My essay ‘The Algorithmic Writing of Stones: A Cybernetics of Geology’, published in SubStance Journal, is now online: https://t.co/TqNYX9em4c Taking Roger Caillois’ 'The Writing of Stones"  as an trigger for lithic scrying in the age of cybernetics & algorithms. pic.twitter.com/ARjh0s6YOi— Paul Prudence (@MrPrudence) September 2, 2018
turning an iPhone into a pile of dust experiment one: turn an iPhone back into a rock (this will probably not work) pic.twitter.com/HtXfxpEOzC— Ingrid Burrington (@lifewinning) September 2, 2018
Computer vision to see around corners; LHC detects Higgs boson decay; dark matter debate heats up anew, and more. Cocktail Party Physics: Physics Week in Review, September 1, 2018 pic.twitter.com/xS2aC6pLdE— Jennifer Ouellette (@JenLucPiquant) September 1, 2018
“IoT = internet of teeth”— Nick Seaver (@npseaver) August 30, 2018
After 7136 frames you have reached your destination. pic.twitter.com/ZTNqdHf9ai— Mario Klingemann (@quasimondo) August 27, 2018
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It’s oddly reminding me of robotics, which is getting *much* richer control loops. “Well, we assumed X…we got Y…can we solve for this?”— Dan Kaminsky (@dakami) August 29, 2018
A lot of code has been trying, very very hard, to know all the ways the world isn’t what we expected it to be. That magic is crazy.
*Man, that was one hot summer.
*Is this weirder because it is German, or is it less weird?
blobchitecture1.jpg - generative software - Andreas Nicolas Fischer, ヽ༼ಸ ل͜ ಸ༽ﾉ
Civilization: a stage of evolution that begins when a species first makes a pocket out of some kind of dough, stuffs it with some sort of filling and deep fries or bakes it. That’s the first step away from barbarism. pic.twitter.com/FvEVBJsVQR— Venkatesh Rao (@vgr) August 27, 2018
For the first time, all the international bubbles of @_foam are coming together for a single open studio event, with guest appearances from our #invisibleworlds residents -> https://t.co/mgQoW8LXFG— FoAM (@_foam) August 28, 2018
19 Sept // 19:00-21:00 // Cornwall pic.twitter.com/4G4ten8ZLJ
The more attention you pay to NASA, the more it becomes an extremely clever project to turn aeronautics funding into radical ecology research and transcendentalist-ish spiritual tracts. https://t.co/OezAYONZ1z— Charlie Loyd, apparently, (@vruba) August 27, 2018
Answers to FAQs:— Ed Hawkins (@ed_hawkins) August 24, 2018
1) Yes, the sun’s output varies slightly
2) Yes, the climate has changed before
3) Yes, we’ve considered that
5) No, we’re not getting rich from this
The answer is still: humans are responsible for nearly all of the warming over the past 150 years
A political compass for weird theory Twitter:— Gregory Marks (@thewastedworld) August 26, 2018
H 🚀⏭ l 👽🤖 A
U 🌐🌆 l 🐌🌀 N
M ————— T
A 🦉🍖 l 🍄🐙 I
N 🌾🌱 l 🌲🌋 -
‘Kalashnikov has been looking to take its brand in different directions and recently launched a clothing line and a catalogue of personal items ranging from umbrellas to smartphone covers.’ https://t.co/8UvKIgkrov— Justin Pickard (@justinpickard) August 23, 2018
This is Australia’s climate barcode 1910-2017. The darkest blue is the coldest year, the darkest red the warmest. If there was no trend, the bars would be random. #climatechange— Stephanie Daborn (@stephdaborn) August 23, 2018
Source: https://t.co/lPZR9hCZdQ pic.twitter.com/qLzau2S0IZ
The first rule of John Galt club is, grow the hell up and read another book.— matt blaze (@mattblaze) August 22, 2018
The industrial photography of Emil Otto Hoppé (Weimar Germany, 1928) pic.twitter.com/mxzHvw8xoP— Darran Anderson (@Oniropolis) August 23, 2018
scientists from University of Adelaide employed thousands of rubber ducks to prove that drones are more accurate than humans https://t.co/wb7C0i75Ob— augmented ecology (@augmentedeco) August 23, 2018
Right up until the 1980s there was a British Atomic Gardening society, who would expose seeds to radiation to generate amazing genetic novelties & share them with their members.— James Wong (@Botanygeek) August 23, 2018
If I was born 20-30 years earlier I would so be in that society!#radiationmutagenesis pic.twitter.com/8qL7awjZY1
cymatics #10037 - air, textiles, light - yet more - https://t.co/vtL757Dxqj— Farmers Manual (@farmersmanual_) August 22, 2018
cymatics #10009 - air, textiles, light, more of that - https://t.co/GTwqkfC2tF— Farmers Manual (@farmersmanual_) August 22, 2018
Members of Special Forces Cavalry—one of them with a snake around his neck—walk in front of Paraguay’s new president during a military parade in Asunción, Paraguay, on Aug. 15 (Marcos Brindicci) pic.twitter.com/pXCcoTmBxY— Justin Pickard (@justinpickard) August 19, 2018
The next @_foam/@edenproject Invisible Worlds residency begins 2 Sept: ’…and then we see if we will be friends’ by Katharina Hauke & Till Bovermann @LFTri. Tiny networked music making systems will be installed around Eden allowing organisms to make experimental music together. pic.twitter.com/d3PaQqA8kl— FoAM (@_foam) August 19, 2018
A space ship landed. An alien emerged. “Greetings,” it said, “do you have a leader?”— Micro SF/F stories (@MicroSFF) August 14, 2018
“We have many.”
