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11/21/10 7:40 AM
No End DarknessOwner/Admin
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01/10/11 11:03 PM
A Mystery: Why Can't We Walk Straight? from NPR on Vimeo.
But then a remote Australian aboriginal tongue, Guugu Yimithirr, from north Queensland, turned up, and with it came the astounding realization that not all languages conform to what we have always taken as simply “natural.” In fact, Guugu Yimithirr doesn’t make any use of egocentric coordinates at all. The anthropologist John Haviland and later the linguist Stephen Levinson have shown that Guugu Yimithirr does not use words like “left” or “right,” “in front of” or “behind,” to describe the position of objects. Whenever we would use the egocentric system, the Guugu Yimithirr rely on cardinal directions. If they want you to move over on the car seat to make room, they’ll say “move a bit to the east.” To tell you where exactly they left something in your house, they’ll say, “I left it on the southern edge of the western table.” Or they would warn you to “look out for that big ant just north of your foot.” Even when shown a film on television, they gave descriptions of it based on the orientation of the screen. If the television was facing north, and a man on the screen was approaching, they said that he was “coming northward.”
In order to speak a language like Guugu Yimithirr, you need to know where the cardinal directions are at each and every moment of your waking life. You need to have a compass in your mind that operates all the time, day and night, without lunch breaks or weekends off, since otherwise you would not be able to impart the most basic information or understand what people around you are saying. Indeed, speakers of geographic languages seem to have an almost-superhuman sense of orientation. Regardless of visibility conditions, regardless of whether they are in thick forest or on an open plain, whether outside or indoors or even in caves, whether stationary or moving, they have a spot-on sense of direction. They don’t look at the sun and pause for a moment of calculation before they say, “There’s an ant just north of your foot.” They simply feel where north, south, west and east are, just as people with perfect pitch feel what each note is without having to calculate intervals. There is a wealth of stories about what to us may seem like incredible feats of orientation but for speakers of geographic languages are just a matter of course. One report relates how a speaker of Tzeltal from southern Mexico was blindfolded and spun around more than 20 times in a darkened house. Still blindfolded and dizzy, he pointed without hesitation at the geographic directions.
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02/09/11 9:01 AM
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03/14/11 7:50 PM
Behold the many uses of my amazing BIONIC ARM!
04/11/11 5:48 PM
Carrots have been used in sweet cakes since the medieval period,
during which time sweeteners were scarce and expensive, while carrots,
which contain more sugar than any other vegetable besides the sugar beet, were much easier to come by and were used to make sweet desserts.
12/23/11 8:33 PM
"I heard on a singer on the radio late last night. He said he's gonna kick the darkness, 'til it bleeds daylight"
But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight --
Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight
08/24/12 10:10 PM
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09/14/12 6:18 AM
The novel generated a new name in English – Cedric. The original Saxon name had been Cerdic but Sir Walter misspelled it – an example of metathesis. "It is not a name but a misspelling," said satirist H. H. Munro.
09/15/12 5:26 AM
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09/25/12 5:56 AM
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10/05/12 8:54 AM
Crawl and 1OOO wrote:the surface of revolution of y=1/x, from x=1 to infinity, has finite volume but infinite surface area
(a fact which I still find kind of mind blowing).
10/16/12 6:00 AM
One unusual objection, from Japanese censors, was that the scene in which Pretorius chases his miniature Henry VIII with tweezers constituted "making a fool out of a king".
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