Sunday, August 26, 2012

iPod and iPad in Spanish

WARNING: International Phonetic Alphabet ahead. I try to make it easy for people who don't know IPA, which is most of you, and people who don't see the symbols. IPA makes this kind of discussion way easier.

There are only two things I wanted to find online that I couldn't: 1. Train schedules for the railroads in my town and 2. How Spanish speakers pronounce "iPad" and "iPod". I did a bunch of searches for the second thing and couldn't find anything.

Apple's iPad has the worst product name ever. It sounds like "iPod" with an annoying accent. In fact, most languages don't distinguish the vowel /æ/ in "iPad" from the vowel /ɑ/ in "iPod". Most of them merge them together into /a/, which sounds similar to /ɑ/. So I asked my Facebook friends. They said it's "like in English". This doesn't help me. The English pronunciations are /aipæd/ and /aipɑd/, and Spanish would merge them both into /aipad/. Spanish spelling suggests /ipað/ "ee-pahth" and /ipoð/ "ee-pohth".

I found a page about how Japanese speakers say iPad and iPod. They say /aipad/ for "iPad", which sounds more like "iPod" to me, and /aipod/ or /aipoud/ for "iPod", which sounds like "eye-pode". This is interesting because Japanese doesn't allow "d" at the end of a syllable. Japanese syllables only end with a vowel or "n".

So I asked two actual Spanish speakers in person. They both told me they pronounce it "like in English", /aipad/ and /aipad/. One may have been /aipɑd/, but I definitely did not hear /aipæd/ or even /aipɛd/ or /aiped/. So they basically say them the same.

The final lesson: Apple doesn't respect people who don't speak English. Gives me less reason to respect Apple.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I enabled comments on new posts now. I have to enable them on the old posts by hand. There's still some I don't want comments on, but I decided there's no point in not having comments when half of my posts start discussions with my friends anyway. I am a sellout.

Another long rant on politics, religion, personality, and forgiveness

I told some of my friends a few days ago that I feel like I get more conservative every day. It's not based on the beliefs, it's based on the lifestyles and the arguments. I explained that I understand conservatives even when I disagree with them, but I don't understand liberals when I disagree with them. So I have more sympathy for conservatives who say stupid stuff than for liberals who say stupid stuff. My conservative and libertarian friends were happy and my liberal friends were not. One of my liberal friends, who I respect a lot, accused me of confirmation bias. Which is probably true. Everyone's more likely to believe something they already agree with. I also said I like to fit in with people who are like me. Most people are like this. No matter how good liberal arguments are, they won't win me over because I like small towns and I don't drink. Stereotypical, but more true than it should be. And as I've said before, religious liberals have more in common with secular liberals than they do with religious conservatives. I may have liberal opinions on some things, but I have a conservative brain. So conservative arguments make more sense.

My Christian faith makes me more moderate or liberal than I would be otherwise. A lot of my liberal opinions go against what logic tells me. For me, logic supports conservatives more often than not. When I was in college I was both a hardcore Christian and a hardcore liberal, and I was every bit as obnoxious as the Religious Right. I disagreed with the left on a few things but I liked the way they talked. As I explained in a ha-ha-only-serious post on religion and politics last year, liberal arguments are similar to religious arguments. And both groups can slip into self righteousness real easily.

It really bugs me when some secular people, usually secular liberals, try to claim Jesus agreed with them. It bugs me when people claim Jesus was a socialist, a capitalist, a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian, a monarchist, etc. I also don't know why someone who rejects Jesus's supernatural claims would follow Jesus's morals. They're not practical at all. There are other moral teachers. It's a lousy attempt to try and win over Christians. I respect other religions and philosophies too much to cozy up to their followers. Too bad not everyone's that way.

For example, I don't understand why so many secular people are so pro-forgiveness. If I left Christianity that's the first thing I'd throw out. I honestly don't understand forgiveness. I never have. I think it perpetrates evil. It prevents evil from being punished. It keeps the forgivers subordinate to the forgiven. I guess I should be glad most people aren't as vindictive as me, but I don't understand it. Non-Christians usually tell me I'm a horrible person. Christians either do the same or admit they have no answer to my questions. I want to be more forgiving, but forgiveness makes no sense!

But once again I have a conservative brain. There's a lot of liberal arguments against Christianity, but very few conservative arguments, and the conservative arguments are the only ones that make sense to me. They reflect the way I see the world, which makes sense to me. And in the US nearly all conservatives are Christian. Whether they follow Christian morals or not is another matter, but they call themselves Christians, so they claim Christian teachings and morals as their own.

There's a book I want to read called The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics And Religion by Jonathan Haidt. I've read the first few chapters and I like it so far. It covers a lot of the same ground as some of my blog posts, only more positive and from a very different perspective. Haidt is a psychologist. He's also a former liberal turned moderate by his research into morality. Maybe he can help me make sense out of the world. The world looks absurd to me. My own half-baked theories make more sense than most of what I see out there. And when things seem to make sense, they always exclude me and say I can't exist.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Christian music industry is dead

The Christian music industry is dead.‭ ‬Cornerstone Festival announced this is its last year.‭ (link) When I was younger I wanted to go to Cornerstone. I never did and I have no desire to go now, but I'm still sad to see it go.

