Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DLXVIII Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DLXVIII
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    Default Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DLXVIII

    If anybody has the PM's email address, send him a link to this lot to help him pass the time

    • The Story of One Whale Who Tried to Bridge the Linguistic Divide Between Animals and Humans - The incredible talking whale: ”While captive in a Navy program, a beluga whale named Noc began to mimic human speech. What was behind his attempt to talk to us?”

    • Rogue planets: hunting the galaxy’s most mysterious worlds - ”There are… ‘invisible’ planets, hidden from our gaze, which float, abandoned, through the cosmos. These dark, lonely worlds have no star to orbit, no light in which to bask, no warmth to be radiated by. They are the ‘rogue’ planets – and astronomers have just found a new one, roughly the same size as Earth.” The press release about the new discovery by the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw: An Earth-sized rogue planet discovered in the Milky Way.

    • Dissecting The U.S. Hostage Rescue Operation In Nigeria: Here Are All The Assets That Took Part In The Raid - Using data from transponders and other sources to identify military assets: ”OSINT analysis on the Mode-S/ADS-B tracks correlated with details provided by aircraft spotters as well as sources familiar with the matter, provide a pretty accurate overview of all the assets involved in the rescue operation.”

    • The Distinguished Medieval Penis Investigators - One of the few grounds for divorce in mediæval England was impotence, which led to some interesting court cases: ”One key witness, Thomas son of Stephen, testified in church court that he had seen the couple unsuccessfully attempting to have sex in John’s father’s barn… So to summarize: John Saundirson not only tried (and failed) to have early-morning barn-sex with his wife before an audience of two men but also received ineffective manual penis stimulation from his own brother. Thanks to Thomas’s devastating testimony, Tedia won her case.”

    • sheep101.info - Everything you ever wanted to know about sheep: ”The purpose of Sheep 101 is to teach 4-H and FFA members, students, teachers, beginning shepherds, and the general public about sheep, their products, how they are raised, and their contributions to mankind. The site uses simple language and pictures to illustrate the various topics.” This impressive sheep is a Navajo Churro from Bide A Wee Farm in Oregon


    • This farmer’s field was once a powerful stronghold in Iron Age Norway - A farmer who wanted to dig a drainage ditch got more than he bargained for: ”In June, archaeologists began unearthing a Viking ship from a farmer’s field in eastern Norway. The 1,000- to 1,200-year-old ship was probably the grave of a local king or jarl, and it once lay beneath a monumental burial mound… The buried structures suggest that over several centuries, from at least 500 BCE to 1000 CE, an ordinary coastal farming settlement somehow grew into an important seat of power on the cusp of the Viking Age.”

    • Scratching away: The complexities of chronic itch - ”Itching has myriad causes and mechanisms, many of which remain elusive. Scientists are making headway on parsing its biological underpinnings, in hope of better treatments.” You’ll probably find yourself scratching a lot as you read this one

    • Perp Walk - How Rudy Giuliani built his reputation as a prosecutor of dubious charges of irregularities on Wall Street: ”I wouldn’t have minded if Giuliani had been properly applying the law and serving justice. But there were several lapses of custom, and probably ethics, and maybe actual legality, and surely justice, in his long pursuit of Drexel… Having seen him in action in those relatively early days, his behavior in recent years has come as no surprise.”

    • The English Word That Hasn’t Changed in Sound or Meaning in 8,000 Years - The Proto-Indo-European language is at the root of half the modern world’s spoken languages: ”The pronunciation in the Proto-Indo-European was probably ‘lox,’ and that’s exactly how it is pronounced in modern English… Then, it meant salmon, and now it specifically means ‘smoked salmon.’ It’s really cool that that word hasn’t changed its pronunciation at all in 8,000 years and still refers to a particular fish.”

    • Inside The 1963 Vajont Dam Failure That The Italian Government Could Have Prevented - ”The Vajont Dam was the tallest in the world, but its unstable construction terrified those who lived in the valley below. On October 9, 1963, their worst fears came true.” It seems building dams in mountains liable to landslides isn’t such a good idea. This is the bell tower of the church at Longarone, which is pretty much all that was left after the flood:



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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post



    That one was actually quite sad. Fascinating but still sad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    [*]The English Word That Hasn’t Changed in Sound or Meaning in 8,000 Years - The Proto-Indo-European language is at the root of half the modern world’s spoken languages: ”The pronunciation in the Proto-Indo-European was probably ‘lox,’ and that’s exactly how it is pronounced in modern English… Then, it meant salmon, and now it specifically means ‘smoked salmon.’ It’s really cool that that word hasn’t changed its pronunciation at all in 8,000 years and still refers to a particular fish.” ...
    There are quite a few Indo-European words that have hardly changed in 8000 years, and in some cases probably 100,000 years or more (not that the Indo-Europeans were around for anywhere near that long)

    *hund or "hound" for dog, *qwa (aqua/water), *mlg (milk)

    (Linguists put an asterisk in front of conjectural ancestral words.)

    About 30 years ago, Scientific American had an article that traced the words *qwa and *mlg to languages all over the world, including the Chinese and native Americans. So I wouldn't be surprised if they date back more than 200,000 years and started out as onomatopoeic words indicating the gulping of water or suckling of milk when humans first started speaking!

    They also reckon now that Indo-European people (including the Celts, who first entered Europe in 3100 BC) managed to overrun such a large area because they carried the bubonic plague with them from the Russian steppes and had some resistance to it, unlike the indigenous people they encountered.
    Last edited by OwlHoot; 18th November 2020 at 21:19.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwlHoot View Post
    There are quite a few Indo-European words that have hardly changed in 8000 years, and in some cases probably 100,000 years or more (not that the Indo-Europeans were around for anywhere near that long)

    *hund or "hound" for dog, *qwa (aqua/water), *mlg (milk)

    (Linguists put an asterisk in front of conjectural ancestral words.)

    About 30 years ago, Scientific American had an article that traced the words *qwa and *mlg to languages all over the world, including the Chinese and native Americans. So I wouldn't be surprised if they date back more than 200,000 years and started out as onomatopoeic words indicating the gulping of water or suckling of milk when humans first started speaking!

    They also reckon now that Indo-European people (including the Celts, who first entered Europe in 3100 BC) managed to overrun such a large area because they carried the bubonic plague with them from the Russian steppes and had some resistance to it, unlike the indigenous people they encountered.
    Just like the European colonisation of the Americas, then.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigenare View Post

    Just like the European colonisation of the Americas, then.
    Indeed. The Indo-Europeans were also the first to tame and ride horses, which would probably have helped their migrations & conquests.

    (Actually, I think the article mentioned the horses.)
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