Rang Gaeilge, 23ú lá na Márta 2021

Duinnín agus na Beacha (tuilleadh)

  • Bhí Cáit ag súil go gcaithfeadh sé an oíche ar an settle sa chistin acu siúd ach bhí a chroí rólán chuige. D’éalaigh sé amach bealach an chnoic trí pháirceanna Mholly – thíos uaidh sa ghleann, páistí Cháit ag spraoi … dhá fholt fionn agus folt donn . . . gáire ard caol leanaí. Chuala sé glór Cháit ag insint dó go soilbhir, faoi dhiscréid, go mbeadh a céile, Tom, ag ceannach na talún ó Nóra … soláthar don triúr leanbh … íoc thar thréimhse … iasacht an árthaigh … siúicre san earrach … siopa … bainis . . spanlóir de sprionlóir ar shlí na fírinne … deis a thabhairt don óige … úsc nimhneach ó na ródaideandróin a chur sa siúicre … seans go n-oibreodh sé, seans nach n-oibreodh. Dá n-oihreodh, bheadh feirm Uí Shé le díol / le ceannach – ar phraghas insroichte / réasúnta … thar thréimhse.

    Kate was hoping he would spend the night on the settle they had in the kitchen, but his heart was too full to him. He escaped out the way of the hill through Molly’s fields. Below him in the valley Kate’s children were playing … two blond heads and a brown head … the high thin laugh of children. He heard Kate’s voice telling him clearly, discretely, that her husband, Tom, would be buying the land from Nora … provide for three children … pay over time … lending the container … sugar in spring … shop … wedding … Spindle-legged person of a miser to his eternal reward … giving the youth an opportunity … put poisonous extract from the rhododendrons in the sugar … chance it would work, chance it would not. If it worked, O’Shea’s farm would be for sale/purchase – at an affordable/reasonable price … over time.

    rólántoo full
    foltHair (of head); (pl.) locks, tressesm
    soilbhirPleasant, cheerful; jovial, merry; ready of speech, well-spoken
    discréiddiscretionf
    iasachtLending, borrowing; loanf
    árthach Vessel, ship, boat; containerm gs árthaigh
    bainisweddijng
    spanlóirSpindle-legged person
    sprionlóirMean, miserly, person; miser, skinflintm
    ar shlí na fírinneto his/her/their eternal reward
    deisopportunity [here]f
    úscfat, grease; extractm
    insroichteachtinsroichteacht

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A Copper Mine in Ancient Israel

I wrote in The Archaeology of Armageddon:

The site was occupied almost continuously from about 3500 BCE until about 586 BCE, but a direct connection to King Solomon has yet to be found. What were thought to be Solomon’s stables now seem to date from the reign of Ahab, about 870-850 BCE. Ahab and his father Omri get a terrible press in the Biblical book of 1 Kings, but unlike their predecessors in both Israel and Judah, they are mentioned in contemporary Moabite and Assyrian records. We do not yet have such a verification of the Biblical account for David and Solomon
However, somebody at that time was operating a large copper mine in what is now Israel with fortifications. Continue reading

Rang Gaeilge, 6ú lá na Márta 2021

Duinnín agus na Beacha

Saite, a swarm (of bees, {et cetera})… MacShaithe, a second swarm
cráin beiche, a female bee
máthair áil, mother of a brood, a prolific mother, a queen-bee
céir bheach, bees wax, honey in the comb
fig. what is choice or perfect; c. bheach is péarla na Muimhneach, the choice and pearl of the men of Munster; but (iron.) Tá sé ‘na céir bheach agat

  • Bhí an tAthair Pádraig istigh sa Leabharlann Náisiúnta, falla foclóirí[gpl] thart air, píosaí páipéir le focail luachmhara breactha orthu ag titim ina gconfetti ar an urlár thart air. Taobh leis bhí East Lynne le Mrs. Henry Woods [Diolann Amazon an leabhar sin]. Bhí dhá chairéad, duileasc agus úll leagtha amach go néata ar an leabhar seo. Léifadh sé Mrs. Henry ag am lóin chun a intinn a fhuaradh. Go dtí sin, choinneodh sí na cairéidí amach ón dúch.

    Father Dineen was in the National Library, a wall of dictionaries around him, pieces of paper with valuable words written on them falling like confetti on the floor around him. Beside him was East Lynne by Mrs. Henry Woods. There were two carrots, dulse[a seaweed] and an apple were neatly laid out on this book. He would read Mrs. Henry at lunchtime to cool his mind. Until then, she would keep the carrots out of the ink.

    falla = ballawallm
    luachmharValuable, costly, precious
    breacthaspeckled, dappled; written
    cairéadcarrotm
    duileascdulse[a seaweed]

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The Dark Side of Gaia

I was reminded tonight of the Gaia hypothesis. It was quite a thing in the 1970s.

