Just hit on a neat video created by the 103-year-old Ed Rondthaler. According to him, English spelling is dumb! He’s one of a number of people who advocate reform for English spelling, and looking at this video he’s produced it’s hard to disagree:
Let’s face it — English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese… One blouse, 2 blice?
Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?
Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?
How can a “slim chance” and a “fat chance” be the same, while a “wise man” and “wise guy” are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while “quite a lot” and “quite a few” are alike? How can the weather be “hot as hell” one day and “cold as hell” another?
Here is a good resource for learning English on your own. Usingenglish.com is a website which provides a variety of tools to learn English in a funny and self motivated manner throughout tests, quizzes, interesting articles, glossary of irregular verbs and more.
LAWRENCE LESSIG: I mean, there`s this image that he`s extraordinary, but they don`t understand really how extraordinary he is.
CHARLIE ROSE: OK, that`s exactly what I want to get at. Tell me what you mean by that, they do not understand how extraordinary he is.
LAWRENCE LESSIG: Yes, you know, I think that all of us who have had experience around politicians, you know, can respect them and admire the extraordinary hard work they do. There`s no doubt about that. But most of the time, you know, you dig and dig, and very quickly, you hit bottom. Like, there`s nothing more there. And what struck me — you know, maybe this is just the reality of getting to know somebody before you know them as a politician, but what struck me was when I first got to know him, he was an extraordinarily careful, deep thinker, and reflective and balanced, and, you know, he wasn`t on the left or wasn`t on the right about whatever issue.
It was — you know, he was thinking through every issue. And there wasn`t the pretense. There wasn`t any of that. And so knowing him like that, and then seeing him stay like that as he has become the most successful politician of our age, I think that what is distinctive about him is that he has a vision about how government can be changed to actually do something helpful, transformed.
I mean, you know one of the most important moments in the campaign he got in a lot of trouble for, I think, was in Nevada, in the primaries, where he talked about transformational presidencies. And it was an idea of identifying how to change the way Washington is working, and that`s what a transformational presidency does, as opposed to a presidency that just comes in and just keeps the trains running on time.
Lessig is/was an unofficial consultant and supporter to the Barack campaign and actively supporting Obama in the last couple of years. So Mr President had professional support while setting up the White House blog. It is awesome how Obama is participating on the new internet economy due to having a twitter account (which has been hacked) and that he fought to keep his Blackberry which was questioned at some point because of security reason.
Obama is using creative commons licenses for the White House blog as well as for his photo stream on flickr.com under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA-License.
Further they spoke about the economic crisis in the USA and about a new campaing named CHANGE CONGRESS Lessig is the co-founder of.
“Watch a video from co-founder Lawrence Lessig to learn more about the relationship between money and politics—and why it is such a fundamental problem for our democracy. Right now, special interests have more influence over our political system than regular folks because of our broken campaign finance laws. These special interests pump millions of dollars into congressional campaigns each cycle, and as a result, they block real change on issue after issue. Here at Change Congress, we believe that politicians should work for the people, not special interests. But it’s not enough to push politicians to stay out of the system of corruption—we have to reform the system itself. That’s why we support a hybrid of small-dollar donations and public financing, to keep big money out of politics ”
Lessing believes that what changes dramatically is TRUST in congress & government! And that transparency might enable the people to rebuild trust.
Charlie Roses last words are quite interesting: “A lot of people want Prof. Lessig to run for congress. He declined, maybe he’ll reform congress before he runs for it.” Maybe it is the same with Lessig as with Obama who never thought that he would be President of the United States. For more talks or keynotes of Lessig just click here.
Here is the interview, go take some time and watch it yourself. Enjoy!
COST: $10 donation at the door which includes beer, wine and networking!
DRESS: Casual to Business Casual
“This event is designed both for people in Social Media AND people interested in learning about social media. If you’re on Twitter you’ll get to meet your “friends” in a fun, social open networking session. If you’re wondering about Twitter you’ll have plenty of people to talk to about it!”
Open your eyes to the life cycle of the stuff we buy. Where does STUFF come from and what happens with STUFF when we throw it away. This is what the Story of Stuff or SoS in short is about. Amazing work – go and see it yourself!
“From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.”
Spread the message about Story of Stuff it’s important to draw peoples attention to this topic make them aware of their everyday stuff consumption. There is a group on facebook you can join or post the video on your blog, it is under a creative commons license. I explained it in an earlier post on my blog.
Saturday December 6th 2008 the same event at three different locations. More exciting even in three different countries illustrates the significance of the topic it focuses on. All three event locations try get connected via skype even there will be a huge time differnce because I am talk about three cities on three different continents as well HongKong (China), Berlin (Germany) , Madison (WI, USA)
“Open Everything is a global conversation about the art, science and spirit of ‘open’. It gathers people using openness to create and improve software, education, media, philanthropy, architecture, neighbourhoods, workplaces and the society we live in: everything. It’s about thinking, doing and being open.
Each Open Everything event is different. Topics might include: open business models; running participatory events; the art, science and meaning of open; speedgeek case studies; community engagement; taking open source thinking beyond the tech world; open train wrecks (what went wrong?). What actually gets discussed on the day depends on who shows up, and what they’re passionate about.”
Netz-gegen-Nazis is a new online Project by Zeit online which is a well know weekly german paper. The translation is Net against Nasiz. The project includes three major parts. The first is a good and comprehensive knowledgedatabase including article on a huge variety on Nazis topics i.e. symbols, person, music, history, politics and parties, clothing style. The second part of the website is Action. There are 12 main questions how to handle certain situations in everyday life if you stumble up on a Nazi somewhere. These 12 question are asked to the users and want them to answer with there ideas and experiences. There third part is a open discussion forum for the users to contribute there own questions regarding this topic.
