Posts Tagged ‘Web’

It’s back … fun with headlines!

Spotted (ha ha) today in wikiHow:

How to Make Luggage Easier to Spot

(click here for the real story)

What comes to your mind?

Here’s what came to ours:

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Since we were around to see the Apollo 11 Moon Mission 40 years ago, we’re following the coverage of its anniversary with piqued interest. What exciting times to be alive!

We came across a great headline today, from wired.com:

“Things to Do on the Way to the Moon”

(click here for the real story)

What comes to your mind?

Here’s what came to ours:

R-O-A-D  T-R-I-P!!!

And, not just any road trip … the ultimate. So, to avoid the almost inevitable “Are we there yet?” the astronauts should have some games to play and songs to sing along the way, don’t you think?

Here are a few items we put together for their entertainment …

To start, a scavenger hunt of sorts …

  • Moon Trip Bingo – players have cards with pictures of space items on them in a simple 4 x 4 grid corresponding to the four letters in the word M-O-O-N. When a player observes an item on his card, he marks the picture with a token or by writing a check or X on the item. This continues until one player completes a “BINGO” pattern, such as a line with four marked pictures in a vertical, horizontal or diagonal row on one of their cards, and calls out “To The Moon!” He wins.
  • Items pictured in this version of “Moon Trip Bingo” are: alien, asteroid, astronaut, black hole, comet, Earth, galaxy, Hubble Telescope, hurricane, meteor, milky way, moon, nebula, rocket launch, satellites (3), Saturn, solar system, space capsule, space explorer, space shuttle, space station, space vehicle, spacecraft, speed limit, stars, stop sign, sun, tow truck, UFO, Webb Telescope, and, of course, Captain Kirk!
  • Sample “Road Trip Bingo” cards are provided just in case the astronauts are grounded and need a game for their earthly travels.

moon trip bingo

Next, what about a new twist on an old favorite …

  • The Space (License) Plate Game – players see how many satellite “license plates” they can find and check them off the list. This game can be played as a crew or individually. Play can be just for one day, or the search for plates can continue throughout the entire voyage, and see how many different plates can be observed between the Earth and the Moon (and back). Players might even record the time, date and the location of each “plate” sighting.
  • The named countries in this “Space Plate Game” come from a Wiki list of space agencies capable of conducting basic space activities, such as satellite operations.
  • Sample pictures of the country plates are provided to assist players in identifying their observations.

space license plate game

And, to round out the trip, there must be a theme song. We thought this might be appropriate …

  • He’s Got the Whole World – sing along, will you? It’s easy … here are the lyrics to the chorus:

he's got the whole world

As a bonus, we started building a soundtrack for the journey. Our initial thoughts …

  • Fly me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra
  • Rocket Man by Elton John
  • No Stopping Us by Jason Mraz (from Waiting for My Rocket to Come)
  • Rocket in My Pocket by Little Feat
  • Not to Touch the Earth by The Doors
  • Planet Earth by Duran Duran
  • Shining Star by Earth Wind & Fire
  • Outer Space From The Day The Earth Stood Still by Bernard Herrmann (from Fantastic Journey)
  • Earth Beat by Herbie Hancock
  • Peace on Earth by U2
  • Planets Of The Universe by Stevie Nicks
  • Moon River by Andy Williams
  • Venus, the Bringer of Peace by Elgar Holst (from The Planets)
  • Gemini Moon by Bryan Ferry
  • There’s A Moon Out Tonight by The Capris
  • Moonshadow by Cat Stevens
  • Piano Sonata no. 14 in C# min “Moonlight” by Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Shepherd Moons by Enya
  • Suite From Moonwalker by Bruce Broughton (from Fantastic Journey)
  • Girl On The Moon by Foreigner
  • Lasso The Moon by Gary Morris
  • Moonage Daydream by David Bowie
  • East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon) by Diana Krall
  • Nightfall: Water From The Moon by David Lanz
  • Moon by George Winston
  • Moonlight Serenade by The Glen Miller Orchestra
  • Radar Love by Golden Earring
  • Autumn Moon by Hiroshima
  • Moondance by Kitaro
  • Can’t Fight The Moonlight by Leann Rimes
  • How High the Moon by Les Paul & Mary Ford
  • One Time One Night by Los Lobos (from By The Light Of The Moon)
  • Harvest Moon by Niel Young
  • L.A. to the Moon by Ronnie Milsap
  • Once In A Lover’s Moon by Taylor Weaver
  • Moondance by Van Morrison
  • Breathing (By the light of the moon) by Abraham Cloud
  • Down To The Moon by Andreas Vollenweider
  • Water From The Moon by Celine Dion
  • Blue Moon by Chris Isaak
  • Moon Tune by Bob James & David Sanborn
  • Sail On White Moon by Boz Scaggs
  • Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Lo And Behold by Duncan Sheik (from Phantom Moon)
  • Mad Man Moon by Genesis
  • Moonlight And Gold by Gerry Rafferty
  • Dancing In The Moonlight (It’s Caught Me In The Spotlight) by Thin Lizzy
  • Moon Dust by Tom Barabas
  • Man On The Moon by R.E.M.
  • Shoot The Moon by Norah Jones
  • Culver Moon by Jackson Browne
  • Blue Moon by The Percy Faith Orchestra
  • Moon Run by Trapezoid
  • Moonlight Cocktails by The Rivieras
  • Voyage Around The Moon by The Saturn 5
  • Sister Moon by Sting
  • The Great Gig In The Sky by Pink Floyd (from Dark Side of the Moon)
  • Walking On The Moon by Police
  • Dracula Moon by Joan Osborne
  • Goodnight Moon by John Tesh
  • Spanish Moon by Little Feat
  • Mooning by Louis St. Louis & Cindy Bullens (from Grease)
  • Shadows Of The Moon by Michael Jones & David Darling
  • Spaceman by Babylon Zoo
  • Mr. Spaceman by The Byrds
  • Hallo Spaceboy by David Bowie
  • Space Boogie by Jeff Beck
  • Space Cowboy (Yippie-Yi-Yay) by ‘N Sync featuring Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
  • Space Invader by The Pretenders
  • Spaceman by 4 Non Blondes
  • Fly Like An Eagle by Seal (from Space Jam)
  • Space And Time by The Verve
  • Hillbillies From Outerspace by The Vaughn Brothers
  • The Star Spangled Banner by Béla Fleck & The Flecktones (from Flight Of The Cosmic Hippo)

