Michel Vuijlsteke's weblog

Tales of Drudgery & Boredom.

Tag: linguistics

Links voor 24 oktober 2017

Mobile First, Desktop Worst – prototypr
Mobile First should not be taken as an opportunity to over-simplify and, by the same token, Desktop First should not be taken as an opportunity to pile on complexity.

Facebook moving non-promoted posts out of news feed in trial | Technology | The Guardian
Facebook is testing a major change that would shift non-promoted posts out of its news feed, a move that could be catastrophic for publishers relying on the social network for their audience. A new system being trialled in six countries including Slovakia, Serbia and Sri Lanka sees almost all non-promoted posts shifted over to a secondary feed, leaving the main feed focused entirely on original content from friends, and adverts.

The problem with the Romans is they always try to walk it in
Using Latin phrases is often just verbal bullying, Bullingdon style. So let’s translate phrases into football.

Booking.com — UX Analysis and Responsive Redesign – uxdesign.cc
Zo'n old school artikel begot. Maar wel nostalgisch en wijs: "As a wanderlust and UX designer, I decided to challenge myself by redefining the user experience of Booking.com landing page."

The sad humanity of American Captain, the best anti-superhero comic about superheroes
“American Captain” gives us Steve Rogers (and to a lesser extent his peers) struggling with downtime, professional frustration, 21st century confusion, and post-traumatic stress. We look through the keyhole of the summer blockbuster and find the muted lifeworld of a sickly kid, now a grown man who can bench-press a car, but can’t figure out online banking. He’s the character who is both most and least like the reader, out of place in every room he enters. Steve is racked with guilt: not over losing Bucky, like he always is in the comics, but for not being able to protect his mother from his alcoholic father. For leaving the comm on so Sharon Carter could hear his plane crash. For forgetting to return The Hobbit to the NYPL before he was frozen in the ice. He’s thrilled to discover there’s a new Hobbit movie, but panics at the flame and explosions in the theater. He argues, sometimes passive-aggressively and sometimes aggressively, with everyone, including Nick Fury and Bruce Banner. He is marching, in kindness and honor, to his own destruction.

Links van 11 februari 2017 tot 14 februari 2017

Kabaal in Cumulistan: ‘30.000 euro brut per maand. Corrigeer me, Siegfried, als ik er veel naast zit’ – Express [NL]
Voeg daarbij nog een betaald zitje als lid van de adviesraad van Telenet, en ik kom op een ruwe schatting uit van 30.000 euro brut per maand. Corrigeer me, Siegfried, als ik er veel naast zit. Om dat deftig boekhoudkundig te verwerken (en uiteraard om minder belastingen te betalen), passeert een en ander via de bvba Archimedes, waaruit Bracke en echtgenote zich “onbezoldigd” laten uitkeren aan het 25%-tarief (u houdt als loontrekkende hooguit de helft over).

De dubbele pet van Siegfried Bracke – Apache
Terwijl Siegfried Bracke (N-VA) de wind van voren krijgt omdat hij niet wil vertellen hoeveel hij “privé” bijverdient als adviseur bij Telenet, lijkt niemand de inhoudelijke vraag op tafel te leggen: is het opportuun om als Kamervoorzitter doorlopend van leer te trekken tegen de openbare omroep en tegelijk bij te klussen voor een bedrijf dat hoofdaandeelhouder is van de concurrerende zenders VIER en VIJF?

Linguists have been discussing “Shit Gibbon.” I argue it’s not entirely about gibbons. — Language Jones
I argue that the rule for making a novel insult of this type is a single syllable expletive (e.g., dick, cock, douche, cunt, slut, fart, splunk, splooge, piss, jizz, vag, fuck, etc.) plus a trochee. A trochee, as a reminder, is a word that's two syllables with stress on the first. Examples are puffin, womble, trumpet, biscuit, waffle, weasel, and of course, gibbon.

Sex and Gender in the Victorian Era – The Atlantic
For the Victorians, the situation was much more fluid. A woman’s romantic interest in another woman could be seen as excellent preparation for marriage. Though sex between men was a criminal offense (in Britain, lesbianism was invisible before the law), there was, as yet, hardly a homosexual identity defined by same-sex desire. Until the early 1950s, a man could have sex with another man without thinking himself in any respect “abnormal”—as long as he steered clear of the feminine dress or behavior that marked a so-called pouf or queen. To pry off the Benson roof is to ask the question: What was it like to live before and during the invention of modern sexuality?

‘Trump wijst illegalen uit, net zoals wij’ | De Tijd
Staats­se­cre­ta­ris voor Asiel en Mi­gra­tie Theo Fran­c­ken (N-VA) krijgt het op zijn heu­pen van de ‘hys­te­ri­sche’ kri­tiek op de nieu­we Ame­ri­kaan­se pre­si­dent Do­nald Trump. ‘Hij heeft veel be­lof­tes ge­maakt en hij pro­beert die nu uit te voe­ren. Blijk­baar is dat schrik­ken voor som­mi­ge men­sen.’

