Saturday, August 31, 2013

7 Words in Turkish (6 of 7): Oysters

Greetings to our blog-readers in Argentina, Belgium and China.

Even though I am 90-percent fluent in Turkish (or maybe just 89 -percent), I didn't know the Turkish word for oysters; it is ISTIRIDYE; I am not using all caps because I've gone insane or towards political extremism, but rather because the Turkish word for oysters is hard to spell. And, we certainly didn't want to eff that up.

For some genuine underwater laughs, we recommend the "Sherman's Lagoon" comic strip. The Sunday edition of the strip is carried by the Sunday editions of "The Washington Post" and "The Denver Post" as well as other newspapers throughout the United States (see link below).

Friday, August 30, 2013

7 Words in Turkish (5 of 7): Shark

Though Shark Week on the Discovery Channel has passed us by, we have the Turkish word for shark for you today. An interesting note is that in Turkish, the word for dog 'kopek' and the word for fish 'balik' are combing together for this word. (Just last week, a 14-foot, 700-pound tiger was caught off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in America.)

So, the Turkish word for shark is kopekbaligi, or shark=kopekbaligi.

SIDEBAR ONE: We thought it was interesting when we found out that the embassy for Azerbaijan in Washington, DC, has a Facebook page, but the Canadian embassy does not! Gary Doer is the Canadian ambassador to the United States; Elin Suleymanov is Baku's man in DC.

SIDEBAR TWO: As someone who has read Dale Carnegie's classic self-help book "How to Win Friends and Influence People," in order to overcome my personal insecurities, it is refreshing to hear a different take from the American comic/actor/talk show host Marc Maron, who told "Rolling Stone magazine" the following: "Bitterness is a sure fire way to ruin your career. I've pissed off Adam Sandler. I've pissed off Jon Stewart. I've been ruse to people I've been jealous of." (Marc Maron)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

7 Words in Turkish (3 of 7): Whale

Whale=Balina........the blue whale would be 'mavi balina.'

This reminds me of the time I saw a Greenpeace activist, dressed as a whale, protesting in front of the Japanese embassy in Washington, DC, which is right across the street from the Turkish embassy.

For the Norwegian word for whale, check out our sister "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time" (link below)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Before We Take a Week Off: Top 10 Embarrasing Ways to Die

Greetings to our friends in the Netherlands, Turkey and Mexico.

We went back and forth on this, but we decided it would provide relief from a subject matter that makes sitting through episodes of "Six Feet Under" difficult to sit through. Speaking of which if actor Michael C. Hall has time on his hands and visits this blog, we just have to ask: "What the expletive are you gonna do after 'Dexter'"? Hopefully, those of you in Utrecht, Gaziantep and Puebla got the joke (those are cities in Holland, Turkey and Mexico).

Here we go with the Top 10 Most Embarrassing Ways to Die:

1. Drowning while fishing in the New River in West Virginia.

2. Choking on a Pay Day candy bar.

3. Trying to take a photo of Gustave the man-eating crocodile while vacationing in Burundi (We heard about him through "Mental Floss" magazine)

4. Tripping into an on-coming DC Metro subway train (a DC-Metro map is our middle image)

5. Getting hit in the head by a foul ball at a Detroit Tigers baseball game.

6. Getting hit by an on-coming car after shopping at K-Mart.

7. Smoke inhalation from smoking Camels in bed.

8. Getting struck by lightning while trying to fix satellite tv.

9. Getting run over by your very own car or truck (Alas, this did actually happen to a mail carrier in Charlotte, NC)

10. Slipping on a banana peel (DC Metro web site)

For a link on our sister blog about 10 more embarrassing ways to die:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday Night Tweets: Cairo Is Burning

It appears that over 800 people may have been killed this week from riots in Cairo, Egypt, and perhaps other cities in the world's most populous Arab nation as the secular military battles with supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, who also stand by ousted president Mohammed Morsi.

We have been tracking tweets today regarding the messy situation, including tweets from liberal activist Gigi Ibrahim (pictured top), who was the face of the country's initial Arab Spring uprising, Sana Saaed, a female Egyptian college professor presumably based in Canada, and Sinem Cengiz, a female correspondent of Turkish and Arab heritage for the Turkish English-language newspaper "Today's Zaman."

Here are the tweets:

1) Sana Saaed @SanaSaeed: "Those aren't Islamists" or "Morsi supporters" protesting and dying: They're #Egypt-ians, no matter how the headlines characterize them.

2) Faizaan @El_OptiMist: "What is going to commence soon will be far worse than we're witnessing right now #Egypt #Syria."

3) Gigi Ibrahim @Gsquare86: "I am exhausted from being depressed and feeling helpless and trapped."

4) Politico @politico: "#Egypt weighs banning Brotherhood."

5) The Boston Globe @BostonGlobe: Editorial: Ending US Aid to #Egypt is unwise, but stronger messages are needed.

6) Sinem Cengiz @SinemCngz:" If #Egypt fails, all Arab Spring countries will fail."

7) John Fugelsang (progressive American talk show personality): "Funny how the ppl opposed to separation of church & state here are rooting for separating mosque & state in #Egypt."

