Well, I am back from vacation.  I learned a valuable lesson this past weekend: people are crazy.

On a different note, if you don't like the album Only A Lad by Oingo Boingo, then you can get the hell out of my country.

Encyclopedia Britannica (Abridged)

II.  Aare-Aaron'sRod

AARE: Also known as Aar (did a pirate name this place?), it is the longest river in the darkest heart of Europe--Switzerland.  It's below the Finsteraarhorn (I'm loathe to repeat that word, simply for how dirty it is).  There's a fake lake nearby, for reals.  "The chief right bank tributaries in this section are the Grosse Emme, Wigger, Suhr and Aa."  The colorful emphasis is totally mine.

AARGAU: The Aare's canton (I'm pretty sure that's not dirty).  The capital is Aarau.  Okay, now I'm confident that they're just making that up to mess with me now.  The region was taken from the Hapsburgs by the Swiss Confederates (THE SWISS WILL RISS AGAIN).  This place has things to see.  "Eight miles by rail northeast of Aarau is Schinznach Bad."  'Nuff said.  Bad neighborhood from what I've heard.

AARHUS: Danish town in the Jutland (the land that juts out).  When it comes to the Jutland, Aarhus is totally the place to be.  It is THE center of transportation and commerce.  You get that? THE CENTER.  Here thar be metals and chemicals.

AARON: Moses' homie.  He's from the tribe of Levi, the Jewish tribe that had the best pants among the tribes.  Helped in the exodus of the Israelites when they told the Egyptian pharaoh just what he could with himself.  Though Yahweh totally consecrated him and his sons and priests, he lost points with the Big Guy by making a golden calf.

He complained about his one-time buddy Moses marrying a foreigner, but God told him to shut up and then turned his sister Miriam into a leper.  Moses and Aaron became BFFs again when Korah the Levite decided to be a dick and rebel.  He died at the very young age of 123.

Scholars have different opinions about Aaron.  They think it's interesting.  They would be wrong.

The priests totally dug their homeboy.  They wanted to be just like him and his sons.  Midrash and Talmud though are all like, "whatever, man".  

The Christians thought he was pretty cool.

AARON'S-ROD: Really?  After all that information we just had about the guy, does this part of him really have to have its own entry?

Oh wait, it's a plant.

After that embarrassment, that's all for today.

II. Aalsmeer-Aardwolf

Well, here I am for another installment of the Encyclopedia Dramatica (Abridged).  When I first started working on this yesterday, I was pumped up, because I was convinced that I was going to actually do this.  Then I realized that there were 23 books in the Encyclopedia Britannica, not counting all the addendum.  So, I finally dried my eyes from the uncontrollable sobbing I had to do when I realized just what I got myself into, and got to it.


Tomorrow I'll be on a camping trip for Decoration Day (more commonly known as Memorial Day).  I won't be posting anything until Monday at the earliest, but I'll have Volume I with me, as well as pen and paper.  We'll see if these will go together in any way.

Encyclopedia Britannica (Abridged)

II.  Aalsmeer-Aardwolf

AALSMEER: Some village in the Netherlands (in the nether regions of Europe).  The other villages think it's kind of fruity since this village is home to over 1,000 flower nurseries.  The village's chief exports are flowers and catty remarks.  "There [is]...an experimental station for floriculture.  I think we know the kind of experimenting that is going on there.

AALST: A Belgian city on the river Dender, it totally has the oldest townhall in this waffle-munching nation.  When the people aren't busy being drunkards (lots of breweries here), they're busy being drunken literates (the first printing shop in the Low Countries here).  And when they aren't busy being drunk and reading medieval manuscripts (they totally have those too), they're busy manufacturing textiles.  Friggin' Belgians.

AALTO, ALVAR: ALVAR!  In the previous installment, I was utterly bummed to find out that this guy was dead.  Like 98% of everyone who has ever lived, Alvar suffers from the terminal condition of deadness.  As far as Finnish architects with alliterative names go, he's my favorite.  This guy totally studied at the Helsinki Institute of Technology.  He also revolutionized our asses with his work in plywood and bent-wood chairs.  Presumably, until this man came up with it, bent-wood that we can sit in was merely a pipedream.  He built a lot of buildings by himself, using only his quick wit and Finnish bear-hands.  His ghost (probably) haunts the Baker dormitory of MIT (he built that shit), scaring away potheads with vans and mystery-solving Great Danes.

AARDVARK: The noble "earth-pig".  "It is a curious looking animal, of unknown relationships", though most of us can chance a guess that it was the product of a drunken one-night stand between a donkey and a rat.  I call it a donkrat.    These guys can be four feet long with a two foot tail.  Their color tends to be from pale sandy to yellow (the yellow ones have a smoking addiction, I gather).  Oh yeah, and these guys love termites.  Love 'em.  Can't get enough of them.  That's tough for the termites though.  That's going to ruin your day when a giant animal demolishes your home and eats all of your friends and relatives by slurping them up with its tongue.

