- If you block the Autobahn with droves of bananas, is that then ein Obstruktion?
- Tim Minchin has a huge hit right now in Australia with a song urging a strangely reluctant cardinal to come home from the Vatican and answer some questions about the clergy's crimes against children in the 70s and 80s.
- Enormous areas in Scandinavia don't seem to have been completely messed up by the inland ice! If we have any Neanderthal sites, then that's where they are.
- Such an amazing night for stargazing in Blankaholm! The sky isn't black with a few shiny dots, it's shimmering all over with varying intensity. By Hera's teat, I can see the Milky Way!
- Final assignment for the supervision course submitted with two weeks to spare.
- There's an anti-Dawkins, anti-scientism opinion piece in today's issue of Sweden's main conservative newspaper. My humanities buddies are sharing it with approval. My skeptical buddies are sharing it with critical comments. I don't care enough to read it. But my position is religion bad, Dawkins bad, pro-faith humanities bad, scientism good.
- After getting up in the morning, I like to grab a cup of tea or cocoa and immediately go to work at my desk. Breakfast preferably later.
- Spell checker hasn't heard of Ångermanland, instead suggests that the northern limit of the Pitted Ware Culture was in Gondwanaland.
- Americans! Hear me! An elite is a group, like a team. Two members of a team are not "two teams". Two members of an elite are not "two elites". You're making me embarrassed!
- Here's a non-Indo-European language that may have survived into the Roman Republican era in SE Italy. Unintelligible today. Fascinating!
- The Lakes Lundsjön-Dammsjön basin, where we go swimming in the summers and skating/skiing in the winters, was cut off from the Baltic by land upheaval about 2300 cal BC, around the start of the Late Neolithic.
- Movie: En man som heter Ove. Bereaved grumpy widower hates the world but is brought back into engaging with life by his neighbours. Not for the cynical. Grade: Pass.
- Jrette has a major role in a possibly Un-American musical: "Guys and Dolls was selected as the winner of the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. However, because of writer Abe Burrows' troubles with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the Trustees of Columbia University vetoed the selection, and no Pulitzer for Drama was awarded that year."
- Do Juggalos vote for Trump?
- Why is the first Indiana Jones movie named Raiders of the Lost Ark? There are no raiders in it. Makes no sense. According to Merriam-Webster, a raider either "suddenly and unexpectedly attacks", or he "enters a place in order to steal or take something".
- Reading Agatha Christie for the first time in decades. Surprised to find how intensely funny she is at times!
- Colourful Danish expression: Jeg var ved at skide en snemand! -- "I almost shit a snowman!".
- Free style tip: if your noun is in the plural, then you don't have to add "different" or "various". It's implicit that "things" refers to several non-identical things. "Different" is just redundant.
- Having attended a pleasure-boating fair yesterday, my dad reports that the entire hobby seems moribund here in Sweden. No interesting new tech. Everybody there was way past retirement age and male. The price of a used pleasure boat is plummeting.
- In 1276 the King of Norway, Magnus VI the Law-mender, sent a whale's head as a gift to the King of England.
- Växjö's main council tenement area, multicultural and socially disadvantaged as these tend to be, is named Araby. I kid you not. The name predates the town and is likely to be over a thousand years old (cf. Whitby, Ingleby etc. in England). And that's where they decided to put their council tenements.
- Mats P. Malmer had no contact with archaeology before age 24.
- Some day yew folks'll hear a child o' Lavinny's a-callin' its father's name on the top o' Sentinel Hill.
"Such an amazing night for stargazing in Blankaholm! The sky isn’t black with a few shiny dots, it’s shimmering all over with varying intensity. By Hera’s teat, I can see the Milky Way!"
It's brighter in the summer, but in Swedish is called "vintergatan", "winter street" or "winter way". Why, if it is brighter in summer? Because it can't be seen in summer in Sweden, because, even in the south, where there isn't any midnight sun, it doesn't get dark at night. Time to quote Roger Ebert, from his review of Ingmar Bergman's Persona:
In a Swedish summer, night is a finger drawn by twilight between one day and the next
Read the whole review, which is excellent.
Växjö’s main council tenement area, multicultural and socially disadvantaged as these tend to be, is named Araby.
