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Vital Information

In Vital Information,words/lexicography on January 5, 2011 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Different Uses for Freedom

In Garner’s Modern American Usage, by Bryan A. Garner, you can find eight terms derivative of the word ‘freedom’ and they all appear on one page: 367.

The first is the suffix “-FREE“, where Garner simply draws the distinction in spelling between those ‘-free’ words that are “established” and those that are not and denote only the absence of some quality or component usually attributed innately to the word, such as caffeine-free coke or germ-free environment (no guarantees on its physical possibility though, or whether it even is as favorable as it sounds at first, opposed to eerily, shroud-of-death-ish unnatural), and always uses a hyphen. The former “established” words are meant to denote those that are more singular in their definitions, such as the example given by Garner, “carefree,” which signifies something more like ‘unburdened’ than ‘lacking cares that should otherwise be expected’. A carefree person does lack care, most of the time, but you wouldn’t necessarily expect that he wouldn’t, nor would you go so far as to make that judgement having not met or interacted with him and, anyway, it’s not to say that he’s careless.

In the next entry it is listed in the broadest form able to be tapped, to wit, ‘free’, but applied in its most narrow, material sense. As in “free; for free“, the latter being technically incorrect since ‘free’ is an adjective and if you’re going to put a preposition in front of something it should be a noun, such as “nothing” (again, Garner’s example). But remember what Kris Kristofferson said about freedom, that it’s “just another word for nothing left to lose”.  And nobody cares if he/she loses nothing, because ain’t nothing for free, especially not freedom (see bumperskickers). But the way Garner would put it would be to call it a “casualism”, meaning, in his own words “the expression is far to common to be called an error.” (Garner’s descriptivist sympathies are revealed here. What that means is, believe me, something you don’t care to know in full detail right now, but suffice it to say it’s one of two ideological schools of thought in the linguistics academia, neither of which does anybody really ever claim but, rather, are dubbed with by other writers, because nobody sees their POV as anything but the right POV, and therefore not moniker worthy.)

Garner also accounts for the difference between ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’, which he says has “connotative distinctions.” “Freedom is the broader…term” and it “carries positive connotations” and ‘liberty’ is “slightly less emotive” and refers more to the “removal of restraints on specific freedoms”. Except in the Declaration of Independence.

In the case of “Freedom of’ vs. freedom from“, both are ok, as long as you make sure not to cross the negative with positive, such as -of hunger and -from expression. As long as you got that down, feel free to attach whatever suits you as you go.

Then there’s “free gift” which is a redundancy, since all gifts are given for free and, according to Garner, was used initially by advertisers, who really don’t care about language anymore than a car thief cares about the car he just stole, because, apparently, their philosophy is ‘why lie in one word when you can use two and get paid more for it’ (my summary).

Free rein” is spelled without the letter ‘g’, because it alludes to horses, and not a free kingdom through which you can roam rein-less.

If you look up the term ‘freethinker’, the entry prompts you to “see atheist“. As in “freethinker. See atheist.” However, it’s snarkiness breaks down when you actually flip back to atheist, where the latter gets widdled to the former, which is really nondescript sounding, and surprising that it’s even attributed directly to religion, that makes you wonder if Garner initially meant to be snarky but his conscious shrunk his balls as he fleshed it out, or not at all.

And last, but not least, the bee’s knees of all these different variations on freedom, one of the broadest, most comprehensive concepts we have,- “free will” (which can also be written as one word) can be used to refer to the lofty philosophical question or a simple description of basic, meaning less action, such as getting up one day and watching TV for 14 hours while eating cereal, then Dominos, and then chips for dinner, which, let’s be honest, if we’re to cut through all the philosophical musings and equivocations, is what most of us ultimately do with our free will, if not a sufficient analogue.

Bryan A. Garner on lawprose.com

I’d like to go ahead and apologize to Garner and anyone else for any subtle or glaring grammar or usage errors, malapropisms, or just any cringingly irksome choices in attempting to set up this little playground for the word “freedom” but, this shit’s for free, so what do you expect? And that’s the most prominent problem with freedom of speech. In, admittedly, very crude terms, any jack ass can take something and completely, or just in specifica ways that vital to the thing, mess it up.

Madison wrote, “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an ailment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.” Now, you could point to qualifiers such as “political”, or the specifier, “faction”, on which the entire statement hinges, and argue that I’m reaching a bit to connect it to the pontificating of a superficially educated dumb ass. And for that, I have nothing…I am retort-free.

…Too bad Madison didn’t have a copy of Garner’s book to see he was using liberty incorrectly (in his defense though, words do stretch and change through time.)

-Matt

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Vital Information (12-29-10)

In Music,Rich,Top Albums of 2010 List,Vital Information on December 29, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 20 Albums of 2010 Summarized

Here is a summary of my 2010 Albums of the year along with all the ways you can check out each band.

