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Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Tue May 01, 2018 4:21 pm UTC
by Sableagle
TIL that one of my apple trees has decided this year is the year to start flowering.

P5010033 Apple tree's first flowers.JPG


Red flowers! I'm looking forward to seeing them open, and to seeing whether I get any fruit on it.

It can't be more than 12 years old.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:17 pm UTC
by addams
Lovely Apple Blossoms!

I have more than fifty fruit on my little peach tree.
It began fruiting after only three years from a Seed I took out of my mouth.

I learned, Blue Jay pray on smaller birds.
I learned it from an informational poster at a National Park.

That explains Why;
When the Blue Jay come the Hummers disappear.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 5:24 pm UTC
by Sableagle
European Jays are opportunistic predators and nest-raiders too, although they'd much rather just stuff themselves at the feeder, if it's full.

One flower open today:

P5030001 Apple blossom.JPG
P5030002 Apple blossom.JPG


I should create desktop backgrounds for a living.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 6:17 am UTC
by addams
Pretty Flowers.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 11:19 am UTC
by Sableagle
TIL that two kids had started making out on my front doorstep while I was getting the laundry off the line.

:oops:


Also that the lines from the Tom Lehrer song Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky,
жил был король когда-то, при нем блоха жила.
я иду куда сам цары идет пещком.
... translate to
Once upon a time there was a king who had a flea with him.
I go where the king himself goes pawn.


Maybe that's rude in Russian for societal reasons, but WHAT?

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 4:05 pm UTC
by Kewangji
Lehrer wrote that he did not know Russian. In the song he quotes two book reviews in Russian, the actual text of which bears no relation: the first phrase quotes Mussorgsky's Song of the Flea: "Once there was a king who had a pet flea." The second references a Russian joke: "Now I must go where even the Tsar goes on foot" [the bathroom].[4]


Presumably, he just learnt something Russian to say because it doesn't matter when most of the audience and he himself doesn't know Russian?

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 8:18 pm UTC
by pogrmman
Kewangji wrote:
Lehrer wrote that he did not know Russian. In the song he quotes two book reviews in Russian, the actual text of which bears no relation: the first phrase quotes Mussorgsky's Song of the Flea: "Once there was a king who had a pet flea." The second references a Russian joke: "Now I must go where even the Tsar goes on foot" [the bathroom].[4]


Presumably, he just learnt something Russian to say because it doesn't matter when most of the audience and he himself doesn't know Russian?


Probably. Both of those phrases sound kind of neat and stereotypically like Russian, and they probably fit the rhythm of the song (I haven’t heard it). I imagine they’re just there for the effect.

(Random musings on translating below.)
Spoiler:
For what it’s worth, I think the better way to translate “Я иду куда сам цары идёт пешком” is “I’m headed to the place where even the tsar himself walks to” as opposed to either of the above translations. It’s pretty interesting to see the various ways in which you can translate stuff — it’s not like there’s one perfect way of conveying the meaning. It’s always been super impressive to me. Literally, it’s something like “I go to the place the tsar himself goes to by foot,” which sounds weird in English. Sure, I’m only just learning Russian (and Spanish), and I miss lots of the important subtextual stuff. But even some of the denotations are hard to convey in English — just in the above phrase, the verb “идти” is “to go, unidirectionally, conveying yourself (ie. walking)” and the action is currently in progress (because it’s in the present tense), so you are on your way to the destination. How are you supposed to get that all translated? Using “пешком” in addition to “идти” reinforces the fact that the tsar is walking there on his own two feet. I’m not sure he best way to put that in English.

It’s pretty cool to read works in their original language — I’ve done a fair amount of that in Spanish and a tad in Russian, and it’s pretty interesting the difference between the translation and the original.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 9:49 pm UTC
by Kewangji
I've got a master's in translation studies, so if you don't mind here are my thoughts on your thoughts:
Spoiler:
It is indeed mind-boggling how many variations there are in nuance on even straightforward sentences. Basically every translation theory opines, in a deeeeeply problematic* way, that translations fall somewhere on a spectrum between two poles, of text being a very close imitation of the source text and text being much freer. Depending on what your axioms are, and what your material is, you might end up with categories such as "literal translation" vs "free translation", "formal equivalence" vs "dynamic equivalence", "source-language oriented translation" vs "target-language oriented translation". So, your translation is more literal and formal, gearedd towards representing the source language optimally, whereas the one I took from wikipedia is more free and dynamic, geared (probably) towards sounding as much as possible like something someone would say most naturally in English.

