Thursday, August 25, 2011

How many can you name?

Even though some unfortunate people would make the mistake of calling me "African American" (I prefer "colored" (No, I don't. That was a joke, people. Shh.)) I have never been to Africa. I have tried to travel there on multiple occasions, but the trips have been cancelled due to reasons.

However, unlike many people, I do know that Africa is not one big country called "Africa" where the elephants roam and the lions call home. It's the birthplace of civilization, made up of various peoples and places and things. When I was in fourth grade, one of my classmates could name all of the capitals of the African continent. I could name all of the capitals of the Australian continent, so bully for me.

Today, I asked myself if I could name ten African countries. Then I asked if I could name ten more. I pushed myself to 21, and then I started writing this blog post.

How many can you name without assistance? Extra points for capital cities, half points for accidentally naming obscure countries on other continents, like Uzbekistan or Burma.

Here are the answers: Territories and regions of Africa.

Here is my list:

  1. South Africa
  2. Egypt
  3. Lesotho
  4. Kenya
  5. Ivory Coast
  6. Namibia
  7. Madagascar (movie!)
  8. Malawi
  9. Mozambique
  10. Niger
  11. Nigeria (two different countries!)
  12. Ghana
  13. Sudan
  14. South Sudan (newest country in the world!)
  15. Tanzania
  16. Tunisia
  17. Morocco
  18. Swaziland
  19. Chad (neither Lowe nor Allen nor Michael Murray)
  20. Libya
  21. Liberia


Monday, August 22, 2011

"The 'Bu"

I finished another chapter in Bianca Reagan: Where the Action Is! Six more to go! An excerpt from Ch. 17:

“I have to put my whole hand in the scanner? I thought it was a fingerprint.”

“New company policy. Sign here please.”

“Which of the many forms is this?”

“It releases the company, the testing center, and the test administrators from liability for any injuries you may incur while at the facility. This includes, but is not limited to, falls, sprains, broken bones, eyestrain, seizures, cancer, and/or death, and you are present in the facility and are taking the exam of your own free will.”

I looked at the form. “To apply to business school, I am required to take and pass this four-hour-long exam. It is only administered on flickering computer screens instead of in paper form. And, at 25 miles away, this is the closest facility to my home. To enter and exit the exam room, I have to repeatedly place my hand on a radioactive machine. So yes. I am exposing my body to eyestrain, highway collisions, and cancer by my own free will.” I signed the papers and handed them back to the administrator.

“This way, please.”


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"It's not what you say, it's what they hear."

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Colbert Super PAC - Frank Luntz Commits to the PAC
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

"So, 'energy exploration', not 'oil drilling'?"


"'Climate change', not 'global warming'."


"Okay. I think that is 'brilliant', not 'manipulative'."


Monday, August 15, 2011

"Luv U, Baby Girl"

I finished another chapter in Bianca Reagan: Where the Action Is! Seven more to go! An excerpt from Ch. 06:

Jenny adjusted each person’s spacing. “Let’s do it!”

We heard the intro of the song. The synthesized melody crept over the background drum machine. Then came the lyrics. Maggie’s part was first.

“I will never break your heart
I promise from the start
Baby girl”

Her moment in the imaginary spotlight was halted by the ringing of my desk phone.

“Who is interrupting the magic?” Maggie demanded.

I picked up the receiver.

“It’s your mother,” I told Stacey. She took the call at my desk.

“She hasn’t moved out of Stacey’s house yet,” Maggie whispered.

The Intern shook his head. “That’s rough.”

Stacey busied her right hand by clicking her retractable pen. “Mami, I am having a very important business discussion . . . Si, that is ‘Luv U, Baby Girl’ . . . How do you know about Five Guys? . . . No, I don’t think that would . . . Why do you want . . . Fine, Mami, fine.” She switched her mother to the speakerphone.

“Hello, Stacey’s friends,” her mother greeted us with her Argentinean lilt.

“Hi, Mrs. Maguire,” we replied.

“Por favor, girls, we’re all family. Call me Mami.”

Stacey gripped her pen so hard it bent in half.

“My baby doesn’t know about Five Guys and my Teddy B like I do,” Mrs. Maguire said. “Sometimes I like to throw my hands in the air, and wave them around like I just don’t care. Turn the music back on.”


Sunday, August 14, 2011

SPOILER ALERT: The black guy dies.

I saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes recently, partially because Draco Malfoy plays a villain yet again (way to stretch those acting chops, Tom, but decent American accent), and partially because I have seen all the previous Ape movies. I still need to watch the sketchy looking television show. Though, I have seen Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp, which had a more believable premise than that abomination with Marky Mark.

The problem with the black guy dying in the movie is not that he was black, but that he was the only black guy in the story. He was the only black person with any lines. The producers couldn't find any other black people in San Francisco who wanted to participate in a movie about incarcerated individuals who have experiments performed on them against their will, develop a secret method of communication, and enact a revolution against their evil masters? I'm available for the role of Greedy Businessperson #1, and I can bring my own suit.

Ironically, almost every character in Rise of the Planet of the Apes--which was cribbed from the black power influenced Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (my favorite of the Apes)--is white and male. The exceptions were the black guy, the South Asian love interest who had no motivation besides hanging out with James Franco, the frightened nurse, and the apes. Again, the setting was San Francisco. Were there no Hispanic people, or other Asian people, or women of any color who could read a line or two in front of a camera?

Onto my favorite characters: the circus orangutan and John Lithgow, in that order, even though I have seen every episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, and I cried when it went off the air.

More qualms: if the apes were so smart, Caesar especially, why didn't they hijack a plane and fly themselves back to the places they were captured from in generic Africa? Also, that Gen-Sys laboratory has terrible security.


Friday, August 12, 2011

"Well, you're pretty, too."

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Gloria Steinem
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

"It's really important, seriously, that kids grow up knowing that men can be as loving and nurturing as women can."

"I thought the role of the father was to take his emotion and stuff it down as much as he can until it comes out inappropriately at Thanksgiving dinner."

Thank goodness for feminists. :)


Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Please, Pussycat, I'm on a roll."

"Some people just don't know when to quit."

Oh, the hilarity of those Girls.