Monthly Archives: October 2017


Theoretically, no two cases of autism are alike. But there are several things that all of us on the spectrum have in common, or at least seem to – difficulties with hand-eye coordination, sensory overload, and social skills. I know a lot of us will agree on one thing: we really hate being talked down to. Pinging off of an article I’ll post later, there is an attachment to a second article to an autistic blog that I am enjoying reading. Author Shannon Rosa writes about self-advocacy and how it can be problematic. This has been a tough subject among the subculture – we don’t want to have other people do it for us, but many of us don’t want to do it ourselves. We’d just rather be quiet about it. I often fall into that same boat.

In my case, it’s the sarcastic tone that many people often come with that really annoys us. Rosa tells a story about how a five-year-old boy, quite on the high-functioning side and definitely not in need of assistance, and in any case certainly smarter than many his age, refused to “play along” with a so-called evaluation of his ability to communicate. He was perfectly capable of doing it, but the condescending, babying tone of the person asking the questions caused him to shut down completely. The body language was enough, but nobody could really see it. After a short time, the researcher gave up and left, and although I don’t know the end of the story, I wouldn’t be surprised if she described him as a difficult child and incapable of standing up for himself.

This is one of the biggest frustrations. I want to say this as clearly as I can:

I am the one that lives with the condition. Therefore, I should be the one that gets to define it.

But that’s not the article I want to talk about. The one I am going to attach is the divide between autism advocates and many autism parents over who really knows what’s best for those with it. Although, from my perspective, it should be no contest. I can see both sides. There were also debates about whether it’s a civil rights issue, and if it is, who should be allowed to lobby for it. The two sides met at the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and had a fiery discussion. It’s a hard call to make. It didn’t help that one of the autism parents has gone on video with her autistic daughter within earshot and talked about a murder-suicide plan. You can read the full article here, with attachments to other articles.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: not only do many autistics like the isolation, but I’d imagine this is one of the reasons why. Give us a chance to fight for ourselves. Why is this fight even existing? I thought we were supposed to be on the same side on this one. Not only is it hard enough being autistic, but now I have various outside sources that seem to be telling me how to be autistic. It’s incredibly frustrating and disappointing.

Even within the subculture of autism, I’ve been lectured to on occasion. This legitimately happened to me once: I was at a social event for those of us on the spectrum. I mentioned how I was into the arts and languages rather than math and science. I was then asked, “Well, what kind of autistic are you, then?” Even those who go through these same hoops with me tried to define me according to their standards of what autism is supposed to be. To that person, I guess I wasn’t “autistic enough.”

If there is one autistic group I really like, it’s ASAN – the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network. They push for autism acceptance, not just awareness. As nice as awareness is, acceptance is a lot better. I’ve posted the logo below.

Related image
Photo courtesy of 

Anyway, it’s getting late and it’s getting tougher to keep talking about it. I’ll leave with this: I’m asking the world to let me fight my own battles whenever I can. Let me ask you for help. But also understand that just because I can fight my own fights doesn’t always mean that I want to. Sometimes, it’s best to just let me be quiet. But, if and when we do talk about these things, let’s have a meaningful discussion. Since I live with it, why can’t you take my word for it? Is it too much to ask?


Travel: Personal definitions

It can be both frustrating and beneficial to read travel books. There’s a scene in an episode of the first season of Boy Meets World where Cory argues with Mr. Feeny about the frequently changing nature of geography. Granted, his source material was out of date (the joke said that East Germany was still around, and that both Alaska and Hawaii would “make fine states some day”). It’s very possible that some of those books – the 501 and 1001 series I love so much – may be out of date by tomorrow. I can see both sides: It can be disappointing when you regard the terms of history, but such is the way of the world sometimes – literally.

For this reason, I still love reading Don’t Go There! by Peter Greenberg. It may be out of date, but I do appreciate the novelty of the idea. He can be very blunt in terms of his delivery, but he admits that the book isn’t meant to be objective. Part of this is that he struggles with the notion of people’s “lists” of where they want to travel. Several people I’ve talked to have pointed out that travel isn’t a checklist, and it shouldn’t be. And they’re not wrong about that. Greenberg himself even says that travel is not a contest; there’s nothing to win, both in terms of time and quantity.

At the same time, humans are creatures of habit, some good, some not so good. I think the Aspie side of me has a compulsive desire to list things, although usually for quantity instead of quality. Maybe I fell into that trap when I wasn’t supposed to, but there are worse habits to have.

With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons coming up, many will be traveling to see relatives, some of whom may be overseas. So, this question is for all of you as readers: do you have a “list,” and if so, how do you define it? I’d love to hear people’s arguments. One thing I love about Don’t Go There! is that Greenberg is at least trying to redefine the how, if not the what. And if you’ve read my posts in the past, you’ll know that this is very important to many autistics.

One of the author’s earlier books, The Essential Travel Detective, makes the argument between a tourist and a traveler. In his words, a tourist is an accident waiting to happen – particularly as Americans. Whether or not we admit it, many of us become easy targets. We don’t dress for the occasion, or we insist on photographing everything without considering if we’re allowed to. For example, the Omo Valley in Ethiopia will allow you to photograph many of the locals, but many insist on a monetary fee in order to do so. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (also called Wat Pha Kaew) in Bangkok, Thailand, doesn’t allow any photography at all inside of the building, due to the building being seen as sacred. I don’t think the connotation is as negative as he makes it out to be, but I can see where it can be problematic.

One thing that was always disappointing for me is the lack of desire to learn foreign languages. I wonder how much of it is legitimately difficult and how much of it is just lack of desire. Having just started Portuguese on the website Duolingo, much of the vocabulary bears strong similarities to Spanish, and somewhat to Italian. Dutch and German are very similar grammatically as well as with its vocabulary. Thus, I feel like I can adapt to it a lot faster. And Norwegian, which is still tricky to me, is a Germanic stem language, so even that is easier in some parts because of the similarities in the stem. One professor I had mentioned how we as humans are also pattern seekers. If you can find certain patterns, it becomes much easier. I hope that some will choose to learn some more languages. It can definitely help you in the long run.