The one where the king goes pawn seems free and dynamic, but not ... target-language-oriented. I didn't at first quite know what that translation is doing -- it seems to add a metaphor of chess, strangely. Then I realize that it's target-culture oriented in the extreme -- because an English reader might not feel familiar with the idea of a tsar, this "alienating" word has been removed and a chess-metaphor has taken its place. A bit over the top, if you ask me.

*problematic as in this is always a hotly contested categorisation. There are sets of categories that don't overlap so well as the three I've talked about here, but going into them would be lengthy.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 10:13 pm UTC
by pogrmman
I definitely don't mind your thoughts on my thoughts. It's interesting to get the perspective of somebody who has actually studied this stuff, as opposed to just having studied language.
Spoiler:
I definitely think mine is more source-oriented than target-oriented. I don't think the "pawn" translation is just oriented towards the target culture -- it reads like a machine-translation error to me. "Пешка" is the noun for "pawn" -- because the masculine/neuter instrumental case in Russian ends with "-ом", although "пешка" is feminine, I could see a machine interpreting it as the instrumental version of the noun. That would explain why it reads so awkwardly in English.

I ran into some interesting stuff for an assignment for class. We had to translate a short Turgenyev poem. I tried to preserve some semblance of the rhythm, but it was next to impossible. I had to add a bunch of filler words ("the", "oh") and had to really carefully try and pick synonyms that kept the right number of syllables while still retaining the original meaning. Sure, it was only like 3 lines and it was a pretty freeform poem, so rhythm wasn't particularly important, but it really gave me some respect for the art that goes into translation.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 10:51 pm UTC
by poxic
I recall reading about pretty much this translation quandary for a particular Russian novel, don't remember which one. One translator put it all into contemporary American idioms, so prisoners called each other man or fellow and had to [do X] from reveille to taps. Another translator left it feeling Russian, so prisoners referred to each other as zeks and [did X] from first clang of the bell to last clang of the bell.

The person opining on the translations preferred the latter because he wanted to feel that Russianness. (Russianity? Russianicity?) Not having read the relevant book, I am mostly opinionless but can appreciate both arguments.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 10:55 pm UTC
by addams
A hearty, Yes!
Respect for the art that goes into translation.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun May 06, 2018 10:58 pm UTC
by addams
A hearty, Yes!
Respect for the art that goes into translation.
...ummm...They say, AI will be better than Human in a short Ten years or Five years.

Soon.
Yet; We will always need someone to do quality checks.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Mon May 07, 2018 3:46 pm UTC
by somitomi
pogrmman wrote:
Kewangji wrote:
Lehrer wrote that he did not know Russian. In the song he quotes two book reviews in Russian, the actual text of which bears no relation: the first phrase quotes Mussorgsky's Song of the Flea: "Once there was a king who had a pet flea." The second references a Russian joke: "Now I must go where even the Tsar goes on foot" [the bathroom].[4]


Presumably, he just learnt something Russian to say because it doesn't matter when most of the audience and he himself doesn't know Russian?


Probably. Both of those phrases sound kind of neat and stereotypically like Russian, and they probably fit the rhythm of the song (I haven’t heard it). I imagine they’re just there for the effect.

One of the things I like about The Usual Suspects is that the dice landed on Hungary when they picked the nationality of the Eastern European Criminals Speaking a Weird Language and they actually did that properly. The supposedly Hungarian characters (most of them unnamed extras) actually speak Hungarian while the interpreter guy in one scene speaks it in a broken, "formulating sentences with English syntax" sort of way. It was quite well done, and understanding something the director did not intend for the audience to understand was a bit funny (and luckily not spoilerish).

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Mon May 07, 2018 6:18 pm UTC
by Sableagle
I'd guess that the place to which the king goes just like any commoner or infantryman is the toilet, so it was kind of an appropriate phrase in context. Maybe известия's cultural review guy was implying he was going to wipe his arse on the thing being reviewed, or to flush it.

I've fewer clear ideas about the flea one, though.

If you're into keeping rhythm while translating, check out the Skyrim theme. Same tune in Dragon Tongue and English.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Mon May 07, 2018 6:25 pm UTC
by poxic
Given that the folks who wrote the dragon tongue probably also speak English, it's not too surprising. It's hard to invent a new language that isn't pretty much your native language in different clothes. Just checked out the wiki: "The language has basically the same grammar as English, with the exceptions that it doesn't have an equivalent to English's apostrophes".

