Random link roundup: Papiamentu, more efficient street lights, Maltese overseas, etc.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Image: the summer sky in rural Iran.

Time for another single post composed of subjects I'd been meaning to write about but not long enough on their own to fill up a single post.

Two articles here and here on the new batting coach for the New York Giants who speaks five languages, including Papiamentu (he's from Curacao).

Here's an example (written in Italian) of a free Sardinian course in Sardinia. Sardinian is well known for being the most conservative (conservative = unchanged from Latin) Romance language.

Congestion in Toronto costs Canada a total of $3.3 billion. Time spent in traffic = wasted money, pollution = worse health, etc. Toronto has far too many people still dependent on cars for a city of its size.

A small article here on teaching Maltese abroad.

An interesting study here on average intelligence among the religious vs. non-religious. Some studies seem to show a positive correlation between a lack of religion and intelligence, but it's not quite that simple - it's true for lifelong theists vs. atheists but converts are the opposite - those that have switched to atheism later on are generally less intelligent, and those that have switched to theism later on are more intelligent. Basically it has to do with: 1) conformity or a lack of it is more of a sign of intelligence, and 2) surprise surprise, switching to or from one religion/philosophy or another doesn't magically increase or decrease one's intelligence.

On a related note, Frank Schaeffer has gotten a lot of attention for an article of his here entitled Are the "New Atheists" as bad as Christian Fundamentalists? Frank Schaeffer is a man that used to be an evangelical fundamentalist but since changed his views, but instead of throwing out religion as well as some might be inclined to do he has since become Greek Orthodox. Here is an interview of his from September that received quite a bit of attention.



The interview went viral, particularly among anti-theist groups, but his now editorial is now receiving flack from them. It's tough to stake out a minority position in between two huge groups and call them both out.

Here's a page entitled Ecotel on the Moon that uses some content from a post of mine here.

Here's an interesting article on street lights. Traditional street lights are kind of like the Qwerty keyboard - they were created because it looked like the best thing to do at the time with a big bulb that sends out a kind of orangey light in all directions. Recently however, dark sky projects have resulted in street lights that only send light down (because there really is no need to light up the sky at night; nobody lives there) as well as using colours that are more in tune with human sensitivities - thus cooler colours like blue and green instead of orange and yellow. Looks better and saves a considerable amount of energy. Not sure what that note on  "it will make greener the Goth subculture" is doing in the article though. Shrug.

Finally, here's a video from a host of a show on NSMBC named Dylan Ratigan that criticizes US bank bailouts and fighting overseas, but has revealed that he really has an agenda behind this: he just wants the US to stop wasting its money on propping up banking and fighting overseas and instead start really exploring space.

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