Screw U Mubarak

From The DailyDish:

(Photo: Doctors, medical workers and students march through Cairo to join anti-government protests in Tahrir Square on February 10, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. Thousands of workers from various unions across Egypt, including many medical workers, have gone on strike today with protestors calling for a nationwide general strike. The wave of strikes is increasing pressure on the government following more than two weeks of protests calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. By John Moore/Getty Images.)

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Pfannkuchen

From the blogs at Big Think (Frank Jacobs), this map shows that how a German says ‘it is ten fifteen’ will give away from where in Germany they hail.

But 10:15 is not the only giveaway:

Other isogloss maps at this page of the Philologisch-Historische Fakultät at Augsburg University show a similar diversity of geographic distribution for such concepts as Pfannkuchen (pancakes), Hefegebäckmann (a traditional German pastry in the shape of a person), and Hausschuhe (indoor slippers).

The gringo equivalent would be the way that people refer to carbonated beverages across the U.S. Some call it soda, some call it pop, some call it soda pop, and apparently some places in the south will call all carbonated beverages coca-cola. This is the isogloss map equivalent:

Via DAN JURAFSKY from The Language of Food

Andrés Carne de Res

PRI’s The World recently featured a Colombian restaurant, Andrés Carne de Res, in the Geo Quiz segment. Besides some questionable pronunciations and too much emphasis on Jaramillo’s ‘lil potatoes,’ the place is enough of a phenomenon for an eight minute radio segment. The decor, plus the ambiance, make it a kitschy bohemian temple of hedonism. Shout out to the guaro neglected by the reporter.

Food Slide Show

The Audio

 

© The World, PRI

Terry Gilliam to Not Ever Direct Harry Potter Film

I saw “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” last night, after taking a…three? four? year hiatus from bothering to keep up with the series in either book or film form.

One reason I haven’t bothered to become fluent in the Potter enterprise is because of the films. The books are okay, yeah, I find them difficult to appreciate since they’re so predictably archetypal, but they’re entertaining enough and it’s great the kids are reading. The films however, or at least the first three I saw, were boring. Just boring. I realize the HP franchise switched up directors a few times (Chris Colombus did the first three – his previous directing “achievements” include the awful “Stepmom”, and Alfonso Cuaron directed the 4th, which evidently is the best of the lot according to the internet in general), but David Yates’ rendition of the 7th HP installment was, pretty cool.

Still kind of boring (Harry and co. spent like four fucking months wandering around in the wilderness, complaining about not getting anything accomplished), but pretty cool. While I was reading reviews online, I stumbled upon a little nugget of information that made me hate myself:

Terry Gilliam was J.K. Rowling’s original pick to direct the entire series, and Gilliam wanted to do them too.

we could have had more of this! ("Brazil," 1985)

 

I have long adored Gilliam’s work, from the never unfashionable Monty Python to the blockbuster sci-fi landscape of  “12 Monkeys.”  The guy is experienced, artistic, darkly humorous, British, basically a wizard already. He’s genuinely smart, and a good writer.  Basically the perfect candidate for the HP series.

Is it too late to order a reboot of the series?

On Torture and Accountability

Fernando Botero

President Bush is back from his Emily Dickinson like seclusion with a book of reflections on his presidency, and a consequential media book tour. Of the many revelations in the book – i.e. being called a racist by Kanye West was the lowest point of his presidency – the least surprising is that he personally signed off on the enhanced interrogation techniques that other people call torture.

The Nation’s Jonathan Schell reports on the documents that suggest that The United States was engaging in torture techniques in the war in Iraq. President Bush still defends waterboarding as an interrogation technique, not torture, but the documents made available by WikiLeaks show a broader and more vicious approach at the so called interrogations. This is a report by an American soldier:

THE DETAINEE WAS BLINDFOLDED AND IS UNABLE TO IDENTIFY THE OFFENDERS. THE DETAINEE CLAIMED HE WAS BEATEN ABOUT THE FEET AND LEGS WITH A BLUNT OBJECT, AND PUNCHED IN THE FACE AND___. HE CLAIMED THAT ELECTRICITY WAS USED ON HIS FEET AND GENITALS, AND HE WAS ALSO [SODOMIZED] WITH A WATER BOTTLE. –___PERSONNEL CLAIMED IT WAS CAUSED BY THE DETAINEE FALLING FROM HIS MOTORCYCLE WHILE HE WAS BEING CHASED BY THE___. THE DETAINEE DISPLAYED GREAT DIFFICULTY WALKING WITH BRUISING AND SWELLING ON THE SOLES OF BOTH FEET. THE DETAINEE HAD LOCALIZED CUTS AND BRUISING ON BOTH LEGS (PRIMARILY THE LEFT), THE LEFT ARM, AND THE LEFT CHIN. THERE WERE NO INJURIES VISIBLE ON THE DETAINEE E___HANDS, UPPER ARMS, TORSO, UPPER LEGS, OR BUTTOCKS. HIS CLOTHING WAS NOT RIPPED OR DAMAGED, BUT DID DISPLAY BLOOD STAINS.

Schell reports that nothing was done with these reports, and that executed victims were found with electric-drill holes in their bodies. Bush and Cheney admit to approving waterboarding, which in their minds is not torture. Let’s see what exactly waterboarding is:

Read the rest of this entry »

The Most Polluted City in the World

Pictures from Cherepovets (lit: “city of skulls”), Russia. (via gizmodo)

 

Love in the Time of Cholera

Why is Haiti so fucked? A wave a cholera, which we haven’t really heard about since Garcia Marquez, hit Haiti three weeks ago and shows little resistance to efforts made to halt its spread:

Cholera, which is spread mostly by water contaminated with bacteria-carrying feces, can be easily prevented with proper handwashing, water purification, and proper sanitation.

Schindall says the key task to combating this latest epidemic is to inform people of the basics of this illness.

Basically, cholera can be prevented by practicing normal hygienic habits.  It’s not that Haitians don’t have soap, they just don’t have instructions for the soap.