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Yay! My favorite part of Homelamb was “We need to put eyes and ears on him.”
I think the fact that fairy floss actually looks like cotton makes the name boringly literal, so it’s hardly an advantage. Fairy floss is more whimsical, as well as sounding better. Floss can also mean thread, so you can imagine fairies spinning floss out of sugar.
Beckie’s winner: fairy floss
Not to show partiality among the daily offerings, but this photo is glorious.
This one’s tough. I prefer the word capsicum. You already get to use the word “pepper” in everyday life, so there’s no need to use it here. However, it is nice to know what colour to expect. I’m not sure I remember distinguishing between red and green so much before moving to the US, so maybe they’re just lumped in together, the way nobody specifies what kind of apple, even though they can be very different.
Beckie’s winner: capsicum (I was going to make it a tie, but I thought you’d object)
So, confession: When I first post-queued this, I had capsicum as the winner. But then I was in Vapiano and saw a reference to “red and green capsicum” on their menu and thought: pepper is just more fun. I do see the value of unique words, though.
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To a non-American, “How are you doing?” sounds like someone got “how are you going?” and “what are you doing?” confused. I didn’t realise “how are you going?” could be confusing until I said it to a non-Australian non-American the first year of grad school, and she replied excitedly that she’d just finally figured out what that meant.
Beckie’s winner: How are you going?
I put off deciding on this one, because “potato gem” has a special place in my heart. It’s like someone went prospecting and dug up these delicious little nuggets of potato. Still, “tater tot” is alliterative, and “tater” is a great word.
Beckie’s winner: potato gem (but only because I don’t want to think about eating cute little tater babies)
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It’s called “laser skirmish” after the paintball company Skirmish. I was going to write a vernacular spectacular post for “skirmish” vs “paintball” so you could at least vote for “skirmish” there, but I’m not sure the term has become genericised enough to count as the default Australian word.
Skirmish is clearly the better word, but “laser skirmish” is too unwieldy.
Beckie’s winner: laser tag
I think you’re being mean to layby. “Lay something by” is an existing idiom meaning to reserve something for later. Plus, there’s the by/buy pun, and it’s a syllable shorter. Walmart just had a big ad campaign in the US about how they were bringing layaway back, too.
Beckie’s winner: layby
Yeah, I’m not sure why I got so hostile toward the end there. Probably an attempt to be colorful in the face of a pretty blah matchup.
The animated GIF might be the best thing to appear on our blog yet.
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Aw, remember the sad part of Robot Dreams. That was really sad. Did we read this whole book standing side-by-side at a Barnes & Noble, or am I misremembering that part?
It’s totally cheating to fill in the last 15 words with filler! The whole point is to say exactly 42 words about the book.
That was really sad. We did read it side-by-side at B&N. We should read one of her happier books sometime.
How would the winner not be “lucky dip”, even without sentimentality?
Beckie’s winner: lucky dip
“Trash talking” is too obvious. Plus “trash” is one of my least favourite Americanisms.
Beckie’s winner: sledging
I, too, would probably pick “trundlers” over either option, but “trolley” is more fun.
Beckie’s winner: shopping trolley
“Math” just sounds grating to me, so I’d still vote for “maths” even if it weren’t obviously correct for reasons of consistency.
You should’ve linked to the longer video with the foreign-language versions of Homonyms, though.
Beckie’s winner: maths
I haven’t read any of these. My guess is this will be the only one of the lists you re-post for which this is the case, but now I’m curious.
These aren’t exactly counterparts. EFTPOS covers both credit and debit, so I guess the equivalent would be something like card, and the close-of-transaction question here is “cheque, savings or credit?” Either way, the American term wins.
Beckie’s winner:</strong debit
Was this the year you ended up at 99 because you wouldn’t count The Boxcar Children as a book?
Mr. Peanut would have been much better if that middle part hadn’t gone on so long, but even so, it’s no Wolf Hall.
What lens is it? Is it a lens that Santa’s elves might craft?
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You could put a gap marker “…” to indicate that the last two aren’t in the same tier as the first eight. I think the annual top 10 list is a great ritual.
you two are awesome!
i’ll pass this list along to amy jo.
perhaps FTL will be your most exhilarating adventure?
