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October 1998
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This is an archive of the newsletter <:>inter alia<:>.

<:>inter alia<:> is a newsletter of resources from the internet collected,
repackaged and published periodically by David J. L'Hoste. Topics vary widely,
but intermittently include: A Word A Day, Weird Facts of the Day, HotSites, Graphic of the Day, On This Day, This Day in History, Quote of the Day, and Cool Fact of the Day.

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Copyright © 1999 David J. L'Hoste
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Table of Contents

29 October 1998

In Today's Issue
1. A Word A Day -- palimpsest
2. Cool Fact of the Day -- Tallest Clouds
3. Quote of the Day -- Mark Turcotte
4. HotSites -- Miscellany

1. A Word A Day

palimpsest (PAL-imp-sest) noun

1. A manuscript, typically of papyrus or parchment, that has been written
on more than once, with the earlier writing incompletely erased and
often legible.

2. An object, a place, or an area that reflects its history.

[Latin palimpsestum, from Greek palimpseston, neuter of palimpsestos,
scraped again : palin, again. kwel + psen, to scrape.]

"All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and re-inscribed exactly as
often as was necessary."
Gorge Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949

2. Cool Fact of the Day

Tallest Clouds

The tallest individual clouds are thunderstorm or cumulonimbus clouds, which can be
60,000 feet tall, twice the height of Mt. Everest!

A thunderstorm forms when warm, moist air rises and expands. As the air cools,
some of the water vapor condenses into cloud droplets, releasing more heat. The
added heat causes the moist air to rise still faster.

In a mature thunderstorm, the updrafts can be as fast as 100 feet per second. A single
thunderstorm can lift over 500,000 tons of water into the sky, most of which falls as
rain before the storm dissipates.

Pictures and descriptions of cumulonimbus clouds:

3. Quote of the Day -- Mark Turcotte

Foreign Shore

. . . the message is coated with static

steel clutter poking into the sky

the landscape eclipsed

by the shadows of devastation . . .

Mick Vranich

The sky is
black and milky
as I rest
on this foreign shore,
as if I'm looking down
from someplace

All along the beach
the gulls sound
lifting toward the stars,
one giant wing.

This would be
the perfect night,
the perfect moment
for you to signal me
with your
ancient alien frequency.

There is no static, now.
Mark Turcotte
The Feathered Heart
Michigan State University Press

Copyright 1995, 1998 by Mark Andrew Turcotte.
All rights reserved.


4. HotSites

Great coverage of the Micro$oft antitrust suit by JOEL BRINKLEY
AND STEVE LOHR of the NY Times:

Exihibiting the power of the internet, AnyWho is a powerful searchable
database of phone numbers with reverse directory, addresses and maps.
For example, subscriber Paul Cordes lives on Audubon Street in New
Orleans. So what, you say. Well, some of his neighbors:
J. Klein, 620 Audubon St.
Alejandro Centurion (no joke), 626 Audubon St.
Paulette Hurdlik, 618 Audubon St.

Virtually every news service and network will have live coverage
of the Discovery launch this p.m.

Table of Contents

27 October 1998

In Today's Issue
1. A Word A Day -- carmine
2. Quote of the Day -- Michael Burns
3. Cool Fact of the Day -- Largest Predator
4. HotSites -- Halloween

1. A Word A Day

carmine (KAHR-min, -MYN) noun

1. Color. A strong to vivid red.

2. A crimson pigment derived from cochineal.

carmine adjective

Color. Strong to vivid red.

[French carmin, from Medieval Latin carminium, probably blend of Arabic
qirmiz, kermes, and Latin minium, cinnabar.]

"Carmine is used to color candy, ice cream, juice drinks, yogurt, fruit
fillings in baked goods, port wine cheese, lipsticks, vitamins and other
products. It has previously been implicated in attacks of anaphylaxis,
asthma, hives and other symptoms..."
Susan Okie; Coloring in Food, Makeup Tied to Allergic Attack,
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 27 Dec 1997.


