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[Comments] (5) Then, Her Sari Flaps In The Wind!: I've been reading articles about how Bollywood is stuck in a formulaic rut and not making money, so I'm writing a spec script guaranteed to inject new blood into the industry. It's about a plucky singing-and-dancing cricket team, lead by a boisterous Sikh who falls in love with a mysterious village girl. They defeat the Pakistanis[0] and the British to win the World Cup. Then, there are dinosaurs. I haven't worked out all the details yet.

[0] The test match against Pakistan is a separate one-hour chunk which can be deleted from the Pakistan release of the film.

[Comments] (3) I'd Never Seen A Purple Frog: Sumana gave me a page from Smithsonian which has eight African frogs on it. I hung it up on my cube wall by my National Park Service flyer from the Lincoln Memorial. One of the frogs looks really weird, squat like a toad and a small head that makes it look like a turtle just coming out of its shell. Well, that frog was just staring at me and being mysterious until today, when I found out about a similar-looking but purple frog discovered in India. Now it still stares at me, but it's only half as mysterious as previously.

[Comments] (3) : So when I was idly trying to find out what my weird frog is, I stumbled upon one of those template-driven sites that tries to pretend it knows all about what you're Googling for, by creating a bunch of pages for every possible variant of a general problem (possibly taking previous search requests into account) and claiming it has a customized solution for each one. In this case, it was The Phobia Clinic™ and their phobia-mastery program, Time Line Therapy™.

Because there are so many silly phobias, the template is often amusing in its eagerness to accept you and act like your phobia is nothing unusual while not actually knowing anything about it. It makes out that there is a specialized Clinic for the study of each phobia on their list (eg. "The Fear Of Things To The Left Side Of The Body Clinic at The Phobia Clinic™"), and that they have a special interest in whatever phobia pertains to what you Googled for (in my case, Ranidaphobia, not to be confused with the more general Batrachophobia).

I myself have a touch of acrophobia, and for me it's not so much the fear of falling so much as the fear of suddenly feeling compelled to hurl myself over the edge, which is how I manage to work on the sixth floor of a building without being gripped by fear all day. There's no edge, thus no acrophobia. Similarly, someone who suffers from Fear of Peanut Butter Sticking to the Roof of the Mouth is probably actually afraid of feeling compelled to scoop an entire eight-ounce jar of Jif into their mouth, but it's not that hard to just not open jars of peanut butter.

Also, if peanut butter does stick to the roof of your mouth, you're not dead on the sidewalk or at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, you can just scrape it out with a napkin. So if you are morbidly afraid of peanut butter sticking to your mouth you are probably also afraid of everything else in the world, with an acute case of Googlephobia, so you'd never be able to find the web page that offers help.

Anyway, some of the other funny values for x are: the vague Fear Of Certain Fabrics ("FEAR OF CERTAIN FABRICS THE MOVIE: The Directors Cut... starring Me!"); the overly-specific Fear of the Great Mole Rat, which makes the Great Mole Rat sound like a Lovecraft monster; Refund, which looks like a mistake in the database, Fear of Your Step Mother, which reads like low-grade satire, Phobiophobia, which actually circumnavigates satire, and Tyrannophobia, which seems to me more of a political problem than a "phobia" per se. That last complains that most tyrannophobia therapies "require the patient to be exposed repeatedly to tyrants over and over again", and asks you, "What's it worth to live free of Tyrannophobia ?" I guess the tree of liberty has been looking a little under-nourished lately.

Sick of The Phobia Clinic™'s Google-trolling? Wish you'd never heard of their revolutionary anti-phobia technique? Well, What's it worth to live free of Time Line Therapy™ ?

PS: One more. I can't resist. Caligynephobia: "most caligynephobia therapies take months or years and sometimes even require the patient to be exposed repeatedly to beautiful women over and over again." The horror!

[Comments] (5) One Side Of The Paper, Please: Many new comment features now in place, including a goofy-looking icon I drew and does-what-you-want newline handling. I also made up a really simple XML representation of Bayesian classifications and made Newsbruiser export to it. I call it Cheatsheet, and I hope others will use it so that people can, eg. share a Bayesian spam corpus between NewsBruiser and SpamAssassin. If something like this already exists, let me know and I'll kill Cheatsheet.


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