February 20, 2008

Wiki Wednesday

This is actually more of a “Wired Wednesday” but it started out on Wikipedia.

I was looking for details on Ernest Hemingway, so I checked the Wikipedia entry.

While I was there, I read the following anecdote:

* The original short short story. In the 1920s, Hemingway bet his colleagues $10 that he could write a complete story in just six words. They paid up. His story: “For sale: Baby shoes, Never worn.” In a contest in Wired magazine inspired by Hemingway’s story, 33 authors recently submitted 6-word efforts.

So I checked out the Wired article as well. I found that a lot of the submissions reminded me of the “first sentences” fiction-writing exercise from a book Maggie owns, and I was disappointed because a lot of them did not have the feel of a complete story, as Hemingway’s did.

But this story cracked me up:

Osama’s time machine: President Gore concerned. - Charles Stross

Funny coincidence

A post on someone else’s blog reminded me of the book Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche and so I had looked that up on Wikipedia hours earlier. Funny, the Hemingway search led me to the Wired article, which has an entry mentioning quiche:

Metrosexuals notwithstanding, quiche still lacks something.
- David Brin

That was more of a statement than a story. Anyhow, the coincidence amused me, since I had just searched about quiche hours before.

Runner Up

I encountered the word “merkin” on HMS Impossible, and I knew I’d heard the word before but couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was, or why it might show up in an art gallery.

Here’s an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry for merkin:

A merkin (first use, according to the OED, 1617) is a pubic wig, originally worn by prostitutes after shaving their genitalia to eliminate lice or to disguise the marks of syphilis.

It amuses me that “merkin” sounds like how our president pronounces “American.”

Posted by James at February 20, 2008 10:10 AM
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I think someone mentioned a merkin in a Family Guy episode once. Or maybe he just called it a "pubic wig."

Although I haven't gone out of my way to look at merkins, I seem to remember that Dieter, host of Sprockets, wore one with a monkey-face on it during a Crying Game parody.

Posted by: Julie at February 20, 2008 11:22 AM

Julie, are you sure that wasn't that a codpiece? (While I typed that, I realized what how innapropriately presumptuous that sounds.)

Of course, I know you've watched Blackadder.

Thanks for the referral, James.

Posted by: ThirdMate at February 20, 2008 2:17 PM

Great, now I have the Blackadder theme song running through my head. Oh well, I'll have to go home and break out the dvds.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at February 20, 2008 2:23 PM

Ah, maybe it was a sporran.

I've seen only a tiny bit of Blackadder (a little of each series). By the time I heard of it, it was no longer on the local PBS station, and by the time it came around again I didn't have time for it.

Posted by: Julie at February 20, 2008 3:46 PM

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