WOSSNAME -- JULY 2008 -- PART 4 OF 6 (continued)
====Part 4 -- DISCUSSION GROUPS AND WEIRD ALICE
25) ABP BITS OF INTEREST
26) BUGARUP UNIVERSITY CAMPUS NEWSROUND
27) THE CLACKS LOG OF WEIRD ALICE LANCREVIC
25) ABP BITS OF INTEREST
1. MORT FANIMATION
an rm movie available here titled Terry Pratchett's MORT (Animated
Fantasy Short): http://orangecow.org/ocpanimation.html
-- Raymond Daley
2. SEE? IT DOES PAY TO ADVERTISE!
The person who started the thread saw the Hogfather movie and bought
all the available ebooks the next day.
-- Alex B
3. CRUELTY TO BEARS?
Hi all, as a non-native speaker, I have my trouble understanding the
pun Pratchett uses in "Making Money". Scene : Vetinari shows Moist
around the mint. Quote : "The smell of banks is always pleasing,
don't you think?" said Vetinari. "A mixture of polish and ink and
wealth." "And ursery", said Moist. "That would be cruelty to bears.
You mean usury, I suspect. ..." I don't get the meaning. Is there
anything left to explain this? Next, the word ursery can't be found
in any of the dictionaries (also googled it) I use. is there a way
of explaining this pun? thanks in advance & best wishes
Ursery isn't a "real" word, as far as I know. It's a play on the
latin for Bear - Ursus/Ursa, presumably created by Pterry
specifically for this pun.
-- Kieran S
Another non-native speaker, here... My first impression was simply a
word that could refer to the bear cave at the zoo ('come on,
Charlie, let's go down to the ursery'), but the cruelty bit confused
me somewhat. I wonder if Pterry has seen 'usury' misspelled or
mispronounced 'ursery' -- occasional such mistakes almost asks for
being understood for what they might really mean rather than what
the speaker intended ;)
-- Troels F
The word has no meaning, it's Moist making a verbal typo. It appears
to be nothing more than a hook to hang a Vetinari quip on. "Ursury"
does imply bears via the Latin, but that's all - the 'cruelty' bit
comes from mixing in the real meaning of the intended word 'usury'.
Seen by itself, "ursury" doesn't have any roots that imply cruelty.
On the other hand, "cruelty to bears" brings to mind bear-baiting
and the various "bear gardens" that existed in London and elsewhere.
The concept of a purely scientific zoological garden is
comparatively recent (18th century for the word); it seems possible
to me (a non-UK person) that the "zoo" at the Tower may have
occasionally allowed bear-baiting. In any case, the combination of a
mint and a zoo in the same building at the same time is now
forever linked to the usury-ursery pun, along with a mental aside
to "an ursery/a nursery" since the Tower also at times housed young
 for limited values of "forever"
4. NIGHT WATCH DECONSTRUCTED
Daniel O writes:
I want to share some thoughts about NW. I'm re-reading it for a
third time, and I was struck by how completely different it is from
the other books in the series. There's an urgency to it, a feeling
that things are happening fast, but the protagonist is barely
managing to keep his head above water. I really get drawn into the
narrative in a way that the other Discworld books don't do.
Don't get me wrong: DW books are all (almost without exception)
entertaining, interesting, and thought-provoking; but they lack the
single-minded thrust that Night Watch has. The only other DW book
that struck me like this was Wintersmith, and to some extent Going
Upon reflection, I think this is because these books all have only a
single protagonist. Books that involve the Wizards or the Witches or
the Watch are all group efforts. There are several protagonists who
bounce off each other - often to great effect. But in NW, it's Vimes
alone - very, very alone - trying to do too much in a world he only
partially understands. The Tiffany books are similar - though she
has people around her who are on her side, they aren't all
protagonists to the same degree; she doesn't necessarily trust them
and rely on them the way that the Witches and Watch all trust one
another. That sucks me in deeply for some reason. (I know I only
mentioned Wintersmith, but that's because the other two books are
more like "journey" tales, whereas this one is much darker; Tiffany
is older and has to deal with herself more.)