“Then I will wait.”
“For what?” people asked. “For us to have one, or none?”
But the alien would not say.
All imagined futures lacking recognition of anthropogenic climate-change will increasingly seem absurdly shortsighted. Virtually the entire genre will be seen to have utterly missed the single most important thing we were doing with technology.— William Gibson (@GreatDismal) August 18, 2018
“if just one unorganized voting segment, the 60 million bird-watchers of America, sent a unified political message this fall, you’d have a political block with more than 10 times the membership of the NRA” #GreenWave https://t.co/lGmPCTKm2Y— Sacha Spector (@SachaSpector) August 17, 2018
For those who thought that scientists were ‘being a bit paranoid.’— kanetron (@kanetron) August 18, 2018
Treat yourself with the gift of #boredom!— Olivier Oullier (@oullier) August 17, 2018
In this week’s #BrainMatters in @TheNationalUAE, I discuss recent research in cognitive and #brain sciences about the costs & benefits of being boredhttps://t.co/SpRK7evP9F
@NationalComment @emotiv #Neurotech4Good #BrainHealth4All pic.twitter.com/OJzkLJPV7V
“Honest facebook advertisement” https://t.co/IThShDWIMV— nicolasnova (@nicolasnova) August 17, 2018
JOYFUL MASTICATION— Library of Emoji (@libraryofemoji) August 17, 2018
So. We’re now in the Jewish month of Elul, the month leading up to Rosh Hashana. It’s a time to traditionally do a deep accounting of the soul, to understand who we are and work to make repairs that must be made.— Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) August 13, 2018
A thread on this work, useful for anybody (not just Jews).
Everybody loves a commodity good that might, at any moment, eat your face.— Justin Pickard (@justinpickard) August 16, 2018
You can experience my audiowalk+book “It Must Have Been Dark By Then” currently on at #elo2018 in Montreal and will be at @OpenCityDocs 5th-9th Sept in London. The book is also available to buy directly here: https://t.co/XdE3sEkpCS— duncan speakman (@_dspk) August 16, 2018
Text to Image
Latest web-based project from Cristóbal Valenzuela is a simple online text to image generator using neural networks to render a visual from what you type in.
It is very simple but generates very abstract results (as you can see in the video above), and you may generate several variations from the same inputted text.
Try it out for yourself here
An individual tree has roots and, of course, it doesn’t move. But trees, as a species, do move over time. They migrate in response to environmental challenges, especially climate change. Surprisingly, they don’t all go to the Poles, where it is cooler. As it turns out, more of them head west, where it is getting wetter.
Sure, some species, such as evergreens, are heading to the Poles to escape the heat. But others, like certain oaks and maple, are going west in search of rain. For the most part, “tree migrations are moisture related,” said Songlin Fei, associate professor at Purdue’s University’s department of forestry and natural resources, who has studied this phenomenon in recent years. “Precipitation has a stronger near-term impact on species shift than temperature.”
Both trends are a consequence of climate change, which is producing more heat and heavier rainfall, fueling deforestation. This is worrisome, as forests soak up carbon from the atmosphere, and recent evidence suggests that soil is exhaling carbon dioxide faster than trees can take in. The migration of trees may help preserve individual species, but also threatens to destabilize forest ecosystems.