2. Quote of the Day

Joy's Grape

A naked woman rides a naked man
and vamps, and moans, and both pretend to mount
the summit of desire, but they in these
small hours seem a long distance from me,
and my own passionate wave is a pain
like a volcano that has come awake
deep underneath a right back molar.
To pass the time until my next Darvon,
I write a poem in my head about a man
whose heart maybe once was like a live
volcano but now it's harmless and lava
that ran from his head to the tip of his toes
has solidified into that cold, hard flake
of light people see in the back of his eyes.

Soon the ache begins to grow itself
into a shape that is almost tangible,
and I don't know if it will help, but I go
get the grapes out of the refrigerator
and wash them, carry them in to the TV
in a dark green bowl. I place the roundness
of one ripe grape on top of the pain
and then, as if testing the tightness
of its skin and how much pressure it can stand
against my throbbing tooth before it splits,
I bite. It bursts. The Showtime couple arch
and bare their teeth, and somewhere far away
I feel a tremor, as if that dormant heart
were trying to remember how to explode.

Michael Burns
It Will Be All Right in the Morning
University of Arkansas Press

Copyright 1998 by Michael Burns.
All rights reserved.

3. Cool Fact of the Day

Largest Predator

The largest predator was the megatooth shark, Carcharodon megalodon. Their
maximum length is widely debated, but most estimates are around 50-60 feet!

Megalodon evolved during the early Miocene epoch, about twenty million years
ago, and lived until about two or three million years ago. Scientists
suspect that
the megatooth's main prey were the large whales, which evolved at about the
same time.

Today, the closest relative of the megatooth is the relatively puny great
shark, which seldom gets as big as twenty feet.

More about Megalodon:


How big were they? Check out this picture:

4. HotSites -- Halloween

Origins of Halloween

Carving Jack-O-Lanterns

Pumpkin Pie Recipes
http://www.bcbsma.com/hresource/recipes/pumpkin.html (low fat)
http://www.cgs.clemson.edu/hallow3.htm (other pumpkin recipes)

Costume/Makeup Tips

Directories of Halloween Links

Table of Contents

22 October 1998

In Today's Issue
1. A Word A Day -- etymon
2. Quote of the Day -- Marjorie Woodbury
3. Cool Fact of the Day -- Saturn
4. HotSites -- TotalNEWS and baseball

1. A Word A Day

etymon (ET-uh-mon) noun

1. An earlier form of a word in the same language or in an ancestor
language. For example, Indo-European -duwo and Old English twa are
etymons of Modern English two.

2. A word or morpheme from which compounds and derivatives are formed.

3. A foreign word from which a particular loanword is derived. For
example, Latin duo, "two," is an etymon of English duodecimal.

[Latin, from Greek etumon, true sense of a word, from etumos, true.]

"First of all, I should explain that the term femme semantically covers
three basic words in Latin: MULIER, which is the more generic meaning of
`woman'; UXOR, `spouse'; and FEMINA, `young woman.' Morphologically,
femme comes from the Latin etymon FEMINA, whose meaning would also be the
Baider, Fabienne, Feminism and Linguistics: How Technology Can Prove Our
Point, Contemporary Women's Issues Database, 1 Dec 1996.

2. Quote of the Day

Van Gogh's Chair

Those who don't believe in this sun
are real infidels! he wrote
to Theo. Yet, with Gauguin gone,
his own health failing, he turned
from the fields, the burning sun
of Arles to paint his rough yellow chair.
Sitting in my own yellow chair,
I wonder what lured him to paint
his? Perhaps he simply saw
how light and shadow made it
almost human, worthy of a portrait,
so that he dragged it to the center
of the room, arranged his pipe
and tobacco pouch on the cane-bottomed
seat as if to say, This is mine
and began to sketch. Maybe, like me,
he'd learned the comfort of things
that can't leave; how, surrounded
by familiar walls, a few paintings,
some books, it's possible to pretend
you aren't lonely, that all you have
to do is rise from your yellow chair,
cross the red tiles to the blue door,
and open it to the friends waiting there.

