Beware of the Mombies!

Via The Cagle Post, a wonderful cartoon that puts the life of the fetus before the life of the mother, which opens a can of worms, specifically a can of feminist worms, and I don’t mean that derogatorily, it just happens to be where the expression took me, but to be clear, it deals with legislation that confronts women’s rights.

by Jen Sorensen at Slowpoke



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

Hard Times, Not End Times

My colleague Ari Stillman composed this essay comparing the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear to a “secular religious event.” Stillman draws an interesting parallel wherein Stephen Colbert represents the typical “Fox News Christian-American” and the Jewish Jon Stewart serves as the secularized voice of reason. Stewart became the voice for the minorities of the US, especially Muslims, gays, illegal immigrants – anyone who shares, like the Jews, a history of very public and systematic persecution. As Colbert bowed to Stewart’s arguments, Stillman writes that America underwent a symbolic “conversion experience” – a conversion from unjustifiable racial/sexual/political paranoia to “common sense.”

What does it mean that Comedy Central houses “America’s most trusted news anchor”? Or that an astounding number of Americans lack “common sense?” Is this conversion even possible outside of the parameters of the Rally?

Be kind, America. Everyone is fighting a hard battle.

Rachel Maddow interviews Jon Stewart

This is unusually civil for two pundits, and I do mean to use that term loosely. The interview is relatively long, but the discussion on the differences between the roles of a satirist and an analyst is quite good. Not only is this conversation relevant to the current media environment, but it is also timeless and appropriate in any discussion of the democratic priciple.

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