Fei analyzed the movement of 86 tree species from across the Eastern United States between 1980 and 2015 using using field data from obtained from the U.S. Forest Service. He found that 73 percent of tree species shifted to the west, while 62 percent moved poleward.
“The majority of the species move westward are broadleaf species that can better handle flood and drought, and have a large seed mass, which improves the seedling’s ability to survive,” he said. “One example of westward shift species is Scarlet Oak. Miss Scarlett ‘gone with the wind,’ but Scarlet Oak is ‘gone with the rain.’”
Varying levels of illumination and thickness of asperitas clouds can lead to dramatic visual effects. (Photo: WikiRigaou/Wikimedia Commons)
We stare at clouds all the time, whether trying to figure out what they look like or if they’re bringing rain. Yet most of us know very little about clouds, let alone how to identify them.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) keeps a cloud atlas that divides clouds into genera, species and varieties. Some clouds have multiple “varieties” and some have “accessory” clouds that appear with or merge with bigger clouds. Specific conditions can even create special clouds of their own.
In short, clouds are a rich tapestry in the sky that changes every day.
These are the 10 most typical forms clouds take. The WMO notes that the definitions don’t encompass all possible cloud permutations, but they do outline the essential traits to differentiate one cloud genus from another, especially those having similar appearances.
“Putting aside my cynicism for the moment, I wondered: What if we take these companies at their word? What if it is truly impossible to get a handle on the entirety of a supply chain? The thing that still confused me is how reliable supply chains are, or seem to be. The world is unpredictable—you’ve got earthquakes, labor strikes, mudslides, every conceivable tragedy—and yet as a consumer I can pretty much count on getting what I want whenever I want it. How can it be possible to predict a package’s arrival down to the hour, yet know almost nothing about the conditions of its manufacture?”
Just finalising the major project brief for our speculative design course, and I’ve chosen these two Le Guin quotes to set the stage… pic.twitter.com/ArijBF7BvR— anne galloway 🐑 (@annegalloway) August 14, 2018
Heatsick: the computer processor is coerced into attempting to match its own temperature to the temperature recorded at high resolution within a pile of stones in Ancient Messene across 24 hours (May 2018). The attempt lasts longer than 24 hours. pic.twitter.com/9TTeWDOa5r— martin howse (@micro_research) August 14, 2018
Should Rivers Have Rights? A Growing Movement Says It’s About Time https://t.co/HYnNEJEPYp— Every mile is two in winter (@thejaymo) August 14, 2018
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I don’t understand why we’re going ahead with Brexit so I’m going to peacefully sit in Parliament Square and say just that.— Matt Webb (@genmon) August 13, 2018
WEDNESDAY 6.30pm till 8pm
I made a t-shirt and everything. If you’re around, come join me. pic.twitter.com/FcnU6M2Kqs
Our Spitzer Space Telescope is celebrating 15 years since its launch on August 25, 2003. This remarkable spacecraft has made discoveries its designers never even imagined, including some of the seven Earth-size planets of TRAPPIST-1. Here are some key facts about Spitzer:
1. Spitzer is one of our Great Observatories.
Our Great Observatory Program aimed to explore the universe with four large space telescopes, each specialized in viewing the universe in different wavelengths of light. The other Great Observatories are our Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory. By combining data from different kinds of telescopes, scientists can paint a fuller picture of our universe.
2. Spitzer operates in infrared light.
Infrared wavelengths of light, which primarily come from heat radiation, are too long to be seen with human eyes, but are important for exploring space — especially when it comes to getting information about something extremely far away. From turbulent clouds where stars are born to small asteroids close to Earth’s orbit, a wide range of phenomena can be studied in infrared light. Objects too faint or distant for optical telescopes to detect, hidden by dense clouds of space dust, can often be seen with Spitzer. In this way, Spitzer acts as an extension of human vision to explore the universe, near and far.
What’s more, Spitzer doesn’t have to contend with Earth’s atmosphere, daily temperature variations or day-night cycles, unlike ground-based telescopes. With a mirror less than 1 meter in diameter, Spitzer in space is more sensitive than even a 10-meter-diameter telescope on Earth.
3. Spitzer was the first spacecraft to fly in an Earth-trailing orbit.
Rather than circling Earth, as Hubble does, Spitzer orbits the Sun on almost the same path as Earth. But Spitzer moves slower than Earth, so the spacecraft drifts farther away from our planet each year.