Marjorie Woodbury
The Virginia Quarterly Review
Volume 74, Number 3
Summer 1998

Copyright 1998 by The Virginia Quarterly Review.
The University of Virginia.
All rights reserved.

3. Cool Fact of the Day

Least Dense Planet

Saturn is the only planet in the solar system that is less dense than
water. This means that any object with the same density as the
planet Saturn will actually float on water!

Saturn is the second largest planet in the solar system. It is
composed mainly of hydrogen gas, with a core that is probably
made of liquid hydrogen, and a small rocky body in the center.

The planet rotates so fast (once every 10 hours, 39 minutes) that
it is visibly flattened at the poles due to centrifugal force. It has
eighteen known moons, more than any other planet, and it is
circled by a spectacular system of rings and ringlets made of icy

Much more about Saturn, with way cool pictures and movies:

4. HotSites


This may be a repeat, but it's worth
repeating. Aside from a rather complete
listing of news links, this site offers
a powerful search engine of newspapers
articles online. Plug in "Hurricane Georges"
and more than 1200 links to articles are returned.
"Rush Limbaugh" returns 19; "internet censorship" gets
213. Bookmark this one.

Table of Contents

13 October 1998

In Today's Issue
1. A Word A Day -- monadnock
2. Quote of the Day -- Charles Webb
3. HotSite -- MotherLode Financial Links
4. Cool Fact of the Day

1. A Word A Day

monadnock (muh-NAD-nok) noun
A mountain or rocky mass that has resisted erosion and stands isolated in
an essentially level area.
[After Mount Monadnock, a peak of southwest New Hampshire.]
"...and Ahab was fairly within the smoky mountain mist, which, thrown off
from the whale's spout, curled round his great, Monadnock hump..."
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, 1851.
"O stiffly stand, a staid monadnock, On her peneplain."
Auden, Age of Anxiety, 1947 .


2. Quote of the Day -- Charles Webb

Tenderness in Men

It's like plum custard at the heart of a steel girder,
cool malted milk in a hot bowling ball.

It's glimpsed sometimes when a man pats a puppy.
If his wife moves softly, it may flutter like a hermit thrush

into the bedroom, and pipe its pure, warbling tune.
Comment, though, and it's a moray jerking back into its cave.

My dad taught me to hide tenderness like my "tallywhacker"
not to want or accept it from other men. All I can do

for a friend in agony is turn my eyes and, pretending
to clap him on the back, brace up his carapace with mine.

So, when you lean across the table and extend your hand,
your brown eyes wanting only good for me, it's no wonder

my own eyes glow and swell too big for their sockets
as, in my brain, dry gulleys start to flow.

Charles Webb
Sycamore Review
Volume 10, Number 1
Winter/Spring 1998

Copyright 1998 by Purdue Research Foundation.
All rights reserved.

3. HotSite -- Financial Source MotherLode

Worldwide Banks, Stock Exchanges, Venture Capital Sources, and
much more:


4. Cool Fact of the Day

Mount Everest's Progress

Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, is growing!

Millions of years ago, India was an island. Due to the motion of
continental plates, India drifted North and crashed (very slowly!)
into Asia about forty million years ago. Its northward motion
created the Himalayan mountain range, and continues today. As a
result of this motion, Mount Everest is growing by an average of
about four centimeters (or one and a half inches) per year!

To learn more, follow these links:

Table of Contents

09 October 1998

In Today's Issue
1. A Word A Day -- piedmont
2. Quote of the Day -- Andrea Hollander Budy
3. Weird Facts of the Day
4. HotSite -- SALON

1. A Word A Day

piedmont (PEED-mont) noun

An area of land formed or lying at the foot of a mountain or mountain

piedmont adjective

Of, relating to, or constituting such an area of land.

