Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gg: Geodesics


The shortest path connecting two points in a space;

Geodesics are only locally the shortest distance between points, and are parameterized with "constant velocity". Going the "long way round" on a great circle between two points on a sphere is a geodesic but not the shortest path between the points.  noting that an elastic band stretched between two points will contract its length, and in so doing will minimize its energy. The resulting shape of the band is a geodesic.'
Wikipedia Article 

Geodesics can also refer to "two events separated in time, a geodesic is the natural path things would take in space-time to connect one event to the other." (Randall  105)

Cocktail Party Banter

Our pilot followed the Geodesic flight pattern perfectly, so we got to Denver thirty minutes earlier than expected.

Literary Context

"For example, routes of airplanes that follow great circles on the Earth are Geodesics."(Randall 105)


 Randall, Lisa. Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions. New York: Ecco, 2005. Print.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I am starting a new blog that will begin on January 1st 2012.  It will be my journal of creative ideas and short story ideas.  I found that Tending Turnips was getting bogged down by two many forms of writing.   Tending Turnips is my cultural reviews and book reviews; Turnips 365 will be my attempts at writing fiction for 365 days during the year of 2012.
Polycarp55 is my religious journey.
 And words people say is my dictionary of terms I want to share and hopefully remember. 
 I hope to find the time to write fiction everyday; it does make me a wee bit nervous to try my hand here, but one should feel butterflies, before anything that is worth the time to pursue. Thanks for reading, Gregory D. Rothbard

Friday, November 11, 2011

Aa: Acrimonious (Arguement)

Define a Word

Of an angry, pungent, and bitter nature.

Cocktail Party Banter

Don't be so acrimonious it kills the festive mood.

Literary Context

 Down on the main deck, the gunner was serving out small arms, and loading cartridges into a couple of spare clips. Down on the main deck, the gunner was serving out small arms, and there was an acrimonious argument because everybody wanted a chopper and there weren't enough choppers to go around. Oscar went over to the ladder head and shouted down at them.

Piper, H. Beam (2009-07-27). The Terro-Human Future History Omnibus (Kindle Locations 4137-4139). Unknown. Kindle Edition.


Link to Video so that it does not take up too much space.   I heard from a programming buddy of mine that my pages take too long to download.  So I am attempting to eradicate this problem.  Please give me feedback as this is the only way I can make my sites, "awesome".

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tt: Theosophist

Defined Word

any number of philosophies maintaining that a knowledge of God may be achieved through spiritual ecstasy, direct intuition, or special individual relations.

Cocktail Party Banter

George is a Theophosist in that he does not prescribe to any known organized religious orders, but he prays often to his house-hold god Visa, the God of unending debt through shinny things.

Word in Context

was a Theosophist prayer to the Spirit Guides, and I remembered that Cesrio Vieira was a Theosophist. Well, maybe there really were Spirit Guides. If there were, we'd all be finding out before long.

Piper, H. Beam (2009-07-27). The Terro-Human Future History Omnibus (Kindle Locations 3659-3660). Unknown. Kindle Edition.

Audio Visual

Link to Video so that it does not take up too much space.   I heard from a programming buddy of mine that my pages take too long to download.  So I am attempting to eradicate this problem.  Please give me feedback as this is the only way I can make my sites, "awesome".


Monday, November 7, 2011

Hh: Haberdashery


A place where a man can buy clothing befitting a gentleman.

Cocktail Party Banter

Did you get that cap at the Haberdashery?

Word in Literature

He had a sudden whim for a cap and bought one the haberdashery, a conservative bluish-grey cap of soft English wool. 

Highsmith, Patricia. The Talented Mr Ripley. London: Vintage, 1999. Print. page 33

Audio Visual

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cc: Cudgel

Definition of the Word: a short stick used as a weapon.

Cocktail Party Banter: It cudgels ones brain to think about an answer.  (Think hard about a question).

Show the Word in Context:
Neanderthal man guessed my intention, he evidently attributed it to cowardice upon our part, and with a wild cry he leaped toward us, waving his cudgel above his head.

