Thursday, February 11, 2016

McCain and torture and the GOP

A quick little something from Fred at Slacktivist's latest round-up:

John McCain wants to believe that, in 2016, it’s still possible to be a Republican while opposing torture. He notes that torture is illegal, immoral, counter-productive, and disgraceful. He’s right about that. Whether or not he’s right that it’s still possible to be a Republican while believing that is yet to be determined.

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At 9:55 AM, February 11, 2016 OpenID q-pheevr had this to say...

I've always admired the principles and strength of character that McCain displayed as a prisoner of war, and I respect the moral authority with which he has spoken against torture. But it does seem to me that he chose party loyalty over principled opposition to torture in 2004, when he supported the Bush–Cheney ticket.

I hope he can continue to be a voice of reason within his party on this issue, but I think he's made it clear that he is a Republican first and foremost.

 

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Two words

I'm getting very tired of being lectured for supporting Bernie over Hillary (even though I'm not a "young woman").

To Madeleine Albright, Gloria Steinem, and Barbara Res, I have this to say:

Yes,all other things being equal, I would in fact support Hillary first because she's a woman. But all other things are not even close to being equal. They may agree 93% of the time, but that 7% is pretty significant.

Certainly I'd prefer my third choice to win than my first choice to lose, but that doesn't make my third choice my first. And certainly I will vote for the (D) in the general election, but that doesn't mean it's the (D) I would have preferred.

And one last thing. If you're going to say, as does Albright that "There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women," or, as does Res, "But I shake my head and ask myself, why can't they just go with Hillary because she is a woman?", I've got 2 words for you:

Margaret Thatcher.


** Apparently Steinem was cut off and out of context, which pleases me.

Edit: I came home planning to edit this to ask if I should vote for Carly Fiorina instead of Bernie, should that be the way it falls out. Of course, Fiorina just dropped out, so that existential dilemma will not be posed this year.

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I want this on a tshirt

The Russian government has a campaign to encourage people to buy domestic goods instead of imported one (сделано нами, сделано для нас = made by us for us; сделано у нас, нам есть чем гордиться = made here; we have something to be proud of; импортозамещение = import substitutions).

Here are a couple of serious posters from it. But the third one? I want that one on a tshirt.

сделано нами, сделано для нас = made by us for us

сделано у нас, нам есть чем гордиться = made here; we have something to be proud of

импортозамещение ZZ Top = import substitution for ZZ Top

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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

2 Boxes Full Of Money - and it's All Mine

Cool beans! I'm gonna get $8 million from some runaway diplomat ...

They really depend on people who are greedy, think they're smarter than this "inspector", and figure they can get away with swindling low-level crook. It's amazing. But they don't need many people to bite to make it worthwhile.

Message body

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At 6:10 PM, February 09, 2016 Blogger fev had this to say...

So you're thinking he's _not_ from the Meticulous Attention Detective Bureau?

 

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'Playboy', Bing?

So, today Petro Poroshenko posted this:
Сьогодні урочисту присягу складають бійці Управління спеціальних операцій - це дуже важливий етап у створенні НАБУ.

Висловлюю повну політичну підтримку зусиллям Національного антикорупційного бюро. Ніхто в нашій країні не застрахований від того, аби опинитися в полі прискіпливої уваги детективів бюро.

Жодні зв'язки не дають індульгенції і захисту!

You can see Bing's effort:
Today urochystu oath form fighters special operations management is very important milestone in creating nabu.
Vyslovlyuyu full political support to the National Antykoruptsiynoho Bureau. Nobody in our country not guarantees from here to find myself in the field pryskiplyvoyi attention detectives office.
None relationships playboy inhul'hentsiyi and protection!
And here's Google's version:
now make a solemn oath to the soldiers of the Special Operations - a very important stage in the creation of NABU.

I express my full political support to the efforts of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau. No one in our country is immune from what was to be a meticulous attention Detective Bureau.

No links do not give indulgence and protection!
Google can't tell when 'today' means 'nowadays' or really 'today', but that would be asking quite a lot. Unfortunately, 'soldiers' isn't in the dative, but the nominative - they're the ones making the oath. Google also disregarded the capital letter on 'Directorate' and chose to leave it out - they're soldiers of the Special Operations Directorate. Also, it's "from what will be" and "OF the detectives OF the bureau". And the required double negative defeats it when it comes to good English - 'No links (or, better, connections) will give'.

Bing, on the other hand ... Wow. Not only does it not recognize  Antykoruptsiynoho as being Anticorruption or indul'hentsiyi as 'indulgence',  it gets messed up by oblique cases of adjectives, genitive constructions with nouns, and several things about verbs mess it up badly. For instance, its algorithm tells it that -sya (reflexive) verbs are "... myself" whether that makes sense or not. It can't tell a passive participle from an active verb (застрахований means 'to be insured against, immune from, protected from'): 'nobody not guarantees' is, double negative aside, quite different from 'nobody not guaranteed'. Errr, 'nobody is guaranteed'. 

But mainly. WHAT THE  HECK is 'playboy' doing in there? How does the verb дають, 'they give', turn into 'playboy'? I mean, if you plug 'playboy' into ABBYY Lingvo, it offers  you плейбой, джиґун, ледар, марнотратник життя; reversing that gives you, respectively, nothing (it's just 'pleyboy'), ladies' man, idler, spendthrift (literally 'waster, squanderer of life'. There's no reason whatsoever for 'playboy' to be in that sentence.

ps - for Kathie... yes, I'm surely tempted "not to change the output" here; a "decision to leave it alone" would be more than just "frustrating".

