Monday, September 23, 2013

A review of Melvyn Bragg's “The Adventure of English” (ITV)

I did not like most of my English classes growing up. This is ironic, considering I wanted to be a fiction writer, but with the notable exception of seventh grade (and English 101 in college), I found my English classes less than inspiring. So it might have come as a surprise to me that I would one day enjoy a documentary about the history of the English language. But enjoy it I did, and I felt inspired to write a post about it here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Our Constitution

A document may not seem
To be of much worth.
But one of them is among
The best of things on Earth.

It is our Constitution.
It helps to make us free.
Let's go through it a bit,
And many dear rights see.

Miracle at Philadelphia

A miracle occurred in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. The United States Constitution was signed.

It was the product of four long months of heated debate, signed by forty men who disagreed with each other on many issues. Fifteen of the men present at the convention refused to sign, and some worked against the Constitution, whipping up public sentiment against it. They made many charges against it, including that it had no national Bill of Rights. They and the proponents of the Constitution debated for months afterward over the ratification of the document. But almost a year after the delegates in Philadelphia had signed the Constitution, it was finally ratified by the States. The country created a national Bill of Rights a few years later, by passing ten amendments.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Adam Smith and the American Revolution

"The Wealth of Nations" was published in 1776, a year usually associated with America

Adam Smith was the first modern economist. Thus, his publishing of "The Wealth of Nations" in the year 1776 is often seen as symbolic. Like the American war of independence, "The Wealth of Nations" was a revolution - not in politics or war, but in economic thinking. It is the first modern work on economics, and is rightly respected today for its influence ... and brilliance.

But Adam Smith was a Scotsman, and was thus British

But because the symbolism of the year is associated with America, it's easy to assume that Adam Smith was an American. Actually, he was a Scotsman, and was thus British - a citizen of the very mother country we were at war against. Because of this, you might think that he was unsympathetic to our war of independence. But as someone who has studied "The Wealth of Nations," I can tell you that this is not the case. He actually was sympathetic with the American Revolution, and I can prove this with some quotes from the book.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Movies I've watched with foreign-language subtitles

With French subtitles:

  1. 12 Angry Men
  2. Battle of Britain
  3. Battle of the Bulge
  4. Ben-Hur (European French - plus special features in European French)
  5. The Best Years of our Lives
  6. The Big Sleep
  7. The Bunker
  8. Casablanca
  9. Charade
  10. The Client
  11. Dial M for Murder
  12. Finding Nemo
  13. The First Olympics: Athens 1896
  14. Foreign Correspondent
  15. The Gathering Storm
  16. Gettysburg
  17. Gods and Generals
  18. The Great Escape (European French)
  19. High Society
  20. Ike: Countdown to D-Day
  21. The Incredibles
  22. It's A Wonderful Life
  23. Judgment at Nuremberg
  24. Key Largo
  25. The Maltese Falcon
  26. Midway (European French)
  27. Mister Roberts
  28. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (European French - plus special features in European French)
  29. The Music Man
  30. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  31. National Treasure I
  32. National Treasure II
  33. Nüremberg
  34. The Odd Couple
  35. Pillow Talk
  36. Sergeant York
  37. Tammy and the Bachelor
  38. To Have and Have Not
  39. The Tuskegee Airmen
  40. Wait Until Dark
  41. WarGames (European French)
  42. You've Got Mail

Longer series with French subtitles.

  1. Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (about eleven hours)

With Spanish subtitles:

  1. 12 Angry Men
  2. Ant-Man
  3. Apollo 13 (plus special features)
  4. Back to the Future I
  5. Ball of Fire
  6. Baptists at our Barbecue
  7. Batman and Mr. Freeze: Subzero
  8. Batman Begins
  9. Battle of the Bulge
  10. Ben-Hur (European Spanish - plus special features in European Spanish)
  11. The Big Country
  12. The Bourne Identity
  13. The Bourne Supremacy
  14. The Bourne Ultimatum
  15. Casablanca
  16. Charade
  17. A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott)
  18. The Desert Fox
  19. Dial M for Murder
  20. Drums Along The Mohawk
  21. El Cid
  22. Empire of the Sun
  23. The Enemy Below
  24. Fantastic Voyage
  25. Father of the Bride II
  26. Finding Nemo
  27. The First Wives Club
  28. Follow Me, Boys!
  29. Foreign Correspondent
  30. The Gods Must Be Crazy
  31. The Great Escape
  32. Green Lantern
  33. Guys and Dolls
  34. The Hallelujah Trail
  35. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  36. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  37. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  38. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  39. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  40. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  41. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
  42. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  43. High Society
  44. Holiday Inn
  45. The Hunt for Red October (plus special features)
  46. Ike: Countdown to D-Day
  47. The Incredibles
  48. It's A Wonderful Life
  49. Jackie Robinson
  50. Journey to the Center of the Earth
  51. Judgment at Nuremberg
  52. Julius Caesar (1953 version)
  53. Jurassic Park
  54. King Solomon's Mines
  55. Laura
  56. Lincoln (plus special features)
  57. The Longest Day
  58. The Lord of the Rings 1: The Fellowship of the Ring
  59. The Lord of the Rings 2: The Two Towers
  60. The Lord of the Rings 3: The Return of the King
  61. The Maltese Falcon
  62. The Man of La Mancha
  63. The Martian (plus special features)
  64. Master and Commander
  65. Matilda
  66. Midway (European Spanish - plus special features)
  67. Mobsters and Mormons
  68. Moby Dick
  69. Mogambo
  70. Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (European Spanish - plus special features in European Spanish)
  71. Napoleon Dynamite
  72. National Treasure I
  73. National Treasure II
  74. Newsies
  75. Night at the Museum I
  76. Night at the Museum II
  77. Now You See Him, Now You Don't
  78. Oceans' Eleven
  79. October Sky
  80. Operation Pacific
  81. The Pelican Brief
  82. The Rainmaker
  83. RED
  84. Sahara
  85. The Shaggy Dog (Tim Allen version)
  86. Singin' in the Rain
  87. Sink The Bismarck!
  88. Slavery and the Making of America
  89. The Sound of Music
  90. Spellbound
  91. Spider-Man 2
  92. That Thing You Do
  93. To Have and Have Not
  94. To Kill A Mockingbird
  95. Tora! Tora! Tora!
  96. Wait Until Dark
  97. WarGames (European Spanish)
  98. The Work and the Glory III: A House Divided

Longer series with Spanish subtitles:

  1. Batman: The Animated Series (over 30 hours)
  2. Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (about 11 hours)
  3. John Adams Miniseries by HBO (about 8 hours)
  4. The Men Who Built America (about 6 hours)

My experience with Spanish

My experience with French

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