As amply parodied by Monty Python, it’s often hard to keep up with the splintering and renaming of organisations in the Middle East, but it’s also been interesting of late to try and keep up with the naming in our own media. The struggle for control of meaning never ends. So what’re we supposed to call these guys now? ISIS? IS? ISIL?
(The) Islamic State · الدولة الإسلامية · ad-Dawlah l-ʾIslāmiyyah
This is what they officially call themselves now. Straightforward and to-the-point branding that highlights their view that they’re the go-to guys for Islam. And that’s probably exactly why politicians in the west are starting to avoid using the term—it all sounds a bit too legitimising.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Syria) · الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام · ad-Dawlah l-ʾIslāmiyyah fil-‘Irāq wash-Shām
This was their name prior to 29 June 2014. An accurate geographical definition perhaps, but it ultimately didn’t suit their goal of a worldwide caliphate. This name gives rise to the two acronyms you hear most often in the English language media—ISIS and ISIL.
ISIS vs ISIL
Why two acronyms? Because the Arabic name الشام ash-Shām is a little ambiguous. In everyday speech it can refer to Damascus (دمشق Dimashq) or to Syria (سورية / سوريا Sūriyā / Sūrīyah) or to the historical region of Greater Syria which we might call the Levant.
So it becomes a point of contention which translation you choose: ISIL implies a larger area and a larger threat; ISIS implies a more closely defined (but still innaccurate) area and co-incides with the name of a pagan goddess. ISIS seemed to hold sway for a long time, but Barak Obama seems to have settled firmly on ISIL and Australian politicians seem to be following suit. It’s hard to see which of these is ‘better’ or why, but obviously someone somewhere has decided there’s something about ISIL. Personally I found the name ISIS hard to take seriously because it always made me think of Sterling Archer.
Another odd coincidence that occurred to me recently is that Isil is the name for the Moon in J. R. R. Tolkien’s contructed Elvish language Quenya (Ithil in Sindarin).
And then there’s the question of pronunciation. I’ve mostly heard /ˈaɪsəl/ (igh-suhl), but today I heard an American journalist on the radio call it /ˈɪsəl/ (iss-suhl).
But wait, there is apparently yet another choice.
Dāʿesh · داعش
Although they had previously been calling it L’État islamique, in the last couple of weeks the French government has started using the term Daech. This is simply the Arabic version of the ISIL acronym (the letters Dāl, ʾAlif, ʿAyn and Šīn), but it’s largely been used by competing rebel groups and ISIL/Da‘esh themselves consider it so derogatory that its use will win you 70 lashes.
Unfortunately every time I hear it I just think of this.
OK, OK, I know 1.7.5 is out and even CraftBukkit have started using that version number BUT client-side mods haven’t caught up yet. All the 1.7 versions should work together anyway.
Must admit I’ve never been quite sure what the point of Forge is since I never used any Forge mods or a Forge server, but its mod loader has become essential. You can choose to install either the full Forge package or just the forked Forge Mod Loader package. In theory, FML might be more lightweight than the full package, but I haven’t noticed any difference between the two. Either way, loading Forge first seems to be the easiest way at the moment of loading mods.
- Download the installer—I just chose the latest 1.7.2 build. There is a .jar file or an .exe for Windows—both work fine.
- Run it and choose Install client. You should see the path to your Minecraft folder displayed—for me D:\Users\Seán\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft.
This will create a new profile in the Minecraft launcher. The full Forge package just calls this new profile “Forge”; FML creates a longer one I think. I suggest starting up Minecraft and running this profile straight away to check all is OK. Then it’s probably a good idea to give the profile a better name (e.g. “1.7.2 Forge”) but that’s up to you.
- Create a subfolder in your ...\.minecraft\mods folder called “1.7.2”. Forge will load mods for 1.7.2. from here.
- Either check the link (& patch instructions) above (to give Rei some adf.ly revenue) or just download Harry_bags’ patched version.
- Put the patched zip file in the ...\.minecraft\mods\1.7.2\ folder.
Another interesting map possibility is MapWriter Mod. It actually saves map tiles (and Minecraft region files) on your hard disk as you explore, meaning you can scroll over any part of the map you’ve explored. Interesting, but doesn’t understand multi-world servers at all, so it will overwrite the map if you change world.
Gives you HD texture support and improves video performance. Can sometimes conflict with other mods, but seems to work for me. Choose your (1.7.2!!!) version and put it in the ...\.minecraft\mods\1.7.2\ folder.
