Thursday, February 22, 2007

supunna picta

supunna picta
Originally uploaded by moonflowerdragon.

Unfortunately when I blog a photo from Flickr the description doesn't travel with it:

Cricket spotted this spider on the fridge. As it seemed clearly to not be a white tail I didn't kill it, but caught it and went looking for identification. I couldn't find its photo on the University of Queensland Find-A-Spider Guide, but then I was looking at medium-sized spiders because I measured it at 9mm rather than 8mm or less.

Thankfully the Melbourne Museum could identify it: "most likely the Painted Swift spider, Supunna picta. It is also known as the Swift Ground spider or the Spotted Ground Swift spider and is a member of the family Corinnidae (Sun Spiders)". They also linked me with the id page for the supunna picta.

supunna picta belly

supunna picta belly
Originally uploaded by moonflowerdragon.

I'm feeling very proud of myself because I've managed to add notes to this photo. (Identifying the anatomical areas involved in gender identification).

Thursday, February 08, 2007

23Things #23 Neither end nor beginning...

This 23Things program has been like a very eye-catching and satisfying pattern within the greater tapestry of my learning. While both life-long learning and web2.0 elements (blogging, RSS, wikis, YouTube, LibraryThing) had appeared in my learning tapestry before 23Things, Helene's (PLCMC's) project introduced:
  • a pattern (2.0 for the sake of 2.0 with library relevance),
  • colour (Flickr),
  • inspiration (other participants).
And this pattern is not ending abruptly... as Helene posts about other libraries' learning2.0 programs which have been stimulated by 23Things I find new threads with which to extend and vary the pattern. For myself I think I'll tag those '23+Things'.

For this, #23:
* What were my favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
  • That my posts might actually receive comments!
  • Flickr (for giving me a last straw excuse to finally obtain a digital camera
  • Bloglines (for a way to keep up to date without cluttering my email, and a source for a sidebar list of blogs I read)
* How has this program assisted or affected my lifelong learning goals?
  • It lent a rationale (encouragement from the library community) to play with some of the web2.0 tools that had caught my interest but for which I had no pressing need.
  • I've discovered (and subscribed) to interesting role models.
* Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised me?
  • receiving comments
  • all the extras from and around Flickr
  • has been more useful than I expected: I can bookmark more pages knowing I'll be able to find one among them all, and I can easily send links to friends (after I've taught others how to use
* What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
  • As a non-staff participant I am hugely grateful and impressed that Helene foretold the potential from interest outside PLCMC and incorporated ways for us to participate. I'd like to know whether the extent of international participation caused any problems for PLCMC or Helene?
  • Ah I've just thought of a potential addition to content ... Ann Arbor allows non-patrons to add a review to their catalog-addon. Hennepin allows comments (which I think is even more inviting) but I don't know if one has to be a patron. Perhaps one Thing might be for participants to do so, to link to their comment and tell whether/how such catalog features would be a plus for library patrons.
* If offered another discovery program like this in the future, would I again chose to participate?
  • If non-staff participants are once again catered for, depending on the content, quite likely.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Ghost of Tintin - Brussels

Ghost of Tintin - Brussels
Originally uploaded by afkatws.

Having had so much trouble posting from elsewhere to my switched blog, I'm testing again from Flickr.

Lately I've been subscribed to the feed of PLCMC wiki of 23Thinging blogs, so I can take a peek at other peoples' 23 Things journeys. Pumpkin Pie & Willy Wonka mentioned searching Flickr for Tintin - I thought 'how interesting' and went to see what s/he had found.

What a clever, fun mural.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Problemoj pri Esperanto

Problems with Esperanto

Maybe I will continue to study Esperanto because it has been fun. However I continue to be irritated by the keyboard-unfriendly accented letters: even pre-keyboard by accent another letter to create the symbol for a different sound? Then there is the 'ts' sound of the letter _c_: why? Also why an accented _u_ for the sound for which a 'w' would better serve?

As it happens, I buzzed by an Esperanto page on Wikipedia, and thought I would check out the critiques. While there are at least two criticisms I consider trivial (ie some complaints about difficult pronunciations which don't seem too difficult to me, and complaints that Esperanto words resemble English words that they are *not* - {so!? that happens between languages and can help stimulate memory}) many I definitely recognised from my own experience.

Last night I was pondering how to represent the sounds with common keyboard letters. Geoff Eddy, among criticisms on phonology and orthography, offered a solution:
  • There really isn't much point in an accent which is used on only one letter; why not spell the accented U (which comes from Belorussian) as W?
  • There's no need to write the affricates as single letters. Replace C by TS; you can now spell SH as C and CH as TC.
  • There's no harm in replacing J with the otherwise unused Y. This allows JH to lose its accent, and GH can now be more sanely spelt DJ.
  • Assuming that HH is really necessary, the unused X (from the Cyrillic alphabet) can be used for it.

Whether X or Q or C is used instead of ĥ (HH) or ŝ (SH), another letter is available to represent another distinctive sound which could be used to create new words, or in suffixes to avoid homonyms. (Is there another distinctive sound that would be useful? I was thinking of 'th' [as in the] or 'th' [as in thin] but perhaps they are too similar to 'v' and 'f'?) Although going back a little... ĝ (as in gem or january) doesn't sound like dj to me.

I like the potential simplicity from word-building but it is regrettable that Zamenhof did not logically ensure that roots did not end similarly to his suffixes (or I guess begin similarly to prefixes). Throughout the criticisms were examples of compound words that could be translated in diverse ways because of this lack of distinctiveness. Justin Rye, among his detailed criticisms, discussed problems surrounding various word-builds.


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