Thursday, November 27, 2008

Alien Life Discovered

Well, not really--it's a rare species of squid. I know, I know, comparing deep sea critters to space aliens is about as witty and original as a sock, but this squid is freaking creepy: Link via Slashdot

New species of squid, or a sign that Dread Cthulhu will soon rise again? You decide.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Only in Russia...

Another excerpt from my fabulous textbook:
"Imagine that you are a spy and that your partner is a double-agent. Your innocent conversation reveals that you are both trying to uncover the other's recent whereabouts. Use the preceding two dialogs as models."

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Excerpt from my Russian workbook

This is a real assignment. For reference, Kevin is the fictitious American exchange student in the textbook's obligatory accompanying soap opera DVD.

"When Kevin can't sleep, he thinks of a Russian noun and combines it with an adjective. He says it works wonders! Do you want to try his method? If you are not asleep by the end of the exercise, think of another dozen Russian nouns and combine them with the following adjectives!"

Excuse me, I'm trying to do my homework, not fall asleep! Yes, anyone who has learned a second language knows that endlessly conjugating verbs and declining nouns is one of the most boring things in the world. But gleefully informing us that the exercise is going to be so boring that we'll probably fall asleep, and then telling us to do it over again if we're not--well, that's rubbing salt in the wound, and then sprinkling some lemon juice on it for good measure. Sheesh.