June Pieces Of My Mind #2

Nyckelviken's folly
Nyckelviken’s folly
  • Dropping off Jrette at sailing camp for her 2nd summer. Just like her brother in ’09. Just like me in ’86.
  • Heard new interviews with Andy Weir and Larry Niven on Planetary Radio. I love the Internet!
  • Kelley Johnston on self-defense training for daughters: “I’d rather bail you out of jail than identify you at the morgue”.
  • Depeche Mode’s 1984 Some Great Reward was the first album I bought. I just listened to “Blasphemous Rumours” for the first time in decades and was impressed.
  • Starting from the lines “Taken away to the dark side / I wanna be your left hand man”, I began writing a tongue-in-cheek occult interpretation of Vance Joy’s sweet 2013 hit song “Riptide”. But then I found that there are already several serious ones on-line.
  • Oh how I hate web apps like Google’s that show you your documents long before they start taking input from the keyboard. I always hit the search key and start typing shit that ends up in my document instead.
  • Layne Staley should still be recording.
  • I love streaming music so much that I sometimes look for housework just so I can listen.
  • The nuns are enthusiastic about visiting my dig.
  • The first tea plantation in India was established in about 1820 by the British. In Assam.

The neglected rosebush I've been nurturing has started to bloom!
The neglected rosebush I’ve been nurturing has started to bloom!

A roomful of used speculative fiction at the Fantastika 2016 scifi con!
A roomful of used speculative fiction at the Fantastika 2016 scifi con!

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

62 thoughts on “June Pieces Of My Mind #2”

  1. John@45: Pronouncing Z as TH is a peculiarity of Castilian Spanish. Most other dialects that I am aware of pronounce it as S. So pronouncing her surname with an S sound isn’t wrong–if she grew up in Madrid, she probably modified it from Basque to Castilian. Many Americans have done similar things with their surnames; e.g., an American named Weiss would probably pronounce the first letter as W, rather than V as is done in the old country (Germany).

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  2. I don’t know which dialects you are aware of. Most dialects? Certainly, since all American dialects (and some in Spain) use the “s” pronunciation. In Spain, the majority don’t:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonological_history_of_Spanish_coronal_fricatives

    Most make a distinction, some pronounce both “s” and “z” as “s”, some even pronounce both as (similar to) “th”.

    There is a legend that the “th” came about due to the lisp of Philip II.

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  3. #51 – Yes. She moved to Spain from Venezuela when she was 6, and I’m guessing she grew up in Spain speaking Castilian, which is what she speaks now (in addition to very good English), so she pronounces her Basque name the way Castilian speakers would.

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  4. Domovoi: A graphic novel by Peter Bergting, with themes from Ukrainan folklore instead of the usual ord Norse.
    the link is to British Amazon)

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  5. A somewhat larger perching robot would be perfect in large numbers for guarding a rchaeological sites from looting, or guarding rhinos from poachers.
    “Scientists have invented a tiny flying robot that can perch to save energy” http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-invented-a-tiny-drone-that-can-perch-to-save-energy?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral

    -and once an intruder is detected, a larger unit can be sent to follow the lawbreakers as fast as any landrover can travel, until rangers can intercept.

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  6. John@58: I get a fair amount of spam similar to what the authors of that paper get (not the same journals/conferences, of course, but similarly dubious). I’ve been training my spam filter to recognize these as spam–unfortunately, the iPhone and the iPad do not have spam filters.

    I also get political spam–somebody sold my e-mail address to a Republican politician, Frank Guinta, who is currently my alleged representative in Congress. So I recently got a fundraising e-mail from Donald Trump, similar to the one that was sent to MPs in the UK, Iceland, Denmark, Australia, and Canada.

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  7. Addendum to the above, in case anyone is wondering what’s so scandalous about Trump soliciting campaign funds from foreign politicians: It is against the law for a US political campaign to accept donations from people who are not US citizens or permanent residents. US citizens are unlikely to be politicians in other countries. (Boris Johnson was born in New York, so he might be a US citizen, but that situation is rare among politicians.)

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  8. #59 – I want one. Actually, I want a fleet of them. My daughter fantasises about keeping a flock of trained ‘attack ducks’ that she can mobilise to fly out and crap en masse on anyone who displeases her. But flying robots would be less messy, and not disease-prone. And you could arm them with something more serious than duck shit. Although, admittedly, duck shit can be pretty serious stuff.

    #60 – My phone is big enough so I no longer need the iPad mini that I previously made huge use of, and it’s synched to both the office mail server and my desktop at home, so I have effective spam filters on everything.

    In addition to the usual conference and journal crap, I did have a problem with internal company spam. I work for a multi-national company that now has more than 100,000 employees world wide, so to try to keep this massive international network synergising and all doing the right stuff on occupational health & safety, anti-corruption measures, etc., and to keep us all feeling how lucky we are to work for such a great company, it keeps up this veritable barrage of internal mail that I don’t need to read, because I know it all and could have written the manual on it for them.

    So I trained my computer at work to recognise all of the internal company stuff as spam, with the exception of the very few things I actually want to see, like my pay slips, pay-out notifications from the group medical insurer and such like. Everything else just goes straight into the spam folder in my office computer, and because my phone is synched to the office mail server, it never appears on my phone.

    When my boss found out that I never read, or even see, any of this massive avalanche of email that the company sprays around, he started laughing and couldn’t stop. He doesn’t usually laugh about much, but that got to him.

    #61 – I can’t see Boris volunteering some campaign money for Trump; certainly not now. But on reflection, it would almost be worthwhile for me to make a contribution and make sure the Feds know about it, just so they could nail him for illegally accepting it.

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