28 February 2008

Trouble via MySpace

Cory Delaney, a 16-year-old Australian from Melbourne, posted info on his party on MySpace. 500 people showed up.

It took 30 police officers, a helicopter and a dog squad to break up the party. Full story.

Via the NewsQuiz on the BBC (available as a podcast!)

20 February 2008

Quote of the day

Saw this on the Mutts Web site. So true, so true!

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

15 February 2008

New words to Shaft

I heard the theme song to Shaft the other day on the The Current.

New lyrics came to me yesterday. I realize that this throws me into the realm of really crazy dog lady. Oh well.
Think of that opening instrumental bit in Shaft, then sing:
Who's the sweet girl with all the toys? Sophie!*
*You have to say "Sophie" really fast because "Shaft" is only one syllable.

14 February 2008

Words that look funny to an English speaker

This photo was in Der Spiegel in a story about driving schools offering 'crash courses.' To a partial German speaker whose first language is English, this looks really funny. (Der Kurs means a course.) It looks like the driving school offers a class in how to crash.

Here's another. The word malerisch is a German adjective. It looks like malaria but means picturesque.

12 February 2008

Social networking for everyone

I heard about a couple of satirical social networking sites the other day. Snubster and Enemybook. I love the idea of asking someone, "Are you on snubster?"

Had it been around in the early '70s, Enemybook would have been perfect for U.S. President Richard Nixon who, this is no joke, kept an enemies list (also here).

10 February 2008


I just love Stephen Colbert. When I watch his show I'm guaranteed at least a handful of belly-busting laughs. (He describes his character on the show as a well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot).

His introduction of ecologist Mark Moffett, author of Face to Face with Frogs, included this line about amphibians:
I'm no fan of amphibians. I say, water or land. Pick a side. We're at war!

09 February 2008

Not exactly a Hallmark card

In the fictional town, Lake Wobegon, Garrison Keillor describes the townspeople as nothing near romantic. Stereotypical descendants of northern European stoics. A line from one of his monologues on A Prairie Home Companion:
It's like Dorothy down at the Chatterbox Cafe said. 'If you're going to fall in love, you might as well save your time and set your house on fire. You get the same amount of drama and it causes less damage.'

04 February 2008

If you're in Minnesota, caucus on Tuesday!

This music video gives me the shivers. In a good way.

Created by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and Jesse Dylan. Inspired by Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech.

Find out where to caucus on Tuesday here. (You don't have to stay for the whole caucus. Just show up, vote and go home.)

I could picture him saying that

toothpaste for dinner

02 February 2008

Ooooh, a new-to-me singer!

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I heard this song, "Love Song," on a television commercial. It immediately set my toes tapping so I found out what it was. I hadn't heard Sara Bareilles. I love her voice!

Here she's on the Late Late Show. The official video is quite cute but embedding is disabled so follow the link.

01 February 2008

Spanish confuses me

I received an e-mail from a colleague who speaks Spanish. It starts "Hola hermana." I read it quickly and thought, "Why is he calling me Herman?"

I think I have a mental block around Spanish. I had one semester of basic Spanish in college. At the same time I was taking upper-level German classes. I was so confused. In Spanish all the words seemed to run together ("was that a word, phrase or paragraph?") , you can't tell which words are nouns because they aren't capitalized, and on and on. It didn't help that I had a nut-job professor. He never taught us the alphabet or how to pronounce things. How was I supposed to know that a double "l" sounds like a "y"?

On the first day of class he asked us to take out our books. Huh? Who has their books on the first day? You make that mistake once, the professor changes the syllabus and you end up with books you don't need and can't return.

Every test and quiz overwhelmed me. I always wanted to ask if I'd get half credit for an answer other than English. My guess is the answer would have been no.