Burroughs, Edgar Rice (2009-10-04). The Land That Time Forgot (p. 41). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

Audio Visual:

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Define the Word

A protective enclosure of thorn bushes or stakes surrounding a campsite or village in North Eastern Africa.   (A Cattle Corral).

Cocktail Party Banter

Remember when Simon left the Zareba open and all the wildebeests escaped.  How tragic?

Show the Word in Context

had hardly closed the thornbush door of our zareba, clasped each other's hands, and thrown ourselves panting upon the ground beside our spring, when we heard a patter of feet and then a gentle, plaintive crying from outside our entrance.

Doyle, Arthur Conan (2011-03-30). The Lost World (Kindle Locations 2254-2255). Kindle Edition.

Audio Visual

Not many good non commercial uses of this word.  Believe me or not, this was the best one available.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


First known use 1827.A theory that the highest ethical goal is happiness and personal well being.
A system of ethics that evaluates actions in terms of their capacity to produce happiness.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All righ

The Journal of jurisprudence, Volume 16

 By Scotland. Courtsts reserved.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sauve qui peut

a state of panic or disorder; rout
[literally: save (himself) who can]

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tt: Troglodyte

Word Defined

A stock character based upon the widespread concepts of the way in which early prehistoric humans may have looked and behaved.

Cocktail Party Banter

I am a troglodyte lover, I will bring you back to the days not written of.

Literary Context

These vile old troglodytes are no longer there; but into their deserted cave another terrible giant has thrust himself, and makes it his business to seize upon honest travelers and fatten them for his table with plentiful meals of smoke, mist, moonshine, raw potatoes, and sawdust.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pp: Proscenium


The stage of an ancient Greek or Roman theater.
The part of the stage that is in front of the curtain.
The wall that separates the stage from the auditorium and provides the arch that frames it.

 Cocktail Banter

The other night the proscenium in the theater was beautifully constructed.

Literary Use of Word

The other spectators can't see anything beyond the proscenium and it's fair to say they'd rather not.(Wimmer 122)
Wimmer, Natasha. 2666: a Novel by Roberto Bulano. New York: Picador, 2009. 


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ii: Illimitable


Non Ending, No limit to.

Cocktail Party Banter

I hope for illimitable riches... that way I can travel the world without a care.

Litarary Context

It seems as only yesterday--it is in fact fourteen long, long years--that I heard him thus holding forth to his pupils, explaining the marvels of the illimitable void, and rendering clear to my understanding the vast distance that exists between the Being that created all things and the works of his hands.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ff: Free Booting


To act as a plunderer,

Cocktail Party Banter

His wife left him because he was such a freebooter, he loafed, he squandered her money, he was such a bum.

Literary Context

Moby Dick I-LXVII by Melville, Herman
Now, gentlemen, in square-sail brigs and three-masted ships, well-nigh as large and stout as any that ever sailed out of your old Callao to far manilla; this lakeman, in the land-locked heart of our America, had yet been nurtured by all those agrarian freebooting impressions popularly connected with the open ocean.

Audio Visual

Hunt for Words

I found this word in the Essay "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" by Thomas Sewall... the sentence the word was found in was: "Local feuding clans and freebooting marauders kept this region in an uproar, even when there were no military hostilities between the English and Scottish kingdoms."pg 5  I liked the way it sounded and wanted to use it in future writing.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

AF: A Fortiori


For a still stronger reason; all the more.

Cocktail Party Banter

"If you move that Queen on that Chessboard, you wont just lose your Queen but you will, a foritori lose the game."

Literary Context

If you ask me how she managed it, I can't tell you; it's no business of mine, and,a fortiori none of yours.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Yy: Yawl

Baziotes: Beach Shadows


1. a ships small boat crewed by two to three men, four to six oars. Jollyboat
2. to howl, to weep, or scream harshly.

Cocktail Party Banter

She let out such a great yawl, that shivers went down my back.

