Papua New Guinea

In This Papua New Guinea Village, People Use Cell Phones to Call the Dead
June 17, 2014

When their calls don’t go through, they don’t blame shoddy service; they believe the spirits of the dead can interfere with their connections. 

Is English Special Because It's "Globish"?
June 21, 2010

Most of the mainline reviews of Robert McCrum’s Globish – of which there have been so many so fast that I am in awe of his publicity people -- are missing what is fundamentally wrong with the book. Herewith one linguist’s take on this peculiar book, within which all evaluators seem to perceive a certain fuzziness, but few are catching that it is based on an outright error of reasoning and analysis – as well as an infelicitous volume of downright flubs. McCrum starts with the well-known fact that English is now the world’s de facto universal language.

Pacific Islands Defying Sea-Level Rise--For Now
June 07, 2010

One of the (many) worries about global warming is that low-lying island nations in the Pacific Ocean will get swallowed up by rising sea levels. Last fall, government officials from Maldives put on scuba gear and staged an underwater cabinet meeting as a sort of awareness-raising publicity stunt. And from everything we know, these island nations are going to have a rough time in a warmer world.