How I Spent Time as a Child

I got the idea for this chart at this blog.

This is also the very first pie chart I made in Excel, so I’m proud of it.

“Lots of Spanish Spoken”

I keep obsessively reading the reviews of the resort where I will be going the day after tomorrow (because I can’t enjoy the trip until I have tortured myself with every nightmarish scenario possible, of course.) Almost every single review mentions that people in the Dominican Republic speak Spanish and their English is far from perfect. The sense of outrage these tourists experience when they realize that not everybody in the world is an English-speaker is bizarre, to put it mildly.

Yet some universities refuse to introduce the language requirement or to raise it from one year to two. I maintain that any university that allows students to graduate without speaking a second language scams its graduates. A monolingual person with a scholarly degree is a joke.

Should Men Let Women Wear the Shoes They Like?

Even the supposedly progressive sources can’t avoid using hugely offensive language when discussing women. The “What About Teh Menz” blog started out kind of fine, but it has adopted the language of disrespect for women that makes me cringe. Here, for example, the kind of dating advice that its author dispenses to short men:

Let your girlfriend wear high heels if she wants to.

In this blogger’s confused sad excuse for a brain, adult women need their boyfriend’s permission to wear the shoes they like.

I’m sure that many of that blog’s followers are wondering why their personal lives are miserable. The answer is, of course, that as long as they see this kind of rhetoric as acceptable, their loneliness will only intensify. Nobody needs a man who thinks he will be “letting” his girlfriend do things. Even the most downtrodden, mousy females have realized by this time that they don’t need their boyfriends’ permission to dress the way they want to. There can be any number of boyfriends in a woman’s life. But none of them can matter more than her dignity.

Unfortunately, Google Reader doesn’t allow me to bump blogs off my reading list, so I’m doomed to reading the idiocies of this stupid blog in my blogroll.

Translation Riddle

OK, time for another riddle, people.

Everybody knows that machine translation systems are useless when translating fiction. However, there was one scene in the novel I’m translating that I knew would be translated perfectly by Google Reader. I tried it and it turned out I was absolutely right. The translation of the scene required almost no retouching after it came out of Google Translator.

Question: what kind of a scene was it and why did Google Translator translate it so perfectly?