[Ed. note: Daniel O also presents a fascinating thought about the
(literal) timing of the story of Night Watch, but because we can't
leave spoiler space in WOSSNAME, I daren't print it. Waah!]
26) AROUND THE BU CAMPUS
The OED Word of the Day is...Scumble.
2) SNAIL MAIL
New Bruce wrote:
From the Canberra Times:"Researchers in Bournemouth University, in
England, have literalized a retronym: They've created real snail
mail. In a project that combines technical prowess with art and
whimsy, the researchers have designed a system for delivering
messages by using actual snails. An e-mail is sent to a tank
containing snails fitted with RFID chips. If and when a snail
wanders by the e-mail collection site, its RFID chip will pick up
the message. Then, if and when that snail wanders by the drop-off
point in another area of the tank, the e-mail will be delivered (at
that point, via the Internet, of course).
"RealSnailMail's creators apparently intended to comment on the role
that speed and efficiency play in modern lives. 'Culturally, we seem
obsessed with immediacy. Time is not to be taken but crammed to
bursting point,' Paul Smith, an artist and RealSnailMail co-creator,
told the BBC."
Mrs Peculiar observed:
Ohh-kayyy. This is definitely a product of the HEM department...and
Paul Smith is patently a thinly disguised Moist von Lipwig. I wonder
if Pterry has been spending some time taking the sea air at
3) LIBRARIAN IN A VULCAN
Looming Andrew wrote:
Dunno if this is going to work or if the attachment will get
O-kay, I am now officially corrupted by teh internets. When I read
that, the first thing that came to mind was that it was a picture
from some sort of Dr Worblehat/Spock slash...
For those of you who aren't ozdw members, the image in question can
be seen at:
4) MESSING ABOUT IN BOATS
Not really on-topic (this is ozdw after all), but the charming
online record of BU member Brian's recent canal-boat trip deserves
to be shared. Lovely iconographs!
The Snow Queen wailed:
I go away for a week and you lot turn this into a canals list?
The Technomancer observed drily:
Thank gods, too, it was turning into a Pratchett/Discworld list for
a while there!
Not just canals, but far canals.
5) STO HELIT SPOTTED IN LONDON!
I was watching Pygmalion at the Old Vic tonight and something was
nagging me all the way through the show. The girl playing Eliza
looked awfully familiar. On the way home I got a chance to leaf
through my programme and all was revealed. She was Michelle Dockery,
better known to us as Susan Death.
Mrs Peculiar replied:
It must have been hard to recognise her without her, um, cloak :-)
27) THE CLACKS LOG OF WEIRD ALICE LANCREVIC
Post 13. BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY
First Clog: "No aversion to verse..."
So, here I am in A-M still. Of sights I've not yet had my fill; the
world beyond my windowsill is beckoning, and seeming to call me with
its siren air, from Beggars' Gate to Sator Square with flash and
dash and odours rare (the river's high and steaming). Though it's
not quite a 'beauty spot', it's wither-proof and ages not - and
nowhere else on Disc has got attractions so redeeming as the charm
of ancient Ankh and Morpork, teeming...
Whew, that's enough of that. It's contagious, it is, speaking all in
verse...even for a Bard, and I do it for a living! But this is
somewhat different: you see, lately I've been hanging out with the
Lost Tribe of Unreal.
Let me explain. The Lost Tribe of Unreal wear fancy frock coats.
