News for the ‘culture’ Category

Getting Jiggly With It

Here’s a video of me enjoying some interesting Japanese cuisine.

Posted: February 23rd, 2008
Categories: blog, cuisine, culture, travel
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Maiko in Respectful ReverenceI was wandering aimlessly around Gion today, when I nearly blundered into a Geisha. It happened when I was crossing a busy street (Shijo-dori), and she sort of appeared out of nowhere. She could have been a Maiko, or apprentice Geisha, but I really don’t know how to tell them apart. As the next hour unfolded, I managed to spot a few more scurrying around, and even snapped up a blurry pic of one being escorted to Pontocho by her matron. This place is so surreal. It’s almost like living in a story. Almost, but not quite. The illusion got ruined when I walked a few more blocks and found myself in the red light district, surrounded by Japanese business men in their starched suits. Eyed warily by seedy sentinels posted outside various establishments, I quickly made my way back to the hostel.

Posted: November 6th, 2007
Categories: blog, culture, travel
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According to Wikipedia, 33 is:

  • the largest positive integer that can not be expressed as a sum of different triangular numbers.
  • the atomic number of arsenic
  • the “smile to the camera” word in Spanish, as is “cheese” in English. Diga treinta y tres (“Say thirty-three”) is the same as “Say cheese”
  • a recurring, important number to the Freemasons, used often in their sacred rituals

33 was also:

For the sake of amusement, here are Biblical references:

And from Islamic Holy Q’uran:

33 in 69 languages, in order of complexity, highest to lowest (from A Playground of Thoughts):

  1. Huli: ngui ki, ngui tebone-gonaga tebira
  2. Ndom: tondor abo mer an thef abo ithin
  3. Nimbia: gume bi ni tanran
  4. Hindi: tayntees
  5. Tzotzil: ‘ox lajuneb xcha’-vinik
  6. Ainu: rep ikasma wanpe etu hotnep
  7. Alamblak: yima yohtti tir hosfi hosfirpat
  8. Nahuatl: cem-pöhualli-om-mahtlactli-om-ëyi
  9. Malagasy: telo amby telopolo
  10. Yoruba: metalelogbon
  11. Welsh (Traditional): tri ar ddeg ar hugain
  12. Breton: tri / teir ha tregont
  13. Manx: tree-jeig as feed
  14. Scots Gaelic: trì deug air fhichead
  15. Georgian: otsdatsamet’i
  16. Danish: treogtredive
  17. Javanese: telung puluh telu
  18. Latin: tr?gint? tr?s
  19. French: trente-trois
  20. Zulu: amashumi amathathu nantathu
  21. Basque: hogei ta hamairu
  22. Arabic: thalâthata wa thalâthûn (masculine), thalâth wa thalâthûn (feminine)
  23. Ganda: amakumi asatu mu ssatu
  24. Maltese: tlieta u tletin
  25. Assyrian: klaay-‘td’laa
  26. Kurmanji: sî û sisê
  27. Dutch: drieendertig
  28. German: dreiunddreißig
  29. Swahili: thelathini na tatu
  30. Ojibwa: nisimidana ashi niswi
  31. Italian: trentatré
  32. Spanish: treinta y tres
  33. Swiss French: trente-trois
  34. Tigrinya: selasan-selesten
  35. Turkish: otuz üç
  36. Balkan Romani: tránda-te-trin
  37. Hungarian: harminchárom
  38. Tagalog: tatlumpu’t tatlo
  39. Polari: trey dacha and trey
  40. Scots: thertie three
  41. English: thirty-three
  42. Norwegian: trettitre
  43. Swedish: trettiotre
  44. Sukuma: makumiadatu na idatu
  45. Hawaiian: kanakoluk?m?kolu
  46. Finnish: kolmekymmentäkolme
  47. Estonian: kolmkümmend kolm
  48. Romanian: treizeci ?i trei
  49. Ancient Japanese: misodi amari mitu (ancient), misoji amari mittsu (modern)
  50. Kiribati: tenibwi ma tenua
  51. Wolof: ñetta fukka ak ñetta
  52. Croatian: trideset-tri
  53. Seneca: së niwashê së
  54. Indonesian: tiga puluh tiga
  55. Mandinka: ta? saba ni? saba
  56. Wu Chinese: ??? sezhekse
  57. Tok Pisin: tripela ten tri
  58. Vietnamese: ba mu’o’i ba
  59. Igbo: iri ato. na ato.
  60. Thai: s?hm sìp s?hm
  61. Welsh (Modern): tri deg tri
  62. Aymara: kimsa-tunka-kimsani
  63. Cuzco Quechua: kinsa chunka kinsa-yoq
  64. Chinook Wawa: klone tahtlum pe klone
  65. Mandarin: ??? s?nshi s?n
  66. Japanese: ??? sanjû san
  67. Cantonese: ??? saam1sap6saam1 (Cantonese has six tones, and they are given by numbers after syllables. The tone number means: 1 – high level, 2 – high rising, 3 – middle level, 4 – low falling, 5 – low rising, and 6 – low level.)
  68. Esperanto: tridek tri
  69. Tongan: tolu tolu

Blogger Gene Smith has a list of 33 things on his blog, Atomiq.

