Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday round up

  1. Someone the other day said that the Chinese lead in the Cold War era medal count chart is solely due to their dominance in the diving and weightlifting events. Well if you took out swimming and track and field, the US would also never have a chance of keeping pace with the Chinese. Each country is pursuing its strengths in a strategy designed to net the most medals...and in other news, the sky is blue.

  2. Utahns (and NBC) seem genuinely confused as to how to pronounce Beijing. This is the second such local story I have seen on the subject this week. So here goes: Běijīng. Mandarin is a tonal language: "Ma" in Mandarin has several different meanings (like Horse or Mother), but you pronounce them all differently via the length and infliction of the vowel (try it out for yourself here).
    [Prof. S. Robert] Ramsey said he believed Bay-zhing [the false pronunciation] came into usage because it sounded more foreign, more mysterious. Some in the West may subconsciously believe the harder-sounding "jing" sounds like a slur against the Chinese, he said.
    What strikes him odd is that the "zh" sound isn't used in the English language.
    "You have to work to get it wrong," he said.
    So now you know; no more excuses.

  3. I didn't know anyone in Bountiful had tatoos.
    City employees in Bountiful will need to make sure they cover their tattoos.
    City officials have banned employees from having tattoos in easily visible places in an effort to make sure employees put city government in a good light.
    The policy mirrors that of the Los Angeles Police Department, which bans tattoos on the face, neck, head and hands.
    City Manager Tom Hardy says male employees will also have to take their earrings out. The new policy includes a grandfather clause for existing employees who already have tattoos.
    This has raised a lot of stink for some reason. I hope Bountiful has an exception for truly culturally/religiously-based tattoos, like the Maori (some of whom are Mormon BTW) have. But otherwise, I don't get all the fuss. If anyone thinks that you can get a tattoo on your neck and still get an office job anywhere in the planet, they are sorely mistaken.

  4. I don't get platform fights. Does anyone outside of party loyalists/single-issue activists care about what is written in those things? Until the press/activists/the public actually start pressing a president who doesn't fulfill some plank, the platform documents are utterly worthless. A waste of paper. Don't make Al Gore cry.

  5. If you really are a patriot and a hero with lots of character, you don't go around telling people (even through your spokespeople or surrogates) that you are one or keep pointing to your act of heroism whenever you are criticized. Otherwise, you sort of look like you really aren't and that there might be something to the criticism.
Have a good weekend everyone and enjoy endless coverage of women's beach volleyball and more golds and world records for Michael Phelps, who has to be a robot or something.

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