June 23rd, 2011

(no subject)

From separated by a common language:
Observations on British and American English by an American linguist in the UK
The main significant effect found in this study was that people who'd lived at least three months outside the US rated the English accent significantly lower than people who'd only lived in the US. In fact, Americans who had not lived abroad considered the English-accented person to be much more intelligent than themselves, but the people who had lived abroad rated the standard American accent more intelligent than the standard English one. My preferred way of interpreting this (a bit tongue-in-cheek) is that Americans are happy to rate the English as more intelligent than themselves up until they actually start meeting and talking to the English.

White Hut

I'm always on the lookout for places to eat that are unpretentious, inexpensive, and tasty. White Hut fits all of those. And it's fast, too.

White Hut
280 Memorial Avenue (Massachusetts Route 147)
West Springfield, MA 01089
Tel: +1.413.736.9390
Fax: +1.413.736.2491

This is a burgers, hot dogs, and fries kind of place. Aside from drinks and ice cream, it's all they sell. There's a lot to be said for specialization, as they do them well. Well enough to have been here since 1939.

There is a posted listing of what drinks and ice cream they sell, but nothing about the actual food. For that you need to know already, or have looked at the web site's menu. Fortunately this is short and not easily forgotten.

The hot dog ($2.45) I ordered came first, as the burgers are cooked to order. Hot dogs come in a grilled bun, which to me is a definite point in their favor. I also had a cheeseburger ($2.75) with their signature grilled onions. It's an old-fashioned smallish burger but great eating all the same.

To go with the hot dog and cheeseburger, I ordered a vanilla shake ($3.25). I guess out here they actually call them milk shakes, as in Eastern Mass they're called frappes.

There's one row of stools in front of the counter; take out orders are something of an amorphous scrum behind you, but an orderly one. Order, eat, and then pay at the register. They'll ask you what you ate and charge you accordingly. You are on your honor.

White Hut plans to open a second restaurant on Boltwood Walk in Amherst in September.

It's cheap, fast, and good. I guess sometimes you can pick all three.

The Grundig-Majestic.

The radio/phonograph--a Grundig Majestic 7000 USA model--that I mentioned earlier has been claimed.

I fired it up earlier and the radio part works fine, pulling in AM, FM, and shortwave signals from the basement of the building. Pretty good, considering my cell phone fails to do that reliably.

Husain Haqqani and Whitey Bulger's arrest.

Back in May, when it turned out that Osama bin Laden had been living in a safe house a half mile from Pakistan's equivalent of West Point, a lot of fingers were pointed at the Pakistani government.

Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, explained it this way: “If Whitey Bulger can live undetected by American police for so long, why can’t Osama Bin Laden live undetected by Pakistani authorities?”

Now it turns out that Whitey Bulger was living quietly in Santa Monica for at least fourteen years. One commentator observed that the apartment was only about three miles from the FBI's Los Angeles office.

It's probably just coincidence. I can't imagine the FBI were any more embarassed at the Pakistani ambassador's words than they already were about not finding Bulger for sixteen years.