Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Smells

Apparently the word for news in Chinese - 新聞 (xinwen) means 'new smell'.  This baffles me since the character for smell is an ear at a door.  Wouldn't that indicate 'hear'? Or at least 'eavesdrop'? 

But this post is not about my confusion of the Chinese language - rather it is about the News.

Since English class starts up again next week, I thought it would be time to venture back into the world beyond my lab.  Here are the things that caught my eye:

Should we let steroid users into the Baseball Hall of Fame?  Is there a moral line to draw when we've let in blatant racists, drug users, and sex addict?  (NYTimes Sports) Apparently, yes, there is a distinction between being immoral professionally and being immoral personally. 

Does religion have a negative impact on the lives of children?  (NYTimes Room for Debate) Interesting, short read but I'm not convinced to raise my children without religion.  

'Vandal' who defaced Picasso's painting in a Houston museum turned himself in.  (BBC News) Why the quote around the word vandal?  The man who defaced the painting claims it was a political move.

Which led me to the story of a man who defaced a Rothko painting in Europe.  (BBC News) 'Yellowism' is an interesting motive for vandalizing a painting.  What the heck is 'yellowism' anyway?  ('Yellowism' "defined") Is anyone as confused as I am?  It seems we reduce all paintings deemed worthy of 'yellowist' to simply being 'yellow' and nothing more.

Does listening to classical music make our kids smarter?  (BBC Future) Nope.  Apparently your origami skills are improved by listening to anything that you enjoy and it's effect only lasts 15 minutes.

Girl Trafficking in India (BBC News) Yes, it's as tragic and sad as it sounds.  And it's only a small portion of the problem with an obvious gap in gender birth rates.

The latest in Google and China's interesting relationship (BBC News) Google has stopped putting up nice warnings to users noting them that they are looking up censored words.  Apparently, it's just a big headache because China changes censorship all the time (no kidding!).  Google now just transfers all mainland searches to its Hong Kong sites.

In other news, my pump now works!  I was worried that I broke it yesterday when we hooked up the wires incorrectly and blew the system out.  And then I was worried that I broke it when I was putting it back together and the metal casing sparked and shut it down.  Now that I think about, I should probably have counted my blessings that I didn't electrocute myself in the process.  But my concern was only for my pump.

1 comment:

  1. Oh good news. I've been waiting for my origami skills to be improved! Better go grab some paper...

    Also, I feel like no one understands what yellowism means. What I read was, "We have no idea what yellowism is either as some pretentious person made this up, so we're going to throw around big words until you feel dumb enough to just nod your head and go along with it."