We’re all familiar with phrase “lost in translation”. Since words in one language may not have direct equivalents, or even mean something entirely different, in another, they sometimes have undesirable connotations for their intended audience. For example, in some Asian countries Kentucky Fried Chicken’s “Finger Lickin’ Good” slogan translated into “Eat your fingers off” which was a bit of a barrier to successful market entry, and you probably won’t find Puff’s tissues on drugstore shelves the next time you visit Germany since the term is a colloquialism for a house of ill-repute. If this has some of you wondering about those Chinese characters that you had tattooed on your arm, my advice would be to avoid wearing sleeveless shirts next time you’re in downtown Beijing. The converse of these incidences of international misunderstandings, are words and phrases that maybe do a better job of expressing something than our own […]
My wife likes to read People Magazine, and I’ll confess I’m not immune to sneaking a peak every now and then—who doesn’t want to know why Ben and Jen finally decided to go through with the divorce? Over time, I’ve noticed a pattern in the magazine’s editorial content. Normally, the big feature teased on the magazine’s cover is about the life altering event that some “star” has just experienced or overcome. Although they never address the really big issues, like how does Kim Kardashian make it through the average day with an IQ that doesn’t reach room temperature, there’s usually enough turmoil in the lives of the rich and famous to keep things fresh and topical. Periodically, however, there’s a lull in the action and they need to offer up a topic that they know their readers are always interested in, which, in this case, is weight loss stories. Nothing […]
Note: Saw that Apple just bought 2,000 acres and plans to spend $1.3 billion to build two new humungous data centers in Waukee, Iowa. We wrote this blog a few years ago but the same question still applies: “Why not Detroit?”
Life is good in Altoona, Iowa. With the coming of Facebook, servers will quickly outnumber the community’s 15,000 residents and the city is poised to become one of the country’s leading data center destinations. The citizenry of Altoona is ecstatic at their good fortune. The economic benefits alone are too numerous to consider. The police department is contemplating adding a second car, the country club might add nine more holes so members can play a full 18, and there’s a rumor going around that Krispy Kreme might be coming to town. Yes indeed, the gentrification of Altoona has begun—and good for them. I have nothing against the good people of […]
For those of you old enough to remember, and if you’re not, you can ask that “crazy” uncle as every family’s got one, back in the 60’s many in the counter-culture liked to propose the question: “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” The apparent purpose of posing this hypothetical was to demonstrate that war was a binary choice, along the lines of: would you rather play Scrabble or Twister? Unfortunately, history continues to demonstrate that war, like youth sports, tends to generate more than its share of participation trophies. Although international conflict proved that it wasn’t the best vehicle for illustrating the potential ramifications of choice, this does not mean that other examples of this all or nothing mode of thought don’t present us with the opportunity to ponder new sets of imponderables. The latest entrant into this metaphysical sweepstakes centers on the Linux Foundations’ newly announced […]
The history of the old west is filled with the legacies of what came to be referred to as “Boomtowns”. These cities were typically birthed by some geographic anomaly, like a stage coach line or a gold or silver mine, whose rise and demise spanned just a few short years but have lived on in memory. For example, we know that Tombstone was where the Earps and the Clantons squared off at the OK Corral, Deadwood was the last mailing address for Wild Bill Hickok who died holding the infamous “dead man’s hand” of aces and eights and Marshall Dillon was the law in Dodge City, except when he was hanging out with Doc, Festus and Miss Kitty—and I think we all know what she did for a living. I remind you of those thrilling days of yesteryear to help put into context the “unintended consequences” of Prineville, Oregon’s quest […]
I recently came across an article encouraging people to overcome their fear of public speaking and submit proposals to present at upcoming shows. Makes sense. I’m sure the people who regularly attend these events are getting a little tired of watching, and listening, to the usual suspects talking about increasingly esoteric subjects that make the average attendee start checking their phone to see if they can catch the earlier flight home. I heartily applaud this effort to get some fresh meat up there, and, unfortunately, I agree with their premise that too many erstwhile orators are hiding their light under a bushel due to a variety of neurosis. So, in the interest of greater presentation variety, and because I’ve sat through more presentations than I care to admit, I’m going to provide all you potential Cicero’s out there with a few tips drawn from my own personal experience.
Tip 1- Remember […]