Travel should be fun, and it usually is. But is it just a means to an end, or is it more than that? Do we use it as an excuse to get away from our surroundings (I’ve definitely done this, so I’m not saying this is a bad thing), or is it deeper than that? Whichever way you choose to define it, my advice for you is this: enjoy it, but be aware of your surroundings. Remember you are a guest. I actually like the sense of impermanence related to place, but even if you’re just visiting, you can’t be – and probably shouldn’t be – somebody like Christopher McCandless of Into the Wild fame. According to one of those popular custom-made maps (which I’ve attached below), I’ve been to 2.78% of the world. If I’m lucky enough in my life, I’ll get to 10%. I’d love it if I could get to 5%. Additionally, while most of the readers come from the United States, I’ve been fortunate enough to have at least one reader from each of the following places (listed in descending order): Belgium, United Kingdom, South Korea, Ireland, Thailand, Germany, Brazil, France, Australia, Taiwan, Canada, Netherlands, Indonesia, South Africa, Spain, Ecuador, Caribbean Netherlands (i.e. the former Netherlands Antilles), Czech Republic, and Mexico. Can you believe that? I’ve been writing this blog for just over three years, and I’ve gotten over 2,000 views from twenty separate countries. How amazing is that? I mean, forgive me, but to me, that’s really cool. I’m very grateful to anybody and everybody who reads this – I feel like if this blog has a common theme, it’s the idea of culture. Sports, medicine, movies, music, all this – it’s all part of a broader sociological perspective, at least in my opinion. And hopefully, I can do as much as I can to be a part of it.

Image result for globe
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

References and Sources 
Don’t Go There!: The Travel Detective’s Essential Guide to the Must-Miss Places of the World (Peter Greenberg)
The Travel Detective (Peter Greenberg)
Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer)
501 Must-Visit Wild Places (Arthur Findlay, Jackum Brown, et al)
Sacred Places of Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations (National Geographic)


Nederlandse beoefening: Een spelshow uit de jeugd

Van 1993 tot 1995 heeft het Nickelodeon Children’s Television Network een show getiteld Legends of the Hidden Temple (Legenden van de verborgen tempel). Er waren twee gasten: Kirk Fogg, een acteur en een groot steenhoofd (niet echt natuurlijk), Olmec. Ook waren er zes teams, elk met een mannelijke speler en een vrouwelijke speler. Elk team is een kleur en een bijnaam geworden (we Amerikanen moeten het altijd doen, het is een slechte gewoonte).

Elk team:
De rode jaguaren
De blauwe barracuda’s
De groene apen
De oranje leguanen
De paarse papegaaien
De zilveren slangen

Ik heb een aflevering toegevoegd: “The Leopard-Skin Cloak of Annie Oakley” (De luipaardhuidmantel van Annie Oakley), van het tweede seizoen. Jullie kunnen het hier in het Engels hier bekijken.

Deze video komt van de website Dailymotion.

De competitie werd in vier rondes gemaakt. Ten eerste moesten de twee kinderen op elk team een sloot oversteken. Op het einde was er een gong. De eerste vier teams die op hun gongs drukken, zouden vooruitgaan. In dit geval, eindigden paars papegaaien eerst, gevolgd door blauwe barracuda’s en groene apen, en uiteindelijk zilveren slangen. Helaas worden rode jaguaren en oranje leguanen geëlimineerd, maar ze kregen een kleine troostprijs.

Toen begon de tweede ronde. Olmec vertelde het verhaal en de teams moeten voorzichtig zijn, omdat hij daarna vragen zou stellen. Hier is het verhaal van deze aflevering.

Toen de kleine vrouw in de Wild West Show-arena van Buffalo Bill kwam met haar omzoomde rok en lang stromend rood haar, vrolijk de menigte wild. Ze was Annie Oakley. Zelfs hier in Duitsland hadden ze gehoord over Amerikaanse scherpschutters die een duim van de hand van een man zouden kunnen trekken zonder zijn vingers te wrijven, of een spadesaus in het midden van 90 voet zouden doorbreken. Maar de menigte werd plotseling stil. Kroonprins Wilhelm van Duitsland stond op en brandde een sigaret.

“Jonge vrouw, ik denk dat het iets is, als je zo goed bent, waarom neem je die sigaret niet uit mijn mond? “

Hij dacht dat ze terug zou gaan. Maar hij had de sigaret nauwelijks in zijn mond, toen Annie op het warme punt was ontslagen. De prins was verbaasd en de menigte werd boos. Legende heeft dat zijn vriend, de koning van Senegal, zo onder de indruk was dat hij hem een ​​luipaardskleed gaf, die zij jarenlang koesterde.

In de tempel waren er twaalf kamers waar het artefact gevonden kon worden. In deze aflevering was het de kamer in het midden van de tempel, de hol van Medusa. Vervolgens begint Olmec zijn vragen te stellen. Om te reageren, zou elk team een ​​knop voor hen moeten drukken. Slechts twee teams gaan vooruit, de eerste twee geven drie goede antwoorden.

1. Wat is de naam van Annie Oakley’s beroep?
A. een wapensmid
B. een sluipschutter
C. een biathlete

De groene apen klinken eerst. Maar de jongen die antwoorden heeft hem verkeerd begrepen, dus hij geeft een antwoord dat niet precies een van de keuzes is. Zilveren slangen geven het juiste antwoord: keuze B.

2. Speelde Annie Oakley in …?
A: The Wild West show; de groene apen zijn oké

3. Welke van hen was Annie’s bijnaam?
R: “Little Miss Sure Shot; De paarse papegaaien zijn oké

4. Annie trok een sigaret uit de mond van kroonprins Wilhelm. Was hij de prins van …?
R: Duitsland; de groene apen zijn oké

5. Wat is de echte naam van “Buffalo Bill? ”
R: William Cody; de blauwe barracuda’s zijn oké

6. Wat was een Broadway-spel over Annie Oakley?
R: Annie krijg je pistool; de blauwe barracuda’s zijn oké

7. Volgens onze legende gaf de koning van welk land Annie een leopard huidjas?
A: Senegal; paarse papegaaien zijn oké

8. Senegal is op welk continent?
A: Afrika; De paarse papegaaien zijn oké, en ze gaan vooruit!

9. In Europa ontmoet Annie de Koningin van Engeland. Welke koningin was zij?
R: Koningin Victoria; de blauwe barracuda’s zijn oké, en ze gaan vooruit!

