Armen Chakmakjian

Archive for September, 2013|Monthly archive page

Lord Byron’s Armenian exercises and poetry (1886)

In Random on September 30, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Thought this was interesting


The famous English poet and a leading figure in the Romantic movement Lord Byron, was a great admirer of Armenian culture. He learned the Armenian language in Venice from the Mechitarist Order, wrote substantially about the Armenian language and history, contributing to it’s improvement and translated ancient Armenian text into English. I stumbled upon this wonderful book of his Armenian exercises and poetry. The work is written in English as well as Armenian. A very interesting read containing many elements of Armenian culture and history, translated into English by one of the histories greatest poets.

The following is a small part from this work. Unfortunately Wordpress doesn’t allow embedding readers, but if you follow THIS  link you can read the original work in its entirety.

FROM THE LETTERS 2 January 1817

“On my arrival at Venice in the year 1816, I found my mind in a state which required study, and study of a nature which should leave little scope for…

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Good days with my 5s

In Random on September 26, 2013 at 6:56 pm

I really enjoy my iPhone 5s. Things just work. I had updated my iPhone 4 to iOS 7 earlier in the summer, and lived through the beta updates until the last update. It had improved a lot during those two months.

The Slo-mo and zoom in the video cam are great updates. The finger scan works flawlessly.

However, it is the overall speed of the phone that is impressive. Stuff just happens immediately when you invoke it.

Many of the 3rd party apps are updated by now including the WordPress app I’m using to compose this. I’m less happy with the Facebook app since it seems like the main difference is that the buttons are on the bottom. Snore. The Evernote app really takes advantage of the new ux paradigm in iOS 7 and is quite elegant.

Really, it just feels nice. It is paper light. I got the red leather cover with the gray (black) phone. The black on red is quite visually stunning.

Anyway just thought I’d update folks.

IMG_0316 IMG_0314

More bush than bush…

In Random on September 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm

One of the accusations against President Obama was that after he came into office in 2009, on the heels of promising all kinds of change from Bush administration policies, was that we actually got more of the same. Guantanamo didn’t close, a surge was needed in Afghanistan, bad relations with iran, china and russia et cetera. We did draw down in Iraq, so +1 there, sorta.

All of that was what he inherited. Egypt, Libya and Syria he did NOT inherit. These situations were the result of “popular” uprisings et cetera and what a mess we have now. I’m not particularly sanguine that we’ll accomplish anything if we bomb syria, any more than banging on a tree stump that has a beehive inside. you might get away without being stung back, partly because bees are mostly blind and stupid.

I’m also really concerned when we can satirize our current president by using infamous statements by the last executive that were used to flog him at that time. Case in point. Bush called it a “coalition of the willing”, which he and PM Blair got lambasted for. Now they turn that into a joke about this event, “Coalition of the unwilling” Euf.

This all stems from the fact that President Obama is quite good at the prepared speech, but pretty awful at off the cuff remarks. We can make all kinds of fun of the previous occupant of the seat, but his verbal blunders never amounted to “After the election I’ll have more leverage” nor “a Red Line” that he had to take back.

Here’s the best one:

(From today’s reuters news)

“I put it before Congress because I could not honestly claim that the threat posed by Assad’s use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians and women and children posed an imminent, direct threat to the United States,” Obama said in a news conference at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg. If there had been a direct threat to the United States or allies, Obama said he would have taken action without consulting Congress.”

WHAT? So you’re saying there is no threat? You sound more hair splitting than the guy you defeated in November. I don’t think Mitt Romney, even with his binders full of women, would have screwed this up this bad. Now he’s backed into a corner and it just looks really bad.

President Obama drew a line, they crossed it, and he pointed at it again and then asked congress to point at it with him…and the only people willing to vote with him there are people who want to blow up things all the time! The onion news got it best about his congressional allies:,33752/ Wrong folks to rally to your cause Mr. President.

I don’t care what your particular political proclivities are, but none of us need the lame ducking of a presidency this early. Especially when one of the primary areas in which the president has the most constitutional latitude is foreign policy. Really, he can do a lot of stuff without congress’s approval even as a lame duck, including lobbing a few missiles into Syria. But now he’s dragged us all into it.

This is very sad to watch.