Why is this baby crying?

I saw this picture on One Inch Punch (an East Asian site), and I'm wondering if the baby is crying because he's scared or hungry, or is just acting like a baby. It's an interesting image of Halloween, for sure. This is in Japan, btw.


If you want to practice your Spanish and learn about manga

I came upon a Spanish manga site called Manga Spain ("Todo sobre el increíble mundo del manga, comics, anime y más") while doing a search for Shima Kousaku, and wanted to suggest it to manga and anime fans who want to improve their Spanish while reading about their favorite subject.

What's interesting is the use of "mangaka" (romanization for 漫画家) in the post rather than "manga artist" or whatever else the Spanish equivalent would be.

I honestly don't know if "mangaka" is used often in English sites, or if they use "manga artist" more often. Using the romanization seems like a better, sophisticated word choice that represents the hard-working Japanese artists.


Bonnie Koloc: an incredible singer I never knew about

Bonnie Koloc was a very popular singer in Chicago over 30 years ago, but I've never heard of her, and never heard her music until tonight when I saw her at Chicago Live. I had no idea what to expect. She was on stage with just a guitar player, and since I'd seen such a lineup before, I didn't expect much. But wow--she was really incredible. Even though the songs she sang were simple, and there was no flash and nothing fancy, the way she sang cut right through me and I felt very emotional while I was listening. Her style seems like folk, but she has so much depth, it's more like soul. She's a really amazing performer. I met her after the show, and could barely get the words out to express how much her singing impacted me. I'm not usually so moved when I hear someone sing, but I was seriously holding back tears.

Below is a video of her singing a few years ago, but seeing her live is way better--she totally communicates with the audience and truly sings from her heart. She's coming out with a new CD...I bet it's going to be great (here's a list of her previous music).


Weird English from Europe

You'd think that Europe wouldn't exhibit any bad English since a lot of people have studied it, and they've been interacting with England, Ireland, and Scotland for years, but I spotted some strange English on the label of this fruit spread when I was in a German store yesterday. It said: "For a superb taste mix fruit on top down into jar."

What does that mean? I understand the first few words, but then the meaning breaks down as the sentence continues. You'd think the French company that puts this product out would find *someone* who can verify that the English is correct. Puzzling, indeed.

Update: upon reading it again a few times, I think they mean that you should mix in the fruit that is on the top.


If you want to support Balinese

Alissa Stern from BasaBali, a site "encouraging the use of Balinese," contacted me after seeing my post about Tim Brookes' Endangered Language Project. She and some professors are working on "developing the first multimedia language materials for Balinese."

She says:
Although Balinese is not an endangered language, it is on sharp decline in the increasing shadow of English and Indonesian. Professor Hildred Geertz likens the richness of Balinese to Shakespearean English and 15th century Yiddush, but with only a million speakers left out of a
population of 3-4 million, it is quickly losing traction.
They started a kickstarter campaign "to try to
raise funds to pay the Balinese linguists, videographers, animators, and
anthropologists who are working with us."

So if you're interested in preserving Balinese, go to the campaign site to see a video and find out more. They have various reward levels for which you can receive a "thank you" gift for contributing.


Facebook confusion update

This summer, I discovered that I confused Facebook when I changed the display language to Japanese and my residence to non-American places. Then, to see what would happen, I changed again and saw Arabic and French ads.

Here's the most recent update: the display language is French, and I "reside" in Vietnam, so I currently see all French and Vietnamese ads. Confusing Facebook is fun! I've now decided to "move" from Vietnam to Thailand, so we'll see what pops up next. Stay tuned!


What English sounds like to non-English speakers

A short fake English film made to sound like what non-English speakers hear. It's funny to see how others perceive the language.

Thanks to Jordan for this.


Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

I forgot to post such a greeting earlier to our neighbors to the North. Hope everyone pigged out like we Americans do every year!


Simon & Schuster is ripping ebook readers off

I was looking at the forthcoming Steve Jobs biography on the Barnes & Noble site, and I thought "great, another B&N ripoff" since I'd discovered such over-pricing of ebooks before, so I looked at the Amazon site. Same over-inflated price for an ebook: $16.99, while the print version is $17.88. Then I saw this claim: "This price was set by the publisher" which is Simon & Schuster.

I went to their site, and it had the same price, ie, they're ripping off ebook readers by offering less than one dollar off the print price.

So who's to blame: Simon & Schuster, all publishers, or the online book sellers? Or everyone?

Hopefully their price gouging will cause people to not buy books, which will affect their bottom line. To act as if the same costs go into publishing ebooks as print is to assume that consumers are ignorant. I'm not, which is why I'm posting this here, and will continue to point out such greedy behavior until something changes.


Exercise is important, but...

"Everybody tells me that I have to exercise. That it is good for my health. But I never heard anyone telling a sportsman that he has to read." (José Saramago)


Cristina met Kevin Whately!

One of my favorite TV shows is Inspector Lewis, which is way better than what you can find in the US (it's a British show). Well, Cristina Hanganu-Bresch, one of the writers from the anthology (read it for free: she's on page 61) met the star of the show, Kevin Whately. Lucky!