Monday, April 28

'Get your geek on' courtesy of Jaq: Jeff Russell's Starship Dimensions. There are different ships on the different tabs, so make sure to check them all out, especially the -2000X (the biggest).
Surely Brad Banks can do better than Rob Johnson, right?
We have a plan!

InterVarsity called this morning to offer me the Campus Staff position at the University of South Carolina (Columbia) and I accepted. We will be moving to Columbia, hopefully this summer, after we sell our house here and get a good start on raising support.

Saturday, April 26

Something else I got from Meg's presentation was GeoURL, which continues the meme of planet posting for me. When I get home I plan on entering my GPS coordinates into the meta tags of this weblog and registering in their database. I think this stuff is going to come together. Not that I have the ability to get get GPS coordinated in real-life, yet, but it must be coming, right?
What's the future of weblogging?

Wouldn't you like to know...

I don't know either. I don't even know what it is for me. I'm pretty tempted to switch over to Movable Type, like all of the cool kids, but I've never worked on a server before. Maybe I should and maybe I shouldn't. My logging has slacked off a lot lately. I still like it, but it can be hard to get to, especially when the kids are around. Part of me thinks I don't need to spend any more time at this, like learning MT and servers and such. Maybe TypePad will be an easy way to get the functionality of MT. I don't know. I certainly believe in the medium...

Jaq got me thinking about it reading his RSS flare (4.23, long ways down, permalink not working). He got me thinking and I commented and here's the gist of it: RSS isn't necessary yet, but I bet it might be down the road (we can adopt it then). It's tempting to implement it to be able to use Micah Alpern's Trusted Blog Search Tool (via Meg's presentation, with other interesting potential future apps in it.)

Tuesday, April 22

Did you hear that great editorial on Fresh Air about how we've been doing violence to Iraq and the pronunciation of Arabic?

Are you stuck-up when it comes to language? Then you'll enjoy Going Nucular.

Both brought to you by Geoff Nunberg (who I found via language hat.)

Monday, April 21

So where, you ask, did this weblogging flurry come from? Two sources.

1. I played too much Civ 3 yesterday and I vowed to take a day off, especially on Easter.

2. Christine and I were talking about the Proto-Indo-European rooted words father, mother, sister, brother, daughter. Why not son?

We hypothesized a different root language for son. Was the PIE-rooted word for son out there, something more nicely parallel?

Wrong and nope. Son has its root is PIE and it just so happens to be different from the other five. Why? Don't know. My hypothesis: because sons were really, really important.

(For the record, they had at least one more that fits: daiwer - husband's brother.)
For my part, I'd like 'son' to be something more nicely parallel, like 'suter' (I checked 'suitor' and that's not where it comes form). But I guess it's not, is it?
I've got poison ivy again, and it really stinks. I should be sleeping now, but it's bugging me, so I'm up relaxing before I try to sleep again.

- two little patches on my left side and arm. I know exactly when it happened: I was mowing the lawn on friday (wihtout a shirt) and there was a branch sticking over the back fence and it hit me in that spot on the side before I realized what was happening. I was more careful after that, and I came inside and showered afterwards.

It was just over 24 hours later that I first noticed the spots. They started to break and ooze today around noon.

I'm going to see if I can gut this out a little longer, but I might be off to the doctor for immediate (24 hour) relief. We'll see.
John put me on to languagehat. And languagehat mentioned the Bible on mp3. It's funny, but I didn't really think of that that way before. I guess it shows I'm not converted to the mp3 mindset. What I had thought before is that I needed to get the Bible on audio cd so I could make mp3s for personal use. Of course getting it on mp3 on cd is easier and cheaper.

Audio Treasure

But the versions are very limited: World English Bible, KJV, and NIV. That's all they list on their site and that's all I could find through Google. I want NRSV and NLT and maybe ESV. I can't believe more of these aren't available, and for free. Someone needs to get on that!

Sunday, April 20

More on Proto-Semitic

It should be noted that Proto-Semitic is part of a huge language group, Afro-Asiatic. Semitic language and peoples probably came out of Africa. (This statement has been edited per language hat's suggestion.) But that's not surprising, right, since it's believed that life homo sapiens began first appeared in Africa.

Another implicit theological question: Where is Eden? What was Eden? The answer is: I don't know. I'm inclined to believe that homo sapiens did indeed come out of Africa. What did the author(s) of Genesis intend? I'm inclined to believe Eden was in Mesopotamia, in the East, in the author's mind. Was there a literal Eden? Don't know.

What about Adam and Eve? Don't know. Do Adam and Eve refer to the first home sapiens? Maybe. I had a professor one time who believed God might have taken home erectus and 'ensouled' them. That makes sense to me. Could be. But I wouldn't necessarily pin them down as Adam and Eve with no remainder. Because there seem to be other humans around pretty shortly after Eden in Genesis (at least on my reading). I haven't looked at it in an academic way, but I don't get the impression that you have to read from Genesis that there were no people who were not descended from Adam and Eve.

