April 30, 2004


Via half the Internet, itís the latest crazy random words game:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

Okie dokie:

Fred Offenhauser was made head of Millerís engine shop with the power to hire and fire workmen, though, as Myron Stevens later wryly remarked, that authority did not extend to the body and chassis shop.

That Myron -- always with the wryness! From Offenhauser, by Gordon Eliot White. Other page 23 fifth-sentence action may be found here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 30, 2004 02:51 PM

Having no blog or journal of my own, I'll post one here:
"They were the foward security element, such as it was, for their General."

(from "Debt Of Honor," by Tom Clancy, paperback edition)

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 30, 2004 at 03:06 PM

same here,

"Two methods that in the last three decades have been preeminent in the analysis of many previously intractable antenna problems are the Integral Equation (IE) method and the Geometrical Theory of Diffraction (GTD)."

("Antenna Theory Analysis and Design" by Constantine A. Balanis , second edition)

Posted by: lemmysee at April 30, 2004 at 03:12 PM

She's quite right, Mevil.
--Rabble in Arms, Kenneth Roberts.

Posted by: Timothy Lang at April 30, 2004 at 03:15 PM

"Monola's peones followed after him, tossing back the hats, the women's fans, the leather wine bottles, that were showered down in way of Spanish applause."

Tomorrow Might Be Different, Mack Reynolds

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at April 30, 2004 at 03:21 PM

What's a "book"?

Posted by: Wallace at April 30, 2004 at 03:23 PM

"The complexity of the loop filter area can range from a complete absence in the case of an ideal type I phase-locked loop to the systematically gain-compensated lead-lag filter shown in Chapter 7, Figure 7.11, combined with an elliptic filter for improved spurious performance as shown in Figure 7.15." - Frequency Synthesizer Design Handbook, Crawford

Fun, fun, fun!

Posted by: duncan at April 30, 2004 at 03:24 PM

"Grab a book" = "old an busted"
"Grab a CD" = "new too much free time on your hands hotness"

Posted by: dorkafork at April 30, 2004 at 03:40 PM

"A generalization of the foregoing procedure leads to the following theorem, called Bayes' rule."

Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists, 2nd edition.

Posted by: JeffS at April 30, 2004 at 03:41 PM

The nearest book was "Meet Mr. Product: The Art of the A*dvertising Character," and page 23 features a large picture of Elsie the Borden cow with some lines of text which, however, break to the next page while still in sentence #4.

*Incidentally, the mere fact that I used the word "a*dvertising" (sans asterisk) seems to have set off the spam detector.

Posted by: Mike G at April 30, 2004 at 03:44 PM

Um, OK. Not exactly a sentence, but here's line 5:

Collect - Ku hlengeleta

From "First Steps In English: English-Tsonga Phrase Book". Published in 1955 in Lesotho for the edification of houseboys and laudresses, and just about as culturally sensitive as you'd expect. I have it here because I collect old phrasebooks.

Posted by: Sonetka at April 30, 2004 at 03:51 PM

There were porcelains from China and Japan, brightly-coloured glazed chintzes from Persia for hangings, silks, damasks, coloured pekins and much else beside.

Escape from the Terror
Madame de la Tour du Pin

Posted by: chuck at April 30, 2004 at 03:56 PM

"Here there were no holidays and work proceeded at a frenzied pace day and night"

A Life For Every Sleeper - A pictorial record of the Burma-Thailand railway

Posted by: Mike Hunt at April 30, 2004 at 04:03 PM

"My Lord, Mr. Crew, and others, go on shore to meet the King as he comes off from shore, where Sir R. Stayner bringing His Majesty into the boat, I hear that His Majesty did with a great deal of affection kiss my Lord upon his first meeting."

The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Le Gallienne abridged edition.

Posted by: goldsmith at April 30, 2004 at 04:17 PM

"Trade was brisk and profits high, but the destruction denuded the countryside."

