Friday, July 21, 2006

The Germans are known for being a pretty humorless bunch, which doesn't really make since, since German has quite possibly the funniest looking words of all. Seriously -- Dumbkopf? Glockenspiel? Hintergrundinformationen?

And yet, if you use Babel Fish to translate a joke, such as:
Why did the chicken cross the road?

To get to the other side!
You get:
warum kreuzte das Huhn die Stra├če?

Damit er an die andere Seite gelangen kann!*
Not a funny-looking word in the whole damn thing (well, "gelangen" is kind of funny). Maybe it's because the English word "chicken" is one of our funnier words (hello "K" sound) and the German word for "chicken", "huhn", is not funny at all.

That's where it hinges, I think. Maybe way back when the Germans developed their language, they didn't find chickens funny, and if you don't find chickens funny, then there's really no hope for you.

*You do have to tweak the english version a bit to read "so that it can arrive at the other side!" to get the grammar right.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The summer issue of Larson Allen's EFFECT Magazine is up on their site. As usual, it includes my Effective Perspective column. This one is about non-profit compensation -- oh the hilarity!

Here's an archive of all issues. I've written the Effective Perspective column for every one since Summer 2002. It's a different audience than I usually "play" to (namely the business/investor crowd), so it's been a fun way to stretch other creative muscles. Plus they pay me. Everybody wins! Especially me.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yet another prediction of mine is coming true..
SAN ANTONIO, July 11 (UPI) -- U.S. funeral directors are changing the gothic image of funeral homes to reflect the more positive image of death held by most baby boomers.

San Antonio's Mission Park Funeral Chapels & Cemeteries chief Robert Tips told the San Antonio Express-News that as baby boomers become their primary customers, the U.S. funeral industry has shifted to a "celebrating life" mode...

I've been saying for years that death was going to be the Boomers' next big reinvention. Frankly, I'm surprised it's starting this early. Watch for the Time magazine cover story featuring an image of a crowded graveyard and the headline Where Will We Put Them All?

Plus, what's this about them having a "positive" image of death? You mean the way many of them seem to live in complete denial of it?