Pompeii takeout and American assumption

Archaeologists have uncovered another fascinating glimpse into pre-eruption life in Pompeii — the recently excavated termopolium, or takeout counter. I’m agog at the brightly painted counter, still vivid after 2,000 years, and the fact that the physical design is so recognizable: we modern folks still use 

Beyoncé: Homecoming

I recently watched Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” and wow, what a cultural experience. I don’t listen to her music (only recognized two of the songs) because most of it is not my style, but I still enjoyed the heck out of this combination documentary/concert because of what 

Shopping mall established in 1461

Yesterday’s post brought up the interesting question of just how different a modern shopping mall is from a bazaar. Certainly the concept of gathering a multitude of merchants into one convenient location is almost as ancient as the concept of commercial trade, with the only 

“No shopping malls”

I was reading an article in Salon.com about a reporter visiting South Africa for the World Cup, and found this description of Soweto: Old photos of Soweto show tracts of tiny, rectangular, one-story brick dwellings with bald lawns of worn-down grass. The government built successive 

World Cup widow

I now know what it means to be a football widow. The World Cup rules our schedule. We have out of town guests (hence the short blog posts this week), and on a day we’d planned to take our guests for a hike, I was 

Tell them “only beautiful and sexy people may apply”

A Guardian article on the weekly “bikes only” day in Bogotá mentions that cyclists taking part needn’t worry about flat tires, mechanical issues, or bumps and bruises: there are hundreds of paid guardians on hand, carrying medical and tool kits. When the call first went 

US/Portugal culture: Fences and walls

A recent article in the New York Times discusses the fate of a promenade along the edge of the sea cliffs in Newport, Rhode Island. The Cliff Walk, as it’s called, is lined in places by not-very-scenic chain link fencing, in order to protect people 

Football points of view

Having watched the first few World Cup games (sorry, Aussies — that was brutal), and enjoyed the varying opinions re: American football and Rest of the World football, I think these two video clips can sum up the entire debate. Here is how Americans view 

Football…and REAL football

Every four years, Europe comes to a standstill. Not through economic crisis, or military crisis, or any kind of crisis at all — unless you want to call hundreds of millions of people glued to their televisions a crisis. It’s the World Cup, a phenomenon 

Things you can rent

I asked my wife the other day what the difference was between alugar and arrendar. I know that alugar means “to rent,” and have commonly seen aluga-se signs on buildings, but on a recent bike ride I saw a sign on a building reading arrenda-se.