Tuesday, May 21, 2013

presented without comment

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Doing Something with Soul, Creativity, or Love

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Bloodstained Kleptocracy that Really Keeps on Giving

Continuing our recurring fascination on this blog with the delightful Obiang family of Equatorial Guinea, I thought I might point your collective attentions (assuming anybody is paying any) to the Times' editorial today discussing the fact that President Obiang has pledged $3m a year to UNESCO to sponsor a prize to honor achievements that "improve the quality of human life," and without a hint of irony! And what's even more ironically unironic, they took the money!

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Paris Review

.....has a blog now

in case you hadn't heard :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Words Without English Equivalents

1. Waldeinsamkeit (German): the feeling of being alone in the woods

2. Ilunga (Tshiluba, Congo): a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time

3. Taarradhin (Arabic): a way of resolving a problem without anyone losing face (not the same as our concept of a compromise – everyone wins)

4. Litost (Czech): a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery

5. Esprit de l’escalier (French): a witty remark that occurs to you too late, literally on the way down the stairs…

6. Meraki (Greek): doing something with soul, creativity, or love

7. Yoko meshi (Japanese): literally ‘a meal eaten sideways’, referring to the peculiar stress induced by speaking a foreign language:

8. Duende (Spanish): a climactic show of spirit in a performance or work of art, which might be fulfilled in flamenco dancing, or bull-fighting, etc.

9. Guanxi (Mandarin): in traditional Chinese society, you would build up good guanxi by giving gifts to people, taking them to dinner, or doing them a favour, but you can also use up your guanxi by asking for a favour to be repaid.

10. Pochemuchka (Russian): a person who asks a lot of questions

11. Tingo (Pascuense language of Easter Island): to borrow objects one by one from a neighbour’s house until there is nothing left

12. Radioukacz (Polish): a person who worked as a telegraphist for the resistance movements on the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain

13. Selathirupavar (Tamil): a word used to define a certain type of absence without official leave in face of duty

Do you guys have any others?

I was thinking : weltangst, zeitgeist....

There is a word in french "rebrousse-poil" which means to "rub the wrong way," literally to brush hair in the wrong direction.

Monday, April 19, 2010

“Do not forget the US imperialist wolves!”

“Let’s extensively raise goats in all families!”

“Do not forget the US imperialist wolves!”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

VA and MS Take Hot-Tub Time Machine Back to the (18)'80s

Quite a week for Virginia and Mississippi. First, slavery receives no mention in Governor Robert McDonnel's Confederate History Month. Next, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour defended McDonnel's decision by claiming that Americans angry at the omission were "trying to make a big deal out of something that doesn't matter for diddly." Today, we learn that one Mississippi county has received an order from a federal judge to cease and desist its segregationist policies. And, going back to Virginia, the editorial page of the Washington Post (Yes, the editorial page of the Washington Post--not exactly Cornell West) proclaims that Virginia's policy of stripping ex-cons of the right to vote amounts to "Jim Crow by another name." I was surprised when Bill Moyers had Michelle Alexander on his program the other week to discuss her book with the same thesis, thinking she was too radical for public television. Good to see the mainstream media not being shy to call out good ol' fashioned racism for what it is.