Posts Tagged ‘Jimi Hendrix’
The Oxford Comma– AKA, the final serial comma– has come in for some harsh criticism. Indeed recently, the storied punctuation mark suffered the ugliest of indignities: the “Writing and Style Guide” in Oxford University’s own “Branding Handbook” (the internal guide to usage meant to be consistent across all University publications) instructed: “As a general rule, do not use the serial/Oxford comma: so write ‘a, b and c’ not ‘a, b, and c’.”
The Prose Police did carve out an exception: “when a comma would assist in the meaning of the sentence or helps to resolve ambiguity, it can be used…”
Good thing too. Language Log demonstrates with examples both hypothetical:
Your correspondent operates, as readers may have noticed, on the compositional principal “better safe than sorry”…
As we disagree with Vampire Weekend, we might recall another example of linguistic mutability: it was on this date in 1966 that Jimmy Hendrix changed his name to Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix had a good bit of Experience, if readers will forgive the pun, with name changes… He born was Johnny Allen Hendrix, but his father changed his name to James Marshall Hendrix (in honor of the father’s dead brother). Hendrix performed as a sideman as “Maurice James”; he led his pre-fame band, The Blue Flames, as “Jimmy James”; and when confronted with confusion of having two Randys in the group– Guitarist Randy Wolf and bassist Randy Palmer, he dubbed the latter “Randy Texas.” The former, anointed by Hendrix as “Randy California,” later joined his step-father Ed Cassidy to form Spirit.
Original x-rays of Einstein’s brain will go under the gavel on December 3 at Julien’s Auctions in Hollywood (along with other such memorabilia as the first guitar used on stage by Jimi Hendrix and the Michael Jackson “Bad” costume made for and worn by the chimp Bubbles).
Taken by an old friend when the Father of Modern Physics was 66, the x-rays may illustrate the root of the genius’ genius; as the BBC explains:
Scientists at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada compared the shape and size Einstein’s brain with those of 35 men and 56 women with average intelligence.
They think their findings may well explain his genius for mathematical and spatial thinking.
In general, Einstein’s brain was the same as all the others except in one particular area – the region responsible for mathematical thought and the ability to think in terms of space and movement.
Uniquely, Einstein’s brain also lacked a groove that normally runs through part of this area. The researchers suggest that its absence may have allowed the neurons to communicate much more easily.
“This unusual brain anatomy may explain why Einstein thought the way he did,” said Professor Sandra Witelson, who led the research published in the Lancet.
“Einstein’s own description of his scientific thinking was that words did not seem to play a role. Instead he saw more or less clear images of a visual kind,” she said.
The x-rays are expected to fetch $1-2,000.
(TotH to Cakehead Loves Evil)
As we muse that the juxtaposition of items in the auction is… well, relatively odd, we might cast our eyes to the heavens in honor of Johannes Kepler, the mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer (the distinctions among those fields being pretty vague in Kepler’s time); he died on this date in 1630.
Kepler’s “laws of planetary motion”– most famously, that the planets move in elliptical orbits around the Sun– were the foundation on which Isaac Newton (one of the few humans arguably smarter than Einstein) built his theory of universal gravitation.
From Karen Portaleo, a clay sculptor who’s now the cake decorator at the Highland Bakery in Atlanta, illustrations of just how cool a cake can be…
For more entirely-edible examples of the baker’s art, visit “Specialty Cakes.”
As we lick our lips, we might recall that it was on this date in 1966 that Jimmy Hendrix took the advice of his then-new manager Chas Chandler, and changed the spelling of his first name to “Jimi.”
(ToTH to Laughing Squid)
As we rifle the shelves in search of those A-Team tapes, we might spare a memorial thought for two icons of the 60s and 70s, neither of whom lived to know either of the antecedents of today’s amalgam: Jimi Hendrix was born on this date in 1942, exactly two years after his birthday-mate, the striking– and strikingly unlucky– actor martial arts exemplar and actor, Bruce Lee.