If you find yourself traveling in western Maine, consider a detour to the village of Lynchville (which basically consists of the junction of state Routes 5 and 35), and check out this sign. The distances listed on the sign are accurate--the places named are all municipalities in Maine.
New Hampshire also has a bunch of municipalities named after foreign places. Aside from the long list of English place names, we have towns called Alexandria, Berlin, Bethlehem, Canaan, Derry, Dublin, Franconia, Greenland, Hanover, Hebron, Lebanon (I have lived here), Londonderry (which is a distinct municipality from Derry; they share a motorway exit), and Milan. I actually live north of Greenland.
If you block the Autobahn with droves of bananas, is that then ein Obstruktion?
Words ending with -ion need the female gender in German:
die Revolution, die Nation, die Konstitution. The last word means physical fitness only, whereas Verfassung means 'constitution' as well.
Germany has no Verfassung, but The Grundgesetz.
Jrette has a major role in a possibly Un-American musical
Is she playing Adelaide or Sarah?
"Why is the first Indiana Jones movie named Raiders of the Lost Ark?"
The Nazis (and Jones himself) "entered a place" (fictional Tannis) "in order to steal or take" the Lost Ark. Hence, raiders.
"It’s implicit that “things” refers to several non-identical things." As a physicist, I must take exception to this. "Electrons" are all identical (indistinguishable), as are protons, neutrinos, etc. "Clones" are generally indistinguishable as well, especially when they're attacking ;->
The word we like to use in the business is "excavators".
@Martin R #7: "And hillbillies want to be called 'Sons of the Soil', but it ain't gonna happen." -- Dr. Hibbert (The Simpsons)
WTF? Home-made copies of a Swedish sub-machine gun turning up on the West Bank http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/14/homemade-guns-carl-gustav-…
Wasn't "Derry" the setting for the Stephen King story "It"?
...and how the fuck did Indiana Jones survive when the German submarine dived?
Birger@10: That would be Derry, Maine (which may be a fictional town). King sets most of his stories in Maine, because that is where he is from (he lives in Bangor).
The Wolf Cave in Finland is a place where Neandertals may have lived more than 120'000 years ago, but archaeologists are still disputing about the finds.
Yes, sadly it seems the weight of scholarly opinion is against the putative Wolf Cave Neanderthals by now. Those stones are really ugly. Still, the status of that particular site says nothing of the larger issue of whether we might find preserved Middle Palaeolithic sites in Scandyland.
Could this be somethinhg for Anglophiles? "Fire Catcher (The Thief Taker Series)" http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fire-Catcher-Thief-Taker-Quinn/dp/1503947882/re…
Anglophile? You mean, there's such a thing as an Anglophile?
The film thread is no longer accepting comments. Probably just as well - it wasn't getting any feedback anyway, and talking to myself becomes tedious after a while.
I watched the 2010 Martin Scorsese film "Shutter Island", starring Leonardo di Caprio, that champion of action on climate change who flies in private jets and parties on huge private yachts all the time. It's a very dark film. It received generally positive reviews, but I really didn't like it. That's not necessarily a negative - I generally dislike such dark films, almost verging on horror.
There's a comment that the film was Scorsese's attempt to do a Hitchcock-like movie. In that respect, I think he succeeded quite well.
This paints a grim picture of the possible future, and will get people jumping up and down about eugenics. But I don't see how eugenics can be a solution anyway - we are talking about billions of people, and in modern developed countries at least, respect for human rights will prevent any intervention. Even if not, this is talking about the cumulative effects of mildly deleterious alleles occurring in every generation, so it's a relatively gradual process over time, but one that has accelerated with explosion in population during the Holocene, during which time human brain size has been progressively shrinking.
Dysgenics is happening, and there's no easy or palatable solution.
Include link, idiot.
This is very cool.
More on Sima de los Huesos:
"consistent with a rather early divergence of 550,000 to 750,000 years ago of the modern human lineage from archaic humans"
Martin #14: "Still, the status of that particular site says nothing of the larger issue of whether we might find preserved Middle Palaeolithic sites in Scandyland."
