Monday, May 31, 2010

Borneo Adventure

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It's been a while since I last posted but my sister and I were on an adventure. We were on an ecotour on the island of Borneo. For the uninitiated, Borneo is the 3rd largest island in the world and is made up of 3 nations, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Borneo, for me, conjured up visions of head hunters and pythons ready to have me for dinner. Well, not so. Indonesia has the world's largest population of Muslims. Betcha didn't know that... Why did we chose a trip to Borneo? Well, my sister does contract work for the Houston Zoo and the Zoo is a major benefactor with the Malaysian government in working to save three threatened species, the Pygmy Elephant, the Orangu-tan, and the Proboscis monkey. Even though my sister has traveled extensively , it was the type of trip she had never experienced before (I had been on two African safaris) and we said "what the hell. Why not". Luckily for us, we saw all three species thanks to Red Ape Encounters. Our guide, Mincho, 29 and a father of three, was superb and his english was terrific. I'll get to the "why" his english is so good later. Here are just some musings, factoids and experiences: Read more...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oxymorons and Other Things to Ponder

1. Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?

2. Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?

3. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?

4. If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?

5. Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?

6. Why does "slow down" and "slow up" mean the same thing?

7. Why does "fat chance" and "slim chance" mean the same thing?  Read more...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel: A Review

Life of Pi, Yann Martel’s 2002 Man Booker prize winner, is one of my all time favorite novels. I remember that I asked my book club to read it because I was so enthralled with it. Half of them hated it and the other half, like me, loved it. There seems to be the same split for Martel’s newest novel or novella (it’s a mere 197 pages), Beatrice and Virgil. Let me digress a minute. One of the local high schools had Life of Pi on their summer reading list. A friend of mine, whose son attends this HS, asked me if I could help him understand the novel. The first thing I said to him is that in order to understand Pi you have to suspend your disbelief in what is happening in order for you to believe in what is happening. Huh?   Read more...