skip to main content
1479 MetaFilter comments by the cydonian
(displaying 1 through 50)
Many languages have "high" and "low" layers of vocabulary. But in most other languages, the two sets are drawn from the same source. By contrast, contact between Old English and French, Dravidian languages and Sanskrit, Japanese and Chinese, Persian and Arabic, and other pairings around the world have created fascinatingly hybrid languages. These mixed lexicons are, for linguistic and social historians, akin to the layers of fossils that teach paleontologists and archaeologists so much about eras gone by.
Some people even think English is descended from Latin, or Kannada from Sanskrit. That’s frustrating not only because it’s wrong, but also because the reality is far more interesting.
- The Economist, Unlikely parallels
comment posted at 9:14 PM on May-15-13
has resigned from the Heritage Foundation. Richwine is the author of a the Heritage report, "The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer." In 2009, Richwine earned his doctorate from Harvard University, and his dissertation was titled "IQ and Immigration Policy", which argued that Hispanic immigrants have lower IQ than white native immigrants.
comment posted at 10:55 PM on May-14-13
They wash dishes in restaurants, clean toilets and look after elderly incontinent people in the West. That makes the majority of the 30 million who have emigrated from Africa. Some are much luckier, they work in subaltern management positions in corporate America or in public institution in Europe. Few are real stars, successful with high pay and social status. Regardless of their current fate, they all share one thing in common: most of them want to return to Africa.
The recent medias’ drumbeat about “Africa is Rising” is making them restless and hopeful because most of them have quite a petty life in the West. They are constantly harassed by the state police, crushed by daily racism from their neighbors and strangers, economically and politically isolated, and with very little hope for a near-future improvement.
Unfortunately their dream to return home is painfully held back by deep fears and unanswered questions. Here are the top 10 fears of the African diaspora about Africa, and also the top 10 questions most of them are confronted with.
comment posted at 7:26 PM on Apr-28-13
"Women get flustered under fire. They're too fragile, too emotional. They lack the ferocity required to take a life. They can't handle pain. They're a distraction, a threat to cohesion, a provocative tease to close-quartered men. These are the sort of myths you hear from people who oppose the U.S. military's evolving new rules about women in combat. But for women who have already been in combat, who have earned medals fighting alongside men, the war stories they tell don't sound a thing like myths
comment posted at 2:18 AM on Apr-26-13
More than two years later, the Raymond Davis episode has been largely forgotten in the United States. It was immediately overshadowed by the dramatic raid months later that killed Osama bin Laden — consigned to a footnote in the doleful narrative of America’s relationship with Pakistan. But dozens of interviews conducted over several months, with government officials and intelligence officers in Pakistan and in the United States, tell a different story: that the real unraveling of the relationship was set off by the flurry of bullets Davis unleashed on the afternoon of Jan. 27, 2011, and exacerbated by a series of misguided decisions in the days and weeks that followed. In Pakistan, it is the Davis affair, more than the Bin Laden raid, that is still discussed in the country’s crowded bazaars and corridors of power.
- The Spy Who Lost Pakistan
(SL NYTIMES Magazine)
comment posted at 8:14 PM on Apr-9-13
Postcards From Google Earth
: "I collect Google Earth images. I discovered them by accident, these particularly strange snapshots, where the illusion of a seamless and accurate representation of the Earth’s surface seems to break down. I was Google Earth-ing, when I noticed that a striking number of buildings looked like they were upside down."
comment posted at 8:54 PM on Apr-6-13
On Monday, the British Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith
, made a rather rash claim on BBC Radio 4. Hijinks ensue
. 'Duncan Smith came under pressure after he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday that he could live on £53 ($81/week) after he was asked about a market trader, David Bennett, who claimed that he had to live on that amount after his housing benefit was cut. "If I had to, I would," Duncan Smith replied." ' from The Guardian
. Since then a petition
has started challenging him to try it. Petition has gathered 440,133 signatures in 5 days. Original report
. There is a secondary petition
going: this one is guaranteed to be debated in Parliament if it gets 100,000 signatures.
comment posted at 10:21 PM on Apr-5-13
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the German-born screenwriter and novelist who, as the writing member of the Merchant Ivory filmmaking team, won two Academy Awards for adaptations of genteel, class-conscious E. M. Forster novels, died on Wednesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 85. Her 1975 novel, “Heat and Dust,” about an Englishwoman exploring a family scandal in India, received the Man Booker Prize, Britain’s highest literary honor. She wrote the screenplay for the Merchant Ivory version in 1983 as well. New York Times obit
comment posted at 5:49 PM on Apr-3-13
Which of these two cities is bigger? The Census bureau has a quiz to see how well you know the relative sizes of the 64 largest metropolitan areas in the US, March Madness style
comment posted at 11:06 PM on Apr-3-13
The Cambridge University Library houses the world's largest collection of Charles Darwin's letters: more than 9,000 of the 15,000 letters he is known to have written and received in his lifetime. They've been posting them online since 2007 (previously on MeFi)
, in the Darwin Correspondence Project
, where we can now read and search the full texts of more than 7,500 letters, and ﬁnd information on 7,500 more -- all for free. This weekend, they added nearly all of the Darwin-Hooker letters
: Over 1400 pieces of correspondence between Darwin and his closest friend, botanist Joseph Hooker.
comment posted at 9:27 PM on Mar-31-13
"When I was a little guy I was infatuated with firetrucks. That's probably not unusual. Boys like trucks. But kids usually grow out of this kind of thing. I didn't. I'm 32 and a half years old and never stopped thinking firetrucks are awesome. So I bought one."
comment posted at 9:37 PM on Mar-24-13
next page »