[After Piedmont.]


1. A historical region of northwest Italy bordering on France and
Switzerland. Occupied by Rome in the 1st century B.C., it passed to
Savoy in the 11th century and was the center of the Italian
Risorgimento after 1814.

2. A plateau region of the eastern United States extending from New York
to Alabama between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic coastal
"Those along the northern piedmont consider themselves Bughtis and owe
their allegiance to the Nawab in the remote tribal capital of Dera Bughti."
Times, 2 June 1962 .

2. Quote of the Day

This Will Be My Only

I will take the man
you used to be and
remember him.
I will draw his lines
on your hands at night
while we lie awake
and speak to him
in dark places, even
while you sleep.
He will not leave me.
His turns will not be digressions,
nor will he place new feet on the sill
each day when he enters.
And his words will be few,
but I will know them the way
any woman knows the body
of her lover. I will hear them
every time we touch.

Andrea Hollander Budy
House Without a Dreamer
1993 Winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize
Story Line Press

Copyright 1993, 1995 by Andrea Hollander Budy.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.

3. Weird Facts of the Day

There are five counties in Texas that are larger than
the state of Rhode Island.

Wind speeds on Saturn approach 1,000 miles per hour.

Air isn't particularly light: In a moderate-size room
with enough space for twenty-five people, the air in the
room weighs almost as much as the people.

The average meteor is no larger than a grain of sand.

Control of the thumb requires more of the brain's gray
matter than does the control of the chest and abdomen.

The shell of the 1,500-pound leatherback turtle is as
big as a king-size bed.

The blue whale can survive without eating for up to six months.

4. HotSite

Salon ezine -- very good online magazine bold enough to cover
both sides of the Monica thing.


Table of Contents

02 October 1998

In Today's Issue
1. A Word A Day -- billingsgate
2. Quote of the Day -- Neal Bowers
3. Weird Facts of the Day
4. HotSites -- Outdoors

1. A Word A Day

bil.lings.gate n [fr. Billingsgate, old gate and fish
market in London] 1652: coarsely abusive language

Les Payne, The Sad Truth Behind the Slur, Newsday,
01-21-1996, pp A50. "So blatant was Pike's slander
that even Don Imus, the New York shock jock, was moved
to beg for mercy. It must, however, be noted that
whenever this geyser of billingsgate casts a glance
at a person other than himself it's a sure bet he smells
a profit, a few yucks or a chance to settle a score."

2. Quote of the Day


Principle 1: It goes on
as long as it goes on.
The gods care/don't care
how can you know?

Principle 2: The gods
cannot be known.
Still, it doesn't hurt
to assume they know you.

Principle 3: As long as it's going on
and the gods might be watching
(even with indifference),
it makes sense to dust
and vacuum now and then.

Principle 4: Dust is
the only dependable weather.
Ask the philodendron
the next time you remember
to water it.

Principle 5: To the philodendron
you may be a god.
Stamp on the floor
and flip the light switch
to simulate thunder and lightning.

Principle 6: Being a god
is an endless job.
Indifference is bound to set in
sooner or later not
that you don't care.

Principle 7: No amount of care
is enough when it's too late
and the only thing to do
is to dump the plant
and its hardened clump of soil.

Principle 8: When it's over
it's over.
Neal Bowers
Copyright 1997 by the Modern Poetry Association.
All rights reserved.

3. Weird Facts of the Day

The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth II moves only six inches
for each gallon of diesel fuel it burns.

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.

Cats have more than one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs
have only about ten.

Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until
the ages of 2 to 6.

The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest
point in Colorado.

No new animals have been domesticated in the past four
thousand years.

About 100 million trees are used in making the junk mail
sent in the U.S. each year.

More than 90 percent of American college students say they
use email but only 63 percent say they use a computer.

