A few weeks ago I asked why Mexican restaurants are so often decorated like 19th century ranch homes when Mexico is a living, modern culture. Such decor perpetuates the lie that traditions are preserved in amber, when, in fact, they are preserved by usage and adaptation. La Surtidora Abarrotera Mercantil “Julio Gabriel Verne” is the [...]
Near our home is a newish Mexican restaurant that bills itself as a “modern Mexican delicatessen.” Like many Mexican restaurants, it is decorated as if it were a 19th century Mexican ranch home. It has dark wood beams, stone and brick walls (they’re painted-on, like trompe l’oeil) and the shelves are lined with knickknacks resembling [...]
I began this current journal, XSML, with the intent of reducing my own notes to extra small, XML-friendly updates. Increasingly, I have been drawn by the allure of the 140 character limit of Twitter. I may get a round Tuit and synchronize my use of Twitter with this blog. For now, here’s a dump of [...]
An obvious start. The flags of Cuba and Puerto Rico combined. previously: The British Isles became the United Kingdom. What might the Caribbean islands have been?
Yesterday it occurred to me: what if Puerto Rico and Cuba had federated long ago? This morning, while measuring the nautical distance between their nearest port cities, I got hit right between the eyes by the island of Hispaniola, home to the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Immediately thereafter I noticed Jamaica, Bahamas, Turks and Caico [...]
I should preface this entire argument by noting that, for the most part, I am happy to go by whatever I need to be called in order to advance the interests of a more egalitarian society. Now let’s have some nerdy, wordsmithing fun. Every once in a while I have an interesting exchange with someone [...]
It’s hard to believe that I was born at a time when the city of Berlin was divided in the middle by a militarized border wall. The movie The Tunnel goes a long way to recreate what that political barrier between families and neighbors did to German society and the kinds of sacrifices that many [...]