Groene apen en zilveren slangen worden geëlimineerd.

Dan zijn er drie spellen gerelateerd aan de legende. We leren de namen van elk kind: Rose en Shane voor blauwe barracuda’s, en Chandra en Nick voor paarse papegaaien. In deze wedstrijd waren de eerste en tweede spellen de moeite waard een halve hanger; het winnende team had ze nodig om hun extra leven te geven (zoals bij videospelletjes). Het derde en laatste spel was een hanger waard, zodat het winnende team de tempel kon binnengaan met een, een en een half of twee hangers. Paarse papegaaien hebben alle drie de wedstrijden gewonnen, en zij werden naar de tempel gevorderd. Blauwe barracuda’s worden geëlimineerd.

Ten slotte is het de laatste beurt: de tempel! Olmec legt de regels uit: paars papegaaien moeten de mantel vinden, en ze moeten het uit de tempel brengen om de grote prijs te winnen. Maar er is een tijdslimiet van drie minuten. Onthoud dat ze twaalf kamers zijn; in drie van hen is er een voogd, maar nooit de kamer met het artefact, of de tweede kamer (de kuil), omdat er geen plaats is. Als de speler voor het eerst wordt gevangen, moet hij zijn volle hanger geven aan de keeper om door te gaan. Als hij een tweede keer wordt genomen, is zijn beurt voorbij en de tweede speler gaat over. Dezelfde regels gelden ook. Zonder een volledige hanger (dus met een of een en een halve hanger), is hun spel voorbij en ze verliezen. Maar gelukkig heeft dit team twee complete hangers, de beste positie mogelijk bij het begin. Olmec geeft een omschrijving van een mogelijke weg, in de richting van de klok mee (elke kamer is cursief): beklim de richels, en ga dan de kuil in. Van hier gaat u linksaf en ga de laserlichtkamer binnen. In deze kamer moet je een wit licht in plaats van rood vinden. Het is mogelijk om de hol van Medusa in te voeren, die het artefact bevat, maar het is waarschijnlijk te gemakkelijk. Het is mogelijk (en waarschijnlijker) dat je verder moet blijven, in het hof van de jester, waar drie schilderijen op een muur hangen. Lijn je lichaam perfect uit om de deur te openen. Ga rechtdoor in het donkere bos, en dan de mijnschacht. Van daaruit neemt u de lift naar de geheime wachtwoordkamer. Als je het wachtwoord schreeuwt, ga je rechtdoor naar het heiligdom van de zilveren aap (de beroemdste kamer, want het is de moeilijkste en de langste kamer). U moet een standbeeld samenstellen, ga dan naar rechts. De volgende kamer is de reserve van de koning. Breek een van de drie kleipotten, en dan vind je een sleutel, die naar het observatorium leidt, de hal net boven de hol van Medusa! Draai dan met een touw door de top van de put, en kom uiteindelijk in de crypt. Als een van de spelers het artefact kan krijgen, zijn alle deuren geopend en de voogden zullen verdwijnen. Ook zullen ze een prijs winnen. Alleen om de tempel binnen te komen, winnen ze een prijs. Als ze het krijgen, maar doe het niet uit, is het een tweede prijs. Als ze dat doen, winnen ze de grote prijs, die een Bahamas kruisen is !!

Chandra besluit eerst te gaan. Ze klimt de trap, en ze komt in de crypt. Ze moet een boek trekken dat aan een skelet is bevestigd. Ze trekt het eerste boek … en hij loopt! Ze komt in de kuil en zwaait over de top. Ze ziet twee deuren; de middelste deur leidt naar het artefact als deze op de knop drukt. Maar natuurlijk werkt het niet. Ze drukt de toets van het observatorium, maar met hetzelfde resultaat. Er is een deur aan de achterkant, en het werkt. Ze komt in de laserlichtkamer, maar er is een voogd daar !! Ze waren eng en Chandra schreeuwt. Ze geeft haar haar hanger en vindt het witte licht om door te gaan. Dan komt ze in het hof van de jester. De deur opent en gaat door in het donkere bos. Ze duwt de stenen muur en gaat naar de mijnschacht. Ze neemt de lift naar de geheime wachtwoordkamer. Bij zijn eerste proberen schreeuwt het juiste wachtwoord: “Long live Olmec! (“Lange leven Olmec!!”) Ze gaat door in het heiligdom. Verrassend genoeg voltooit ze het standbeeld vrij snel. Maar in de reserve van de koning, hier is de tweede voogd !! Chandra’s beurt eindigt en nu is het de beurt van Nick. Helaas zijn er nog maar tweeënvijftig seconden over, dus hij moet heel snel gaan. Hij volgde zijn weg perfect, en hij hielp zichzelf door de snelkoppeling van de mijn naar het heiligdom te nemen. Omdat het standbeeld al is gebouwd, kan hij zonder enige problemen de volgende kamer binnenkomen. En de jas is het volgende! Maar de tijd loopt uit. Hij moet de potten breken. Hij vindt de sleutel, maar de tijd is op. Toch heeft hij iets gedaan die geen andere speler heeft gedaan (maar hij moest het niet doen, daarom is het grappig). Toen hij de sleutel had, legde hij het in een steenkolom op de voorrail. Het maakt niet uit! Hoewel ze direct naast de schat waren, konden ze het niet meer op tijd krijgen, dus helaas verloren ze ze. Maar het was moeilijk om te winnen. Zij hebben honderd en twintig afleveringen gedaan, en alleen tweeëndertig teams won de grootprijs, en vooral in die ruimte, maar twee teams wonnen, toen de schat in die ruimte verborgen was. Het was een hele goede poging deze keer.

Hoewel het bijna twintig jaar geleden is sinds de show stopte, is het een leuk onderdeel van mijn kindertijd. Voor lezers van de Franse cultuur hoop ik dat het een leuke manier was om een ​​leuk deel van de Amerikaanse cultuur te delen.

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Deze foto komt uit Wikipedia.

