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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wordlist #8

Response to my several installments into a projected lexicon of all human progress has been meager and encouraging --both, because I rather dislike progress; it usually turns into urban sprawl which my grampa died of. So I'd like to begin this segment with a salutation related to what Paul Tillich would call my posture toward existence: Happy Handwashing Day!

Global Handwashing Day:

GHD was created by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing in 2008 to foster and support a global culture of handwashing with soap. The main thrust of this organization is stopping the spread of virus E.coli, which comes from shit. It is celebrated on October 15th. That's today.

According to Thursday's Guardian, UK researchers said 16% of British cell phones are contaminated by E.coli. The study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London, (not affiliated with the American School of Psychopathy and Sadism and the Bush Administration) also found Britons tend to lie about their personal hygiene. Dirty liars?

Perhaps, but I'm inclined dismiss emotional and unscientific summaries in favor of those drawn from careful observation. It is my conclusion that most public cell-phone E.coli contamination comes from proximity to users' brains.


When a forgotten memory returns without being recognized, it is sometimes believed to be new and original. It is a memory bias whereby a person may falsely recall generating a thought, an idea, a song, not deliberately engaging in plagiarism but rather experiencing a memory as if it were a new inspiration. Two quotations encountered in my reading today serve to illustrate:

"Anger so clouds the mind that it cannot perceive the truth." --Cato the Elder;

"Anger so clouds the mind that...what? You're kidding! Lemme see that. Oh shit, I give up." --Cato the Younger.


This sprightly little hiss of a word sometimes, once it gets in one's thoughts (like a stubborn thought, idea or song), intrudes itself even upon scholarly discussion --leaving the author to make do with less effective expletives (as in "Oh do-do! E. coli is a bacteria, not a virus").


  1. I'm really glad I don't have a cellphone. Though I definitely wonder what is deja vu, what is "new", and what has popped out of my self-conscious from other sources.

  2. The Guardian article coincided with Global Handwashing Day so I couldn't resist targeting cell phones --otherwise I really have little against them. Glad to learn you wonder about enigmas too.

  3. Oh dear, I have never heard of this before. There are so many of these "days" around now...but I guess this one is pretty useful! And yes I wouldn't be surprised if cell phones contaminate our brains with mindless nonsense.

  4. Indeed, Lizzy. No one who reads my essays could say I was entirely against nonsense. But I hope we must never rely upon technology to get silly.


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