On the tip of my tongue: Any one who loves to learn languages should check out Omniglot. It’s a fun site: it describes numerous writing systems, links to media and learning sites and gives great advice on how to learn languages, especially more than one at a time (although someone will have to tell my why “Իմ սավառնաթիռում լիքը օձաձուկ է (my hovercraft is full of eels)” is a useful phrase.

If you remember, I was going to attempt to read Ortega y Gasset in Spanish. I tried. It was a miserable failure. I can’t believe how little progress I made, and I could not demystify the language–the language of (one of) my peeps! A friend has suggested that it is difficult to transition from French to Spanish because the former is much more formal. Anyway, I’ve decided to pick up a little Catalan. So far, it’s a lot of fun: it retains many archaic features. It also has a vibrant literature for what might be described as a “dialect.” And it is much more useful for studying regionalism, especially the newspapers in Barcelona.

Integration: Joel Kotkin looks at “The Multiculturalism of the Streets,” arguing that the growing relationship between Mexicanos/Latinos and the market is creating a natural pull towards English-speaking that will take 2-3 generations to become fully manifested. (HT: Latino Pundit) I think that this makes a better argument that engagement is a better strategy for integration than forced assimilation or multiculturalism. Boris Cyrulnik’s “Un antisemitisme inculpabilisable” asks a difficult question: to what extent was Ilan Halimi the victim of an antisemitism born of the isolation of non-European youth in France.

Artificial Satellite: Alexander Trevi has a post on visions of asteroid-based communities. Perhaps it is better living than the super-development of the terrestrial landscape, as one writer has suggested. (HT: Philobiblon) [ETA] Why can’t Sunnis and Shias share patrimony? (HT: And Far Away)

Around the World: Inside Iran has been looking at religious and cultural festivals in Iran. I recommend this one on Tahsu’a.