Literary Contex

They took leave of their comrades and started off on their several courses with stout hearts and cheerful countenances; though these lonely cruisings into a wild and hostile wilderness seem to the uninitiated equivalent to being cast adrift in the ship's yawl in the midst of the ocean.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ss: Shilly-shallied

Derain: Shows a Good "Shilly-Shally"


To procrastinate.
To be unable to come to a decision.
To spend time on insignificant things.  Dawdle.

Cocktail Party Banter

I just shilly-shallied all day. It was incredibly nice, not to be tied down to my agenda.

Literary Context

Cool breeze-maybe
just a shillyshallying show
That'll ruin everything.*

Audio Visual

*Kerouac, Jack and Regina Weinreich. Book of Haikus. New York: Penguin Poets, 2003. pg5

Friday, March 4, 2011

Aa: Alacrity


1. Cheerful willingness.
2. Speed of a bullet train.

Cocktail Party Banter

He works with such alacrity that he leaves messes all over the place.  He works like a hurricane.

Literary Reference

Through the arch, half ironic designs suggested to the artist by vaudeville stunts, circus acrobatics, jazz-band acts, and the night life of the streets, he comes into touch with the nervous alacrity, the devil-may-care momentum, the half vulgar erotic flush which creates Broadway, that lane running from New York through the continent unto Alaska. 
Meyer, Peter and Arthur Danto. Brushes with History. City: Nation Books, 2001. pg 190


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ee: Epigone


a second rate imitator or follower, especially of an artist or philosopher.

Cocktail Party Banter

Did you see Nancy? She is such an epigone of those rap stars girlfriends.  She even had caligen shots in her ass too make her booty bigger....

Literary Reference

this does not atone for its masochistic fondness for the social and other epigones of the School of Paris.
Meyer, Peter and Arthur Danto. Brushes with History. City: Nation Books, 2001. 


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cc: Chiaroscuro


The arrangement of dark and light utilized in a pictorial representation.

Cocktail Party Banter

"Chiaroscuro Baby! Life is lived in the chiaroscuro; always in a blend of light and dark. You dig!?!"

 Show Word in a Literary Context

Followed as he followed it, with a skilful reticence, in a kind of socialchiaroscuro, it was still possible for the polite to call him a professional painter.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011



like Haiku but concerned with human foibles.(Wikipedia) 

"Senryu, like haiku, are usually one to three lines in length but whilst haiku focuses on nature and the world around us, senryu homes in on human nature and the way our human minds function within our many environments. Senryu may or may not include aspects of the natural world, but if they do, they do so with an emphasis on the way we as human beings perceive those aspects and how they interact with our own psychology. In this way, senryu are often, though not always, humorous and are frequently complemented by a sharp, sometimes wicked wit. (From Prune Juice)" 

Differences between Haiku and Senryu

Seasonal ReferenceNo Seasonal Reference
Haiku is HaikuSynru is playful using simile, metaphor, and personification

Kerouac, Jack and Regina Weinreich. Book of Haikus. New York: Penguin Poets, 2003.

Cocktail Party Banter

What do you do Frank?
I write Senryu for a literary magazine on the internet.
So in other words you are one of those Burma Bums?

Audio Visual


Haiku in the Internet Era: The Atlantic Magazine
Haiku Society of America 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Gg: Goat Track


A golf course under terrible condition.

Cocktail Party Banter

My buddy and I picked a local course, but finding it was a goat track we were pissed and felt ripped off. So we decided to play in the farmer's field: Cow Chip Bingo.

Audio Visual: No Good Videos to Show But Here's an Idea of the Word

The word was used by one of my customers at the Deli.  So this goes out to: Shelton Smith.



Religious Doctrines of Salvation.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cc: Couvade


a custom in some cultures in accordance with which when a child is born the father takes to bed as if bearing the child and submits himself to fasting, purification, or taboos.