Pratique française avec un jeu télévisé

De 1993 à 1995, le réseau de télévision pour enfants Nickelodeon a présenté un spectacle intitulé Legends of the Hidden Temple (Les légendes du temple caché.) Il y avait deux hôtes : Kirk Fogg, un acteur, et une grande tête de pierre (pas vraiment, bien sûr), Olmec. Aussi, il y avait six équipes, chaque avec un joueur masculin et une joueuse féminine. Chaque équipe est devenue avec un couleur et un sobriquet (nous Américains devons le faire tout le temps ; c’est une mauvaise habitude).

Chaque équipe :
Les jaguars rouges
Les barracudas bleus
Les singes verts
Les iguanes orange
Les perroquets violets
Les serpents d’argent

J’ai attaché un épisode : The Leopard-Skin Cloak of Annie Oakley (Le manteau en peau de léopard d’Annie Oakley), de la deuxième saison. Vous pouvez le regarder en anglais.

Cette vidéo vient du site Dailymotion.

La compétition était faite en quatre tours. D’abord, les deux enfants devaient traverser un fossé, et à la fin, il y avait un gong. Les quatre premières équipes à appuyer sur leurs gongs avanceraient. En ce cas, les perroquets violets ont fini premièrement, suivi par les barracudas bleus et les singes verts, et finalement les serpents d’argent. Malheureusement, les jaguars rouges et les iguanes orange sont éliminés, mais ils ont reçu un petit prix de consolation.

Puis, la deuxième tour a commencé. Olmec a dit l’histoire, et les équipes devraient faire attention, parce qu’il demanderait des questions après. Voici l’histoire de cet épisode.

Lorsque la minuscule femme entra dans l’arène du Wild West Show de Buffalo Bill avec sa jupe frangée et ses longs cheveux roux qui coulaient, la foule applaudit sauvagement. Elle était Annie Oakley. Même ici en Allemagne, ils avaient entendu parler du crack américain tireur d’élite qui pouvait tirer un centime de la main d’un homme sans se frotter les doigts, ou percer un as de pique au centre de 90 pieds. Mais la foule est soudainement devenue silencieuse. Le prince héritier Wilhelm d’Allemagne s’est levé et a brandi une cigarette.

« Jeune femme, je suppose que c’est un truc, si tu es si bon, pourquoi ne tires-tu pas cette cigarette de ma bouche ? »

Il pensait qu’elle allait reculer. Mais à peine avait-il placé la cigarette dans sa bouche qu’Annie avait tiré sur la pointe brûlante. Le prince fut surpris et la foule devint folle. La légende raconte que son ami, le roi du Sénégal, fut si impressionné qu’il lui donna une cape en peau de léopard, qu’elle chérissait pendant des années.

Dans le temple, il y avait douze chambres où l’artefact pourrait être trouvé. Dans cet épisode, c’était la chambre au centre du temple, le repaire de Médusa. Prochain, Olmec commence demander ses questions. Afin de répondre, chaque équipe devrait appuyer sur un bouton devant eux. Seulement deux équipes avancent, les deux premiers qui donnent trois bonnes réponses.

1. Quel est le nom pour l’occupation d’Annie Oakley ?
A. Un armurier
B. Un tireur d’élite
C. Un biathlète

Les singes verts sonnent d’abord. Mais le garçon qui répond l’a mal entendu, donc il donne une réponse qui n’est pas exactement un des choix. Les serpents d’argent donnent la bonne réponse : choix B.

2. Annie Oakley a-t-elle joué dans … ?
R : Le spectacle du Far West ; les singes verts sont corrects

3. Lequel d’entre eux était le surnom d’Annie ?
R : « Little Miss Sure Shot ; » les perroquets violets sont corrects

4. Annie a tiré une cigarette de la bouche du prince héritier Wilhelm. Était-il le prince de … ?
R : Allemagne ; les singes verts sont corrects

5. Quel est le vrai nom de « Buffalo Bill ? »
R : William Cody ; les barracudas bleus sont corrects

6. Qu’était une pièce de Broadway sur Annie Oakley ?
R : Annie Get Your Gun ; les barracudas bleus sont corrects

7. Selon notre légende, le roi de quel pays a donné à Annie un manteau de peau de léopard ?
R : Le Sénégal ; les perroquets violets sont corrects

8. Le Sénégal est sur quel continent ?
R : L’Afrique ; les perroquets violets sont corrects, et ils avancent !

9. En Europe, Annie rencontre la reine d’Angleterre. Quelle reine était-elle ?
R : La reine Victoria ; les barracudas bleus sont corrects, et ils avancent !

Les singes verts et les serpents d’argent sont éliminés.

Puis, il y a trois jeux relatifs à la légende. Nous apprenons les noms de chaque enfant : Rose et Shane pour les barracudas bleus, et Chandra et Nick pour les perroquets violets. Dans cette compétition, le premier et le deuxième jeu valaient un demi-pendentif ; l’équipe gagnante en avait besoin pour leur donner une vie supplémentaire (comme dans les jeux vidéo). Le troisième et finale jeu valait un pendentif, donc l’équipe gagnante pourrait entrer le temple avec un, un et demi, ou deux pendentifs. Les perroquets violets gagnaient tous les trois jeux, et ils ont avancé au temple. Les barracudas bleus sont éliminés.

