February 28, 2003

Keeping up with the Joneses

Busy. Busy. And when I do get a chance to look at the Web it seems that I've been taken over by the Welsh side of the force. But I probably shouldn't overplay the hard-at-work riff. Or overstress the extra-kids-and-housework-while-mum-is-ill thang. Leastwise not when I've also watched 83 gazillion episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the past month as therapy for the poor sick wife (Me addicted? Never!)
Whatever, I've been looking at Welsh websites and resources. Strangely these did not include Welsh blogs on Bwffi'r Lladdwraig Sugnwŷr Gwaed, googling for which leads you to a random astrophysicist.
On a more focussed note I have lurked in some interesting Welsh Yahoogroups, and maybe I blinked but the BBC Wales Learn Welsh site is much better than last time I looked. It's also more 'respected' (first in UK Google, but sadly doesn't show if you search for it in Welsh).
The brightest and shiniest new thing on the site is the American sounding Jonesville. This virtual environment comes in North and South Walian flavours, sort of sim-Gog and sim-Hwntw. I'm not sure whether it's the best way to teach 'Welsh in the Workplace', and I might tire of the rote progress through chunks of the sim, always the same phrases in the same situation. But it's pretty and I'd have loved to have had something like this the last time I started a foreign language.

Posted at 11:32 PM

February 19, 2003

Sentient Confectionery

Pootling about looking at web resources on consciousness, I'm finding that 'Consciousness Studies' has problems embracing a multi-disciplinary approach. Not least the tendency for participants to think that their expertise is the most relevant. As Joshua Stern puts it on the Psyche-D forum:

...modern discussions about the mind are astoundingly parochial. Physicists advocate qm, biologists neurons, and good computationalists like myself, computers, each looking with bemused condescencion upon their eccentric neighbors. Can we not get some bakers to participate in this forum, who will advocate that the roots of consciousness reside in the eclair?

(via a 1997 editorial in JCS, The Future of Consciousness Studies)

Posted at 01:17 AM

February 13, 2003

Inhossni Xxurtjat!

Hmm, haven't blogged since about forever, what with being sent to work in the frozen north and my wife then being ill for a fortnight.
In the meantime my websurfing has followed a linguistic turn. Perhaps this was inspired by getting a comment on Snail Musings from Nic Dafis, someone I (shock horror) don't actually know personally.
I can recommend Nic's excellent Morfablog, with musical enthusiasms, film reviews and timely snippets of webby goodness on the theme of linguistic identity. Of course, it may be difficult if you don't read Welsh, and Google has no Babelfish capability for yr hen iaith.
Welsh is however catered for by this handy language identifying tool, pointed out by Languagehat. I'm sure you could use this for serious purposes, but I tried it out with the inscription on the Gates of Moria, and learnt that it is not really Sindarin but is written in Welsh. I was more surprised to learn that the inscription on the ring is in Turkish. Or indeed that the secret language of the Fremen is Finnish, and that Klingons speak Maltese.

And speaking of Maltese, Inhossni Xxurtjat! is the text on the 'I'm feeling lucky' button on Maltese Google. I wonder what it means. (The Klingon Google button says jIDo', which is presumably an injunction to destroy the relevant webpage).

Posted at 11:55 PM | Comments (3)