8) DailaEzzat (ADaliaEzzat_): Love it when journalists keep saying 'signs of the old days are back when referrring to MOI (Ministry of Interior) and security forces. The old days never left! #Egypt

Monday, August 12, 2013

Google/Bing Question of the Day: How Many Top 40 Hits Did Huey Lewis and the News Have?

The 1980s band Huey Lewis and the News is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of their biggest-selling album "Sports," which featured "I Wanna New Drug," "Heart and Soul" and "The Heart of Rock N Roll," by touring North America.

So, we decided to ask one of the major search engines (we don't play favorites here, well......I guess there are times when we do): How Many Top 40 Hits Did Huey Lewis and the News Have"?

As it turns out the San Francisco-based band had 16 top 40 hits, including three number-one songs: "Jacob's Ladder," "The Power of Love" and "Stuck with You," none of which were on "Sports."

Huey Lewis and the News are now swinging through the east coast. They play at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Va., just outside of Washington, DC, tomorrow night. Their competition will be '80s new wave pop singer Adam Ant ("Goody Two Shoes") who will be playing at the 9:30 Club in the nation's capital.

The band then plays Atlantic City, NJ, (Aug. 16th), Nashville, Tenn. (Aug. 25th) and Boston (aug. 28th).

For a link to see where another '80s icon Pat Benatar is performing, go to our sister blog:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Last Ten Films I've Seen- Garbo Laughs

Among the last ten films I've seen is a notorious "Jaws" rip-off, two films directed by playwrights ("Margaret" and "Seven Psychopaths") and a vintage British horror film ("Repulsion").

There are also two films with Johnny Depp in the lead ("The Libertine" and "Dead Man") and the film in which cinematic goddess Greta Garbo laughs ("Ninotchka").

In addition, there are two films which are still in cinemas ("R.I.P.D., which I actually saw at a drive-in, and "The Way, Way Back"). Movies I have seen previously are marked with an *.

Here is the list:

1. "Holy Smoke" (1999. dir-Jane Campion)

2. "The Last Shark" ("Great White") (Italy. 1981. dir-Enzo G. Castellari)

3. "Dead Man" (1995. dir-Jim Jarmusch) *

4. "Seven Psychopaths" (2012. dir- Martin McDonagh)

5. "Margaret" (2011. dir-Kenneth Lonengan)

6. "The Way, Way Back" (2013 dir-Nat Faxon and Jim Rush)

7. "R.I.P.D" (2013 dir-Robert Schwentke)

8. "The Libertine"   (2004. dir-Laurence Dunmore)

9. "Repulsion" (1965. dir-Roman Polanski) *

10. "Ninotchka" (1939. dir-Ernst Lubitsch) (Drive-in theatre in Saco, Maine, (not where I saw R.I.P.D) (Cinema in Raleigh, NC, that is now screening "The Way, Way Back") (The magazine that started the 'last ten films I've seen series)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Highlights from The Bucket List: Going to Seattle Anyone?

Yes, even though I'm only 43 years old, I actually made a bucket list of 100 things to do before I die. Some things are a bit more idealistic; some things are a bit more practical.

With that, I want to send special greetings to our blog-readers in Russia, China and Japan as well as those of you in smaller countries like Malta and El Salvador.

Here are some of the highlights:

1. Take a Greyhound bus trip from Burlington, NC, to Seattle.

2. Go to Iceland, and take some photos of the volcanoes while you are there.

3. Watch "Breaking Bad" on dvd in its entirety (I have yet to see a single show of the series which concludes this weekend).

4. Write an article for "Mental Floss."

5. Wake up at 6 a.m. for six days in a row?! (I'm a night person)

6. Take a Varan bus trip (Varan is a Turkish bus line) from Istanbul to Van

7. Date a woman 20 years younger than you

8. Date a woman 20 years older than you

9. Visit the National Zoo in Washington, DC, take lots of photos of the pandas

10. Volunteer at a homeless shelter

Friday, August 9, 2013

Return of Friday Night Tweets: All Things Washington D.C.

Greetings to our blog readers in Mexico, South Africa and India. Tonight, if you only learn one thing from blog hopping, we hope that you take away this fact: Elin Suleymanov, we hope we spelled his name right, is the Azerbaijani ambassador to the United States.

Embassies were the focus of one tweet tonight, while others dealt with political issues du jour. It should also be pointed that unlike the web site for the Roanoke Tea Party (sorry, we aren't giving ou their link), which actually attacked Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia (?!), we are being nice to Cong. Morgan Griffith (R-Va), even though all of us here have voted for Barack Obama four times each.

Here are eight tweets which have been posted in the last 24 hours:

1. WNYC @ WNYC (NPR station in New York): Does NYC's density help protect elderly who live alone from dying in heat waves?

2. The Hill @TheHill, which is a DC-based newspaper covering Capitol Hill: "U.S. to reopen 18 of 19 embassies that were closed to terror threats. (Yemen is the lone American embassy which is not re-opening).