The Potato
How the Humble Spud Rescued the Western World
(1998 Hardcover Edition)
by Larry Zuckerman

Posted by: Chris Josephson at April 30, 2004 at 04:25 PM

"(3) The Secretary may waive the operation of subsection (1) for a specified period in relation to the approved provider if;
(a) the approved provider has applied to the Secretary,in writing,for a waiver ....................."
Can't even bring myself to finish it!!!

Posted by: Jim at April 30, 2004 at 04:30 PM

"Sarah Blundy's face was deep scored already with the evil that had gripped her soul and would shortly destroy her."

Ian Pears, "An Instance of the Fingerpost" mass-market paperback edition.

Posted by: Paul Dubuc at April 30, 2004 at 04:35 PM

"And Mum's thrilled that Dad's now out of the house a lot!"

Posted by: Nemesis at April 30, 2004 at 04:47 PM

OK Tim.

Mine is up.

"The 40-year-old Eaton, son of a Connecticut farmer, had run away from home at 16 and, lying about his age, enlisted in the state militia to fight the British."

The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power - Max Boot

I am only part way through. At the moment, Pershing is chasing Pancho Villa.

See the entry in my blog.

Peace and Freedom for an Independant Iraq.

Posted by: Zayphar at April 30, 2004 at 05:20 PM

"Yes, there was some truth in what she said: that she needed her exercise, and that the moment that she permitted her traitor body to deny her the need, it would be time to have servants dig a deep grave, next to her husband's, on the hilltop behind the castle that had been theirs, and lie down beside him for all of eternity."

Joel Rosenberg, "Not Really the Prisoner of Zenda", (Tor, 2003), hardcover edition.

Posted by: Small Pink Mouse at April 30, 2004 at 05:24 PM

"'Well, I was watching the Top of the Day program out of Duluth, when Tina starts a-talking about how if you got the dry skin, there's a remedy you can do right at home, with ingredients you already got. Now Bip, you know I got the dry skin.'

Mike Nelson's Death Rat! by Michael J. Nelson

Posted by: Steve Meyer at April 30, 2004 at 05:32 PM

Hey, if you people don't have anything to do, come and clean my house. Please.

Posted by: kwol at April 30, 2004 at 05:36 PM

While connected in Enterprise Manager, take the time to expand and view the databases that are installed
- from SQL Server 2000 Administration

just out of curiosity Tim, what are you going to do with all the collective wisdom that has been disseminated here ?

Posted by: Johnny Wishbone at April 30, 2004 at 05:53 PM

Following formation of the Melbourne Football Club in 1858, new clubs emerged in Richmond, St Kilda, South Yarra and Royal Park. Limited competition led to made up matches, such as Australia vs The World and North vs South. Wild games were held against soldiers from the 14th and 40th Regiments, mostly Irishmen stationed in Melbourne. The 'barrackers' had an unfortunate tendency to confuse opposition players with 'the enemy'. As leading Victoria schools adopted the game, its prospects brightened. Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College had formed clubs by 1860 and within five or six years, clubs had formed at Geelong College, Geelong Grammar School, Ballarat College, St Patrick's College and Wesley College.

From One Hundred Years of Australian Football, edited by John Ross, Penguin, 1997.

Fifth sentence in italics, as I know you all want to know the context. (It is actually from Page 24 as Page 23 has a full page illustration captioned: 'Essendon kick for goal in the game against Melbourne, July 2, 1881. Essendon won the match three goals to two'.)

By the way, the somewhat confusing title refers to the formation of the Victorian (later Australian) Football League in 1897.

My god, what a complete waste of time.

But I must say I enjoyed it.

Posted by: ilibcc at April 30, 2004 at 05:55 PM

Dorkafork said:
"Grab a book" = "old an busted"
"Grab a CD" = "new too much free time on your hands hotness"

...but at least we're not paraphrasing "Men In Black II."

