12/06/2014 archive

Random Japan

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Strange English signs in China and Japan really hate vegetables, sometimes threaten to kill you

Casey Baseel

We’ve talked before about some of the reasons why bizarre English signage pops up in Asia. One of the most common causes is a fundamental difference in the way sentences are structured between English and other languages. Automated translations programs, which aren’t nearly as well sorted out as many monolingual users believe, are also among the usual suspects.

That said, looking at a flawed translation is sort of like performing an autopsy, in that sometimes there’s a limit in what it can tell you. Just like the medical examiner might say, “Well, all the baby spiders hatching inside the subject’s eyeball definitely killed him, but I’ve got no idea how the eggs got in there,” there are times like these when we look at some garbled English, and, just like we can’t stifle our chuckles, we can’t imagine why the translation went flying off the rails, or if it was even on them to begin with.

The Breakfast Club (12 Tones)

It’s really not as revolutionary as it sounds.  Anyone who’s fingered an instrument (and c’mon, who hasn’t wanted to give an instrument the finger) knows about the chromatic scale, the one with all the sharps and flats and even musical idiots know this little ditty-

Do- a deer, a female deer

Re- a drop of golden sun

Mi- a name i call myself

Fa- a long long way to run

So- a needle pulling thread

La- a note to follow so

Te- a drink with jam and bread

That will bring us back to doh!

Now in the original lyrics they use contractions but that would never do for Julie Andrews

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgAnyhow the most common musical scale for Western Art Music is the Heptatonic or 7 note scale illustrated by Ms. Andrews above.  I, of course, favor the Monotonic pioneered by Steven Wright-

  • Why is the alphabet in that order?  Is it because of that song? The guy who wrote that song wrote everything.

And Ben Stein-

  • Bueller?  Bueller?

Because the fingering is easier, I only need the middle one.

Arnold Schoenberg is reviled and despised not just because he’s a Jewish degenerate, but because he ditched that Mary Poppins 7 note musical image for atonality which he hated being associated with and actually never used, favoring instead the twelve-tone technique which is equally revolutionary but should in no way be confused with the former (meaning atonality, but in English there is no word for ‘middler’ being betwixt as it is between “Mary Poppins 7 note” and “twelve-tone technique”).

I hope I’ve made myself perfectly opaque, a black hole butcher of language.

If you have followed me this far down the rabbit hole, in brief the Art Music “Establishment” had been in violation of Hepatonic scaling for centuries and Schoenberg just made it explicit.  For his pains he received reveiws like this-

(T)he self-gratification of an individual who sits in his studio and invents rules according to which he then writes down his notes.

To which his reply was “Ernst Krenek wishes for only whores as listeners.”

And so, like Jazz and “Modern” art, Schoenberg abandoned popularity and conventional norms, not that he wasn’t capable of composing Late Romantic music like this-

Or even use mildly revolutionary inspirations like Hemingway

Two people are walking through a bare, cold wood;

the moon keeps pace with them and draws their gaze.

The moon moves along above tall oak trees,

there is no wisp of cloud to obscure the radiance

to which the black, jagged tips reach up.

A woman’s voice speaks:

“I am carrying a child, and not by you.

I am walking here with you in a state of sin.

I have offended grievously against myself.

I despaired of happiness,

and yet I still felt a grievous longing

for life’s fullness, for a mother’s joys

“and duties; and so I sinned,

and so I yielded, shuddering, my sex

to the embrace of a stranger,

and even thought myself blessed.

Now life has taken its revenge,

and I have met you, met you.”

She walks on, stumbling.

She looks up; the moon keeps pace.

Her dark gaze drowns in light.

A man’s voice speaks:

“Do not let the child you have conceived

be a burden on your soul.

Look, how brightly the universe shines!

Splendour falls on everything around,

you are voyaging with me on a cold sea,

but there is the glow of an inner warmth

from you in me, from me in you.

That warmth will transfigure the stranger’s child,

and you bear it me, begot by me.

You have transfused me with splendour,

you have made a child of me.”

He puts an arm about her strong hips.

Their breath embraces in the air.

Two people walk on through the high, bright night.

Time for my inner Hemmingway

The woman scratched the dog’s ears.  In the distance he could see the smoke from the train.  The coffee was still too hot.  He would have to speak.

“Train coming.”


The dog grinned.  The woman scratched.  The dog’s tail wagged.

“It will be here soon.”


Suddenly the dog got up, scratched it’s neck vigorously, then laid down and rolled on it’s back.  The woman leaned over to rub it’s tummy.  He stared off into the distant mountains.

The dog’s left hind leg twitched.  With a loud noise the train came into the station and ground to a halt.  The dog didn’t care until the woman stood up abruptly.



He turned away and whistled for his dog.  As they left the station it growled at the English Major.  When he told me this story he said-

“Do you want fries with that?”

