Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day

On April 15, 1452, Leonardo DaVinci was born. Leonardo painted the Mona Lisa and served as the inspiration for a mutant ninja turtle.

On April 15, 1843, Henry James was born. Shortly after his entrance into the world, he is reported to have said, "Indeed."

On April 15, 1861, the American Civil War started. Abraham Lincoln declared there was an insurrection uprising and called out union troops. The South would have won that war had they not run outta amnition.

On April 15, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in what must be the disappointing performance by an actor in a theater.

On April 15, 1912, the Titanic took a little more than 2 1/2 hours to sink. With 2,223 people on board, the lifeboats had the capacity for 1,178 passengers, but only 706 survived. 1,517 people died, including a young man named Jack, who could not float on the same piece of wood as his new girlfriend and thus sunk dead, reaching skyward. His heart still goes on.

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Unfortunately, black people are no longer all that interested in baseball.

On April 15, 2009, you have to pay your taxes to the United States government.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Want You

Bob Dylan's "I Want You" is one of my favorite songs, only not when Dylan sings it. Don't get me wrong -- I think Dylan is a fine performer, and Blonde on Blonde is one of my favorite albums. It's just that Dylan's version of "I Want You" is a bit too folky or melancholy or flat or boring. In the context of Blonde on Blonde, it's perfectly decent.

At least two other singers have done better renditions.

In the original broadcast of Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Special, someone named Sophie B. Hawkins did an excellent cover of "I Want You" that came closer to fulfilling the divine nature of what the song could have been had not Bob Dylan flattened the song. For some reason likely related to a financial dispute, Hawkins' version isn't on the video or the album. Hey, here it is:

While reading a book about Bruce Springsteen called Born to Run, I read that Bruce did a version of this song as well. Twitterpated, I had to skip my fatherly duties and go find it. This is especially bad because today is Wendy's birthday, and I'm ignoring everyone to hunt down Mr. Springsteen's version. Here's Bruce Springsteen's version, which contains the appropriate degree of longing:

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostates

I get Google Alerts to track what's going on in the InDesign world. One of the hits was about an awkward typo that caused the BYU school newspaper to be pulled off the racks and reprinted -- more than 18,000 copies.

This Deseret News article has the details:

After a day of student interviews and reviewing audit trails, Evans said he believes the gaffe ironically occurred during a spell check. The Daily Universe was using Adobe software called InDesign, which, when it found the word apostle misspelled as "apsotale," suggested "apostate" at the top of its correction list.

"She quickly clicked on the first (suggestion) and moved on," Evans said. "A real unfortunate mistake."

The Deseret News, which also uses the InDesign software, replicated the misspelling and found that Adobe's software does suggest apostate before apostle; Microsoft Word offers it in reverse order.

Imagine how heart-broken I am that my beloved software could inspire such a demonic mistake. InDesign, failing to recognize the sacred nature of an apsotale, offered "apostate" before "apostle." The bleary-eyed student editor, likely late for an Uno game, was so inveigled by InDesign that she picked the first suggested word. Not coincidentally, InDesign has six menu commands and six default panels. Version 6, that is.

According to school officials, there is nothing amusing about this sad, costly, non-Freudian mishap. However, several apsotales were indeed amused. Yeah, verily, they did snicker.