Dyslexia fonts, Native American names, irregular words preserved, DNA word preservation October 15, 2013Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: dyslexia, maps, names, SCIENCE!, technology, things made of awesome, words
add a comment
“Although Dyslexie is not the first font out there to help aid dyslexics, it has received much fanfare from sufferers thus far, including participants from the aforementioned University of Twente study, who commented that the font allowed them to read with improved accuracy, and for a longer time before tiring.“
The locations that generate the most hateful tweets across the US, broken down by various slurs, mostly racist and homophobic.
“We get a lot of questions about the meaning of Native American names found on the Internet, so here is a list of many of them and what (if anything) they really mean.” Beautiful etymology research all over this page.
“There are some old words, however, that are nearly obsolete, but we still recognize because they were lucky enough to get stuck in set phrases that have lasted across the centuries.” My favorite: “wend” used to have the past tense of “went”, and its synonym “go” used to have the past tense of, basically, “goed”, and instead of dropping one regular verb but keeping the other, English created a totally irregular frankenverb by keeping half of each.
“A team of scientists has produced a truly concise anthology of verse by encoding all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets in DNA. The researchers say that their technique could easily be scaled up to store all of the data in the world.”
Related: “[This method should] be easily capable of swallowing the roughly 3 zettabytes (a zettabyte is one billion trillion or 10^21 bytes) of digital data thought presently to exist in the world and still have room for plenty more. It would do so with a density of around 2.2 petabytes (10^15) per gram; enough, in other words, to fit all the world’s digital information into the back of a lorry.“
Five things make a post (tech support, TCR, and turduckens edition) September 2, 2013Posted by Erin Ptah in Fake News, Miscellaneous, Personal.
Tags: plants, Stephen Colbert, tech support, Welcome to Night Vale, words
add a comment
(1) I’m having the most aggravating computer trouble.
It freezes. Unpredictably. And in a way I’ve never seen on any other computer: the sound doesn’t cut out, it gets stuck endlessly repeating the last fraction of a second it was on. That means a different droning hum every time, depending on what song or video it was in the middle of when it locked up.
The machine is under warranty, and tech support has been trying their hardest, but it’s not doing much good. So far it’s had the hard drive, the memory, and the motherboard replaced. And something unrelated was botched during the motherboard replacement, so that’s going to be replaced again.
I’m trying to get in the habit of saving things (art, writing, whatever) every minute or two. It really sucks when I forget.
Tech support is still trying to come up with more things to try — here’s hoping one of them takes. Or that they decide to put the whole thing out of its misery and send me a replacement computer.
(2) Welcome to Night Vale is doing its best to yank my heart out, I swear.
I’ve been doing episode reaction posts over at Night Vale Dog Park, if you’re interested in hearing about the shock and love and fear and wonder in greater detail.
(3) I got a plant!
It sits on the cabinet next to where I work. Grows toward the light from the window. I get to watch it putting up new leaves in realtime. It’s a pretty good companion.
(Anyone know what species it is? It didn’t come with an ID.)
(4) My Firefox spellcheck didn’t recognize “turducken” as a word, so it suggested “turnbuckle” instead.
How do you get a dictionary that’s expansive enough to know “turnbuckle” is a word, but that’s never heard of turducken? It’s kind of a silly concept, sure, but it isn’t uncommon.
(5) So happy for Stephen and the Report staff, finally winning themselves an Emmy.
It still doesn’t make sense that they didn’t win the year they broadcast from Iraq. Or the year they did such amazing things with SuperPACs. This year was good, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t one of the years where they so clearly blew it out of the water in comparison to everyone else.
Honestly, I think the Academy just wanted to give TDS the glory of a ten-year streak. With a possible side of “oh, geez, we can’t snub Colbert this year, his mom just died.”
But even if they were awarded it for the wrong reasons, they did deserve it, and I’m glad they got it.
