Monday, November 17, 2008
I am in the process of envisioning a slightly different focus for this blog to continue talking about the subjects of all- not just one-- of my books. This will be a challenge with books ranging in topic from Elvis Impersonation to the weather and ballet. Still it is worth a shot.
I came across an article today that could have formed a chapter in The 100 Most Dangerous Things in Every Day Life and What You Can Do About Them, had it not, you know, come out four years after the book did.
The New York Times is reporting on the bane of shoppers existence-- clamshell packaging. You know, the kind of inpenetrable plastic theft prevention prophylactic that you need a pocket knife to open and which occasionally results in the accidental slashing of your fingers.
It has sent about 6,000 Americans each year to emergency rooms with injuries caused by trying to pry, stab and cut open their purchases, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Companies like Amazon and Sony are working on alternatives which may make your holidays brighter this year.
In case you are confronted with a clamshell anyway, WikiHow suggests using a can opener to get inside.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Aren't translation gaffes fun?
Here is a sign in Wales where law requires everything be posted in both English and Welsh.
The Swansea council was ready to put up a sign reading "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only." So they fired off an e-mail to their regular translator and received a reply, which was duly printed on the sign.
There was only one problem, the e-mail was an autoresponder. The sign to the left tells Welsh truckers: "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated."
If you like to read about fun with electronic translation and other translation gaffes, the BBC story on this sign features some links to similar escapades.