September 2, 2014
Smoke

josiah-of-many-trades:

rsbenedict:

There was a fire here a few days ago.

Near Wuyi Square, a popular shopping area in downtown Changsha, a building caught fire. Smoke snaked upward and could be seen for miles, even through the haze of pollution.

The papers don’t mention the fire. It wasn’t in the news—-on television or the radio…

I didn’t realise it was that bad in China…

It’s not the total Orwellian hellhole the West makes it out to be, but, yeah, some things are fucked up here. The government is incredibly corrupt and it censors a lot of news. For instance, it’s nearly impossible to find actually accurate statistics on any kind of issue that would make China look bad: you can’t find official statistics on rates of domestic violence (which is sadly quite common) or eating disorders, for instance. The government doesn’t want people to know about these things.

The schools have a sort of “patriotic education” class that teaches pretty much blatant propaganda. There’s a lot of government censorship of the news media, and of course there is also the Great Firewall of China, which bans lots of websites.

In history class, students don’t learn about the Tiananmen Square incident at all. Many young people don’t even know that it happened. One of my friends told a student about the event. The student said, “No way! That never happened!” My friend replied, “Ask your parents about it.” The next day, the student came back and said that, yes, his parents admitted that it had happened, but all they would say about it was “We really don’t want to talk about it.”

Over and over again, Chinese people have told me that they’re really surprised to see American TV shows that portray official authority figures (like cops or prosecutors) as good guys. The very idea is just bizarre to them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Chinese cop show—-though I have seen loads of gory period dramas about the struggle against the Japanese Devils.

Hell, the government has recently banned The Big Bang Theory for corrupting the minds of the youth. That’s how nuts it is. Clever people can still find ways to watch it (downloads or bootlegs are all over the place here—-there’s absolutely no concept of intellectual property), but still. Jeez.

I won’t pretend that the USA is perfect. The USA has problems. Every country does. But at the very least, we can talk about those problems publicly without worrying that the police will “invite us to tea.”

2:36am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZRZItu1PpykWT
  
Filed under: China government 
August 31, 2014



This week’s Sumerian sign is ĝeštin, which means wine or vine.
Cuneiform comes courtesy of the ePSD.

This week’s Sumerian sign is ĝeštin, which means wine or vine.

Cuneiform comes courtesy of the ePSD.

August 25, 2014

sandrasahnova said: Would those symbols for 'awake' represent only the act of not being asleep or would they also be synonymous, as the word is in English, with awareness and consciousness? How did you get into learning about Sumerian and more importantly, what resources did you use? Your blog and evident knowledge are brilliant!

Thank you for the compliment!

I didn’t major in Ancient Near Eastern studies. What I know of Sumerian I learned from guided self-study in undergrad, so I’m just a very curious amateur hobbyist. Though I’m sure that what I learned studying for my MA in linguistics helps.

I don’t know much about the etymology of the word, and knowing much about Sumerian is HARD, since it’s the first written language and the corpus has big fat holes in it and everybody who ever spoke it natively died a loooooong time ago.

But as to the meaning:

igi means eye

lib means (to be) dazed, or dazed silence

Curiously, lib4 seems to mean something like to agitate. There’s a noun lib4-lib4, which means plunderer.

So the word for awake means “dazed eye” or “agitated eye.”

When it’s used in writing, igi lib and igi lib4 don’t seem to have much to do with enlightenment. Instead, they’re often used in negative contexts, like insomnia, staring, glowering and mental disturbance. So this awake might not be synonymous with awareness, but rather with restlessness.

August 25, 2014

kittysneezes:

dogmobile:

Fall 2014 fashion: Scout’s ham costume from To Kill A Mockingbird

image

HAM

A slightly more contemporary update:

August 25, 2014

sandrasahnova said: Hi! I searched the tags for "sumerian" &found your blog! I was wondering if you could help me out with a word: awake. I went to the link you leave under the photos but there were two sets of symbols! Could you explain the difference? Please &ty :):)

Okay! So, I checked the ePSD, and the entry for awake is igi lib, which has two forms.

The first is igi lib. The first symbol is igi, and the second is lib.

The second way to write it is igi lib4, again, two symbols. The first is igi. The second symbol is identical to the first, and could be pronounced /igi/, but in this context it is pronounced /lib/.

Sumerian signs often have alternate meanings and pronunciations. That’s why we use those little numbers—-to distinguish between homophones. It’s a little confusing.

As far as I know, there isn’t a difference in meaning. It’s just a different way of writing the word, like theater and theatre.

August 24, 2014
This week’s Sumerian sign is kaš, meaning beer. Sumerians were quite fond of the stuff.

As always, the cuneiform comes courtesy of the Pennsylvanian Sumerian Dictionary.

This week’s Sumerian sign is kaš, meaning beer. Sumerians were quite fond of the stuff.

As always, the cuneiform comes courtesy of the Pennsylvanian Sumerian Dictionary.

August 20, 2014

tempurafriedhappiness:

Here are some dogs enjoying Popsicles. 

(Source: Flickr / dynamutt)

August 17, 2014
This week’s Sunday Sumerian cuneiform sign is šu, which means hand. The image represents four fingers and a thumb.
As always, the cuneiform comes courtesy of the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary.

This week’s Sunday Sumerian cuneiform sign is šu, which means hand. The image represents four fingers and a thumb.

As always, the cuneiform comes courtesy of the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary.

August 10, 2014
This week’s Sumerian cuneiform sign is šeĝ3, which means rain. It’s a combination of two signs: a, meaning water, and an, meaning sky. So the sign is “sky water”, or rain.
As always, the cuneiform comes courtesy of the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary.

This week’s Sumerian cuneiform sign is šeĝ3, which means rain. It’s a combination of two signs: a, meaning water, and an, meaning sky. So the sign is “sky water”, or rain.

As always, the cuneiform comes courtesy of the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary.

August 8, 2014

mumblingsage:

blue-author:

sixpenceee:

Another way to present the 9 types of intelligence as exemplified by my How Do We Measure Intelligence post.

The basic idea is that different people are good at different things. These 9 probably don’t cover the wide range of smarts we all possess, but it’s a start.

As Albert Einstein said, ”Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

So, which form of intelligence is responsible for choices of font and color against various backgrounds?

According to the post, I think that might go under spatial intelligence? (Clearly I’m trying to flaunt whatever linguistic intelligence I have). 

Did anybody else spot the misspelling (“biten”) in the Linguistic Intelligence panel?

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