So much more entertaining than my inner Faulkner

The cool mist settled in the hollows of the night as the idiot stood by the fence contemplating (as well as his child-like mind could) the bovine somnolence that stood before him, serenely dreaming lactative 4 stomach dreams of endless fields of daisies, yes daisies for that was her name- Daisy, bright as the summer sun, long slow munching of grass and partially digested grass, methane producing, global warming Daisy.  She smelled of the earth and as he approached her side, careful not to disturb her gentle ‘earth gifts’, he could feel the heat of her fermentive power, the transformation of cool clay, the wetness of spring floods, and the greenness, the awesome greenness of the whole valley.

Gently he pushed her and she collapsed, even now unconscious, the pastures of her youth playing in her mind as the idiot re-crossed the boundary between what was her and her kind’s alone, back to the mundane reality that waited for him, back to his own kind and their cruel taunts.

As the sun rose the mist fled.  Daisy, startled, rose to her feet and resumed her life as if nothing had happened.  The idiot, wracked by guilt, finished his undergraduate degree in english literature, not only never forgetting his youthful indiscretions but in fact REVELING in them as he said to me-

“Do you want fries with that?”

Or my inner Steinbeck

I been thinkin’ about Okies.  About how Okie use’ta mean ya was from Oklahoma and now it means you’re scum who’ll vote for the most ign’rant greedy people on the face of the earth.  Livin’ like pigs while 85 people are wealthier than 50% of the world put t’gether.  B’lievin’ that your god allows ya to keep wimmin barefoot and pregnant like slaves…

Well, men are sorta – well, they’re sorta jerks.  Thinking they can rape the land, and poison the sky and the water and it all just brings Jesus and Judgment Day closer thinkin’ they’re part of the elect and will be raptured and not realizin’ that they’re the ones that will be judged.

I’ve been thinkin’ about us too and how much bigger 3.5 Billion is than 85 and I been wonderin’ if we all got together and yelled louder…

Oh Tommy, the NSA is already spying on yer every move.  They’ll call ya a terrerist and if the DEA and FBI don’t bring in their paramilitary SWAT teams, ICE will bust ya for bringing your iPhone into a theater!

They’ll get me anyway.  It ain’t that big.  The whole world ain’t that big.  There ain’t room enough for you an’ me, for their kind an’ my kind, for rich and poor, for thieves and honest men.  For hunger and fat.

Tommy, you’re not calling for revolution.

No Ma, not that, except in the small things.  I’ll buy Compact Flourescents and LEDs.  I’ll make sure my tires are properly inflated and drive less often.  I’ll stop watching and reading the Versailles Villagers and I’ll be scornful, disdainful, and downright rude to the Wall Street Masters of the Universe.

They seem to resent that.

How’m I gonna know ya Tom.

If they strike me down I shall become more powerful than they can possibly imagine.  I’ll be everywhere.  In every fight so poor people can eat.  In every Occupy they can gas and bulldoze.  In every inconvenient question at a press conference or Town Hall.

I don’t understand it Tom.

Me neither Ma, but just somethin’ I been thinkin’ about.

Oh, I should have warned you, spoilers!

For the present, it matters more to me if people understand my older works … They are the natural forerunners of my later works, and only those who understand and comprehend these will be able to gain an understanding of the later works that goes beyond a fashionable bare minimum. I do not attach so much importance to being a musical bogey-man as to being a natural continuer of properly-understood good old tradition!

Soon enough you get tired of painting the same fence.

Obligatories, News, and Blogs below.

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Wild About Mushrooms

Seared Wild Mushrooms photo 01recipehealthmushroom-articleLarge_zps2d6eee33.jpg

Mushrooms are meaty – it is their juicy, chewy texture and the umami element in their flavor profile – and lend themselves to Mediterranean as well as Asian seasonings. They are low in calories and an excellent source of B vitamins and many minerals, particularly selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and manganese. Wild mushrooms in particular also contain phytochemicals, including L-ergothioneine, which studies have shown to have antioxidant properties. They are used medicinally throughout Asia for their immune-boosting properties.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Seared Wild Mushrooms

There are a number of options for pan-seared mushrooms, from bruschetta to big bowls.

Cod With Chanterelles and Parsley Sauce

Chanterelles are expensive, but you get a lot of volume for your dollar.

Wild Mushroom and Potato Gratin

Wild mushrooms add a luxurious dimension to this comforting, almost classic potato gratin.

Mushroom Risotto With Peas

The wild mushrooms are what this risotto is really all about.

Baked Miso-Glazed Tofu With Wild Mushrooms

A vegan mushroom meal with Asian flavors.

