Tag: US

Independence Day

The date has not gone unnoticed here at Something Towers, but I’ve not really found the need to mention it, until this was forwarded round work: Pitchfork Picks Our New National Anthem. I strongly urge my American visitors to read this over, and the rest of us can learn something about American history and then chuckle at the thought of “Viva Las Vegas” becoming the next national anthem for the US of A…. or the “YMCA”… tee hee…

23 reasons to hate Beckham

Number One: If his ‘ultimate sporting hero’ is Michael Jordan, then he has some bloody nerve stealing his number! Doesn’t he realise that shirt numbers are retired in the US when a legend leaves the game?

Number 2 – 23: Because.

Sorry, thoroughly sick of all the hype surrounding a ‘slightly better than average’ football player.

Evolution of language

I’m a writer by trade (technical writer/author/communicator) and have spent long meetings discussing various style issues, how to handle bulleted lists (capitalise the first word of each bullet? end each bullet point with a comma, preface the list with a colon), the finer points of US versus UK spelling and grammar. Frequently I’d get frustrated, mainly because a lot of my co-workers (especially one at Dr.Solomons) were… well let’s just say a little anal, about the whole thing.

So this article, by Jean Weber, Escape From the Grammar Trap was very refreshing, and it’s not just for Technical Writers, we can all benefit from this kind of general advice.

(And yes I’ve calmed down a bit now)

Eat, drink and be thankful
So I’m guessing the net will be a tad quieter today as all those Yanks (hey I can call them what I like, they are stuffing themselves full of food and watching a 14 hour long American Football game, or is it the commercials they watch? Hmmm) are celebrating Thanksgiving.

As it’s only a holiday in the US of A, I thought I’d check up and see what all the fuss was about (although any excuse for a holiday is fine with me). So I hit Google, and as I was ‘Feeling Lucky’ I got to this site: Thanksgiving on the Net. Ideal.

Hope y’all are enjoying your holiday! (I’ll go back to work now… p’sha…)

Baggage screening
Think you could spot a knife or gun in an X-ray of bag or briefcase? Think you could do the job? MSNBC has an interesting look at baggage handling in the wake of government reforms in the US. Find out how hard the job is.
I scored 50% and marked 4 bags incorrectly, but many were guesses.. not good.

OK, having posted the link yesterday, I’ve re-read the article and have to conclude that I’m disturbed, not just by this article, but the fact that this kind of thinking is pervading further and further into society. Separating political values (if that’s the correct term) from this and you are left with the worrying thought that George Orwell was, as he has oft been declared, a visionary and that by 2084 we will be deeply ensconsed in his nightmarish vision. America as Big Brother anyone?

For the record, I am not Anti-American. I am not pro-Terrorist, but I do support the right of other people to voice their opinions against the US of A. It is a fine line that America treads, they have the ability, power, money and will to do a lot of harm against those who stand against ‘what America stands for’, but equally they have the same ability, power and money to improve the world as a whole.

It is a fine line, but one that needs to be negiotated, and in the hues of grey that govern world politics these days, it is a necessary action.

Which month is it?
According to the (US-based) National Health Information Center it’s:
Baby Safety Month
Children?s Eye Health and Safety Month
Cold and Flu Campaign
Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
Healthy Aging Month
Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness Month
National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month
National Cholesterol Education Month
National Food Safety Education Month
National Pediculosis Prevention Month/Head Lice Prevention Month
National Sickle Cell Month
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Not to mention National 5 A Day Week, National Rehabilitation Week, National Reye?s Syndrome Week, and Ulcer Awareness Week

I hadn’t heard of Reye’s Syndrome and I’m a bit worried now. In fact all of this is making feel decidely unwell – is hypochondria contagious?

So, how is everyone, feeling healthy?

World Summit

I’ve been following the coverage of this sporadically, but it doesn’t seem to be going too well at the moment. According to BBC News: Crisis looms over world summit.

The US Bush Administration is, once again, looking for a way to get away with doing what they like. The arrogance of this attitude angers many, including a large number of US citizens, but, and this is kind of childish, I just get the feeling that the US Bush Administration is basically thumbing it’s nose at the rest of the world. The message: “We’re bigger than you and we will do what we want, nah nah na na nah”.

Add to this the lack of discussion on the key issue of climate change (think recent floods, droughts etc) and you have to wonder if the summit will acheive anything of note. Too many politicians involved I think. I don’t necessarily mean those with government affliations, but those people who represent a whole variety of government, social, and environmental groups and are busy making sure that there position isn’t compromised too much. Add to that the plethora of businessmen in there (who undoubtedly have their companies best interests in mind) and we get a curious clash of cultures.

More from Greenpeace.
Friends of the Earth.
US defends it’s record.

*Post edited as per Ann Marie’s comment. Sincerest apologies (damn yank… 😉 )

US targets al-Qa'ida

I’ve not commented much on the ‘war on terror’ that is being waged at present. Recent announcements by the US government are concerning though.

The Pentagon says:

“We’re at war with al-Qa’ida. If we find an enemy combatant, we should be able to use military forces to take military action against them.”

“…assassinations are part of “preparation of the battlefield” in the open-ended war on terror.”

It seems that the American Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, isn’t happy about the amount of time it takes the CIA to act on these matters. He believes the military could act more swiftly and efficiently.

He seems quite happy that this type of covert operation flounts international laws and treaties left, right and center. But then, who is capable of putting the good ole’ US of A in it’s place?

Source: US plans hit squads to target al-Qa’ida worldwide