Random links for 25 February 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Firefox has too many tabs open at the moment with articles and links that are worth a mention but perhaps not their own post, so here they are in no particular order.

A review of a new dictionary of Old English, which so far has been completed up to the letter G (out of a total of 22 letters) and expects to have between 33,000 and 35,000 headwords. There are a few interesting etymological notes there as well, such as the origin of the word baleful.

New Scientist on symbols on cave paintings that appear to be a real code or language, not just random scribblings. Apparently studies of cave paintings have been so distracted by the imagery itself for so long that nobody really thought to check the tiny scribblings next to the drawings. See here and here to take a look at the actual symbols and their frequency for yourself.

Also remember that simply tracing languages back to their source doesn't necessarily help us discover the origin of language, because for all we know there was, or were other languages that preceded the ancestor of all the ones we speak and simply died out. This talk mentions that a bit:

Washington Post has an article today on Kazakhstan and uranium. I mentioned back in 2008 that Kazakhstan was set to become the world's largest producer of uranium in a year, and now it is.

Times Online has a fascinating piece today on a British PoW who snuck into Auschwitz during WWII.

Miles O'Brien on why he supports the White House's new plans for NASA.

Phobos flyby season is beginning again, and the ESA's Mars Express will have a particularly close encounter (just 50 km above the surface) on the 5th of March.

An article here is on the partnership between the EU and Russia on space technology. The Russian Soyuz rocket will launch from Guiana for the first time this year.

Finally, here's an optical illusion along with instructions on how to make your own.


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