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Brent Staples: Hope and Anger at the Garner Protests

he country has historically reacted with doubt or indifference when African-Americans speak of police officers who brutalize – or even kill – people with impunity. Affluent and middle-class white Americans who were treated with respect by the police had difficulty imagining the often life-threatening mistreatment that black Americans of all walks of life dealt with on a daily basis. Perhaps those days are passing away.

You can see that from the multiracial cast of the demonstrations that have swept the nation since Wednesday, when a grand jury decided not to indict a white New York City police officer whose chokehold killed Eric Garner, an unarmed black man. [..]

The viral spread of the demonstrations – and the wide cross section of Americans who are organizing and participating in them – shows that what was once seen as a black issue is on the way to being seen as a central, American problem.

John Nichols: Bogus Bipartisanship: Congress Cooperates in the Service of Corporations

The problem with bipartisanship as it is currently understood is that, for the most part, cooperation in Congress serves the elites that already are living large thanks to federal tax policies that redistribute wealth upward.

That was certainly the case this week, when the US House voted 378-46 for the so-called “Tax Increase Prevention Act.”

Hailed by politicians and pundits as an example of Congress coming together to get something done, the measure-which still must be considered by a somewhat skeptical Senate-is better understood as a glaring example of what it wrong with Washington. [..]

The measure seeks to extend many of the most absurd tax breaks enjoyed by multinational corporations in a way that Congressman Keith Ellison says “gives away too much to big business, while doing little to help working families make ends meet.”

Eugene Robinson: The Eric Garner Case’s Sickening Outcome

I can’t breathe.

Those were Eric Garner’s last words, and today they apply to me. The decision by a Staten Island grand jury to not indict the police officer who killed him takes my breath away.

In the depressing reality series that should be called “No Country for Black Men,” this sick plot twist was shocking beyond belief. There should have been an indictment in the Ferguson case, in my view, but at least the events that led to Michael Brown’s killing were in dispute. Garner’s homicide was captured on video. We saw him being choked, heard him plead of his distress, watched as no attempt was made to revive him and his life slipped away.

This time, there were literally millions of eyewitnesses. Somebody tell me, just theoretically, how many does it take? Is there any number that would suffice? Or is this whole “equal justice under the law” thing just a cruel joke?

Dave Zirin: Jameis Winston’s Peculiar Kind of Privilege

There are only two conclusions one can draw about Florida State football star quarterback Jameis Winston. Either he is a remarkable athlete who has little comprehension of the world beyond the huddle and hired the most callous attorneys on the planet to beat a sexual assault charge. Or he is a remarkable athlete who carries a deeply embittered streak of misogyny. Jameis Winston is currently facing a Florida State code of conduct hearing over charges of sexual assault. These same allegations were deemed to be without merit by the state’s attorney, although the initial investigation by Tallahassee police was so shady it was worthy of its own New York Times exposé.

Yet whether Winston is guilty or innocent, nothing excuses the testimony-published in USA Today-that the quarterback submitted to the code of conduct hearing this week. In his own defense, the Heisman winner writes, “The only thing as vicious as rape is falsely accusing someone of rape.” Read Daniel Roberts for a searing statistical breakdown for how gobsmackingly ridiculous such a statement actually is. The chances of being falsely accused of rape are about as likely as being struck by lightning: one in 2 million. Meanwhile, 25 percent of women on campus say they have survived a sexual assault. Also, as Roberts writes, many high-profile athletes have survived and even thrived after sexual assault accusations and convictions. Meanwhile, actual survivors of sexual assault are often treated like they deserve any pain that lingers.

David Sirota: A Multi-Billion Dollar Secret

If you are a public school teacher in Kentucky, the state has a message for you: You have no right to know the details of the investments being made with your retirement savings. That was the crux of the declaration issued by state officials to a high school history teacher when he asked to see the terms of the agreements between the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System and the Wall Street firms that are managing the system’s money on behalf of him, his colleagues and thousands of retirees.

The denial was the latest case of public officials blocking the release of information about how billions of dollars of public employees’ retirement nest eggs are being invested. Though some of the fine print of the investments has occasionally leaked, the agreements are tightly held in most states and cities. Critics say such secrecy prevents lawmakers and the public from evaluating the propriety of the increasing fees being paid to private financial firms for pension management services.

Nicholas Tampio: David Coleman’s plan to ruin education

In the summer of 2008, David Coleman changed the course of American education. For decades, reformers had argued that the country needed a national standards-based model of education to ensure economic prosperity. He helped make that a reality by convincing Bill Gates to support the Common Core State Standards initiative, to the tune of over $200 million.

In part because of his experience supervising the writing of the standards, Coleman became the head of the College Board, where his philosophy of education will further shape how U.S. high schools prepare students for college.

He has expressed this vision in an essay published by the College Board, “Cultivating Wonder.” With this document and the early results of the Common Core, it’s easy to see where his grand plans fall short. [..]

