The European Rules of Social Kissing

Two years ago, I moved to Portugal. I moved from a culture where kissing and hugging as a greeting was reserved for family and close friends to one where kissing and hugging are a far more widespread form of greeting. This is further complicated by the fact that my partner is French and that our social circle includes family – English, Portuguese and French, friends – English, Portuguese, French, Danish, German and Dutch and business colleagues and acquaintances which include all of the above plus Spanish and Italians as well. They all have different rules for social greetings!

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Gregor Hilden Plays the YouTube Blues

Gregor Hilden is one of those Bluesman who — once you hear a single chord he plays — forever owns your sense of what’s good and your definition of what makes The Blues intrinsically real and beautifully human.  I’ve never met Greg proper, but I feel as if I’ve known him forever — merely because I drink in his daily GregsGuitars videos on YouTube.  Four days ago, I couldn’t bear my secret delight in his talent any longer, and I posted my very first comment on a video in my long history of using YouTube:

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Helen Thomas is Betrayed by her Bigotry

89-year old Helen Thomas put her silver pen in her mouth and choked her career to death by claiming, on camera, that the Jews should get out of Palestine and go back to Poland and Germany.

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Thirty Ways to Die

Here is some great semiotic teaching from Germany in 1931 in the form of 30 illustrations explaining — in a book called “Elektroschutz in 132 Bildern” — how NOT to electrocute yourself.  In this image, baby found a new nipple!

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