Pages 258-283

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☽ November 6th, YDAU - Port Washington Tournament

Page 258

White halogen
i.e., the light from a halogen lamp

an unhealthy pale appearance.

Page 259

2^27 (2 to the 27th power) = 134,217,728

Wallace's math is completely wrong, though -- assuming each match has a 50% chance of victory for each team, which is what seems implied by the text. The actual probability for 108 matches is about 7.6% (or about 1 in 13 times).

Think of it as tossing a fair coin 108 times. The odds of, say, the first 54 tosses to be heads and the last 54 tosses to be tails is very small indeed (1 in 2^108). But there are many other ways to get 54 heads and 54 tails -- all combinations of 54 in 108, which is (see 54!/(54!*(108-54)!). Multiplying these two numbers (one very small and one very large*2%5Ex%29+for+x%3D108 gives us to the actual probability.

Montcerf, Québec
a city of Québec about 82.5 miles due north of Ottawa

Mercier Dam
You can read more about it here.

Pompano Beach
a town in Florida about 10 miles north of Fort Lauderdale

a sepulchral Czech kid named Lendl
Sepulchral implies the grave and can mean "hollow;" syn. "cadaverous." The Czech kid is probably Ivan Lendl, although Lendl has not committed suicide.

Page 260

Depend's parent corporation also Kleenex's

"His Unforced-Error stats look like a decimal-error."
which is to say that the percentage expressed as a a decimal has so many leading zeros that it looks as if someone made a mistake transcribing the number

The wearing down of the enemy's strength and morale by unremitting harassment. "War of attrition" (OED)

Endnote 86

A sudden blocking of an artery.


Page 260 (cont'd)

a person who returns, may refer to an undead (see below p263)

a window above a door

regarding the history of acting

"...had the word Homo in the title..."
The film is James O. Incandenza's Homo Duplex.

a quadratic function, which produces a parabolic graph result

Page 261

a spin, in ballet terminology

Page 262


standard construction beams made of metal (see right)

odd-numbered game
Changes are after odd-numbered games because in tennis, a set is won by the first player to reach six, if ahead by two games. If the score were 4-4, the player with his back to the sun, for example, would have the advantage for two games if changes were after even-numbered games.

adj., resembling a net or network (Merriam-Webster)

having rigid, tense muscles

Page 263

the state of several unnatural beings (vampires, mummies, zombies, etc.), which is in a state neither live nor dead

a liquid or lotion, especially one made with oil, for rubbing on the body to relieve pain.

gut strung
tennis rackets were originally strung with cat gut.

chatting or conversing, or offering unwanted comment

Page 264

Whippet was a brand name for an approximately one-inhalation dose of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Its intended purpose was to make whipping cream. The actual Whippet brand contained a combination of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide (dinitrous monoxide). Most modern similar cartridges are charged with 100% dinitrous monoxide. A modern brand with a similar name is detailed here.

Page 265

Yin/Yang symbol

Taoist paraboloid logo
referring to the yin/yang symbol (seen right). In Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin yang is used to describe how seemingly disjunct or opposing forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, giving rise to each other in turn. (Wikipedia)

ten m.
32.8 feet

Marino 350
Not a camera but a case from Massachusetts in 1966. Plaintiff wanted a private drive on his land to be denied to defendant so that defendant could no longer reach his own property. The defendant won. The full title of the case: JAMES F. KENNEY & another vs. ANDREA MARINO & another. 350 Mass. 534

diffusion filter
A diffusion filter is a translucent photographic filter used for a special effect. When used in front of the camera lens, a diffusion filter softens subjects and generates a dreamy haze.

fast film
Fast film is more sensitive to light than slow film, permitting proper exposure in lower levels of ambient light, usually at the expense of other aesthetic qualities of the film such as grain size.

low exposure
this refers to permitting less light to reach the film, which can be accomplished in various ways

an air traffic control acronym for visual approaches.

Page 266

degenerate or decadent

Northern New England not North Northeast

Sinn Fein
Irish for "We ourselves" this is the political wing of the Irish Republican Army.

in the form of a cross

rotator cuffs - group of muscles and their tendons that act to stabilize the shoulder.

This is polymerized butlyene.

Page 267

regarding a syndrome of anxiety, fatigue, pain, etc., caused by exhaustion of the central nervous system

Guide to 'drines

Tenuate is an appetite suppressant and amphetamine

Preludin is also an appetite suppressant and amphetamine with much more abuse and addiction potential.


40º C
104 degrees Fahrenheit

Page 268

open to attack; capable of being won by force

the car of a balloon or blimp

bent into folds

a type of North American ant

brand name of material, a laminate of finely reticulate pertetrafluoroethylene and other fabrics, claimed to be permeable to water vapor but impermeable to liquid water.

1.using air pressure to move or work
2.filled with air
3.of a woman : having a body with full, pleasing curves Merriam-Webster

Page 269

Alternating Current

i.e., low-fat

Endnote 89

reductive statistics
Wallace is talking either about the process in statistics of reducing variables or Schtitt's use of statistics being reductive, i.e., being simplistic

Page 269 (cont'd)

mental or emotional stability

French for "let do," or, more idiomatically, "leave alone," this is a term usually applied to conservative economics but here generally gives a sense of not caring very much.

