Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

October 25th, outsourced

Because maps and names are cool: time-lapse maps of the most popular name, by state, for the last six decades: boys and girls. [HT Suzanne]

Because maps and books are cool: the most famous books set in every state. Poor North Carolina. [HT Kaylee]

Because maps and, uh, moods are cool: The United States of Attitude. I belong in...North Carolina?? [HT Liz]

Warped childhood, restoration hardware style. Reminds me of Catalog Living, but for kids. [HT Kat]

I don't know if this made the news elsewhere, but here it was all over the place: Rihanna was - depending on who is reporting the story - "asked to leave," or "kicked out" of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi because - again, depending on who is reporting - she was taking racy photos (by Islamic standards for a woman in a mosque) or because she did not have permission to take the (racy?) photos. That sentence was too long. Just read this article. I guess what I'm saying is, I think it was borderline disrespectful for her to be taking attention-getting photos in such a venue, so it's not inconceivable that she was asked to leave. However, I got in trouble at that mosque for taking photos of my unveiled self outside the mosque, like in the parking lot, so the rules are pretty strict.

Maybe Sterling can have this Halloween costume next year! [HT Ashi]

Have you ever wanted to see Tom Hiddleston doing his impression of Owen Wilson as Loki? Here you go. You're welcome for making your day. [HT Miss Nemesis]

I'm not really into baseball, but even I can understand the cleverness of this symphony orchestra-based smackdown between St. Louis and Boston. [HT Jen]

It may or may not have been in an actual linguistics class, but somewhere along the way in my linguistics education, I learned that "dude" is one of the most versatile words in the English language. Think about it - depending on the intonation you apply to it, it can mean almost anything.

Alfonso the Slobberer, and other unfortunate ruler nicknames. [HT Jen]

Tiger toes

How to get a US passport for an American baby born in Sharjah, UAE