Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Merriam-Webster Online

yeah, yeah, "blog" is the word of the year. who cares. the exciting thing about Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year 2004 list is that an old favorite and completely badass word broke the top ten for no apparent reason at all. That word ranked #10 this year and that word is......"defenestration." From MW:
Pronunciation: (")dE-"fe-n&-'strA-sh&n
Function: noun
Etymology: de- + Latin fenestra window
: a throwing of a person or thing out of a window

also awesome about this word is that it, like me, is somewhat czech in its origins. from britannica online's "concise encyclopaedia":

Defenestration of Prague

(May 23, 1618)

Incident of Bohemian resistance to Habsburg authority.

In 1617 Catholic officials in Bohemia closed Protestant chapels in violation of the religious-liberty guarantee of 1609. At an assembly called by the Protestants, the imperial regents were found guilty of violating the guarantee and were thrown from the windows of the council room of Prague Castle. Though the victims were not seriously hurt, the incident sparked the Bohemian revolt against Emperor Ferdinand II and led to the Thirty Years' War.

(emphasis mine).


Monday, November 29, 2004

China to Set Up Wal-Mart Union Branches

China's Communist Party-controlled union is ready to help Wal-Mart Stores Inc. set up union branches at its Chinese outlets 'as soon as possible,' reports and union officials said Thursday.

The 123 million-member All-China Federation of Trade Unions plans to push ahead with its demand that foreign enterprises such as Wal-Mart set up trade unions, its officials say.

The officials applauded an announcement Tuesday by Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart that it will allow the federation to set up branches in its stores on the mainland.

'We have not obtained any union-related statements from Wal-Mart itself. But we learned from media reports that they have changed their attitude on the issue and we welcome that decision,' said Li Jianming, division chief at the union's international liaison department in Beijing.

'After all, it is the right of the workers to establish workers' unions, and no company or employer has the right to deprive them of that,' Li said."

What gives? Wal-Mart has fought unionization in the US ferociously, but allows unionization of their Chinese stores. Are American workers less worthy of the protections unions provide? And will this announcement spur greater unionization here in the US?

Internet Archive: Wayback Machine

when you really should be doing something else, take a trip down memory lane to simpler times, when the internet was all about "under construction" signs and such, before there was CSS and RSS &c.

you could find my dumb home page from college, for example, if you knew where to look. or my proto-blogging on the KWUR hip-hop page......