot)
*Jmaes Parkinson (physician, geologist, political activist)
*Ramon Betances (surgeon, PR nationalist)
*Oscar Biscet (physician, PR human rights advocate)
*Ayman al-Zawahiri (surgeon, al Queda terrorist)
*Mohammed Asha (neurosurgeon, terrorist)

Bluesday, Twoferday, Humpday, Otherday, TGIF

If you get bored during the grind

Solipsism, and other Blog phenomena

Is there anyone else out there? If there were no Universe, would 7 still be a prime number?

Even better than Shat

A nice video to end the weekend on...

Best thing since detente?

The B52-like dancing babushkas have me all hot and bothered, (just like Nicole in To Die For). Their epic versions of Knockin' on Heaven's Door and Tom Jones' Delilah are also to be recommended. And the balalaikas are perfect for LedZep. Tchaikovsky would be proud.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Jethro Tull, etc.

Agronomist and inventor of the seed drill

-To be sad...
-1979 interview
-Wond'ring aloud
-I've been to Dun Ringill
-My God (Isle of Wight)
-Skating Away...
-Whole Lotta Brick
-The Choo Choo Song
-The Minstrel

A boy and his drums

Maybe the best drummer alive today?

Shift happens

Yeah, but can somebody figure out how to do better than that troublesome plastic clamshell packaging?

Phillip hath soiled the air?

Some nice Shat after a hard week

A little Shat "me time", perhaps. Or some Shat Sociology (Shatology, but not to be confused with the anal bleaching link below)?

Give the guy credit for a sense of humor.

Spock sings

A catchy melody.


* Bashar Al-Assad - President of Syria
* Ibrahim Al-Jaafari - Prime minister of Iraq
* Iyad Allawi - interim Prime Minister of Iraq
* Salvador Allende (1908–1973) - Chilean president
* Emilio Alvarez Montalván - Foreign Minister of Nicaragua
* Arnulfo Arias - Panaman President
* Michelle Bachelet - Current Chilean President
* Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1898–1997) - Prime Minister, President and later dictator of Malawi
* Louis Blanqui - French revolutionary socialist
* Frederick William Borden - Canadian MP and minister of the Militia
* Bob Brown - parliamentry leader of the Australian Greens
* Gro Harlem Brundtland (born 1939) - first Norwegian female prime minister and Director-General of the World Health Organization
* Georges Clemenceau (1841–1929) - French statesman
* Margaret Chan - Director General of the WHO and former Director of Health of Hong Kong
* York Chow - Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food of Hong Kong
* Tom Coburn (born 1948) - U.S. Senator
* Howard Dean (born 1948) - American politician
* François Duvalier (1907–1971) - also known as Papa Doc - President and later dictator of Haiti
* Antônio Palocci Filho - Brazilian politician, Finance Minister
* Christian Friedrich, Baron von Stockmar - Anglo-Belgian statesman
* Bill Frist (born 1952) - United States Senate Majority Leader
* Hedy Fry (born 1941) - Canadian politician, member of parliament
* Che Guevara Latin American revolutionary leader
* George Habash - founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
* John Pope Hennessy - former Governor of Hong Kong
* Grant Hill (politician) - former Canadian MP
* Wilbert Keon - Canadian senator
* Mohammad Reza Khatami - Iranian politician
* Juscelino Kubitscheck - Brazilian president
* Jean-Paul Marat - French revolution leader
* Keith Martin - Portuguese Canadian MP
* William McGuigan - mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia
* Mahathir bin Mohamad - Malaysian prime minister
* Brendon Nelson - Australian politician
* Agostinho Neto (1922–1979) - MPLA leader and president of Angola
* David Owen - British politician
* Ron Paul (born 1935) - American politician
* Andrew Refshauge - Australian politician
* Navin Ramgoolam - Prime minister of Mauritius
* Maxime Ferrari - Minister for Development Seychelles
* José Rizal (1861–1896) - Filipino revolutionary and national hero
* Théodore Robitaille - Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, Quebec MNA and Senator
* Bidhan Chandra Roy - Indian politician
* Hélio de Oliveira Santos - Brazilian politician, mayor of Campinas
* Tabaré Vázquez - Current Uruguayan President
* Bette Stephenson - Ontario MPP and former Minister of Labour, Minister of Education and Minister of Colleges and Universities
* Sun Yat-Sen (1866–1925) - Founder of republican China
* Donald Matheson Sutherland - MP and former minister of National Defence
* Sir Charles Tupper (1821–1915) - Prime Minister of Canada (1896) and Premier of Nova Scotia (1864–1867); High Commissioner in Great Britain (1884-1887)
* Ali Akbar Velayati (born 1945) - Iranian Foreign Minister from 1981 to 1997.
* William Walker (soldier) (1824–1860) - ruler of Nicaragua
* Dave Weldon - US congressman and autism activist
* Ray Lyman Wilbur (1875–1949) - United States Secretary of the Interior, president of Stanford University
* Thomas Wynne (1627–1691) - Physician to William Penn, speaker of the first two Provincial Assemblies in Philadelphia (1687 & 1688)
* Yeoh Eng-kiong - former Secretary for Health and Welfare of Hong Kong