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Mon May 07, 2018 10:35 pm UTC
by Kewangji
Oh hey I'm in poxic's sig, nice.

Thanks for clearing up the mystery of the pawn, pogrmman.

My first master's* was a big essay on the translation of nonsense poetry, detailing different strategies for identifying components of meaning and lack of meaning. That was fun.

*the programme is very strangely set up so that you do two "master's" in two years, with the second one being way bigger, don't ask me why this structure is allowed.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Tue May 08, 2018 12:04 am UTC
by poxic
"Here's the tutorial-level master's. When you've finished that, you can do a real one."

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Tue May 08, 2018 3:43 am UTC
by Liri
somitomi wrote:
pogrmman wrote:
Kewangji wrote:
Lehrer wrote that he did not know Russian. In the song he quotes two book reviews in Russian, the actual text of which bears no relation: the first phrase quotes Mussorgsky's Song of the Flea: "Once there was a king who had a pet flea." The second references a Russian joke: "Now I must go where even the Tsar goes on foot" [the bathroom].[4]


Presumably, he just learnt something Russian to say because it doesn't matter when most of the audience and he himself doesn't know Russian?


Probably. Both of those phrases sound kind of neat and stereotypically like Russian, and they probably fit the rhythm of the song (I haven’t heard it). I imagine they’re just there for the effect.

One of the things I like about The Usual Suspects is that the dice landed on Hungary when they picked the nationality of the Eastern European Criminals Speaking a Weird Language and they actually did that properly. The supposedly Hungarian characters (most of them unnamed extras) actually speak Hungarian while the interpreter guy in one scene speaks it in a broken, "formulating sentences with English syntax" sort of way. It was quite well done, and understanding something the director did not intend for the audience to understand was a bit funny (and luckily not spoilerish).

That's really neat!

I thought I might have more to say, but I do not.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 5:01 pm UTC
by Sableagle
TIL that a female chaffinch can and will pounce on a female blackbird, drive her off and take the food.

Chaffinch:

Length:
14.5cm

Wingspan:
24.5-28.5cm

Weight:
18-29g

Blackbird:

Length:
24-25cm

Wingspan:
34-38.5cm

Weight:
80-100g

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 5:35 pm UTC
by poxic
Small but crazy sometimes gets the worm.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 9:53 pm UTC
by addams
Funny.
Very funny.
Spoiler:
Because, it is True.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:45 am UTC
by Sableagle
Today I helped someone else learn just how deadly the 1918 influenza pandemic was ... and in the process I spotted a pie chart and went to the page to see what it was about (because pie chart). The page was in wikipedia and featured a sortable table. This is that page. Here is the top of the column that made me pause and stare:

Code: Select all

Nation              Deaths as % of population
Serbia                   16.67% to 27.78%
Ottoman Empire           13.26% to 15.36%
Romania                   7.73% to  8.88%
Total (Central Powers)    4.92% to  5.87%
France                    4.29% to  4.39%
Austria-Hungary           3.48% to  4.05%
Bulgaria                  3.41%
German Empire             3.39% to  4.32%
27.78% of a population is quite a big thing.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:40 pm UTC
by Coyne
Even 16.67% is quite a big thing.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:26 pm UTC
by flicky1991
Even 3.39% of an entire country would be pretty noticeable.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:27 pm UTC
by poxic
That would be some 12mil in the US today. Sizable plague.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:36 pm UTC
by ObsessoMom
I didn't learn about this concept today, but I did stumble on a helpful map of it today:

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol 100-mile border zone

I'm not sure how accurate it is, as the yellow zone on the right coast seems fatter than the yellow zone on the left coast. But still useful.

Madison, Wisconsin, is considered within the "border area" by CBP, because it's only about 80 miles from the Lake Michigan "border." Wow.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:07 pm UTC
by Quercus
Yeah, the border exception is some serious bullshit

Edit: re. the differing thicknesses - do US "external boundaries" for these purposes maybe extend some distance up rivers/estuaries? That might explain the bulginess of the line.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:26 pm UTC
by Sableagle
It doesn't look thicker to me, but I can check by drawing my own.

TIL that GIMP 2.8 doesn't bother following the mouse when I'm drawing with the "paintbrush" tool.

It only adds a blob of colour every n pixels, where n is some function of the brush size. For a 200 mile brush diameter, n pixels can be a whole county. When I went from freehanding along the coastline to shift-clicking to draw straight lines, it ignored some clicks so the line I drew was cutting corners. Where I'd done a straight line along the northern border, I got a wavy edge because it only added a blob every 20 miles.

