ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 My partner Doug tipped me to this article about opalescent plastics.  I first encountered the color-changing effect through plastics that hide or reveal logos as they are stretched or compressed.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A Russian robot has run away twice and is now probably to be scrapped.

First lesson of running away: if you do not succeed in eluding your masters, they will hunt you down and quite likely kill you. Regrettably, art imitates life imitates art.  While this robot is unlikely to be fully sentient, it does have learning algorithms and is demonstrating how humans respond to things they find displeasing.  The pattern is likely to repeat with increased sentience.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Apparently fish can recognize human faces.  I have, in fact, observed this myself.  I've had angelfish that I trained for hand feeding.  They learned that while I would feed them, other people would not.  They'd come to the upper front of the tank for any footsteps, but if it wasn't me, would look around and soon leave.  But if it was me, they'd start mooching at the top of the water for food.

Great.  Now everyone with poor or nonexistent face recognition can feel inferior to fish.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
GenCon just tipped the scales at 13/25 women speakers, the first time a gaming con has had a majority of gaming girls on the guest list.  \o/  Way to give that glass ceiling a good ol' Magic Missile!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... with falconry.  Sometimes the old solutions are still the most effective.  Worth noting is that some airstrips with a big bird population also use falconry to reduce the chance of birdstrikes on airplanes.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Scientists are using models to explore how Europa might support life.  I reeeaaallly want to go there.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Transgender identity will no longer count as a mental disorder in Denmark.  Because Denmark got tired of waiting for the rest of the world to get its head out of its ass and said, "No, YOU move."
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The Solomon Islands are going under.  :(  This kind of thing has been predicted for some time, and poses a serious threat to island nations.

Meanwhile over in Terramagne, climate change is not as bad as here because people have done more to ameliorate it, but it's still a threat.  Hence the Republic of the Maldives seeking people with superpowers to help keep it above the waves.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Some linguists rendered a legal brief in Klingon. Okay, that's cool. But then I saw this and cracked up laughing:

a California nonprofit devoted to supporting "constructed languages" — is trying to convince a court that the alien language from "Star Trek" is a real, "living" form of communication.

Guys, it's a pidgin now and has been for, gosh, probably more than a decade by this time. It didn't take long to become a household language. Over in Europe it's customary for people to learn multiple languages, and the home language is whatever two people have in common. For several couples that was Klingon, and so their kids learned it as a native language. Well, anything that's spoken live by native speakers counts as a real language. It's a pidgin, technically, because it's "borrowed" from elsewhere so kids aren't learning it from older native speakers. It's going to have carryover from English (or French, Italian, etc.) and will take a while for that to rub off. But all they really need to prove the case is convince a native speaker of Klingon to show up. Which would be awesome.

CBS and Paramount have sued, alleging that the unlicensed use of Klingon amounts to copyright infringement.

*headdesk* You cannot copyright a LANGUAGE. It is words. It is not an arrangement of specific words which is what can be copyrighted. It is not a logo or a trademark. You can copyright The Klingon Dictionary but not the language itself.  A movie is pretty obviously not a dictionary.  You also cannot copyright plain words. TSR tried copyrighting "dragon" once and lost. Words belong to everyone. You can only copyright what you do with the words.

"There would be great danger to allowing the copyright power to extend to prevent others from speaking a language," Duan wrote in a blog post Thursday.

Thank you brain-having person for pointing out the gigantic clusterfuck that would ensue from all the native peoples and their conquerors simultaneously trying to copyright the same languages.  Coyote would have so much to do, he'd have to invite all his Trickster friends from every pantheon just to cover all of that.  0_o
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an astute suggestion on how President Obama should handle the Senate's attempt to prevent him from doing his job by refusing to do theirs: He can give them notice that if they don't act, it constitutes a waiver of their right to participate in selecting a Supreme Court judge, and then he can simply appoint one.  It's a terrific way to ensure that they have a chance to exercise their right, while making sure they can't logjam the government.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

July 2016

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