Book meme update

February 3rd, 2010

In october of 2006 I wrote about Ten books that I’m really glad I own and will definitely get around to reading. I’ve managed to actually read four of them since.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Very good.

The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison

Fantastic. Very unique.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Utterly fantastic.

I started reading Titus Groan in English for the first time last summer, and didn’t care for the style to my surprise, so I might not read the sequels anytime soon.


February 3rd, 2010

I’ve sort of forgotten about this blog. I want to note that “the Weman healthcare plan” I suggested here, which I thought of all of my own, have recently been endorsed by Howard Dean.


February 3rd, 2010

Jag har startat min egen översättningsbyrå. Vi erbjuder teknisk översättning, undertextning, lokalisering, redigering, korrekturläsning, allt man kan tänka sig.

Translation agency

February 3rd, 2010

I’ve started my own translation agency. We provide technical translation, subtitling, localisation, editing, proofreading, you name it.


October 26th, 2007

Fantastically ugly word. This I suppose conclusively proves the term progressive has arrived.


October 26th, 2007

Spanish 3 191
Arabic 23 878
Hindi 1 052 000
Portuguese 7 773
Bengali 224 409
Russian 1 559
Japanese 710
German 398
Javanese 25 166 667
Marathi 693 877
Vietnamese 41 324
Korean 19 840
Tamil 594 595
French 206
Italian 706
Urdu: 521 551
Turkish 10 888
Gujarati 79 757
Polish 3 657
Ukrainian 667 797
Persian 9 186
Malayalam 2 105 882
Kannada 823 256

French 206
German 398
Japanese 710
Spanish 3 191
Russian 1 559
Italian 706
(Greek (Ancient))
Dutch 647
Swedish 369
Portuguese 7 773
(Multiple languages)
Norwegian 252
Hebrew 530
Danish 356
Czech 818
(English (Middle))
Polish 3 657
Arabic 23 878
(Old English)
Turkish 10 888
Finnish 1 371
Persian 9 186

An old novel

December 17th, 2006

Through one of the obscurest quarters of London, and among haunts little loved by the gentlemen of the police, a man, evidently of the lowest orders, was wending his solitary way. He stopped twice or thrice at different shops and houses of a description correspondent with the appearance of the quartier in which they were situated, and tended inquiry for some article or another which did not seem easily to be met with. All the answers he received were couched in the negative; and as he turned from each door he muttered to himself, in no very elegant phraseology, his disappointment and discontent. At length, at one house, the landlord, a sturdy butcher, after rendering the same reply the inquirer had hitherto received, added, “But if this vill do as vell, Dummie, it is quite at your sarvice!” Pausing reflectively for a moment, Dummie responded that he thought the thing proffered might do as well; and thrusting it into his ample pocket, he strode away with as rapid a motion as the wind and the rain would allow. He soon came to a nest of low and dingy buildings, at the entrance to which, in half-effaced characters, was written “Thames Court.” Halting at the most conspicuous of these buildings, an inn or alehouse, through the half-closed windows of which blazed out in ruddy comfort the beams of the hospitable hearth, he knocked hastily at the door. He was admitted by a lady of a certain age, and endowed with a comely rotundity of face and person.

“Hast got it, Dummie?” said she, quickly, as she closed the door on the guest.

“Noa, noa! not exactly; but I thinks as ‘ow–”

“Pish, you fool!” cried the woman, interrupting him peevishly. “Vy, it is no use desaving me. You knows you has only stepped from my boosing-ken to another, and you has not been arter the book at all. So there’s the poor cretur a, raving and a dying, and you–”

“Let I speak!” interrupted Dummie in his turn. “I tells you I vent first to Mother Bussblone’s, who, I knows, chops the whiners morning and evening to the young ladies, and I axes there for a Bible; and she says, says she, ‘I ‘as only a “Companion to the Halter,” but you’ll get a Bible, I think, at Master Talkins’, the cobbler as preaches.’ So I goes to Master Talkins, and he says, says he, ‘I ‘as no call for the Bible, –’cause vy? I ‘as a call vithout; but mayhap you’ll be a getting it at the butcher’s hover the vay, -’cause vy? The butcher ‘ll be damned!’ So I goes hover the vay, and the butcher says, says he, ‘I ‘as not a Bible, but I ‘as a book of plays bound for all the vorld just like ‘un, and mayhap the poor cretur may n’t see the difference.’ So I takes the plays, Mrs. Margery, and here they be surely! And how’s poor Judy?”

“Fearsome! she’ll not be over the night, I’m a thinking.”

“Vell, I’ll track up the dancers!”

