2nd Anniversary of diablog

Dear Reader,

Ten days ago, Glynsky created a little mess here and some confusion. This is neither extraordinary, nor reason for a post, he does this every day. Multiple times.
Just ask Madame Glynskette, or Pete for that matter. Smiles might have stories to add from the old days.

My birthday is today, I arrived here with the first post on diablog, two years ago, on September 29th, 2010.

And this is a reason to celebrate. Not me, but the 2nd anniversary.

In the last two years we had tons of fun.

Our thanks go to Madame Glynskette, Marsha, Nana, Elsbeth, Casper, Biella, Emily, Christina, Philippa, Malea, Laura, Kim, Jenny, Anna, Eliana, Olivia, Vox, Dann, Marta, Isis, Sharon, Jasmin, Kira, Stephanie, Marylee, Katelyn, Smiles, Alex, Claude, Wil, Paul, Jack, Phil, Louis, Mo, John, Icarius, Jakkoo, Devy, Jem, Kris, Aaron, Dennis, the resident shrink, the blind dentist, the cousins from Italy, and all readers, whom we don’t know yet.

To everyone who comments, sends us material, inspires us, criticizes us, reads us:

Thank you!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are walking on sunshine.

Engine Room

Don’t worry, be happy, it’s Friday

Dear Reader,

In his comment here, Glynsky showed a little concern about the mental well-being down in the Engine Room. Not exactly in those words, but his good heart was showing between the lines. Or something like that.

Rest assured, there is no need to worry, this song sums up the attitude of diablog:

Have a great Friday, don’t worry, bee happy,
Engine Room

How the Internet will transform government

Dear Reader,

Do you feel it?
Already the internet is changing politics. The global protests against ACTA, PIPA, SOPA and other acronym monsters were a clear sign.

Like other media – books, newspapers, telephone, radio, TV – the internet is changing how we get information.

But there is a much more important aspect to the internet.
It is the combination of everything the other media are. Plus, it is participatory. Not a one way street, not only a one-on-one diablog like the telephone.

Here comes a brilliant and entertaining speech, a TED talk, by someone much smarter than us. He explains, how the internet will (one day) transform how we govern ourself (sic!).

It must be fun, being a student and having a professor like Clay Shirky.

Stay tuned,
Engine Room

Feedburner will be extinguished

Dear Reader,

Since day one of diablog you have been able to “subscribe” to our posts via email. That meant, you received one email on every day, that we posted something with all the posts of that day. And that was free as in free beer.

Our provider of that service is, or better was, Feedburner.

At one point Feedburner has been acquired by Google.
And now Google management – in its infinite wisdom – decided to shut down Feedburner.
On October 20th, there will be no more Feedburner.

On a personal note:

Thanks, Google, for adding to the pile of work, Glynsky is sending my way already.

Back to things on hand.

Already I removed the subscription tool from this site. I will use the next three weeks to find another solution.

In the meantime, all our beloved subscribers should continue to receive their emails.
And in due time, we will announce another provider and you will then will be asked kindly to subscribe again.

I am very sorry for the inconvenience.

Stay tuned,
Engine Room

Yiddish in English – an endless debate

Dear Reader,

In his recent post on diablog, Pete introduced a few Yiddish words. And already his first one opens a debate.

Nobody will disagree, shmuk can mean idiot, or “S.O.B”.
Common knowledge also says, it is highly offensive and rude.

But the roots and its original meaning are something very different.
A shmuck is a penis.

It might come from the (old) German “Schmuck”, meaning decoration or jewelry. That seems logical, as you Brits refer to a penis as the crown jewels, or non-royals as family jewels.
If you don’t believe me, check Leo Rosten, who’s brilliant book, The New Joys of Yiddish, I had recommended earlier on diablog.

Another school says, it comes from the (old) Polish word smok, meaning snake or dragon. The connection is obvious.

Yet another lexicographer says:

“A little boy’s penis is a shtekl, a ‘little stick.’ Shtekl became shmeckle, in a kind of baby-rhyming thing, and shmeckle became shmuck. Shmeckle is prepubescent and not a dirty word, but shmuck, the non-diminutive, became obscene.”

If you want to find more Yiddish words, that made their way into English, preferably less offensive ones, read Leo Rosten. Or Wikipedia, it already has a list of English words of Yiddish origin, and a list of Yiddish words used in English.

See, even Wikipedia can’t agree on one list. I love debating.

Have an easy fast tomorrow,
Engine Room

Oy Veh! Is Glynsky A Shmuck?

The overdue for a holiday Engine Room recently wrote an article on this Diablog on the subject of:

Internet – reducing borders and barriers

He asked us what word from a foreign language do you know, that’s needed, or possibly already used in English?
Obviously one takes any request from ER very seriously, and after many seconds of thought I would like to make a claim for the many Yiddish words that have come into use in the English language.
I do not speak the language but my father-in-law spoke it well, and used it to converse with many people in his time when neither party understood the others adopted tongue, but had in common a Jewish Yiddish background.