The joys of Plastic Surgery

People train for a decade to do this? Talk about a niche industry. No wonder the Islamists think we're corrupt.

Beware, not for the faint of heart: Village Voice, YouTube.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hump Day Shat

Bill covers Joe Jackson and Mr E John (aka Reggie). This is beyond Art.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

First oysters and now cannibalism?

Please add to ToyC reading list. (More lists at the bottom.) Courtesy of MW.

Nappy 'taches

Weird to think all these guys are dead.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Perhaps a reason Joyce did not finish his medical studies?

"What quality did it (his hand) possess but with what counteracting influence?

The operative surgical quality but that he was reluctant to shed human blood even when the end justified the means, preferring, in their natural order, heliotherapy, psychophysicotherapeutics, osteopathic surgery."

That which is in the New (old) River

A writer should never write about the extraordinary. That is for the journalist.
--James Joyce

Did it flow?

Yes. From Roundwood reservoir in county Wicklow of a cubic capacity of 2400 million gallons, percolating through a subterranean aqueduct of filter mains of single and double pipeage constructed at an initial plant cost of £5 per linear yard by way of the Dargle, Rathdown, Glen of the Downs and Callowhill to the 26 acre reservoir at Stillorgan, a distance of 22 statute miles, and thence, through a system of relieving tanks, by a gradient of 250 feet to the city boundary at Eustace bridge, upper Leeson street, though from prolonged summer drouth and daily supply of 12 1/2 million gallons the water had fallen below the sill of the overflow weir for which reason the borough surveyor and waterworks engineer, Mr Spencer Harty, C. E., on the instructions of the waterworks committee had prohibited the use of municipal water for purposes other than those of consumption (envisaging the possibility of recourse being had to the impotable water of the Grand and Royal canals as in 1893) particularly as the South Dublin Guardians, notwithstanding their ration of 15 gallons per day per pauper supplied through a 6 inch meter, had been convicted of a wastage of 20,000 gallons per night by a reading of their meter on the affirmation of the law agent of the corporation, Mr Ignatius Rice, solicitor, thereby acting to the detriment of another section of the public, selfsupporting taxpayers, solvent, sound.

What in water did Bloom, waterlover, drawer of water, watercarrier, returning to the range, admire?

