“You know, in a weird way, there’s really only one basic problem in all writing — how to get some empathy with the reader. And that problem is a jewel on which there are many facets. And this is a somewhat different facet — how to take this very, very abstract stuff, boil it down so that it fits in a pop book, and give the reader enough of the real story so that you’re not lying to him, but also to make it clear enough so that it’s not just understandable but halfway enjoyable for somebody who hasn’t studied math for 20 years.It’s really not completely different from the question, how do you get a reader to inhabit the consciousness of a character who, say, isn’t a hero or isn’t a very nice guy, and feel that person’s humanity and something of his 3-D contours while not pretending that he’s not a monster.”—David Foster Wallace, on Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity. (via davidfosterwallace) (via missworld)
This week, my friends and I held a surprise baby shower for our friend Wasayef, who came here from Jordan about a year ago. She and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for awhile, and now she’s almost six months along with a son.
To me, what’s especially powerful about this, is that Wasayef attends the American Civic Assosciation almost every weekday for English classes. The only days she doesn’t go are Fridays. It was a Friay, 3 April, that a lone, crazed gunman walked into the ACA this year and killed thirteen people before killing himself. The majority of the victims were immigrants, like Wasayef, taking an English class. That day, and the days that followed, were terrifying for the whole community. Two women from my mosque were killed, and because the victims’ names hadn’t been officially released, I was so afraid Wasayef was among them. I didn’t know until I showed up for the funeral services who the women were.
A week later, another friend of ours gave birth to a baby girl, and in the midst of the madness, we celebrated life. Now Wasayef will, God willing, have a baby soon. She was in the earliest stages of pregnancy during the massacre. She didn’t go that day, and because of that, two lives were saved.
Life is so precious, and I can’t wait to meet this precious baby boy in a few months.
The etymology of the word dildo is unclear. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) describes the word as being of “obscure origin”. One theory is that it originally referred to the phallus-shaped peg used to lock an oar in position on a dory (small boat). It would be inserted into a hole on the side of the boat, and is very similar in shape to the modern toy. It is possible that the sex toy takes its name from this sailing tool, which also lends its name to the town of Dildo and the nearby Dildo Island in Newfoundland, Canada. Others suggest the word is a corruption of Italiandiletto (for “delight”).
The phrase “Dil Doul”, referring to a man’s penis, appears in the 17th century folk ballad “The Maids Complaint for want of a Dil Doul”.The song was among the many in the library of Samuel Pepys, and the term “doul” still means a child’s little penis in modern Persian.
Olisbos is a classical term for a dildo, from the Greek ολισβος; a godemiche is a dildo in the shape of a penis with scrotum.
In some modern languages, the names for dildo can be more descriptive, creative or subtle—note, for instance, the RussianФаллоимитатор (“phallic imitator”), the Hindidarshildo, the Spanishconsolador (“consolation” or “consolator”), and the Welshcala goeg (“fake penis”).