VIB Writing
What Friends Are For

After her childhood friend invites her to her wedding--where Amanda will see Walter for the first time in 13 years--she flies to a Mexican yoga retreat.

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11 minutes ago
VIB Society
Always Wear a Conservative

My landlord, Roman, loves the good life. Since he takes charge of the bottle recycling at our place, he can't help notice that we do, too. That led us to chat, in English, about beer. Nowadays, I told him, I could scarcely manage three Weißbier at a time. That amounts to about 1500 ml, which isn't even two of those giant Krug you see at Oktoberfest. A mere sip for a true Bavarian. "That's because Weißbier isn't covered by the Reinheitsgebot," he began. The Bavarian beer purity law—the 1516 Reinheitsgebot, or Cleanliness Order—forbade local beer to contain anything more than water, malt, barley and hops. Weißbier, made with unmalted wheat, doesn't actually qualify as beer. Brewers can put a modest number of chemicals inside. "It has many conservatives," Romulus continued, "Like with California wine, the next day the conservatives make my head explode." Scholars call this linguistic interference. In German, a preservative is Konservierungsstoff—literally, "conserving stuff". No biggie. "Yes, last week we went out to dinner, and the wine was full of preservatives," I replied. "We felt very sore the next day." Perhaps I should have considered this sentence more closely. In German, most people use the borrowed word Kondom, for a condom. But that's slang. The ever-wise Papa Scott tells us that his teenage son learned the high-falutin' term Präservativ in his sixth-grade sex-education class. (One wonders what they teach in a German ninth-grade sex-education class. Cunnilingus technique?) Roman looked at me quizzically. Then he smiled. "You gay guys...

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18 minutes ago
VIB Writing
Top 10 Interesting Origins of Words

Etymology is always an interesting subject. We often don’t give a second thought to the words we use in everyday life, but many of them have fascinating origins and have survived as part of our language for centuries. There are countless examples of words which have unexpected origins and represented very different things in societies and cultures of centuries past. Our language has changed considerably over the years and the original meanings of some of these words are far removed from our modern day usage.

10. Nimrod

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5 hours ago
VIB Family
Raising Drama: I will miss him . . .

Have I done my job? I'm about to find out.

The things I am cramming into this last week with my son:

1. How to do laundry.

2. How to put checks in the bank.

3. How to sew a button on a shirt.

4. How to iron without burning his clothes or himself.

Have I forgotten anything? I guess I will find out soon enough.

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1 day ago

The Field of Blackbirds by Thomas Ryan is a thriller about Jeff Bradley, a former New Zealand military man, and his dangerous quest to find a missing friend. Jeff’s business associate Arben has travelled to Kosovo to see into a dispute over his family’s vineyard. Jeff gets a message from his panicked friend, and then…

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1 day ago
VIB Opinionated
It's Time for Voter Registration in Ferguson, MO

Let's protest at the polls people. Let's protest at the polls"The Ferguson Police Department," insists Wally, "is what happens when black people don't vote." And despite all that is wrong in Ferguson politics, the fact remains that most brothers and sisters of Ferguson didn't bother to vote. "It's only common sense that people tend to get the type of government they deserve," he'd said.

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1 day ago