Its universality: its democratic equality and constancy to its nature in seeking its own level: its vastness in the ocean of Mercator’s projection: its unplumbed profundity in the Sundam trench of the Pacific exceeding 8000 fathoms: the restlessness of its waves and surface particles visiting in turn all points of its seaboard: the independence of its units: the variability of states of sea: its hydrostatic quiescence in calm: its hydrokinetic turgidity in neap and spring tides: its subsidence after devastation: its sterility in the circumpolar icecaps, arctic and antarctic: its climatic and commercial significance: its preponderance of 3 to 1 over the dry land of the globe: its indisputable hegemony extending in square leagues over all the region below the subequatorial tropic of Capricorn: the multisecular stability of its primeval basin: its luteofulvous bed: its capacity to dissolve and hold in solution all soluble substances including millions of tons of the most precious metals: its slow erosions of peninsulas and islands, its persistent formation of homothetic islands, peninsulas and downwardtending promontories: its alluvial deposits: its weight and volume and density: its imperturbability in lagoons and highland tarns: its gradation of colours in the torrid and temperate and frigid zones: its vehicular ramifications in continental lakecontained streams and confluent oceanflowing rivers with their tributaries and transoceanic currents, gulfstream, north and south equatorial courses: its violence in seaquakes, waterspouts, Artesian wells, eruptions, torrents, eddies, freshets, spates, groundswells, watersheds, waterpartings, geysers, cataracts, whirlpools, maelstroms, inundations, deluges, cloudbursts: its vast circumterrestrial ahorizontal curve: its secrecy in springs and latent humidity, revealed by rhabdomantic or hygrometric instruments and exemplified by the well by the hole in the wall at Ashtown gate, saturation of air, distillation of dew: the simplicity of its composition, two constituent parts of hydrogen with one constituent part of oxygen: its healing virtues: its buoyancy in the waters of the Dead Sea: its persevering penetrativeness in runnels, gullies, inadequate dams, leaks on shipboard: its properties for cleansing, quenching thirst and fire, nourishing vegetation: its infallibility as paradigm and paragon: its metamorphoses as vapour, mist, cloud, rain, sleet, snow, hail: its strength in rigid hydrants: its variety of forms in loughs and bays and gulfs and bights and guts and lagoons and atolls and archipelagos and sounds and fjords and minches and tidal estuaries and arms of sea: its solidity in glaciers, icebergs, icefloes: its docility in working hydraulic millwheels, turbines, dynamos, electric power stations, bleachworks, tanneries, scutchmills: its utility in canals, rivers, if navigable, floating and graving docks: its potentiality derivable from harnessed tides or watercourses falling from level to level: its submarine fauna and flora (anacoustic, photophobe), numerically, if not literally, the inhabitants of the globe: its ubiquity as constituting 90 percent of the human body: the noxiousness of its effluvia in lacustrine marshes, pestilential fens, faded flowerwater, stagnant pools in the waning moon.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Even though it's not (Two-fer) Tuesday

Some Shat Funk, just to get things started right.

Fridays are reserved for The Shat

Round 1 of Shat genius. To boldly go to the edge of the ridiculous and the infinity of the sublime. (The diamond-encrusted skull is yours for $8 mill, btw.)

The (not so) New River starts in NC

Despite its name, the river is considered by some geologists to be possibly one of the oldest rivers in the world, between 10 million and 360 million years old. According to local folklore, it is considered to be second in age only to the Nile River and thus the oldest in North America. However, the ages of rivers are very difficult to establish with precision; as the wide range of possible ages for the New River demonstrates, there is no established ranking of the ages of major rivers. The New River flows in a generally south to north course, which is against the southwest to northeast topology of the Appalachian Mountains and the west to east flow of most other nearby major rivers especially in Virginia and North Carolina. This peculiarity may mean that the New River's formation preceded much of the surrounding landscape, although again this hypothesis has not been proven beyond doubt.

Henceforth, the Official Sport of TOyC

Why, Catfish Noodling, of course. (Not recommended for persons who use their hands for a living.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Billroth and Brahms

Nice program if you like music. o/w it may remind you of a filmstrip in junior high history class.

Like A Surgeon

Sort of like the Madonna/Weird Al song. But not quite. Link here.

TOyC, Leading the Way

An excellent way to start the day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kind of like a blog?

Sheer brilliance, or just a waste of time?

State Dog of NC

As the citizens of Pine Nut, NC know, it is the Plott Hound.

Proof of A Plan?

So perhaps the evolutionary deadend of our "ordinary channels", do, in fact, have a purpose. Think of it as a "germ purse". Instead of probiotic yogurt one could market the essence of the vermiform as "Creme d'la Colon" or as "appendix juice" (apologies to Michael Jackson) as a means of getting one's "good bacteria"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A little more highbrow

The Surgeon at 2 A.M.
(Sylvia Plath)

The white light is artificial, and hygienic as heaven.
The microbes cannot survive it.
They are departing in their transparent garments, turned aside
From the scalpels and the rubber hands.
The scalded sheet is a snowfield, frozen and peaceful.
The body under it is in my hands.
As usual there is no face. A lump of Chinese white
With seven holes thumbed in. The soul is another light.
I have not seen it; it does not fly up.
Tonight it has receded like a ship's light.