Page 270

bursting forth or through a surface

college entrance examinations, at the time IJ was written, this would have referred to the SAT or Scholastic Aptitude Test, which test and which names have evolved significantly since then.

a tennis term meaning "advantage" for one or the other player

Day gives Gately a lesson in patience

Page 270

also the name of a lake in Wisconsin

Very old-fashion German for "springtime". But also a family name, e.g. from the 19th century playwright J. M. R. Lenz:

a charity that redistributes donated goods and clothing

Page 271

1.drink (alcohol). 2.absorb or assimilate (ideas or knowledge). 3.(especially of seeds) absorb (water) into ultramicroscopic spaces or pores.

non sequiturs
From the Latin for "it does not follow," a non sequitur is a statement with no connection to what comes before or what follows it.

look as if butter wouldn't melt
Look as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth Appear gentle or innocent while typically being the opposite. - OED

showing great care and perseverance.

(of a person or action) showing dedication and diligence. "he watched himself with the most sedulous care"

subordinate clause
A subordinate clause is a subject and a verb (a clause) that cannot stand alone as a complete sentence because it does not express a complete thought. italicized part of the explanation is itself a subordinate clause

[In my Kindle edition of who knows what provenance, this has been corrected to "polysyllable."] not a word. polysyllabic means consisting of several, especially four or more, syllables, as a word.

the manufacture of decorative articles by knotting rather than knitting

Paul Harvey
Paul Harvey (1918-2009) was an American radio broadcaster known for his platitudes.

(OED): modulation of the voice; in speaking or singing: a change in the pitch or tone of the voice
"You went to town" can be a statement or a question in spoken English, based on inflection. With a rising tone, it is a question. In some spoken languages, inflection is the only way to ask a question, as the words and their order do not change.
Also, for grammar: a change in the form of a word that occurs when it has a particular use “Gone” and “went” are inflections of the verb “go.”

Page 272

Denial is not just a river in Egypt.
The Nile river

The city asserts that this neighborhood "serves as the heart of Black culture in Boston."

Dimock Detox
The Dimock Center is a medical complex that offers Detoxification Services


a brand name of methaqualone

a northern suburb of Boston, about 7 miles north of the city

a brand of chlordiazepoxide (Librium) Treats anxiety, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and tremor. This medicine is a benzodiazepine.

Delirium tremens a psychotic condition typical of withdrawal in chronic alcoholics, involving tremors, hallucinations, anxiety, and disorientation.

10+ clicks
a click is US military for a kilometer (so 10+ is over 6.2 miles)

a DFW neologism (possibly egregious(outstandingly bad or shocking) + ridiculous or + orgulous). See the blog post at Infinite Detox.

Endnote 90

a young man between the ages of 18 and 20 undergoing training, especially for combat

exuding fragrance (in this case, apparently an unpleasant one)

here meaning "physical strength"

Yale student

a clever remark

mild sedatives
Quaaludes are more like a sledgehammer to the head than a "mild sedative."

is any wine produced in the Chianti region, in central Tuscany, Italy. Some different types are Chianti, Chianti Classico, Chianti Rufina, and Chianti Colli Senese.

reductia ad absurdum
If, as it appears, Geoffrey wants to pluralize reductio ad absurdum,(Latin: argument to absurdity) he wants reductiones. reductio ad absurdum is a common form of argument which seeks to demonstrate that a statement is true by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its denial.

"...To interdict a fundamental doctrinal question by invoking a doctrine against questioning? Wasn't this the very horror the Madisonians were horrified of in 1791? Amendments I and IX? My Grievance is disallowed because my Petition for Redress is a priori interdicted by the inadvisability of all Petitioning?"
Day is referring to the First Amendment and Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, drafted by James Madison (though he personally thought them unnecessary, referring to them as "politic, if not obligatory"). Day is apparently suggesting that without those amendments, Congress could pass a law prohibiting attempts to get them to change the law, thereby making the law forever impervious to attempts to change it, since any such attempt would be prohibited by the law itself. This doesn't sound like the kind of thing the Madisonians were actually worried about; the right to petition dates back to the Magna Carta (where it referred to petitioning the King) and the Ninth Amendment was added to make it clear that just because some rights were explicitly spelled out in the Bill of Rights didn't mean that other rights didn't exist too (Madison believed "the people have those rights in their own hands", which is why he didn't think a Bill of them was necessary in the first place).

a reference to track and field, in which a runner is so far ahead of another runner on a circular court that he has "lapped" him, i.e., is now a lap ahead of him

Page 273

Iona is an island off the west coast of Scotland. Gately means iota.

bunko artists
con artists

an addict term for the desire for one's substance of choice

1) Loneliness or depression. Oddly, this term could not be found in a U.S. dictionary, but is referred to in the Oxford Living Online Dictionary, henceforth OLOD as "US slang." 2) More often spelled as "mocus," common American 12-Step term for a hazy, unfocused state of mind, especially in early sobriety. Said to come from "mind out of focus." Mokus is also Hungarian for squirrel, raising the possibility of a pun on "feeling squirrelly."

