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Friday, November 20, 2009

On the Plains of Marathon

This section is currently under construction while The Crow searches for some way to get the jogging train back on the tracks.

It's Official!

An army of bears would beat an army of gorillas.

But the real question is: given a water level that would allow a shark to swim without keeping a bear from its characteristically deft maneuvering, which would win in a fight--a bear or a shark?

A: Bachelder

Word of the Day!

ratiocination [rash-ee-ah-suh-nay-shun; rash-ee-oh-]
-noun
The process of reasoning.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Picks of the Week

Week Twelve

Well, I did well for my picks this week but there were only five of them so they didn’t help my over-all totals a whole lot. I am now at 47 for 78, or 60%.

There is very little going on this week. Since most every conference has their divisional and/or conference champs figured out, what’s left is a whole lot of pride games. Look to the Big 10 and the PAC 10 for some interesting games between teams that still have a lot to prove.


No. 10 Ohio State at Michigan
The Grandaddy of them all! The Big Game! The Great Rivalry! Unfortunately Michigan kind of sucks this year and Ohio State has inexplicably turned a loss to unranked Purdue into a Big 10 championship season. So, it would seem that the Buckeyes have an easy win over the Wolverines, but with a chance to spoil the Buckeyes season a little and salvage a bowl berth look to Michigan to come at OSU hard. I think on paper the Buckeyes should have an easy time Michigan, but rivalry games change everything. I’m going out on a long, skinny limb here, folks.
Michigan 42 Ohio State 38

No. 8 LSU at Mississippi
The SEC West is already decided; ‘Bama punched their ticket for Atlanta two weeks ago, but there is still a lot left to play for, and games like this are fertile territory for upsets. LSU is considered the 8th best team in the country and Ole Miss has had a disappointing season, but there isn’t much separating these two teams and if McCluster has even half the game he did last week against Tennessee LSU might have their work cut out for them. Because I have nothing to lose at this point, I’m rooting for the underdog.
Mississippi 28 LSU 24

No. 14 Penn State at Michigan State
Penn State can’t win the Big 10. Michigan State can’t either, but MSU would love another notch in their belt and signature win to send them to a better bowl than where they’re going currently. And I think Dantonio’s Spartans can do it too as long as they don’t self-destruct. Playing at home should help…but not enough.
Penn State 24 Michigan State 17

No. 16 Wisconsin at Northwestern
This is another pride game in the Big 10. Northwestern is coming off two big wins in a row and would love to scrabble passed Wisconsin for a better bowl game and more respect in the B10. Wisconsin has shown they are capable of losing to worse teams and Northwestern has finally started to put it all together. I think the Wildcats might be able to win out.
Northwestern 35 Wisconsin 28

No. 25 California at No. 17 Stanford
This is probably the game of the week since Stanford is pretty much neck in neck with Oregon for the PAC 10 title (and Stanford has the tie-breaker). Stanford can do nothing but keep winning and keep their fingers crossed for another Ducks loss. And both teams have a tough road ahead of them: Stanford has to play Cal and then Notre Dame, and Oregon has Arizona and Oregon State. Given the way the two programs have been playing recently I think Stanford has a better chance of winning out. I think Gerhart will steamroll another 200 yards this game, and put Golden Bears out of their misery.
Stanford 52 California 32

No. 11 Oregon at Arizona
This is the other big game in the PAC 10. Oregon has to win out in order to solidify their PAC 10 title, so I’m sure they will be feeling the heat at their backs the next two weeks. Arizona is a good team but I think it will be next week’s game that trips up the Ducks.
Oregon 45 Arizona 28

Sketch #6

By Tres Crow

One time
I would like to see the trees wilt in my direction
Then all the books
I’ve read over so many years could finally
Come to use and I’d be well understood

All times
It goes just the way it was meant to

Word of the Day!

obloquy [ob-luh-kwee]
-noun
1. Strongly condemnatory or abusive language or utterance.
2. The condition of disgrace suffered as a result of public blame, abuse, or condemnation; ill repute.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Militant Grammarians Unite!

And now for another grammatical question that popped up the other day: What is the plural of impetus?

I found the answer from my trusty friends over at Dictionary.com. The plural of impetus is impetuses. However, the general rule for words ending in -us is to drop the -us and add -i.

Other words that end awkwardly so that pluralizing becomes fraught with uncertainty and self-doubt?

Syllabus - The plural can either be syllabuses or syllabi.
Hippopotamus - The plural can either be hippopotamuses or hippopotami.
Truss - The plural is trusses. Words that end is -s are pluralized by adding -es generally.
Sheep - The plural is sheep. This belongs to the bizarro group that the singular and plural are the same.
Goose - The plural is geese. Ditto to sheep.

Word of the Day!

forlorn [fur-lorn; for-]
-adjective
1. Sad and lonely because deserted, abandoned, or lost.
2. Bereft; forsaken.
3. Wretched or pitiful in appearance or condition.
4. Almost hopeless; desperate.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Little Crow's Links

Here's a very interesting article from New Geography about the prospect for urban renewal in Detroit. It is by far the most optimistic look at Detroit that I've read in years*. Very refreshing.

Check it out here.


*By years, I mean five months.

Word of the Day!

peccadillo [peck-uh-dil-oh]
-noun
A slight offense; a petty fault.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Writer Spotlight: Elliot Krop

From time to time I will highlight an author whose work I particularly enjoy, and this week I want to draw your attention to a wonderful Atlanta writer named Elliot Krop. He comes to the Dirrty by way of Chicago where he lived for several years honing his special brand of wit and ole' fashioned storytelling. By day he is a Math professor, by night he is a mad genius of wordsmithery, crafting short stories that are heady mixtures of surrealism, impressionism, and postmodern mash-ups.

Over the last year he has had several stories published in reputable on-line markets, and I can honestly say these stories are phenomenal. There are links to three of them below.


"Uncle Doubt" - A young teacher opens his front door to a long-lost family member only to find he's opened his life to far more than that. Originally published in Prick of the Spindle in June, 2008.

"Rat Dance" - Set in the slums of Chicago where races and lives and ideas can sometimes smash violently into one another, "Rat Dance" tells the story of a young soldier with a hidden past, who strikes up a powerful relationship with his blind roommate. Originally published in Joyland in November, 2009

"Dirge For a Moment's Loss" - An impressionistic beat poem that tells the story of a love's blossoming and ending. Passionately written and filled with subtle heartbreak, this story is a gorgeous eulogy to a lost love. Orginally published in Underground Voices in June, 2008.

Word of the Day Test!

Now that there are enough WOTD's out there, I figured I'd start testing y'all's knowledge. Every test will be a mixture of Multiple Choice and True or False questions. The answer to each question will be embedded in the question. Enjoy, and let me know how you did in the comments section.

1. One pledged to entire abstinence from all intoxicating drinks.
A. clerisy
B. teetotaler
C. hector
D. arcanum

2. A patrician is an accomplished and presumably irreversible deed or fact.
A. True
B. False

3. To use ambiguous or unclear expressions, usually to avoid commitment or in order to mislead; prevaricate or hedge.
A. teetotaler
B. eldritch
C. equivocate
D. chary

4. Kismet is fate or destiny.
A. True
B. False

5. Producing or capable of producing offspring, fruit, vegetation, etc., in abundance; prolific; fruitful.
A. puissant
B. kismet
C. busybody
D. fecund

Word of the Day!

prolix [pro-liks; pro-liks]
-adjective
1. Extending to a great length; unnecessarily long; wordy.
2. Tending to speak or write at excessive length.