Pronouncing Eyjafjallajökull

I got curious if there was a pronunciation on Wikipedia of “Eyjafjallajökull”, which of course there was. In the really helpful IPA alphabet, which is: “ˈɛɪjaˌfjatlaˌjœːkʏtl̥”. I got about halfway through deciphering this when I gave up.

Fortunately, there’s a recording of a native speaker. Did you catch that? Me neither. Finally, looking on the talk page, there is a great discussion. One useful resource in that section is this clip from ABC News.

So, here’s what I was able to ascertain is the best way to describe it in text. You say: “AY-ya-fyot-lah-yoe-kdl” with a particular emphasis on the “AY-ya” part to distinguish it from all of the other silly fyot-lah-yoe-kdls (mountain glaciers) that they have a million of in Iceland.

According to the New York Times blog, if you’re a native English speaker, your best chance of saying this is to mumble “Hey ya forgot the yogurt”. They’ve also got perhaps better text versions of how to say it.

Heh, scooping the West Seattle Blog

I’ve recently become a big fan of the West Seattle Blog, not just because I live in West Seattle. The author is very purposefully anonymous, but is clearly from around here. Why do I know? Well, because we seem to all share this small city obsession with new retail that comes to the area. I say “small city” because it takes a place large enough to attract retail, but small enough that the residents think its a big deal.

Lewiston, Idaho (where I went to high school) was and apparently is still this way. A few years ago, I was talking to a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while, and asked him how things were going in Lewiston. He said “we have a new Home Depot now”. Around that same time, my dad (who also left the area) asked one of his friends how it was going, and he said the same thing. The coming of Home Depot is apparently a very important thing.

These are my people, and I’m not so hip and metropolitan that I can’t totally relate. The source of great speculation and bated breath here in West Seattle for most of this past decade came with the remodel of the Westwood Village shopping center. For years, the rumor was that there would be a movie theater (oooo…ahhhh) going in, and speculation would run amok any time the foundation was poured on any building that looked remotely like a movie theater. This was long after the point at which it was announced that there would be no movie theater; the chain that promised one pulled out years ago. Nonetheless, the movie theater speculation soon subsided as the new excitement was around the Barnes and Noble that went in last year. Unfortunately, the remodel is mostly complete, so there’s not much left to get really excited about.

With that painfully long and rambling introduction out of the way, it’s with great glee that I announce that I’m scooping the West Seattle Blog. According to the Westwood Village website, there is a Taco Del Mar and a Gionnoni’s Pizza (whatever that is) opening there in “Fall 2006”. It’s no movie theater, but hey, you heard it here first.

Roundabout Retardedness

Neighborhood roundaboutWe went out on a walk with Hazel today. On our way, we walked by a recently installed roundabout. In case we were under any illusion that we live in Europe, watching people try to navigate this thing will swiftly dispel those illusions.

CloseupLeft turns are fun to watch. After an awkward hesitation, most drivers proceed to turn counterclockwise (wrong)…especially fun when multiple people are there. Sadly (or perhaps fortunately for our health) we weren’t there to witness the placement of any of the numorous tire marks pictured on the right, but its fun to imagine.

Scan of 1979 Sears Wishbook

It’s amazing how vivid smell memory is. I remember the exact odor of the Sears Wishbook 1979 after seeing it on Flickr. I believe the Total Control Racing (TCR) track was the highlight of my Christmas that year. The TCR track was supposed to kick ass because the cars could change lanes, but as it turns out, it was No Control Racing. The cars would frequently jam up, or lose contact with the track (and thus, lose power), and centrifugal force would force the cars in the outside lane, despite your Total Control. I don’t believe the 30×40 Power Table Top Refractor Telescope was all that it was cracked up to be, either. But, boy howdy, did I want both of them when I saw them in the catalog. I think the Electronic Mastermind (which I don’t think was X-mas bounty) lived up to it’s promise as a product, and got much use by pretty much the whole family.
(via Boing Boing)

Many U.S. Cities Losing Battles To Preserve Their Burger Kings

Every once and a while, The Onion still makes me smile. Many U.S. Cities Losing Battles To Preserve Their Burger Kings Quote: In Seattle, volunteer canvassers went door-to-door, collecting signatures to save the Burger King on Rainier Avenue. As a result of their efforts, Mayor Greg Nickels granted the store historic-landmark status.

“There are children alive today who don’t know what a Whaler is,” the mayor said at the signing ceremony. “All their lives, they’ve known only the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish. If you look into the eyes of such a child, you realize why it’s important that we save our shared Burger King heritage.”