August 11th, 2009


From Twitter 08-10-2009

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Kalidahs, as seen in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, are ferocious creatures with the bodies of bears and the heads of tigers. According to the Cowardly Lion, they could tear him in two as easily as he could kill Toto (not that he'd WANT to kill Toto, mind you). They're known as some of the most dangerous predators in Oz, and they receive a few other mentions in the series. In Emerald City, they're mentioned as one of the dangers of the fairyland, albeit with a statement that they're "nearly all tamed." Patchwork Girl reports that Dr. Pipt used his Liquid of Petrifaction to turn two Kalidahs into marble, and then placed them in front of his house. Magic includes an encounter with a live Kalidah, whom Cap'n Bill pins to the ground with a wooden stake. When the animal manages to free himself, he has a hole through his body, and goes to see the Kalidah King, who has magic powers. As reported in Magic, the main homeland of Kalidahs is a forest in the eastern part of the Gillikin Country, with part overlapping into the Munchkin, but they can be found other places as well.

The other Famous Forty authors don't do anything with Kalidahs, as far as I can recall, but they do show up in several apocryphal works. The Eric Shanower story that I mentioned yesterday, "Gugu and the Kalidahs," obviously includes the creatures, and Gugu has a conversation with their king (who, while mentioned in Magic, doesn't actually appear in the canon). An Oz manuscript that I've written in rough draft form also includes the Kalidah King, as does Atticus Gannaway's Time Travelling. But one of my favorite post-FF uses of Kalidahs is Phyllis Ann Karr's "The Guardian Dove," which describes their culture in some detail, and introduces Kericot the Considerate Kalidah. It's rare for Oziana characters to reappear in later works, but Kericot and her friends are exceptions, showing up in Karr's own Maybe the Miffin and illustrator Melody Grandy's Thorns and Private Files. Coincidentally enough, a picture of Kericot and her brother Randicot appears in S.P. Maldonado's latest post.

I don't think there's ever been a consensus on how to pronounce the word "Kalidah," but as my post title suggests, I've always pronounced it like the beginning of "kaleidoscope." Jack Snow agrees, and even posits that L. Frank Baum might have derived the name of his wild species from that of the device. But I've heard it said on other ways as well, and I'm not aware of any statement from Baum on the correct pronunciation. For any Oz fans reading this, how do you usually pronounce the word?

Modern Money Matters

Following up on what I said yesterday about accountability, a few things come to mind. One is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that forbade corporations to audit themselves. Also, I spent some time this year doing temp work at a mortgage company, and while I was there, a law went into effect that the lenders couldn't communicate with the appraisers until the appraisals were finished. To me, these things just sound obvious, but I've actually known people to complain about both. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney claimed that Sarbanes-Oxley was too restrictive. Did he also ask if he could grade his own exams when he was a student?

On another topic, I'm sure you've heard about the people going to town hall meetings regarding health care and screaming that they want their country back. Back from what? Well, from the black guy, I would imagine, but I've heard people try to claim otherwise. Apparently the idea that some rowdy Southern rednecks might be racist is too difficult for them to accept. :P One of the Congressmen on the most recent Real Time with Bill Maher episode tried to insist that these people were opposed to deficit spending. Come on, does anyone who isn't directly affected by the national debt actually care about it? By now, I think Americans are used to things operating the same way regardless of what's going on with government funds. I'm not saying that none of these people are CONVINCED that the budget is their main concern, but I tend to doubt it really IS.