Finalement, c’est le dernier tour : le temple ! Olmec explique les règles : les perroquets violets doivent trouver le manteau, et ils doivent l’amener hors du temple pour gagner le grand prix. Mais il y a une limite de temps de trois minutes. Souvenez qu’ils sont douze chambres ; en trois d’entre eux, il y a un gardien, mais jamais la chambre avec l’artefact, ou la deuxième chambre (la fosse), parce qu’il n’y a pas de place. Si le joueur est pris pour la première fois, il doit donner son pendentif complet au gardien pour continuer. S’il est pris pour une deuxième fois, son tour est terminé, et le deuxième joueur prend le relais. Les mêmes règles appliquent aussi. Sans un pendentif complet (donc avec un ou un et demi pendentif), leur jeu est terminé est ils perdent. Mais, heureusement, cette équipe a deux pendentifs complets, la meilleure position possible au départ. Olmec donne une description d’une route possible, dans le sens des aiguilles d’une montre (chaque chambre est en italiques) : grimper les rebords, et puis entrer la fosse. De là, allez à gauche et entrer la salle de lumière laser. Dans cette salle, vous devez trouver l’une lumière blanche au lieu de rouge. Il est possible d’enter le repaire de Médusa, qui contient l’artefact, mais c’est probablement trop facile. C’est possible (et plus probable) que vous devez continuer à gauche, dans la cour du bouffon, où trois peintures accrochent sur un mur. Alignez votre corps parfaitement pour ouvrir la porte. Continuez à droite dans la forêt foncée, et puis le puits de mine. De là, prenez l’ascenseur vers le haut dans la salle du mot de passe secret. Quand vous criez le mot de passe, continuez à droite dans le sanctuaire du singe d’argent (la chambre la plus célèbre, parce qu’il est la salle la plus difficile est la salle la plus longue). Vous devez assembler une statue, puis allez à droite. La salle prochaine est la réserve du roi. Cassez un des trois pots en argile, et puis vous allez trouver une clé, qui mène à l’observatoire, la salle juste au-dessus le repaire de Médusa ! Puis, balancez avec une corde à travers le sommet de la fosse, et finalement entrer la crypte. Si l’un des joueurs peut obtenir l’artefact, tous les portes sont ouvertes et les gardiens vont disparaître. Aussi, ils vont gagner un prix. Juste pour entrer dans le temple, ils gagnent un prix. S’ils l’obtiennent, mais ne le font pas ressortir, c’est un deuxième prix. S’ils s’en sortent, ils gagnent le grand prix, qui est une croisière aux Bahamas !!

Chandra décide d’y aller en premier. Elle monte les escaliers, et elle entre la crypte. Elle doit tirer un livre qui est attachée d’un squelette. Elle tire le premier livre…et il marche ! Elle entre la fosse, et balance à travers le haut. Elle peut voir deux portes ; la porte du milieu mène à l’artefact si elle appuie sur le bouton. Mais, naturellement, ça ne marche pas. Elle appuie sur le bouton de l’observatoire, mais avec le même résultat. Il y a une porte au fond, et ça marche. Elle entre la salle de lumière laser, mais il y a un gardien là !! Ils étaient effrayants, et Chandra crie. Elle lui donne son pendentif et trouve la lumière blanche pour continuer. Puis, elle entre la cour du bouffon. La porte ouvre et elle continue dans la forêt foncée. Elle pousse le mur de pierre et elle va au puits de mine. Elle prend l’ascenseur dans la salle du mot de passe secret. A son premier essai, crie le mot de passe correct : « Long live Olmec ! » (« Vive Olmec ! »). Elle continue dans le sanctuaire. Étonnamment, elle complète la statue assez rapidement. Mais dans la réserve du roi, voilà le deuxième gardien !! Le tour de Chandra se termine et maintenant, c’est le tour de Nick. Malheureusement, il reste seulement cinquante-deux secondes, donc il doit aller très vitement. Il suivi son chemin parfaitement, et il s’aide même en prenant le raccourci de la mine au sanctuaire. Parce que la statue est déjà construite, il peut entrer dans la pièce voisine sans aucun problème. Et le manteau est à côté ! Mais le temps est compté. Il doit casser les pots. Il trouve la clé, mais le temps est écoulé. Pourtant, il a fait quelque chose qu’aucun autre joueur n’a fait (mais il n’était pas censé le faire, c’est pourquoi c’est drôle). Quand il a eu la clé, il l’a mis dans un pilier de pierre sur la balustrade avant. Cela ne fait rien ! Bien qu’ils étaient juste à côté du trésor, ils ne l’ont pas récupéré à temps, donc malheureusement, ils ont perdu. Mais c’était difficile à gagner – ils ont fait cent vingt épisodes, et seulement trente-deux équipes ont gagné le grand prix, et particulièrement dans cette salle – seulement deux équipes ont gagné, quand le trésor était caché dans cet espace.  C’était un très bon effort ce temps.

Bien que cela fasse presque vingt ans que le spectacle a cessé, c’est une partie amusante de mon enfance. Pour les lecteurs de la culture francophone, j’espère que c’était une façon amusante de partager une partie amusante de la culture américaine.

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Cette photo devient de Wikipédia ( 

Returns and welcomes

While we’ve certainly had our share of repeat qualifiers for next year’s World Cup, we’ve also seen two newcomers (Iceland and Panama) and several big names return after long droughts.

It’s amazing when you think about it. The following teams have all missed out after making the last two World Cups:

United States

Additionally, Bosnia-Herzegovina made the last one, and they’re out as well. The following names can be added to the above list in a few weeks’ time:

Cote d’Ivoire

On the other side, we’ve got several high profile teams that have waited at least 12 years to get back that either have already qualified or still potentially could.

Already in
Poland (2006) – 12 years
Saudi Arabia (2006) – 12 years
Egypt – 28 years

Still in contention
Sweden (2006) – 12 years
Tunisia (2006) – 12 years
Ireland (2002) – 16 years
Senegal (2002) – 16 years
Morocco (1998) – 20 years
Northern Ireland (1986) – 32 years
Peru (1982) – 36 years

I had a feeling it would be an exciting qualification round, and I wasn’t let down, except for the United States not qualifying, of course. But I look forward to the final official rounds coming up in just a few weeks.

October reflections

Sometime, stream-of-consciousness is unavoidable for this writer.

As October comes to an end, and our last two months of the year wind down, I’m reminded that for all of the negativity going on, and there seems to be an overflow of it right now, I’m very lucky to have what I have.

While there was some frustration today – nothing too major, just a paperwork issue that I thought would work out but didn’t – it was still nice to take a walk alongside the mall. I like how they’re trying to increase their profile, and it does look newer than I’ve ever seen it. I can see both sides, though, where some would argue its charm isn’t the same as it used to be. Life is full of these little contrasts, isn’t it? Hopefully, that paperwork issue will get worked out, which it should, but as I’ll state below, the waiting can be tough sometimes.