You could alternatively use MCPatcher, but that involves some profile juggling.
Developed as a lightweight alternative to ModLoader, it comes with an installer.
- Download the installer.
- Choose Extract LiteLoader jar and extract it to the ...\.minecraft\mods\1.7.2\ folder.
Don’t choose Install as that would create another profile.
Essential if you want to use WorldEdit (CraftBukkit server plugin). It simply shows your WorldEdit selection. Requires: LiteLoader.
- Download the WE CUI litemod and put it in the ...\.minecraft\mods\ folder (NB: the mods folder not the mods/1.7.2 folder).
In the game, if selections aren’t appearing you may need to use the /we cui command once. The selection tool is a stick: left-click to begin selection and right-click to end.
Mumphrey, the guy behind LiteLoader and current maintainer of WorldEditCUI, also makes this excellent mod. It’s not essential, but it’s very useful all the same—make your life easier by making keyboard shortcuts for all sorts of things. Requires: LiteLoader.
- Download the litemod and put it in your ...\.minecraft\mods\ folder (NB: the mods folder not the mods/1.7.2 folder).
Shows what enchantment you will get in the enchantment table interface. Requires: Forge, TheBombzenAPI.
- Download TheBombzenAPI and EnchantView files and put them in the ...\.minecraft\mods\1.7.2\ folder.
I saw something about this new Thai soap-opera (ละคร lakawn), มาดามดัน Madame Dan, when it started in late November 2013, but only got around to tracking down a subtitled version this week. It’s suitably mad and over-the-top, launching straight into bitter rivalry right after the two and a half minutes of opening credits presaging all the wonders to come, many apparently occurring in France (?!). I decided to take some notes to help make sense of this nonsense.
Many people in this show have multiple names and the heroine is no exception. The name used in the title, Dan, means “to push” and her other name seems to be just a Thai version of English “pushy” though it’s pronounced more like “poochy” or “poot-shee” and spelled more like “pussy”. Her real name, which of course no celebrity would use, is Patsy—a soupçon of Ab Fab in the mix?
It’s not quite clear what her profession is, but she’s some kind of media star-maker as is her rival at the beginning, Jae Miang.
Jae Miang is the show’s bitchy queen entertainment. Always available for a cutting remark or to take offense, Jae is fiercly protective of her (she always speaks with the feminine particle ค่ะ kha) position as top-dog in the sup(ers)tar business. When Madame Poochie’s tell-all book accuses him of immorality it’s time for a dust-up in the car park followed by a day in court. Poor Madame D is ruined by the resulting payout.
Her other name, Matchimaa, means “to be moderate or in the middle”, something Jae Miang doesn’t seem to be.
Pushy uses her network of talent scouts and hears of a country boy with the face of a god. This is Next (pronounced Nek) who is known to the locals in his village as Bak Maa, which means something like Master Dog. Bàk is one of those words that don’t easily translate: “a form of address applied to a man of equal status to show familiarity or contempt”. He’s called Maa because he’s a “stray dog”, i.e. an orphan taken in by his Thai parents after his French father went AWOL. He’s not that interested in becoming a star, so it takes quite a bit of work, luck and co-incidental family tensions to save Pushy’s bacon and get her a star recruit.
- Nuu Dawk หนูดอก / Madame Fleur มาดามเฟลอร์: Pushy’s assistant who happens to come from the same village as Next. Nuu means “mouse” but is also a childish way of saying I or me. Dawk means “flower”. She wears kooky round glasses and is therefore kooky.
- Patty แพตตี้ / แพรรตี: Next’s girlfriend, spoilt daughter of the local “business man”. She isn’t going to let go of Next in a hurry.
- Thiira: Patty’s father who is a big player in the village and often has his goons in tow. Useful for threatening Pushy when she’s judging the local beauty pagent usually won by Patty.
- Moggie หมอกี้ and Fanwanwan ฝันหวานหวาน / อุราฤดี : Airheads and Thailands most popular pretend couple. Managed by Jae Miang. Fanwanwan means something like “sweet illusion” < fanwan “vainly hope, cherish an illusion” (fan ฝัน “to dream, imagine”) and wan หวาน “sweet”. Moggie I’m not sure about but maw หมอ can mean “doctor, fellow, guy” so maybe he’s Dr. Gee?
- plus several others we haven’t met yet.
More info: Broadcast Thai (in Thai)