Recent News

  • You are unsubscribed // May 04 2017

  • Making a haft sin wreathe // March 18 2016

    This year, I decided to try a cross cultural haft sin - just add wreathe.

  • When Your Kidney Wants to Be a Free Agent: 25+ Things I Learned From Donating Mine. // January 26 2015

    As some of you know, this summer I donated a kidney to my Mom.  If you’re thinking about donating a kidney, or just curious about the process, here’s my story.

  • New York Organ Donor Network Ad // October 21 2014

    Animation designed to inspire you to be an organ donor. Warning - you may get misty eyed.

  • Help Yourself // October 20 2014

    Another song for the kidney playlist: Tom Jones, “Help Yourself”.

  • One Headlight // October 20 2014

    A song for the kidney donor playlist. Drive it home with one headlight - or one kidney.  Whatever works!

  • Chain of foods // October 12 2014

    There’s this guy I know who says, “it’s all good.”

    Is it?

  • Programmable Rose Colored Glasses // October 09 2014

    The market is ripe for Programmable Rose Colored Glasses - the technology is now available to design them, and we have never been more eager to see the world with our own filters firmly in place.

  • Life is not empty // October 06 2014

    Zendegi - A poem by sohrAb sepehri. Sung by shahrAm nAzeri.

  • Cruising with Magnets // May 12 2014

    So, apparently you can take magnets on the road and high seas.

  • Wednesday Eve Soirée - چارشنبه سوری // March 18 2014

    Tuesday Quiz.  What is this man doing?

  • Does Your Sabzi Scale? // March 17 2014

    Happy Nowruz to All!  This Nowruz, don’t just bling out your haft sin table.  Hear its call to action. Scale that Sabzi!

  • Americans For Energy Reform // January 18 2014

    Protecting taxpayers and promoting effective energy policy since 2013.

  • Domain sale: and .org // January 07 2014

    I registered these domains when I registered - but I’m not using them.  Prime internet real estate for the discerning buyer.

  • Gardeners of Eden // January 02 2014

    Must we be at war with nature?  Envisioning a more integrated relationship.

  • Bad Words and Cussing Contests // December 01 2013

    Vsauce asks “Why are Bad Words Bad?” And John Astin wins a cussing contest.

  • From Lingua Franca to Heritage Language to Expanding Memeplex! // November 30 2013

    Persian was once the Lingua Franca of the civilized world.  Today, its variants are spoken in few countries, and as native speakers migrate from those countries, their children and grandchildren are losing the language. Is there a way to reverse this trend?  YES!  It requires conscious effort, strategy, some apps, and FUN!

  • The Dragon Quadrilogy // November 26 2013

    It started out as a trilogy.  “What’s a trilogy?”  Setareh said.  “A story with three parts,”  I said.  “What?!  That’s nothing.  Let’s do four parts.  What’s the word for four parts?”  she asked.

  • Jean Claude Van Damme Splits In The Face of Chaos // November 16 2013

    It is textbook epic.  Jean Claude Van Damme (JCVD), serenely does the splits, each foot planted on the rearview mirror of two diverging Volvo trucks.  The trucks keep a steady distance from each other, holding the split, reversing into the sunrise as Enya sings.

  • George Clooney Beshkans and Promotes Conversation // November 14 2013

    Ladies man, man’s man, Beshkan.  Magnet man?

  • fArsi Cheerleader Metaphor // October 29 2013

    In which we look at the letters of the Persian alphabet as cheerleaders who come together to form a word/pyramid.  This post inspired by my niece, Best Cheerleader Ever!

  • Redemptive Environmental Science Fiction // October 28 2013

    aka “RES Fiction.”

  • Babak v. bAbak // October 25 2013

    My pet peeve: the way people mispronounce “Babak”.  Here’s a quick fix, and it leads straight to the fabulous #textingfArsi protocol.

  • Woo Women (and Men) // October 25 2013

    “Language was invented for one reason.  To woo.  And in that endeavor - laziness will not do.”

  • Aunt Beetle - xAle suskeh - خاله سوسکه // October 24 2013

    A beetle dresses up and goes on the road in search of a husband who won’t beat her.

  • Paradoxical Commandments in Persian - فرمان های متناقض // October 24 2013

    At last! A translation of Kent Keith’s “Paradoxical Commandments” in Persian! Translated with the collaboration of Dr. Razani and Ms. Javadpour.