Now those tunes ought to keep you entertained for a while. Enjoy!

Sources: Wiki – List of space agencies, Mom’s Minivan, License Plate Mania, License Plates of the World, Our iTunes Collection

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Please join us in our daily devotional …

grammar prayer

Our grammar, which art in English, respected be thy style.

Thy rules become, thy laws be done online as they are in literature.

Give us this day our daily tips and forgive us our goofs as we forgive those who gaffe against us.

And lead us not into frustration, but deliver us from faux pas.


Copyright © 2009 Grammar Police a.k.a. GrammarCops

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Fun with headlines today …

An iGoogle wikiHow headline reads:

“How to Choose Drumsticks”

(click here for the real story)

What comes to your mind?

Here’s what came to ours:

choose drumsticks

We suggest using the “Flavor Finder” to choose your drumsticks! Yummy.

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(click here to read about SPAM®)

From The Writer’s Almanac 7-5-09

It was on this day in 1937 that SPAM came onto the market. The canned meat product from Hormel Foods Corporation was given its name by a contest winner; the prize for his ingenuity was $100. On one  occasion, a Hormel spokesperson said the name was short for ‘Shoulder of Pork and Ham’; on another, a company official said it was a conflation of the words ‘spice and ham.’ All sorts of parodic acronyms have circulated over the years, including ‘Something Posing As Meat.’ The  original recipe, still sold as the ‘Classic’ flavor, contains pork shoulder and ham meat, salt, water, sugar, and sodium nitrate. There’s a gelatinous glaze on top, which forms like that after the broth cools down.

Spam sold in the Americas is mostly produced in Austin, Minnesota — ‘Spam Town USA’ and home of the SPAM  museum. Hawaii’s residents consume more Spam per capita than the residents of any other state, and the canned meat has been nicknamed ‘The Hawaiian Steak.’ Spam is the main course in the Israeli Defense Force’s combat meal kits, but the pork is replaced by beef so that it’s kosher.

There’s a Monty Python sketch that came out in 1970 where the actors go into a cafe; and try to order breakfast, but almost everything on the menu contains Spam. One woman doesn’t want Spam in her breakfast and gets into an argument with the waitress, who tells her that the menu consists of ‘Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, baked beans, Spam, Spam, Spam, and Spam.’ It’s from this Monty Python sketch that ‘spam’ acquired the use so familiar today: unwanted or unsolicited e-mail. The first recorded  use of the word in this way is in 1993. It’s also become a verb in the English language, for the action of sending out spam.

And the word ‘spam’ itself, untranslated, is now a noun in French, Portuguese, and Vietnamese. The verb ‘to spam’ in German is ‘spammen’; in Czech the verb is ‘spamovat’;  and in Italian it’s ‘spammare.’ There’s a new Monty Python’s musical, SPAMALOT, currently playing in San Francisco.

And now, for our word of the day:

Spam. noun, verb, spammed, spamming.

1. Trademark. a canned food product consisting esp. of pork formed into a solid block.

–noun 2. (lowercase) a disruptive, esp. commercial message posted on a computer network or sent as e-mail.

–verb (used with object) 3. (lowercase) to send spam to.

–verb (used without object) 4. (lowercase) to send spam.

Origin: (def. 1) sp(iced) + (h)am; 1990–95; referring to a comedy routine on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Brit. TV series.