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 30, 2004 at 06:30 PM

Modern "Leisure" pattern, stainless steel handles, short curving hollow ground blades, for six.
_5 books_

from The World of Gadgets and How We Got There
B. S. Alexander, 2003.

Posted by: equitus at April 30, 2004 at 06:30 PM

Chasin kadosh b'rov, tuvchah nahail adotecha.

Siddur Kol Bo HaShalem

Complete Prayerbook "Inclusive" Ziegelheim 1971

from the prayer of Rabbi Nechonia ben haKana

(something) holiness in great measure, Your good (something) is Your witness. [don't have a Hebrew-English dictionary handy]

Posted by: ronnie schreiber at April 30, 2004 at 06:52 PM

"Did this frumpy woman, gloating over her mistaken identity, ever get asked to open the Harrods Sale, turn on the Regent Street lights or smash a bottle of Moet on the wall of a brand new Prostate Transplant unit she had financed out of her own pocket?"

Humphries, B. 1989, Dame Edna Everage - My Gorgeous Life, Macmillan London Ltd, London and Basingstoke

Posted by: Ahli Mendidik at April 30, 2004 at 07:51 PM

The tense system of Czech verbs is quite simple.

CZECH Phrasebook with two-way dictionary.
Euge'nia Mocnay
Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd,
1st Edition - September 2001

Posted by: Adriane at April 30, 2004 at 08:01 PM

"Indeed, there have been instances where analytical models were used to solve the problem and then simulation models built to shell de solution"

Modelling and Analysis of Manufacturing Systems.
Ronald G. Askin & Charles R. Standridge.

Posted by: Golan at April 30, 2004 at 08:27 PM

More recently, a single-minded focus on the Jewish genocide in an attempt to characterize the Holocaust as a unique atrocity has also prevented an assessment of other episodes of comparable magnitude in the Communist world.

The Black Book of Communism

Posted by: J F Beck at April 30, 2004 at 09:07 PM

'Now Mr Newman for to begin,
In Number Seven paddock bring all the sheep in;
Don't leave none behind, whatever you may do,
And then you'll be fit for a Jackeroo.'

(Click go the shears boys)

From 'A Map of Australian Verse', James McAuley.

Posted by: Robert Blair at April 30, 2004 at 09:33 PM

A damned American, in a cockle boat, had danced scornful rings around the Royal Navy and, even worse, had done it within sight of the Army.

"Sharpe's Siege" by Bernard Cornwell

Posted by: Michael at April 30, 2004 at 09:39 PM

"Emeralds were mined in Egypt and at Habachtal in the Salzburg Alps until the exploitation of the Colombian mines by the Spanish from the 1550s onwards provided a massive alternative source for them (see the contemporary gemmologist, Anselm de Boodt's remarks on this subjectm pp 46-48)."

"Renaissance jewels, gold boxes and objets de vertu in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection" by Anna Somers Cocks and Charles Truman

Posted by: Walsingham at April 30, 2004 at 09:54 PM

"Major Anderson, unaware that a releif force was already off the bar, offered to evacuate the fort by noon."

Divided Waters by Ivan Musicant
US Navy in the Civil War

Posted by: Monkeyboy at April 30, 2004 at 10:57 PM

'I heard the old boy was back on the prowl.'

From The Immortals, sci-fi book by James Gunn.
Still more entries here (including another one of mine). And I personally think Tex has found the best entry so far.

Posted by: TimT at April 30, 2004 at 11:09 PM

I've already played this over at Andrea Harris', but hey, why not have another go:

``Fascia is the body's connective tissue. Arranged in layers of sheets or bands, it is thin, fibruous and strong.''

Sentences 4 and 5 from ``Equine Confirmation and Anatomy''. No author listed but published by Equine Research, Inc., in Tyler, Texas.

Posted by: Annalucia at April 30, 2004 at 11:11 PM

"The special characteristic that gave rise to an English society different from those on the Continent seems to be that the English conquest of (most of) Britain was piecemeal."

