Osama bin Laden: slippery characters

May 6, 2011

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While the world is deciding whether it wants to return Barack Obama to “hero” status after the capture and killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, or bay for his blood for not releasing the “gory, inflammatory” photos of bin Laden’s lifeless, bloodied corpse – one thing seems to be troubling both politicians and reporters […]

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Numbers, Planets and One-armed Deities

May 3, 2011

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You use them every day of your life, but did you know that every time you write in your diary, look at a calendar, arrange a date or look at a timeable, you’re opening up a world of numbers, mythology, celestial bodies and deities? This week I was on the Tube when I saw a […]

Kyrgyzstan: A Goat’s Worst Nightmare

April 21, 2011

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Kok-boru, Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is a weirdly wonderful place, but I don’t think it’s to everyone’s taste. It has been called a number of things – a Central Asian Switzerland, the real homeland of Santa Claus, the one democracy Central Asia has to offer. But it should really be called: “a goat’s worst nightmare”. Read on… Today news came […]

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Grammar war ahead? Twitter vs Russian

April 18, 2011

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twitter chicks

The number of Internet users in Russia isn’t massive, relatively speaking – but it recently hit 50 million (out of 140 or so million). They don’t all use Twitter, but the number is growing by the minute. As in 2008 for Barack Obama et al., the 2012  presidential elections in Russia will see the country’s […]

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Laurent Gbagbo: as complex as his consonants?

April 11, 2011

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It would appear Laurent Gbagbo is bound to be behind bars before too long, having been busted from his bunker. Like how I alliterated the [b]s in that sentence? Including Gbagbo? In French, and – in the case – so in English, Gbagbo is rendered as /bagbo/ – completely steamrollering the nicest linguistic feature of […]

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Ye Olde Englishe. A Thorny business, indeed…

April 4, 2011

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I was at the British Library the other day, having a look at what turned out to be a rather interesting exhibition called ‘Evolving English‘. On display were a nice range of old texts – including some of the earliest examples of written English. They gave some ‘translations’ – showing how certain lines were meant […]

Posted in: Just for fun

Has Libya’s Majnun come between Russia’s Tandem?

March 21, 2011

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So it’s come to this. Fork in the road. The tiny cracks that were once so easily “paperoverable” have festered and are conspiring to part the wall apart. Maybe. Although there have been a few very, very played-down cases of ruffled feathers between Russia’s ruling tandem, this is the most public negative comment President Dmitry […]

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