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At 9:49 AM, February 09, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

See answer to question #3:
http://caroltranslation.com/2016/02/01/greatest-women-in-translation-muriel-vasconcellos

The interviewee's problem is that it's not merely a matter of style, but of meaning. Without accurate meaning, even the best style renders the work irrelevant.

 

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Sunday, February 07, 2016

Peyton Manning

PEYTON!

 

PEYTON!

 

PEYTON! 

 

That is all.

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The Weeks in Entertainment

Long time to go over, hope I remember everything...

Live: The Pearl Fishers at the Met. Lovely Bizet score, wonderful singers. THEN Snowzilla attacked. My friend and I had tickets for La Bohème and the evening performance of Allegiance. We decided, after some thought, that we'd better go up on Friday in case the snow stopped the trains Saturday morning. So we got tickets for Turandot, which was very well done, Friday and then Saturday had lunch and settled into our seats at the Met to be told that a state of emergency had been declared, the mayor was stopping the trains at 2, and all the theaters were being closed. So instead of two shows in a Manhattan getting 5" or so, we sat in our hotel and watch the city get pounded - though not as badly as down in Maryland. Ah well, it was a good idea.

Film: Saw Trumbo again with a friend who hadn't. Also saw The Force Awakens again - a lot of fun, that movie. Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, very good, very enjoyable.

TV: Caught the first few episodes of The X-Files reboot, and liked it. Also Lucifer, which is a bit predictable, really, but kind of fun. The last few of this season of The Librarians, which ended well and has me excited for next season. There's a lot piled up on the DVR but I haven't done much TV watching, really.

Read: Oh, man. Let's see. A truckload of Charles de Lint, a couple of dozen old and new. The Wildlings trilogy was new to me and I liked it a lot, but mainly it was Newford stuff. Another episode of Bookburners. Liars for Jesus 2, continuing the good work of documenting right-wing distortions of American history. Midnight Taxi Tango, a Bone Street Rumba novel, not quite as good as the first but still very readable. Two short "Sin de Jour" things, which are okay, and ended on a real cliffhanger so I'll probably try the next one when it comes out. Tad Williams' "Bobby Dollar" trilogy which was well-written enough to pull through the whole thing even though (as with many noirs) I didn't really like Bobby very much. The new translation of Dovlatov's Заповедник, The Preserve, translated by his daughter as Pushkin Hills - very bitingly funny and very Russian. China Mièville's two latest - the short story collection Three Moments of an Explosion and the novella This Census Taker - neither of which disappointed at all. Staked, the latest Iron Druid novel, which has the feel of wrapping up, if not the series, a major part of it. And the first five of the Rivers of London series, which actually is where I saw the Bobby Dollar things advertised - but these are splendid fun, well thought out and written, and with a narrator I really like.

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Saturday, February 06, 2016

Error

In his latest newsletter, Michael Quinion tells us that a couple of his readers "spotted a headline error that turns up on US newspaper sites so often that it has become a perennial joke. Let’s give it one last moment in the sun because this time it appeared (on 26 January) on the website of the prestigious New York Times: “Police Officer Shoots Man With Knife in Lower Manhattan”. The NYT rapidly changed it."

The problem is that this isn't an "error", it's merely structural ambiguity that is fully grammatical and permitted. And not one that anyone really misunderstands it. Sure, "police shoot man with sniper rifle" is somewhat rude to your readers, though I expect the readership would be able to understand from context who had the rifle.

But "police shoot man with knife"? Really? Do people think it's a knife that fires bullets, or a gun that fires knives? "Police shoot man with black hair" - still an "error"?

Look, I'm not saying that the sentence is flawless. Writing things that make your readers drop out of the text to laugh (unless it's a comedy piece) isn't good writing; it might even be slightly rude. But it's not a grammatical or syntactic error.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Eagles in Columbia

For the past few weeks there have been a large number of bald eagles around Wilde Lake in Columbia, Maryland, apparently brought there by a warm-water fish kill. Whatever brought them, I was able to get some shots the weekend before the big snow. Here are a few of them, including a fishing sequence.

Adult flying in front of condos - he has a fish


Adult with dinner


Adult overhead


Juvenile - note the brown head and tail, and patchy colors on the wings


Adult

Juvenile in the trees


An adult comes in for a fish, gets it, and flies off with it








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2 Comments:

At 7:36 AM, February 04, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Amazing how the mind auto-"corrects," because I (mis)read your first sentence as...

"Adult flying in front of condors" :-)

 
At 10:20 AM, February 04, 2016 Anonymous TJ had this to say...

Excellent photos! There are no bald eagles (or any other kind of eagle) where I live so it is a pleasure to see these pictures.

 

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This doesn't work for me

From NPR's Facebook page:

"Inflation has barely moved but so have wages."

Expand that and you get "Inflation has barely moved but so have wages barely moved."

I don't know about you, but I can't use "barely" that way. It's like a verb of minimal degree - you can not budge an inch, but you can't budge an inch (Bob's not that stubborn; he'll budge an inch / say a word / blink an eye...). For me, that sentence needs to end negatively:

Inflation has barely moved, but neither have wages.

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I don't think so

So yeah, technically he's not a (D). But really, CNN?

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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Nice job, I mean it

Some really sweet machine translations via Facebook - I have to assume it's still Bing, but they aren't putting their name on them any more.




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At 8:44 AM, February 03, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Just imagine how bad the new Skype instantaneous interpreting software must be...

 

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Back with words

Hmmm... I thought I'd posted at least once in January, but I see not. More substantial stuff will come as I get back in the habit, but today I actually won the Jumble game - I can make a sentence with all the words, in order, and using no content words except them! Woo-Hoo!

What is that AWFUL IMAGE you FLAUNT in INDIGO?


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At 8:45 AM, February 03, 2016 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Would you call this a meta-puzzle? :-)

 

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