"Reflections on a Ravaged Century"--Robert Conquest

Posted by: Alex Bensky at April 30, 2004 at 11:14 PM

"In the mid-1800's, after a close study of the experimental work of the English physicist Michael Faraday, the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell succeeded in uniting electricity and magnetism in the framework of the electromagnetic field."

The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene

Posted by: Brent at April 30, 2004 at 11:32 PM

"Vigorous writing is concise."

Strunk & White, The Elements of Style.

Posted by: zem at May 1, 2004 at 12:20 AM

"In addition, a regulatory authority can conclude that a given security is unsuitable for investment entities that it regulates"

"The Handbook of Fixed Income Securities-Fifth Edition" - Frank J. Fabozzi, Editor

Posted by: BC at May 1, 2004 at 12:43 AM

"When the RV series was first designed, keeping down the cost and time to build was one of the primary goals."

21 Years of the RVator
-- Andy Gold, editor

Posted by: Tedd McHenry at May 1, 2004 at 12:57 AM

"Total economic output growth = (labor share x labor input growth) + (capital share x capital input growth) + growth of total factor productivity"

Posted by: aaron at May 1, 2004 at 12:57 AM

Alas, "the nearest book" happens to be the Apache Server Bible:

Apache reads four configuration files: httpd.conf, access.conf, srm.conf, and mime.type.

Not terribly edifying, so I'll just go and grab another, The Portable Curmudgeon. Ah, here we go:

He held pomposity, incompetence, and pedantry in utter contempt.

H.L. Mencken? Or Tim Blair? I'm not sayin!

Posted by: Paul in NJ at May 1, 2004 at 12:57 AM

Doh, wrong page:

"Recall from the previous topic review that the primary difference between the neoclassical model and the endogenous growth model is the assumed shape of the production function."

Posted by: aaron at May 1, 2004 at 01:01 AM

But then just last month:

Montez explaining to the man how he could turn his study into an entertainment center with a big plasma TV screen on the wall, the latest kind of sound system, all hi-tech shit, and the man said, "I know your game, Montez," his mind working on and off, "you want me to pay for how you'd fix it up."

Mr Paradise, Elmore Leonard

Posted by: lyle at May 1, 2004 at 01:11 AM

Miller was about to drive off when Ike clambered into the seat beside him and shut the door with a grin. ("Co-Dominion: Revolt on WarWorld", John F. Carr, editor. Quote is from the short story "The Garden Spot", by John Hawthorne)

Posted by: Cybrludite at May 1, 2004 at 01:31 AM

"Marshall's second year at Leavenworth, in the staff college, was less pressurized and even more intellectually stimulating than the first."

'George C. Marshall - Soldier-Statesman of the American Century' by Mark A. Stoler; Twayne Publishers; New York; 1989; ISBN 0-8057-7768-7.

Posted by: Theodopoulos Pherecydes at May 1, 2004 at 01:42 AM

"Sale" means and includes any pledge or mortgage of corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, wheat or sunflowers, after harvest, to any person, public or private.

from Kansas Statutes Annotated, 2003 Supp., Vol. 1.

Posted by: denise at May 1, 2004 at 01:48 AM

"Let's just say that the leak in the press came from a higher security clearance than I have."; Tom Clancy; Red Storm Rising

Posted by: skeptic at May 1, 2004 at 01:50 AM

Nearest book was Green Eggs and Ham - page 23: picture of Sam I Am in a box with a fox. With green eggs and ham on a platter. Sigh.

Posted by: bkayel at May 1, 2004 at 02:05 AM

O-kay. Nearest book happened to be "Billy's Best Bottles: Top 100 Wine Picks for 2004" by Billy Munnelly. Who writes in sentence fragments, mostly. Here's his 5th such on page 23:

A 'be happy' wine.

Wasn't that just intensely interesting? Couldn't you just feel your entire world-view changing with this revelation?

Context, who needs it?

