Monday, March 03, 2008

Two memes

Meme the First:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) List 7 random/weird things about your favorite historical figure.
3) Tag seven more people at the end of your blog and link to theirs.
4) Let the person know they have been tagged by leaving a note on their blog.

The Ridger tagged me.

This is a tough one because I've never done any study of historical biography. Any facts that I give are sure to be the same facts that are found in an elementary textbook. I'm having trouble even thinking of a figure that hasn't been featured in an A&E special.

Well -- here are some facts about the Venerable Bede:

1. Born ca 672 CE (Tho he is said to have popularized Dionysius Exiguus' convention of using Anno Domini to mark years.)

2. From the age of 7 he was raised and educated in the monastery of St Peter and St Paul at Wearmouth and Jarrow.

3. His study of astronomy and the calendar indicates he knew the earth was spherical.

4. He is one of three patron saints of lectors.

5. He wasn't much of a traveller.

6. His most important work was Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People).

7. You can pray to him. Like this:
Careful Historian and Doctor of the Church, lover of God and of truth, you are a natural model for all readers of God's inspired Word. Move lectors to prepare for public reading by prayerfully pondering the sacred texts and invoking the Holy Spirit. Help them to read in such a way that those who hear may attain learning and edification. Amen.

(now whether he'll ever get the message...)

Meme the Next:

I've also been tagged by Monica at Dreaming Without Memory in Strangled Sleep.

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

I've seen this meme on some other blogs lately. The first time I saw it Dante's Divine Comedy was next to me. That would have made for a great paragraph that even included the word "fen" -- a favorite of mine. But I wasn't tagged then. Now I have to be true to the instructions. And there are two books within the span of my arm's sweep. I'll quote both.

1. Phonology in Generative Grammar, Michael Kenstowicz:

Taking the voiceless affricate series as representative, Navaho matches its [ts,č,ts] to Sarcee's [ts,ts,č]. While the corresponding [ts]'s in the first series suggest Proto-Athabaskan *ts, it is unclear whether to reconstruct *č or *ts for the second or third series; and in any case, another consonant will still be required to distinguish among them. If one did not believe in the regularity of sound change, one might simply conclude that there is no systematic correspondence in these consonants between Navaho and Sarcee (other than a negative one that [č] never matches).

2. Experimental Syntax: Applying Objective Methods to Sentence Judgments, Wayne Cowart:
It is also worth bearing in mind that the standard statistical sense of "significant" has no necessary connection to questions about theoretical importance. Differences may be simultaneously significant (from a statistical point of view) and boring (from a theoretical point of view). Whether a statistically significant difference matters in some larger sense can only be determined by examining its relevance to alternative theories that bear on the situation in which the difference arises.

I used to be cool.


  1. It was bound to happen.

    *Just* as I'm typing this Terry Gross is mentioning Paul Thomas Anderson's movie Magnolia which you might recall begins with stories about striking coincidences...

    This probably wouldn't make the cut.

  2. Has anyone ever seen you two in the same place????


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