(Note: I don't believe evolution across species has been proven. I believe God worked that part of evolution. But I could totally be wrong.)

Could it have all been literally like the Bible can be literally read? Yep. God could have done it that way. It wouldn't fit my concept of God, but He's bigger than my concept. None of this specualtion is mission critical for me.
In all of this googling of ancient history I came across some interesting, non-related, tangential kind of things:

a basic world history text on the web: Guide to the Past.

The Long Now Foundation, which I've known about, but not in the breadth of their projects.

I like their bax X logo, form the Roman numeral for 10,000, though it seems to me they should have two of them if they're trying to look at the last 10,000 years for the next 10,000.

I like their diagram of 'now', 'nowadays', and 'the long now'.
And a tangent from the contents of the American Heritage Dictionary: Proto-Semitic

Proto-Semitic Language and Culture. Guide to Appendix II. Chart of the Semitic Family Tree. Semitic Roots Index.

What kind of a date are we talking about for Proto-Semitic? If late neolithic or early chalcolithic (per Huehnergard, above, paragraph 26), and if Jorn has those dates right in the Ancient Near East [cite], then we're looking in the timeframe of 5000-3300 BC. Compare that with a date of 1775 BC for Abram's migration (from my world history timeline [cite]).

My point? Proto-Semitic culture was probably at least 1500 years before Abram. What was that culture like? Huehnegard gives some linguistic clues. It was probably not a lot different from Abram's day - most things didn't change very fast back then. But it's fascinating to think about.

The implicit question for a man of faith like myself is: ok, how does this jibe with the Bible?

The simple answer is: I don't know. The slightly more complicated answer is: I'm not worrying about it.

A bit more: I don't know how all of this stuff fits together. I'm pretty inclined to take most of the archaeological findings as reliable (though some of the interpretations are surely mistaken). I'm pretty inclined to go with geologists' take on the age of the earth. Does that cause me to doubt the Scripture? Nope. I don't think we're clear on what Scripture is actually claiming. The implications for faith are clear: God created the world. Human choice has brought ontological and existential catastrophe. We must trust God. We need God. Beyond that, the pre-Abrahamic parts of Genesis (before chapter 12) are murky when it comes to science and history, at least to me. Are they claiming to be historic, really? To what degree?

The trick comes in walking the line of Biblical authority between literalism on the right(wrong), and liberalism on the left, where the Bible is never history. I feel confident of where I'm walking. Conservatives get nervous because this kind of approach opens the door to liberalizing. True. But I'm also convinved it's the only way to move forward and take the Scriptures as they were intended by their authors and by God.
Here's something you're probably totally not interested in: more Proto-Indo-European.

American Heritage Dictionary:

Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans. Guide to Appendix I. The Indo-European Family of Languages (this one features a beautiful chart relating all of the languages that I have not seen before). Indo-European Roots Index.

Tuesday, April 15

Now for some less important, but deeply interesting, basketball items:

Roy Williams is going back to UNC.

Paxson! I still say his name when I make a shot. The dude who used to rain in the threes is the new GM in Chicago. Good luck handling Jerry Reinsdorf.
Though I'm conflicted about the war, the lack of destruction and civilian casualties has been simply amazing for everything they've accomplished. One example: all of the oil well fires are out.

But I heard some guy on NPR say precision munitions could actually increase the frequency of war. I wonder if that's true...
You know you're a geek when you see 'FTL' on your waistband and your first thought is 'Faster Than Light'.

However, I've got nothing on these guys:

Kottke linked Slashdot's poll for which spaceship you'd most like to own. I only know half of these. Somehow I think that's the point.

As for me, I'd happily settle for Decker's flying car.

Thursday, April 10

Oh yeah, and, like Brad noted, Yahoo's got new search now too. My reply:

yeah, right. i saw it and it's basically a Google clone. and the results are much worse, so busy you have to have those red arrows in the tour to even know what they're talking about. long live Google!

Friday, April 4

Post I sent to the Google Weblog:

Kottke's got three Google links in his sidebar Remaindered Links:

Amazon signs search deal with Google. Google ads on Amazon.

How Google Grows...and Grows...and Grows

Microsoft Covets Google's Niche 'We believe that we can provide consumers with a better product and a better user experience.' I doubt it.
The Google Weblog links an invective article about Google's inordinate place on the web and how a few well-connected webloggers can take over the language. Not sure if I agree or not, but it sure is interesting.
I'm out of town again, so posting will be sparse to nonexistent.

Wednesday, April 2

'It's enough to make you start writing again...' I posted to the twinlog for the first time in a long time.