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Updated: 02/20/04

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Friday, 20 February, 2004

I am now intrigued by my spam e-mails. I actually open the darn things to see if they have any selected literature at the bottom of them. Today's favorite was apparently lifting lines from an Animal Joke site . . . something about a monkey.

["A monkey walks into a bar . . . and says, 'Ouch!' "]

Mom and Dad are out in Palm Desert visiting Aunt Mur. I think they're staying through the weekend. Looks like it's only in the 60's and they're forecasting rain but still, it's always lovely out there.

[And even lovelier at Aunt Mur's house.]

Met with my accountant ("Bob") last night to go over tax stuff. Luckily, my tax situation isn't too complicated - they take away most of my money through out the year and then I pay them some more in April. Suki was fascinated a) by Bob and b) by his soft-sided briefcase, which she promptly named "hers" and proceeded to crawl into. He has two cats at home so he was fine with her, and we finished the meeting to the sound of Suki purring happily in the bottom of it.

[She reluctantly vacated said bag when he left.]

Apparently other countries are beginning to pick up on the American custom of ridiculous lawsuits:

Fans to Sue Soccer Referee Over Penalty

MADRID, Spain - About 30 fans plan to sue a referee for awarding a last-minute penalty against their team in a Spanish league match.

The fans hold Pedro Tristante Oliva and the Spanish soccer federation responsible for the "penalty mistake" in which Real Madrid was awarded a penalty kick against Valencia. They are asking for one euro per person in damages, or $1.29 each.

"We want the error to be publicly acknowledged and compensation paid as professional negligence has been committed," Andres Sanchis, the lawyer representing the fans, said in the sports daily As on Wednesday.

Tristante Oliva ruled defender Carlos Marchena fouled Raul Gonzalez in injury time of the match last Sunday. Valencia was leading 1-0 and about to move past Real Madrid into first place in the standings.

Luis Figo converted the penalty to tie the match and prevent Valencia from being the first team to defeat Madrid at home this season.

[In America, of course, that would be $1.29 million.]

And from the "Hey, that's pretty cool but useless file":

LONDON (Reuters) - Harry Potter becomes "Warrior Cup" and his enemy Voldemort "Scaly Death" in a translation of the schoolboy wizard's adventures into Ancient Greek due for publication this summer.

Retired classics teacher Andrew Wilson told Reuters he had to stretch his linguistic ingenuity to turn J.K. Rowling's magic boarding school fantasy into a language not used for 1,500 years.

Wilson, 64, was commissioned in January 2002 by publisher Bloomsbury to translate "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" into the Greek spoken in ancient Athens. Wilson delivered his manuscript last month.

"It was a lot of hard work but the most fun hard work I've ever done," he said about the year he spent reading ancient authors and searching through dictionaries to find the appropriate style and vocabulary.

Wilson says his translation is the longest text to have been produced in Ancient Greek since the romantic writings of Heliodorus in the third century AD.

"I suspect very few people will read it all the way through," he said. "You will need a degree in Ancient Greek to get a great deal out of it".

Wilson modelled his translations for modern words such as computer and motor car on the quaint style of 19th century Greek. For the book's own invented terms like broomstick game Quidditch and Harry's school Hogwarts he had to be more imaginative and make up his own words.

Quidditch becomes Ikarosfairike or "Ikarus ball" -- in a reference to the mythological boy who flew too high -- while Hogwarts is Huogoetou, deriving from words meaning "hog" and "wizard".

Harry Potter is Hareios Poter. Hareios means "belonging to Ares", the war god, or "warrior" and Poter, a "cup" or "goblet". Lord Voldemort, Potter's nemesis, becomes Folidomortos, which literally means "scaly death".

"Ancient Greek has a massive vocabulary," said Wilson. "Now it's got a slightly bigger one."

[Hmmm, I think "stupid public lawsuit" would be Graphemorus in Greek]

Quote du jour:

"The ordinary man looking at a mountain is like an illiterate person confronted with a Greek manuscript."

-- Aleister Crowley (1867 - 1963) US writer, educator

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