Anyway, map of the US put together from screenshots of flood.firetree.net at low zoom, red overlay on everywhere marked as "would be flooded if sea level rose 0 metres" and also along marked borders, radius 100 miles:

100mile_border_zone.png


I didn't come upriver into Seattle from the Canadian border. If I had, Ellensburg would have been coloured in too. I also didn't follow the low altitudes up the Colorado valley to Joshua Tree, which would have touched on the Mojave National Preserve if I had.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:08 pm UTC
by pogrmman
I’m barely outside the zone — about 190 mi from Mexico and 120 mi from the Gulf (well, a bay on the gulf). I’m still closer to both than any other US state.

@sableeagle — for the gimp borders, it’s probably best to turn the border of the country into a path, then figure out how many pixels 100 mi is and then use “stroke path”.

I do think it follows bays/estuaries, but IDK.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:37 pm UTC
by Coyne
If I recall an article correctly, CBP also counts international airports as foreign borders. So, for example, a hundred miles around Denver International.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:49 pm UTC
by Quercus
Coyne wrote:If I recall an article correctly, CBP also counts international airports as foreign borders. So, for example, a hundred miles around Denver International.


I'm surprised that they haven't tried to argue that outer space is an "external boundary", thereby extending the border zone to the whole country

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:39 pm UTC
by poxic
I've just assumed they already have.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:11 pm UTC
by Sableagle
They clearly followed the coastlines of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and that inlet at Seattle, rather than the Canadian border, but they didn't bother to follow sea-level up the river to Albany, so they've got a little pocket of leaving people alone in the NE that's shaded on my map.

I thought there were international airports everywhere in the USA. From Wiki's list of busiest US Airports, the ones with "International" in the name:

Busiest US airports.png


... and the two combined:

100_mile_zone.png

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:36 am UTC
by Coyne
Quercus wrote:
Coyne wrote:If I recall an article correctly, CBP also counts international airports as foreign borders. So, for example, a hundred miles around Denver International.


I'm surprised that they haven't tried to argue that outer space is an "external boundary", thereby extending the border zone to the whole country

Since what this is about is grabbing jurisdiction,... Don't give them any ideas.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:28 pm UTC
by pogrmman
Sableagle wrote:They clearly followed the coastlines of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and that inlet at Seattle, rather than the Canadian border, but they didn't bother to follow sea-level up the river to Albany, so they've got a little pocket of leaving people alone in the NE that's shaded on my map.

I thought there were international airports everywhere in the USA. From Wiki's list of busiest US Airports, the ones with "International" in the name:

Busiest US airports.png

... and the two combined:

100_mile_zone.png


Those aren’t the only international airports in the country. There are smaller ones that count as international— like Birmingham, Des Moines, Reno, and others. I guess they have the capabilities to accommodate international flights even if they don’t have regularly scheduled international flights. Here’s the official CBP list of all airports where there is customs. My guess is that all of those could count as borders.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:24 am UTC
by ObsessoMom
Today I learned about Vantablack. My daughter was astonished that I hadn't heard anything about it before.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:05 pm UTC
by addams
ObsessoMom wrote:Today I learned about Vantablack. My daughter was astonished that I hadn't heard anything about it before.
Yes. That is interesting.
Maybe, your child watches SciShow.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EP0rH8IR22c

I learned, HummingBirds Love! Love! Love!
Cold nectar on a warm day. They are Cute!

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:25 am UTC
by Deva
Learned about the Ebola vaccine. Stores it at -60 to -80 degrees Celsius. Proves difficult to transport. Mentioned (in an 2015 article) using jet fuel to keep the storage containers cold. Maintains the temperature for five days.

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:11 pm UTC
by Zohar
Refrigeration is one of the big challenges of distributing vaccines and other medical supplies in developing countries. "Infrastructure" is a hard cause to advocate for...

Re: Lucky Ten Thousand (TIL)

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:26 pm UTC
by addams
Deva wrote:Learned about the Ebola vaccine. Stores it at -60 to -80 degrees Celsius. Proves difficult to transport. Mentioned (in an 2015 article) using jet fuel to keep the storage containers cold. Maintains the temperature for five days.
oh,...Okay.
The vaccine is difficult to transport.
Can we move to people?

They can walk to the Clinic,
Then walk back home.

With some effort...
oh,...Never Mind;

Like Polio, Ebola has a wild reservoir.
We can never ever irradiate it.

They, just, have to keep working on a better vaccine.