3. Politico @politico: "One take away from Obama's press conference. He doesn't like Vladamir Putin, not one bit."

4. The Vancouver Sun @VancouverSun: "Gay Russians seeking refuge in Canada to escape homophobic news laws."

5. Mormon Democrats @MormonDems: "#LiberalsGetUpsetWhen Republicans side with the 3 % of climate scientists who don't think #globalwarming is a problem."

6. Carson Daly @CarsonDaly: "And the Emmy goes to...........Jon Voight for Ray Donovan #wordscomingsoon"

7. Katrina vanden Heuvel @KatrinaNation: "A party that defies demographic reality, grounded in white resentment, may well doom itself to permanent minority-dom or political suicide. (Katrina is the managing editor of the liberal magazine "The Nation," pictured center. The publication has made national news for its spat with Wal-Mart over workers' wages).

8. Morgan Griffith @RepMGriffith: "Ok, Mr. President, show me the "dishes!" Show me the FISA court opinions, etc., so we can have the discussion you invited in your press conference." (Cong. Griffith is pictured bottom, he was previously the Republican leader in Virginia's House of Delegates).

For more tweets from the night go to our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time"

Other Links:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Word of the Day: Zealot

Greetings to our blog readers in Latvia, where we are surprisingly very popular, Canada and Israel.

Since Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American who is a Muslim, has made headlines as his book about Jesus Christ entitled "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus Christ" is hitting bookstores, we thought we'd take a closer look at the definition.

A zealot is any person who is fervent and relentless in a religious or political ideal.

Thus, the term can apply not only to Jesus Christ, but also Mahatma Gandhi (pictured), Che Guevara and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Eid Mubarak/Happy Ramadan from Nasreddin Hoca

Greetings to our blog readers in Dubai, France and New Zealand.

We also want to send a special Ramadan greeting to our friends in Turkey, Cyprus and Azerbaijan.

Now, that Ramadan is complete, we can all go out for halal hot dogs and an Efes Pilsen Beer*......:)

The image above is of the famed Nasreddin Hoca, a comical Persian philosopher who reportedly rode his donkey backwards; Nasreddin lived in what is now central Turkey in the provinces of Konya and Nevsehir.

*-Efes Pilsen is a Turkish beer made from the pilsener formula developed in the town of Pilsen in the Czech Republic.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Quote of the Day: Andy Warhol

Greetings to our blog-readers in Italy, Spain and Australia.

We are a bit stunned that there is no Google Doodle for America's great pop artist Andy Warhol, who would have turned 85 today.

David Bowie wrote a song called "Andy Warhol" and later played him on film.

The Andy Warhol Museum is one of Pittsburgh, Pa.'s top tourist attractions.

The image above is an Andy Warhol doll that is made by the Unemployed Philosophers Guild, a novelty-item maker in America.

Here is one of his quotes:

"The always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Image to Fill Space: Summit Skull

Greetings to our friends in Hungary, Pakistan and Mexico..........we are working on a few things for the the mean time here is a Summit retails for between $25-75 depending on the collectability.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Coming Soon to This Blog Near You (No Promises): What You Might Expect in August

Greetings to our blog readers in Estonia, Ghana and Italy or wherever you might be today. It's now mid-noon in New York and Atlanta, 5:30 p.m. in London and 7:30 p.m. in Ankara, Turkey. If we are wrong about any of this, we will blame Javier the Intern and Zappa the Family Cat.

Today's image is of the early year American comic actor W.C. Fields (1880-1946), who once professed that anyone who hates children and puppies couldn't be all bad. Of course, he said this a full seven decades before Dick Cheney became vice president (forgive the political humuor-we prefer the Brit spelling).

Fields is buried in Glendale, Calif., a Los Angeles suburb, which is home to a very large Armenian-American population. Ironically, we know this because the person blogging this info is a Turkish-American.

If you need to explain the irony, I suggest you go to the Facebook pages for the Turkish and Armenian embassies respectively.

Here are three items we hope to post within the next few days, months or perhaps years:

1) Ten More Things To Do in Roanoke, Va: Perhaps we may even discuss some of the more unique attractions in the southwest Virginia area, including a pet cemetery in nearby Cloverdale and Mini-Graceland as well as some of the nifty places to hang out, such as Alejandro's Mexican Grill in downtown Roanoke.

2)  Ten Things to Do in Greensboro, NC: Though I am no longer a resident of North Carolina, the state holds a dear place in my heart for me. The Green Bean Coffee Shop in downtown Greensboro and the a/perture Cinema in nearby Winston-Salem, which is showing the indy dramedy "The Way, Way Back" along with two other films, would be among the places we would plan to profile.

3) Virtual Postcards: We are hoping to resume the series, which was fairly popular, in some way, shape or form.

Stay tuned.....

DULY NOTED: The links below will actually be for the Armenian Consulate in Glendale, Calif., rather than the embassy in Washington, D.C. Conversely, is a web site for information on Turkey, and is not the web site for the Turkish embassy either (see links below).

For those wondering who the ambassadors are (thanks to Google), we can say that it Tatoul Markarian who is Armenia's ambassador to America. His counterpart is Namik Tan for Turkey.

Somehow, we don't expect either of them to be having lunch at Ray's Hell Burgers in Arlington, Va. (a D.C. suburb) any time soon!