Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Loss For Words (Link Round-Up 5/15/12)


*I'm posting this trailer because this is the least likely post-apocalyptic Chicago possible.


Survey: Americans favor major cuts in military spending
Seventy-six percent of survey-takers, including 90 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of Republicans, say they would cut the Pentagon's budget. That places the majority of respondents at odds with Democratic President Barack Obama's policies and the proposed budgets of the majority Republican Party in Congress. Obama has essentially held defense spending steady at around $550 billion by cutting its recent rate of increase. The Republicans have proposed adding billions of dollars to the president's budget.

The Secret Service is running NATO security (hide the hookers)
What will be particularly interesting (read: alarming) is if the Secret Service starts to use the law to get at protests that are physically removed from the event. For instance, if a lawful protest that is within earshot of the summit gets rowdy enough that it "disrupts" the "orderly conduct of Government business or official functions," does that trigger the statute? We just don't know. The Secret Service certainly has the ability and obligation to secure the individuals it protects, but it also must permit lawful protest to be seen and heard. It cannot use H.R. 347 to "sanitize" the summit.
Italian anarchist group shoots kneecap of nuclear executive
"Science in centuries past promised us a golden age, but it is pushing us towards self destruction and slavery," the group wrote, adding: "With our action we give back to you a small part of the suffering that you scientists are bringing to the world."
2,800-year-old tablet hints at previously unknown Middle Eastern language
The 60 women (including the 45 with evidence of the previously unattested language) were almost certainly being deployed by the palace authorities for some economic purpose (potentially a female-associated craft activity like weaving). Indeed the text mentions that some of them were being allocated to specific local villages. 
Typical names, borne by the women – the evidence for the lost language – include Ushimanay, Alagahnia, Irsakinna and Bisoonoomay.
The Nepalese language that is about to die
Professor Pokharel describes Kusunda as a "language isolate", not related to any common language of the world. 
"There are about 20 language families in the world," he said, "among them are the Indo-European, Sino-Tibetan and Austro-Asiatic group of languages. 
"Kusunda stands out because it is not phonologically, morphologically, syntactically and lexically related to any other languages of the world.
Paper finds human languages decline as species disappear
"In many cases it appears that conditions that wipe out species wipe out languages," says lead author Larry Gorenflo at Penn State Institutes of Energy and Environment. "I think it argues for concerted conservation efforts that are integrated and try to maintain biodiversity and cultural diversity."

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