  1. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs –website / iTunes
  2. Minus the Bear – OMNI – website / iTunes
  3. The Black Keys – Brothers – website / iTunes
  4. Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown website / iTunes
  5. Glasser – The Ring –website / iTunes
  6. Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager – website / iTunes
  7. Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise – website / iTunes
  8. Foals – Total Life Forever – website / iTunes
  9. Freelance Whales – Weathervanes – website / iTunes
  10. Kele Okereke – The Boxer – website / iTunes
  11. MGMT – Congratulations – website / iTunes
  12. Angie Mattson – Skeleton Arm – website / iTunes
  13. Fences – Fences – website / iTunes
  14. Rogue Wave – Permalight website / iTunes
  15. Gaslight Anthem – American Slang – website / iTunes
  16. Yeasayer – ODD blood – website / iTunes
  17. Mavis Staples – You Are Not Alone –website / iTunes
  18. The Naked And Famous – Passive Me, Aggressive You – website / Bandcamp
  19. Ra Ra Riot – The Orchard – website / iTunes
  20. [The] Slowest Runner In All The World – We, Burning Giraffes website / Bandcamp

Honorable Mention

  1. All Grown Up – I’m Over Here – website / bandcamp
  2. Bear Hands – Burning Bush Supper Clubwebsite / iTunes
  3. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – website / iTunes
  4. Eminem – Recovery – website / iTunes

2010 Albums of The Year Part IV (albums 1-5)

2010 Albums of The Year Part III (albums 10-6)

2010 Albums of The Year Part II (albums 11-15)

2010 Albums of The Year Part 1 (Albums 20-16)

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Vital Information (12-22-10)

In Music,Rich,Top Albums of 2010 List on December 22, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 20 Albums of 2010 (Part 3: Albums 6-10)

(10) Kele Okereke – The Boxer – The genius behind one of my favorite bands of all time (Bloc Party) used his solo debut to completely reverse the BP format.  Where BP was post punk indie rock filled with a touch of electro house, this album was electro house with a touch of post punk indie rock.  Even flipping styles around Okereke can do no wrong.

Standout Track: Unholy Thoughts, The New Rules

Recommended If You Like: Bloc Party, Boxer Rebellion

Purchase ‘The Boxer’ by Kele Okereke on iTunes – Download

(9) Freelance Whales – Weathervanes – Quirky indie rock with sugar based synth and melodies so innocent and poppy, Justin Bieber would probably call it soft.  Nevertheless the song Hannah was my most played song on iTunes for the past three months.

Standout Track: Hannah, Starring

Recommended If You Like: The Postal Service, The Limousines

Purchase ‘Weathervanes’ by Freelance Whales on iTunes – Download

(8) Foals- Total Life Forever – Foals is like a happy-go-lucky version of Yeasayer.  They’re indie and experimental but something in the vocals reminds me of the Fleet Foxes.  Either way, it’s a shame this album was slept on so hard this year.  Hopefully they’ll pull a Mumford & Sons and be able to find more success with it in its second year.

Standout Track: Blue Blood, Total Life Forever, Spanish Sahara

Recommended If You Like: Yeasayer, Bear Hands

Purchase ‘Total Life Forever’ by Foals on iTunes – Download

(7) Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise – ‘Juturna’ blew my mind when it came out.  ‘On Letting Go’ did not.  ‘Blue Sky Noise’ is probably the most poppy out of the three, but it’s also the best.  I highly recommend checking these guys out live, Anthony Green is about as true to form of a front man as you’re going to find and somehow manages to be on point with that high-pitched growl even live (no easy task).

Standout Track: Imaginary Enemy, I Felt Free, Spirit of the Stairwell

Recommended If You Like: Saves The Day, Saosin, Coheed & Cambria

Purchase ‘Blue Sky Noise’ by Circa Survive on iTunes – Download

(6) Kid Cudi – Man On The Moon II: Legend of Mr. Rager – Don’t let the shittiness of the title dissuade you, this album is amazing.  I don’t care what anyone says Kudi is the most innovative mind in Hip Hop right now.

Standout Track: Maniac, Ashin Kusher

Recommended If You Like: Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli

Purchase ‘Man on the Moon II’ by KId Cudi on iTunes – Download

Honorable Mention: Eminem – Recovery – for reasoning please see my previous post on why this album was so important here.

2010 Albums of The Year Part II (albums 11-15)

2010 Albums of The Year Part 1 (Albums 20-16)

EMINEM – NOT AFRAID

– Rich

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vital Information (12-15-10)

In Rich,Top Albums of 2010 List,Vital Information on December 15, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 20 Albums of 2010 (Part 1: Albums 16-20)

It’s that time again.  You know what I’m talking about, when every two-bit music nerd with a blog and an inferiority complex still lingering from high school makes their top albums of the year list that looks remarkably like every other ‘top albums of the year’ list you find on the internet.

Clearly, I’m not above this ego-stroking so without further delay, here’s the first installment of what topped my playlist for 2010.  Oh and if it looks like a bunch of other lists you’ve seen so far this year, it’s because these albums kick serious ass and belong there, just sayin’…

(20) [The] Slowest Runner in All The World – We, Burning Giraffes – Brooklyn instrumental art rockers.  Sounds like Explosions in the Sky were locked in a room listening to Johnny Greenwood lecturing them on how daft the world is (in a British accent obviously) and how to spread the message via instruments.

