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eat the cup, part 6

sometimes, i guess it is all in a name.

the country name "ghana" is a reference to the african empire of the same name (ironically, not located in present-day ghana). the people of that country were known as the wagadu, and their term "ghana" means "warrior king". a nice description for their football team today, as it turns out.

i probably know less about ghana than about any other nation currently playing at the world cup. as i like to consider myself a reasonably well informed individual, this bothers me to no end. for instance, i did not know that ghana was the first african colony to gain independence. nor did i realise that their food was so comforting and yummy. tonight, i am enjoying a wonderful, hearty, peanut stew (i actually ended up find a few recipes and mixing elements from all of them. what's the fun in experimenting with food if you can't, well, experiment?)

and although i was able to surmise that soccer was a big deal in the home country, i was completely surprised at the number of ghana supporters there are around toronto. (i should add that this is easy to spot because in toronto, a city where a car is almost a requirement for basic life, everyone displays their colours on their automobiles. flags in windows, flags on hoods, windsocks, your friends waving large flags out the window, your kids dangling out the window with banners...) although portugal, italy and brazil basically have a lock on the flag sweepstakes, there isn't a day that goes past where i don't see at least four or five ghanaian flags.

a few days ago, i saw a cab driver with the small flags in the window, the big one on the hood, the wind sock and, for good measure, the team jersey (on him, not on the car). somewhere in toronto is the happiest cab driver in the world.

that's the good news.

the bad news is that because italy also won their game, ghana's second round match will be the one that nobody wants. a great accomplishment, guys, but ladle yourself up some home cooking, because you're going to need all your strength.


as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…