Court decrees: obeying the law not suspicious

See Lowering the Bar, one of my absolute favorite blogs.

I’ve often wondered if one could be pulled over for driving at or under the speed limit. After all, everyone drives a little faster than the speed limit. The only reason to drive under the speed limit would be to avoid being pulled over by the police. And the only people who want to avoid being pulled over by the police are… criminals. Right?


Servility; from the usage of footman referring to servants whose duty it was to open carriage doors for their employers.

I stumbled across a passage from Moby-Dick which tickled my fancy today. In there was a word I can generally discern from context, but of which I was unfamiliar. Footmanism itself isn’t found in my Shorter Oxford or Chambers Dictionaries, but footman refers generally to one who goes on foot but more specifically to one whose occupation it is to run next to a coach or horse in order to attend to the needs of the passenger or rider. Such a person’s job would be to open the door or help the employer down from the horse.

On Advertising

I hate advertising, yet I have advertisements on Monochromatic Outlook as well as other websites I host. Am I a hypocrite?

Perhaps. But first allow me to qualify my hatred of advertising. I dislike it because it tends to be a trade with an inherent sacrifice of integrity for cash. Perhaps for a television station it doesn’t matter whose money they take because no one expects them to have an opinion. In some cases (political advertising for example) they are required by law not to have an opinion.

What gets stuck in the eye of the beholder?

An Object of Beauty
Steve Martin

It’s been a while since there has been a book report on Monochromatic Outlook. It’s bad enough that I haven’t written the book reports; what is worse is that I’ve read so many fewer books. It’s not even that I’ve started books that I haven’t finished, but reading itself has fallen away dramatically.


A woman who habitually pretends to be something or to be part of something she is not.

I don’t normally include words here that come from Word of the Day sites as it seems a bit like plagiarism, but today’s OED Word of the Day is poseuse, which tickled my fancy. It had not occurred to me that there might be a feminine counterpart to poseur. Though gender-specific names for roles and professions are increasingly seen as distasteful, somehow, doing so in French doesn’t seem so bad. Not that there is any real difference between adding -ess and adding -euse, but being less common in English it seems perhaps a bit old-fashioned rather than just unenlightened.

Beware a lawmaker with a disarming smile

So much has been said lately on the topic of firearms regulation that I’m not sure that there is much to add. As the people of the United States engage in this debate I hope that we can remember what the word «rights» means in the context of governance. A «right» is not necessarily the right thing to do, but simply something which a government cannot restrict. The question is not so much whether more people should own firearms as much as whether it’s OK for the government to tell us whether we may own firearms.

Abbottabad? Abbotta-bing!

According to The Economist (9 February 2013) in an effort to improve the city’s international reputation, Abbottabad Pakistan plans to begin construction of an amusement park. It is thought that if people begin associating the name Abbottabad with luxury accommodations and decadent fun, that people will stop thinking of the city as the place that harbored Osama bin Laden until his death at the hands of US Navy SEALs in 2011.

Insane project idea: iMate Mini

On display at the Monochromatic Museum of Archaic Electronics (otherwise known as my bedroom closet) is a relic from the past that never got used as it should have. The Apple eMate, a device based on the Newton platform but which came in a clamshell case with an integrated keyboard and a carrying handle, was designed to be sold to schools but never took off before Steve Jobs returned to Apple and shut down the Newton division entirely. The design for the case influenced the following generations of Macintosh computers: it presaged the later PowerBook, iBook, and iMac designs.


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