You speak Yiddish, you just don’t know it.


So after work I headed to the library to study, but decided to distract myself with a book before diving into my studies. Oy, was I distracted.


I ran into a book called Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of its Moods, by Michael Wex. I learned about the biblical origins of kvetching, the Talmud, and why I’m a shmuk for not having already added Yiddish to my list of languages. 


In Yiddish, kvetch means to complain, and the Israelites kvetched quite a bit. They kvetched about being led to the Red Sea, about being sent manna, and about their leaders.


Wex explains the importance of kvetching, which is a way to remember the uniqueness of the Jewish culture. “If we stop kvetching, how will we know that life isn’t supposed to be like this? If we don’t keep kvetching we’ll forget who we really are. Kvetching lets us remember that we’ve got nowhere to go because we’re so special. Kvetching lets us know that we’re in exile, that the Jew, and hence the ‘Jewish’, is out of place everywhere, all the time” (6).


The Talmud is composed of the Mishna, and the Gemara(or Talmud). The Mishna consists of “a direct investigation of the text of the bible and is divided into sixty-three different tractates…” (10) The Gemara is a discussion of the intricacies of halokhe, or Jewish law, without ever settling on the correct answer. Perhaps the study of the Talmud has enabled the Jewish culture to produce such excellent lawyers.


Shmuk is a word I often heard growing up amongst my teenage friends. It basically means “jerk” in Yiddish, but it’s a lot stronger in Yiddish than in English.


I’m just verklempft that you took the time to read this post.

Mortgage Rap



Never TILA lie, but tell the cost of credit,

APR and finance charge, so your clients get it.

Make sure you disclose, before you grow your nose, the following list and how it goes.


TIL statement and a guide

A charming booklet that adjusts just fine

A prepayment disclosure for them peeps

and notice of their right to rescind

HELIicopters(HELOCS) line up at your home

with a chance of ARM balloons if that’s your type of loan.


Reg Z gives some  time guidelines

For the TIL Statement the lender provides.

After the app arrives, we have 3 days,

At the latest 7 days before closing day.


What defines an app, for TI LA,

6 bits of info, think about it, duh

3 from the borrower, and 3 from the property

name, social, income for the first,

Next comes value, address, loan amount.


After they close, and everything is rosy

The client still has 3 days to rescind.

Every business day, and time runs away, every day counts, except sundays, holidays.

But failure to notify, or understated buy, gives the buyer 3 more years to decide.


Advertising sucks, with all these guidelines,

And the feds get along with Steve Lines

Number means trigger, so watch what you say, better tell the APR or bye to Fannie Mae.

Terms to fit your budget, 12% APR, both are acceptable things to say.


And so ends my rap, of TILA, it’s better than vanilla, and you’ll close your Deala.



Is Hearing Loss Permanent? Not anymore.

by Ryan Hartwig


Hearing Loss

When you lose your hearing it is because your hair cells die within the inner ear. Unfortunately, these hair cells don’t regrow.


To remedy the effects of hearing loss, you buy hearing aids or cochlear implants.


However, hearing aids and cochlear implants basically increase the amplification inside the inner ear, without trying to replace the lost hair cells.


Gene Therapy and Stem Cell Injection

New research is exploring the possibility of regrowing your hair cells through gene therapy and stem cell injection.


A stem cell is a cell from one part of your body that can transform into another cell, with a different purpose. Neural stem cells are especially good at replacing lost hair cells.


A gene called atoh1 is necessary for hair cell formation. By inserting this gene into deaf guinea pigs, the amount of hair cells increased.


Disadvantages of Hearing Aids  & Cochlear Implants

Current hearing devices increase volume, but they don’t necessarily increase speech discrimination. Although a hearing impaired individual may hear you, he may not understand you.


Speech intelligibility is the main drawback for current auditory therapies.


Through the use of biotechnologies such as gene therapy and stem cell injection, speech intelligibility may become a problem of the past.


Song without words (Felix Mendelssohn)

Have you ever wanted to hear a song, but not listen to the words? Perhaps someday we’ll have a car radio that not only has a volume control, but also an intelligibility control, for those sublime moments when we don’t really want to hear the lyrics.



This post was based on an article from the The ASHA Leader newsletter, titled “From High-Tech to Biotech: Using Stem Cell and Gene Therapy to Treat Hearing Loss”, by Mark A. Parker, June 7, 2011.

See the article here



Figure 4. Gene therapy causes supporting cells to adopt hair cell characteristics. Gene therapy

involves inserting a given gene into a virus that will then insert the gene into each cell with which it comes in contact. Engineered adenovirus particles that carried the atoh1 gene were injected into the cochleae of chemically deafened adult guinea pigs. Guinea pigs injected with the atoh1 gene had better ABR threshold and exhibited more hair cells than controls injected with virus particles lacking the atoh1 gene. Arrowheads in the far right panel highlight extra sterocilia bundles. Asterisk marks the site of injection into the scala media. Adapted from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Nature Medicine (Izumikawa et al., 2005), © 2005.






Foes and Similitude Lyrics & Music

Foes      Foes



Sin, my worst enemy before,

Shall vex my eyes and ears no more

My inward foes shall all be slain

Nor Satan break my peace again


Let us remember him and lay aside our sins,

No drooping hands, for we are led by him.