There are two issues here. The first is if it is possible for sites to survive the glaciers. The Wolf Cave says yes. It has surviving layered sediments from the interglacial phase. If there had been any human traces, they would have survived as well. AFAIK there is no dispute about that. You can keep on looking for another nice cave.
The second issue is if anything found in the cave has human origins. That's what the dispute is all about. Most researchers now reject that hypothesis. This ticket didn't win. Maybe the next one will.
Lassi, sadly, Scandy caves like this one are shallow granite caves with little volume. Limestone caves are bigger but water flow will tend to destroy assemblages.
And for instance, if a cave collapses, sealing in interesting fossils they will be preserved, but be very hard to find.
Welcome to the CRISPR zoo http://www.nature.com/news/welcome-to-the-crispr-zoo-1.19537?WT.mc_id=S…
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I t hink popular culture is more into anciet stories set into old England than old France /the Germanies because of the thriumph of English as lingua franca. Also, England will be a more familiar setting even though the past is a very different country...
Tracking the putative ninth planet
Considering the semimajor axis (at 665 AU) a future probe to this putative world would also be able to use the "solar focus" for gravity microlensing observations in the direction opposite the planet relative to the sun. Are there any interesting galaxy clusters in the direction opposite to the most likely location of the planet?
Kook on kook violence: "Beck: God Will Punish You for Voting for Trump" http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2016/03/15/beck-god-will-punish…
Excerpt from comments:
“I thought it was St. Peter who supposedly greets people at the pearly gates & decides whether to let them in.”
”Mormons don't have pearly gates. Their god lives on planet Kolob with his fleet of nameless goddess wives.
They also don't have heaven. They have heavens. There are 3 heavens and one hell. Presumably, translating Beck from Wingnut Mormon to English, anyone who does vote for Trump or Hillary gets knocked down a level or two.”
The rats in the wall... no the *things* in the wall !
Holy shit! I thought this was only something you had to worry about if you landed a ship at Zeta Reticuli !
Geologists discover how Australia's highest mountain was created http://phys.org/news/2016-03-geologists-australia-highest-mountain.html
Naah. It just wanted to put some distance to the balrogs underneath.
“Four new giant planets detected around giant stars”
The stars are not “giant” . Just more luminous.
I t hink popular culture is more into anciet stories set into old England than old France /the Germanies because of the thriumph of English as lingua franca. Also, England will be a more familiar setting even though the past is a very different country…
I expect this is at least partly due to Stonehenge being one of the best-known (among non-specialists) monuments that are more than 3 ka old. Only the Pyramids of Egypt come anywhere close. Though I'm not an expert in this literary genre. The only such novels I have read are from the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean Auel, which are apparently set in eastern Europe (at one point the "big river" is said to be called the Donau, which is the German name for the Danube--but both names come from an Indo-European root word meaning "river").
Brexit referendum: "Conservative Party pretending it’s not completely f**ked" http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/politics/politics-headlines/conservative-…
Author's comment "I actually don't know if this is the case all over China or just some parts" http://satwcomic.com/manners-are-important
So we should talk like Beavis and Butt-head? Ending requests with "dumbass". (yes, I know, they were a long time ago).
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“we need a better name for CRISPR” -feel free to contribute an idea!
https://www.newscientist.com/letter/mg22930643-100-14-we-need-a-better-… Letters, New Scientist
My late mother used to complain to me endlessly that my daughter had been brought up the wrong way and "has no manners - she never says please or thank you". No, not to family members - that would seem really weird and awkward. To outsiders, you couldn't hope to find a more polite, self-effacing young woman.
A new picture of the last ice age http://phys.org/news/2016-03-picture-ice-age.html
A Better Comparison for Trump: Berlusconi http://freethoughtblogs.com/thoughtsofcrys/2016/03/16/a-better-comparis…
Lost forest language to be taught in Swedish preschool http://www.thelocal.se/20160316/swedens-lost-forest-language-to-be-taug…
NB: this is not a "viking" language, but a separate language descended from the old norse dialects of the viking era, and earlier, just like the other Scandy languages.
Idea: Demand that the xenophobe party in Sweden must write their bills in Elfdalian, it being a more "genuine" language than the German- and Dutch- influenced common Swedish :).