Unfortunately the entire project is only in german. Here you see a part of the press release:
“Die Aktion NETZ-GEGEN-NAZIS.de will darüber aufklären, wie sich rechtsextremistische
Tendenzen in unseren Alltag einschleichen. Zielgruppe der Aktion sind besonders jene
Menschen, die in ihrem alltäglichen Umfeld mit Rechtsextremismus in Berührung kommen:
Sportler ebenso wie Feuerwehrleute, Lehrer und Schüler, Fans und Trainer, Eltern und
Kinder. Kurz: Wir alle!
Mitinitiatoren von NETZ-GEGEN-NAZIS.DE sind der Deutsche Fußball-Bund, die DFL
Deutsche Fußball Liga und der Deutsche Feuerwehrverband mit der Deutschen
Jugendfeuerwehr. TV-Partner ist das ZDF, Online-Partner sind die großen Communities
studiVZ, schülerVZ und meinVZ. Neben dem Internetportal NETZ-GEGEN-NAZIS.de, das
Kern der Aktion ist, finden eine Vielzahl von Aktionen und Veranstaltungen der Partner statt.
Als erste Partneraktionen stellen DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga und der Deutsche Fußball-
Bund ganze Spieltage unter das Motto NETZ GEGEN NAZIS. Außerdem engagieren sich
mehrere deutsche Nationalspieler in kurzen Videoclips, die auf der Website zum Start
veröffentlicht werden, für die Aktion. Alle anderen Partner werden während des Projekts
vielfältige Aktionen realisieren, die zum Start von NETZ-GEGEN-NAZIS.de bekannt gemacht
“The action-NETWORK AGAINST NAZIS.de will educate about how right-extremist-trends creep into our everyday life. Target group of action are particularly those people who come in contact with right-wing extremism in their everyday environment: such as athletes as well as firefighters, teachers and students, fans and coaches, parents and children. In short: We all!
Partly initiators of NETWORK AGAINST-NAZIS.DE are the German Football Association, the DFL
German Football League and the German Fire Service Association with the Germans Youth fire brigade. TV partner is the ZDF, on-line partners are the major communities studiVZ, schülerVZ and meinVZ. In addition to the Internet portal NETWORK AGAINST-NAZIS.de, the core of the action, will find a variety of activities and events of the partners. As the first partner actions DFL German Football League and the German Football confederation will match days under the motto NETWORK AGAINST NAZIS. Moreover several German national player are involved via short video clips on the site to start to be published for the action. All other partners will conduct a variety of actions during the project after the start of NETWORK AGAINST-known NAZIS.de.”
Ein Artikel auf tagesschau.de berichtet über den Wettbewerb zur Krönung des “schönsten Einwanderungswortes des Jahres”. Der Wettbewerb wurde initiiert vom Goethe-Instituts in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Deutschen Sprachrat.
Fisimatenten und Tohuwabohu waren wohl die am häufigsten vorgeschlagenen Worte jedoch hat letztendlich der Tollpatsch, ein Wort mit ungarischen Wurzeln, den Run zur Listenspitze gemacht. Ein wenig schade, denn eine bessere Publicity hätte sich mein weblog mit dem Titel webTohuwabohu.de gar nicht vorstellen können ; – ) . Hier geht es zum original Artikel.
Im übrigen hat das Wort tohuwabohu einen biblischen Ursprung. Es kommt aus dem Hebräischen und laut Wikipedia stammt es aus dem 1. Buch Mose und bedeutet “wüst und leer”. Es beschreibt das Bild der Erde bevor Gott sie ordnete und in ihrer heutigen Form erschuf, wenn er sie schuf. Zerlegt man das Wort in seine einzelnen Silben bedeutet tohu die Wüstheit, wa bedeutet „und“ und bohu ist die Leere.
Heute findet der Begriff tohuwabohu umgangssprachlich meist im Zusammenhang mit WirrWarr, Chaos, Aufruhr, Durcheinander Anwendung.
Nun die Überleitung zum Namen dieses Blogs, webtohuwabohu. Am Anfang war das Internet, Netz, Web leer und heute ist es ein tohuwabou der Informationen. Diese Überleitung ist allerdings erst zwei Jahre nach der Ernennung des Blogs herausgearbeitet worden. …
Just heard about AltSearchEngines new feature The Search Race. They just announced on their website the search engine of the month April 2008. Now they involve you, the user, and created an opportunity to easily pick your personal favorite. Your opinion counts give your opinion publicity. Yet another web service who includes a participation and customer interaction feature – web2.0 like – to keep users in relation with what they offer – some might call it Customer Relationship Management.
Here are the steps on how it works:
1) You need to sign up for a free Search Race account before you can vote.
2) You can vote for as many search engines as you like that you have tried.
3) Did I leave one out? Now you can submit any other search engine you want!
4) The Search Race will continue until we get to the Search Engine of the Year.
5) You cannot vote for your favorite search engines more than once, sorry.
Go and pick it out! You can easily vote – or “pick” – YOUR favorite alternative search engines. Spread the message on that important race….
Styleranking – the new virtual home for fashion victims.
Additionally there is a “Special Program: peak web“ Which will be a discussion if we already reached the end of a carefree evolution of the networking?! Between iPhone and 23andme, between Flickr and ‘Vorratsdatenspeicherung’, between Cyborg and Platons Höhle; Information technology enters all life areas and the question comes up whehter we still could live without the web, without networking, without virtual reality and the virtual ME (…) ?
Chances & Risks of the global networking, Aggregation of every smallest Information-node. The Discussion between the participants of the Webmonday an Prof. Dipl.-Dram. Linda Breitlauch, Prof. Dipl.-Des. Oliver Wrede, Prof. Lorenz Lorenz-Meyer as well as Siggi Becker will give an status report on that issue.