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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What exactly does "baller" mean?

Those of you who have known me for a decent amount of time have probably pondered over the elusive meaning of the word "baller," which I used to use fairly often to describe people [I'm a baller], organizations [the kitchen ballers], events [a baller coincidence], actions [a baller serve], ideas [a baller plan or argument], and loads of other things. While the connotation is clearly positive, the denotation is notoriously hard to pin down. So, in an effort to clear up the meaning of the term, please behold something that I consider to be truly super-duper-ultra-mega baller: an excerpt from the last will/testament of the Venerable Beob-jeong, a Korean Buddhist monk who passed away not too long ago.

“Don't make a fuss over the cremation. Don't cut down precious trees just to dispose of this body. After I take my last breath, there's a big flat rock in front of my hut in Gangwon-do (Gangwon Province) where you can lay me and use the remaining logs there."

"Don't bother with the shroud either, just burn me in the clothes I wear now. Throw the remaining ashes onto the royal azalea tree near my hut. The flower tree offered me beautiful flowers every spring so this is my way of repaying it. Don't bother with big rituals nor make a big bustle for everyone to see."

“I thank everyone. Now I shall leave time and space. I shall repent of all my faults beyond life and death. If there's anything of mine that's left behind, let it be used for realizing a pure, wonderful society. Give my remaining books to my newspaper delivery man.”

If you can think of anything more baller than this, then you clearly haven't understood the word.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Update re: ducks

Apparently my previous thought experiment regarding ducks and other fowl has attracted the attention of a NASA scientist (ok, so he's my father), who informed me that my proposed experiment is not all head-in-the-clouds metaphysical speculation. Indeed, Austrian Naturalist, Nobel Laureate, and expert on nidifugous birds Konrad Lorenz "discovered that if greylag geese were reared by him from hatching, they would treat him like a parental bird. The goslings followed Lorenz about and when they were adults they courted him in preference to other greylag geese."

Interesting, eh?