30 March 2004

Green Flash

Via Inappropriate Response, here is a photo of the green flash. I’ve seen it once and it was indeed very green, very vivid, unmistakable. I’ve tried many a time since but haven’t managed to see it again.

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New frontiers in "Blame America First"

[source, source]

The Seattle Times has a Sunday section for kids called “Next,” and the current edition features an online poll that asks “Who do you blame for 9/11?” Three choices are offered: “Bush,” “Clinton” and “CIA.” There isn’t even a write-in category for those who blame the actual culprits, Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

The American public is often accused of being parochial and isolationist, but here we have a major newspaper apparently unaware that there are actors on the world stage other than the USA.

P.S. The online poll has been changed to ask a completely different question.

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Canadian government, snakepit of linguistic horror

[source, source]

Dyane Adam is in the fifth year of a seven-year term as Canada’s bilingualism cop, running a $17-million office that increasingly serves as the Grand Frere of linguistic enforcement and speech control. […]

But in her most desperate bid to create a healthy make-work environment, Adam commissioned a “sociolinguistic analysis” of the government, which was released yesterday. […]

Knowing French isn’t the same as talking French, she concludes, and is demanding “concrete measures” to force more francais into the daily fray.

How? Exactly? She doesn’t say. But success should “be a prerequisite in determining performance bonuses” for senior management. […]

It seems they [Francophones] prefer to communicate with their colleagues in English. And this, in turn, tends to discourage anglophones from talking in French.

“English-speaking respondents complain the francophones are too reluctant to speak French,” she notes.

And in a gasp of horror only a Franco-fanatic could muster, Adam has determined that “francophones sometimes use English when speaking to each other.”

The horror, the horror!

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