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Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

Fictional Interview with the Giant Duck in Pittsburgh

What’s up duck?

The 40 foot tall colossal rubber duck currently floating in the rivers of Pittsburgh has taken the city and even the country by storm. After all, it’s the first time this art price has been in the United States. So, I got to thinking. Maybe it would be fun if someone could get the duck’s perspective on the whole experience. That being the case, I decided to use my own personal journalistic background along with my artsy side to create the first ever fictional interview with the world’s largest duck.

Duck!

Photo by Heather McClain

Me: Hello Ducky, thanks for agreeing to do this interview.

Ducky: My pleasure.

Me:  What do you think about our city of Pittsburgh?

Ducky: I love it here, this place is quacktastic.

Me:  How about the reaction you’ve gotten from the locals?

Ducky: It quacks me up to see how much buzz there is about me.

Me: Did you know anything about Pittsburgh before making your way here?

Duck: I did some research and learned a lot from WQED and Rick Sebak duck-umentaries.

Me:  Have you seen the local news coverage?

Ducky: A little but I mostly tune in for the feather forecast.

Me: Have you taken in any of the local culture?

Ducky: Sure, there’s a lot of fun stuff to do here. And the food is great! Of course, I’m still partial to simple old cheese and quackers.

Me: Thanks for your time and have a wonderful rest of your visit here in the steel city.

Ducky: Quack to ya later.

Harlem Shakes from around the globe

If you haven’t heard of the Harlem Shake, you soon will. It’s a craze that’s taking over the Internet as the latest viral dance sensation. For a lighter hearted post, I decided to include some samples below for you enternatinment.

Disclaimer – Not all videos may be suitable for younger viewers.

Are zombies the new vampires in art, fiction and everyday life?

Guest Post By Courtney Cummings

Vampires have been the recent craze of this generation.  Everywhere you look, you get a good taste of an overly romanticized monster that looks like he’s drinking more muscle milk than blood.  Young tweens have been caught in this trance through Hollywood’s dramas such as Twilight, Vampire Diaries and True Blood.  The list goes on, but I sure hope that this fascination wears off before the Zombies get too irritated.

Though our society tends to be filled with an endless amount of lifeless bloodsuckers, the majority of people everywhere act more like zombies.  Firstly, when walking around you don’t usually see people with super speed or strength gliding through the air – even if they have had their morning coffee.  When Monday morning rolls around, the zombie in everyone is extremely apparent. You pull yourself out of bed and mindlessly walk from one place to the next only to stop for food, the basic necessity.  You cannot really speak to others like a functioning human.  You have no intention to attack others, but you could really care less about recognizing their existence.

vampire photo

Ever noticed how every zombie looks pretty similar?  Every classic film or publication features a lifeless individual with sunken eyes, a glazed over demeanor, the same clothes and an aggravated look on their face.  Sounds like corporate America to me.  Everyone has the same baggy suit that was handed down from their father.  They go to work in identical cubes with an undeserving salary.  Their only desire is self-survival.  I don’t see vampires going to work or even doing anything besides hunting pray that doesn’t stand a chance.  At least when zombies attack they move slowly.

Vampires also do not sleep or eat.  They defy all odds but can’t even step into the daylight.  Well for some of us, waking up before 1pm is difficult – but not impossible.  Americans, especially, have an obsession with food and sleep that cannot be denied.  You are diagnosed as mentally ill if you fail to do either of those functions properly.  Hello folks, we are not vampires.  Zombies too have this uncanny ability to navigate through life with only one care in the world, eating.  Most humans are terrorized by blood; some even pass out at the mere sight.

zombie

Don’t even get me started on the musical tastes of today’s youth.  Vampires are often portrayed as these classical characters that have refined their artistic palette throughout the infinite years of their existence.  Zombies, like humans, aren’t that cultured.  Many people are completely oblivious to the fine arts that are in the present, past and future as well.  Even look at the music kids are listening to these days.  They blast dubstep and electronic music that can only be danceable if you do “the zombie”.  Flailing your arms and bobbing your head have become extremely popular when hitting the dance floor.

So get over your crush on Edward Cullen and focus on reality.  The zombie apocalypse is on its way, and you should recognize your roots before it’s too late.  You wouldn’t want them to show up and see you fanaticizing about being bit on the neck by their enemy.  Jump on this band wagon before they are headed for you.  They could be closer than you think.

Watch your mouth! – Accounting for cultural differences in word meanings

Native and non-Native English speakers

It has been said that English (which is my first and in all honesty except for a few courses years ago my only language) is among the most difficult to learn for non-native speakers. But there is more to it that just that. Even for native speakers, depending upon your culture and where you live, the same word or phrase can have quite a different meaning.

For example…

“Rubber” 

The basic definition refers to a highly elastic solid substance. However, when cultural slang comes into play, the meanings are quite different. In the United States, a “rubber” is a nickname for a condom. But, you walk into a pharmacy to purchase a rubber in England, you might just be out of luck. You’d be better off going to an office supply store as that a common meaning in the United Kingdom is simply an eraser.

“Player”

While like the aforementioned example, this word has a basic core meaning but when cultural influences come into play things change dramatically. I once had a co-worker from India. In a conversation about sports, she commented that she had been a player in her school days. While she meant that she had been an athlete, the rest of those involved in the chat snickered a little before mentioning the American meaning – a person (usually male) who is a master manipulator when it comes to sexually seducing others.

Quite simply, when either writing or speaking, the same word in the same language can hold an entirely strange connotation for one man in say America and another in Europe or Asia. So watch your mouth, before you speak.

 

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