July 2009 Archives

Cristina Fernandez-Pereda

Tweets, Terrorism, and Translation

By Cristina Fernandez-Pereda, Jul 31, 2009 12:29 PM

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The offending word was misery. The headlines were "Brits face Spain holiday misery after double bomb attack," by The Times. The BBC chose "disrupt. "Spanish bomb disrupts UK holidays".

It took 24 hours for The Times to change the wording even after their Twitter account was flooded with messages from offended Spaniards. But what if all those Spaniards were lost in translation?

Sandip Roy

White Men Can't Win Medals

By Sandip Roy, Jul 30, 2009 3:50 PM

 USA Today says it’s not a good time to be over 55, white and male. Ås the Daily Beast summarizes it “old, white men get canned first.”

And President Barack Obama seems to be doing his bit (as the likes of Glenn Beck have already figured out).

He just announced the Presidential Medal of Freedom list. The President is giving out 16. Last year George W Bush gave out six, with another 3 squeezed in before he left office on January 20.

Laura Goode

An Open Letter to Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)

By Laura Goode, Jul 29, 2009 2:54 PM

 To: Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)
From: Laura Goode, Communications Director/Blogmistress, New America Media
CC: President Barack Obama (D-USA)
CC: Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN)
CC: Norm Coleman (title revoked)
CC: Lavender Magazine

July 29th, 2009

Dear Sen. Franken,

First of all, major congratulations to you. I’m really, really psyched they (“they” being the general Minnesotan powers-that-be) finally realized that you beat that douchebag Norm Coleman. Incidentally, I don’t think enough has been made of the fact that this may have been the first-ever (and check me on this, please) Jew-on-Jew senatorial race that our home state has ever known. I mean, who says Minnesota isn’t ethnic?

Rupa Dev

Managing My Techxiety

By Rupa Dev, Jul 28, 2009 3:29 PM

A year ago, I lived in Chicago among the crowd of young professionals and recent graduates who populate the north side of the city. None of my friends were laid off in the early part of 2008. People didn’t start and end their day with a “tweet.” The iPhone was still an indulgent mobile luxury. The lifestyle of young adulthood in the Midwest felt leisurely and carefree.
This leisure quickly became too static for me. San Francisco, brimming with artists, entrepreneurs, writers, and activists, gleamed in contrast. 
I decided to move to San Francisco partially because I was born and raised in Cupertino and familiar with the Silicon Valley. What I didn't anticipate upon moving was how quickly a book-loving, non-techie like myself could assimilate into the overwired, tech-obsessed culture of San Francisco.

Laura Goode

Justine Drennan on Pei-Fen Koo

By Laura Goode, Jul 22, 2009 1:24 PM

Editor's note: Today's Blogwire contributor, Justine Drennan, reflects on the quandaries of naming (and re-naming) in her piece about her grandmother, Pei-Fen Koo, who immigrated with her husband and children from Amoy, China, to Seattle in 1949.  Justine is an intern in one of NAM's summer youth programs, and will return to Princeton University for her junior year this fall.  Justine writes:
“1945 after war end, Nancy born,” Popo says. Everyone calls my grandmother Popo. Ten years ago, one of Uncle George’s children who was studying Chinese in college pointed out that “Popo” means maternal grandmother. Still, they all continued to call her Popo, too.

“Nancy we name Ping-You - dummy bon.”

“What?” I ask.

Popo is a hundred and one years old. Her hearing is half-gone and she didn’t learn English until her forties. She reads the paper every day, and sometimes asks to check her stocks when a family member brings a laptop to her house.

"A dummy bond," she repeats, twice.

Atomic bomb.

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