Link roundup for 01 December 2012

Sunday, December 02, 2012

--- In November we had another free asteroid flyby, one of my favourite events where the simple proximity of an asteroid to Earth gives us the opportunity to view it from fairly up close, without the need to launch anything to observe it. Goldstone once again is the observatory that has given us the eye candy we want and need:

The asteroid was 6.5 million km away at closest approach, and it won't come this close again for some two centuries. Diameter is 1.5 km, giving a surface area of 7 square km, about the same as Gibraltar.

--- Even brown dwarfs may grow rocky planets.

--- Not sure if this is a new discovery, but I found a copy of Novialiste from 1938 on It's a total of 198 pages, and being four years after the reform of 1934 the language looks rather...viscerally displeasing. Novial at that time is kind of like the critical image some Esperantists have of Ido: a language that is always changing, reforming, changing again, tweaking this and tweaking that. Ido, however, wisely put an end to constant reforms and has hardly changed at all since then, but Novial went overboard with the constant tweaking.

--- Le angulo linguistic: a helpful page from about how to properly use the language. There are a lot of Romance L1 users that try to use Interlingua as they would their mother tongues, such as using sia for the subjunctive.

--- An article on the estranged brothers Afrikaans and Dutch. Nice insight here into how Afrikaans is converted to Dutch automatically by a speaker of Dutch:

Anyway, my personal ambition is to read a book by Brink or another Afrikaans writer in the original once I get my hands on a copy of a suitable novel. The fact that this is not such a big task is evidenced by the following. Here is a paragraph from today’s Beeld:

“Terwyl Suid-Afrika se nuwe krieketheld eergister met sy merkwaardige vegtersbeurt in Australië besig was, het sy vriendin al die aksie misgeloop omdat sy op ’n vliegtuig was.”

I would not even think in English reading this. I would just read it as Dutch:

“Terwijl Zuid Afrika’s nieuwe crickeheld eergisteren met zijn merkwaardige vechtersbeurt in Australiëe bezig was, heeft zijn vriendin al de aktie misgelopen omdat zij op een vliegtuig was.”

--- The Pontifical Academy for Latin is now on Wikipedia as of a few weeks ago.

--- The front page article on the Latin Wikipedia this month is our beloved Respublica Coreana.

--- And finally back to Afrikaans: Riaan Cruywagen had his last news bulletin last week, over a career spanning some 7000 broadcasts. Good lord that's a crisp accent.


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