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by Travis Hardin

New people are meandering in to check out the second-Thursday SMM gathering at Frederick. November brought us Donna Callahan, formerly of Philadelphia, now of Hagerstown. Welcome to Maryland Mensa, Donna! November also means superbaby Rachel Todd is one year old. Dad Bill Todd brought a colorful one-candle bedecked cake that Rachel allowed to be shared with the assembled Anjel Scarborough, Fred and Inge Davis, Travis Hardin, Greg Pacek, and Vince Mooney.

Four of our number spoke German to some degree, and the conversation turned to linguistics for the night. Vince Mooney, holding forth on what must be a favorite subject, related how Grimm's Law came into being. (The law establishes the connection between a p in Latin (piscis) and an f in English (fish)). Jacob Grimm with his brother Wilhelm, the collectors of fairy tails, in their travels throughout Germany heard memorized fairy tales told in identical words, though in different dialects, all over Germany. The stories had come through the generations by word of mouth only. Seeing the experiment already set up in front of them, the brothers Grimm were able to clearly connect the various dialects with a common progenitor. Using Grimms' law, German was seen to be related to Sanskrit, and the Indo-European common source became clear.

Another language lover, Greg Pacek, likes his language on buttons. Greg is getting together a mass order for 100 or more buttons. For yours, give him a call now.

Carol Baldwin along with Bill and Jan Todd recently split a $325 prize at Frederick's In The Street event. Is that why Carol's software library is growing fat lately?

Speaking of fat, no to mention ancient, your reporter has been flooded with readers' letters complaining that this column lacks socially redeeming value. Accordingly, this month SMM's redeeming item will be, with a deep bow to Jacqui Jones, a book review.

Wiener Dog Art--A Far Side Collection

Gary Larson

Andrews and McMeel, a Universal Press Syndicate Company, 1990

Like a Playboy for dachshunds, Wiener Dog Art has some great off the wall stuff in the front and back, but the best part is the middle of the book. There you find the pictures Larson believes the Masters would have painted had they given the wiener dog the artistic attention it deserves: Lounging, chubby Rubens-like doxy wenches; the one Dali didn't think of--limp wiener dogs and watches draped over the landscape; a wine bottle, a book, and a bowl of wiener dogs; and Larson even unearths prehistoric wiener dog cave art. Larson has that certain je ne sais quoi that makes him my kind of artist.