What has our military done to Irag?
Finally the American military is leaving after more than eight years in Irag, leaving behind not only a new democracy and bitter memories of war, but a new culture for the country's youth. Eight million, a quarter of the population, (and about one million people born each year if my math is right if we've been in Irag for eight years) has been born since 2003 and nearly half the country is under 19. Many youngsters have adopted hip-hop styles:
Calling themselves "punky," or "hustlers," many are donning hoodie sweat shirts, listening to 50 Cent or Eminem and watching "Twilight" vampire movies. They eat hamburgers and pizza and do death-defying Rollerblade runs through speeding traffic. Teens spike their hair or shave it Marine-style. The "Iraq Rap" page on Facebook has 1,480 fans.To many of their fellow Iraqis, the habits appear weird, if not downright offensive. But to the youths, it is a vital part of their pursuit of the American dream as they imagine it to be.
Another youth, Mohammed Adnan, 15, says that nobody minds the "U.S gangsta" look in his neighborhood. In fact, they get invite to weddings or other celebrations to preform break dancing.
It all adds up to a taste of the wide world for a society which lived for decades under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship that deprived them of satellite TV, cell phones and the Internet, and then through invasion, terrorism and sectarian killing.But not all Iragis are accepting of our (American) culture. One sociologist says that many of the youths are adopting the negative aspects of American culture such as rejecting school uniforms (okay really, since when do any kids willing accept those?), engage in forbidden love affairs (Um, hello? Kids are going to and have been doing that for centuries.), and rebeling against their elders (like that hasn't happened before).
Like many Iraqis, high school student Maytham Karim wants to learn English. But the English he hears most often from his peers — and mostly those who listen to American music — is laden with profanity. "The F- and the 'mother' words are used a lot, which is a very negative thing," Karim said.Apparently the only thing these youth seem to have gotten out of "American culture" are the negative aspects. What about the good things? Why are those being reported on? To see the whole article click here.
New Mass Translations for Catholics.
Yes, I'm Christian, but these changes do not affect me. I am a Lutheran and although we've never had our services in Latin before, we used to have them in German in the past because where I live most people come from a German heritage. Actually one church that I know of still offers services everyonce in a while in German. Anyways:
The Mass itself — the central ritual of the Catholic faith — hasn't changed, but the English has, in the largest shakeup to the everyday faith of believers since the upheavals that followed the in the 1960s. A years-long process of revision and negotiation led to an updated version of the Roman Missal, the text of prayers and instructions for celebrating Mass, which originally was written in Latin. The new translation was rolled out across the English-speaking Catholic world on Sunday after months of preparation.And what exactly are these changes? Well apparently the English translations are now closer to Latin. Most things haven't been changed, just a few words or pharses here and there, but it's enough to make some people dislike them. So much that some people fear that it may make people distance themselves from the church. Here's what some people have said:
Maribeth Lynch, 51, a publisher from the Milwaukee suburb of Elm Grove, said she was "distraught" over the changes and would refuse to "learn the *beeep* prayers."
"It's ridiculous. I've been a Catholic for 50 years, and why would they make such stupid changes? They're word changes. They're semantics," she said.
"It's confusion. All it's doing is causing confusion," she said. "You want to go to church and be confused?"
Kathleen McCormack, a church volunteer and former school teacher, said she didn't like the new translation and didn't understand why the church needed a translation closer to Latin.
"Consubstantial? What is that word?" McCormack said, referring to a term in the retranslated Nicene Creed that replaces language calling Jesus "one in being with the Father."
"It's more British in some ways," said Monsignor Michael Clay, pastor of St. Ann. "But this is the first time that every English-speaking country in the world will be using the same translation of the Mass."(Why it's more "British in some ways" I don't get. Isn't it suppose to be more like Latin?) For the most part, what the priest says has been changed the most. But its not like this was thrown out all of the sudden.
Parishes and dioceses around the country have spent months trying to prepare Catholics for the change. Descriptions of the new translation have been printed in weekly bulletins, seminars have been held and, since Labor Day, many parishes have been gradually introducing the new translation piece by piece, starting with the parts of the liturgy that are sung.Apparently this choice was made by Vatican officials in 2001. To read the whole article, click here.
*The Beeep is a swear word and I won't put those in this blog.
Toyota unveils the ulitmate car ever.
One of Toyota's latest concept cars is the Fun-Vii, probably the most futuristic and coolest car idea I've seen yet besides hovering vechices. "Vii" standing for Vechicle, interactive, internet certainly shows one of the most interactive cars that could certainly put the "fun" back into automoblies. The wedge-shaped car is designed as a personal display space with both the interior and the exterior doubling as display screens. On the outside, the driver can change the car's color and design plus the car's color also changes depending on mood. And the car works like a personal computer with users able to connect to the internet wirelessly and to the roads around it, letting the car access future technologies like smart grids.
According to one news article:
And it's not just the outside of the Fun-Vii that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, the interior is just as futuristic. Making generous use of augmented reality technology, the Fun-Vii will plot a virtual path for you right on your windshield, and even offer a virtual guide to help you on your way. Of course, many of these touches still reside firmly in the realm of fantasy, but the fact that a major car company is looking so far ahead gives us hope for a very tech-friendly future.
|She looks like a flight attendant!|
To see the whole pictures and articles click here and here.
But to let you get an idea of how awesome this car looks, I've provided pictures.
If you're having trouble seeing these, just click on them to make them bigger.
|One company showing off|
|The cool interior. Only three people though.|
|If you ask me, its actually an ugly shape for a car,.|
|Those little squares you see are interactive.|