Be sure to see our related posts:

Sources: The Writer’s Almanac, dictionary.com

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Rarely do we come across non-original material that we feel compelled to post … here’s something that’s going around in email of-late. We think it’s clever and we want to pass it along. Enjoy!



Research has led to discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that normally takes less than a second to take as long as 4 years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2-6 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neurons and deputy neurons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization causes more morons to become neurons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, which has half as many peons but twice the number of morons.

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An entry for our “Fun with Headlines” category … the iGoogle news headline for this story is:

“Students shot at Detroit bus stop”

(click here for the real story)

What comes to your mind?

Here’s what came to ours:

students shot at bus stop

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Last month, we started a series: Nouns gone bad … and this month, we added: Nouns gone bad … sequeled.

Remember, nouns gone bad are those words that originated as nouns and are now being used, with some regularity, as verbs.

We have some new entries to our list of nouns gone bad:

  • Clorox: we Cloroxed our drains to ward off the summer bugs.
  • journal: Jonathan was journaling the other day.
  • board: she (snow)boarded on her last vacation.
  • game. as in the following headline:

“Can Open Government Be Gamed?”


(click here for the story)

Have more examples? Please send them to us (after checking out our previous posts).


Today, by a news item about some celebrity being “outed,” we were reminded that not only nouns can be turned into verbs … so can adverbs

Therefore, we have the opportunity to introduce the third in our sequence: “badverbs.”

Per the Urban Dictionary, “outed” has a few definitions, the most common of which has to do with disclosure of the fact that someone is gay. However, the terms “outing” and “outed” have become mainstream words for disclosing information other than homosexuality, about individuals — and organizations. Plus, it can mean just being excluded.

A few years ago, there was a lot of press around the revelation that Valerie Plame was a CIA operative. She was “outed.” Earlier this month, we read an article about Judge Sonia Sotomayor being “financially outed.” Then, there are frequently articles about the “outing” of political and religious views, among people who are heterosexual. So, the concept is expanding and evolving.

What other adverbs are badverbs? We discovered a couple and thought we’d share them with you:

  • forward: did you forward that email to anyone else?
  • should: we make it a practice not to should on anyone.

As we were researching for this blog post, we realized that there is likely yet another category we should explore … “badjectives.” However, when we started on this quest, we found that most of the adjectives for this group would come to this list by having ” …ize” added to them. Now, that is a-whole-nother subject. Stay tuned.

Be sure to see our related posts:

Sources: Urban Dictionary, dictionary.com, Wikipedia

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We love the health site, The People’s Pharmacy. Not only do they offer wonderful tips for safe and healthy living, their headlines often provide great fodder for our “Fun with Headlines” blog posts. For example, one of today’s headlines reads:

“Novel Technique for Zapping Mosquitos”

(click here for the real story)

What comes to your mind?

Here’s what came to ours:

novel technique

Let’s look at our word of the day: novel.

1. novel. noun.

  • a fictitious prose narrative of considerable length and complexity, portraying characters and usually presenting a sequential organization of action and scenes.
  • the literary genre represented by novels.

2. novel. adjective.

  • of a new kind; different from anything seen or known before: a novel idea. 

3. novel. noun.

  • Roman Law. a. an imperial enactment subsequent and supplementary to an imperial compilation and codification of authoritative legal materials.  b. Usually, Novels, imperial enactments subsequent to the promulgation of Justinian’s Code and supplementary to it: one of the four divisions of the Corpus Juris Civilis.
  • Civil Law. an amendment to a statute.

Source: dictionary.com

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We have been asked several times, “what’s your opinion on the Oxford (or serial) comma?” So, we’re going to cross-post an entry from our sister site: Comma Clout for our readers here …

From last week:

A lot of buzz around this issue today … Barrett got us blogging when he sent this tweet:

serial comma tweet


Per Wiki, the serial comma (also known as the Oxford comma and the Harvard comma) is the comma used immediately before a grammatical conjunction (usually and, or, and sometimes nor) preceding the final item in a list of three or more items. More simply, as per AskOxford.com, the ‘Oxford comma’ is an optional comma before the word ‘and’ at the end of a list.

For example, this three-media list can be punctuated as either “Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter” (with the serial comma) or as “Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter” (without the serial comma).

There is no consensus among writers and editors on the usage or avoidance of the serial comma. Most American English authorities recommend its use, but it seems to be less frequent in British English. In many languages (e.g., French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish) the serial comma is not the norm; it may even be explicitly forbidden by punctuation rules – but it may be allowed or even recommended in some cases to avoid ambiguity or to aid understanding when reading.

Wikipedia actually has an excellent section on this topic. Take a look:

1 Arguments for and against
2 Ambiguity
3 Usage
4 References & External links

We have relaxed our own position on the use of the serial comma. Before text limits of 140 characters or thereabouts, we would insist, but now, we say lose any extra character you can while preserving meaning.

There are many views on this little mark. Click here to read one solution. What’s your view?

sources: Wikipedia, dictionary.com, AskOxford.com, Twitter

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