Showing posts from May, 2012

Fun Words in Lingít (Tlingit)

Last summer I wrote a post about the Tlingit language (Lingít), my interest in it, and my hope for its resurgence. In the fall while in France, I mentioned the Sealaska Heritage Foundation's creation of a new online flash application for learning the Tlingit alphabet. Then just a few months ago I discovered there is a Tlingit dictionary available for PDF download. There's also a dictionary in Haida (X̱aad kíl) as well, one of Southeast Alaska's other Native languages. Using these sorts of resources, I've learned a few more words in Lingít than I've ever known before. Now I'd like to share some fun ones with you, and be sure to go back to the alphabet flash application whenever you need pronunciation help.

Decimalization: New Ways Forward

I've talked about measurement systems on the blog before, notably in this post, where I criticized Americans for retaining their archaic measurements, and in this post, where I criticized the French for not entirely decimalizing how they say their numbers.

Now, basically anyone who has lived life in the United States knows that our measurements are ridiculous. No one honestly believes fitting 16 ounces into a pound or 5,280 feet into a mile is more simple or more rational than having 1,000 grams in a kilogram and 1,000 meters in a kilometer. There are only three countries in the world that do not use the International System of Units (SI) as their sole or primary measurement system - and the other two are Liberia and Burma. Making the change to SI in the United States is not impossible: In fact, it would actually be a job creator - and afterward life would be a whole lot easier.

21 and Still Young

Here are my previous birthday-referencing posts on the blog: my 17th, my 18th, and my 20th. Now today, (or actually yesterday), I turned 21, and my biggest takeaway from it was that I'm still extremely young. I still have a full nine years to be in my 20s, and nine years is much longer than the time I've spent so far being a mature semi-adult seriously thinking about my future (which I'd argue has been about 3-4 years).

Publishing with Integrity

In my first year or two of blogging, I kept a lot more contact with other blogs on the internet, reading all the new posts on my bloglist, leaving regular comments and so on. (I had a lot more free time back then.) Now I'm looking to better reinsert myself into the blogosphere, and one way I see of doing that is for Peter's Publisher to officially become a blog with integrity.

Delaware and New Jersey as Dutch and Swedish Colonies

Delaware isn't a state many people visit, or think about on a regular basis. It's the second smallest by area and sixth smallest by population, largely off the beaten track in terms of travel and transport. New Jersey by contrast gets a lot more notoriety, but often as the butt of jokes. Did you know, though, that Delaware and New Jersey have some pretty interesting and unique early colonial history? I bet you didn't, so keep reading to find out more.

Coming Home to Ketchikan, Alaska

This is the third time I've returned home to Ketchikan for the summer after a school year of college. Depending on my plans for next summer after I graduate, this might be the last time I do that. I came home nearly a week ago, and this is the beautiful scene I was welcomed with:

Needless to say, I'm very glad to be back. I missed being here in the summer and I know I have a lot of good times to look forward to.

Tavis Smiley and Cornel West at Georgetown

On a Tuesday evening back in mid-April I had a wonderful opportunity to listen to media personality Tavis Smiley and celebrated intellectual Cornel West here at Georgetown. They came to speak about their recent book The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto, (at Amazon here), their first book written together. It seems they've known each other and collaborated for many years, however, including in their radio show Smiley & West. Hearing them speak was a great experience and I support their cause entirely. However, I do have some critiques of their message.

Top 5 Posts of Spring 2012

In celebration of having finished my junior year, and in the spirit of Top 10 Posts of 2011, I now give you five of my favorite posts written this semester at Georgetown. (Note that the countdown goes from oldest to most recent, and isn't a ranking of the posts.) I couldn't say these are my five very best posts of the last four and half months, but they are certainly some of the best to read and enjoy.

Let the Disqussion Begin

Disqus is a comment system that has gained more and more popularity in the last few years, and now I've decided to start using it here on Peter's Publisher. I hope you don't mind the change, but if you do, leave a comment! Now let me explain why I made the switch.

A Belated 4th Birthday Post for the Publisher

Three days ago, (on May Day), the Publisher celebrated its fourth birthday - four years of blogging, stretching from the last weeks of my junior year in high school to the last weeks of my junior year in college.

Harry Potter and the Gospel of Judas

I recently watched the eighth and final installment of the Harry Potter films. For those who never read the books, I'm sure the film should have been a great experience and satisfying end to the story. For those like me, however, who quickly devoured the installments of J. K. Rowling's epic series in short time after each was published, watching the last film was little more than an obligation; we already knew the ending, but we needed to finish seeing it acted out for us.

The Merits of Admiring Historical Figures

What would you think if you heard someone praising Karl Marx? or Francisco Franco? What about Andrew Jackson or Christopher Columbus? In this post I look at historical figures and whether it's generally acceptable to admire them. What's the dividing line, and how is it defined?