Not only is it an ancient language, but until relatively recently, sometimes it was written in runes.
the German- and Dutch- influenced common Swedish
To say nothing of Latin, French, and English influences. Maybe some Greek as well, particularly in scientific terms.
I can name offhand at least one Swedish word that was derived from French: miljö, from French millieu. Latin and English are more plentiful, but harder for a native English speaker to spot (the words Swedish borrowed from Latin are likely to have also been borrowed by English).
To illustrate the extent of Latin and Greek influence on scientific terminology (at least in English), Poul Anderson wrote an essay called "Uncleftish Beholding", an attempt to explain atomic theory (ca. mid 20th century) using only words of Germanic origin. Readers who know German will recognize among the names Anderson invents for certain elements cognates of those elements' German names. Bonus points: See if you can spot the error in the essay (other than the out-of-date discussion of transuranic elements).
Demand that the xenophobe party in Sweden must write their bills in Elfdalian
Haha, awesome, Birger!
Timed release for St Patrick's Day:
If you really want to get me ranting unpleasantly and uncontrollably, ask me about the difficulty and cost of doing literature reviews in civil engineering.
To my eternal shame, I watched the 2012 movie "The Man with the Iron Fists" (in my defence, it was a spoof, or at least Lucy Liu and a very portly Russell Crowe played it for laughs), and then totally defencelessly compounded my folly by watching the 2015 sequel, which lacked even the humorous antics of Lucy and Fat Rusty.
But little did I realise that there really is...
Researchers find ancient DNA preserved in modern-day Melanesian humans http://phys.org/news/2016-03-ancient-dna-modern-day-humans.html
This new research also suggests Neandertals and modern human ancestors intersected at least three times. Merriwether is particularly fascinated by the Denisovan DNA fragments found in the Melanesian genomes.
Beyond record hot, February was 'astronomical' and 'strange' http://phys.org/news/2016-03-hot-february-astronomical-strange.html ...and the kooks in a certain political party in a certain country still claims warming is bogus.
#45 - Old news. Why does he express surprise at finding Denisovan ancestry in Melanesians, when that has been known for years now?
Uncovering the mystery of very early humans in New Mexico http://phys.org/news/2016-03-uncovering-mystery-early-humans-mexico.html
Something for your excavations? Fujitsu technology uses a single camera to enable a panoramic understanding of remote field sites http://phys.org/news/2016-03-fujitsu-technology-camera-enable-panoramic…
Stone Age hunters contributed adaptive variants to present-day Europeans http://phys.org/news/2016-03-stone-age-hunters-contributed-variants.html
OT but cool: Chemists develop an ultra-sensitive test for cancers, HIV http://phys.org/news/2016-03-chemists-ultra-sensitive-cancers-hiv.html
Given the event of 26 December 2005, you would think this should have made bigger news than it did.
The point is, it was not actually on the subduction zone; it was in the diffuse boundary zone 600km SW of the subduction zone. To generate a tsunami large enough to be really damaging, it needs to be on a subduction zone, and of Magnitude 8 or higher. The Magnitude scale is logarithmic and is a measure of energy release when one plate moves over the adjacent plate, so 8.0 is quite a lot bigger than 7.8.
Still, this was in the 'area of interest', so to speak.
#49 - That article could be potentially misleading. It is unlikely that modern humans derived any ancestry from the Cro Magnons who inhabited parts of Europe 45,000 years ago.
The blue eyed variant was present in hunter-gatherers who reinhabited Europe after the last glacial maximum, e.g. in the Loschbour remains, which from memory date to 8,000 years ago. That individual sticks in my mind because they found he had dark skin and hair, and blue eyes - an unusual combination now.
Sorry - unlikely that modern *Europeans* derived any ancestry from the Cro Magnons.
Where are the cro-mag descendants today?
Probably extinct. But I don't know that for a certainty, because I don't think anyone has gone looking for them in any genomes other than European genomes, so I am being cautious. But effectively, we can assume they are gone - died out in the severe population bottlenecks that occurred with the advance of the last ice age.
Oops, notice to people using Amazon co.uk for book purchases: The address used most often becomes default, and you might ship a book to the wrong place if you don't double-check the address.
