Goats and Doors (originally posted on uCoz)

Today's issue of Parade has a 30th anniversary Marilyn vos Savant article that among other things revisits the Monty Hall problem (also known as two goats, three doors) that caused an alarming amount of controversy, including furor from a lot of from people who really ought to have known better. "Of the letters from the general public, 92% are against my answer, and and of the letters from universities, 65% are against my answer", she wrote in a follow-up, and many of these letters were condescending if not outright rude and insulting. (link)

For anyone unfamiliar with it, here's the basic premise of the problem:


Bathroom Hypotheticals (originally posted on uCoz)

I don't generally like to comment on politics, but this is more a social issue than a political one, so I consider it fair game. Anyone who's only here for the translations might still want to skip this one, though.

"I don't have anything against the transgenders, it's about the perverts and predators who could abuse this," or so I often hear. If that's true, it seems odd that all these proposed "bathroom bills" go by biological sex or birth certificates or male and female deoxyribonucleic acid, and don't so much as bring up predatory behavior. Similarly, the policies many of these people are objecting to apply specifically to transgender people and not to anyone else, much less to people trying to commit crimes.


Are people still insisting that passive voice is to be avoided? (originally posted on uCoz)

Part of the problem, if my school experience gives any indication, stems from confusion about what, exactly, passive voice is. Many of my teachers told us to avoid any form of the verb "be", and some even had us memorize a list of its various forms—I can still rattle off "am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been" without even thinking about it—as part of the effort to avoid it. At least one took it a step further and gave instructions to avoid words like "exist" and "become" as well! Even at best, though, looking for "be"s at most serves only as an aid to finding passive voice, not the definitive identification it was sometimes treated as. Not until taking college courses on the Japanese language (which has a verb ending specifically for passive form that gets regular use) did I correctly understand the concept of passive voice.


Toilets Still a Battleground Somehow (originally posted on uCoz)

It all started when a friend on Facebook shared an image macro with some unsettling implications. Well, no, it all started long before that, but the image is what eventually led directly to this blog post. "I don't care what your son 'identifies as'," it said, "he doesn't belong in the bathroom with my daughter." On first glance, to the average person, it may seem innocuous enough. Wanting to keep your daughter safe? That much is understandable... even admirable. However... the post rubbed me the wrong way as soon as I saw it, though it took longer to articulate exactly why.

What's the Big Deal?

Let's consider what kinds of messages that statement sends.


Some Japanese Vocabulary Relevant to Video Games (originally posted on uCoz)

It feels like I'm past due to make some sort of update, and I've been putting this list together on and off for a while, so here it is.

Miscellaneous Vocabulary Related to Video Games