Charitable Missions

Metafilter has an interesting thread today about plans by the Southern Baptists to send missionaries to Iraq after the war: “Two leading evangelical Christian missionary organizations said Tuesday that they have teams of workers poised to enter Iraq to address the physical and spiritual needs of a large Muslim population.” I think the interesting question […]

Malay Contributions to English, pt 2

With the war in mind, here is the next installment: Amok, usually seen as “run amok”. It tends to be used in English to mean out of control, but the dictionary meaning is the same in English as it is in Malay: In a frenzy to kill; in a violent rage; bloodlust; berserk Let’s use […]

Clash of Little Plastic Army Men

If I’m going to buy my child war toys, I can’t really get hung up on the real-world parallels. Either it’s make-believe or it isn’t, right? Still, I swallowed hard when I looked at the sticker set for these green and gray soldiers. I wonder when it was exactly that little plastic army men went […]

Old Sister Bird

The Malaysian language, Bahasa Malaysia, has contributed a small but interesting number of words to English. I’d like to start an occasional series on them, starting with the Cockatoo. Now, many of you may first think of an irritating pop band, but that’d be the Cocteau Twins. The Cockatoo is a parrot-like bird found here […]

Sultans of the South China Sea

Anak_Alam has been busy, quietly posting some excellent articles to his site. He has a summary history of the spread of Islam through the Malay Archipelago that is a fascinating read. He also casually dropped an essay and a half on the Sultanates of the region in my comments section, which really ought to be […]