Remember that huge book?

The dark covered one? The one which none of us ever owned but looked at with awe in libraries? The one whose ‘concise’ version at 2000 pages graced many of our homes? This one:

Oxford English Dictionary

Any Last Words?

According to the internets, Oxford  University Press, the publishers of the dictionary are considering discontinuing the physical book. This of course applies to the Oxford English Dictionary, the 21-volume, 21000 page full size dictionary, published in only 2 editions in the last century, and for which work on the 3rd edition carries on. While unverified, my guess is that you can still pick up your own single-volume tome of the Oxford Dictionary of English or the Concise Oxford English Dictionary.

So if you’re own of those who just happens to own a complete set, either shoot into space, bury it in a time capsule for our descendants or give it to Smithsonian. It will become a relic.

(note that I’m not going to suggest auctioning it, since that implies the existence of potential buyers. I don’t believe that)


Obama rocks my world

The Man is just not wasting time fixing Bush’s various messes.

Thursday January 22, 2009.20:56 GMT – Guantanamo (and others similiar) ordered closed

Friday January 23, 2009. 14:10 GMT – Stem Cell Research gets the go-ahead.

Saturday January 24, 2009. 00:30 GMT – Ban on Abortion Funding Lifted

The first marks the erasure of one of the largest stains on the ethics and human-rights of the western world. I’m quite uncompromising on this and say that there is isn’t any way to justify outright torture. I don’t want to go into the details of the why and the how since I just had breakfast.

The second and third are intrinsically tied (atleast for naysayers), and I have been waiting and hoping for for a long time for someone, anyone, to make this happen. The US was one of the largest supporters of family planning and the ‘Gag Order’ on abortion funding by Bush effectively broke down a lot of family planning worldwide. Most painfully, Africa.  Dear ole Bush’s reasons, officially, include the bizarre statement that the UN Population Fund supported chinese forced infanticide. OK. Anyone else believe that. The real reasons are of course pressure from the ultra-religious-conservative lobbies and interest groups that he just could or would not refuse. Whether in these 3 cases or repealing the restrictions on assault weapons (anyone got a good reason for that?)

As for the stem cell thing. the potential benefits overwhelm the 1-legged moral argument. imho.

Pharyngula put it well.