WTF News: Residents at the International Space Station can now celebrate that the water recycling system is up and functional. http://uk.news.yahoo.com/30/20081125/ttc-international-space-station-astronau-e870a33.html They decided to “indulge in a urine drinking party.” Never has the career choice of astronaut been less appealing.
WTF Editing: I work with a group of 7 primary students each day. As an incentive for them to stay on task and finish our daily lessons I read aloud from an assortment of books in our classroom if time allows. This past week a brand new pile of books was purchased for the room from our school’s book fair. The kidlets finished their assignments in record time so I sorted through the titles and choose one appropriate and entertaining for their age levels. Not always an easy task as moto-cross pictorials and Cartoon Network books, etc. were part of the new choices. David Kirk’s, “Miss Spider’s Wedding” leaped out as a great option. The illustrations in his books are always bright and colorful and the stories aren’t violent, politically incorrect or will otherwise get me into trouble at work.
A brief story synopsis; Miss Spider meets and falls in love with Holley, a small, quiet insect. Miss Spider’s friend thinks she can do better so this friend tries to find her a more suitable and worthy mate. As the friend interviews prospective candidates she happens across an assortment of bugs, but all are flawed. One rejected insect is overly sensitive so she dismisses him by calling him a “PANTYWAIST.” Yup, mid-sentence and unexpectedly that word was printed and read aloud before the reality of what I was reading set in. Seriously folks, if you’re editing books for younger audiences certain words should be avoided. These books target the preschool demographic.
WTF Surreal Moments: I chaperoned a junior high school dance yesterday. There’s nothing like spending an afternoon locked in a room with strobe lights, loud music and hormonal youth to test one’s sanity. Musical choices fluctuated from rap music to some 1980’s classics by Journey, AC/DC and Michael Jackson. The Dj did a fabulous job of getting almost all of the kids out dancing. I cowered in the corner, and as promised, remained mostly invisible. When did I become the old fuddy duddy complaining about the music being too loud? I went to real rock concerts dammit! I saw Journey live. Old. hmmph.
WTF Words: Pteronophobia is the fear of feathers, or being tickled by feathers. Ornithobia is the fear of birds, while the fear of music is called melophobia. Why choose this particular combination of phobias for the week? The following entry will clarify my decision.
WTF at Home: First, some background information is needed. My youngest daughter loves music. She’s taught herself to play quite a few songs on the piano. As she was practicing her repertoire yesterday she played a lively rendition of Alouette. For some reason. Some stupid, stupid reason I decided to share my knowledge of this song’s meaning with the poor child. Karen mentioned the meaning of the song to me briefly last year during a visit. Prior to this I’d obliviously and happily sang along to this catchy tune. At some point after her visit I looked up the lyrics (1 year of high school French didn’t cut it) to discover that it heralds from French Canadian fur traders. Alouette is the French word for lark and the song is a description of plucking the feathers off of the bird, specifically it’s head in the first verse, so it can be eaten. Expanded lyrics go on to describe what’s done to the rest of the bird as well. After sharing this information with my youngest she stared at me, dumbfounded, with her mouth open in sheer horror. She’s not played the song since. Not one of my better parenting choices. I’m sure this will come out years from now in therapy. Knowing the insidious history of this ditty adds to the disturbing and annoying nature of this video. What is this thing supposed to be anyway, a French, radioactive version of Barney?