So I’m catching up with The Daily Show, since I hadn’t watched it much this week. Jason Jones is sitting down with opposition activist Alexei Navalny.
What did I notice on the wall behind Jason?
Is that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic behind him? Enhance!
Well it gosh darn is. That is strange. And here is the full image:
That’s the MLP:FiM characters combined with those stupid “meme faces” that got popular on reddit a few years back. Thankfully they’ve passed out of style, but interesting to see Russians still like them.
I have a confession to make: I hate UK and Canadian spelling rules. I much, much prefer Americanized spelling. I guess this makes me a rather unpatriotic Canadian. Here’s some examples of what I mean:
-our (UK) vs. -or (USA)
-re (UK) vs. -er (USA)
-ise (UK) vs. -ize (USA)
-yse (UK) vs. -yze (USA)
In all of these examples I prefer the American spelling since it follows how the word actually sounds. Why should I say “Centre” in English? That pronunciation makes perfect sense in French, but not English. It’s clearly “Cen-ter”. Same thing with “Color”, “organize” and so forth. Spelling should follow pronunciation.
I’m reading up a bit on spelling reform as well. I would like to go much further. The letter “x” making both a “ck” and a “z” sound bothers me. It should only be a “ck” sound. So “Xylophone” should be spelled “Zylophone”. I’m not sure how far I would go though. Since I’m not entirely comfortably with a purely phonetically spelled language. Technically “X” can be removed entirely. Yet I would not be in favor of that. But we should certainly try to reduce the confusing mess that is the English language. And remember, spelling and grammar (should it be spelled “grammer”?) are simply agreed upon conventions. There’s no reason we can’t propose new ones and have those adopted. There’s no “tradition”. It’s not about “dumbing things down”. The English language is a mess, and it should be reformed to be more rational.
I’ve also wondered if there could be some kind of Wiki-style site devoted to creating spelling and grammar standards. This would be an interesting idea. People from all over the world could discuss and debate how to spell words, and hopefully some kind of a consensus could be reached. Wiki-spelling.org perhaps? Just an idea. I have no idea if such a site would even work of if it would soon turn into a chaotic mess. Would be an interesting experiment. Hopefully a unified spelling, agreed upon by every English speaking country could then be found.
The situation has deteriorated far faster in Ukraine than I had anticipated. There have been protests for weeks, but the violence has exploded recently. As many as 70 dead and calls for sanctions against Ukraine. Maybe that’s what Ukraine is headed for unless they can stave it off.
Unarmed protestors coming under sniper fire:
The piles of dead bodies:
Clashes between riot police and protestors:
News report on the violence in Lviv:
David Blair from the Telegraph gave his Assessment of the situation:
"In the center of Kiev this morning as the gunfire rang out and as the bodies were brought in it did feel like a capital which was in the early stages of a civil war."
"What I can say for certain is that these men were killed with single shots to the head. I spoke to one of the people who brought the bodies, and he described where this particular person had been killed and it was right up at the front line where the protestors are confronting riot police. Now, um all I can say, based on everything I’ve seen and everything I know is that these people were killed by professionals. And that whoever was firing those shots clearly intended to kill them. There’s no question of warning shots or anything like that. So I think on balance of probability they were almost certainly the work of a sniper. Given that all the dead were protestors it would suggest the sniper was working for the government side. And I can really see no credible explanation. If someone can put it to me I would be delighted to hear it but I cannot think of any other at the moment.
Two things are absolutely clear. One is that the protestors aren’t going to go home unless the president resigns. And the second is: that the security forces are prepared to kill people in order to keep the president in his place. So you have a clash between an irresistible force and the immovable object. And at the moment we can’t tell how this is going to play out”