The Tr?yastri??a, or the Heaven of Thirty Three Gods, is referenced in Buddhist Cosmology.

Today is World Vegan Day, the Day of the Dead (Día de Los Muertos), Samhain Day, and All Saints’ Day.

Can you guess anything else about this day?

Posted: November 1st, 2006
Categories: blog, culture
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Comments: 12 Comments.

Memory Maps

Integrating screenshots of Google Maps and using Flickr notes, Memory Maps are visual representations of one’s memories, an annotated satellite view of places steeped in personal meaning.

I found out about Memory Maps on Lifehacker, and decided it was worth a try. After all, I’ve had an interesting childhood, moving around to different countries, and so forth.

Check out my Memory Maps photoset on Flickr. The Memory Maps group is worth perusing as well.

Memory Map of the Black Forest, Germany

Posted: September 30th, 2006
Categories: blog, culture, travel
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The Lost City

I was not impressed with The Lost City, Andy Garcia’s movie about Cuba. My biggest problem is the fact that it was done in English, and the occasional Spanish words, including Havana, were grossly mispronounced. A movie set in Cuba should be spoken en Español.

For some reason, the English was tough to understand. The fake accents were somehow unable to reach my brain. What I did digest, however, is the following bit of ancient wisdom:

The bird is in the beak
Edith is weak

Posted: August 14th, 2006
Categories: bizarre, blog, culture, humor
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What Are You Really Putting On Your Body?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has created a safety report on the numerous substances we use for body care. The site allows the visitor to search through numerous brands and find out what poisons they are using on their bodies. It’s fascinating and (not just mildly) frightening.

EWG Report: Skin Deep

Posted: October 18th, 2005
Categories: blog, culture
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Tomatina Festival in Spain

Tomatoes in Mid-air
Tomatoes in Mid-air, originally uploaded by aaroncorey.

Buñol, Spain hosts the annual Tomatina festival, during which the streets erupt in a frenzied tomato fight. I first remember hearing about this about a decade ago, and since then I’ve always wanted to partake in this fascinating waste of food.

via Yahoo! News

Posted: September 2nd, 2005
Categories: bizarre, blog, culture
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I’ve been feeling quite depressed lately, and decided to do a search for Chinese Medicine and depression. What I discovered was an interesting approach. While Western head shrinks are quick to prescribe drugs for depressive symptoms (often with catastrophic side effects), Chinese practitioners suggest depression results from repressed emotions, such as guilt or anger. Their treatments seek to release these emotions in order for the patient to study them and let go of them accordingly. Acupunture, acupressure and traditional herbs are their route. I’m going to check this out, or spend an infinitude of days suffering this terrible indignity.

via Holistic Online

Posted: August 31st, 2005
Categories: blog, culture
Tags: , ,
Comments: 5 Comments.

Rap Lyrics Translated

Standard American English translations of Ebonics in contemporary rap and hiphop tunes.

Hilarity ensues.

This one is from BizBag:

First I talk about how I dress and this
And diamond necklaces – stretch Lexuses
The sex is just immaculate from the back I get
Deeper and deeper – help ya reach the
Climax that your man can’t make
Call and tell him you’ll be home real late
Let’s sing the break

I prefer to open the conversation with light banter about my wardrobe and jewelry, then I like to discuss my collection of expensive cars. This is more than enough to convince you to have sexual intercourse with me. I am able to insert my penis further into you when I enter you from behind. Furthermore, you will be able to reach orgasm. I understand this to be a problem with your current sexual partner. He needn’t be concerned about your whereabouts. Please phone him and inform him that you won’t be home for a while. By the way, please sing the chorus of the song for me also.

via Sandstorming

Posted: August 31st, 2005
Categories: blog, culture, humor, music
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La Dolce Vita

Master Accordeonist

Master Accordionist, originally uploaded by romanedirisinghe.

Last night, we got together with a bunch of Nicole’s friends at an Italian restaurant called “Il Dolce Vita,” or the sweet life. Situated in the historically Italian naighborhood of Boston’s North End, the restaurant dishes out an excellent culinary experience coupled with fine wines, live music, and exceptionally generous service, albeit at a lofty price. Glancing at the bill at the end of the night, I was quite thankful there were 10 of us to split it. Had I been dining alone, it would have amounted to a hefty car loan payment! Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself thouroughly. When the old crooning accordion player came to our table during his rounds, I scatted improvised vocal lines with him. He was so into singing that I would occasionally get sprayed with a fine mist of saliva. It was quite a blast. Really, it was. I felt like I was suddenly on the “in.” The food? Well, my scallops were excellent and slightly sweet, but I was disappointed by the shrimp, which were tougher than I expected from an expensive restaurant in a coastal city like Boston. Overall? I had a rippin’ good time, and the food was good. Bring extra money.

Posted: August 15th, 2005
Categories: blog, cuisine, culture, music, travel
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Comments: 2 Comments.