Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Word Elements

I really liked this graphic from Edutopia; they call it "Essential Elements for Every Classroom" ... as in elements from the periodic table of chemical elements!

Be NiCe

I thought this might be fun for people who are in chemistry class, seeing the periodic table of elements as being made up of word elements too... kind of like Scrabble.

Of course, not all of the elements are really useful for making up words, and there are some elements that would be useful but which do not exist... still, it is possible to find words in there!

Here is an alphabetical list to make it easier to see what you have to work with, and you can find the chemical number to then look them up in a periodic table and grab the elements you need:

Ac - Ag - Al - Am - Ar - As - At - Au - B - Ba - Be - Bh - Bi - Bk - Br - C - Ca - Cd -  - Cf - Cl - Cm - Cn - Co - Cr - Cs - Cu - Db - Ds - Dy - Er - Es - Eu - F - Fe - Fl - Fm - Fr - Ga - Gd - Ge - H - He - Hf - Hg - Ho - Hs - I - In - Ir - K - Kr - La - Li - Lr - Lu - Lv - Md - Mg - Mn - Mo - Mt - N - Na - Nb - Nd - Ne - Ni - No - Np - O - Os - P - Pa - Pb - Pd - Pm - Po - Pr - Pt - Pu - Ra - Rb - Re - Rf - Rg - Rh - Rn - Ru - S - Sb - Sc - Se - Sg - Si - Sm - Sn - Sr - Ta - Tb - Tc - Te - Th - Ti - Tl - Tm - U - Uuo - Uup - Uus - Uut - V - W - Xe - Y - Yb - Zn - Zr

I found my name in the table. It's kind of weird to think of myself as being made up on elements like uranium and radium: eeeek!

I Am LaURa

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hansen Writing Ball

A bit of the history of technology of writing: this is the Hansen Writing Ball, a typewriter from around 1870, the first commercial typewriter. You can read more at Wikipedia.

So, that's 150 years ago... now try to imagine writing technology for 150 years into the future. Or will we be writing at all...?

Here's a view of the machine itself:

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Shakespearean Insults Chart

Shakespeare was a master of the English language, and insults were a specialty. In another post, I shared a Shakespearean Insult Generator,and here is a Shakespearean Insults Chart. Explore more (and even order a copy if you want) at the Charley Chartwell website.

And here's a detail view:

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Passing English: Victorian Slang

Every age has its slang, and you can even find "dictionaries" of slang, like this dictionary of slang from late 19th-century England: Passing English of the Victorian Era: A Dictionary of Heterodox English, Slang, and Phrase by J. Redding Ware. The book is free online at the Internet Archive. (And you can read more about the author at Wikipedia: James Redding Ware.)

The book also includes lots of Americanisms of the period, sayings that struck the British of the time as odd and needing explanation. 

Here are two Americanisms, for example: "gaze at the melody" (a variation on "face the music"), and "gee-ru" (euphemistic shortening of "Jerusalem"):

There is also boys' school slang, like this entry about "brolly" as slang for umbrella:

Poke around, and you can find all sorts of things. If you want to tell a story with some good 19th-century slang in it, this is a book that can help!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Why I Write

Resharing this post upon hearing the news of Elie Wiesel's death. Requiescat in pace. The world will miss him.

I saw this quote as Jon Winokur's Twitter. You can find out more about Elie Wiesel at Wikipedia.

I write to understand as much as to be understood.

Here is the quote in context, Elie Wiesel's essay, "Why I Write."
While writing, I question them as I question myself. I believe I said it before, elsewhere: I write to understand as much as to be understood. Will I succeed one day? Wherever one starts from one reaches darkness. God? He remains the God of darkness. Man? Source of Darkness. the killers' sneers, their victim's tears, the onlookers' indifference, their complicity and complacency, the divine role in all that: I do not understand. A million children massacred: I shall never understand. 
Jewish children: they haunt my writings. I see them again and again. I shall always see them. hounded, humiliated, bent like old men who surround them as they to protect them, unable to do so. They are thirsty, the children, and there is no one to give them water. They are hungry, the children, but there is no one to give them a crust of bread. They are afraid, and there is no one to reassure them.