mnemonic device to keep straight norway, sweden, and finland:
norway is the northern one
sweden is the southern one
finland is the one where everyone has 2 arms and 1 fin
A debut novel by Yelena Akhtiorskaya puts a fresh, comic spin on the age-old coming to America story. Her novel is called Panic in a Suitcase and Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan has a review:
I can’t tell you the names of my great-grandparents, left behind in Poland and Ireland, because nobody ever mentioned them. The break was that final.
These days of course, it’s different. Within the space of a few hours, people can fly across oceans; through skyping and e-mail, they can electronically commute between Old World and New. Three cheers for The March of Progress, right? Except, if you want to make a definitive break how can you when the Old World is always calling you on the phone, texting, and crashing on your living room couch for extended visits? That’s the crucial question Yelena Akhtiorskaya mulls over in her sharply observed and very funny debut novel, Panic in a Suitcase. Akhtiorskaya, who was born in Odessa and emigrated to the Russian immigrant enclave of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn at the age of seven, writes of the fictional Nasmertov family, whose move from Old World to New imitates her own.
I finished my schedule for next year. I have no more than two classes a day on monday through thursday with all fridays off. Jesus christ I’m excited
The recent release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" reminded me of one of my favorite ape vs. man films – this 1932 video that shows a baby chimpanzee and a baby human undergoing the same basic psychological tests.
Its gets weirder – the human baby (Donald) and the chimpanzee baby (Gua) were both raised as humans by their biological/adopted father Winthrop Niles Kellogg. Kellogg was a comparative psychologist fascinated by the interplay between nature and nurture, and he devised a fascinating (and questionably ethical) experiment to study it:
Suppose an anthropoid were taken into a typical human family at the day of birth and reared as a child. Suppose he were fed upon a bottle, clothed, washed, bathed, fondled, and given a characteristically human environment; that he were spoken to like the human infant from the moment of parturition; that he had an adopted human mother and an adopted human father.
First, Kellogg had to convince his pregnant wife he wasn’t crazy:
…the enthusiasm of one of us met with so much resistance from the other that it appeared likely we could never come to an agreement upon whether or not we should even attempt such an undertaking.
She apparently gave in, because Donald and Gua were raised, for nine months, as brother and sister. Much like Caesar in the “Planet of the Apes” movies, Gua developed faster than her “brother,” and often outperformed him in tasks. But she soon hit a cognitive wall, and the experiment came to an end. (Probably for the best, as Donald had begun to speak chimpanzee.)
CHEESEBEURGGERS IN PARADIE!
jatu na mib my carnibber hab’ih
willy dilly seventy day
waysa whosa nada diddy no SUN-flower seed
hayka laka carriage a soakin up marie
na’a have these wonderful dreams
some kinda sexual streak
da zucchini fettuccine mumber d’wee
I have terrorized a small coastal town in order to find the entrance of jimmy buffet’s secret headquarters