Hooray! Our first comment from someone else who is not a spambot!
We will be covering the FTL as part of our “Let’s Give it a Go!” feature.
Beckie conveniently neglects to mention how she sneaks out in the middle of the night to go play the pokies at this place.
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do you have a running tally for readers?
I know. I was going to wait until it got to some running tally and then try to figure out what the score is. Beckie will often comment with her own verdicts, so we have that score as well.
yikes! this should add an interesting twist to my spider-based nightmares.
But it’s such a pretty, happy-looking spider!
I’ll admit that I was sort of hoping that the Luminaries thing was going to be a guy talking really fast and trying to recount the plot in two minutes. If we were video-editing people, we could give that a go.
I was initially hoping for the fast recounting of the entire plot, but I thought this was fun, too.
What a great companion to the book! Brings so much to life and lures the uninitiated to the book. Thankyou.
We thought about getting you The Luminaries for Xmas! Unfortunately, I think it got lost amidst the shuffle of me saying “We should get them The Luminaries!” in response to everyone to whom we might buy a present.
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Do you have a photo of when we first saw the numbat peeking out from his hidey-hole? (Also, any readers of this comment should note that the numbat was saw in Perth was the only one on public display in the world. More accurately, I suppose, the Perth zoo has a few, but only has one on display at a time, and this was the numbat for our day.)
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Really Beck?? How can you win all those pub trivia nights yet not know this? :-) A billabong is formed when silt deposits at a bend in a river, changing the flow until a more direct route for the water to flow is eroded away, leaving the original bend cut off (by the silt deposits) from the river and remaining as an isolated billabong! By the way I only just found your website – this is amazing!!!
Well, that’s a very specific definition. Thanks! I guess this probably wasn’t a billabong, then.
We weren’t telling anyone about the blog until we were sure we were going to keep writing on it. I’m glad you’re enjoying it!
ya, this entry is particularly relevant to me. my strategy has been the short haircut, but the results have been underwhelming. my only experience with hair coloring was in grad school when i bleached. a few months later, i netted a life partner.
So, it’s not an actual Secret History knockoff, then? I would take the minimal criterion for a secret history knockoff being: (1) has to involve a clique, (2) the clique has to have somebody especially charismatic involved, (3) the clique has to do a bad thing that intimately involves the charismatic person being a doer of bad, (4) some people in the group have to be clearly going against their better judgment out of loyalties, (5) everything turns to crap, with no redemption.
I do remember the bleach-look in grad school. It was comely.
It wasn’t entirely a Secret History knockoff, but there were SH elements, i.e. (1) a secret society, (2) a member of the secret society who wasn’t especially charismatic, but on whom the protagonist had a crush, (3) the secret society did a number of bad things, (4) the newcomer to the secret society was going against her better judgement out of loyalty/other good intentions, (5) most things went to crap, but the worst things turned out to be the fault of a non-secret society member (the ending was the weakest part). It was also confused by having the secret society active during two time periods 14 years apart.
Yeah, you know, I could have been bending my definition of a SH knockoff to make sure it fit books that I have considered to be SH knockoffs. I think the idea that the newcomer to the group is the one who has misgivings, and maybe is the book’s protagonist or near-protagonist, contributes to being SH-like. Maybe being a SH knockoff is more like a psychiatric diagnosis, where there are like 8 symptoms, and you need to have 5 in order to fit.
I hope I’m remembering this correctly, but I think ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck does this thing on NFL PrimeTime where he showcases great throws and calls them PrimeTime Dimes (as in, the throw is on a dime), but says that “the e is silent” (as a funny reference to his first name: Tim). And then I remember Amy and I wondering why he thought that the difference between Tim and Time is that “the e is silent.” It seems that a non-silent e makes Time “Timmy,” not “Tim.” And I don’t think he goes by Timmy. So, what I think he means to say is that “the i is short,” not “the e is silent.” Perhaps a better way of saying “the e is silent” is “the e is absent.” Or, better still, “the e is magic.”
…Am I making any sense here??? Can your fact-checkers look into this?
We have our staff working on this right now. This being Australia, all staff work is done by convict laborers, and so it might take them awhile.
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That IS an upset! I was expecting you to go the other way. Can the UK serve as a tie-break on tough calls like this?
