Blurt!Commonplace Book

While I catch up on my backlog of posts, I’m going to be interspersing the backlog with things I’ve just read.

Jan. 11, 2020, 12:03pm

“The cult of untranslatables goes beyond orientalism. They spread, meme-like, with the same misleading explanations repeated. Often, they hew suspiciously closely to stereotypes about the culture in question.” (David Shariatmadari, “Why We Love Untranslatable Words”, via Language Hat)

Jan. 11, 2020, 11:59am

“On the next round of 600 mg, four percent of kids in the placebo group made it through, while 67 percent of those in the treatment group did. And 2.4 percent in the placebo group could tolerate 1,000 mg of peanut protein, compared to half the treatment group.” (Cathleen O’Grady, “Some promising news for kids with peanut allergies”)

Jan. 10, 2020, 10:29pm

“What does this have to do with pop music? The Lempel-Ziv algorithm works by exploiting repeated sequences. How efficiently LZ can compress a text is directly related to the number and length of the repeated sections in that text.” (Colin Morris, “Are Pop Lyrics Getting More Repetitive?”)

Jan. 10, 2020, 10:26pm

“[T]hen there have also been some strange recurring bloopers in which environmental activists have haplessly stumbled into casual alliances with dangerous members of the far-right radical fringe.” (Matthew Phelan, “The Menace of Eco-Fascism”)

Jan. 10, 2020, 10:22pm (edited)