Posted by: Nicholas at May 1, 2004 at 02:28 AM

"A snail crawls at a pace of 5.0 cm/min."

-from a physics textbook

Posted by: SRD at May 1, 2004 at 02:40 AM

"Good Bye."

Robert Shea, Robert Anton Wilson
The Illuminatus Trilogy

Posted by: Harlan Pepper at May 1, 2004 at 02:46 AM

Let's look briefly at how each of these types of filtering works.

Posted by: hbchrist at May 1, 2004 at 02:48 AM

"If things are not proceeding on schedule and on budget, the completion guarantor has certain rights of intervention."

Independent Feature Film Productinon
by Gregory Goodell

Posted by: mateo_g at May 1, 2004 at 03:03 AM

"The destrcution of the Hittite kingdom and the weakening of Egypt around 1200 B.C.Etemporarily left no dominant powers in western Asia, allowing a patchwork of petty kingdoms and city-states to emerge, especially in the areas of Syria and palestine."

Posted by: Jane at May 1, 2004 at 04:11 AM

"(C)(i) As used in this subdivision, 'guide dog' means any guide dog that was trained by a person licensed under Chapter 9.5 (commencing with Section 7200) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code or as defined in the regulations implementing Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336)."

Posted by: gst at May 1, 2004 at 04:16 AM

"It was this deficiency, I considered, while running over in thought the perfect keeping of the character of the premises with the accredited character of the people, and while speculating upon the possible influence which the one, in the long lapse of centuries might have exercised upon the other- it was this deficiency, perhaps, of the collateral issue, and the consequent undeviating transmission, from sire to son, of the patrimony with the name, which had, at length, so identified the two as to merge the original title of the estate in the quaint and equivocal appellation of the "House of Usher"- an appellation which seemed to include, in the minds of the peasantry who used it, both the family and the family mansion."

Posted by: rdoy at May 1, 2004 at 05:57 AM

"A diagramatic representation of two hypothetical simple acts of communications."

The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Edition

Posted by: ChiBri at May 1, 2004 at 06:16 AM

Okay, now compose the sentence as haiku.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at May 1, 2004 at 07:58 AM

"No discussion of Gil Evans as composer, recomposer, and arranger would be complete without reference to modern copyright law."

Steve LaJoie, Gil Evans and Miles Davis, Historic Collaborations 1957-1962

Equally close in a different direction:
"He did not welcome an ordered and leisurely life."

from Roy Jenkins biography of Winston Churchill

Posted by: mknecht at May 1, 2004 at 09:38 AM

"They're all morons." (Caper/Lawrence Sanders)

Posted by: KHays at May 1, 2004 at 10:00 AM

"The Tokyo Metropolitan Area in particular, although less than 2.0 percent in terms of area, has a concentration of 23.4 percent of the national population."

This is from Japan: Profile of a Nation (Kodansha International, 1999).


Posted by: J Greely at May 1, 2004 at 11:47 AM

" I won't blow up the house," said Harry, but they weren't listening.

Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone JK Rowling Scholastic paperback

Yes I'm a Potterhead

Posted by: Alien Grey for Haliburton at May 1, 2004 at 01:40 PM

And the winner is? Huh? Huh?

There is a winner isn't there, right?

Tell me there's a winner. Someone?

Posted by: ilibcc at May 1, 2004 at 07:29 PM

'Das ist gut ja ja ja!!!' Sperma Climax Publications issue 546.

Posted by: roscoe at May 1, 2004 at 07:43 PM

"By all means, get yourself a living dictionary-- if your spouse doesn't object."

--Jack Seward, "Japanese in Action"

Posted by: Reg Cśsar at May 2, 2004 at 06:19 PM

Gordon and I were certainly terrified of the bloody thing.

Ken Arthurson in ARKO: My Game.

Posted by: Adam at May 2, 2004 at 08:18 PM

Yeamon laughed.

Posted by: Seppo at May 2, 2004 at 11:59 PM