Although Fleetwood Mac may have written it, I’ve always been partial to the Dixie Chicks cover of “Landslide.” I have to admit I’ve never been a country music fan, and the Dixie Chicks have always been willing to break from the conventions of their profession to the ire of many, but this one just works. As we get older, hopefully we learn to slow down not just physically but mentally as well. Hear me out on this: sometimes, mental patience is the best remedy to troublesome situations. One thing it seems like many millennials do that I don’t like, and I’ve definitely been guilty of this myself, is the lack of patience. In many ways, I see where our parents’ generation can see us as selfish, impatient, and yes, even entitled. Situationally, it can be a good thing. But it can also backfire on you. A saying I’ve always liked is this: Pick your battles. I’m not saying don’t fight. But I think our generation needs to learn when to admit defeat sometimes. If you look close enough, you can usually tell when you’re beaten.

Then again, maybe I’m not the right messenger for this. I know I come across as aloof, indifferent, and perhaps a little selfish. The last one I know I definitely have. But I try to balance it out whenever I can.

So, take this love and take it down…

In other news, the Los Angeles Dodgers have won their first pennant in 29 years, and may face their old rivals, the New York Yankees, in the World Series. While I’ve always been a Red Sox fan, I have to admit I did want to see it once in my lifetime, the last time happening in 1981 (although you know I’d be rooting for the Dodgers).

Halloween is about two weeks away. And I’m actually dressing up this year, as an astronaut! I’ve been meaning to do it for a few years, but this year I finally got around to it. Hopefully, I can get a photo of the whole thing sometime.

I also got some nice shirts today, two blue short-sleeved ones and a long-sleeved gray and white horizontal striped one. All come from Goodfellow, and I think they have a good brand. Very comfortable.

And I can’t believe I’m actually thirty years old. I mean, it doesn’t really feel that different, at least not yet, so it’s still sinking in. I can definitely see some changes – thinning hair, and some of what I have left is beginning to going gray, attempts at dietary changes to help me in my thirties, and beginning to take some larger risks, albeit controlled ones. I don’t miss the twenties as much as I thought I would. I’ve always felt spiritually older than I actually am. Does that make sense?

That’s all I’ve got for today. Happy Halloween, and here’s to the World Series starting. With any luck, and a good amount of effort, I should be able to get my two current remaining World Cup posts, and the newest World Series post. Keep an eye out for them.

Two months left in 2017. Here’s to what it brings, in any capacity.

Basic Dutch: Pronouns + Hebben/Zijn

Hopefully, some of you who read the last of these articles enjoyed it. I know some of you did. So, this is lesson two, so to speak. Much thanks to for extra assistance on this lesson.

Today’s lesson is on the basic pronouns of Dutch, and the verbs hebben and zijn. As usual, I’m still learning much of this myself. For native Dutch speakers, if I do make mistakes, verbeter mij alstublieft. It is a way that I can improve my skills as well.

Part 1 – The basic pronouns 
Normally, in English, and many other languages, we have six pronouns. Dutch often adds an extra one, which will be explained below.

They are the following:
Ik – I 
Jij – You 
U – You (polite, both cases) 
Hij/Zij – He/She
Wij – We 
Jullie – You (plural)
Zij – They

Notice how zij is used twice here. In both cases, it’s used in the third person. Singular, it means “she,” and plural means “they.”

The big addition is the pronoun u. That’s all it is, a u. In this case, it’s used as a polite form of both singular (jij) and plural (jullie). Sometimes, it’s capitalized as U, but even this is considered too formal. It is conjugated the same way as “jij” (the second person singular) in both singular and plural.

Jij komt uit Nederland.
U komt uit Nederland.

In both cases, they mean the same thing: “You are from the Netherlands,” or more literally, “You come from the Netherlands.”

One note: Nederland and Nederlands are two separate things. Nederland (singular) refers to the country itself (the Netherlands). Nederlands (plural) refers to the language (Dutch) or is used as an adjective. Please don’t get these confused.

Part 2 – Stressed, unstressed, and others
Here’s where it starts getting a little confusing: Dutch also has stressed and unstressed pronouns (also called marked and unmarked). The above examples are the stressed pronouns. The unstressed pronouns have the following changes:

Je instead of jij
instead of wij
instead of zij (in both cases)

Also, as mentioned last time, we have two forms of the definite article in Dutch, de and het. They usually use “het” as the pronoun in this case.

Het is een mooi huis. (It’s a beautiful house.) – het huis
Het is een koude nacht. (It’s a cold night.) – de nacht

We also use deze and die for “de” words in the stressed, and dit or dat for “het” words.

Additionally, the pronoun “they” in English changes for inanimate objects. It becomes deze or die in the stressed form (which are also used primarily as demonstratives), but that’s for another lesson. Fortunately, both use ze in the unstressed form.

Now explain that back to me. 🙂

I’ll finish with something a little easier.

Part 3 – Hebben + zijn
The two most basic verbs in English are “to have” and “to be.” In Dutch, their respective equivalents are hebben and zijn. One thing that’s very helpful is that the plurals are all the same in both cases, and most if not all Dutch verbs will do this. Even better, this form is the infinitive.

Here are the basic conjugations for both.

Zijn – to be 
Ik ben                                                 Wij zijn
Jij/U bent                                            Jullie zijn
Hij/Zij is                                             Zij zijn

Most if not all Dutch verbs will add either a “d” or a “t” to the second person singular. And the stem -“en” is used almost exclusively (zijn being an exception). Also, noticing the conjugations above, you should be able to tell when zij is used as singular or plural.

Zij is schattig.                                   She is cute.
Zij zijn burgers.                               They are citizens.

Hebben  – to have 
Ik heb                                                 Wij hebben
Jij/U hebt                                           Jullie hebben
Hij/Zij heeft                                      Zij hebben

Ik heb twee honden.                      I have two dogs.

There is a verb similar to hebben, but it means something completely different. “Hebben nodig” indicates a need, and the word “nodig” is put at the end of the sentence.

An example:
Ik heb water.                                 I have water.
Ik heb water nodig.                     I need water.

Both of these are very common, so keep an eye out for which one means which.

That’s our lesson for today. Tot ziens! (See you soon!)

Analysis: “Lisa on Ice”

Even if this wasn’t intended to become a list, you could call this a countdown of my ten favorite Simpsons episodes. #10 was “Homer’s Enemy” from Season 8, and #9 was “Homer Goes to College.”

Next on this list is what would be #8 on my list: “Lisa on Ice.”

Obviously, spoiler alerts ahead.

