Monday, April 30, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
臺灣藍鵲, Taiwan Blue Magpie, Urocissa caerulea; 樹鵲, Himalayan Tree Pie, Dendrocitta formosae. You can also hear the monotone trill of the byahoq, 五色鳥 / Muller’s Barbet, Megalaima oorti.
Monday, April 16, 2012
At Chinese New Year, I write door titles and post them on the gate. Usually the hornets eventually turn them into material for their hives.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we were out from morning to night. Friday night when we came home, I noticed that the left sentence had come loose, and was about to stick it back into place when Sabiy said, Don't touch it. I looked again, and there was a snake tangled up in the paper. It seemed to have eaten something. We left it there.
It was still there when we came back Saturday. We realized it had gotten stuck on the two way tape. Sunday it was hanging slack, and I told Sabiy, I guess I have to bury it tomorrow.
When I went out to gather bamboo shoots for today's lunch, I realized it looked slack but it didn't look dead, and snakes have strong survival powers. I decided to treat it as a live snake, so I got a bamboo pole and prodded it. After spending three days on the gatepost the week after Easter, it was alive. I carefully pulled the paper off the post, snake still attached. Keeping the dogs back, I lowered the snake into the ravine. With the friction of the ground, it quickly freed itself from most of the paper.But what it was doing stuck to the back of the paper on the gatepost, I'll never know.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
The institution of marriage very obviously is out of step with modern life. The divorce rate in Taiwan is 33%. In the US, the divorce rate for first marriages is around 41%; for second marriages, 60%, and for third marriages, 73%. The divorce rate in Argentina is 200%.
Whither marriage? We are called upon to respect the right of two people of the same sex to marry; then why not three? Why not harems?
Modern people seem unable to spend time alone with one other person. If you want to see how prevalent that problem is, ask the person you are with to turn off his cell phone. Many would rather die.
Perhaps in the (not so distant) future, marriage will be a shifting alliance between three or four men and three or four women, maybe more, maybe less.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Sunday, April 08, 2012
This blog is noted among its readers (helloooo? anybody out there?) for endless pursuits into issues nobody cares the least about.
Today we are going to discuss something people do care about: money. Or more particularly, words for money, and even more particularly (or, if you would, even particularlier), words for money in Taiwan aborigine languages, which, back to the theme of this blog, nobody cares the least about.
Of course, a hundred years ago, aborigines had no use for money, so they had no words for money. The Dayan (Tayal) word, pila[pi´la], also used in several other languages, clearly comes from pira, silver, in Malay.
But what to do with the Tsou (Cou) besu [´besu]? I have come up with what I consider a reasonable etymology. Besu could very well come from the Spanish peso, the piece of eight (eight reales) widely circulated as the Spanish dollar, the Mex, 洋銀, and other names.
Seems reasonable to me, what?
Friday, April 06, 2012
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Monday, April 02, 2012
In 1976, the British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM, April 1, Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily aligning their gravity in a way that would counteract, and lessen, the gravity here on Earth. He told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at that exact moment, they would float. 9:47 AM arrived, and soon hundreds of listeners phoned BBB2 telling how they had floated. One woman even reported that she and eleven friends had floated off their chairs and hovered around the room.
In 1981, the Daily Mail reported on the unfortunate long-distance runner, Kimo Nakajimi from Japan, who had entered the London Marathon but, because of a confused translation, thought that he was supposed to run 26 days, not 26 miles. They reported that Nakajimi was still running about on roads throughout England, determined to finish the race; furthermore, several people had spotted him and tried to flag him down and inform him of the mistake, but they couldn't speak Japanese.