Speed Essays (Alex) #4

What would you do if you got an essay question that you hated and couldn’t figure out what to write?

The first thing I would do is stare at the question for hours without end…emotionless and unloved. Just sitting there, as hard, cold, and frail as an old nail clippings. Rather than persuing the question, I would hide and take stock of all of my regrets and failures.

              Next, the second stage of my anger begins after several eternities of morbid thoughts. My head begins to swell up as large and as hard as a watermelon. My body glowing red and emitting an unhealthy amount of radiation. Right around the point where my neurons are turning into plasma and the computer is melting away, I begin to notice as a side thought, fhat hell is real. But my main attention is towards what is about to happen.

My pure outrage unravels in the form of a second Big Bang merely dwarfing the one that began our universe. At this point I am screaming an ear splitting scream so loud that it is considered a new natural disaster. Every moment I have ever experienced now turns into a horrific and emotional mess. Now my mega explosion has reached further out than the original Big Bang.

All life on earth would be nothing but a bunch of lonely, demoralized souls within  0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds after the blast. The whole universe would then  be forever lost, empty, and expunged of all life. Never ending in a vast field of blackness.

              In conclusion, for these reasons, you should never give me an essay topic I don’t like. Thanks for reading this, hope you have learned a lot.????

When kids vote their own time, parent should listen.

They’re all different, and we love it. “Click-a-los” Balog, who loves really anything that plugs into a wall, as well as writing and producing video, has unbeknownst to me begun doing product reviews for no reason except, “I like doing it.”

And as parents, that’s more than OK by us. Enjoy.

Zimbabwe, tribalism and our world

One of Stacia and my favorite places on the African continent is in disarray. We anticipated the fall of Uncle Bob Mugabe for a few years but the man was a medical miracle.

This article speaks to the history of Zimbawan rule, tribalism, and it’s perils. There is also wonderful commentary from British readers. No People Magazine readers they. Especially @BobOgden


Crisis, opportunity, and misinformation

I used the expression “crisis and opportunity are the same in Chinese” and thought, hmmm…i wonder if that’s true.

JFK was wrong. On pinyin.info, a website about the Chinese language, Victor H. Mair, a professor of Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, firmly corrects an American linguistic blunder that interprets the word “crisis” in Chinese as meaning both “danger” and “opportunity.”

“The explication of the Chinese word for crisis as made up of two components signifying danger and opportunity is due partly to wishful thinking, but mainly to a fundamental misunderstanding about how terms are formed in Mandarin and other Sinitic languages.” -Victor H. Mair

While this linguistic faux pas, no doubt, dates much further back, it was perhaps a speech delivered by President John F. Kennedy, in Indianapolis on April 12, 1959 that is most memorable. In his speech, Kennedy incorrectly said, “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity.”

As Professor Mair explains (the three paragraphs below are taken directly from Dr. Mair’s article):

[The word] “crisis” (wēijī) consists of two syllables that are written with two separate characters, wēi and jī. . . . While it is true that wēijī does indeed mean “crisis” and that the wēi syllable of wēijī does convey the notion of “danger,” the jī syllable of wēijī most definitely does not (italics added for emphasis) signify “opportunity.”

The jī of wēijī, in fact, means something like “incipient moment; crucial point (when something begins or changes).” Thus, a wēijī is indeed a genuine crisis, a dangerous moment, a time when things start to go awry. A wēijī indicates a perilous situation when one should be especially wary.

If one wants to find a word containing the element jī that means “opportunity” (i.e., a favorable juncture of circumstances, or a good chance for advancement), one needs to look elsewhere than wēijī, which means precisely “crisis” (viz., a dangerous, critical moment). One might choose, for instance, zhuǎnjī (“turn” + “incipient moment” = “favorable turn; turn for the better”), liángjī (“excellent” + “incipient moment” = “opportunity” [!!]), or hǎo shíjī (“good” + “time” + “incipient moment” = “favorable opportunity”).

Takeaway: It is scary how easily we take things at face value and accept them as “truths” or “facts” without ever doing the proper research.

China “Air”

Is there an age after which it’s no longer ok to run around naked on an airplane?

We can breathe again. Two weeks in China where air quality is clearly a luxury not available to the masses. We leave our massive headaches, burning tongues and sore eyes there. But we’ll be back.

We headed in back to back whacky flights on airlines with names that just made us happy they remained airborne! The last flight of 4 hours had a toddler who must have been named Xi Vil, maybe 2, (the face of Xi Vil!)

who’s parents immediately removed his pants and diaper allowing him to joyfully jump on his seat looking curiously at our kids, running around, sitting butt naked while mom couldn’t stop touching his butt and blowing air on his pee pee. To say Stacia and I were thoroughly grossed out would win understatement of the year. My goodness, someone will SIT in that seat next. Stacia is diligent, butt there aren’t enough wipes in China to sanitize that! #traumatized #safe

Thahhhhhland. We can breathe…

“Seriously, if it was your last day to live, would you want whatever you were doing to be just ‘good enough’?”  – Alexander Balog