Weird and wonderful vocabulary from around the world

Adam Jacot de Boinod first became entranced by language when he discovered 27 words for “moustache” in an Albanian dictionary – and another 27 for “eyebrows”. A world of bushy machismo and stolid dignity sprang to life before his eyes. He began hanging out in second-hand bookshops, looking for foreign dictionaries and the tiny revelations contained therein. He made lists of his favourite “words with no equivalent in the English…

Moon Walker: How Neil Armstrong brought the space program down to earth.

Did anyone have the right to be so little changed by the voyage as Armstrong seems to have been? “How long must it take before I cease to be known as a spaceman?” he asked a reporter seven years after coming home. –Thomas Mallon reviews James R. Hansen’s First Man. –Moon Walker: How Neil Armstrong brought the space program down to earth. (The New Yorker) Great, moody review of a book…

Manifesto Games

PC Gamers of the World Unite! You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Retail Chains! –Manifesto Games Grek Gostikyan, science fiction author and game developer, resigned from Nokia in order to invest his energies in the indie game development movement. He blogs at Games * Art * Design * Culture.

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To Boldly Go: The End of Star Trek and Star Wars

No individual has made billions off Star Trek—although that franchise, too, has its own mountains of merchandise, including toys, video games, and hundreds of books. More impressive than its merchandise and its profits, though, is its monumental amount of screen-time. Since the first broadcast of the first episode on September 8, 1966, there have been more than 700 hour-long episodes of Star Trek incarnated in five different series—plus ten movies…

'NY Times' Retracts John Roberts Memo Story

–‘NY Times’ Retracts John Roberts Memo Story  (Editor & Publisher) So the paper publishes false information, in a story about a memo critiquing a court case involving a newspaper that published false information. The court case ruled that a newspaper could only be found libelous if the paper published the false information with actual malice. The New York Times said that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts authored the memo, which…

NASA administrator says space shuttle was a mistake

The shuttle has cost the lives of 14 astronauts since the first flight in 1982. Roger Pielke Jr., a space policy expert at the University of Colorado, estimates that NASA has spent about $150 billion on the program since its inception in 1971. The total cost of the space station by the time it’s finished – in 2010 or later – may exceed $100 billion, though other nations will bear…

Congress Abandons WikiConstitution

WASHINGTON, DC—Congress scrapped the open-source, open-edit, online version of the Constitution Monday, only two months after it went live. “The idea seemed to dovetail perfectly with our tradition of democratic participation,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said. “But when so-called ‘contributors’ began loading it down with profanity, pornography, ASCII art, and mandatory-assault-rifle-ownership amendments, we thought it might be best to cancel the project.” Congress intends to restore the Constitution to…

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Eisner's parting words to Hollywood: "Don't panic"

“Don’t panic over the latest techno jargon like … peer-to-peer, wi-max, 80211, bittorrent … the only thing that gives purpose to all these remarkable delivery systems is the kind of creative content we all produce,” Eisner said. –Eisner’s parting words to Hollywood: “Don’t panic” (Breitbart.com) I don’t feel much pity for the hordes of netizens who are downloading copyrighted entertainment material because they feel their “need” to consume it exceeds their…

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Comfortably Numb

I wonder what they call it when you can’t think of what to write in a weblog? Writer’s Blog, weblock? –Anna-Marie –Comfortably Numb (ilex) One of Mike Vitia‘s students coins a term. Students in several of my classes are engaging in drive-by blogging, which is the flurry of entries that one posts just before the blogging portfolio is due. That’s a very different issue than weblock, though it can be just…