Friday, August 14, 2009

Preface To SomethingTown: How Big Is A Town Supposed To Be Anyway?

I am always disappointed when I discover that there aren't clearly defined terms in a hierarchy of growth for something. Let it be said now that the same is true for "towns." As the Wikipedia says, "A town is a type of settlement ranging from a few hundred to several thousand (occasionally hundreds of thousands) inhabitants, although it may be applied loosely even to huge metropolitan areas; the precise meaning varies between countries & is not always a matter of legal definition. Usually, a 'town' is thought of as larger than a village but smaller than a 'city,' though there are exceptions to this rule." Of course there are! But wouldn't it be easier to have this continuum:

village < town < city < metropolis < megalopolis

(Interestingly, my Safari spellcheck is not showing "megalopolis" as a misspelled word - when did THAT enter out lexicon?)

Also, what would be before village? Burg? Hamlet? Hovel?

In any event, I think it depends on where you're from - & your perception of where you're from - how you define something as a town, since the authorities have not seen fit to define it for us. For example, I grew up in Garland, Texas, which currently has a population of over two hundred thousand people & is the tenth-largest city in Texas. But compared to Dallas, it seems like a town. But Dallas is such a sprawling provincial place lacking in personality that, compared to real cities like New York or Chicago or San Francisco, it's really just a town. Which makes Garland, what? A village?

No, a suburb, which is quite an insulting term now that I think about it.

Huntington, where I now live, has around fifty thousand folks, & I'm sure many people here think it's a city, but it's not really a city. It's a town. I think virtually every large gathering of people & buildings in West Virginia is at best a town. We might have more people if we include the "metropolitan area," but we're still a bunch of towns.

Is that insulting? Would they rather be suburbs? Or, god forbid, exurbs?

I was going to add that sometimes we use the word "town" (as in saying, "I'm going down to Austin town") to show off a sense of familiarity. Like saying "London town" or "New York town." But that wouldn't figure into the mathematical equation I long for. Something like this:

Over 1 million inhabitants: metropolis
100,000 to 1 million inhabitants: city
25,000 to 100,000 inhabitants: town
5,000 to 25,000 inhabitants: township
100 to 5,000 inhabitants: village
2 - 100 inhabitants: hamlet
1 inhabitant: hermitage

It needs work. But it's a start!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Grumpage In, Grumpage Out

It's late Wednesday but I'll bet that Blogger will date this on Thursday. Agh! I am unreliable. That's what I get for watching "I Love You Man" instead of writing in my blog.

Um, well, it was a, you know, typical Wednesday thing, you know, did the show yesterday, it's now up at for you to listen to if you wanna when you wanna. As you wanna. You wanna?

I record the show with a clever device that digitally swallows the sound via magic cords of wires & converts the show into small computer-sized bits of data which it stores on a little chip the kind of which you also find in digital cameras & androids' hearts. Well, I forgot to dump last week's shows off the chip when I dumped them on my computer, so I couldn't record "Sugar Substitute." Which makes me sad but what can you do? Other that, you know, stop making so many dumb & tiny mistakes.

That's really all I wanted to say. Is there anything else? Have a nice day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Who Shall Survive --- Radio Show Day?!

Imagine - a world without radio!
Imagine still - a world with radio but without ears!
Conceive - a nightmare from which you cannot but awaken!
Explain - why are you waking up at 6pm?
Forget it - turn the radio on!
Make sure - you've got it tuned to 88.1 fm WMUL!
Recoil - Self Help Radio is on at 6pm!
Pay attention - you may actually learn something!
Pay more attention - this is good music you're listening to!
Don't leave - Sugar Substitute is on at 8pm!
Quake - or go to the bathroom, but make it fast!
Worry - because even when it's over, it's not over!
Check it out - it'll be online at before you know it!
Be afraid - it happens EVERY WEEK!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Whither Nine?

Of interest primarily to eschatologists & the author of this "Self Help Radio" blog is this notice: this is post number 666.

This is peripherally related to this week's "Self Help Radio" insofar as this week's theme is the number nine (9) & the number 666 can be perceived by even slightly self-aware numerologists as 999 upside down. Please rotate your computer clockwise to confirm.

The number 666 should have simply enjoyed the same associations its brethren 111, 222, 333, 444, 555, 777, 888, & 999 have enjoyed since humans began to count &/or play with pocket calculators. However, the pranksters who wrote the last chapter of the Bible, called "Revelation," asserted mischievously that 666 will be the "number of the beast," to further freak out anyone who might, years after it was drunkenly written & read out loud to much mirth, take seriously something written by people who still believed the sun rotated around the earth & were centuries away from the germ theory of disease.

In modern times, the number of the beast has enjoyed popularity mainly with heavy metal bands, as it is easy to write & can be shouted even when devastatingly inebriated. When the writers of "Revelation" rejected 777 as the "number of the beast," they did the genre of heavy metal a great favor. Imagine what screaming that number would have been like - perhaps an awkward abbreviation, like that of the "www" in URLs as "dub dub dub"? It would have seriously impeded most drunken louts' ability to rock.

Some poor souls are so terrified of the number 666 that they have coined a phobia term for it: hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. It is said that even telling someone that they are hexakosioihexekontahexaphobic will trigger an attack. However, since the word is longer than most words a person will hear in his or her life (unless they are German), some specialists believe it is the length of the word & not the word's meaning that terrifies the afflicted. Most studies are of course planned to settle the issue.

This particular "Self Help Radio" blog entry, numbered 666, has nothing whatsoever to do with Christian end-time prophecy. While it is rumored that Satan himself enjoys "Self Help Radio," gullible souls who fear the power of this impotent number might well be advised that even Satan himself doesn't think that Satan exists. Therefore, a single blog entry, which will most probably not even be read by anyone outside the post's writer, has little or no power to adversely affect any reader. & certainly writing six hundred & sixty-six entries about what has been described as a wholly unremarkable radio show can be said to be a minor achievement!

Please enjoy the rest of your day free from Biblical doom-predictions & any other numerological noodling.