Hymn #147

2 Nephi 10:20



In Similitude       In similitude


Who art thou, I am a son of God

Darkness I see, I discern between God and thee.

In the similitude of Jesus,

his countenance I see


I never cease to pray, all throughout the day.


What marvelous light fills my soul,

and sweet joy do I declare.


My soul did long to be there,

their love remember still.



Chorus or sung simultaneously


Look unto my God, look unto my God.(repeated twice)


I’ll praise him all, all the day long(repeated twice)




Moses 1:13

Alma 36:20

1 Nephi 18:16

Alma 58:12


La Michoacana, Ice Cream Translation

(Yes, Michoacana, you’re natural, but translating to English doesn’t come naturally)

P.O. Box 1335

Ceres, CA 95307



To Whom It May Concern:


I recently purchased a Michoacana ice cream bar, and upon reading the label, was surprised to find such a poor translation into English.


I decided to offer La Michoacana a pro bono translation of the label, in order to increase the marketability and professional image of your company.


The product was a premium ice cream bar of 4 fl oz, and happened to be strawberry flavored.


I will include the original text of your label, along with suggestions, and then I will include a translated version for your benefit.


The authenticity in which we produce our products with natural fruits has always been a tradition that La Michoacana has kept since it’s origen.


We envite you to discover and enjoy our line of ice cream, bolis, paletas.


The Flavor of La Michoacana is The Flavor of Mexico!


1) Information Flow

The flow of information differs greatly between English and Spanish. In Spanish, writing tends to be deductive, meaning that the details are explained first, which then explain the big picture. This is similar to the methods of Sherlock Holmes, who gathered together clues, which led him to the big picture. However, in English, we like to know the big picture first, and then hear about the details. In summary, English writing tends to explain things from macro to micro, whereas, Spanish writing tends to go from micro to macro.


Example: the main idea in your paragraph is to assert the Michoacana tradition of using real fruit.  The tradition is the main idea. In the Spanish paragraph, there is  a long sentence leading up to the mention of “tradition”. “La autenticidad en la elaboración de nuestros productos, hechos con frutos naturales, es la tradición  que La Michoacana…”


Your translation mirrors this deductive method, which makes for an awkward sounding English translation. For an accurate translation, some rearrangement of the paragraph is necessary.


2) Dynamic Equivalence

a) “frutas naturales” – the bilingual dictionary says that natural means natural in Spanish, and frutas means fruit. However, the dynamic equivalence of the word “natural” in English is very different than its Spanish counterpart. In order to have the same effect in English, the use of the word “real” should be used to describe the fruit.

“real fruit”


b) “Origen” – English has other words that carry the same meaning as the word “origin”.  Origin may work in other circumstances, but is better adapted for scientific or informational purposes.

“Since we opened doors”, “From our small beginning in 1952”



Final Translation



From the very beginning, we have crafted our authentic Mexican helados with real fruit, a long-lasting tradition that continues to this day.


We invite you to savor and enjoy our wide variety of ice cream bars and frozen treats.


The Flavor of La Michoacana is the Flavor of Mèxico!








Ryan Hartwig


MultiConsult LLC

Mesa, Arizona


Book Review: The Last Battle

The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis. The seventh book in The Chronicles of Narnia.

King Tirian faces an unexpected enemy during his peaceful reign of the Kingdom of Narnia, however he must be courageous in the last season of Narnian history.

A stable door, a clever ape, and two children bring about an unexpected closure to an epic battle, a glorious past, and an enchanted kingdom. 


“Further up and further in”

Book Review: The Fly on the Wall

The Fly on the Wall, written by Tony Hillerman.

The beginning of this mystery thriller was slow, but it soon became riveting and suspenseful, with chase scenes, murder plots, and good old fashioned politics.

John Cotton slowly unravels the truth behind a commercial conspiracy to steal millions of dollars, and soon becomes the target of an unknown entity whose politics and pilfering he must publicize.


“Cotton watched, fascinated. He felt no panic now. Instead, for the first time in his life, he knew the complete measure of fear.” (173)

” ‘…would you publish that story knowing what I’ve told you?’ ‘I don’t know ,’ Cotton said. ‘Not for sure. I’d have to think about it. But I guess I would. Who am I to be judge and jury? I don’t think I’d have the right not to print it.’ ” (325)


Book Review: The Magic of Getting What You Want

A family member recently provided me with some excerpts from a book titled “The Magic of Getting What You Want”, by David J. Schwartz

I would like to share some of the most salient points:


  • Parents should take responsibility for the actions of their children, instead of blaming outside influences.
  • Speak positively of those in your company, and build up those around you with praise.
  • The media celebrates negativity, and promotes more negative behavior.
  • “Bad news really does make more bad news” (104)
  • Terrorists take advantage of free publicity, thanks to press coverage of these tragic events.
  • Ask for help,  and find a mentor who is successful. Asking for help is the greatest praise you can give a mentor.
  • The best advice is advice you request, rather than advice you’re given.
  • Ask, don’t beg.

Marked Collocations

So when you combine two words that usually don’t go together, it’s called a marked collocation.

For example, if I say “peace broke out”, it would catch my attention, because the more common phrase is “war broke out”.

Mona Baker, in her book In Other Words, explains marked collocations and collocational meaning. I found a summary online, and you can find it here.


In the meantime, I’m will ink more of my blog while eating organic mango lemonade.