Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dolphins and Wales

The title above does not refer to two noble creatures: it is about one noble creature, and the people of Wales.
It seems that dolphins who inhabit Cardigan Bay - off the coast of Wales - have developed a peculiar entonation, according to this from BBC NEWS:

"Ronan Hickey analysed 1,882 whistles for his masters degree in marine mammal science at University of Wales, Bangor . . . Bottlenose dolphins are talking to each other using a dialect that could be unique to Wales, claim scientists.
The whistles of dolphins in Cardigan Bay are different to those living off the Irish coast, a study has found."

Unfortunately Mr. Hickey did not return any of my calls for some follow up (I sent him a link to this Blog, isn't that enough?).

So I decided to seek commentary from another expert.

It makes me wonder if dolphins are able to develop that ever so annoying accent from Rio de Janeiro.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Serenity - in Natalie

"I could feel at the time
There was no way of knowing . . ."

I woke up feeling quite overwhelmed this morning. Perhaps this is due to certain things which have been bouncing around in my head as of late, concerning issues that need direction, and solutions. Anyway, sometimes when this happens I look for serenity in a song. I start by just blatantly admitting to myself that whatever it is that is bothering me hasn't been resolved as I expected, and by the time I had expected (the time thing really gets to me). I know that I've been perfectly aware of what has been getting on my nerves, it's clear enough; but somehow just owning up to and giving this 'confession' its private bracket in time helps me take the next step where I kind of scan my brain for a song, any song, and then consider if it is suited to help me unwind. I am constantly baffled that this often leads me to something that I find relaxing (yes, I know: wierd).
So today I did this once again, and the song below came to mind for some reason, and listening to it really did calm me down, which will hopefully also help me take a step back during the day to gain greater perspective over the situation. Oh, when doing this I prefer to just listen to the song, dispensing with visual elements. Yet I decided to post the video anyway, since it is nice, and you can just focus on the audio if you wish.

Do you ever feel swamped, and if so is there a work of art that is soothing to you?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Quest for the Perfect Porque

The words porque, por que, porquê and por quê will probably torture you sooner or later as you pick up Portuguese. Since I'm all about the love, and avoid the torture - except in states where said practice is legal - I've decided to offer some tips on the matter (note to self: avoid leper joke after "tips"). So let us look at how each poorkay should be used, and their proper setttings.
Also important to remember before our journey begins is that these words are all pronounced exactly the same way. So don't go pausing after the por in por que, as opposed to an uninterrupted rendition of porque. Doing this does not convey the different meaning that pertains to each word, and will ultimately make you sound like a moron.

Let's begin with por que.
This por que translates to "Why" in English, so use him when asking a question : "Por que você chegou atrasado?" (Why did you arrive late?).

Now, moving on to porque.
This guy comes in an one piece suit - porque - and Mr. One Piece is all about providing answers, so think "because" when you see him:
Eu estou atrasado porque o meu carro quebrou (I am late because my car broke down).

The rest of the gang - Mr. Accented Por quê, and Senhor One Piece Suit Accented Porquê - do not merit my time as they get on my nerves, are rarely encountered in conversation, plus the accent looks silly. If you want to study their usage though you can read this.
I also recommend checking out the Portuguese related info offered by a user - of the forum linked above - called Macunaíma. Her submissions can be found here.

Now for a really neat trick you can use with this word: everytime you hear that typically mispronounced sound of porque being uttered by a fellow expat you should automatically say "butter".

Like in the classic ad below.

I should get a Nobel Prize for these tips (and then the leper . . .)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day Ya Snivering Snakes

I think the most interesting thing about St. Patrick is that he was actually a slave, born in Scotland, who was shipped of to Ireland. His tale takes a turn for the better as he escapes servitude and joins the clergy, to later become the most influential figure in turning Ireland towards Christianity, and away from the pagan traditions it adhered to at the time.

Then there's the whole driving the snakes out of Ireland bit, which the cartoon above portrays quite well methinks.

Read more about São Patricio here

And, above all, have a nice green celebration today.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pictures of You

By way of this lovely site.

How you used to be
Slow drowned
You were angels
So much more than everything
Hold for the last time, then slip away, quietly
Open my eyes
But I never see anything'