It is a garden I have to do with --- tubers and fruit
Oozing their jammy substances,
A mat of roots. My assistants hook them back.
Stenches and colors assail me.
This is the lung-tree.
These orchids are splendid. They spot and coil like snakes.
The heart is a red bell-bloom, in distress.
I am so small
In comparison to these organs!
I worm and hack in a purple wilderness.

The blood is a sunset. I admire it.
I am up to my elbows in it, red and squeaking.
Still is seeps me up, it is not exhausted.
So magical! A hot spring
I must seal off and let fill
The intricate, blue piping under this pale marble.
How I admire the Romans ---
Aqeducts, the Baths of Caracella, the eagle nose!
The body is a Roman thing.
It has shut its mouth on the stone pill of repose.

It is a statue the orderlies are wheeling off.
I have perfected it.
I am left with and arm or a leg,
A set of teeth, or stones
To rattle in a bottle and take home,
And tissues in slices--a pathological salami.
Tonight the parts are entombed in an icebox.
Tomorrow they will swim
In vinegar like saints' relics.
Tomorrow the patient will have a clean, pink plastic limb.

Over one bed in the ward, a small blue light
Announces a new soul. The bed is blue.
Tonight, for this person, blue is a beautiful color.
The angels of morphia have borne him up.
He floats an inch from the ceiling,
Smelling the dawn drafts.
I walk among sleepers in gauze sarcophagi.
The red night lights are flat moons. They are dull with blood.
I am the sun, in my white coat,
Grey faces, shuttered by drugs, follow me like flowers.

The Pros from Dover

the pros from Dover

Posted by R Paisley on March 09, 2004
The pros from Dover is an American slang term for outside consultants who are brought into a business to troubleshoot and solve problems. The term comes from the 1968 book M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker. In the book, the character Hawkeye is described as using the guise of being the pro from Dover to obtain free entrance to golf courses:

[Hawkeye] would walk confidently into a pro shop, smile, comment upon the nice condition of the course, explain that he was just passing through and that he was Joe, Dave or Jack Somebody, the pro from Dover. This resulted, about eight times out of ten, in an invitation to play for free. If forced into conversation, he became the pro from Dover, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, England, Ohio, Delaware, Tennessee, or Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, whichever seemed safest.
Later on in the book, when Hawkeye and fellow surgeon Trapper are called from Korea to Tokyo to perform surgery on a congressman's son, the following exchange takes place:

'All right,' Trapper said. 'Somebody trot out the latest pictures of this kid with the shell fragment in his chest.'
"No one moved.
"'Snap it up!' yelled Hawkeye. 'We're the pros from Dover, and the last pictures we saw must be forty-eight hours old by now.'
This latter exchange is repeated in the 1970 movie, but the term pros from Dover is not explained in the script. People who had seen the movie, but not read the book, started using the phrase to mean outside experts/consultants without understanding that Hawkeye was using the term facetiously, referring to an old con he used to run.

...yet more philological discussion....

I'm the pro from Dover and this
: is my favorite caddie.

: Look, Mother. I want to go to
: work in one hour. We're the pros
: from Dover and we figure to crack
: that kid's chest and get out to
: the golf course before it's dark.

: He's the pro from Dover and I'm
: the Ghost of Smokey Joe.

: Don't give them any unnecessary
: details. Just say the pros from
: Dover are on their way with an
: emergency.

In the UK Prostitutes are knows as Pros. Hence Pros from Dover may originate from this fact, Dover is a port and where there were sailors there did you also find Pros - lots of pros.

Minn Blue?

Mini blue?...Meng blue?...Minn blue?

Ephemera, esoterica and other curiosities

A terribly wonderful waste of time. Like poking around an old store in Chinatown.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Hope this isn't too low brow for the Oyster Club - just saw a new Badger commercial (maybe better than "Ming Blue", but couldn't find it on YouTube) but here are some good ones:

and, "he's trying to rob me":

You Asked For It

Halloween Hangman created by The Dimension's Edge, Inc.

Halloween Ephemera at its finest!

TOyC Manifesto

The Oyster Club shall be all-inclusive (notice the leering little old lady in the back with the cat). It shall respect women. The consumption of oysters shall be either plain or with Tabasco only. And chased only with ice-cold beer. Cigar smoking and dancing will be tolerated though not encouraged. Conversation can be earthy as long at it is erudite. Political or religious discourse must be reasoned and respectful. Dogs shall be welcome.