Standout Track: Zoe Machete Control

Recommended If You Like: Explosions In The Sky, Johnny Greenwood, Sigur Ros

Purchase ‘We, Burning Giraffes’ by [The] Slowest Runner in all the World on bandcamp – Download

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Vital Information

In Brice,Glacial Topography,Vital Information on December 8, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , ,

Geology of Long Island a.k.a From the Two Forks to the Verrazano

The Harbor Hill moraine runs from Bay Ridge along the northern end of Long Island through the north fork and actually into the Charlestown moraine in southern Rhode Island. The Ronkonkoma moraine branches off from the Harbor Hill in the New Hyde Park area, then extends east through the center of Long Island to the South Fork, ending at Montauk Point.  These end moraine structures tell us that the glaciers had to come as far south as their location on Long Island.

The land south of the Ronkonkoma moraine grades into a flat topography. This is associated with an outwash plain. However, in the areas of the moraines you will notice the topography is hilly with relatively steep grades. That’s why the north shore of Long Island has rocky bluffs and the south shore has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

-Brice

This concludes our mini-series The Geology of Long Island. Tune in to future weeks to learn more about local land scape and history from Brice, our RG (resident geologist). To read previous installments, click here, here, and here.

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Vital Information

In Brice,Glacial Topography,Guest Writers,Vital Information on December 1, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , ,

Geology of Long Island a.k.a. From the Two Forks to the Verrazano

Long Island formed from a period of glaciations within the Pleistocene Epoch, in particular, the Tarantian (Upper) Stage, 0.0117–0.126 million years ago (ma). The most recent, however, was the Wisconsinan glaciation, which occurred about 22,000 years ago. This period created the two major backbones of Long Island, which are the Harbor Hill and the Ronkonkoma moraine systems. These created the topography, hydrology, and landscape that is native to Long Island from Orient Point and Montauk to Bay Ridge.

-Brice

This is the third installment of Geology of Long Island. Here are links to the second and first installment from last Wednesday. Please return next week for as Brice’s conclusion to From the Two Forks to the Verrazano.

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Vital Information: Holiday Edition

In Holiday Posts,Rich,Vital Information on November 24, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Turbacon Day


The Essentials:

What You’ll Need

  • Bacon.
  • Thanksgiving Leftovers.
  • Chocolate Chip Pancakes (with whipped cream).
  • Elf and other holiday classics.
  • Bacon.
  • Loved ones.
  • Coffee.
  • Mimosas and/or Bloody Mary’s
  • Bacon.

Thanksgiving, along with Christmas (or your belief’s equivalent) and Halloween, are the three major holidays that many Americans close out their year with.  If you throw in New Years for good measure, these four annual celebrations are reminders of who is really important in our lives, even if we can’t always be with them.

Well, my family apparently loves each other more than most because we needed a fifth holiday.

Thus Turbacon Day was born.

Turbacon day falls on the fourth Friday in November, commencing immediately upon the completion of your Thanksgiving celebration and a good night’s sleep. I would like to have you believe that it was conceived of some high-minded anti-consumerism rooted deep inside my family that lead to a boycott of the Black Friday insanity, but the truth of the matter is it has more to do with effectively curing a hangover than it does our society’s misguided priorities.

Turbacon Day starts off with a nice hardy breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, whipped cream, coffee, mimosas, bloody mary’s and of course a lot of bacon.  This feast segues flawlessly into a lunch sitting where we eat all the leftovers from the night before plus…more bacon.

After about four hours of eating everything in sight with multiple sides of bacon we find the most comfortable nooks of the living room and watch holiday movies.  Getting up from one’s seat only happens occasionally, and it’s always either for a bathroom break or to grab another plate of leftovers to snack on.  No other reasoning is generally accepted.  This continues well into the night, when  we finally order a couple of pizzas (maybe bacon as a topping?) to wake everybody up before their long trips home.

Turbacon Day is like Thanksgiving only bacon…errr I mean better.  Why?  Well first of all because of the sheer amount of bacon that’s included in the holiday, but more so for the reasoning behind it…there is none.  We don’t celebrate Turbacon Day because we’re obligated, we do it because we wake up in the morning and just want to chill out for the day and avoid the I-95 traffic going home.

Don’t get me wrong, I am one of the biggest mushes around when it comes to getting excited about the more traditional holidays, but I think Turbacon Day is unique in that we’re getting together for the fact that we genuinely like hanging out with each other, not because it’s a ‘proper’ holiday and we ‘really should be with family’.

So if your family doesn’t suck (I know some of them do…), and they’re traveling in to see you.  Invite them to stay the next day and celebrate a little more.  This way you can spend Friday far, far away from the maelstrom that is called the mall most other days of the year and celebrate the fact that you really can stand each other.  Even on days proper etiquette doesn’t require you to do so.

And bacon…you gotta celebrate bacon…

– Rich