So saying, Dummie ascended a doorless staircase, across the entrance of which a blanket, stretched angularly from the wall to the chimney, afforded a kind of screen; and presently he stood within a chamber which the dark and painful genius of Crabbe might have delighted to portray. The walls were whitewashed, and at sundry places strange figures and grotesque characters had been traced by some mirthful inmate, in such sable outline as the end of a smoked stick or the edge of a piece of charcoal is wont to produce. The wan and flickering light afforded by a farthing candle gave a sort of grimness and menace to these achievements of pictorial art, especially as they more than once received embellishments from portraits of Satan such as he is accustomed to be drawn. A low fire burned gloomily in the sooty grate, and on the hob hissed “the still small voice” of an iron kettle. On a round deal table were two vials, a cracked cup, a broken spoon of some dull metal, and upon two or three mutilated chairs were scattered various articles of female attire. On another table, placed below a high, narrow, shutterless casement (athwart which, instead of a curtain, a checked apron had been loosely hung, and now waved fitfully to and fro in the gusts of wind that made easy ingress through many a chink and cranny), were a looking-glass, sundry appliances of the toilet, a box of coarse rouge, a few ornaments of more show than value, and a watch, the regular and calm click of which produced that indescribably painful feeling which, we fear, many of our readers who have heard the sound in a sick-chamber can easily recall. A large tester-bed stood opposite to this table, and the looking-glass partially reflected curtains of a faded stripe, and ever and anon (as the position of the sufferer followed the restless emotion of a disordered mind) glimpses of the face of one on whom Death was rapidly hastening. Beside this bed now stood Dummie, a small, thin man dressed in a tattered plush jerkin, from which the rain-drops slowly dripped, and with a thin, yellow, cunning physiognomy grotesquely hideous in feature, but not positively villanous in expression. On the other side of the bed stood a little boy of about three years old, dressed as if belonging to the better classes, although the garb was somewhat tattered and discoloured.

The dialogue doesn’t sound like modern cockney at all in my ears. I should look into it.

I didn’t know this style of writing was invented as early as 1830. Teh author was quite popular in his day, so maybe he’s even the inventor of the style.

A Golden Opportunity

December 17th, 2006

Like Neil at Ezra Klein’s place, I think 2008 represents a golden opportunity for progressive change, and I’m afraid the Democrats will piss it away. I also, like Neil, think the likelihood of Edwards pissing it away is considerably smaller than Clinton (obviously), but also Obama.

Edwards has gone way to the left since the last primaries, probably out of conviction, esp. since lots of people have, but presumbably also to some extent because he, correctly I think, believes the political situation has changed. Most other candidates, including Obama, doesn’t. Obama is no populist, and hasn’t endorsed any bold or risky policies. The way you run your campaign will shape your presidency, but more importantly, what a candidate’s think is a winning political strategy will influence their presidencies as much as their idea good policy if they become president.

There are reasons to strongly prefer Edwards, even though Obama isn’t obviously less progressive in his beliefs. (I think he at least is more of a esablishmentarian.)
Clinton, meanwhile, I suspect of being a bit of a DLC ideologue, who won’t be too leftist even if she thinks it’s good politics. More clearly, she’ll be very inflexible in her beliefs of what’s a winning formula, even in the face of mounting evedence the 90s are in fact over.

The 2006 Annual Wingnut Awards

December 10th, 2006

Alex is distraught that we’re losing to some racist nutcases in the 2006 Weblog Awards. Weirdly, Haloscan thought my comment was spam, so I’m putting it here instead.

Dude, these are the wingnut awards. Unlike the liberal Koufaxes, they aspire or pretend to be non-partisan; they have a bunch of non-wingnut nominees, and non-political categories. This works out fine for them, because the liberals don’t link to them, so the wingnuts always win against the more popular liberwal blogs, and not too overwhelmingly. They never get to win in the Bloggies, since progressives are more popular.

It’s so wonderfully illustrative of the the wingnutosphere in general, and their whole modus operandi.

No need to feel bad about losing them. No one takes these awards seriously, anyway.


December 8th, 2006

Last week when I was walking in a park, I saw swans eating from an old man’s hands. I’ve never seen anything like it. Two adults, and they’re gray, already big children, and I think literally hundreds of ducks, but I don’t know if they got any food.

Swans are beautiful, fierce creatures, wild animals that one should have a healthy resopect for. He must have come to the park every day for months and developed their trust.

One of the wonderful things about Nynäshamn is that it’s chockful of swans. If you walk by the water (we’re surrounded by the ocean on three sides), a swan pair will eventually turn up, always a husband and a wife. I’ll move to Stockholm pretty soon. I’ll miss this place.

The Weman healthcare plan

November 11th, 2006

Matt Yglesias thinks universal healthcare for kids wouldl grow the contituency for more systemic reform in the long term. I’ve thought of a similar idea. Instead of just covering kids, devise a plan where everyone under 25, and everyone over 60 is covered.

The cutoff point shouldn’t be 18, because it will feel less real and painful, because 18-year olds are like that, and a lot of them will be covered by their parents for a while, and also it will be wrapped up with becoming responsible for yourself in general, and not seem unfair.
If it runs out when you’re 25, you’ll be more concerned and aware of it. If you cover some adults the pressure to expand coverage will be stronger.

The fact that it’s more arbitrary will make it harder to get passed, but also make it more likely it will get expanded. (The youngest and oldest workers do need UHC more the most, so it’s not completely arbitrary.) After all, the US already have UHC for seniors, and it hasn’t created much pressure to get everyone UHC. It seems non-arbitrary, and like a different thing even though it’s not, and the same may be true of UHC for kids too.

(Adapted from a comment on Yglesias blog.)

Tuesday random links

October 31st, 2006


Cave Thinkers

The wikipedia article on John Brown is exhaustive

Cherubina de Gabriak

Jim Woodring has a weblog, where he posts a  lot of his art.