September 26th, 2009


Global Health Debate

We're not the only ones arguing about health, ethics, practicality, money, and related issues. It's just that most other countries are getting better results.

Adam Parsons | The Global Health Debate
Adam Parsons, Foreign Policy In Focus: "With controversy still raging over national health reform in the United States, the media is paying little attention to an international debate on global health policy that is of major importance to the world's poorest people. Both debates revolve around a similar theme, which President Barack Obama neatly summarized in his recent landmark address to Congress as 'the appropriate size and role of government' in the provision of health services."

And by the way, those poor countries? Those are germ farms if nobody takes care of them. So we-all should be doing that too, because germs can't read maps.

Protection for the Grizzly Bears

This is great news. Now we need to re-protect wolves before trigger-happy idiots finish obliterating decades of gain.

Judge Orders Obama Administration to Relist Yellowstone Grizzly Bears
Rocky Barker, The Idaho Statesman: "Grizzly bears in eastern Idaho were returned to federal protection under the Endangered Species Act by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy. The ruling reverses a decision made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2007 that transferred control of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem from the federal government to the states of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks."

A Mosaic of Butterflies

Today the butterfly meadow is a mosaic of butterflies. Dozens, hundreds, too many to count. Monarchs, sulphurs, cabbage whites, painted ladies, hairstreaks -- if it lives in my yard and has wings, it's out there today. Swarms of bees and other insects are also on the wing, followed by hungry birds.

A few of the wildflowers I planted earlier this year are blooming, but mostly the meadow is a raft of goldenrod accented with thistle and assorted other weeds. The butterflies are perfectly happy to land on those. So I'm basically adding wildflowers for my own gratification, to expand the menu and bloom time, and because I know that a more diverse ecosystem is better than one dominated by a few aggressive species.

So here are some snapshots ...

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Bad Hebrew Tattoos

It is bad enough to wear a linguistic booboo on a t-shirt, say for instance you don't read the language and don't realize it actually says "I saw the Potato." (An exception may be made for linguists who like to correct misprinted shirts with fabric paint.) It is ever so much worse to get a tattoo in a language you don't know fluently. Glaring errors are not only possible but common, and tattoo typos are difficult or impossible to fix.

However, Bad Hebrew Tattoos is a fascinating blog. It offers not only photos of bad Hebrew tattoos but also linguistic breakdowns of the errors, tagged by type. For people who enjoy the challenges of Hebrew, this will be a riot. After all, it is a language of scholars, so of course it enjoys playing jokes on the ignorant...