They're curious, odd and speak only in rhyme; descended from rats,
cats, mice, dogs, pigs and goats, plus vermine and ferrets and one
or two stoats, they've risen from rankness to manners sublime in
Morpork Below, living outside of Ti-, argh, I'm doing it again. Um.
let me rephrase that. The Lost Tribe of Unreal are very unusual
people -- yes, definitely people -- who evolved from small animals
that once foraged in the UU middens. We all know about high levels
of millithaums around the University's Unreal Estate and what that
can do to herrydeterryness (remember those stories about the talking
dog that used to work for The Times?), and the ancestors of the Lost
Tribe must have got a strong dose of something left over from the
Mage Wars because it's hard to tell them apart from ordinary humans
and werewolves. I first met them at the Floating Party when I
overheard people speaking in verse. That sort of thing catches a
Bard's ear. We got to talking, well, reciting, and drinking, and in
the end I became one of the few humans who's ever been taken to
visit their lair -- though when I say lair, I promise you that I've
seen stately homes decorated with far less taste and artistry. It
seems the Tribe got its humanising education from lurking around and
under formal balls at the Patrician's Palace; for whatever reason,
music and verse formed their language and fancy dress their tribal
costume. Apparently they were living in peace (more civilised than
we are!) for untold generations until very recently, when some
excavations caused harmonics that breached the whatever-it-is
between Morpork Below and A-M. These days, if you happen to be
walking down Broad Way and see someone unusual-looking and dressed
in pre-Century of the Fruitbat clothing, it could well be a Lost
Tribe tourist "up above" for a bit of sightseeing.
Then again, it could be Nobby Nobbs on his way to folk-dancing
Anyway, I've been having a great time with the Tribe, but that's not
the only news in the life of Alice. As I mentioned in my last Clog,
I now have a resident gig at the Seamstresses' Guild -- and in case
you were wondering, no, it's not *that* sort of gig -- and it's
going well. Listeria and I have been rehearsing, as we promised each
other so long ago before the pirates and the flying carpets and the
wilds of Klatch and the wilds of Tsort and the wilds of Agatea and
the alternate universe (has it really been that long?), and we have
some good harmonies worked out now. Cert moved into rooms at UU
because we were keeping him up all hours with our practice...we
haven't broken up as such, but life seems to be taking us down
different paths now. Mine has a lot more beer in it...and I've been
giving Anaglypta lute lessons and she's coming along well, so our
once idle talk of putting a band together is less idle now. I even
had the two of them join me for a guest spot the other night! We
sang Brindisian Rhapsody and quite brought the house down. I
introduced them as the Sisters of Invention and the name looks like
it might stick. Now if I can only convince Mr Dibbler (yes, finally
met him) that no, we don't want a manager. Very persistent, that
* * * *
Last night I went to a new cocktail lounge called Wahoonie, I'm
Home. It's one of those themed places that, in this case, features
"genuine Ankh-Morpork historical decor", which means an enterprising
entrepreneur went around collecting bits of architecture unearthed
in the Undertaking and piled them together in a realistic imitation
of a rubbish tip. Surprisingly, it works. There's something oddly
charming about tables made of old statuary and pieces of roofing, a
bar made of upside-down ancient horse troughs, benches welded from
what were once the shining iron gates of some lord's grand
estate...and yes, the loos are old night-soil buckets. Scrubbed, of
course, although I imagine that after a few months you won't be able
to tell the difference between old poo and new. It was Listeria's
house-help Lucrezia, of all people, who found it; that girl has
hidden depths. Wahoonie, I'm Home features specialist cocktails,
themed as well: they range from the Sword of Tacticus, which
features 250-year-old brandy and Quirmian champagne and costs a
bloody fortune, to the Rule You Wholesale, which features week-old
Bearhugger's brandy dregs and broccoli juice and can knock anyone
but an experienced Lancrastian drinker for six. My favourite is the
Barbarian at the Gate because it has genuine scumble in it. I
noticed that Lucrezia was spiking her cocktails with something green
and smoking out of a little phial she brought in her handbag. You
won't be surprised to hear I took my own drink with me whenever I
had to go to the Ladies...
I've changed my mind about A-M -- I like it here. A lot. I think
Here endeth this post.
End of Part 4, continued on Part 5 of 6.
If you did not get all six parts, write: interact@...
Copyright (c) 2008 by Klatchian Foreign Legion