Tag Archives: famous

Discover the Welsh language

Closely related to Cornish, the native language of the English county Cornwall, and to Breton, the native language of Brittany, north western France, Welsh – or Cymraeg to its speakers – dates back to the 6th century, making it one of Europe’s oldest living languages. It evolved from the Celtic language spoken by the ancient Britons and was handed down through the generations until the 19th century, when the industrial revolution brought about an alarming erosion of the Welsh language.

Since then the battle to save Cymraeg has been inextricably linked with Wales’s national identity, and much has been done to promote its usage. At the uppermost level, political parties have been founded (Plaid Cymru began in 1925 with a primary mandate of promoting the language) and acts of parliament have been passed, but the future of the Welsh language has also been embraced by its people. A passion for keeping it alive has led to everything from adopting bilingual road signs to the Welsh television channel S4C.

Today Welsh is not the dead language many would have you believe (and indeed many feared it would become). Welsh is now growing again and, according to a survey by the Welsh Language Board, is spoken by 21% of the Welsh population, 62% of whom speak it on a daily basis.

Although many places in Wales now have English names, the Welsh language still appears in numerous village and town names and, although all the locals speak English, understanding a smattering of Welsh will help visitors understand the heritage of where they are visiting. Undoubtedly the most famous place name is the tongue-twistingLlanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, which in English is translated as the fantastically descriptive “St Mary’s church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the red cave”.

Even the most basic knowledge of Welsh will inform a visit to this proud and heritage-rich country, so why not make a start with these simple phrases:

Hello Shw mae (“shoo my”)
Goodbye Hwyl (“hooil”)
Welcome Croeso (“croy so”)
Thank you Diolch (“dee-olck”)

 

Source: Discover Wales: The Living Language

 

Also, read about the 641 castles in Wales.

 

 

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I’m in Vanity Fair and my first surfing photo

I don’t often talk about myself on this blog, but I can’t pass this up. This week I modeled in a geek fashion show (wearing Marc Jacobs) and had my first surfing action-shot. I’m pretty excited about both because the above photo was on the Vanity Fair website and the below photo is from a fun new group of surfers starting a DIY revolution in the sport.

That’s me bodysurfing with a handplane – a great photo from Shawn Parkin.

Video essay – famous faces in their Hollywood debut

The video starts off with Jack Nicholson’s premiere in The Little Shop of Horrors as he reads a gruesome tale:

Starring (in order of appearance): Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Anthony Edwards, Eric Stoltz, Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes, John Krasinski, Zach Braff, Jon Hamm, Ted Danson, Whoopi Goldberg, Mark Wahlberg, Madonna, Matthew McConaughey, Renee Zellweger, Jack Black, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Duvall, Rob Lowe, Shirley MacLaine, Sylvester Stallone, Emma Thompson, Sharon Stone, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Richard Pryor, Jonah Hill, Matt Damon, Halle Berry, Robert DeNiro, Woody Allen, Tom Selleck, Eddie Murphy, Kevin Bacon.

Edited by Jason Bailey - Music by Earth Wind and Fire

via Kottke

Famous artists love dogs…

Georgia O’Keeffe and her Chow.
Frida Kahlo and her Xoloitzcuintli dogs.

 

Since, as the Times points out, dogs have been popping up in art for hundreds of years, we thought it was safe to assume that there are at least a few artists who are fans of the friendly beasts…

More photos and the NY Times article at Flavor Wire