Archeology and studies of seeds and pollen found in the earliest villages and cities in the dawn of the Neolithic age - perhaps even in the Mesolithic period - show that the core food staples in these communities were bread and beer. The term, "Neolithic" even denotes the age when early man began to domesticate plants and animals, perhaps around 8000 BCE in the Near East.
Sumeria built the first true cities circa 3000 BCE. The first city, Uruk, had perhaps 50,000 people, traded over a large area and its people had division of labor and skills. Sumeria also invested writing. And what is found in the writings of the common man in Sumeria ? Paeans to his beer.
The staple diet of ancient Egypt was also bread and ... beer.
Today's blog celebrates beer and as a multilingual blog, I've written THE crucial sentence that underlies all civilization in six languages.
English: I want another beer, please.
French: Je veux une autre bière, s’il vous plaît.
Italian: Voglio un’ altra birra, per favore.
Spanish*: Quisiera otra cerveza por favor.
Polish: Proszę jeszcze jedno piwo.
German: Ich möchte noch ein bier, bitte.
[* courtesy of an erudite multilingual reader and commentor as I am just now commencing Spanish studies.]
In case you are wondering, after my success and fun with French and recognizing my advanced age, I've decided to learn slowly four more languages at once: Italian, Polish, German and Spanish. With French and English, this will cover every major language and people in Europe. I realized that if I didn't start them all now, I would be 70 before I got to the last one if I just learned them sequentially, assuming about three years intensive study in each to become literate and fairly fluent in speech. I'll bang away at each and after a year, try to accelerate the learning.
This means the feature, "Le Mot du Jour", may occasionally stray to Germans, Italian, Polish or Spanish.
The recession is over.
The question is how long this bull market will last and whether a period of stagnation will occur once the economy recovers to its prior level. A period of 1970s like stagnation is quite possible due to the huge and all-encompassing new regulations and laws that Obama is proposing on health care and the environment. I expect a rapid market and economic recovery similar to the 1974-1976 period until the wall is hit. Whether inflation also occurs causing stagflation then is not determined. The more global economy and the growth in the emerging markets may affect this, too. There's no need to take a position on this now. I await further evidence and trends.
Meanwhile, Obama Fund is roaring up as is Fido Fund. I am sitting on and riding the elephant to the next water hole.
Word of the Day
"Poteen" - noun [$10]; a Mencken word
Poteen means Irish alcohol made illicitly from potatoes.
Sentence: As they drive stock prices higher, are buyers drunk on poteen after drowning their sorrows, or are they "efficiently and rationally" evaluating future prospects for corporate earnings ? I suspect neither. Less fear simply means the far negative end of the distribution of investor expectaions is being chopped off, forcing the central mean is up in price.
Le Mot du Jour
"Grippe" - noun, feminine: La grippe.
Grippe means flu. There's a line in that great movie (one of my favorites), "Guys and Dolls" where a "doll" is reading about health diagnoses and says "la grippe", meaning the flu. I never understood that line until I learned some French.
La Phrase: Cette panique de la grippe porscine sera une pagaïe.
Sentence: This panic about swine flu will be a mess.