Page 274

Guy That Didn't Even Use His First Name
a joke based on the fact that in recovery programs like AA, people do not use their last names

Spontaneous Dissemination, i.e., live as opposed to pre-recorded

Roman Catholic

per endnote 91, another North-shore term for male homosexual, one of only two such terms known to Gately

Endnote 91

i.e., "fag"

Page 275

Morris Code
a misstatement of Morse Code


i.e. cooking and shooting up drugs

Page 276

east of Atlantic City, NJ
which would be either in Europe on the Atlantic Ocean somewhere -- or nowhere

Hester Thrale
Hester Thrale was a literary figure of the 18th century. An associate and early biographer of Dr Samuel Johnson, her Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson (1786) was criticised by James Boswell as inaccurate. Her connection with the nail-biter and putative borderline personality is unclear.

suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder

an oxymoronic term, since cocaine is a chemical

a neighborhood in the northernmost part of Boston, right over the Charles River from downtown

100 grams
About 3.5 ounces. The street value of 100 grams of cocaine is enormous -- after cutting on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

-I would argue that street value would be more on the order of (low) tens of thousands of dollars, assuming prices around $100/gram and purity around 55%. See this excerpt from the United Nations World Drug Report 2004.

Drug Enforcement Agency

Military Police

queer a square beef
spoil the chances of success of a fair complaint/argument

Cesar Romero
Cesar Romero (1907-1994) was a Cuban-American actor and entertainer, best known to a generation of television viewers as the man who played the Joker on the television live-action series of Batman.

Page 277

Easter Island statues

Easter Island statue
Easter Island is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian triangle. The island is a special territory of Chile. Easter Island is famous for its monumental statues, called moai, created by the Rapanui people. Wikipedia

Prince Valiant

Prince Valiantish haircut
Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur, or simply Prince Valiant, is a comic strip created by Hal Foster, which began running in 1937. Prince Valiant's haircut is a pageboy with long tresses in back, as seen at right.

Page 278

From the French for "pinch-nose," these are glasses without temples to go over the ears.

2F and 1M
2 females and 1 male

oozing pus

Grand Mall epilepsy
Gately means grand mal.

Notice that after listing points (a), (b), and (c) about clichés, Gately moves on to (4) rather than (d).

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Page 280

Pentazocine (Talwin) Prescription drug. Treats moderate to severe pain. Is sometimes given before or after a surgery. May also be given with a general anesthesia before an operation. Belongs to a class of drugs called narcotic analgesics.

Spiro Agnew
Spiro Theodore Agnew (1918-1996) was vice president of the U.S. under Richard Nixon until forced to resign after pleading no contest to charges of charges of tax evasion and money laundering.

Page 281

Home from Port Washington

Page 281

"...bearing their shields rather than upon them..."
Spartans were carried back on their shields when killed in battle.

women's groups


alternately this could stand for Venereal Disease

suffering from involuntary eye movement

German for "stick houses"; not really: "-hausen" functions like "-burg" or "-stadt" – in town names, meaning "town" – as in "Oberhausen" or "Bad Ricklinghausen"; could be a nod to Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007) a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Another critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music" (Hewett 2007). He is known for his ground-breaking work in electronic music, aleatory (controlled chance) in serial composition, and musical spatialization. Wikipedia

E. A. Abbott
Edwin Abbott Abbott (1838-1926) was a British author and theologian best known for having written Flatland, which can be read here. The book tries to dramatize dimensionality by telling the story of shapes that live 2D and their interaction with 1D and 3D shapes. It's very popular with aspiring math-physics-computer-science students.

Page 282

sodium light
There are two kinds of sodium lights: Low Pressure (LPS) and High Pressure (HPS). These lamps are mostly used for street lighting as well as industrial uses. The lamp works by creating an electric arc through vaporized sodium metal.

Disciplinary Lit.
a joke on the more common interdisciplinary (of or relating to more than one branch of knowledge) academic classes

Goncharov's Oblomov
Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov (1812-1891) was a Russian novelist and author of Oblomov, which can be read here. The book is about a young man too lazy to act or decide; he doesn't leave his bed for the first 150 pages.

listing to port
a nautical term meaning "leaning leftward"

feeling punk
Defined as "weak in spirits or health" in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.

tincture of benzoin
A tincture is a mixture of a drug dissolved in alcohol. Benzoin is a balsamic resin used as an antiseptic and expectorant.

presumably a synonym for copulating with someone

Endnote 92

Perth Amboy NJ
a town in northern NJ, about 30 miles southwest of New York

Page 282 (cont'd)

Pierre Trudeau
Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau (commonly called Pierre-Elliot Trudeau; 1919-2000) was the Prime Minister of Canada for most of the 1970s and from 1980 to 1984.

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