  • Say qurbAqe - بگو قورباغه // October 22 2013

    My mission in life:  To get everyone I meet to say “frog” in Persian.

  • Persian-English Word Magnet REBOOT // October 22 2013

    UPDATE:  Thank you to everyone for participating in the Indiegogo Campaign last December.  We got up to $3,005!!!  Alas, not enough to green light the reboot.  Sign up on the form in the sidebar to get on the list for the next campaign.  This time we’ll do it right!  When we get 300 people signed up who we know want the fabulous magnets - we’ll re-launch.  Spread the word!  More info on the campaign below.  Your feedback welcome!

  • Magnetic Dry Erase Boards and Wall Panels // October 17 2013

    Take your magnets on the road!

  • Kidney App:  قربونت // October 15 2013

    Iranians say “Qorbun-e jigaret” a lot, which means “I’m the sacrifice for your liver.” Is this just t’Arof, or are Iranians more likely to be organ donors?

  • Donating Makes it Happen! // October 15 2013

    If you like ajaban, coolzabAn, Citizen Budget Balancing App and other things you find here, you are under no obligation to do anything beyond simply like them. However, if you want to see them continue….if you choose to go one step further and support them…here’s how to do it.

  • Improvisation:  Say “Yes, and…” بداهه گویی // October 12 2013

    What happens when you’re looking for a word, and you can’t find it?

  • You’ve got the Power:  extiAr dArid - اختیار دارید // October 11 2013

    ِYou’ve got the power!  As well as free will.  And choice.  Take your pick.

  • qAbel nadAre - قابل ندارد // October 08 2013

    Thank you so much for what you just did!
    You shouldn’t have!
    It’s not worthy of you.
    قابل ندارد

  • Creativity // October 07 2013

    Some tips from Shakespeare to navigate the tension between “proper language use” and anarchy.  Leveraging Persian “affixal” qualities to make up new words.

  • Vine + Twitter + Word Magnets, Oh, My. // October 07 2013

    Do you want to have more fun with Persian?  By yourself? With the help of the community? You’re in luck!  We live in a world of Persian-English Word magnets PLUS social media!

  • Cyber Fridge // October 07 2013

  • Subconscious Word Recognition // October 07 2013

    The goal of literacy is subconscious word recognition.  If, while you read, you can recognize words as a whole without having to analyze them, you’ve achieved literacy! How can we make this happen?

  • Assimilation Anxiety // October 04 2013

    This site was founded by an Iranian+American who suffers, as many Iranian+Americans do, from Assimilation Anxiety. Luckily, the cure is easy!

  • Two Veins // October 04 2013

    Some Iranian terms (a.k.a. slurs) for dual nationality.

  • What People Are Saying About the Magnets // October 04 2013

    Here are some quotes from people who bought the sets back in the day.  Please add your comments below!

  • Meet Ti-Chey // October 01 2013

    Ti-Chey, aka toxm-e cheshm, the @coolzabAn avatAr.

  • texting fArsi campaign - 10 rules // September 26 2013

    Do the inconsistencies of texted fArsi annoy you? These ten quick rules simplify Persian texting and make it accessible to a global audience.

  • The Buddha on the Benz // September 25 2013

    Buddha, Benz and Being: Let the Buddha take you on a ride with all six Persian vowel sounds.

  • Vowels // September 25 2013

    Good news and bad news about Persian vowels.  Good news:  There are only six vowel sounds!  Bad news:  You only spell out half of them.  That’s right. Hlf f thm.  Th thr hlf dn’t shw.  You have to guess which vowel sound will be there in the word.

  • Thank You // September 25 2013

    You are awesome!

  • How the US Government Balances the Budget // August 01 2013

    CGP Grey explains the debt limit, and in so doing reveals how truly bizarre our budget balancing is.

  • How is cooperation best coordinated? // July 29 2013

    Democracy.  Dictatorship.  Market. Corporation.  Family.  Crowdsourcing.  Every form of human organization is an attempt to coordinate the actions of many individuals for the benefit of some or all of them.  That makes this five word question fundamental to human progress and happiness:  “How is cooperation best coordinated?”

  • Memorial Bench for Grandma and Grandpa Henn // July 28 2013

    Thank you to Chip Henn for suggesting that we place a bench in Sims Park to honor Grandma and Grandpa Henn.  Let’s make it happen!

  • Peacemaker Game // July 15 2013

    Thanks to Carol P. for introducing me to this game.

