Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Swimming with Elephants.

The Wife found this for me.

The problem is nobody's going to believe them when they tell their classmates:

"What did you do on your summer vacation?"

"I swam in the ocean with elephants."

"Now just because your family couldn't afford to go on vacation, that's no reason to make up stories."

h/t The 5th of May

Indianapolis Colts Named Top Franchise in all of Pro Sports

In light of this great honor, don't ya think Mike should let me put up a Colt's widget on the sidebar?! ;)

The top franchise in pro sports is the Indianapolis Colts, according to ESPN The Magazine.

In the current issue of the publication, the Colts are No. 1 in “The Ultimate Standings," which ranks the 122 professional teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball.

The sixth annual rankings are a compilation of eight categories: Title Track (the Colts are 15th); Ownership (11th); Coaching (9th); Players (8th); Fan Relations (8th); Affordability (25th); Stadium Experience (66th); and Bang For the Buck (3rd).

Colts Leadership-The Dream Team!
Irsay-Class Act
Polian-Shrewd Tactical Genius
Dungy-Most Respected Man in the NFL

Pennsylvania Primary Tonight.

To borrow an analogy from Pat Buchanan, Obama is Apollo Creed and Hillary is Rocky. I'm just not sure which movie it is.

The Ugly Truth About the Blogging Industry.

Rumors that I'm keeping Indy Jane in similarly squalid conditions are (mostly) exaggerated.

P. J. O'Rourke aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Some say John McCain's character was formed in a North Vietnamese prison. I say those people should take a gander at what John chose to do--voluntarily. Being a carrier pilot requires aptitude, intelligence, skill, knowledge, discernment, and courage of a kind rarely found anywhere but in a poem of Homer's or a half gallon of Dewar's. I look from John McCain to what the opposition has to offer.

There's Ms. Smarty-Pantsuit, the Bosnia-Under-Sniper-Fire poster gal, former prominent Washington hostess, and now the JV senator from the state that brought you Eliot Spitzer and Bear Stearns. And there's the happy-talk boy wonder, the plaster Balthazar in the Cook County political crèche, whose policy pronouncements sound like a walk through Greenwich Village in 1968: "Change, man? Got any spare change? Change?"

Via Theo and Maggie's Farm.

The Ukraine and Genocide.

The Ukrainians want to call the organized murder of Ukrainians "genocide." The Russians don't. One of the things I find particularly interesting is how this disagreement cuts across the whole "Which Was Worse: Communism or Nazism" argument, which as some can imagine I've spent a lot of time thinking about while working on my book.

The Russians defend themselves by arguing that they were merely trying to slaughter an economic class of people, not an ethnicity. I understand why, as a technical matter, this might be a defense against the charge of "genocide" which, after all, is about killing a type of people....

Now, part of what fascinates me is why anyone would think murdering people because of their economic status is somehow any less evil than murdering people because of their ethnicity. I know what many of the whys are, and I think they reveal something profound about how different people see the world. In America and the West generally, vast numbers of leftist intellectuals forgave Stalin, Mao and others for murdering people who stood in the way of Progress — and historians continue to do so today. Indeed, "modernization" was one of the great excuses and rationalizations for murder, theft and, yes, genocide in the 20th century and, I fear, people will be going back to this intellectual well for a good long time.

English As a Second Language

I have always enjoyed listening to people speak English with a foreign accent. Sometimes it is fascinating, sometimes sexy, even comical and at times it can be frustrating. Last week was a frustrating time when I was trying to deal with getting my wireless internet back online and the at&t customer service rep was from a distant land. I can't be sure but it sounded like a thick Indian accent. I really tried to understand him (or her couldn't tell which). After 10 minutes of "could you repeat that", " I don't understand what you just said, no not the whole thing again, just the last phrase", I requested to speak with someone else with English as their first language. I felt embarrassed and guilty. I apologized profusely for failing to understand their Punjabi-English. When the new clearly English speaking rep came on, we cleared up the issue quickly and with ease.

Here is another example of Engrish frustration when it matters most. I crack up everytime I watch this video, "The German Coastguard".

An oldie but goodie:
English Rather Than German Will Be Official Language of the European Union

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spel ling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.......:-)