Cocktail Party Banter

"Did you hear about Nancy's husband, who has decided to do a couvade at the birth of their child; and Nancy is pissed."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tahrir Square

Coordinates30.044422°N 31.235696°E
"Everyone around the globe now associates Tahrir Square with freedom and revolution, we really wanted to do something that celebrates what happened here, and this seems like a great way to do it."(Link to the Story)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ff: Fabulism

“Fabulism” or “Magical Realism.”

As a reaction against the demands of mainstream verisimilar fiction, writers of “fabulism” or “magical realism” have sought to reinvent or reinvigorate or reconceive traditional realism by infusing it with the characteristics of older forms such as the fable (hence the name), the tale, the legend, the myth, as well as allegory and parable.

Events or characters in such works are not expected to obey or conform to the conventions of realism: carpets may fly, animals may talk, etc.

Works in this mode tend toward the ornate, the Gothic, the subjective, the dream-like, the surreal. In Jose Saramago’s novel Blindness, for example, a mysterious illness causes everyone in the world to go blind within a matter of days.

Some other characteristics:
  • emphasis on idea or theme
  • settings in other times, places, but not necessarily "historical"
  • exoticism: the extraordinary over the ordinary, the unusual over the usual.

Some seminal works and examples:
  • Garcia-Marquez's story A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings.
  • Robert Olen Butler’s “Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot.”
  • Angela Carter’s “The Werewolf.”
  • T.C. Boyle’s “Descent of Man.”
  • A.S. Byatt’s “The Thing in the Forest.”
  • Ursula LeGuin’s “Those Who Walk Away From Omelas.”
  • Isak Dinesen’s “The Blue Stones.”
  • Charles Johnson, “Menagerie.”
  • Jose Saramago "Death with Interruptions"

Quoted from:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cc: Creche


  1. A representation of the Nativity.
  2. A Day Nursery.

Cocktail Party Banter

Literary Context

Indeed I once knew a lady who half-humorously suggested that the cave was a creche, in which the babies were put to be specially safe, and that the coloured animals were drawn on the walls to amuse them

Audio Visual

Aa: Ameliorated


to become better

Cocktail Party Banter

Hopefully the Earth's climate will ameliorate and global warming will be a thing of the past.

Literary Context

These newcomers did not migrate into Europe in the strict sense of the word, but rather, as century by century the climate ameliorated, they followed the food and plants to which they were accustomed, as these spread into new realms that opened up to them. Wells, H.G. Outline of History. St. Clair Shores: Scholarly Press, 1974. pg 68