On languages: Light Warlpiri, Volapuk, chatspeak, dialects of English, and possibly Voynich July 31, 2013Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: chatspeak, language, Light Warlpiri, things made of awesome, Volapuk, Voynich Manuscript, words
add a comment
“There are many dying languages in the world. But at least one has recently been born, created by children living in a remote village in northern Australia. Carmel O’Shannessy, a linguist at the University of Michigan, has been studying the young people’s speech for more than a decade and has concluded that they speak neither a dialect nor the mixture of languages called a creole, but a new language with unique grammatical rules. “
The Voynich manuscript: possibly not gibberish after all? New analyses find patterns that would show up in encoded language, but be hard to fake at random.
Before there was Esperanto, there was Volapük: “a universal language created in the late 19th century by a German priest called Johann Schleyer.” Its heyday of popularity has long passed, but there is still enough interest to create a Volapük Wikipedia with 100K+ articles.
Mapped data from US-wide dialect surveys. As a nation we are united by shopping carts, but divided by fireflies.
“Goodbye” is a derivative of 14th-century chatspeak. (God be with ye = Godbwye = Goodbye)
“5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think.”
Tags: poetry, words
add a comment
The Up-Goer Five Text Editor is addictive. (It spellchecks your text so that you can only use the thousand most-used words in the English language.)
Here’s Shelley’s Ozymandias:
I met a person who came from an old land
Who said: two big legs made of rock with no body
Stand in the hot dry place. Near them, on the ground,
Half under the land, a broken face lies. Its frown
And lip in a mean expression, and smirk of being cool and the strongest person,
Tell that the person who made it read well those strong things you feel
Which yet are still there, where you can see them on these things with no life,
Long after the hand that made fun of them, and the heart that drove them.
And on the rock under the legs these words appear:
“My name is ‘Ozymandias’, strongest of strong people.
Look on my works, you other strong people, and be sad!”
Nothing beside remains. Round what is left
Of that big broken thing, with no end and no other things on it,
The ground with no people that does not go up or down goes far away.
Science! & Nature! (feat. strong kitties, ancient flowers, fundamentalists, words and colors) September 4, 2012Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: cats, colors, religion, SCIENCE!, words
add a comment
You know, sometimes it feels like I take as long to organize these links into elegant topical groupings as I do to actually save the things…
Japanese cat weight lifting: grabbing progressively bigger fish and dragging them away! The winning cats end up waddling away, dragging these gigantic fish they can barely get their teeth around. It’s adorable.
Thirty-two-thousand-year-old flower recovered from the tundras of Siberia…and yes, they got it to bloom.
“Many of these schools [rely on textbooks that] teach their pupils Bible-based “facts,” such as the existence of Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and all sorts of pseudoscience that researcher Rachel Tabachnick and writer Thomas Vinciguerra have thankfully pored over so the rest of world doesn’t have to.“
Elaborating on one of the specifics in that link: “What do Christian fundamentalists have against set theory?” It’s pretty mind-boggling.
Atomic theory as expressed in English with all the non-Germanic words removed.
Cross-linguistic color theory! How languages develop color words and in what order, how language affects our ability to distinguish colors, and a massive XKCD-originated survey of color names.
32 innovations that will change your tomorrow: inventions set to come out within a few years that will affect your everyday life. Some seem stupid or gratuitous (hands-free hair-washing? Is it really that hard to shampoo?), but some are particularly useful (medical-detection sensors for your teeth! Synthehol!).
Link roundup, on books and other things for reading July 16, 2012Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: books, Comics, copyright, libraries, words
“When I asked him about it, he confirmed that, no, the museum didn’t print them. Because it couldn’t afford to. The Cartoon Art Museum is on such a tight budget that it can’t afford the cost of mounting a half-dozen extra labels on foamcore down at the copy shop.“
Fifty Shades of Grey and a history of publishing, including fandom’s interactions therewith. Read all the links for extra detail. There’s commentary on FFA as well. (And, wait — from not too long ago — “the trilogy has captured twenty-five percent of the adult fiction market in recent weeks“? What? Just…what?)
“The Nook edition of Tolstoy’s War and Peace (in its English translation) has been de-Kindled, quite literally.“
Century-old mummified frozen lobotomized corpses: the setup for a confusing question of copyright law, obviously.
Cache of five hundred preserved but previously unknown fairy tales discovered in a German archive. Archivists are awesome.
“In 1934, Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files.” With associated video. If you want Internet in your steampunk setting, this would be the thing to base it on.
