...or in other words, Fear of fear itself.

So, my brother-in-law works at Google and my mom was out visiting them over the weekend. On the way back from the airport she regaled me with tales of the paradise that is the Google compound. Evidently they have free bananas and massage chairs. Also, they have a continually running display board which flashes random samples of what people are Googling at any given time.

I personally use Google at least three times a day. In fact, today I did the following searches:

"puttin' on the ritz" lyrics
logic pro delay spread
myasthenia gravis ice test mechanism
parkinsonian dopamine
phobia fear needles

And somehow I got to a page from the Columbia Encyclopedia site and I learned the following piece of fascinating information:

Walloons: group of people living in S Belgium who traditionally spoke a dialect of French called Walloon, but who today for the most part speak standard French. The Walloons, numbering some 3.5 million, reside mostly in the provinces of Hainaut, Liège, Namur, Luxembourg, and Walloon Brabant, in contrast to the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the northern provinces. The movement for reviving Walloon literature centered in Liège in the 19th cent.; today the language is considered moribund. The periodical Wallonie had considerable influence. Since medieval times the economic and social background of the Walloons has differed radically from that of the Flemings, and the cleavage became even more pronounced with the Industrial Revolution. The Walloon part of Belgium contains major mining areas and heavy industries, while the Flemings engage mainly in agriculture, manufacturing (particularly textiles), and shipping. Tension between Walloons and Flemings has long been a critical political issue. In 1970 a plan was approved that recognized the cultural autonomy of Belgium’s three national communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north, the French-speaking Walloons of the south, and bilingual Brussels. The name Walloons was also applied to Huguenot refugees in America by the Dutch, who made no distinction between French and Walloon Protestants.
See H. H. Turney-High, Château-Gerard; the Life and Times of a Walloon Village (1953).

But even more intriguing, evidently "walloonophobia" is the "fear of Walloons" and if you are disabled by your fear of Walloons you can go to this website to get help. Yes, get help now. Ya weirdo.

I'm discovering something really weird about my teaching job, namely that I find myself being really, really restrained. I get very excited about the material I teach, mostly because I only lecture on the stuff I find interesting. I mean, If I don't find it interesting, how can I expect the student to give a rat's patootey? Of course, I found myself giggling with glee last week about carotid baroreceptors. I'm weird that way.

But back at the U of I, or even U of C, I would go to any length to get a fact hammered home, even if it required me to sing a song, do an interpretive dance (I have a great one about diabetic retinopathy), or bring in a giant styrofoam eyeball (that one took me two weeks to build). But it's a new position, and I don't have a reputation to fall back on here, so I find myself chickening out and holding back a lot. I find myself frequently stammering and looking for words when I know that giant hand motions or sound effects would do the job.

It isn't pretty, folks.

We'll see how the first exam goes. If it's a disaster, then I'll have to cut loose. I just hope I get into my stride before we hit antifungals, because I have a really good song for antifungals that goes to the tune of Shirley Temple's "Animal Crackers" song.

Oh, speaking of songs, the lyrics to "Puttin' on the Ritz" are amazing. But you won't think so unless you know the tune. Just really good. That Irving Berlin. He could put a word or two together. I was checking them out as Spyton and I have taken to singing "Puttin' on the RAAAAAAARRRRRRRGLE" a la Young Frankenstein, and I felt we should really learn the entire song.

Um, so here it is, or at least the part of the song you'll see in that link above. Now you can sing along:

If you're blue and you don't know where to go to
Why don't you go where fashion sits
Puttin' on the ritz

Diff'rent types who wear a day coat, pants with stripes
And cutaway coat, perfect fits
Puttin' on the ritz

Dressed up like a million dollar trouper
Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper
Super duper

Come, let's mix where Rockefellers walk with sticks
Or "um-ber-ellas" in their mitts
Puttin' on the ritz

Getting back to the title of this journal, spot the loony. I told you she was an old cat.

Today's Vocabulary Words and Terms
Irving Berlin