Monthly Archives: August 2017

Cultural Appreciation vs. Cultural Appropriation II

Having done some more reading about cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation after last week’s Cultural Appreciation vs. Cultural Appropriation, I see a wonderful minefield.

Some people have a very good point about cultural misappropriation, but others have a very good point about how participating in other culture’s activities can be educational and enlightening and lots of fun.

My favourite part of the minefield is at Wikipedia’s Cultural Appropriation article, this paragraph: ‘While nearly all Native Americans and their tribes object to depictions as sports mascots, only one tribe explicitly approves of such representations. The Florida State Seminoles, which uses the iconography of the Seminole tribe and whose mascots are Osceola and Renegade, a depiction of the Seminole chief Osceola and his Appaloosa horse. After the NCAA attempted to ban the use of Native American names and iconography in college sports in 2005, the Seminole Tribe of Florida passed a resolution offering explicit support for FSU’s use of Seminole culture and Osceola as a mascot; the university was granted a waiver, citing the close relationship with and consultation between the team and the tribe. In 2013, the tribe’s chairman objected to outsiders meddling in tribal approval, stating that the FSU mascot and use of Seminole iconography “represents the courage of the people who were here and are still here, known as the Unconquered Seminoles.” Conversely, in 2013, the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma expressed disapproval of “the use of all American Indian sports-team mascots in the public school system, by college and university level and by professional sports teams”, and not all members of the tribe’s Florida branch are supportive of its stance.’

You just can not win if you always want everyone to approve of what you do, can you?

I have decided that I am not going to worry about it. If I see an activity that interests me, I may get involved regardless of the culture. I do try to be sensitive to others, but I might miss. Apologies are easy if one did not intend to offend in the first place. I will correct and carry on and understand somewhat better.

Odd Language #218: Restriction Blinders

I was recently going to write “Blinders restrict vision to the side.”

The issue: It occurred to me that, depending on context, “restrict” means to not allow or to allow only. The example sentence is using the second meaning. “Security systems restrict access to bank vaults.” is with the second meaning. So which meaning is “Distims restrict access to gorlaks.” using?

Puzzle #221: Word Points

If answer is worth 16 points, cat 8, dog 8, Kamloops 19, puzzle 16, smoky 12, soap 8, yes 6, and yoyo 6, what is the rule for how many points a word is worth?

(Hint: The rule has to do with the letters, not the meaning of the word.)

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #219 Solution: Still More Marbles

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Odd Language #217: URLs as Language

What is wrong with this URL:

The issue: While a URL is not ordinary language, it often has meaning. This URL is misleading, because the euthanasia rate in the Netherlands is not 45% as the URL seems to state but rather is 4.5%. However, periods are typically not in the middle of a URL. (They are in the site name and the suffix (such as “.html”)).

Puzzle #220: Borders

How many Canadian provinces have exactly four straight lines for their land borders? For the purposes of this puzzle, a straight line is a line that runs on a line of latitude or of longitude and is primarily land. (Rivers and lakes are not considered to violate this, but a salt water coast does.)

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #218 Solution: The Job Offer

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Still More on Fires

Late last week, the evacuation order for Williams Lake was lifted though an evacuation alert is still in effect. Since then, an evacuation order has been issued for the community of Clinton.

There are also various reports of human-started wildfires.

I would hate to be the person who started any of these fires. I expect that these people just do not care.

This might change if any of them are identified. One such was identified about twenty years ago. The son of a Penticton firefighter started a fire so his father would have work. I do not recall the up-shot though I remember that the firefighter was not involved in the setting of the fire.

Odd Language #216: Mass-Produced

The Wikipedia article on ham sausage has this sentence: “Smithfield Foods of the U.S. has mass-produced ham sausage.”

The issue: Does the sentence mean that they mass-produced it in the past or they have it as a product or they possess it or they sell it? Granted the last three mean about the same in context, but the first is also a possibility.

The ambiguity is because “mass-produced” can be a verb form combined with “has” or a noun phrase combined with “ham sausage”.