One reason why I love this episode is that we get to see Lisa, often seen of as the logical one of the family, go through her own challenges and forced to grow. While she’s usually enraptured in academia, she realizes that sports have their own artistry and magic to them. Additionally, like the previous one, it’s exceptionally hilarious.

The episode opens with Kent Brockman’s newscast predicting outlandish things (“President Reagan dyes….his hair”) before asking for the death count from a killer snowstorm. Currently, it stands at zero. The meteorologist also admits he’s an aspiring comedian, so his credibility is already in question. Bart is unable to see past this obvious facade, and thinks that he’s able to avoid a book report due the following day. Waking up the next morning, Lisa smacks him with a snowball. He’s intent on getting revenge…except instead of snow, there is an unseasonably warm day. Lisa made the snowball from leftover ice in the freezer. Bart is now stuck.

Mrs. Krabappel announces that the book reports will be done from the letters A-M. Except that it’s by first name, so Bart has to give his. Fortunately, Bart is bailed out by an announcement over the intercom.

“Attention, this is Principal Skinner, your principal, with a message from the Principal’s Office. All students please proceed immediately to an assembly in the Butthead Memorial Auditorium. (Under his breath, he says) Damn it, I wish we hadn’t let the students name that one.”

Once in the assembly, Skinner mentions that lower test scores have led him to try a new solution. Only Martin Prince, the class bookworm, seems to like it. Ralph Wiggum’s name is called first (“I won! I won!!!“). Any joy Ralph feels is quickly tempered. He’s failing English. Ralph’s response is below.

Ralph’s response to this is legendary. Video courtesy of YouTube.

School bully Nelson Muntz is called up next. He’s failing history, geography, and math. But one topic he is doing surprisingly well in is home economics. Of course, he doesn’t want anybody to know that. Everybody is shocked when Lisa is called next. She wonders what she’s failing – she calls herself smart and a teacher’s pet. As it turns out, she’s failing gym class. She refuses to believe it but can’t throw the wadded up paper in the trash can.

Back home, Marge mentions that Lisa should do better. Meanwhile, Bart has an entire stack of the same slips, which Homer signs, and rewards him for it (largely for not trying to forge Homer’s name). The gym teacher agrees to pass Lisa if she joins a sports team outside of school. Lisa is reluctant to do so, but doesn’t want her perfect record affected. She tries volleyball, but her spiky hair deflates the ball accidentally, which is the only one they have. She also has trouble dribbling a basketball. Lisa is legitimately terrified that she’ll get her first “F” in her academic career. Marge rebukes her, telling her that sports aren’t that important. Homer enters, and of course, disagrees.

Homer’s competitive side comes out in this episode. Video courtesy of YouTube.

Having mentioned that some parents push too hard, Lisa finds out that her own dad is like that with Bart on the way to a pee-wee hockey game. He semi-jokingly threatens to kill Bart if his team loses. Fortunately, his team, the Mighty Pigs, does win. Homer keeps another end of a perverse “bargain” he made with Bart: “Here’s your turtle, alive and well.” Unfortunately, there is one down side. Chief Wiggum, the coach of Bart’s team (and Ralph’s father), mentioned that he bet on the other team, so they won’t be going out for pizza. The kids dejectedly drop their heads. 

The other team, the Gougers, coached by Apu, has lost their goalie (Milhouse) to injury. They even tie him to the goal with ropes, but it doesn’t work. Lisa refuses to congratulate Bart and he furiously starts shooting trash at her with his hockey stick. Lisa blocks it and Apu notices it. He begins to notice this. He fires a shot at her with little warning. She catches it with one hand. Apu tries a second shot, to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Now carrying Bart’s stick, Lisa smacks the puck back the other way, which knocks out two of Milhouse’s teeth. Apu recruits her for the Gougers.

In her first game, Lisa is terrified at the shot of facing a hockey puck shot at her. Bart and Homer watch from the stands and laugh at her, despite Marge’s protestations. But Lisa is actually good at playing goaltender, and her team wins.

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Lisa as a hockey goalie. Photo courtesy of

Homer rewards her by letting her sit in the front seat of the car on the way home, rather than Bart. Lisa wants to do it because of his love for her, not because she’s good at sports. But Homer claims it is about the sports. Over the next few games, Lisa has her moments of fear, but after a while, she begins to overcome them and becomes angry and aggressive. She begins to embrace the idea of stopping goals. In some ways, she becomes better than Bart. Milhouse wonders if Bart will subsequently be better than her academically now. Bart does become more willing to participate in class, but he doesn’t get a single answer right. Nelson beats him up in the hallway for “wasting teacher’s valuable time.” Lisa stands up to them and they lay off Bart. But Bart is getting laughed at. Even Milhouse would rather hang out with her for protection (and in his own words, “to be seen!”).

Lisa and Homer begin spending more time together, and Bart feels excluded. Marge offers to spend more time with him, but she’s worse at sports than Lisa is. As bratty as Bart can be, he does have a little bit of a confidence shake-up in this episode that shows his more human side.

Also, though, it does show some of Homer at his worst. His competitive streak takes over, and he can’t find room in his heart to reward both. With Lisa doing better, he says that practicing with Bart was a waste of time – right to his face. Even Marge seems to reward Lisa more, giving her extra hugs right before bedtime. But Bart can’t reconcile that.

Returning to her room, Lisa finds Bart waiting for her. He shows how he’s ripped the head off of a stuffed rabbit called Mr. Honey Bunny. But Lisa reminds him it was his cherished childhood toy. Bart freaks out, trying to repair Mr. Honey Bunny, kissing the head and trying to jam the head back on. Bart and Lisa begin making motions, Bart with his arms and Lisa with her legs, with both claiming it’s their own fault if they get in the way. This leads to a big fight. Suddenly, Homer bursts into the room, saying that Bart’s team is facing off against Lisa’s team. “You’re in direct competition!” And Homer encourages them to be competitive. He wants them to fight for his and Marge’s love. As well-meaning as he usually is, this episode shows how difficult it can be to support kids on opposing teams, and why a lot of kids feel pushed.

The entire town seems to be caught up in the fever. Bartender Moe randomly stops by the Simpsons’ house during dinner time. He claims that he’s just saying hi to Homer, but he mentions that he is $64,000 in debt from gambling losses. Marge ushers him out despite his protests.