Links van 9 december 2014 tot 14 december 2014

You can take down Pirate Bay, but you can’t kill the Internet it created – The Washington Post
In the late hours of Tuesday night, the Pirate Bay abruptly disappeared from the Internet, the result of a surprise raid on the site’s servers by Swedish police in Stockholm. But forget the big-picture questions of Internet freedom or intellectual property. The real problem, for millions of Internet-users, is how am I going to watch TV?

Alternese (JBR Uchronlang)
What would English be like if 1066 hadn't happened?  I don't mean that in the “freakish calendric anomaly” sense, obviously; I mean it in the ordinary sense of allohistorical linguistics.  I've already got “what‐if” pages about the languages of 3,000 AD and 40,000 BC, but now I'm taking a step sideways in time to consider an “alternative history”: a world where William the Conqueror never earned that name, where Greece is the centre of the most prosperous and stable economy on the planet, and where the only city with an anglophone population of four million is Wolverhampton.  How different would the language sound, if you were visiting that city and eavesdropping on some casual conversation about the weather?

Als de premier ersatz is – De Standaard
Het besef dat een vakbondsleider harakiri pleegt als hij het besparingspakket van het regeerakkoord slikt, bestaat niet. De emotionele en politieke intelligentie van Dehaene, Martens en zijn fluisteraar Fons Verplaetse voor de besognes van de syndicale leiders ontbreekt compleet bij deze ploeg. Te veel regerings- en kabinettenvolk komt uit een totaal andere sociale klasse en is zich nauwelijks bewust van de relativiteit en vooringenomenheid van de eigen dogma’s. Anderen zijn allergisch voor alles wat vakbonden dierbaar is en willen eindelijk met het Belgische syndicalisme en overlegmodel afrekenen. Zo omarmt het ultraliberalisme het Vlaamse separatisme en wordt de communautaire breuklijn verder uitgediept.

Theo Francken: bewijs ons een dienst en vertrek 😉 – DeWereldMorgen.be
Iemand die geen schroom voelt om het vrije verkeer van personen te beschrijven als het ontspringen van de dans, die is diep doordrongen van de suprematie van de overheid op het individu. Iemand die de daaraan ontleende macht gebruikt om het laatste woord te halen in een persoonlijke mediavete, die is het staatsmanschap op een nog diepere intellectuele en stilistische grond onwaardig. Iemand die dat alles, ten slotte, afsluit met een verdomde smiley en kapittelt als een maatschappelijke dienst, die is voorbij ontsporing en smakeloosheid. Het is een wonde op het Belgische politieke gelaat. Een misselijkmakende schande. De knipoog-smiley is geen detail. Het is de essentie. Slechts het meest arrogante masker van de macht knipoogt in het aangezicht van onrecht.

Rafi Eitan: ‘Peres And Rabin Knew Pollard Was Planted In US Armed Forces’ » Matzav.com – The Online Voice of Torah Jewry
The former head of the allegedly rogue clandestine organization that ran Jonathan Pollard confirmed Sunday for the first time that the prime minister and defense minister at the time knew full well that Israel had a spy within the US armed forces.

College rape: Campus sexual assault is a serious problem. But the efforts to protect women are infringing on the civil rights of men.
Colleges, encouraged by federal officials, are instituting solutions to sexual violence against women that abrogate the civil rights of men.

Links van 5 juli 2014 tot 9 juli 2014

‘Israel under renewed Hamas attack’, says the BBC. More balance is needed | Owen Jones | Comment is free | theguardian.com
"Israel under renewed Hamas attack": this was last night's BBC headline on the escalating bloodshed in Gaza. It is as perverse as Mike Tyson punching a toddler, followed by a headline claiming that the child spat at him. As Elizabeth Tsurkov, a Tel Aviv-based Israeli human rights activist, tweeted: "We are targeted by mostly shitty rockets. Gazans are being shelled with heavy bombs. We have shelters, sirens, Iron Dome. They have 0."

Consciousness on-off switch discovered deep in brain – life – 02 July 2014 – New Scientist
One moment you're conscious, the next you're not. For the first time, researchers have switched off consciousness by electrically stimulating a single brain area.

Pulp Magazines Project
The Pulp Magazines Project is an open-access digital archive dedicated to the study and preservation of one of the twentieth century's most influential literary & artistic forms: the all-fiction pulpwood magazine. The Project also provides information on the history of this important but long neglected medium, along with biographies of pulp authors, artists, and their publishers.

