It’s not an Apache blessing, it’s just a Hollywood script

“May the sun bring you new energy by day,” begins this saccharine saying that has enjoyed a continued life outside Facebook through the fridge magnet and huggable-puppies-and-kittens-on-posters and wedding planner industries. It gets passed off as an “Apache blessing” or “Apache wedding blessing” on Facebook, usually with some hunk-ish Indian brave pictures beside the words or some faux-Indian animal fetish images. The rest of the alleged … (more–>)

Please preserve the CBC: no more cuts!

Canadians who care about media content, journalistic integrity and fair reporting are anxiously watching for tomorrow’s federal budget announcements. Big cuts to the CBC are expected, according to this Huffington Post story: Cuts to CBC funding expected in the upcoming federal budget could have dramatic implications, touching everything from popular television programming to foreign news bureaus and eliminating hundreds of jobs, observers predict. The CBC’s own … (more–>)

Scribble, scribble, eh what?

Just passed the 13,000 word mark on my current book about Machiavelli and municipal politics, this weekend. So far, I have gone through explanations of Chapters 1-10 of The Prince. The Prince has 26 chapters, so I’m about 40% of the way through my analysis, more or less on track for a 35,000-40,000 word book. It’s a little tough in places trying to fit Machiavelli’s words … (more–>)

Not a John Lennon quote… just another bad meme

Another unsourced, mis-attributed quote is going the rounds, found as are so many on Facebook, this one turning itself into another of those annoying, unsourced Internet memes that people love to share: “When I was five years old, my Mom told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I … (more–>)

On translating Chaucer and the joys of Middle English

In my last two visits to the nearby Chapters, I picked up from the bargain books section two recent, hardcover, versions of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. One is a new verse translation by Burton Raffel published in 2008, the other a prose translation by Peter Ackroyd, from 2009. These join the dozen or so other versions of Chaucer’s works I already have on my bookshelves: the Riverside … (more–>)

It wasn’t Einstein who said it…

Yet another incorrectly attributed quotation is being passed around the Internet, this time on Facebook. This one is, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” A saccharine, touchy-feely, warm-puppy quote that appeals to some who take comfort in them, but Einstein never said that. … (more–>)

The colour of the herd

I felt not so much like I was in a city full of undertakers, but rather in a city that was in casual but widespread mourning. A sombre, solemn city where everyone dressed in black in recognition of some great death, but one of which visitors were unaware. Standing at an intersection, the light would change and a wall of dark would approach, like a funeral … (more–>)

Google Earth 6.2 gets somewhat better, but it still needs work

It was big news this week that Google Earth 6.2 was released with a bunch of new pictures, and an improved satellite mesh that removed some of the previous patchwork of scans that made up some of its maps. The media are full of articles praising Google Earth’s new release. CNET noted, “The result is a more realistic and less distracting (though still optimistically cloudless) view … (more–>)

Why is most TV so lame?

I would expect from the names of TV channels like Discovery, The Learning Channel and History Channel that these would be educational, documentary, engaging, informative, deep, and rich with content. Silly me. I forgot that the mandate of most TV channels is to entertain the lowest common denominator, not to educate or engage. With shows like “Freaky Eaters” and “Extreme Couponing”, the “Learning” Channel is the … (more–>)

Slowly dies: another bad Internet meme

I came across a fascinating poem, translated into English as “Slowly Dies.” There are numerous translations online, many by amateurs, but some very well crafted. It goes something like this (a portion from one translation): Dies slowly he who transforms himself in slave of habit, repeating every day the same itineraries, who does not change brand, does not risk to wear a new color and doesn’t … (more–>)

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