This “Earth-trailing orbit” has many advantages. Being farther from Earth than a satellite, it receives less heat from our planet and enjoys a naturally cooler environment. Spitzer also benefits from a wider view of the sky by orbiting the Sun. While its field of view changes throughout the year, at any given time it can see about one-third of the sky. Our Kepler space telescope, famous for finding thousands of exoplanets – planets outside our solar system – also settled in an Earth-trailing orbit six years after Spitzer.
4. Spitzer began in a “cold mission.”
Spitzer has far outlived its initial requirement of 2.5 years. The Spitzer team calls the first 5.5 years “the cold mission” because the spacecraft’s instruments were deliberately cooled down during that time. Liquid helium coolant kept Spitzer’s instruments just a few degrees above absolute zero (which is minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 273 degrees Celsius) in this first part of the mission.
5. The “warm mission” was still pretty cold.
Spitzer entered what was called the “warm mission” when the 360 liters of liquid helium coolant that was chilling its instruments ran out in May 2009.
At the “warm” temperature of minus 405 Fahrenheit, two of Spitzer’s instruments – the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) and Multiband Imaging Photometer (MIPS) – stopped working. But two of the four detector arrays in the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) persisted. These “channels” of the camera have driven Spitzer’s explorations since then.
6. Spitzer wasn’t designed to study exoplanets, but made huge strides in this area.
Exoplanet science was in its infancy in 2003 when Spitzer launched, so the mission’s first scientists and engineers had no idea it could observe planets beyond our solar system. But the telescope’s accurate star-targeting system and the ability to control unwanted changes in temperature have made it a useful tool for studying exoplanets. During the Spitzer mission, engineers have learned how to control the spacecraft’s pointing more precisely to find and characterize exoplanets, too.
Using what’s called the “transit method,” Spitzer can stare at a star and detect periodic dips in brightness that happen when a planet crosses a star’s face. In one of its most remarkable achievements, Spitzer discovered three of the TRAPPIST-1 planets and confirmed that the system has seven Earth-sized planets orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star. Spitzer data also helped scientists determine that all seven planets are rocky, and made these the best-understood exoplanets to date.
Spitzer can also use a technique called microlensing to find planets closer to the center of our galaxy. When a star passes in front of another star, the gravity of the first star can act as a lens, making the light from the more distant star appear brighter. Scientists are using microlensing to look for a blip in that brightening, which could mean that the foreground star has a planet orbiting it. Microlensing could not have been done early in the mission when Spitzer was closer to Earth, but now that the spacecraft is farther away, it has a better chance of measuring these events.
7. Spitzer is a window into the distant past.
The spacecraft has observed and helped discover some of the most distant objects in the universe, helping scientists understand where we came from. Originally, Spitzer’s camera designers had hoped the spacecraft would detect galaxies about 12 billion light-years away. In fact, Spitzer has surpassed that, and can see even farther back in time – almost to the beginning of the universe. In collaboration with Hubble, Spitzer helped characterize the galaxy GN-z11 about 13.4 billion light-years away, whose light has been traveling since 400 million years after the big bang. It is the farthest galaxy known.
8. Spitzer discovered Saturn’s largest ring.
Everyone knows Saturn has distinctive rings, but did you know its largest ring was only discovered in 2009, thanks to Spitzer? Because this outer ring doesn’t reflect much visible light, Earth-based telescopes would have a hard time seeing it. But Spitzer saw the infrared glow from the cool dust in the ring. It begins 3.7 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Saturn and extends about 7.4 million miles (12 million kilometers) beyond that.
9. The “Beyond Phase” pushes Spitzer to new limits.
In 2016, Spitzer entered its “Beyond phase,” with a name reflecting how the spacecraft operates beyond its original scope.
As Spitzer floats away from Earth, its increasing distance presents communication challenges. Engineers must point Spitzer’s antenna at higher angles toward the Sun in order to talk to our planet, which exposes the spacecraft to more heat. At the same time, the spacecraft’s solar panels receive less sunlight because they point away from the Sun, putting more stress on the battery.
The team decided to override some autonomous safety systems so Spitzer could continue to operate in this riskier mode. But so far, the Beyond phase is going smoothly.
10. Spitzer paves the way for future infrared telescopes.
Spitzer has identified areas of further study for our upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, planned to launch in 2021. Webb will also explore the universe in infrared light, picking up where Spitzer eventually will leave off. With its enhanced ability to probe planetary atmospheres, Webb may reveal striking new details about exoplanets that Spitzer found. Distant galaxies unveiled by Spitzer together with other telescopes will also be observed in further detail by Webb. The space telescope we are planning after that, WFIRST, will also investigate long-standing mysteries by looking at infrared light. Scientists planning studies with future infrared telescopes will naturally build upon the pioneering legacy of Spitzer.
