Archive for October, 2007

First mention: T.S. Eliot

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

First mention of T.S. Eliot in the New York Times: T.S. Eliot of St. Louis, a student in the Summer school of Magedeburg University, arrived in London today with a number of students from Freiburg and other German universities which have been closed on account of the war. "The German officials," said ...

First mention: Harriet Beecher Stowe

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

First mention of Harriet Beecher Stowe in the New York Times: Harriet Beecher Stowe, wife of Professor Stowe, of Bowdoin College, and the author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," has received $4,000, as her share of the sales already made of that book. She receives 10 cents on each copy sold, and ...

Cucumber curse of the day

Monday, October 29th, 2007

This cross-legg'd cabbage-eating son of a cucumber! (Sir J. Jollup in Hone Every-day Book 2, from the OED entry for cucumber.)

“When you mix politics and religion, you get politics”

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Second thoughts, perhaps, on the part of the religious right, according to the New York Times Magazine's David D. Kirkpatrick. (Perhaps I should tag this under 'politics' alone).

Yet another theme tryout

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

I have no time to create my own, but I hope this is easier to read than the last. Three columns are a bit much, though. And for some reason I wasn't getting updates about comments, but I seem to be doing so now. Let me know what you think (esp ...

More ubiquitous helmet news …

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

In more news of our always-wearing-helmets future: “This is more a piece of safety equipment, along the lines of a child car seat, than just a piece of athletic equipment,” Ferrara said. From Helmet design Absorbs Shock in a New Way -- yet another new helmet design.


Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

I was reviewing a Wiki project,, today. Its stated mission is be a "free, worldwide business directory that anyone can edit," in the same spirit as Wikipedia. I thought it might be a good resource for company names and facts. But then I noticed that the vast majority of edits ...

New Google translation software

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Google is now using their internal translation software for all language pairs, and my very, very brief look at their results look good. This is very idiomatic, for example: I was amused by calculating the number of video tags football (soccer) and rugby on Dailymotion (English pages). No doubt, soccer is ...

RIP, David G. Lockwood

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

David G. Lockwood has died, reports the Linguist List. David Lockwood was one of my professors when I did my degree in linguistics at Michigan State in the 70's. He was (and remained, I think) an adherent of "stratificationalism," a kind of constraint-based network theory of language. His classes were the ...

Powerset and Hadoop

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Cool. Over at the Powerset blog, Jim Kellerman is talking about Powerset's use of Hadoop and development of HBase, an open-source replacement for Google's BigTable. If you have any idea what 'Hadoop' or 'BigTable' or 'HBase' are, it's worth checking out.

Word of the day: desultory

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Acccording to the AHD: Desultory suggests a shifting about from one thing to another that reflects a lack of method: a desultory conversation. Pronounced: deSULtory. This is one of those words I thought I knew, but I didn't when I actually looked it up. It's a good word to describe this ...

In the future, everyone will wear bike helmets

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

One of my wackier predictions is that in the future, everyone will wear bike helmets. Obviously, not like current bulky bike helmets, but just as today it is almost unthinkable for someone to ride a bike without a helmet (at least for some people), I have been claiming that someday ...