Thursday, August 30, 2012

Random Headlines in Random Order Making Scary Sense

The three headlines appeared in the more news box in the center of the home page a today. Read one after the other, they make their own story:

Venezuela Will Investigate Report of Massacre
Yale President Says He Will Step Down
5 Australian Troops Die in Afghanistan

I am sure there is no link between these stories except they all occurred on the same day. Still, imagine this:

The news that a massacre of miners in Venezuela causes the president of Yale U. to announce he's quitting. What did he have to do with the massacre. And was it his announcement or the massacre in Venezuela that led to the attack on Australian troops - rather than those of some other nationality?

Informed people want to know. Or do they?

I will not guarantee that clicking on the links will take you to the stories, but it might happen.

Friday, August 24, 2012

what the internet is good for: Volapük

Have you ever heard of a language called Volapük?

Until today, I never heard of it and though I've heard of it now, I don't really give a damn about it. What I thought was interesting was how this "constructed language" claimed upwards of a million users - says "adherents" - in the late 19th Century, declined to about 20-30 by the beginning of this century, and has revived in the last decade, nearly tripling its users, most likely because they can find each other on the internet.

Considering the numbers - that is roughly 90 adherents, it is noted in Wikipedia that there are approximately 119,000 articles in the Volapük Wikipedia, which ranks it 37th.

So what's my point?
That the internet helps preserve things that would otherwise have faded away.

Maybe next time I'll tell you something you didn't know already.