"Besides keeping termites in check, the aardvark is also important in the native economy for its edible flesh and its teeth, prized as amulets to ward off evil."  TAKE THAT, ENIVIRONMENTALISM!

AARDWOLFAARDWOLF?!  OH BOY, this sounds like a horrible genetic experiment to cross an aardvark and a wolf!  Or a monster.  It sounds like a monster.  WHAT IS IT.  I can't wait to find out what this thing is.  Let's see what the encyclopedia says:

"see CARNIVORE: Survey of the Order."



That's all for today, folks.  Tune in next time for the next craptacular installment of Encyclopedia Britannica (Abridged).  In the next episode, I'll be abridging entries that start with the letter "A"!


When I was a but a wee lad, my grandmother thought it would be a good idea that her grandson not be a raving moron.  To that cause, she gave me the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.  And, I did use it.  I endowed myself with knowledge, looking up whatever needed to be known.  Then the internet came along, and obliterated this notion of "accuracy" that I once had.

In my infinite boredom, I came up with the idea that I should read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, and comment on it as I do so.  A wholly unoriginal idea, and one that is destined to have me diagnosed as clinically insane.

So, let's take a look at this thing.

"First Published in 1768
by A Society of Gentlemen in Scotland."

Awesome.  It's a shame though, because there's no way you could say you're from "A Society of Gentlemen" anymore and be taken seriously.  And don't even get me started on Scotland.

It seems this volume was dedicated to the "heads of the two English-speaking peoples".  Huh.  I wonder who that could be.  Queen Elizabeth II.  Well, no surprise there.  I wonder who the other one is?

Richard Milhous Nixon.


There is nothing about that dedication that does not terrify me.

(And for you fanfic writers, I add this caveat.  Nixon/Queen Elizabeth.  The HMS Queen Nixon.  OTP)

Encyclopedia Britannica (Abridged)

I.  A-Anstey

A: This letter has always ruled at the top, subjugating all other letters like the bitches they are.  It means ox.  The Phoenicians took it from the Hebrews.  Then the Greeks took it from the Phoenicians.  Suck on that, Phoenicians.

There are many historical variations.  They all pretty much look the same.  The uncial pretty much made the miniscule (YOU HEAR THAT MINSICULE A?  REMEMBER WHERE YOU'RE FROM.  The 4th and 8th century Before Jesus).  The Latin cursive model created an A that looks nothing like itself, since the Latins were too lazy to do it right.

A used to be cool, being just an open low back vowel.  Real chill.  Then it started fronting, and it became something it's not.  The sound started coming more to the front of the mouth, if you know what I mean.  Low back vowel, like father, was the original (and it still thinks it's the shit), but it's been followed by posers like the intermediate vowel (man), the closer vowel (hare), and the dipthong (take, spade; that one is really dirty).

The pronunciation in words like "water" and "was" are abominations summoned to this dimension by the devious 'w'.

A, because it's an attention whore, is the first note in the musical alphabet.  I always think of "C" as the first note in the musical alphabet because all the cool kids tune on C.  (Trumpet humour)

Oboe players tune to A.  These people are lost to me.

AA: There are apparently European rivers named this.  Aa (not the organization with meetings that I am legally obligated to attend), is dervied from the Old High German "aha" (which was clearly taken from the 80's megahit Norwegian pop band, a-ha).  The Latin word aqua seems to be involved too (I don't like that band as much).  "Among the streams of this name are: two rivers in western U.S.S.R."  TAKE THAT, RONALD REAGAN.

AABERNRAA-SONDERBORG: A Danish county district (colloquially known as That Shithole), formed when Aabernraa and Sonderborg loved each other so much, they got married and did that stupid hyphen thing to their names.

"The couny of Sonderborg embraces the island of Als".  I guess it's an open marriage.

There's totally a museum in Sonderborg castle.  Sonderborg was once burned down by the Prussians in 1864.  I have a sneaking suspicion there's going to be a recurring theme with these people.

AACHEN: Was once a German spa.  It has hot sulfur springs (clearly, sulfur is something you're going to want to bathe in).  It's also a city near Belgium and the Netherlands.  Many buildings were built on the remains of Charlemagne's palace.  Suck on that, France.  German kings used to be crowned here.  Its cathedral has two styles.  Tradition says that Charlemagne was buried here.  Delicious relics are here too, including Charlemagne's casket, sans the Charlemagne. 

It's a city, so stuff happens here.  What kind of stuff?  JUST STUFF, OKAY?  THIS SECTION IS REALLY BORING.


AALBORG: Totally a seaport in northern Jutland (it juts from the land).  Danish. 

This city is old.  It has the Holy Ghost monastery (presumably, the Holy Ghost used to hang out here when he wasn't saving your ass from damnation).  Aalborg manufactures cement, tobacco, chemicals, and alcohol; four things that should probably not be manufactured together.  Definitely sounds like a party city.

"A new museum of art is being built by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto."  I think this volume is going to give me an "a" overdose.  Also, Aalto better bust his ass if he's still building this thing.

Oh wait, he's dead now.


That's enough for today.  I'm too depressed that a Finnish architect died 30 years ago to go on.


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