Link roundup, 10 February 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

여러분 새해 복 많이 받으세요! 올해도 더 많은 언어를 배우시고 나로호를 또 발사하시고 점점 길고양이를 사랑하는 한국이 되길 바랍니다.

--- The 10th of February means we're just five days away from the closest approach of asteroid 2012 DA14, and the articles on the close approach are continuing to increase in number. The real eye candy will come a bit after, as Goldstone will begin radar observations just after closest approach. On the 15th we'll see a lot of videos though showing this asteroid as a tiny, rapidly moving streak in the sky.

--- A new analysis of red dwarf stars has lead to a preliminary conclusion that the nearest earth-like planet may be 13 light years away, around a red dwarf. The nearest one could actually be 4 light years away around a sun much like our own, but about 13 is our best roundabout guess at the moment. For a good layman's paper on the habitability of red dwarf stars, see here.

--- The MAVEN probe has finished construction. This one will be going to Mars to study the upper atmosphere, in particular the rate at which it is lost to space. I'm not the biggest Mars fan out there but the results from this will be interesting, both for the ability it will give us to trace backwards to estimate the previously held atmospheres of not just Mars but other planets, and also to estimate how terraforming would work on a terrestrial body.

--- A review of Tesla's Model S.

--- Apparently Italy is going to begin promoting a proficiency test called CLIQ (Certificazione Lingua Italiana di Qualità): "Le nostre ambasciate, i consolati e gli istituti italiani di cultura sono gia' pronti per assicurare la massima diffusione della CLIQ in tutti i Paesi e in tal senso e' stata sottoscritta una specifica convenzione tra Ministero e Associazione CLIQ".

--- Esperanto: an international auxiliary clusterfuck. Kind of reminiscent of this often referenced page called learn not to speak Esperanto, except the author of this post (who knows Esperanto very well) still concludes that it is worth learning:

"To learn it and take part in its culture of 1.5 million speakers, and read its uniquely rewarding literature is an experience worth having. As such, it is worth learning: if only to become part of the community of its speakers, many of whom are among the coolest people I've ever met."
There's a lot to get at in the post and the comments below show others beginning to do so, and a small mention of Interlingua is at the end as well. Considering how much of the post is devoted to derivation I'd like to see his opinion of Ido as well.


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