There’s a radio show online celebrating 30 years of The Meaning of Liff a dictionary of words that don’t exist, but should. The words are all place names that have been press-ganged into doing some proper work in the English language. As a responsible person I’m not linking to this website that lists many of the definitions in the book: http://folk.uio.no/alied/TMoL.html
Examples: THROCKING (participial vb.) The action of continually pushing down the lever on a pop-up toaster in the hope that you will thereby get it to understand that you want it to toast something.
NAD (n.) Measure defined as the distance between a driver’s outstretched fingertips and the ticket machine in an automatic car-park. 1 nad = 18.4 cm.
RIPON (vb.) (Of literary critics.) To include all the best jokes from the book in the review to make it look as if the critic thought of them.
I’ve blogged about my confusion over the Bowman vs. Monsanto case at AoB Blog. There’s a whole argument over GMOs are bad or not, or if that’s even the right question. But if they are, does that mean the anti-GM position is always anti-Monsanto?
On this occasion I argue a Monsanto win would do more to reduce the uptake of GMOs than a loss. It’s perfectly possible I’ve made a mistake. The campaigners are presumably much more knowledgable about the situation than I am, so feel free to leave a comment at AoB Blog.
My enemy’s enemy…?
Recently a lot of comments on the Bowman vs. Monsanto court case have been in my social media streams. If you’ve not heard about this, it’s about a court case between a farmer and the Monsanto corp.…..
Going into space? If you can’t wear a blue shirt then make sure you have a red one.
Significance magazine has analysed the casualties in Star Trek:TOS. Everyone knows that wearing a red shirt on the USS Enterprise is like wearing a giant shoot me sign. But what everyone knows might be wrong.
Matthew Barsalou has analysed the casualities and found blue is the safest colour. He’s also found more red shirts died than any other colour — but on the Enterprise there are more red shirts anyway. The situation is made more complicated by security, engineering and operations all wearing red shirts even though they do very different jobs.
If you’re a space cadet this is essential reading.
There’s another dark sky reserve in the UK. The practical effect is that the council will be taking light pollution seriously in order to keep the status. If you’d like to see what a dark sky looks like AstroCamp is there in May: http://astrocamp.org.uk/
I’m pleased about this news as I’m hoping that it’ll mean the local council’s open to reducing light pollution elsewhere in Powys. I live in a more sparsely populated region to the north of the Brecon.
Brecon Beacons win dark sky status
Brecon Beacons National Park has become Wales’ first and only the fifth destination in the world to be granted the status of an international dark sky reserve.
There’s a crimewave in southern England. Deal Town Council have been been recklessly using the coat of Arms granted to Deal Borough Council in 1968. As heraldry aficionados will know, Deal Town Council covers a slightly different area than Deal Borough Council. Therefore there’s been a stretch of almost 40 years of law-breaking since the borough council was disbanded in 1974.
Deal Town FC have also been told their kit is illegal due to their badge. Presumably because people might confuse them with the entirely non-existent Deal Borough FC.
I missed this till now. There’ll be a fourth instalment of the Science of Discworld. If you haven’t read any of the Science of Discworld books, they’re different to the usual Science of… books in that Discworld doesn’t run on science so there’s not much point explaining how it could work scientifically. Instead it follows an experiment by the wizards of Unseen University to create a world that runs on rules instead of narrativium. Roundworld has no magic so how does a world come together and how does life colonise it?
Science of Discworld II: The Globe was about the development of Mind with the aid of two playwrights and Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch looked at how the idea of evolution was invented again and again until Charles Darwin made it stick.
For Science of Discworld IV the Omnians have discovered about the Roundworld project. A world that is actually round but has no gods is a bit of a problem for the Omnians who believe that the disc is a globe, but are very keen on a God.