Fragments of walrus tusks unearthed in 2007 were traced back to Greenland, indicating that trading routes in the Middle Ages were more advanced than previously thought.
As I wrote previously , Mia (my wife) and I spent last weekend at Capricon, a Chicagoland science fiction convention. We went to most of the Capricons in the ’80’s and ’90’s, but in our first years in Minnesota the pressures of parenthood prevented us from going. Those have eased somewhat and we have been to most of the Capricons (and Windycons) since 2009. While most Capricons have been in the Chicago suburbs, this year the convention was downtown, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.
My wife Mia and I spend the past weekend in Chicagoland. Friday and Saturday we were at Windycon, a science fiction convention that we have frequently attended since the 1970s. This was first SF con we have been to since the world shut down for Covid-19. There was no Windycon in 2020. Covid, of course, has not gone away, but this year Windycon was back, with changes. There were very strict and detailed Covid policies. Proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test were required for admission. Masks were required everywhere except “while … actively consuming food or drink in the consuite or green room” or for performers while performing and at least 6 feet from anyone else. Bill Roper has a positive con report, with which I completely agree.
Duinnín agus an Bhadhbh
Boladh … smell, scent; Boladh an scéil, hint of the story; Boladh na húire, the smell of earth, a smell presaging death (Ker.); Boladh an tsionnnaigh, “a fox smell,” a peculiar smell said to be hereditary in certain families …
Bhí an tAthair Pádraig ag obair ag a bhinse sa Leabharlann Náisiúnta nuair a thug sé foai ndeara go raibh lochán gréine ar an urlár. Ni scáil na gréine, go fírinneach, a dhúisigh óna néal é ach scáil phréacháin a dhubhaigh an ghile ar an urlár le rince beag earraigh a dhein se ar dhíon gloine na leabharlainne. ‘Badhbh!’ arsa an tAthair Pádraig. ‘Leid ón mBé.
Father Patrick was working at his bench in the National Library when he noticed a pool of sunlight on the floor. It was not the image of the sun, in fact, that woke him from his nap, but the shadow of a crow that darkened the light on the floor with a little spring dance that he performed on the glass roof of the library. ‘War-goddess!’ said Fr. Patrick. ‘A sign from the woman/muse.’
binse bench m lochán small lake, pond scáil shadow, shade, darkness, reflection, image néal cloud, nap m préachán crow, rook m dubhaigh blacken, darken gile Whiteness, brightness f díon roof Leid Hint, inkling; prompt; pointer, clue f Bé Woman; maiden f
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
I found this post on Facebook: Why is it important to know so many digits of pi?.
As someone who started computing with log tables and slide rules, the first question I ask is how many significant digits do the other variables in your calculation have? The smallest such number tells you how many digits of pi you need. With electronic devices there is no harm in using more in your calculation, as many as your device has, but do not let that give you a false idea of the precision of your result.
I learned about significant figures in my high school chemistry in 1967-68. (Thank you, Mr. Wheeler!). Use of appropriate significant figures, also from a chemistry class, clearly explains the concept and its use in practice.
I only first saw Star Trek (TOS) after high school, in reruns. Thanks to that chemistry class I gag every time I hear Mr. Spock reporting some calculation to an absurd number of decimal places. His input data could not possibly be that precise!
Back in High School (1964-68) I read a lot of science fiction by Mack Reynolds. His Joe Mauser series is set in a world where the cold war continues into the 21st century, but, to avoid catastrophe, the West and the “Sov-world” have agreed to restrict all military forces to pre-1900 technology. There is still lots of fighting going on at that level.
Recently I was reading about the decades old border dispute between between China and India countries, which actually led to war in 1962. The conflict still simmers on, but a 1996 agreement states that
Neither side shall open fire, cause bio-degradation, use hazardous chemicals, conduct blast operations or hunt with guns or explosives within two kilometers from the line of actual control.
Neither side wants to get the blame for starting a shooting war, so both sides are following the letter of the agreement. However, nobody is backing down. There have been reports that “Chinese troops have used improvised edged weapons, such as nail-studded clubs, in … skirmishes with Indian forces.” and both sides have martial artists in their border forces.
It seems that the Chinese are escalating. We now have Chinese soldiers armed with new devices for hand-to-hand combat with Indians in Tibet. Actually the “new device”, the guan dao, is quite old. It similar to a a western medieval halberd. It will be interesting to see how Indian army responds. They have a rich tradition of edged weapons to draw upon.
Dan Van der Vat, The Dardanelles Disaster: Winston Churchill’s Greatest Failure. The sequel to The Ship That Changed the World: The Escape of the Goeben to the Dardanelles in 1914, which I read years ago and really like. Again Van der Vat is looking at how a single ship made a big difference. Rather than the formidable battlecruiser Goeben, we are looking at the lowly Turkish minelayer Nusret. On March 18, 1915, the mines it laid sank 3 allied battleships, and seriously damaged 3 others and a battlecruiser. This forced the allies to abandon their plan to force the Dardanelles open by naval power alone, which was not really a good idea in the first place. As a result the allies decided to land an invasion force on the Gallipoli peninsula, which was an even greater failure.
Irish Class, January 11, 2016
Rang Gaeilge, 11ú lá mí Eanáir 2016
|Is beag an aibhleog a lasann tine mhór.||A small coal lights a big fire|
|Is doimhin é poll an amhrais.||Deep is the hole of doubt.|
Cé acu Captaen spásloinge is glice, Kirk nó Picard? Tá Picard níos glice ná Kirk./Is glice Picard ná Kirk.
Ainnmnigh fear atá níos deise ná Donald Trump? Tá Will níos deise ná Donald Trump.
Cé acu beoir is áitiúla, Summit nó Guinness?
Cé acu cathair is fairsinge, San Francisco nó Los Angeles
Cé acu cathair is ísle, Denver nó Charleston
Ainnmnigh scannán atá níos stairiúla ná Braveheart? Tá Apollo 13 ….
Nuacht ó na stáit
Tógadh níos mó ná céad mac léinn go dtí hospidéil mar réamhchúram ó scoil Horace Mann i ndiaidh fuarthas amach méideanna ard aonocsaíde carbóin. [IL]
Tá crann Nollag na priomhchatrach saorga sa bhliain seo, agus tá sé ar taispeáint i Halla Cuimhneacháin. [ND]
D’oscail arís Roinn na leabhar annamha Leabharlainne Poiblí i ndiadh ráig múscáin. [MA]