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Homepage of the Society for the Propagation of Vacuous Truth

"Let's all kil the human spirit" - Smerdis of Tion —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:58, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Have you ever looked at your hand? I mean, really looked?
Have you ever looked at your hand? I mean, really looked?

Good evening. I'm IHCOYC, a handle I have been using on Usenet since around 1995, and on BBSs since maybe 1984. The handle deserves an explanation. There was a Commodore 64 BBS back then that ran homebrewed software that displayed data in ALL CAPS. When choosing a handle to use there, I was momentarily moved to call myself IHCOYC XPICTOC (that is, IHΣOYΣ XPIΣTOΣ) to see if anyone got the joke. If you wonder what it stands for, think Greek. On a caprice back in August 2003, I changed my handle here to "Smerdis of Tlön." I was one of the operators of the Microdot BBS that operated in southern Indiana from 1985 to 1999. I still miss the BBSes.

My real name is Steve Gustafson. I practice law in New Albany, Indiana. My interests include Indo-European, Germanic, and Latin linguistics, nineteenth century French literature, the English Civil War, the Reformation, the 1600s. I am a proud member of the empty set, and a thorough and methodical pessimist. I've got friends on the Great White Brotherhood.

I am neither the captain of my fate, nor the master of my soul. And I have no interest in filling the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run. I am a Pepsi Generation dropout.

The party hasn't started until Schopenhauer gets there!
praenomen or throne name
nomen or birth name
Smerdis of Tlön
in hieroglyphs

Do you feel like we do?