Futurese (JBR Precoglang)
Predicting the future of the English language is rather easy, in the short term.  The odds are, over the next few decades its New World dialects are going to gain increasing global dominance, accelerating the demise of thousands of less fortunate languages but at long last allowing a single advertisement to reach everybody in the world.  Then after a century or two of US dominance some other geopolitical grouping will gain the ascendancy, everyone will learn Chechen or Patagonian or whatever it is, and history will continue as usual.  Ho hum.  But apart from that… what might the language actually look like in a thousand years time? 

Down Wit Dat: A Brief History of Down Syndrome, Part 1: How Down syndrome Got its Name
Deel 1 van (voorlopig) 8. Fascinerend.

Links van 21 april 2014 tot 23 april 2014

Game Programming Patterns
Do you struggle to make your code hang together into a cohesive whole? Find it harder to make changes as your codebase grows? Feel like your game is a giant hairball where everything is intertwined with everything else? Wonder if and how design patterns apply to games? Hear things like “cache coherency” and “object pools”, but don’t know how to use them to make your game faster? I’m here to help! I wrote this book to answer those questions. It’s a collection of patterns I found in games to make code cleaner, easier to understand, and faster.

Hacking Sonos — Medium
In my spare time I’ve been writing an app that replaces the Sonos app used to control multiple speakers in one’s home. It’s been a little challenging so I thought I’d share how I got where I am. You can check out most of the code on Github. I’ll be pushing more stuff when it’s ready.

Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard
The first question any thoughtful person might ask when reading the title of this essay is, "Hard for whom?" A reasonable question. After all, Chinese people seem to learn it just fine. When little Chinese kids go through the "terrible twos", it's Chinese they use to drive their parents crazy, and in a few years the same kids are actually using those impossibly complicated Chinese characters to scribble love notes and shopping lists. So what do I mean by "hard"? Since I know at the outset that the whole tone of this document is going to involve a lot of whining and complaining, I may as well come right out and say exactly what I mean. I mean hard for me, a native English speaker trying to learn Chinese as an adult, going through the whole process with the textbooks, the tapes, the conversation partners, etc., the whole torturous rigmarole. I mean hard for me — and, of course, for the many other Westerners who have spent years of their lives bashing their heads against the Great Wall of Chinese.

Game Mechanic Explorer
A collection of concrete examples for various game mechanics, algorithms, and effects. The examples are all implemented in JavaScript using the Phaser game framework, but the concepts and methods are general and can be adapted to any engine. Think of it as pseudocode. Each section contains several different examples that progress in sequence from a very basic implementation to a more advanced implementation. Every example is interactive and responds to keyboard or mouse input (or touch).

jdm314: The Dæneryd
Here is my first ever hexametric composition in High Valyrian. It's only two lines, but written to sound like the beginning of a lengthy epic: Ābre se zaldrīzī bone ivāedan hen Essot jitte ēlī Pento se Dothrakoti Embraro rȳ ondoso vējo…

Links van 13 maart 2012 tot 18 maart 2012

Sustainable Pleasure – Sex Toy Recycling
find out how sex toy recycling works

Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and _why: The disappearance of one of the world’s most beloved computer programmers. – Slate Magazine
What happened when one of the world’s most unusual, and beloved, computer programmers disappeared.

The Inside Story of How John Carter Was Doomed by Its First Trailer via reddit.com
Because the Barsoom books were so influential to cinema's greatest sci-fi auteurs, just about everything in it had already been plundered and reused by other hits. And as a result, the more that was revealed of John Carter, the more derivative it looked, even if its source had originated these ideas. Look at what George Lucas took from Burroughs for his Star Wars movies alone: In his movies, the Sith are evil Jedis; in the world of John Carter, the Sith are evil insects. Star Wars had Princess Leia; John Carter has Princess Dejah. Leia’s infamous bikini in Return of the Jedi? Worn by Princess Dejah first. That flying skiff she’s standing on next to Jabba the Hutt? Carter again. Even those banthas in the Star Wars were culled from the John Carter books, which are populated with similar-looking beasts of burden called banths. Looking beyond Lucas, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry famously pillaged the books, as did James Cameron, who in numerous interviews called Avatar “almost an Edgar Rice Burroughs kind of adventure.”

The Santorum Strategy | Truthout
Liberals tend to underestimate the importance of public discourse and its effect on the brains of our citizens. All thought is physical. You think with your brain. You have no alternative. Brain circuitry strengthens with repeated activation. And language, far from being neutral, activates complex brain circuitry that is rooted in conservative and liberal moral systems. Conservative language, even when argued against, activates and strengthens conservative brain circuitry. This is extremely important for so-called "independents," who actually have both conservative and liberal moral systems in their brains and can shift back and forth. The more they hear conservative language over the next eight months, the more their conservative brain circuitry will be strengthened.

Les Femmes de l’Avenir – 1902 | La boite verte
Cette série de cartes imaginant l’avenir des femmes dans différentes professions a été éditée par l’imprimerie A. Bergeret de Nancy en 1902.

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