Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"A dog bitten by a snake fears sausages."

I.e., "once bitten, twice shy" in Portuguese. More foreign idiom equivalents, courtesy of Lonely Planet.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Apparently my English (at least when I produce it in quantity) is 84% Shakespearean. Give it a go.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Great moments in advertising copy:
Colon hydrotherapy is the river of life...
Yah, it's the sacred bleedin' Ganges, mate. Glimpsed in the Santa Fe phone book.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A cool map of generic American nomenclature for streams. My typical haunts are definitely fork, wash and arroyo country, no surprise. I'm a little surprised by the prevalence of sloughs in the northwest, and even into the Great Basin.

One interesting obscure term along these lines is "prong," (which doesn't make it on the map). The only examples I am aware of are in southern New Mexico's Black Range.

Via Strange Maps.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Even more terrible was the Palden Llamo, one of the divine protectors of Buddhism but also a devouring mother who sacrificed her own children. She rode upon a lake of entrails and blood, clutching a cup made from the skull of a child born from incest, her thunderbolt staff ready to smash the unbelievers and her teeth gnawing on a corpse. Her horse's saddle was made from the flayed skin of her own child, who had become an enemy of the faith, and snakes wound through her hair. Like many gods, she bore a crown of five skulls and a necklace of severed heads. Her ostensible purpose was to defend Buddhism against its enemies, and in particular to guard the Dalai Lama, but she must have terrified many true believers as well. The Tibetans considered Queen Victoria to be one of her incarnations.
Emphasis mine. Of all the sentences not to have an end-note! From The Bloody White Baron, a biography of the appalling Baron von Ungern-Sternberg: as Steve put it, "one of the most disturbing minor figures of history.... be glad that he is minor."