Read the web version of this week’s “Solar System: 10 Things to Know” article HERE.
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.
Y'all thought I was kidding when I started talking about sandwich ontology, but nope. The secret about philosophy is that it works best when it’s a lampoon or burlesque. Things are most obviously true when you see them in caricature.— Ian Bogost (@ibogost) August 12, 2018
A demo of lightness perception pic.twitter.com/BSVpgcuIw1— Akiyoshi Kitaoka (@AkiyoshiKitaoka) August 12, 2018
CONSUMER ELECTRONICS: Hostility Blues/The Weight - 7" - HARBINGER SOUND: Brandnew single from this Electronic Noise Punk outfit, including Philip Best (previously also in WHITEHOUSE, SKULLFLOWER and RAMLEH)! “Hostility Blues” is viciously distorted… https://t.co/cQuPD9Bms1— x-mist records (@xmist) August 11, 2018
Plant or animal? Fungus is more animal than plant. Sometimes delicious. Sometimes deadly. Possibly immortal. Possibly the largest organisms on Earth. A single honey mushroom (fungus) specimen in Oregon covers 3.4 square miles and it’s estimated to be around 2,400 years old.— CryptoNaturalist (@CryptoNature) August 11, 2018
Annihilating Space— Lagomorphosis (@onelittlerabbit) August 10, 2018
As cruel as seduction pic.twitter.com/kSKPAhKTci
is this 🦋 solarpunk— Justin Pickard (@justinpickard) August 9, 2018
Climate change is going to change patterns of both migration and displacement. But it’s going to do different things to them. This podcast is a good place to start getting to grips with that: https://t.co/Uj0TNah4za— Alex Randall (@alex_randall) August 9, 2018
’t is:https://t.co/oKNNxBea84— Farmers Manual (@farmersmanual_) August 9, 2018
HUGE plot hole in reality: every person carries around a device with access to the totality of human knowledge and yet people are constantly wrong about everything.— Dice Funk (@austinyorski) August 7, 2018
Counter plot hole: every person carries around a device that gives equal weight to every human opinion and yet people still manage to sometimes be right about things.— Jason Stark (@DisparityGames) August 8, 2018
Beibei, one of five mascots for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, lying among trees (Greg Baker) pic.twitter.com/OhuHx5vmn9— Justin Pickard (@justinpickard) August 7, 2018
“Matt Tomasello with even more bootleg board contraptions and deranged tricks to permanently ruin the activity altogether.”
Much like the floppy disk save icon has become anachronistic, in ~30 years “parked” will mean a car participating in an orbiting smear of on-demand transport pegged to an optimal mpg with variable velocity instead of “stationary in the local reference frame”. https://t.co/geSDewW6sc— dan hon (@hondanhon) August 5, 2018
“Freed from any commercial considerations, the frontier of coronagraphy can be seen as a bit metaphysical, an almost-gnostic quest for reconciliation between light’s timeless purity and the ephemeral corruptions of matter.”@LeeBillings— honor harger (@honorharger) August 5, 2018
what we make of what we have— Oswald Berthold (@x7557x) August 5, 2018
things strangers tell me: human history a glitch of geology, shame about the chewing gum!— iMetaleptic (@botaleptic) August 4, 2018
hey help me make a list of (and taxonomize?) artworks that engage with twitter as a medium that aren’t bots (i.e., don’t involve automated posting of content)— Allison Parrish | @email@example.com (@aparrish) August 3, 2018
Looking for pop linguistics books or linguistics-related fiction to read, find in a library, ask for as a gift, or give to a language nerd in your life? Here’s an extensive list of books you might be interested in.
Recent general books
- John McWhorter has many pop linguistics books, including notably: The Language Hoax, The Power of Babel, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, What Language Is, Word on the Street
- David Crystal also has many pop linguistics books, including more recently: the history of English spelling, A Little Book of Language (note that Crystal also writes “interesting facts about words” books, so check the description if this is a relevant factor for you)
- The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker (the one style book on this entire list, because he approaches it from a genuinely linguistic perspective: see my review here).
