May 09, 2010

comfort at leash's end

WASHINGTON — Just weeks after Chris Goehner, 25, an Iraq war veteran, got a dog, he was able to cut in half the dose of anxiety and sleep medications he took for post-traumatic stress disorder. The night terrors and suicidal thoughts that kept him awake for days on end ceased.

Aaron Ellis, 29, another Iraq veteran with the stress disorder, scrapped his medications entirely soon after getting a dog — and set foot in a grocery store for the first time in three years.

The dogs to whom they credit their improved health are not just pets. Rather, they are psychiatric service dogs specially trained to help traumatized veterans leave the battlefield behind as they reintegrate into society.

And the best thing? Some of these dogs are trained through the "Puppies behind Bars" program, which lets prisoners raise and train service dogs. Everybody wins.

May 07, 2010

revisiting selective aphasia on LOST

Recently, I discussed Sun Kwon's selective aphasia on LOST. It was caused by an encounter with Fake Locke, and it disappeared when she was reunited with her husband Jin. So far, so good. I remarked, though, that it seemed rather awkward that everybody's favorite Korean couple should be talking to each other in English at such an emotional point. One week later, let me put my doubts into perspective: If you talk to each other in your second language, while you're dying, it's not completely unreasoable that you talk to each other in your second language while you're experiencing a great moment of joy. (Which is to say, both scenes didn't make sense, just as the whole selective aphasia theme didn't make sense.)

R.I.P., Mr. and Ms. Kwon. And you too, Mr. Not-a-zombie-after-all, Sayid Jarrah.

May 06, 2010

chinglish: everybody likes a little language mish-mash

You may have seen this already.
For the last two years, the Shanghai Commission for the Management of Language Use has been trying to clean up English-language signs and menus to rid them of their malapropisms, like these examples. Fortified by an army of 600 volunteers and a politburo of adroit English speakers, the commission has fixed more than 10,000 public signs ... rewritten English-language historical placards and helped hundreds of restaurants recast offerings.
Commission for the Management of Language Use?

May 01, 2010

a day at the race

It was a beautiful day for a race around the lake today. Dogs were not allowed on the course, but they patiently waited for their owners to return and stood in line with them for snacks and goodies. Enjoy!

Or begged for treats.

This little guy was a main attraction for children.