Favourite quotes from the Wikipedia

  • (Thou) is used in solemn ritual occasions, in readings from the King James Bible, in Shakespeare, in starchily formal literary compositions that seek to evoke the solemn emotions called forth by these antecedents, and otherwise to address lofty persons like God, Achilles, or the Mighty Thor.
  • From Punch and Judy: Featuring, as it does, a deformed, child-murdering, wife-beating psychopath, who performs appalling acts of violence and cruelty upon all those around him and escapes scot-free, it is greatly enjoyed by small children.
Even if academic sources can be found for that sort of thing, it's still patent nonsense.
  • Interest in the Holy Foreskins has been specifically downplayed, with the observation in 1900 that these particular relics encouraged irreverent curiosity.
  • Although most timpanists only have two hands, it is possible to play more than two timpani at once.
  • From B,C,K,W System: in the context to recover [GKL], leave I without defining it: so, beware!.
  • Wenn Prinz Adam sein Zauberschwert in die Luft streckt und die Zauberformel: "Bei der Macht von Grayskull!" ausruft, verwandelt er sich in He-Man, den stärksten Mann des Universums.
  • The majority (of snakebite victims in the United States) are inebriated men, frequently unemployed, and almost universally tattooed.
  • Attempts at using vacuum cleaner base units for (penis enlargement) have resulted in severe damage when the fan of the vacuum cleaner is contacted.
  • As the song progresses, many of the other crucifixion victims . . . begin to dance in a very limited way
  • Galileo made the same point, but said very little on the matter, perhaps not wishing to be burned at the stake.
  • This term should not be confused with an act of war waged by Smurf cartoon characters.
  • The referendum divided Kenyans and spurred violence between Orange and Banana supporters. . .
  • Simon Johnson, former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund, says a U-shaped recession is like a bathtub: "You go in. You stay in. The sides are slippery. You know, maybe there's some bumpy stuff in the bottom, but you don't come out of the bathtub for a long time."
  • From Year 2038 problem: Using a 64-bit value introduces a new wrap around date in about 290 billion years, on Sunday, December 4, 292,277,026,596 15:30:08 UTC. This problem is not, however, widely regarded as a pressing issue.
  • The subject of the song is the arrival of the mighty Quinn, who changes despair into joy and chaos into rest, and attracts attention from the animals.
  • May I submit UTOPIAN TURTLETOP? Do not trouble to answer unless you like it. - Poet Marianne Moore, suggesting a brand name for the Ford Edsel car.
  • Singing Trolls relate their hate of humans, especially Christians, which are for them a plague to eradicate - and to eat.
  • . . . the only European leader that showed enthusiasm for the crusade was Dracula, whom the Pope held in high regard.
  • Fortunately, two bystanders doused the flames by pouring beer on Brown’s head, preventing any serious injury.
  • From vampire pumpkins and watermelons: According to tradition, watermelons or any kind of pumpkin kept more than ten days or after Christmas will become a vampire, rolling around on the ground and growling to pester the living. People have little fear of the vampire pumpkins and melons because of the creatures' lack of teeth.
  • The reproduction of a river otter is a very complicated process.
  • From endemic warfare: Among the Chimbu and the Dugum Dani, pig theft was the most common cause of conflict, even more frequent than abduction of women...
  • From Xe: Spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said there was no meaning in the new name, which the company spent over a year to arrive at in an internal search.
  • She later stole the rabbits back from police, and has since committed several parole violations after being caught with rabbits.
  • The death of nearly half the population (largely by torture) during her reign is seen as a unique cultural quirk.
  • From Palembang: This inscription tells of a large army coming from Minanga Tamwan with ecstasy.
  • From Oktoberfest: In Germany, goat hair is highly valued and prized, making it one of the most expensive objects for sale.
  • There is a Temple of Hephaestus in Athens, the Hephaesteum (miscalled the "Theseum"), located near the agora, or marketplace. An Athenian founding myth tells that the city's patron goddess, Athena, refused a union with Hephaestus because of his unsightly appearance and crippled nature, and that when he became angry and forceful with her, she disappeared from the bed. His ejaculate fell on the earth, impregnating Gaia, who subsequently gave birth to Erichthonius of Athens....
  • On Surtsey, (a)n improperly handled human defecation resulted in a tomato plant taking root which was also destroyed.
  • During the time of their association, Livingstone urged Sechele to make peace with the uncle who ruled the other half of the Kwêna. Sechele sent his uncle a gift of gunpowder. The uncle was suspicious of the gift and set fire to it. His death in the resulting explosion enabled Sechele to reunite the tribe.
  • From Ptosis (breasts): Motion studies have revealed that when a woman runs, more than 50% of the breast's total movement is vertical, 22% is side-to-side, and 27% is in-and-out.
  • According to Ovadia Yosef, picking your nose is forbidden on the Sabbath.
  • After a worldwide search in 1943, a mouldy cantaloupe in a Peoria, Illinois market was found to contain the best strain of penicillin....
  • Liberty ship: In Portland, Oregon, the hulls of Richard Henry Dana and Jane Addams serve as the basis of floating docks.
  • On 13 September 2004, the Gay Kingdom declared war on Australia.

Stuff I done


Articles I am guilty of

Language and peoples:

Geats - Svear - Metathesis - Propertius - laryngeal theory - augment - vowel stems - irregular verb - lorem ipsum - archaism - thou - period (rhetoric) - alliterative verse - skald - scop - standard language - Old French - indicative mood - ain't - subjunctive mood - negation (grammar) - Wikipedia:English phonetic spelling - English verb - Larry Trask - athematic - ankh - monophthong - Vulgar Latin (much of it) - origin of language - ablative absolute - cadigan - oldest language - Latin profanity - Esperanto profanity

Seventeenth century stuff:

Geneva Bible - Great Bible - Bishops' Bible - King James Version of the Bible (large additions and edits) - Pilgrim's Progress - Joseph Glanvill - Sadducismus Triumphatus - Demon drummer of Tedworth - Jeremy Taylor - Holy Living and Holy Dying -Covenanter - Conventicle Act - penal law - Melancholia (large addition) - Robert Burton - Anatomy of Melancholy - demonology - Thomas Browne - Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial - Divine right of kings (large addition) - Wonders of the Invisible World - Isobel Gowdie - Matthew Hopkins - Olaus Wormius - Eikon Basilike

French literature

Thai Hell is awesome. They have furries, and French ninjas!