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I do think this one will be mired in controversy for years. Maybe we do need an instant replay system or something.
Cute-o-rama, as Amy Jo would say.
The amazing thing about this trip was how close we got to the koalas and how long we got to spend so close with no one else around. This was the broader theme with that area: absolutely breathtaking stuff, and you hardly had to share it with anyone.
Thanks for posting, Jeremy!
It has been a lot of fun following the Australian Open this week (even though the results have not been kind to me at all). I hope it has been fun for my fellow FTLers!
Yay! I was hoping the New Zealand fortnight would be starting soon!
Yes! It’s been very entertaining so far! Your enthusiasm for tennis is infectious.
Great photo! Great fun fact.
I’ve been prodding Amy Jo to join the BAJTOTW readership.
I think she will really enjoy the book reviews!
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I liked Theodosia well enough, but I don’t think I want to embark on another series by this author. I don’t even think I’d do another series by the author of the Enola Holmes books.
I don’t actually want to read any more of her books, either. I think I had something more like “if we’re stuck for road-trip reading” before I had to edit for word count. I probably would read more Enola Holmes books, but I’m not sure about a different series by the same author.
We’d be happy to add more name diversity to our readership! :) There’s a handy link to all our book reviews on our features page, too.
This is beautiful. And looking at photos, one doesn’t get sandfly bites that itch for weeks!
I was pleasantly surprised that we got two full drinks at the end, and that I liked them both. The molasses vats were my favourite part.
I like it! I’ll try to work this phrase into conversation with Amy, making sure to point my index finger up into the air at just the right moment.
Perhaps a nameless but distinct urge explains why I stayed up to watch tennis until 6:30am last night, er, this morning.
But it was a great match, so no impish explanation is needed.
Very pretty. Reminds me of our time in Vail. The three of you soothed my nerves on the ride up and back.
I liked this book enough to want to read her second book (Happier at Home), but I haven’t gotten around to it. Would you want to read it too? The one she’s writing now is about habits and sounds more practically useful.
Hmm, I’m not sure. I have my next couple of books on this kick decided already.
I didn’t have any problem with these closed door gondolas, but there was also an open chairlife-type one that gave me some willies. Maybe it’s the voice of the imp of the perverse.
Yikes! That does sound scary.
Oh, wow! Okay. Flicker your headlights, honk intermittently, and drive 30 km/h straight at them. They should clear the way for you.
As it was, they had the right of way. The folks in that truck where getting them across the bridge. Sheep have rights, in New Zealand. We also had an interesting stretch of waiting for cows to clear a trail on their way from hither to yon.
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I could see doing the one where you sit in a chair and they kick you over.
Holy moly! So many new surprises here today. What an adventuresome spirit you two have. Do you feed off each other’s energy, or is one of you the Let’s give it a go! instigator?
Also, you both look very happy here. Unlike, perhaps, in the Canyon Swing photo.
Very funny! Is this sort of thing trending now? I’ve heard of people giving funny, elaborate reviews for mundane items on Amazon.
Are you going to post your score visualizer? I love it so much.
Yes, I’ll be posting it sometime soon. We’re in Melbourne now, about to see King Kong: The Musical.
This is nothing short of impressive. I’m trying to think of what would have to happen to get me to jump. Perhaps if a giant tarantula was on the platform next to me.
If we combined this with FTL, I might consider doubling points for anyone who texted me their picks during the free fall.
Beckie has been making little comments about how she wishes she had bought her own FTL franchise.
Love the expression on Jeremy’s face!
Ooh, I’ve been waiting to hear about this one!
Skeptics, play elsewhere. You have removed all doubt that Beckie and Jeremy are, indeed, taking on the world.
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She was brave. Me, I can help take on the world as long as heights plays only a circumscribed role.
I’m glad you included the bonus sheep!
You are being modest. Who was the one that took the glass elevator up to the top floor of that ASA hotel? Who was the one that walked across the Golden Gate bridge?
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It’s true the glass elevator was brave of me.
Even more brilliant. I love it! I had to look up the Tour de France reference, but now I get it. The FTL leader is always in red on the visualizer. Perhaps I should make a red FTL headband that gets passed around from one FTL leader to the next (but it must be worn at all times!).
