Monthly Archives: November 2007

Translation, please!

What are your cats really saying?  Check out the real conversation.  First, watch the video on the left to see the original.  Then, watch the translated version on the right.  Hat tip to colleague L-R in California.


Food for thought, food for the hungry:  Try the FreeRice site, where you can test your vocabulary.  For every word you get right, 20 grains of rice are donated to fight world hunger.  Read the FAQs to learn how it works and then come and brag to me about your level.  Tres cool.  Hat tip to Vinod Prasad Shukla, who posted this on the Technical Writers in India group.

Food for breakfast: This recipe for cheese-filled whole wheat rolls looks too good to pass up.  Play the video.  If you have even rudimentary Hebrew, you can probably understand the ingredients, but you might miss the interesting nutritional details.

Punctuate Me!

Ambiguity:  TC World, the magazine put out by Tekom (a European technical communication group), has both interesting articles and curious gaffs.  This month’s offering is this curiout pull-quote:

“Without management support integration becomes an oxymoron.”

Not quite a squinting modifier, but without a critical comma, it is almost impossible to know how to parse the sentence:

  • Without management, support integration becomes an oxymoron.
  • Without management support, integration becomes an oxymoron.

Don’t leap to any conclusions: support integration is an accepted database concept.  Further proof that the optional comma demanded by TC best practices is really important!

Oh, really? Gill brings home a small package of wasabi peanuts.  The label warns, “May contain peanuts.”  Hmmmmm….

Another Perspective

Simon Deng speaks out: Read Deng’s excellent piece about Bishop Desmond Tutu’s denouncement of “Israeli apartheid” in the Jewish Advocate.  Deng, a human rights activist and himself a victim of persecution in the Sudan, takes Tutu to task over his anti-Israeli rhetoric.   Hat tip to Central LS.

More hail damage: Last week’s storm is still making its effects felt.  We discover that not only is a blinker broken on my poor little Ignis, but that the solar collection panels on the roof (for all four townhouse units) are smashed. I hadn’t noticed until this morning that the hood and top of my car are dented, as if someone has gone to town with a ballpeen hammer.  Oh, well.  I’m not such a car nut that I can’t drive a dented vehicle.

Pick your pack animal: Alpacas or llamas?  After my visit to the alpaca farm at Mitzpeh Ramon, I can tell which is which.  Anyone have a llama or alpaca story to share?

Mitzpeh Ramon

view from the mirpesetHamidbar, davka:  We head off for a weekend at Israel’s magnificent desert crater, Mitzpeh Ramon.  The drive is long an tiring; it takes us over six hours (including a dinner stop on the way) before we pull up at the guest house, HaBayit b’Midbar. Here’s the view from the mirpeset (balcony).

This is real desert, with spectacular views of the machtesh (crater). Here is a view from the very edge of the crater:
crater view

And another…
edge of the cliff

The pictures don’t do justice to the dramatic desert colors.
another machtesh view

Erosion has created some amazing effects, such as this free-standing column, almost 500 meters tall.
dramatic column

The geological formations are varied and fascinating. Here are some of the pieces that look almost manmade (from the area known as “the carpentry” for its lumber yard effect):
geological formations

No picture can really capture the spectacular sunset over the machtesh (crater).
sunset over the machtesh

We aren’t the first ones here. Remnants of stone-age art can be found at a few archeological sites.
stone age art

…and some modern pieces of art…

…or how about this living sculpture?

It is a great place for animal-watching, from the birds…
bird on sign

…to the wild ya’elot (ibex) wandering down the street…
ibex in the city

(and we’re reminded not to feed them human food)
don’t feed the ibex!

Of course, the best place to get your animal fix is at the alpaca farm, just about ten minutes away.  There are alpacas with bad teeth…
dental emergency

…sweet-tempered llamas with velvet lips…
alpaca farm

Sometimes there is competition for attention, as our friend Boaz discovers…
Boaz with alpacas

New babies have been born.
baby alpaca

There are also a few camels.
Mr. Camel

And everyone wants to pose for the camera…
Mr. Llama


Burst pipes:  The heavy rains have not only made a mess of the gardens, but have led to a ruptured water pipe somewhere.  We have the water turned off and are waiting for the city engineers to show up.

Burst hopes: Jeff Robbins gets it right on the upcoming peace talks.

Where are you guys?  Traffic is down and no one seems to be commenting anymore.  What’s up?  Where are my usual kvetchers?

Storm Warnings

Another day of wild weather:  An Egged bus overturns on the Akko-S’fat road near Karmiel, a 4.2 earthquake hits around 11:20 this morning (epicenter at the Dead Sea), hail triggers cluster bombs in Lebanon, and a fisherman gets struck by lightening at the beach near Gesher Achziv (also in the north, in our area).

I brave the strange weather and head out for the first day of training at one of my client sites.  The engineers are funny, noisy, and hard to control.  I need a whistle…

Garbled English:  I loooovvvvve to collect examples of mangled language on signs, product packaging, menus, etc.  Here are a few new items:

The contract between name1 and name2 we send for translation in Russian the contract will be built from two sides.  One side will be in Russian and the second side will be in English, the factory not odorized by a goverment low to sign on English Document’s so the agreement will be built from two side and it will take a couple of day’s, for your knowledge.

Oh, those dratted factories that aren’t odorized by a government…  Hat tip to Central LS.

And there’s never a dull moment with an endless supply of Chinglish:

slip down carefully

Hat tip to former student Irena, who found it on this Russian blog.