Sunday noon. 4 songs. 30 minutes of bliss.
I was minding my own business, watching The Men Who Stare at Goats, when I noticed this:
It may be slightly hard to see in the low-res screenshot I’ve uploaded, but the sign on the right reads Baghdad twice, once in English and once in Arabic. The Arabic version is wrong in a number of ways:
- The characters in the word ‘Baghdad’ are written in the wrong order. Arabic is written right to left, but the character ‘ﺏ’ (sounds like ‘b’) in the sign is on the left hand side. This would be like seeing a sign for Las Vegas in an Arabic film which reads ’sageV saL’.
- Most characters in Arabic join to the one which comes after them, unless the character in consideration is the final one in the word. In other words (get it?), they are cursive. They haven’t got this right either. This is almost like seeing a sign for Las Vegas in an Arabic film which reads ’sAgEv sAl’.
I also noticed the exact same kind of mistakes on the landing cards they give you when you arrive at Heathrow airport. The cards have whole paragraphs of text with these errors. I’m guessing that people who speak Arabic are hired to write the text in the first place. So my question is, how does this still get through?
Imagine, for a second, that you are the leader of the free world. Would you say the following in your inaugural address?
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
The way JFK pronounces the words themselves make them even more potent. The emphasis is firmly placed on the word any. “Support any friend, oppose any foe…” Is he arguing for liberty over morality?
Vancouver’s Christmas Parade:
At a Mongolian restaurant:
I think this quote will be of particular use for Iranians currently caught up in the country’s numerous political debates:
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
If I were ever to take over the world, I know what business I would move into: media.
“The diamond invention—the creation of the idea that diamonds are rare and valuable, and are essential signs of esteem—is a relatively recent development in the history of the diamond trade.”
“The diamond invention is far more than a monopoly for fixing diamond prices; it is a mechanism for converting tiny crystals of carbon into universally recognized tokens of wealth, power, and romance. To achieve this goal, De Beers had to control demand as well as supply. Both women and men had to be made to perceive diamonds not as marketable precious stones but as an inseparable part of courtship and married life. To stabilize the market, De Beers had to endow these stones with a sentiment that would inhibit the public from ever reselling them. The illusion had to be created that diamonds were forever — “forever” in the sense that they should never be resold.”
Inside the coach from Edinburgh to the airport:
Somewhere over Germany:
Iran Air flight 676:
Heading toward Resalat Square:
Breaking fast with friends:
A traditional tea-house:
A gas station near Mirdamad Boulevard:
The Shahr Theatre:
A corner shop:
Note the fully-loaded pickup truck:
There’s only so much you can do with a camera-phone:
The first in the series. I will be semi-automatically logging the Wikipedia articles I read from now on. I’ll talk about how it’s done in a later post.
- Bungie 1
- Arctic Monkeys 1
- Brian Blessed 1
- Jane Fonda 1
- Siebel Systems 2 -> Thomas Siebel 3 -> Customer relationship management 1
- Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 1
- Louis Theroux 3 -> Westminster School 1 -> Methamphetamine 2
- Munich massacre 2 -> Munich (film) 2 -> Tony Kushner 1 -> Golda Meir 2
- O (film) 1 -> William Shakespeare 2
- Evil 3 -> Niccolò Machiavelli 3 -> Angra Mainyu 1 -> Axis of evil 3
- Carl Steenstrup 2
- Bushidō 2 -> Kamikaze 1 -> Banzai charge 1
- Stanford prison experiment 3 -> Milgram experiment 3
- Linguistic prescription 1 -> Descriptive linguistics 1
- Chauvinism 2 -> Female Chauvinist Pigs 3 -> Ariel Levy 3
- About a Boy 3 -> About a Boy (film) 3 -> Nick Hornby 1 -> Varsity (Cambridge) 1 -> The Cambridge Student 1
- Hermeneutics 2
- John Harvey Kellogg 2 -> Kellogg Company 2
- Lake Wobegon effect 3
- Gomorra (film) 3 -> Matteo Garrone 2 -> Nanni Moretti 2 -> The Son’s Room 2 -> Abbas Kiarostami 3
- Cheesecake 2 -> The Cheesecake Factory 2
- Muck, Scotland 1 -> Samuel Johnson 3 -> Oxford English Dictionary 3
- Terence Tao 3
- International Olympiad in Informatics 2
Source: Quino from Argentina
My 15 minutes of fame:
The Axis of Uncool:
They’re all geeks!