22 February 2011

William Rice Rode

I spotted a conlang-related sentence in New York Times coverage of the Outsider Art Fair: “William Rice Rode, a patient in an Illinois mental hospital around the turn of the last century, made extraordinary drawings of flying machines, people and text written in a self-invented language, on bed sheets; examples are on view at the Carl Hammer Gallery.”

See also the Carl Hammer Gallery website.

14 February 2011

poll results

I see that Mac OS X and Linux are the most popular operating systems among people who read this blog and choose to respond to the silly polls. Good to know.

I’m the one who voted for Mac Classic. Even though I don’t use it any more, Mac OS 9.2.2 was my all-time favorite for its ‘look and feel.’ It seemed to hit the sweet spot of balance between technical and aesthetic criteria, for me. When I am sleepy I still sometimes catch myself trying to find the calculator up there in the Apple menu, or find myself groping for the list of currently running applications up there (gesturing nostalgically)…

13 February 2011

my lamp also burning at midnight

I was staring (in amazement) at this English translation of one of Ryōta Oshima’s haiku last night:

Who is it that is awake,
the lamp still burning?
Cold rain at midnight.

and it occurred to me that this can morph into Esperanto fairly easily:

Kies lamp’ ankoraŭ brulas?
Malvarma pluvo noktomeze.

Hmm. Esperanto. It resurfaces in my mind when I least expect it.

11 February 2011

Voynich Manuscript dated

The Voynich Manuscript, one of the strangest books on earth, appears to be older than everyone thought. It may be 600 years old.

05 February 2011

The Gift of the Chicken

Hypothetical situation. Someone hands you a magazine article, ripped out of some unknown hardcopy magazine. The title of the article is The Gift of the Chicken. There are no illustrations.

What do you think the nature of the article is going to be?

(1) it's an essay about the benefits which chickens provide to humans

(2) it's a story about one chicken which some person gave to another person as a gift

(3) it's a fairy-tale about a gift which a chicken gave to some other animal

That’s the gift of the word “of”.