  • Kognito:  Helping you with Difficult Conversations // July 12 2013

    “Enter virtual environments and practice challenging conversations with avatars to help you build real life skills.”

  • Robots v. the Right to Remain Silent // July 12 2013

    Sim Sensei says, “Your answers are totally confidential.  Are you OK with this?”

  • Killer Robots v. Free Speech // July 11 2013

    Daniel Suarez’ TED Talk explains how the rise of autonomous robotic weapons threaten free speech.

  • Grammar Guide // June 25 2013

    We have decoded the Persian language and reduced it to one glorious, concise pamphlet.

  • Tu Quoque - You too! - و شما نیز همچنین // June 25 2013

    “Tu Quoque” (pronounced too ko kay) means “you also” in Latin.

  • Free Speech Word Magnets // June 25 2013

    Join the team to bring the Free Speech (aka “Where’s the Coup?”) Word Magnets to life.

  • ezAfe // June 25 2013

    In our transliterations on this website, you will often come across an (e) or (ye).  These are in parenthesis to represent the sound of the “ezafe”.

  • Word Order - SOV // June 24 2013

    Persian word order is different from English in two ways.  First, the modifier comes before the word it modifies (“shoes red”).  Second, the sentences follow a Subject, Object, Verb (SOV) order.  “Sara shoes wore.”

  • Persian aka fArsi // June 24 2013

    You say potato, I say sibzamini.

  • Read Persian From Right to Left // June 24 2013

    Persian is a right to left language, like Arabic and Hebrew.  Think about it: !tfel ot thgir daer uoY

  • Semi Cursive Script // June 24 2013

    You can read Persian today.  At first it seems intimidating, but the code is easy to crack.  Read right to left; only 32 letters, and a simple semi-cursive script.  Check it out! One post explains ALL!

  • Alphabet Card // June 24 2013

    Everything you need to know to start bonding with the Persian alphabet!

  • Sentences with Pleasantries Magnets // June 24 2013

    Behold, some unworthy sentences we made with the Persian English Word Magnet Pleasantries kit.

  • Pleasantries - تعارف // June 24 2013

    The Pleasantries kit (a.k.a. t’Arof) (a.k.a. تعارف) features over 600 Persian words of desperate supplication and inverted one-upmanship. Millions of possible self-sacrificing sentence combinations. The words are on magnetic word tiles.

  • Sentences with Courtship Magnets // June 24 2013

    What sentences can you make with the Persian English Word Magnet Courtship kit?

  • Magnet FAQs // June 24 2013

    The FAQs on Persian-English Word Magnets.

  • Courtship - خواستگاری // June 24 2013

    The Courtship kit (a.k.a. xAstegAri) (a.k.a. خواستگاری) features over 600 Persian words of love, passion and insanity including particles, suffixes and prefixes for grammatical accuracy. Millions of romantic and inappropriate sentence combinations possible.

  • Persian Transliteration Simplified // June 22 2013

    Our transliteration method, and our plan for texting domination.

  • Ajaban l’helm’ellAh // June 20 2013

    What does “ajaban l helmellAh” mean and why is it my favorite phrase?

  • Sentences with Standard Magnets // June 12 2013

    Check out some sentences we made using the Persian-English Word Magnet Standard kit and see how things get lost (and found) in translation.

  • Standard - متداول // June 12 2013

    The Standard (a.k.a. “motedAvel”) magnet kit has over 600 Persian words on magnetic tiles with English on the back! Great for all ages! The perfect gift for everyone on your Nowruz list.

  • Let’s get Simorqanized! // June 11 2013

    In which we coin a new word to bring together a mythic tale and community organizing.

  • Ajabanistan // June 11 2013

    What the world needs now is ajabanistan, also known as Amazing (Grace) Land, a Comparative Religion Theme Park without compare.

  • FoPoMu // June 10 2013

    The plan to establish a US Foreign Policy Museum on the Washington Mall, with sister museums throughout the world.  #FoPoMu

  • Citizen Budget Balancing App - CBBA // June 08 2013

    We the people, in order to form a more perfect budget, do hereby propose the Citizen Budget Balancing App (CBBA).

  • Persian-English Word Magnets // June 04 2013

    Persian-English Magnetic Word Play kits will help you bond with the Persian (a.k.a. Farsi) language. The kits are fun and educational and spark creativity! They are great for any level of language ability. Each kit has different words chosen around a theme.

  • Sold out! // August 09 2010

    sharmande-am! We appear to be out of magnets.

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