Bart and Lisa trash-talk each other before the game, and Marge has taken the head of Mr. Honey Bunny and wears it as a good luck charm. This leads to a brawl before the game has even started. Homer tries to cajole Marge into favoring of the kids, but she can’t choose between them and mentions that he wouldn’t like it if they did the same to them. Bart and Lisa both skate over and acknowledge her, but not Homer. He doesn’t seem to notice or care.

The game starts, following a disastrous attempt by Krusty the Clown to sing the National Anthem (he doesn’t know the words). Bart scores early in the game, and Homer claims he loves him more. Then Lisa stops Bart later in the game and Homer changes his mind. Marge brings him beer and he changes his mind again. Late in the game, with the score tied 3-3, and only four seconds left, another school bully named Jimbo trips Bart with his stick. Even Marge is furious.

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“I demand vengeance! I want vengeance!” Photo courtesy of

Bart earns a penalty shot. Homer turns to Marge and says one of the kids will be showered with cheers and praise, the other will be hissed and booed – most of it coming from him. Both sides try to persuade their respective player to win as well; Bart and Lisa can’t remember when it was fun.

Bart skates up but begins flashing back to nice memories he and Lisa had together – taking cookies from the jar, and she helping him bandage a scraped knee after falling off a skateboard. Lisa has the same memories from the goal mouth: Bart making shadow puppets is one. She also remembers how he helped her stop crying by sharing part of his ice cream cone after hers fell off. They both drop their equipment and embrace. They wish each other a great game, and the game ends in a tie as the buzzer runs out. Most of the audience is furious and starts a riot, including some of the local inmates that were released by Chief Wiggum (he wanted a crowd, so he promised that they didn’t have to come back if they promised not to commit any more crimes, which they of course don’t agree to, but he relents anyway). Marge is proud of both of them, but Homer is crying disgustedly, calling both of them “losers.” Bart and Lisa skate off as the audience continues rioting. All differences aside, their bond as brother and sister is still more important to them than hockey.

Image result for bart and lisa skate off
Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed.

Although Homer has some of his worst moments in this episode due to his hyper-competitiveness, it actually makes the story very compelling this way. Also, I liked how he never got over it in the end. It’s assumed he learned his lesson later, but it’s a great example of parents that push their children too hard. Lisa and Bart just want to play, and not be distracted by anything. The adults seem to let them down throughout the episode, even with something minor like Chief Wiggum betting against his own team. Plus, it opened Lisa’s mind and boy to a new endeavor, and hopefully got her to appreciate the magic of sports a little bit more.

References and Sources

October 9-10 updates: FIFA World Cup qualification

We’re now almost there. Here’s where every team stands.

Qualified (23) 
UEFA (Europe) 
1. Russia
2. Belgium
3. Germany
4. England
5. Spain
6. Poland
7. Iceland
8. Serbia
9. Portugal
10. France

AFC (Asia) 
1. Iran
2. Japan
3. South Korea
4. Saudi Arabia

CAF (Africa) 
1. Nigeria
2. Egypt

CONCACAF (North America) 
1. Mexico
2. Costa Rica
3. Panama

CONMEBOL (South America) 
1. Brazil
2. Uruguay
3. Argentina
4. Colombia

OFC (Oceania)
Playoff only 
New Zealand

Our playoff matches
Peru (CONMEBOL 5th place) vs. New Zealand (OFC)
Honduras (CONCACAF 4th place) vs. Australia (AFC 5th place)

UEFA playoff teams (listed by most points, then goal differential) – to be determined October 17 
1. Switzerland
2. Italy
3. Denmark
4. Croatia
5. Sweden
6. Northern Ireland
7. Greece
8. Ireland

My predictions for those matchups
A. Switzerland vs. Greece
B. Italy vs. Sweden
C. Denmark vs. Ireland
D. Croatia vs. Northern Ireland

I’ll update this with the actual matchups next week.

It’s over, over there

For most fans of United States soccer, this will be painful to read. But it’s necessary sometimes.

For the first time since 1986, the United States will not play in the FIFA World Cup. The longest of odds did indeed happen – not only did they lose, but both Panama and Honduras won, which was the only thing to keep the Americans out. Given the current climate with America in the world right now, maybe it’s somewhat appropriate. Maybe the United States, in sports and in other arenas, should deal with some humility right now. Perhaps the USMNT believed in the exceptionalism. Despite a Christian Pulisic goal, the rest of the team didn’t do what they needed to do. Were it not for an Omar Gonzalez own goal, the United States would have tied and gotten in automatically. That’s all that it took.

Rumors abound that Panama’s first goal was a phantom goal that never crossed the line. But if that is true – which it looks like it is – Panama played their hearts out and found the winner with only two minutes to go. Although the field in Couva was still draining water, Trinidad and Tobago still had to play on it too. American pundit Taylor Twellman mentioned that Belgium played Bosnia-Herzegovina on what he called a “cow pasture,” and Belgium won anyway, albeit very sloppily.

All the Americans needed was a tie. Blame coaching, blame the USSF, blame a lack of passion. Maybe blame is the wrong word. Maybe instead of  focusing on what’s wrong, we need to focus on how to fix it.

Four years ago, United States knocked Panama out with a late rally in stoppage time. Now, perhaps, it’s our turn. Similarly, U.S. knocked out Trinidad and Tobago in 1989 to get to their first World Cup in 40 years. Perhaps this was a revenge game as well. And I have to admit – I had a little bit of a soft spot for Panama this year.

Questions begin now – how much will this hurt America’s profile in the world’s game? Is there a way back? What needs to be changed to improve the team? Will it take them a while to get back?

There is no doubt that the profile will suffer. But hopefully, it won’t be on life support for long. Whatever needs to be improved, I can’t necessarily say it’s the end of the road. Sometimes, these questions have to be answered, and to be asked either way.

And we as fans should share some of the responsibility. Do we care too much? Is pride too high in this game, in sports in general? I don’t know. In part, passion is nice. But it can also be overdone.

I don’t know what the answer is. I’m not sure if I even know the questions at this point. But all I know is, it’ll be a long, lonely summer for the Americans next year.

Image result for world cup logo 2018
Photo courtesy of