Possible Vernacular Spectacular (flying fox vs. bat)? Or are these guys really not like bats at all?
Flying foxes are large bats (this photo doesn’t give you a sense of scale, unfortunately, but their wing span can be 1 metre).
Number plate is more descriptive than license plate, anyway. They do have at least some numbers. It does also sound nicer.
Ooh! Making a fandiorama does sound kind of fun.
On the surface, number plate seems like the clear victor. But what if you want to refer to the numbers on the plate? Doesn’t license plate number sound better than number plate number? To what extent does the phrase in question have to travel well?
THANKS JEREMY. I THINK IT IS A BEAUTIFUL FTL RAINBOW. ROUGE IS OK, BUT FOR SOME REASON TO ME THE BEST COLOR IS VERT.
Sensational! Where do you find these photos?
In other news, I’m tickled that Amazing Grace made the journey to your blog. Who knows where or when she will strike?
They’re all photos I’ve taken on various trips. I’ve just been haphazardly going through my photo archive to find ones I like.
Really! So these are all your own photos? Pretty neat. You are not only taking on the world, you are seeing it.
It’s nice to have somewhere to share the photos after I’ve taken them, so I’m glad you’re enjoying them. :)
Slogan for Midwest Sports Doha: “Midwest is Best: Even When It’s the Middle East!”
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Ha! I love it! I love the picture, too.
Here I make comment!
I feel like Doha is competing against Sochi this week. And Doha is winning.
I like the excerpts. Amy Jo would love it if I read a novel one of these days instead of playing Connect Four on my phone.
How would you rate the Netflix series?
Say, wasn’t there a Rainbow like one or two cohorts ahead of me?
At least 4 shower shoes. Definitely worth watching!
Yes! Key difference: Rainbow Rowell is her actual birth name, while the short-lived sociologist Rainbow’s real first name was Miriam.
If only “In Soviet Russia, comment makes you” made sense, I’d have a witty reply.
Given how recently so much of that had been built, I wonder what’s been added since. Also, the phallicity of that one building remains pretty remarkable for something smack in the middle of the city’s skyline.
Here’s a similar one from this year. One of the unfinished ones in my photo now looks like a flying saucer has crashed into the top of it. This image shows the whole skyline in 2005, 2010 and 2013. I wonder how many buildings are sitting empty now.
Connect Four is awesome, for that matter. Beckie and I have played Giant Connect Four on this set that they bring to Giant Board Games night. We play with the rule variation that Player A moves first, then Player B moves twice, and then the players alternate, to reduce the advantage of getting to go first (indeed, it may reverse the advantage).
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Good. I’m glad that was not a false memory. I’m not sure what I think of (a) going by Rainbow vs. (b) being named Rainbow.
Neat variation. My app simply alternates which player goes first, which I suppose is fine if you think of going first as “being on serve.”
Ya, this match-up is “one-way traffic,” as Brad Gilbert would say.
Orry the Oryx, huh? Imagine if they went with Orville the Oryx. Think of the outcry. Creeping Westernization! But if the torch was lighting a bag of popcorn, it could work. Or Orson the Oryx riding on top of Rosebud.
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Plus, Australian money is plastic, so it lasts longer and can go through a washing machine just fine.
I wonder if Orry sounds at all like the Arabic word, or is it already Creeping Westernisation?
That is pretty darn cool. It’s clear that the architect had watched Logan’s Run the night before.
No taxation without indication!
This actually looks like some of the trophies that the ATP and WTA give out in a few of the lesser tournaments. What was that thing that Kerber was holding today?
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Impressive. This blogger analyzes the prospects of EVERY U.S. President. Did you read them all?
This reminded me of the Star Trek episode where Lincoln gets killed in a fight (spear in the back, I believe).
Terrific! Maurice Sendak’s interview on Colbert was classic.
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I did read them all, although I skimmed a bit. I don’t really know much about a lot of presidents.
I like the new feature!
The only part missing is when they dust themselves off.
I miss the Wall of Adventure, so I like this feature too!
Must be, I think. But I don’t remember where we have tulips.
It’s actually from downtown Evanston. They’d probably all be purple tulips on campus.
Absolutely! That photo is terrific.