- The Riddle of the Labyrinth by Margalit Fox (about cracking Linear B)
- You Are What You Speak by RL Greene
- The Unfolding of Language by Guy Deutscher (about the history of language)
- How Babies Talk by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
- In The Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent (my review)
- The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson (my livetweet)
- Word by Word by Kory Stamper, who also has a second book coming out! (my livetweet)
- The Prodigal Tongue by Lynne Murphy (my livetweet)
Older general books
(Most of these I read when I was getting into linguistics so I can vouch for them being interesting enough when I read them such that they’ve stuck in my mind many years later, but I’m not sure how they’d stack up on re-reading. Just so you know.)
- Steven Pinker’s pop linguistics books have gotten older but are still classics: The Language Instinct, Words and Rules, The Stuff of Thought
- Older David Crystal books: How Language Works, The Stories of English
- Verbatim (a collection of essays on pop linguistics, edited by Erin McKean - my comments)
- Talk, Talk, Talk by Jay Ingram
- A Mouthful of Air by Anthony Burgess
- Alpha Beta by John Man (about the history of the alphabet)
- Hearing Gesture by Susan Goldin-Meadow
- Talking Hands by Margalit Fox (my comments)
- The Language of Food by Dan Jurafsky
- Babel No More by Michael Erard
- Latin Alive: The Survival of Latin in English and the Romance Languages by Joseph Solodow (my review)
- Predicting New Words by Allan Metcalf
- Shady Characters by Keith Houston (about punctuation marks - my comments)
- Speculative Grammarian’s satirical linguistics book (my review - you should probably already know some linguistics before reading it though)
- An ABC for Baby Linguists (great for linguist parents!)
- The Language Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder (conlangs, older)
- How to Keep Your Language Alive and Language Revitalization for Families, both by Leanne Hinton (see also Ola!, and my thoughts on it)
Comprehensive but more friendly than actual textbooks:
Actual textbooks, still at an introductory level:
- Language Files
- Contemporary Linguistics (the fifth edition is also fine, and cheaper)
- iLanguage (previous edition is cheaper)
- Describing Morphosyntax is popular among budding conlangers
Fiction that contains a significant linguistic element, enjoyable for both practising linguists and language enthusiasts:
- Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn (my comments)
- The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt (my livetweet)
- Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (my comments) and Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin, both of which do interesting things with language & gender
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (my livetweet)
- Eunoia by Christian Bök (my comments). It’s entirely online here.
- Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
- New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani (review from @superlinguo)
- Native Tongue trilogy by Suzette Haden Elgin
- “The Story of Your Life” (short story) by Ted Chiang (the movie based on it is called Arrival and stars a linguist)
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- Embassytown by China Miéville
- The Lord of the Rings books
- See also more recommendations on the #lingfic hashtag and this list at conlang.org
Anyone else have pop linguistics books (or #lingfic) to recommend, or reviews to link to? I’ll try to keep this list updated as I hear of and review other books, old and new, so make sure to check out the source post and my books tag if you’re viewing it as a reblog. There are some great additions in the extensive reblogs by Stan Carey and Superlinguo.
- Too Like The Lightning by Ada Palmer (my livetweet)
- The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (my two livetweets)
- Pygmalion and My Fair Lady are classics, although real linguists aren’t nearly as keen on “proper” English as Henry Higgins
- The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis features a philologist
I’m also writing a pop linguistics book about internet language for Penguin! It’s not out till 2019, but you can see more information here and sign up for email updates if you want to know when it’s available!
Revised and updated to add recent book livetweets!
The genes of sweet potatoes reveal that there was contact between Australasia & The Americas at least 500 years before Columbus.— James Wong (@Botanygeek) August 2, 2018
What is even cooler? You can also show this voyage across the Pacific just by plotting local names of the crop on a map. pic.twitter.com/8ocS2uX6NY
It’s more than 15 years since Portugal decriminalised all drugs, & transferred all the money they used to spend on shaming, arresting & punishing ppl with addictions, into turning their lives around. The result? Huge fall in addictions, injecting drug use, & overdose deaths.— Johann Hari (@johannhari101) August 2, 2018
There is a detailed vocabulary used to describe organisms which defy classification and a system of nomenclature to denote confidence limits on probable or speculative affinities, but they are generally grouped together as “problematica”. A handy grab-bag of misfits that have exasperated or eluded scientists, ready for future generations to have a go at. In museums, problematica specimens reside in drawers and cabinets equivalent to the ubiquitous drawer of odds and sods that most people have in the kitchen.
Hacking the Flavor of Food With Electric Chopsticks
“Some sort of pressure must exist; the artist exists because the world is not perfect. Art would be useless if the world were perfect, as man wouldn’t look for harmony but would simply live in it. Art is born out of an ill-designed world.”
― Andrei Tarkovsky