lately, talking to friends in Italy, they keep repeating how stupid and brainless Sarah Palin was...
just can't figure it out. I must be pretty stupid too, as most of what she says seems to make perfect sense...
"McDonald's defended its Happy Meals on Wednesday against claims by a consumer advocacy group, with McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner saying that "Happy Meals are a fun treat, with right-sized, quality food choices."
Skinner's letter addressing this issue comes a week after the Center for Science in the Public Interest sent a letter to McDonald's threatening to sue if the company didn't stop using toys to market Happy Meals to young children.
"By advertising that Happy Meals include toys, McDonald's unfairly and deceptively markets directly to children," the letter stated."
So I am wondering... ??? would it be considered more fair, were McDonalds to market directly to adults? So all those Saturday morning cartoons and related breakfast cereals... where do I get my refund, now that I have a cavity I need filled?
And when will they get around to suing "Kinder" for their chocolate surprise filled eggs? Since there is no guarantee what is inside the egg, maybe they can get them on Vice charges as well for gambling with the children's hopes and expectations?
the Olympics are coming, the Olympics are coming (to Venice)
And considering this blog's long and uninterrupted history of Obamabashing, there's little or no chance of getting (suffering?) "the One" 's support for my position, so that makes it a shoe-in. Just call it my contribution to a bigger cause...
P.S. more another time as to why I really do think that Venice would make a wonderful Olympic venue.
And I say "Bravo!". Not because I don't like animals, I have loved many a pet over the years. Not because I am some sort of Hannibal animal torturer. But because what they were proposing doesn't really make any sense.
Because if what they say it will cost is true, there is no reason that this should be a bureaucratized governmental position at all. Particularly considering that if something is done by the private sector, it almost always is done better, at greatly decreased costs. And even if privately it would be a 1sfr/person cost, that means if they get an average of 10sfr from just 10% of the people, or an average of 50 from 2% (and the median could be reduced immensely by finding a couple of decent corporate sponsors like Purina).
So my littlest, as we are walking down the stairs to make our way to the asilo (preschool) says "Oggi č brutto" (lit. Today is ugly, but it doesn't mean that in Italian, since there is an implied "tempo" at the end, which then means bad weather, even though tempo is also the word used for "time"), and so to double check that she knows the English form, I ask "You mean today there'll be bad weather?" to which there can be no other answer than the exasperated response "Ma papā, certo! deve anche nevicare! (snow!)" since she already understood perfectly (my little bilingual angel).
And sure enough, not even time to get out of the asilo and the first little drops of an annoyingly fastidiosa light rain (pioviggina inf. piovigginare - as in "it's drizzling") hit my lip, then nose, then the rest of the face. By the time i manage to get away from the newstand and the paper is already riddled with little waterstained pockmarks that will leave it all wrinkly for the rest of the day. Oh well, at least there isn't Acqua Alta today.
On a related note, curious, I find, is the "It's raining, it's pouring" version in Italian:
Piove, piove la gatta non si muove, si spegna la candela, si dice: buonasera! si accende il lumicino si dice: buonmattino!
Meaning (roughly, and without rhyme): It's raining, it's raining the cat doesn't even move, blow out the candle, say: good evening! light the candle say: good morning
Class excused, Italian lessons over for the day...
Italia.IT, the renowned (some would say infamous) Italian National tourism portal, has done it once again.
Even after the millions of euros thrown away by the right leaning government before launching it, and by the left leaning one that inherited it to manage to get it on line, with almost as many problems and criticisms as euros spent; the modifications to get it in line with the current accessibility laws and to placate the most severe of the criticisms; and the soon thereafter blackout for another extended period of many many moons, they still haven't found 9 euros* to hire a decent proofreader for the home page** in English.
In Italian, the bottom right corner has a menu of site services (Colophon), the first of which (and thus, presumably the most important) is "Collabora",
which leads to a page for feedback and suggestions entitled, appropriately "Collabora"
BUT, in English, they try, but just can't seem to get it right...
Now had Ken Kane, my HS freshman year English teacher, seen that glaring error***, it would have been an immediate grade off. Were that a final paper, he probably would have refused to move past the front page and gone straight to "F", or made me retype the entire paper from scratch (we didn't have word processors, much less web sites or blogs, way back when). Were that front page the result of millions and millions of euros of investment and years of effort, well, let's just say that it was a Christian institute, so it probably would have been worse than flogging but better than crucifixion.
*** for the spelling challenged, "partecipate" is the second person plural of the verb "partecipare" - IN THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE. In English it does NOT exist. The correct word for exhorting people to collaborate with the editorial staff of the portal in English is "Participate".
P.S. note the fantastic attention to detail through beautiful 3-d effects on the drop shadows, but total lack of communication skills by ignoring things like proper English...
P.S.2 note this jewel of a useful translation, in terms of clarity:
Italian: Documenti necessari per guidare in Italia Le patenti rilasciate da qualsiasi Stato appartenente all'Unione Europea sono valide all'interno di tutto il territorio UE, quindi anche in Italia. Se si possiede una patente rilasciata da uno Stato non UE č necessario avere un permesso di guida internazionale o una traduzione giurata della propria patente.
English: Documents required to drive in Italy Driving licences issued by any of the EU member states are valid throughout the European Union, including Italy. Drivers in possession of a licence issued by any EU country do not require an international driving permit or a sworn translation of their own licence.
Is it just me, or does the English say something quite different (though not contradictory), and much less useful, for someone from outside the EU, who doesn't happen to speak fluent Italian (like a typical foreign tourist)? How so typically Italian.
Sometimes, there are nut jobs and then there are really nut jobs.
AGW (you know, I admit I just don't know what the first A really stands for?) is one of those really ones.
I can understand being for saving energy (after all, energy costs a lot, no matter what you do to generate the energy).
And I can understand being in favor of energy efficient methods of generating and using energy.
But claiming that CO2 is evil just goes over the limit: how can all those poor plants all over the planet eat if all their chlorophyll filled cells can't get enough atoms to convert into energy?
And i can't understand the people against nuclear energy. After all, all energy is just conversion of some kind of nucleus+electrons to some other kind, so why worry if it is radioactive or carbon based, as long as it is really controllable? And I don't consider anything in the ex-USSR as any sort of valid control... much less when it was a "control" in the 80s.
If anything, I would consider it a warning against the current direction of the government controls, rather than against the energy policies...