And this is a palate-cleansing post of geeky stuff. March 24, 2012Posted by Erin Ptah in Hellsing, News Roundup.
Tags: animation, geek stuff, Hanna-Barbera, religion, words
add a comment
The words used to identify ASCII characters, from the familiar to the obscure.
Indian man who wandered away from his family at age 5 finds them again…via Google Maps.
A column written on the death of William Hanna (as in Hanna-Barbera), as written by the characters he was known for.
House of 1000 Manga reviews Hellsing (the manga, with nods to the animated versions). With appreciation for the style, ridiculousness, and glory all in turn.
What’s the gospel in seven words? The limit forces lots of responses to be perfectly eloquent…and perfectly snarky. A favorite: “Fine, you can use mixed fabrics again.” (Putting it another way: “Having a kid does change everyone, apparently.”) Vonnegut’s version: “Goddammit, babies, you’ve got to be kind.” The Bill & Ted version: “Be excellent unto each other. Party on.” One commenter’s daughter adds: “For God’s sake, don’t be a dick.”
Oh, you pretty things February 23, 2012Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: art, astronomy, cats, chocolate, Internets, paper, universe, whoa, words
1 comment so far
Catvertising! This is clearly a Viridian Dynamics project, y/y?
Perspective. The universe, to scale.
Awesome abandoned monuments. They look like sci-fi set pieces, like crashed spacecraft, or the ruins of cultures too ancient to be related to anything we know…but they were built in the ’60s and ’70s.
Chocolate planets! I’d say I want some, but they look too good to eat.
The world’s tallest treehouse! Ten stories high! Amazing.
Look, it’s a baby Internet: what some of the world’s biggest websites looked like on launch date. Google is surprisingly similar. Amazon is surprisingly ridiculous.
Mysterious, anonymous, and AWESOME paper sculptures appearing randomly in libraries around Scotland. Less anonymous, no less amazing: landscapes sculpted from carved-out books.
Multilingual collection of words that have no translation to English. Or so they claim. Forelsket is described in poly circles as NRE; pochemuchka has an equivalent in elephant’s child; pena ajena is embarrassment squick; taarradhin sounds a lot like a win-win situation; guanxi has the definition that many English-speakers have affixed to “karma”. And certain people would recognize backpfeifengesicht if you said “BBC’s Sherlock” (although using German for this kind of list is cheating anyway, as all their nouns are compound anyway).
Historical same-sex weddings, fantasy female armor, texting in West African languages, and more January 7, 2012Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: gender, kids, language, race'n'ethnicity, religion, sexuality, technology, the gays, traditional marriage, words
1 comment so far
How to talk about gender with first graders in a way that gets them thinking and not bullying.
Musings on fantasy armor versus female figures, as crafted by someone who actually makes armor.
A history of Chicago’s underground abortion services in the years before Roe v. Wade.
A cryptographer takes a closer look at Biblical Greek and inadvertently discovers that Paul’s only clear condemnation of homosexuality…was a mistranslation.
Debunking the myth that pre-colonial Africa had no homosexuality. With research!
The tensions faced by a mixed-race family.
How do you keep a language from dying out? Make it available to text in, as is being done with the Mande family of West African languages and hopefully plenty more to come.
Next time someone tells you they support traditional marriage, send them this link: records of Christian same-sex weddings from the 300s through the 1600s.
This Week, 12/5-12/11 December 11, 2011Posted by Erin Ptah in Art, But I'm A Cat Person, Fake News, Fic, Hellsing, Madoka Magica, Misc Work.
Tags: ambigrams, Castle Down, D/s, words
add a comment
Castles in the Sand chapter 7, chapter 8, illustrations I (illustrated fic | Jon/”Stephen”, Olivia/Kristen, ensemble | PG-13)
Ambush (fic | pre-Jon/”Stephen”, background Jon/BriWi | PG)
Ambigram: Stewbert (word art: Stewart one way, Colbert the other)
Snowflakes (art | Jon | worksafe)
At Hellsing High (sketch | IntegraxAlucard | worksafe)
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
PMMM Big Bang status report! (discussion of a fic-in-progress)
Next Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Flashbacks to earlier in the lives of Nevada-san and Poe.