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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Antimetaboles and Amphiboles ~~ Amphiboles and Antimetaboles

       Antimetabole (/æntɨməˈtæbəliː/ AN-ti-mə-TAB-ə-lee) is the repetition of words in successive clauses, but in transposed order (e.g., "I know what I like, and I like what I know").

       Six-syllable words, in general, make me quite happy especially with this great meaning for an elegant turn of phrase. 

       Simple and profound:

      John F. Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country" is one of the most famous antimetaboles. (I also just like writing the word antimetaboles).

       The antimetabole is similar to a chiasmus, though the chiasmus is applied fairly broadly to any "criss-cross" structure, often with a reference to the biblical cross. In its classical use, chiasmus was used for structures that do not repeat the same words and phrases, but invert a sentence's grammatical structure or ideas. 

       Antimetaboles brought me to amphiboles and their criss-cross crystal structure. Amphiboles are any of a class of rock-forming double chain silicate or aluminosilicate minerals typically occurring as fibrous or columnar crystals.

     The amphibole structure includes silica tetrahedra with varying amounts of iron, sodium, calcium and magnesium:

      (Note that the darker amphiboles are referred to as hornblende.)

       The double chain structure of amphibole is shown here as well:

       Amphibole shares the "two or both" Greek prefix of "amphi" with amphitheater, a theater on both sides, and amphibians, animals who live both on land and in water.

      The cleavage planes of amphiboles are at 124 degrees and 56 degrees:

        In cross-section, amphiboles show these cleavage planes:

     And in the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), these are further amplified:

       Amphiboles and Antimetaboles ~~ Antimetaboles and Amphiboles:
Criss-crossing minerals and words, words and minerals since October, 2014.

    Any good amphiboles or antimetaboles to share?

    And, by the way, "criss-cross applesauce" is what I say to get Maizie to smile like this:

      Either that or "antimetaboles" ;-).



  1. Oh, the chemical formula for amphibole is NaCa2(Mg,Fe,Al)5(Al,Si)8O22(OH)2 where Mg, Fe, and Al ions substitute freely for one another.

    The chemical formula for antimetabole is represented by H2OO2H. ;-)

  2. And then there are antimetabolites, drugs that inhibit the use of metabolites. Some, like azathioprine and mercaptopurine, are purine analogues, and are used in treatment of cancers, inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, etc., and to prevent transplant rejection. Others, like sulfa drugs, are antibiotics, blocking bacterial metabolism.

  3. Your self-professed love of hexasyllabicisms reminded me of my kid when he was growing up. We sang along to Tom Chapin's Great Big Words.

  4. Can your auntie metabolize cannible goods? And your uncle, a good cannibal, can’t he metabolize your auntie?


    1. Is that the uncle who used to be a vegetarian, and only ate vegetables, and who now is a humanitarian?

    2. You are correct, jan!

      BTW, my friend got into hot water with the endangered avian species authorities for being an egalitarian. Another friend, a Totalitarian, eats only one brand of breakfast cereal. A weirder friend eats only one brand of cigarettes… he’s a Parliamentarian.

      LegoLannibalLectorAuthoritarian (I love digesting Francis Bacon with Anne Rice on the side, and washing it all down with some Rex Stout... no chianti)

    3. jan,

      Again, I, LegoRosannaLambda, prove to be prescient. I began my response to your Oct. 29 2;46 PM post with: "You are correct, jan!"

      That is exactly what Dr. Shortz will be saying to you repeatedly during Friday's taping!


    4. I echo Lego's sediments and I will add a layer or two:

      Lego, ha! Rub it in will you?!

      jan, do you think Blaine's Blog will come up?

    5. Oh, I'll absolutely give a shout-out to my fellow citizens of Blainesville.


  5. Great bunch of "tarian" lines there. So clever.

    I did think of adding antimetabolite as the third in a trio, jan, but concluded I don't know enough about them yet. Glad for the primer from you.

