Thursday, July 10, 2008

stray bullets

Dog meat ban for Olympics I've often said that many Westerners will never be entirely at ease with people that eat dogs. This story is sourced from a blog post with a notice that purports to be from the Beijing City Government Food Safety Office. There's a link to a translation in the comments.

Bull semen and cigarettes: Just a few things the US exports to Iran Though it's the one remaining member of the "Axis of Evil," the value of U.S. exports to Iran has reportedly increased tenfold since George Bush took office.

How English Is Evolving Into a Language We May Not Even Understand Thanks to globalization, the Allied victories in World War II, and American leadership in science and technology, English has become so successful across the world that it's escaping the boundaries of what we think it should be. In part, this is because there are fewer of us: By 2020, native speakers will make up only 15 percent of the estimated 2 billion people who will be using or learning the language. Already, most conversations in English are between nonnative speakers who use it as a lingua franca. In China, this sort of free-form adoption of English is helped along by a shortage of native English-speaking teachers, who are hard to keep happy in rural areas for long stretches of time. An estimated 300 million Chinese — roughly equivalent to the total US population — read and write English but don't get enough quality spoken practice. The likely consequence of all this? In the future, more and more spoken English will sound increasingly like Chinese.

End of a Kafkaesque nightmare: writer's papers finally come to light Scholars of the 20th-century writer Franz Kafka were in a state of suspense last night at the news that the remains of his estate, which have been hoarded in a Tel Aviv flat for decades, may soon be revealed. (via)

Alfred Hitchcock Cameos All of them. I wish the images were a bit bigger.

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