A recurrent defense of the Common Core is that the standards are good but the implementation has been bad. Even if Coleman’s educational vision is perfectly actualized, it is still profoundly flawed. Under Common Core, from the time they enter kindergarten to the time they graduate from high school, students will have few opportunities to ask their own questions or come up with their own ideas. It’s time for Americans to find alternatives to Coleman’s educational vision.


On This Day In History December 6

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

December 6 is the 340th day of the year (341st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 25 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1884, the Washington Monument is completed.

In Washington, D.C., workers place a nine-inch aluminum pyramid atop a tower of white marble, completing the construction of an impressive monument to the city’s namesake and the nation’s first president, George Washington.  As early as 1783, the infant U.S. Congress decided that a statue of George Washington, the great Revolutionary War general, should be placed near the site of the new Congressional building, wherever it might be. After then-President Washington asked him to lay out a new federal capital on the Potomac River in 1791, architect Pierre L’Enfant left a place for the statue at the western end of the sweeping National Mall (near the monument’s present location).

The Washington Monument is an obelisk near the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate the first U.S. president, General George Washington. The monument, made of marble, granite, and sandstone, is both the world’s tallest stone structure and the world’s tallest obelisk, standing 555 feet 5 1/8 inches (169.294 m). There are taller monumental columns, but they are neither all stone nor true obelisks. It is also the tallest structure in Washington D.C.. It was designed by Robert Mills, an architect of the 1840s. The actual construction of the monument began in 1848 but was not completed until 1884, almost 30 years after the architect’s death. This hiatus in construction happened because of co-option by the Know Nothing party, a lack of funds, and the intervention of the American Civil War. A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m or 27%) up, shows where construction was halted for a number of years. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848; the capstone was set on December 6, 1884, and the completed monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885. It officially opened October 9, 1888. Upon completion, it became the world’s tallest structure, a title previously held by the Cologne Cathedral. The monument held this designation until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France. The monument stands due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial.

Who will rid me of this meddlesome Priest?

Is Obama Stalling Until Republicans Can Bury the CIA Torture Report?

By Dan Froomkin, The Intercept


Continued White House foot-dragging on the declassification of a much-anticipated Senate torture report is raising concerns that the administration is holding out until Republicans take over the chamber and kill the report themselves.

Senator Dianne Feinstein’s intelligence committee sent a 480-page executive summary of its extensive report on the CIA’s abuse of detainees to the White House for declassification more than six months ago.

In August, the White House, working closely with the CIA, sent back redactions that Feinstein and other Senate Democrats said rendered the summary unintelligible and unsupported.

Since then, the wrangling has continued behind closed doors, with projected release dates repeatedly falling by the wayside.  The Huffington Post reported this week that White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, a close ally of CIA Director John Brennan, is personally leading the negotiations, suggesting keen interest in their progress – or lack thereof – on the part of  Brennan and President Obama.

Human-rights lawyer Scott Horton, who interviewed a wide range of intelligence and administration officials for his upcoming book,  “Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America’s Stealth Foreign Policy,” told The Intercept that the White House and the CIA are hoping a Republican Senate will, in their words, “put an end to this nonsense.”

Stalling for time until after the midterm elections and the start of a Republican-majority session is the “battle plan,” Horton said. “I can tell you that Brennan has told people in the CIA that that’s his prescription for doing it.”

Victoria Bassetti, a former Senate Judiciary Committee staffer, wrote this week that the administration is playing “stall ball” and that Senate staffers expect Republicans would “spike release of the report” should they take over the chamber.

So today-

White House Getting Cold Feet Over Exposing CIA’s Torture Secrets

By Dan Froomkin, The Intercept


After seven months of promising to release a report exposing CIA torture of terror suspects, the Obama administration Friday reportedly sent Secretary of State John Kerry to ask Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein to consider holding off “because a lot is going on in the world.”

Adhering to the time-honored Washington tradition of releasing news with unpleasant PR repercussions on a Friday afternoon, “an administration official” leaked word of the call to Josh Rogin of Bloomberg View.

Friday’s news was reminiscent of a previous Obama reversal, in the early days of his presidency. Back in April 2009, Obama had said he would not block the court-ordered release of photographs depicting the abuse of detainees held by U.S. authorities abroad. Then he changed his mind.

“[T]he most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in danger,” Obama announced a few weeks later.

I wrote at the time that Obama had at that point officially joined the Bush-Cheney cover-up of torture.

By blocking the release of those photos, Obama managed to keep the public from the visceral realization that the kind of vile, sadistic treatment of detainees illustrated in the infamous photos from Abu Ghraib in Iraq was not limited to one prison or one country.

Ah, my first banning.

Now of course I’m banned for calling out Denise Oliver Velez as a “rapist apologist” for supporting ZhenRen in his drunken attacks against triv33.

Who are the “Good Germans” now?

(h/t digby)