The Dumbbell's Dictionary
As on a Darkling Plain, n. Who but Shakespeare could have written these immortal
Ass, n. The most protuberant part of the adult female human body, or alternatively, a
Association, n. The right to associate must, in a coherent universe, imply the right not to
Atheism, n. Non-prophet organization.
Athena, n. Greek Goddess of War and wisdom, after whom the Parthenon was named.
Sprang fully-clothed and fully armed from the forehead of Zeus, in order to help the
Athenians. Too bad we don’t have her around any more.
Antimatter, n. Is there a particle of antimatter for every particle of ordinary matter in the
knowable universe? (Positrons versus electrons, etc.) For that matter, what is a subatomic
particle? Simply a bit that is simultaneously energy and matter, depending on how it is
measured. Consult the writings of Werner Heisenberg or Richard Feynman for details.
Atlantis, n. Did it exist? Plato thought that the island of Thera, which was destroyed in a
volcanic eruption in 2200 B. C., was the actual location of Atlantis. Whether or not his
theory is correct, there is no doubt that around the same year, the Cretan Thalassocracy,
(rule by the sea), was destroyed, thus finishing the Cretan dominance of the Eastern
Mediterranean. It was not until around 1,000 years later that these lands witnessed the
incursions of the Dorian Greeks. So much for Mycenae and the remains of Agamennon.
There is, of course, the admittedly complex translations of Cretan Linear A and B.
Atlas Shrugged, n. The most prophetic novel you will ever read. If you don’t believe that,
check the newspapers over the last two years. If you currently think you have seen the
last vestiges of man’s inhumanity to man, think again. The productive are enslaved to the
non-productive. Indeed, and is there any surprise? Build the furnace, because only you
can build it, and then we will watch you burn to death of your own choosing. Self-
immolation is not the most honorable of courses, depending, I suppose, on one’s
definition of honor. To even discuss it, begins a bit of backlash. Are we humans? Are we
entitled to even the last vestiges of the middle ages definitions of a human? I wonder.
Atomic Bomb, n. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima vaporized four square miles of the
city, and killed approximately 85,000 people outright, with subsequent deaths from burns
and radiation poisoning bringing the total to roughly 115,000. On the other hand, the
conventional incendiary bombing of Tokyo a few months earlier created a firestorm that
leveled sixteen square miles of that city, and killed a quarter million outright. There must
be a lesson to be drawn from such a comparison.
Attila the Hen, n. Pejorative nickname given to Margaret Thatcher by the idiot laborites
who, try as they might, simply could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Attila, the Hun. Did in fact assault and pretty much destroy Rome around 390 B. C., but
once he had assumed administration of the city, proved an adept administrator, for a time.
Attribute, n. I’m not quite sure what the term means in common parlance, but I do know
that it can be misused. Example: I received a fitness report, once upon a time, in the U. S.