Words in Common

ThesaurusLegend:  Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
Verb1.ameliorate - to make better; "The editor improved the manuscript with his changes"
alleviaterelievepalliateassuage - provide physical relief, as from pain; "This pill will relieve your headaches"
aidhelp - improve the condition of; "These pills will help the patient"
revitalizeregenerate - restore strength; "This food revitalized the patient"
alterchangemodify - cause to change; make different; cause a transformation; "The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth pattern of the city"; "The discussion has changed my thinking about the issue"
enrich - make better or improve in quality; "The experience enriched her understanding"; "enriched foods"
build updevelop - change the use of and make available or usable; "develop land"; "The country developed its natural resources"; "The remote areas of the country were gradually built up"
ameliorateimprovemelioratebetter - get better; "The weather improved toward evening"
turn around - improve dramatically; "The new strategy turned around sales"; "The tutor turned around my son's performance in math"
help - improve; change for the better; "New slipcovers will help the old living room furniture"
upgrade - to improve what was old or outdated; "I've upgraded my computer so I can run better software"; "The company upgraded their personnel"
condition - put into a better state; "he conditions old cars"
emend - make improvements or corrections to; "the text was emended in the second edition"
iron output rightstraighten out - settle or put right; "we need to iron out our disagreements"
enhance - make better or more attractive; "This sauce will enhance the flavor of the meat"
fixfurbish upmendrepairbusheldoctortouch onrestore - restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken; "She repaired her TV set"; "Repair my shoes please"
reform - make changes for improvement in order to remove abuse and injustices; "reform a political system"
reform - improve by alteration or correction of errors or defects and put into a better condition; "reform the health system in this country"
beautifyfancifyprettifyembellish - make more beautiful
build - improve the cleansing action of; "build detergents"
perfecthone - make perfect or complete; "perfect your French in Paris!"
fine-tunerefinepolishdown - improve or perfect by pruning or polishing; "refine one's style of writing"
distillmake purepurifysublimate - remove impurities from, increase the concentration of, and separate through the process of distillation; "purify the water"
fructify - make productive or fruitful; "The earth that he fructified"
liftraise - invigorate or heighten; "lift my spirits"; "lift his ego"
advance - develop further; "We are advancing technology every day"
upgrade - give better travel conditions to; "The airline upgraded me when I arrived late and Coach Class was full"
educate - give an education to; "We must educate our youngsters better"
2.ameliorate - get better; "The weather improved toward evening"
convalescerecoverrecuperate - get over an illness or shock; "The patient is recuperating"
heal - get healthy again; "The wound is healing slowly"
change stateturn - undergo a transformation or a change of position or action; "We turned from Socialism to Capitalism"; "The people turned against the President when he stole the election"
see the lightstraighten outreform - change for the better; "The lazy student promised to reform"; "the habitual cheater finally saw the light"
surge - see one's performance improve; "He levelled the score and then surged ahead"
turn aroundpick up - improve significantly; go from bad to good; "Her performance in school picked up"
ameliorateimprovemeliorateamendbetter - to make better; "The editor improved the manuscript with his changes"
bounce backget wellget over - improve in health; "He got well fast"
healmend - heal or recover; "My broken leg is mending"
fructify - become productive or fruitful; "The seeds fructified"
upgrade - get better travel conditions; "I upgraded to First Class when Coach Class was overbooked"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

Audio Visual

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gg: Galoot


N. slang-person who is lazy, or uncouth.

Cocktail Party Banter

"He is such a big galoot in his slothful way of laying his hands in the dip, and lazying off to sleep, as the men played football on the screen.

Literary Context

"Now you Eastern galoots won't believe anything against the yellow devils," he suddenly flamed out with an appearance of earnestness not altogether convincing, "but I tell you that Chink was the perversest scoundrel outside San Francisco.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pp: Penumbra

Salvador Dali, Sewing Machine with Umbrella
Oil on Canvas
Courtesy of the Stratton Foundation


A partial shadow between regions.
The grayish outer spot of a region.
"It is because the critics are not detched they do not see this detachment, it is because they are not looking at things in a dry light that they cannot see the difference between black and white."#
#Chesterton, G. The Everlasting Man. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1993. 

Cocktail Party Banter

When you are in the midst of things it is often to be at a penumbra of things.

Literary Context

Slowly the penumbra, the shadow of a shadow, crept on over the bright surface, and as it crept I heard deep gasps of fear rising from the multitude around.

Audio Visual

Thursday, February 10, 2011



A person who has radical ideas or opinions.

Cocktail Party Banter

Darling, don't hang out with any Wobblies in Berkley California.

Audio Visual

IN Other Words

1.Wobbly - a member of the Industrial Workers of the World
radical - a person who has radical ideas or opinions
Adj.1.wobbly - inclined to shake as from weakness or defect; "a rickety table"; "a wobbly chair with shaky legs"; "the ladder felt a little wobbly"; "the bridge still stands though one of the arches is wonky"
unstable - lacking stability or fixity or firmness; "unstable political conditions"; "the tower proved to be unstable in the high wind"; "an unstable world economy"

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

1. unstableshakyunsafeuneventeeteringunbalancedtotteringricketyunsteadywonky (Brit. slang) I was sitting on a wobbly plastic chair.
2. unsteadyweakunstableshakyquivery, all of a quiver (informal) His legs felt wobbly after the long flight.
3. shakyunsteadytremulous `I want to go home,' she said in a wobbly voice.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002