Was this taken mid-flight?
We were on another rope bridge.
I should have made the photo credit more obvious. It’s by Vadim Trunov, and I saw it at Cute Overload.
What a great spot. Also, this will make for a good quiz question in some context down the road (i.e., in what country did Beckie and Jeremy get engaged?).
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Now that is some awesome right there. I want to go!
Right on. Overall, we really enjoyed the city. And those restaurants are pretty darn good. If only ASA had held their annual meeting there some time other than August.
that is one hungry hungry hippo.
Great picture and nice story.
Happiness to you pair! Love you. Xox
Ditto! Sensational photo.
Wonderful…thank you. I don’t know that we’ll ever get to New Zealand (from Florida, United States), but if we ever do, Hokitika is our first on the list…
What a great picture! I love it.
For some reason, I really enjoy looking at stadiums. Especially when they are empty.
I am reading the book at the moment, it is like another world to me overhere, in Holland. Thank you for the pictures!
I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, Katherine and Erica! It’s a beautiful area, and it was fun to try to imagine what it would’ve looked like during the events of the book.
Jiminy Cricket! Glad to hear you’re back home safe and sound. Looking forward to seeing photos from all your adventures.
We appreciate you continuing to read despite our absence!
It’s page 67. Who knows the errors this has introduced in our book selections???
No wonder this book was a mistake!
What chance has the 66-page novella?
What a great time to go! I loved the Haunted Mansion at Disney World. Welcome, foolish mortals…
I think this has come up, and I just read page 22 or so.
It was Nightmare Before Christmas-themed and definitely worth the long wait. We got a fastpass for like 5 hours later, and still had to stand in line.
How did you remember all these places? Did you track them down through our credit card receipts or something?
They were all on my Paris google map.
Wow! Thanks for putting all this together. If Amy and I ever make it to Paris for the French Open, this will be immensely valuable!
Wall of adventure contender?
We’ll have to branch out into non-square frames to put this one on the Wall of Adventure, but maybe it’s time for some aspect ratio variety.
The basketball post is hilarious. We should start staging apocalypses.
Absolutely! All is lost. I love it.
This is cute.
The claws (are they called claws?) in that are great.
Cool! Never seen a wombat before. Still don’t really know what it is exactly. But this one gets two thumbs up from me.
I’ll have to add a second wombat photo for you. They’re marsupials and close relatives of koalas. They look cute, but they can bite, and they have a hard bony plate on their backside that they use to crush intruders’ skull against the roof of their burrows.
Ouch! I guess these guys are tough customers.
More cool animals. Wow. The cassowary looks like a satanic dino-chicken.
That’s spectacular! I love it.
I love the fireworks video! Cool idea.
Yes, congrats! It is an excellent haiku and pays proper homage to tennis fandom.
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Toasties mini meetup at Rogers Park Social tomorrow at 6 pm. We will be planning a larger meetup soon.
http://www.rogersparksocial.com/ Just off the Morse stop on the Red Line.
Also, feel free to connect with me on FB.
This is absolutely lovely!
Wow! So cute! Phrenology head is great. Love you! Xxxxoooo
So beautiful! The patterns on the elk are so wonderful. We will have to see what Henry is up to next time. Xoxoxox
I reached the page in The Luminaries that lists Lydia’s address as 35 Cumberland St in Dunedin. As I live in Dunedin, I did a quick Google to find where #35 is and was rewarded with your website! Well done! I can see Port Chalmers from where I live on the Otago Harbour and Dunedin was built on the wealth of the goldrush. I’m really enjoying the book and hope you enjoyed your visit here.
Thanks for your comment, Betty. I’m glad you’re enjoying the book. It must be even better knowing some of the locations and history already. We certainly enjoyed our visit to Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula!
Just finished (and immediately re-reading) the book, and very much wanted to learn more about the places mentioned. This is the most informative site I’ve found – great photos and commentary, and the link to the West Coast Times is fascinating. Thank you!
What a wonderful happy day that was Beckie! Your photos are so beautiful and heart warming. Thankyou Darling! Love you heaps.xxxxoooo
What a wonderful, happy day that was Beckie! Thankyou for these beautiful, heart-warming photos! Love you Darling! Xxxxoooo