A human's eyes are the same size from birth.

On January 3 the Earth is about 3 million miles closer to
the sun than it is on July 4.

4. HotSites -- Outdoors


Table of Contents

01 October 1998

In Today's Issue
1. A Word A Day
2. HotSite
3. Quote of the Day
4. Cool Fact of the Day

1. A Word A Day

Jacobin (JAK-uh-bin) noun
1. A radical or extreme leftist.
2. A radical republican during the French Revolution.
3. A Dominican friar.
[French after the Jacobin friars, in whose convent the Jacobins first met.]
"Undoubtedly the biggest reason that Gates' shattering of records has
passed by without exciting Jacobin passions in the heartland is the
democratization of Wall Street and the growth of mutual funds."
Randall E. Stross, Bill Gates: Richest American Ever and You Thought
Rockefeller Had Money, Fortune, 4 Aug 1997.
This weeks's theme: eponyms.


2. HotSite -- global sea states


This NOAA-run site provides current and historical wind, wave,
temperature and other data from moored and drifting sea buoys
around the world. (Data from 42007 - 22 nm South-Southeast of
Biloxi, MS., for passage of Hurricane Georges is not yet available
on the archive page).
Site submitted by Paul Cordes (he got it from a salty in-law).


2. QOTD -- NY Times OP ED

From the NY Times
October 1, 1998

An Easy Line to Draw

This is not the first time the House Judiciary Committee has
been called on to determine whether actions of the President
in his private life rise to the level of "high crimes and
misdemeanors." In 1974, we were members of the House Judiciary
Committee that considered evidence that Richard Nixon committed
tax fraud while President. The panel concluded that personal
misconduct is not an impeachable offense.

The evidence against President Nixon was convincing. He
had claimed a $565,000 deduction on his taxes for the
donation of his Vice Presidential papers, but the loophole
that allowed the deduction was closed in 1969. The I.R.S.
concluded that the documents for the donation had been signed in
1970 and backdated. There was persuasive evidence that Nixon
was personally involved in the decision, making him criminally
liable for tax fraud.

But the committee decided by a vote of 26 to 12 that he should
not be impeached for tax fraud because it did not involve official
conduct or abuse of Presidential powers.

As one of the committee's most partisan Democrats, Jerry Waldie,
said, "Though I find the conduct of the President to have been shabby,
to have been unacceptable, and to have been disgraceful even, this
is not an abuse of power sufficient to warrant impeachment."

This bipartisan conclusion was made easier because the first order
of business when the committee convened in 1974 was to discuss
what the standards should be for impeachment. Without such
standards, the impeachment process could become a partisan free-for-all.

The committee stipulated from the beginning that "because
impeachment of a President is a grave step for the nation,
it is predicated upon conduct seriously incompatible with
either the constitutional form and principles of our
government or the proper performance of constitutional
duties of the Presidential office."

The current House Judiciary Committee would do well to
"follow the precedents set in the Nixon hearings," as the
chairman, Henry Hyde, recently pledged to do. If the panel
applies the standard that emerged in 1974, it will decide
that the charges against Clinton do not fall under the articles
of impeachment.
Robert F. Drinan and Wayne Owens are former Democratic
Representatives from, respectively, Massachusetts and Utah.

4. Cool Fact of the Day

Feathers and Bones

For most flying birds, their feathers weigh more than their bones.

Flying birds have hollow bones that are specially adapted to
reduce weight and facilitate flight. For many birds, this means the
weight of their feathers can be double the weight of their entire
skeleton and as much as 20% of their total body weight. For
example, a bald eagle's skeleton may weigh only about 250 grams
(0.55 lbs), while its feathers weigh more than twice as much,
about 630 grams (1.4 lbs).

Learn more about bald eagle adaptations:
Table of Contents

Copyright © 1999 David J. L'Hoste
inter alia
inter alia too