The Gaia hypothesis, named after the ancient Greek goddess of Earth, posits that Earth and its biological systems behave as a huge single entity. This entity has closely controlled self-regulatory negative feedback loops that keep the conditions on the planet within boundaries that are favorable to life. Introduced in the early 1970s, the idea was conceived by chemist and inventor James E. Lovelock and biologist Lynn Margulis.

This had a natural appeal in the early days of the environmental movement. I was skeptical back then, thinking of it as new age wishful thinking, and impossible to test. I was wrong: Its origins are far darker. Here is the abstract of Gas Guzzling Gaia, or: A Prehistory of Climate Change Denialism:

Continue reading

The mass of Dark Matter particles

An email from Cosmoquest led me to find Physicists Narrow Range of Potential Masses for Dark Matter Candidate articles. Technical details at Theoretical bounds on dark matter masses and on the Arxiv. The mass range is 10−3eV≲mφ≲107eV. Thus we have a range from neutrino masses (still very uncertain, but nonzero) up to about 1/10 the mass of a muon. This appears to exclude WIMPs, which were already in trouble. This also suggests that finding dark matter is not a justification for building a more powerful particle accelerator than the LHC; 107eV is well within the range of the LHC and other current devices.

We still do not have a complete theory of quantum gravity, but apparently enough is understood to make such calculations possible. I am looking forward to seeing what other theoretical physicists say about this.

Blinking Astronomical Photographs

Low-Cost Approach to Scanning Historic Glass Plates Yields an Astronomical Surprise. Technical details at Precise Photometric Measurements from a 1903 Photographic Plate Using a Commercial Scanner.

Professional astrophotography used to be done on emulsion-coasted glass places. That was how astromical discoveries were made for nearly a century.

More than an estimated 2.4 million glass plates are out there in collections in North America alone. These were taken starting in the 1890s right up until the 1970s, when CCD (Charged Couple Device) detectors started to come online for astronomy. Of these, only an estimated 400,000 plates have been digitized to research quality

The team in this article has found a much cheaper way to proceed with this process, using off-the-shelf hardware.

Continue reading

Rang Gaeilge, 26ú lá mí Eanáir 2021

Duinnín agus an Bhean nár tugadh Nimh di (tuilleadh)

  • ‘Bhí sailéid[veriant] ag Miss Montague. Ubh beirithe a bhí agam féin.’
    ‘Cad a bhí sa sailéid?’
    ‘Bradán stánaithe, leitís, tráta agus prátaí beirithe.’
    D’ith an Duinníneach slaimice aráin agus d’ól sé muigín tae, gan focal as [3rd pers sing prep pronoun]. D’ól Minnie deora beaga tae ón mhuigín aici siúd go béasach agus chogain sí grabhóga aráin lena fiacla tosaigh mar dhéanfadh coinín.

    ‘Miss Montague had a salad. I myself had a boiled egg.’
    ‘What was in the salad?’
    ‘Canned salmon, lettuce, a tomato, and boiled potatoes.’
    Dineen ate a chunk of bread and drank a little mug of tea, without a word out of him. Minnie drank small drops of tea from her little mug there politely and she chewed bread crumbs with her front teeth like a rabbit would.

    sailéadsaladm gs npl sailéid
    Bradánsalmon
    stánaithecanned
    mugamugm
    deoirdropf npl deora
    béasachWell-behaved; mannerly, polite
    cogainchew
    grabhrógcrumbf npl grabhróga
    tosaighbegin, start
    tosachbeginning, frontm gs tosaigh

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The Eyes of Legolas

Tumblr User Explains Why Elves’ Eyes In Lord Of The Rings Shouldn’t Look The Way They Do, but in fact there is no problem.

In The Two Towers Legolas claims to clearly see the horsemen of Rohan at a distance of 5 leagues. How is this possible when you consider the curvature of the Earth? You can come up with some bizarre ideas about Elven anatomy which are not suggested in the books or seen in the movies. However, there is a an elegant answer based on the nature of Arda, Tolkien’s world. It was flat, not round, until the end of the second age. At that time the Valar made it round so that mortals could not access Valinor. But Elves could still go there. For them the Earth was still flat and they could sail the straight path to Valinor. Hence for Legolas the curvature of the Earth and the horizon did not exist and hence he could accurately see the horsemen 5 leagues away.