Podcasting has a symbol but it is not as ubiquitous as the trefoil


podcast-logo.png I cannot apologize enough for the dearth of recent posts.

Today I came across an interesting word in an editorial by Cory Doctorow at the New York Times. Cory’s editorial draws our attention to cheap programmable microchips that allow nearly anybody with an idea for a simple electronic device, say a whimsical watch or a feral robot dog, to produce one cheaply and in their own home.

Radiation TrefoilThe word is trefoil. Trefoil is a noun. A trefoil is any three leafed symbol. The best known trefoil is the international symbol for radiation. This is the trefoil Cory mentions in his editorial. He describes a watch he picked up in Japan that

Appears to be warning of imminent nuclear catastrophe, with a radiation trefoil that lights up to tell me that I need to add six to the number of hours in the throbbing bar on the right side.

Trefoil or “tree-foil,” it can prounced either way, comes from the latin Tre meaning three and folium meaning leaf. Which reminds me an alternate meaning of trefoil is any plant from the genera Trifolium. Obviously these plants are named for their trifoliate leafs.

Radiation trefoil image courtesy of beigephotos at flickr.com.

NYTimes article via BoingBoing

Great Poems on English Language Idiosyncrasies


Play Over at Boing Boing, I came across a link to some great poems on the idiosyncracies of spelling and pronounciation in the English language. They don’t make for a great podcast. The joy is in reading them.

Here is my favorite:

We must polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
The farm was used to produce produce.
The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
This was a good time to present the present.
A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
The bandage was wound around the wound.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
They were too close to the door to close it.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.
They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
After a number of injections my jaw got number.
Upon seeing the tear in my clothes I shed a tear.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
I read it once and will read it again
I learned much from this learned treatise.
I was content to note the content of the message.
The Blessed Virgin blessed her. Blessed her richly.
It’s a bit wicked to over-trim a short wicked candle.
If he will absent himself we mark him absent.
I incline toward bypassing the incline.

Spelling Poems. (via Boing Boing)