Sunday, August 29, 2010

How Can I Explain?

Pictures Worth 1,000 Words

Sometimes I see
some incredibly descriptive images while I am scanning the world with my laptop.

Photo by Jon Nazca (Reuters) 
Pedro Muriel, decked out in a silver and purple bullfighters suit, was still able to walk to the infirmary after the bull insulted his manliness.

What's In A Word?
The following is from a NYT article, (HERE), that examines how language shapes our view of the world.

"In recent years, various experiments have shown that grammatical genders can shape the feelings and associations of speakers toward objects around them. In the 1990s, for example, psychologists compared associations between speakers of German and Spanish. There are many inanimate nouns whose genders in the two languages are reversed. A German bridge is feminine (die Brücke), for instance, but el puente is masculine in Spanish; and the same goes for clocks, apartments, forks, newspapers, pockets, shoulders, stamps, tickets, violins, the sun, the world and love. On the other hand, an apple is masculine for Germans but feminine in Spanish, and so are chairs, brooms, butterflies, keys, mountains, stars, tables, wars, rain and garbage. When speakers were asked to grade various objects on a range of characteristics, Spanish speakers deemed bridges, clocks and violins to have more “manly properties” like strength, but Germans tended to think of them as more slender or elegant. With objects like mountains or chairs, which are “he” in German but “she” in Spanish, the effect was reversed."

Gli amanti azzurri by Marc Chagall

"As strange
as it may sound, our experience of a Chagall painting actually depends to some extent on whether our language has a word for blue."- Guy Deutscher


Today's breakfast fuels my verbosity. 8/29/10

I tried a new cereal this morning. (It is hiding under the mountain of organic fruit.) I picked up a box of Trader Joe's Organic Golden Flax Cereal, (Does that name require a comma, or two?), when I went to the store yesterday.

The cereal
sort of reminded me of the way that, "Total", flakes used to taste and feel when chewed; Like toasted cardboard. The experience was actually nostalgic and not totally unpleasant, plus there were clusters of something else that were also part of the boxed breakfast selection. I liked it, or to be more specific, it went well with a mountain of organic fruit and milk.

"Rollicking Journalist"
G.K. Chesterton (another site)

"In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything." --G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 1909

Dormant Volcano Erupts

Villagers ride a motorcycle while covering their mouths at the district of Tanah Karo outside the city of Medan, North Sumatra, as the Mount Sinabung volcano spews smoke in the background on August 28, 2010. (Reuters)

Save the organic coffee growers! 8/29/10

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

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