Daily Archives: April 12, 2009

Commentary on OTT date rape scene….

… in the movie Observe and Report.

Go HERE to see the rest of the commentary as well as the R-rated trailer which shows part of the scene in question.

I’ve got no opinion on this one scene because there is not enough context or detail (having not seen the movie) but the FFFU seems reasonable. The movie as a whole seems to be stupid. And it seems to be just one more of the parade of stupid that serves so well to maintain our stupid culture. I don’t think I’m being stupid when I say this. Am I?

Pirate Situation Totally Destabilized.

In the old days (last week) Somali pirates would occasionally board a ship, there’d be some negotiations, money would change hands, and the ship would be back on track. That was not a good system, but it was a system.

Then the first American flagged ship to get taken by the pirates comes along and the crew does the Chuck Norris thing and the whole system has collapsed.

The latest news:

  • A Panama flagged carrier freighter was attacked by pirates, and the attack was repulsed with fire hoses.
  • Friday, on a yacht sailing through the area, one Frenchman and two pirates died during an attempted rescue by the French military.
  • Negotiations are still underway regarding the US flagged ship and its captain, still held hostage on a lifeboat.
  • Naval vessels are converging on the area.


If only their names weren’t so funny and hard to pronounce…

The problem with those dang ethnic people is that you can’t even pronounced their names. Regarding the difficulty some Chinese and other east Asian people have with conflicts in their own naming system and the naming system assued by, for instance, a state’s Motor Vehicle department, Texas (where else) State Representative Betty Brown says:

Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here? …

Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?

In reporting this story, Feministing has suggested that maybe it’s Betty Brown who should change her name so that it is easier for the rest of us to deal with, and asks for suggestions.

So, any suggestions?

Possible Autism Cause: Phthalates from Vinyl Floors?

Rebecca Skloot just facebooked this story:

Scientists Find ‘Baffling’ Link between Autism and Vinyl Flooring

Children who live in homes with vinyl floors, which can emit chemicals called phthalates, are more likely to have autism, according to research by Swedish and U.S. scientists published Monday.

The study of Swedish children is among the first to find an apparent connection between an environmental chemical and autism.

Obviously its been out for a few days, but I had not noticed it.

Galapagos Volcano Erupting

The Galapagos National Park says La Cumbre volcano began spewing lava, gas and smoke on uninhabited Fernandina Island on Saturday after four years of inactivity.

The park says in a statement the eruption is not a threat to people living on nearby Isabela Island.

But it says lava flowing to the sea will likely affect marine and terrestrial iguanas, wolves and other fauna.


How to pronounce ubuntu

“ubuntu” is a southern and/or eastern Bantu word … one of those words that is found in a number of languages and that no one is quite sure of the origin of. But this does not mean that it can’t be pronounced correctly.

There are very straight forward rules of pronunciation for Bantu words in general. Especially in Eastern and Southern Bantu languages (of which there are hundreds) you can think of the vowels as always being pronounced the same way whenever and wherever they are encountered. There are not really any silent vowels, and although there is some elision, there is very little. In the case of “ubuntu” all the vowels are separate so that is not an issue. And all the vowels in “ubuntu” are the same vowels, therefore, they are all pronounced the same way.

Here is a Bantu vowel pronunciation guide that you may wish to clip out and keep in your pocket:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

a like “ah” such as “Ah, I see. Roosevelt’s dog’s name was fala. Aha!”

e like “ey” such as “Ey, how boot a Molsen’s, ey?”

i like “eeek!” such as “This is good shit, mon” in a thick Caribbean or Mexican accent.

o like “oh or “toe” such as “No. Which part of ‘No’ do you not ‘Know'”

u like “oooo” such as “Desmond Tutu does not wear a tutu.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

There are not really alternative pronunciations for these vowels. Just pronounce them as specified here and you’ll be fine. In truth, when you put a vowel between some consonants or next to some other vowel, it will get pronounced slightly differently, but your mouth, tongue, and larynx takes care of that for you. Just follow the guide above until it is internalized.

So, for example, a common Eastern Bantu (KiSwahili) greeting is:

Tutaonana, habari gani?

Which is pronounced (to an English speaker):

Too Ta Oh Na Na, Hah Ba Reee Gah Knee


Tut own anna, hey berry gain ee

So, the vowels in “ubuntu” are simply:

Ooo , ooo, oooo

Like that kid on Welcome Back Kotter:

“Ooo, ooo, ooo, Mr. Kotter! Call on me!”

Then you stick in the consonants and the rest is pretty obvious:

Ooo (as in “ooo ooo ooo, I know the answer”) .. boon (as in Daniel Boone) … too (as in “me too!”).

Ooo boon too… ubuntu.

Not Ooo bun too

Not Ooo boon toe

Not oo bun toe

Just ooo boone too …. ubuntu.

But what does it all mean? Ask this guy:

Continue reading How to pronounce ubuntu