Emile Nelligan - Rémy de Gourmont - Albert Giraud - Emile Verhaeren - Jean Moréas - Stuart Merrill - Renée Vivien - Jean Lorrain - Albert Samain - Nathalie Barney - Gustave Kahn - Symbolism (arts) (much of it) - chanson de geste - Ogier the Dane - Doon de Mayence - Bayard - Paul Adam - Reynard - Alexis-Vincent-Charles Berbiguier de Terre-Neuve du Thym - Léon Bloy - Moniot d'Arras - Henri Beauclair

Other literature:

prose poetry - Pamela Colman Smith - Jan Toorop - degenerate art (large addition) - Cesare Lombroso - Max Nordau - Spenserian stanza - Conrad Aiken - Silent Snow, Secret Snow - Harry Crosby - Count Stanislaus Eric Stenbock - Grand Guignol (most of it) - Racter - Hammer horror - Russ Meyer - ribaldry - Homeric hymns - The Omen - Hypnerotomachia Poliphili - Aubrey Beardsley - Austin Osman Spare - goliard - Archpoet - Peter of Blois - Walter of Châtillon - alliterative verse - Félicien Rops - Georgia O'Keeffe - Bram Dijkstra - Sir Orfeo - Invictus - Venantius Fortunatus - Schopenhauer's aesthetics - art for art's sake - Elizabeth Siddal - June and Jennifer Gibbons - Sotades - This Be The Verse - Carlos Schwabe - The City of Dreadful Night - airport novel - Julia A. Moore - Bernard of Cluny - Ysengrimus - Pirates and Pathfinders - Le Miracle de Théophile - The Vengeance of Nitocris - obituary poetry - Greer Gilman - Ecbasis captivi - Muddupalani - Worksop Bestiary - jangnama


Psychedelic music (list) - Roky Erickson - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - riff - Guillaume de Machaut - motet (most of it) - Babatunde Olatunji - Llibre Vermell de Montserrat - Marquee Moon - Stagger Lee - Thomas of Celæno - Dies Iræ - Mass (music) - requiem - vespers - Magnificat - Lyke-Wake Dirge - Norman O'Neill - military cadence - Katie Cruel - Rosemary Lane - Riu Riu Chiu - Levy Dew

American folklore and popular culture

Psychedelia - melodrama - The Little Engine That Could - Legendary Stardust Cowboy - Underdog - Jonny Quest - He-Man - Poor Richard's Almanac - Hercules (comics) - Ballantine - anti-intellectualism - peplum - legend tripping - La Llorona - Mike Fink - Lydia Cabrera - faxlore - Billy Jack - Moment of Truth Movie - sword and sandal - The Sons of Hercules - John the Conqueroo - Prince Charming - Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS - men's adventure magazine - Kirby dots - rabbit's foot - Bad Girl Art - Margaret Brundage - weather house - The Greening of America - Mark Eden bust developer - Pepsi Generation - folk process - Rain and Snow

Religious topics:

vicar - priesthood of all believers - atonement (now at sin) - scapegoat - Sadducee - Bernadette Soubirous - Saint Christopher - civil religion - end times - dispensationalism - Hal Lindsey - Whore of Babylon - Great Apostasy (Calvinism, Lutheranism, Anglicanism) - Ten Commandments (Protestant section) - Cyrus I. Scofield - Scofield Reference Bible - imperial cult - pow-wow - John George Hohman - divine grace - Magi - Gog - Quanta Cura - Syllabus Errorum - Thérèse de Lisieux - megachurch - Maria Monk - righteousness - List of names for the Biblical nameless - prelate - Oahspe - Douay Bible - demigod - Vetus Latina - Port-Royal - Oholah - ecclesiology - St. Ides - metrical psalter - holy water - holy card - rex Nemorensis - suovitaurilia - regifugium - Christianity and politics - lapis manalis - Eko Eko Azarak - Thomas Gouge - Reitia

