It’s an Interesting World: 2

28 Oct

My dahling friend James in Oz sent me this pic of  Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town, to which I replied: “I have no words,” to which he replied: “You have no idea how often I get that from chicks.”

Sunset at Green Point Stadium

A lovely picture of Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town, submitted to Australia's ABC News by Ann Young

Another thing that left me at a loss for words recently was a moment at St. John the Divine, a massive unfinished gothic cathedral on the Upper West Side. I love going there when I can, the gardens are beautiful (especially on stunning Fall days when the sun is shining and the air is crisp) and the cathedral is volumous and awe-inspiring. I was sitting in one of the pews thinking about my view on blessings and misfortune (which I think I have gotten reasonably close to formulating), and I looked up to see … none other than Vanessa Redgrave’s face broadcast on several large screens, which I had previously not seen in the darkness of the cathedral. Redgrave, an outstanding actress and matriach of a great acting family, was on a small wooden stage a few metres away, quietly rehearsing a scene from a Joan Didion play that would be performed in the coming week.

Yes, the cathedral is big enough for someone to rehease a play – and be a mega-celebrity in – without you noticing. It was completely random and as a result, absolutely wonderful!

Quote of the week:

“I do believe that you can achieve more if you’re willing to take risks,” Lars said in a recent phone interview. “There’s almost a total correlation between the amount of risk you’re willing to take and then the amount of stuff you then potentially can get done.”

– Lars Rasmussen, one of the brothers responsible for Google Maps and upcoming Google Wave (being hyped as a revolution in online communication) in an interview with CNN.

Video of the week: Barbed Wireless

An animation commissioned by Global Partners & Associates looking at how new technologies are affecting the way Human Rights and Freedom activists must approach rights and freedoms in the digital age.

Let the ethical debates begin: Womb transplants

“Ethicists, medics and feminists have long argued as to whether infertility is a disease or a cultural phenomenon born of a society where women feel they have no value if they cannot reproduce. But illness or otherwise, it is not a fatal disease, and the suggestion that women could undergo major transplant surgery to fulfil their desire for a child may prompt unease.”

Cross-cultural mishap of the week: chalk it down to not watching enough American TV as a child – or maybe the shows I was watching were too dated!

I recently had to write a report that mentioned cellphones a lot, and I got very confused – this may have had something to do with the fact that it was late in the afternoon! First, I used the word mobile phone, because when I was in London that’s all anyone ever used, and in Germany and Switzerland, people used “Mobile” too (or “Handy” which I loved) Then I realized (<– note the z, I’m so confused) that the U.S. uses “cellphone” so I started using that, only to see Microsoft Word annoyingly underline the word every time I used it. I had to turn around to my neighbor, hold up the thing that I talk into wirelessly and ask: “This is a ‘cellphone’ right?” “Yes,” she responded in the kindest way. I explained my dilemma and spelt it out for her. Turns out that in the U.S. they spell it as two words, not one: cell phone. How was I to know?

I think it’s a sign that all those cell [space] phone ads in the U.S. aren’t making their mark on my brain, which is good. In the 14 months I’ve been here I’ve xperienced a myriad of cross-cultural, lingual misunderstandings, much to the surprise of my ego; I had previously thought of myself as quite “worldly”. Sigh, what’s a girl to do?!

Don’t even get me started on when punctuation marks (PERIODS AND COMMAS) go INSIDE quotation marks. I actually have a lengthy Google doc entitled “Grammar” which I’m still trying to get through. I do so wish I’d paid more attention to the more complex titles of grammar at school – God help me if I’m ever asked to differentiate between prepositional phrases, appositive phrases, participial phrases, infinitive phrases, and absolute phrases.

I’m not sure I could do this: The New York Times presents a story on one of the few reporters left to cover executions. What a macabre beat to have! One Reporter’s Lonely Beat, Witnessing Executions

And that’s it for this week’s update. 54 days until I see home again!!

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3 Responses to “It’s an Interesting World: 2”

  1. Kenichi October 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    Wait…you’re in New York?

    • jax October 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

      Wait … you read my blog?

      • Kenichi October 28, 2009 at 11:54 pm #

        Don’t get too excited.

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