My poem “The Tahamaling” has just been published in Mirror Dance, edited by Megan Arkenberg.
Check it out here.
My poem Inside Infinity: Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Dots Mirrored Room, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh has just been published in Thimble Literary Magazine, edited by Nadia Wolnisty.
Check it out here.
My short story “Slalom” has just been published in The Sunlight Press, edited by Beth Burrell and Rudri Bhatt Patel. Check it out.
Over the holidays, toasts are usually a thing. Often in a lot of languages: Cheers, some say, or L’Chaim, Prost, Sláinte, Salute, Kampai, Salud … and I didn’t know what was said in the Philippines.
Here’s the thing: there isn’t a direct translation, because the tradition is different.
On Gideon Lasco’s website, he explains how there’s no word for cheers in Tagalog because of the tradition of people drinking from the same glass to mark celebrations and special occasions. That is, unlike having everyone raise their own glass to toast or clink them together, in the Philippines one person becomes the pourer (the tanggero) and fills a glass that gets passed around for everyone to share in a communal way. The custom is called tagay.
Laso even finds a definition of tagay in a 1630 dictionary, and writes:
Then, as now, tagay is defined as the rationing of the liquor around the group using just one cup. Strikingly, this cup is also given a name in the same vocabulario passage, one that is familiar in street corners on Friday nights: tagayan.
The tanggero makes sure that all the drinkers have their fill, that everyone gets their fair share. The drinkers return the favor by drinking bottoms up from the glass, in the custom known as tagay. Tagay means that you trust each other enough to drink from that single glass. Tagay means everyone is united. Tagay is synonymous with goodwill and camaraderie.
Thank you to editor Colleen Anderson and Eye to the Telescope for publishing my haiku in Eye to the Telescope Issue 29: The Dark. If you click on the link, you can scroll to the end to read it. The poem is much shorter than even this blog post.
The poem, by the way, was written during my stay at an artist residency in Cadaqués, Spain. So thank you to Catherine and Sergio for making the new poem possible!
Col. Maximiano “Max” Romualdez Janairo Jr., a man of deep faith and honor, died early Thursday, September 27, 2018, after a long illness surrounded by family at home in Mount Lebanon, Pa. He was 85 years old.
A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Janairo served in Korea and Vietnam before becoming the district engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh from 1975 to 1978, when he retired from the military. As district engineer, Janairo oversaw the U.S. Army’s response to the 1977 Johnstown Flood and took responsibility for the delayed opening of the new Brady Street Bridge, which earned him accolades in the media for being a rare, honest public servant.
Janairo was born in Manila, Philippines, to the late Amelia Romualdez Janairo and Col. Maximiano Saqui Janairo. The elder Janairo was a 1930 graduate of West Point who survived the Bataan Death March, escaped from the prisoner of war camp, and hid out with his family in the provincial village of his birth. At that time, the elder Janairo enlisted Max Jr., then 11, to take notes to friends in neighboring villages. Only after the war, did Max Jr. learn that he had been carrying hand-drawn maps of Japanese-occupied military facilities to guerrilla fighters.
I recommend reading this story, but I don’t recommend believing it.
You can tell from the headline that it will be fun, and the writer gets to play with using multiple fonts and spacing of letters. It looks like Dada poetry. Dada is often fun. The gist of it is that a scientific study says using two spaces after a period makes a text more readable than one space after a text (though some argue, and I agree, that this two-space rule is a holdover from typewriters and monotype fonts (in which each letter takes up the same width, regardless of it being an “i” or a “w”). With today’s word processors, fonts are no longer monotype (and so two spaces aren’t needed).
First thing, though, is that I was taught as a journalism student that science doesn’t “prove” things; rather, it provides evidence that support theories. So when I read this headline, I think: Bad journalism! (Knowing how hard newspaper work is these days, especially for the copy editors who write the headlines, I can be forgiving. Though it is also this kind of use of the word “prove” in a scientific setting that allows for the slippage between the common understanding of “theory” as meaning a guess and the scientific understanding of the word “theory” as meaning a hypothesis that can be tested to find evidence in support of the hypothesis.)
Then there’s the experiment itself. The sample size—60 students—is far too small for the amount of certainty the story and the headline give it. Again, this is the same kind of bad journalistic reading of science that allowed for the word “proved” to be used in the headline.
Even worse is how the students were tested using a device called the Eyelink 1000, which tracks eye movements as someone reads. As the article states:
Most notably, the test subjects read paragraphs in Courier New, a fixed-width font similar to the old typewriters, and rarely used on modern computers.
In other words, the students were tracked while reading a font for which people should use two spaces after a period, but which most people don’t use.
So which side are you on? One space or two?
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