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I love engineering: "Bike thieves, don't even try it: Hexlox locked into bolt" http://techxplore.com/news/2016-03-bike-thieves-dont-hexlox.html
In Umeå, attractive bikes just evaporate. I consider boobytrapping my next bike. Or painting it with rust-coloured paint, maiking it look ancient. No, I prefer explosives...
My beloved little folding bike, which I rode everywhere for 7 months as my then principle means of transport, was stolen in 2012. It was entirely my own fault - I locked it to a street railing with a cable lock, but the cable was too thin and could simply be cut through with a decent pair of bolt cutters, or even a pair of pliers. I say it was my fault because I broke all of the rules - I was totally predictable; I parked my bike in the same place every day and disappeared inside a building for a predictably long amount of time. So any observant thief knew he had plenty of time to break the cable lock and ride the bike away.
But in fairness to the population I live among, I did that almost every day for 7 months before the temptation for someone was finally too much. I became blasé about it, and finally paid the price.
There is a Pakistani guy in the UK, a reformed bike thief who used to steal bikes to finance his drug habit. He has set up a website at which he gives you all his rules to avoid having your bike stolen. Rule number 1 is never be predictable - never park your bike in the same place every day. He has lots of other advice and tricks. One I remember is that he says to let the air out of one of your tyres - no one will try to steal a bike with a flat tyre, it's too troublesome, so he will steal someone else's bike instead. You carry a small pump with you, so that when you return to your bike, you just pump up the tyre again.
I replaced the folding bike with a full sized road racing bike - more difficult to steal just due to size, and more difficult to ride - but the outcome of that was that I crashed too often at high speed, and the injuries were becoming tiresome.
These days I rarely use my bike as a form of transport, which is a real shame, because where I live, the cycleways have been designed for it. The occasional recreational ride is fun, but becomes tedious and pointless after a while.
When I was reporting my stolen bike to the police, I commented to the police officer that I should have bought an old rusty bike that would be less attractive to thieves, but he said it wouldn't have helped much, because the thieves mostly steal them to break the frames up for the scrap metal (most bikes being made of aluminium). The removable parts in good condition get built into new bikes, which are then sold back into the market.
That was the Pakistani's second rule - lock everything. You need to lock both wheels to the frame, and lock the seat to the frame as well, and lock the whole thing to some immovable object. This means you have to carry a heavy weight of cables or chains and locks everywhere.
So the Hexlox could be a real advance, and well worth the investment.
Woke up this morning, reached for my precious Flamenco guitar to start practising and...horrors! One of the strings had snapped during the night. The A string, to be specific, which is a bundle of synthetic fibres wound in fine silver-plated brass wire.
This has never happened to me before. I've had plenty of strings break while playing (usually steel strings when I was thrashing away at them with a plectrum), but not while the instrument was just sitting idle. I'm bemused - I guess a it could have been caused by a sudden temperature change causing a change in the tension of the string, but there should have been some prior indication, and no such dramatic change occurred overnight. That string was looking a little worn, which is why I have ordered some new sets of strings from the manufacturer (the particular strings I want are not sold locally), but they won't arrive here for weeks yet. The strings were those put on by the manufacturer, so I don't even know their provenance - they were neither very good nor very bad strings, just kind of OK-ish or a bit better than that.
This prompted an emergency trip to the music shop for new strings.
I have since decided to replace all of the strings - may as well, they are all getting towards the end of their playing life. But this in itself is a pain in the arse, because after you install new strings, they go on stretching for hours and the guitar keeps going out of tune. I have seen people trying to pre-stretch strings by pulling them with their hands, rather comically, but they can't hope to apply the tension that is applied to them when they are wound onto the guitar. So I still have to wait for hours for the strings to settle down before I can start practising.
I heard somewhere that Segovia used to soak his strings in water. I can't see how that could possibly help.
It's a puzzle. Any idea, Phillip or others? It was the bundle of fibres that ruptured, obviously - the wire binding doesn't carry any tension.
Two members of an elite are not “two elites”.
Similarly, two members of a minority are not 'two minorities.' And y o u ' r e embarrassed.
--an American late in reading this, due to different time zone.
Oh no, do people say that!? *groan*