Xah's Belles-lettres Blog Archive 2012-07 to 2012-07

Anthropology

Anthropology is the academic study of humanity. It deals with all that is characteristic of the human experience, from physiology and the evolutionary origins to the social and cultural organization of human societies as well as individual and collective forms of human experience. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term “anthropology” is from the Greek anthrōpos (ἄνθρωπος), “man”, understood to mean humankind or humanity, and -logia (-λογία), “discourse” or “study.”
Anthropology, 2012-07-30

再别康橋 Goodbye Cambridge, Poem

puerile

London Olympics 2012 logo Design guru Stephen Bayley condemned the London 2012 Olympic Games logo as “a puerile mess, an artistic flop and a commercial scandal”.
Wolff Olins, 2012-07-29

the Littlest Harlot (by Tracy Quan)

vocabulary: charter, prerogative, sovereignty, colony

prerogative

A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified. It is implicit that the granter retains superiority (or sovereignty), and that the recipient admits a limited (or inferior) status within the relationship, and it is within that sense that charters were historically granted, and that sense is retained in modern usage of the term. Also, charter can simply be a document giving royal permission to start a colony.
Charter, 2012-07-25

vocabulary: larynx, articulate, pump, valve, emanating, modulated

emanating

The human voice consists of sound made by a human being using the vocal folds for talking, singing, laughing, crying, screaming, etc. Its frequency ranges from about 60 to 7000 Hz. The human voice is specifically that part of human sound production in which the vocal folds (vocal cords) are the primary sound source. Generally speaking, the mechanism for generating the human voice can be subdivided into three parts; the lungs, the vocal folds within the larynx, and the articulators. The lung (the pump) must produce adequate airflow and air pressure to vibrate vocal folds (this air pressure is the fuel of the voice). The vocal folds (vocal cords) are a vibrating valve that chops up the airflow from the lungs into audible pulses that form the laryngeal sound source. The muscles of the larynx adjust the length and tension of the vocal folds to ‘fine tune’ pitch and tone. The articulators (the parts of the vocal tract above the larynx consisting of tongue, palate, cheek, lips, etc.) articulate and filter the sound emanating from the larynx and to some degree can interact with the laryngeal airflow to strengthen it or weaken it as a sound source.

The vocal folds, in combination with the articulators, are capable of producing highly intricate arrays of sound. The tone of voice may be modulated to suggest emotions such as anger, surprise, or happiness. Singers use the human voice as an instrument for creating music.

Human voice, 2012-06-07

vocabulary: scrappy, ragtag, martial

scrappy

Raising an army (or, in this case, building an enormous story-driven video game) is an expensive proposition and can take a number of years. In keeping with the scrappy, ragtag band of adventurers model, we are building this larger vision one step at a time. The next step is to build a functional proof of concept in the form of an exciting prototype we can share with you and use to achieve our next level of funding — which will enable us to provide more character models, more environments, and more MASEs. Which is to say, other weapons and styles from other places and eras. We are building a framework that can be expanded as far and as deeply as possible. We have, after all, several thousand years of martial history to draw from.
Author Neal Stephenson planning to revolutionlize sword-fighting games. Source www.kickstarter.com
scrappy = Full of fighting spirit; argumentative.

vocabulary: profuse,feces, epidemiological

profuse

Cholera is an infection in the small intestine caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse, watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated by the feces of an infected person, including one with no apparent symptoms. … Worldwide, it affects 3–5 million people and causes 100,000–130,000 deaths a year as of 2010. Cholera was one of the earliest infections to be studied by epidemiological methods.
Cholera, 2012-06-20

doomsday, catastrophe, cataclysmic

doomsday

Doomsday cult” is an expression used to describe groups who believe in Apocalypticism and Millenarianism, and can refer both to groups that prophesy catastrophe and destruction, and to those that attempt to bring it about. The expression was first used by sociologist John Lofland in his 1966 study of a group of Unification Church members in California, 《Doomsday Cult: A Study of Conversion, Proselytization, and Maintenance of Faith》 Buy at amazon. A classic study of a group with cataclysmic predictions had previously been performed by Leon Festinger and other researchers, and was published in his book When 〈Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World〉 Buy at amazon.
Doomsday cult, 2012-06-16

Southern American English Accent

A new domain wordyenglish.com! All English, writing, literature, linguistics, related material are now there, for a more focused development.

In Asia, 3F, 4F, means 3rd floor, 4th floor

it's interesting that in Asia (Taiwan, Japan), the word “floor” when used as a level in a building or street address, it is almost always abbreviated “F”. For example, “3F” means “3rd floor”. However, this is never done in USA.

Does Hong Kong, mainland China, or other places follow this abbreviation convention?

An Etymology Rhapsody on Spiracle

Behold this little Bane—
The Boon of all alive—
As common as it is unknown
The name of it is Love—

To lack of it is Woe—
To own of it is Wound—
Not elsewhere—if in Paradise
Its Tantamount be found—

Emily Dickinson's Poems