    I have been canvassing late afternoon and evening for Senator Mark Udall. Mostly folks are great. It surprises me that so many people wait so long to vote. EVERY registered voter had a mail-in or drop-off ballot mailed about October 14, 2014. And yet, this seemed to surprise lots of people.

  6. How did it go with Will and Rachel, jan?

    1. I was nervous, but I think I did OK. My wife had a blast, listening in on another phone, and working furiously on the anagrams with me (and feeding me a few).

    2. Using the WWF text feature? ;-)

  7. On another topic altogether, here's a chemistry question:

    I've got a supply of Atomic Fireballs (those cinnamon-flavored jawbreaker candies) in an old-fashioned glass apothecary jar in my kitchen. After several months (fortunately, I don't go through them that fast), the inside of the jar became coated with a translucent film. The candies are individually wrapped in cellophane (an early 20th Century invention, as we know well). What's going on here? Is it the carnauba wax outgassing through the cellophane? How permeable is cellophane to something lipophilic like that? (Here's the complete ingredient list: Sugar, Contains Less Than 2% of the Following: Food Starch-Modified (Corn), Artificial Flavor, Carnauba Wax, Acacia (Gum Arabic), Titanium Dioxide (Color), Red 40 Lake.)

  8. Yet another topic. How about a really fracking big ship?

    Here it is, under construction, on Google maps.

    What's involved in LNG production, other than just chillin'? Where are the big spherical storage tanks you usually see on LNG carriers? Has the industry done anything recently to address the global helium shortage, or are they still venting most of it off? Do you recover helium by just fracking (fractionating, not fracturing) the gas, or is it more involved than that?

    Inquiring minds, as they say...

    1. One more question: Prelude to what???

    2. Still researching. . .

      Prelude to what, indeed!

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  10. Welcome to our article accelerator.

    Notice there's no P in it.

    Let's keep it that way.

    (How's that for a conjunction of science and language?)

    1. And the article/particle ool/pool construction was inspired!

  11. Such a bizarrely interesting question, jan.

    Speaking of which, John Cleese is being interviewed on NPR. Highly amusing. It made me think of the difference between cliches and "Cleese says."

    So, anyway. . .

  12. I thought this might be pertinent, or at least of interest:

    Any thoughts?

    1. Chirality, symmetry and symmetry breaking is a recurring and fascinating theme in science. Examples abound in physics, chemistry and biology. I'm not dexterous enough to avoid sinister mistakes in presenting the subject, but that's my right. Just for example, is it a fluke that flounder are left-eyed, while halibut are right-eyed? (I threw that one in for the halibut.)

    2. Suppose I've just netted a fairly large batch of fish. I reach in and randomly grab a pair of flounder. I turn to my fishing buddy and say, "betcha five bucks there's 120 fish in that net, plus or minus 5." She flips a coin and replies, "You're on!" Who do you suppose wins the bet?


    3. Does it make a difference if I cast the net to port or starboard?

      still kidding

    4. Wow, cool stuff, Paul...and I never knew about left-eyed and right-eyed fish. No way! Floundering in understanding all of that. . .

      Never kid a kidder, or a kid.

  13. Don't know if any PEOTSers read Deb Amlen's Wordplay blog at the NY Times site, but I thought you might appreciate this.

    This apparently original sonnet constituted the constructors' notes accompanying today's acrostic by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon (I'm a big long-time fan of theirs):


    He came from Pisa where the tower listed.

    Improved the telescope, surveyed the skies.
    Expounded that the Milky Way consisted
    Of distant stars and not, as thought the wise
    Of his time, gas. He saw spots on the sun.

    He found four moons of Jupiter and knew

    Copernicus was right: Earth was the one
    That circled round, Sol was the central screw.
    For that view, Galileo brought the ire
    Of Inquisition down upon his head.
    He knelt to save his poor flesh from the fire,
    Recanted, groveled — but in rising said,
    Aside in sotto voce, as behooves
    A heretic at risk, “And yet it moves.”