My morbid tastes:

mourning - decomposition - coffin - requiem - sarcophagus - funeral (large addition) - embalming - memento mori - Et in Arcadia ego - Death (personification) (under that title) - symbols of death - José Guadalupe Posada - shrunken head - obituary poetry - funerary cult

Legal matters:

Sherman Minton - escheat - intestacy - List of Uniform Acts (United States) - Uniform Commercial Code - Uniform Anatomical Gift Act - Twelve Tables - pater familias - mortgage - trial by combat - Assize of Clarendon - outlaw - Sir William Blackstone (most of it) - Commentaries on the Laws of England (most of it) - legal positivism - fee simple - fee tail - life estate - legal fiction - posse - small claims court - foreclosure - common scold - Jones Act (workers compensation for seamen) - doctrine of worthier title - testamentary capacity - attestation clause - statute of repose - paraphernalia - royal fish - bridge bank - certified question - Gathings committee - Fortune telling fraud


Pool of Radiance - Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures - Parker-Hulme Murders - Sarah Blaffer Hrdy - atavism - Monsignor Jozef Tiso - Ara Pacis - toga - quest - Marie Laveau - List of occultists - Joe Hill - List of famous tuberculosis victims - Gogmagog - ouroboros - Gilles de Rais - Maciste - spork - Rexism - femme fatale - damsel in distress - patent medicine - Whig history - A. P. Herbert - here - testimonial - nonsense - chicken sexer - artifact (fantasy) - Sotadic zone - Ring of Gyges - cad - Termagant - Shoe flinging (major changes) - Bartok (game) - Mithridates VI of Pontus - Tarot of Marseilles - Minchiate - Ka-Bala - striking clock - time discipline - Blemmyes - high modernism - Japanese clock - healthism - Crepitus (mythology) - Indian whisky - aspidochelone - gasoline pill - Queen of Elphame - Cyprianus - rasa shastra - Tetrabiblos - John E. Nail - Tycho Brahe days

Projects / To do list:

I, FrancisTyers award this Barnstar to Ihcoyc for his heroic work citing sources on an obscure topic -- you made me smile :)
A Barnstar!
The Epic Barnstar

I hereby award you this Epic Barnstar for your brilliant work on Latin profanity. —Keenan Pepper 02:01, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
A Barnstar!
The Original Barnstar

Awarded to Ihcoyc for thinking outside the box. - CrazyRussian talk/email 17:01, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
A Barnstar!
The Rosetta Barnstar

For appearing out of nowhere to translate many magical mottoes with precision. Many thanks. SynergeticMaggot 16:09, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
A Barnstar!
The Black Cross of St. Declan

You, Smerdis of Tlön, are awarded the Black Cross of St. Declan for going medieval on our asses with your excellent work on articles of Dark Ages and Middle Ages interest. De réir a chéile a thógtar na caisleáin - "It takes time to build castles" Ciarán of Clonmacnoise 06:22, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
The Original Barnstar
For your continued support and help with anti-vandalism, and your participation in AfD dicussions. Chengwes 19:34, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
The Admin's Barnstar
To Smerdis of Tlön, For all of the admin tasks that you do around the project which rarely come with recognition. --Hu12 (talk) 21:04, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
The Socratic Barnstar
for eloquent statement: " Any policy that purports to require the deletion of encyclopedia material on such a slender hope is no policy at all...Let's not be afraid to say so" [1] Slowking4 (talk) 15:34, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Your Opinion is More Important than You Think Barnstar
Your recent endevours to bring sense into chaos were inspiring. Wikipedia needs more editors like you. Just thought you should know -- Zac Δ talk! 00:40, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Welcome to the dream