Link roundup for 30 March 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

This week was full of articles to mention in a link roundup. Here they are:

--- Denmark aims to get 35% of its total energy from renewables by 2020 and 100% by 2050 - pretty self-explanatory.

--- Japan Airlines now has its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, giving the world a total of seven of these airplanes so far.

--- Jeff Bezos ( billionaire and the guy behind Blue Origin) has found the original Apollo 11 rocket engines and intends to raise them from the ocean floor. They should end up in a museum (they are still NASA property, even if Bezos recovers them), and hopefully their age and original appearance when first lifted up will remind the world of just how long ago Apollo 11 took place - in other words, we didn't go to the moon, a previous generation that has now mostly died away did. We have only been to Low Earth Orbit, no farther.

--- An article on why young Americans are less and less interested in buying cars, and even in getting driver's licenses.

--- An article on the checks and balances in the US system vs. the Canadian parliamentary approach. Americans by and large do not seem to be aware of how weak a president is compared to the Prime Ministers in other nations, and are frequently disappointed when the country has not changed 180 degrees in the two or four years after a presidential election. Remembering back to the passing of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the idea of a Prime Minister having to negotiate and negotiate again with his own party to pass a single bill is laughable.

--- From December - an interesting article on a French language program for Spanish speakers in Cal State.

--- The Office québécoise de la langue française, now with 246 staff, is adding another 69 (an increase of about 25%).

--- On Will Ferrell's Spanish immersion when filming Casa de mi padre and his language-learning ability. Will Ferrell is fluent in Swedish thanks to his wife, and so this is not the first time learning another language for him.

--- The PVV in the Netherlands on nomenclature in South Africa again.

--- An interesting brown dwarf has been discovered 29 light years away, trailing a star in the big dipper. I would prefer 1 light year away, but 29 is acceptable for now.

--- Votes and vowels: an interesting article on the pronunciation of certain vowels in parts of the US and how it affects the way a person comes across politically, plus a number of other things. I won't try to summarize it here, except to note that it's quite reminiscent of a Malcolm Gladwell book.

--- Finally, a small site with Italian etymology that I like. It seems to be just a number of images cobbled together from an old Italian dictionary, but being able to quickly search one word at a time is nice. The etymology for sbagliare (to be wrong) for example comes from Latin varius.


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