I grew up in the‭ ‬90s in the evangelical Christian sub-culture.‭ ‬Back then,‭ ‬a lot of Christians wouldn't listen to secular music,‭ ‬but they listened to Christian music.‭ ‬The Christian music industry thrived thanks to this.‭ ‬There were lots of charts listing Christian bands as‭ “‬Christian alternatives‭” ‬to secular bands.‭ ‬The bands themselves hated this,‭ ‬except for the few who saw themselves as the‭ “‬safe‭” ‬versions of secular musicians.‭ ‬The charts were pretty far off base too.

As a result, Christian artists gained a reputation as cheap knockoffs of secular artists. Sometimes this was true, but it often wasn't. There were a lot of bad bands from my childhood, but there were some good ones too. I still listen to some of them. And it ruined my musical taste forever.

Why did this happen‭? ‬In the late‭ ‬80s,‭ ‬popular music was very dirty.‭ ‬Your average rock album from‭ ‬1989‭ ‬is way dirtier than your average rock album from‭ ‬1969‭ ‬or‭ ‬2009.‭ ‬This was the era of the Parents Music Research Council,‭ ‬the Parental Advisory sticker,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬Parents want to protect their children.‭ ‬So we got an entire music industry designed as an alternative to one that some people think went off the deep end.

The Christian music industry did convert a lot of the more fundamentalist Christians who believed all popular music was evil.‭ ‬They had music with evil drum beats and guitars,‭ ‬but they're singing about Jesus‭! ‬Nice things too.‭ ‬What do they do now‭? ‬Some people bashed the Christian bands,‭ ‬but I think it made a lot of them more tolerant.

What killed it‭? ‬One thing was commercial acceptance of Christian bands in the mainstream market.‭ ‬A few had big hits before,‭ ‬but not like the breakthru in the mid-00s.‭ ‬Another was that mainstream rock music got a lot less dirty after Marilyn Manson took shock rock as far as the mainstream would let him.‭ ‬By the way,‭ ‬Marilyn Manson was a marketing genius.‭ ‬All the parents complained about him,‭ ‬so he was one of the few secular artists I knew of when I was a kid.‭ ‬All the church kids knew:‭ ‬If you want to rebel,‭ ‬listen to Marilyn Manson.‭ ‬Back to the main topic...

Also,‭ ‬Christian music stopped being‭ “‬safe‭” ‬sometime in the past few years.‭ ‬Musicians start ed swearing and singing about controversial topics,‭ ‬e.‭ ‬g.‭ ‬Derek Webb.‭ ‬Christian music wasn't all G-rated any more.‭ ‬It wasn't all Focus on the Family approved any more.‭ You couldn't be sure you'd agree with everything the music said.

Christian musicians will survive.‭ ‬We'll have new Christian musicians in all styles,‭ ‬but they won't be part of a separate market.‭ ‬I hope some of them better ones,‭ ‬such as House of Heroes,‭ get the attention they deserve. I'll miss having Cornerstone around, but there's no need for a separate music market any more.

What I want to know is why almost all‭ “‬heavy‭” ‬Christian bands do hardcore or metalcore.‭ ‬There are so many styles of heavy music but Christian bands always go for‭ ‬-core music.‭ ‬Maybe they want to fight the image that Christian music is always mellow and pretty,‭ ‬so they scream over everything.‭ ‬Maybe there's less bias against Christianity in the‭ ‬-core world than in power metal or thrash metal.‭ ‬Maybe none of them can play guitar solos.‭ ‬Maybe it's like how third wave ska was huge in the Christian world for way longer than the secular world.‭ ‬The Christian music industry was usually a few years behind the secular music industry,‭ ‬but they were right on the ball with ska.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The World's Most Hated Bands

I read the article A Night With the World's Most Hated Bands by Chuck Klosterman. Pretty good article. A little snobby, but he does well considering he's a rock critic.

Klosterman says there's five bands it's "okay" to hate for no reason: Bush, Hootie and the Blowfish, Limp Bizkit, Creed, and Nickelback. He saw the last two of them play live the same night and dissected the reasons people hate them. He boils down the Creed hate to people thinking they were Pearl Jam ripoffs. He says Nickelback's hate is just because; there's no reason.

My take on the Nickelback hate: They're the most popular of a lot of similar bands. A lot of these bands are worse than Nickelback. Hinder, for one. Also Puddle of Mudd. Some of these bands are better - such as Shinedown. When people say they hate Nickelback, they mean "I hate post-grunge music". I don't like Nickelback, and I don't even care for Shinedown apart from a few songs. But I like Foo Fighters and Switchfoot. Before I got into Muse I thought they were another post-grunge band and now they're one of my favorites. I can't dismiss the whole genre.

I don't like Nickelback, but some of my friends do. I also don't like the Velvet Underground or the Pixies and some of my friends do. I'll leave any room where the Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" is playing, but some of my friends like it. I don't know why, because it sucks and I hate it. But people have different tastes. I won't judge somebody based on that.

I also like a lot of music the critics hate. I like a lot of prog rock, which many music nuts dismiss with the wave of a hand. However, prog rock gets a lot more respect than Nickelback or Creed on sites like Rate Your Music.