Perhaps the finest beer in all the realm.

Though here in the colonies, the ale makers in little Farmville, NC make a tasty brew.

For Halloween

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rules, sort of

1. Henceforth, Wit shall be the coin of the realm.
2. The bar shall ALWAYS be open at The Club, and will serve only whisky, bourbon, Flor de Cana rum, dry martinis, Harvey's bitter and Schweppes' club soda.
3. The Club jukebox will contain only Stones songs.
4. Curiosity, honest open inquiry and free-thinking shall be encouraged.
5. Shampoo is to be used properly.
6. Should The Oyster Club ever meet someday as a group, the secret handshake will be operational.
7. No orphan posts. After human language, blogommentary is the rock upon which social networking, nay, civilization itself rests.

So who blogs anyway?

What is the "oyster club"

Courtesy of a "Mark Dion":

The Oyster Club

...Occasionally during these meetings the discussion would turn anecdotally to other groups which had gotten together to talk. It seemed we had always missed something - the Cedar Tavern scene, Smithson confronting Andre in Max's Kansas City and so many other great debates of our artworld recently passed. History is jammed with extraordinary conversations missed, but given the choice to sit in anywhere at any time I would cherish a cornerseat at the Oyster Club.

The Oyster Club [#9] was one of the numerous supper clubs for the 'literati' which haunted the taverns Old Town Edinburgh during the latter half of the eighteenth century. Edinburgh was a city crowded with hostelries offering an early afternoon dinner liberally lubricated with claret, champagne, gin, ale, brandy and whiskey. These social clubs allowed men of varied professions to meet, share ideas and laughs over dried salt haddock and oysters. The Scottish lawyers, writers, philosophers, doctors and artists had made the city one of Europe's prominent intellectual centers.

The contributions to science and culture in Edinburgh can not be isolated from the general social and economic situations which characterized by a close mixing of the social classes. This is evident in the pragmatic approach of the intellectuals as well as the ability to explain themselves in a language assessable to a wide public and their inclination to the forms of conversation and debate.

I first encountered references to the Oyster Club some years ago, while reading about the discovery of Geological Time. A hero in that discovery was one of the Oyster Club's founders, James Hutton, said to be the father of the science of geology and certainly one of the first men to begin to appreciate and theorize the enormous antiquity of the planet. He along with Joseph Black, a giant in the history of chemistry and the economist/ author Adam Smith established the Oyster Club as a weekly meeting for Edinburgh intellectuals as well as visiting thinkers (James Watt and Benjamin Franklin, for example). David Hume, John Clerk, Adam Ferguson, William Robertson were all members and avid eaters of Oysters. Each week, in a different tavern, since the meetings were often a bit too sought after, they would convine to discuss art, architecture, philosophy, politics, physical science, economics, each giving a brief update on their special projects. The discussions were, in Hutton's words "informal and amusing despite their great learning". Hutton never drank spirits.

What appeals to me most about Hutton and his Oyster Club companions is the fluidity by which they moved through the indeterminate boundaries of disciplines. In our period of extraordinary specialization and hierarchy it is difficult to imagine the time in which distinctions between science and philosophy were non existent. It was a time dominated by a meticulous, yet less restricted curiosity, which I find irresistibly spellbinding. Perhaps I too romantically morn the polymath. The Oyster Club for me seem both, familiar and impossible.


François Rabelais
Tobias Smollett
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
John Keats
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Anton Chekov
John McCrae
William Carlos Williams
W. Somerset Maugham
John Henry Stone
Lewis Thomas
Harvey Cushing
Graham Chapman (Monty Python skits)
Jonathon Miller
Robert Coles
Walker Percy
David Feldshuh
Jovanka Back
Vasile Voiculescu
Arthur Schnitzler
David Baughan
James Joyce (occasional medical student)
Abraham Verghese
Oliver Sacks
Theodore Dalrymple
Michael Crichton
Theodor Bilroth (music)
Alexis Carrel
Benjamin Rush
Richard Selzer
Sherwin Nuland
Che Guevera
Ethan Canin
Atul Gawande
Jerome Groopman