2016-10-29 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

At this time of the year, it becomes ever more evident that life on the northern and southern hemispheres are going in different directions until Christmas time. The photo below shows a beautiful fall photo taken by my friend Barbara, who once more is eager to share with us the beauties of Mother Nature. This photo was taken by her from the stairs of Nääs Castle in Sweden towards Lake Sävelången. My warmest thanks, Barbara!

naas

The Swedish lake Sävelången amidst the forest dressed in autumn leaves. Photo taken by Barbara Sigurdsson on 2016-10-19.

As you already might know, besides technology, my other main interest is languages. So here are some interesting language information I have gathered since my latest blog post:

Sound of words is no coincidence
Particular sounds are preferred or avoided in non-related languages far more often than previously assumed. An international research team, led by scientists from the Max Planck Institutes for Mathematics in the Sciences and the Science of Human History, and including scientists from Germany, the USA, Sweden, Denmark and other countries have carried out a comprehensive analysis. The scientists used data for the study from over 4 000 of the more than 6 000 languages spoken throughout the world.
N as in nose – an association that probably did not arise by chance. The sound n is found in the word for the olfactory organ more frequently than in other words, some examples being English: nose, German: Nase, French: nez, Spanish/Portuguese: nariz, Swedish: näsa, Danish: næse, Norwegian: nese, Finnish: nenä, Russian: нос, etc.
Other examples are that the respective words for ‘sand’ often contain the sound of ‘s’, ‘stone’ normally includes the sound of ‘t’, etc.
Damián E. Blasi, a scientist from the Max Planck Institute, a main contributor to the study says that “In view of the enormous possibilities that exist for variations in the world’s languages, the result is astonishing and alters our understanding of the boundary conditions under which people communicate.” See also reference #1 below.

Smiling faces in photos

Of course, any photographer who takes portraits of people would like that their objects seem to be happy on the photo. There are different buzz words for that, “cheese”, “omelett”, and “pizza” are some of those used to convince them to smile. According to Radio Sweden’s language program “Språket”, a study made some years ago by the Japanese camera maker Nikon, a photo model was asked to pronounce typical words used in different languages. 5 high speed photos were taken of her in every language, and the most beautiful facial expression of those was chosen. Then, the photos from the different languages were compared, and the study resulted in that the French word “ouistiti” (meaning the South American monkey marmoset) yielded the best result, voilà! More on this fascinating topic can be found in references #2, 3, and 4 (the latter containing also the winning photo!) below.

Help the world – dispollute the air making booze

In a sensational discovery, researchers in the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have been able to convert carbon dioxide into ethanol in a one-step process. Is this the solution to avoid global warming, getting drunk with the bill gracefully paid by Mother Earth? Let us wait and see! In the meantime, get prepared in references #5 and 6 below.

… That’s what I learned in school !

byran

Do you need to TRANSLATE DOCUMENTS between ENGLISH, BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE, and the SCANDINAVIAN (SWEDISH / DANISH / NORWEGIAN) languages? Contact “Byrån / The Taskforce” here !!!

Refs.:

1: Sound of words is no coincidence

2: Säg cheese, omelett och pizza – så får du den perfekta fotominen!

3: Say cheese

4: The secret to a perfect photo smile – not ‘Say cheese’ but….. ‘OUISTITI’!

5: Chemists accidentally turn carbon dioxide to ethanol in breakthrough study

6: High-Selectivity Electrochemical Conversion of CO2 to Ethanol using a Copper Nanoparticle/N-Doped Graphene Electrode

+: What did you learn in school today ?

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2016-10-08 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

The United Arab Emirates, especially through the emirate Dubai, continues to expands its offerings for tourism in this interesting part of the world. In my post of 2016-06-21, I wrote about the technological advances in Dubai, and now I learned that further to the earlier 16 languages, their Ministry of Tourism has now also added Swedish as a language to a complete subsite, see reference # 1 below. The photo below, courtesy of my friend Chiara Anzalone, shows the Arabian Gulf at Dubai, with Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, considered the world’s must luxurious hotel in the foreground, and the artificial Palm Jumeirah islands towards the horizon. How about meeting me there?

chiara3

Photo from Dubai, taken by Chiara Anzalone, showing the Arabian Gulf, with Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, considered the world’s must luxurious hotel in the foreground, and the Palm Jumeirah islands towards the horizon.

The past week revealed the laureates of the scientific Nobel Prizes 2016, where among other things we learned that the term ‘topology’ means totally different things in physics and chemistry. Radio Sweden made a fantastic job to compress the reasons for awarding exactly these scientists into three 1-minute video clips. References #2, #3, #4 below carry the links. The language is Swedish, but who knows besides learning more about medicine, physics, and chemistry, you may also pick up some words in the “language of honor and heroes”?

I had planned to discuss the advancement of machines into our lives today, but since it is a subject that cannot be dealt with on a coffee break, I will return to it any day soon. Instead, I would like to show how one of the world’s technology giants are once more dismantling their acquired heritage. The company is called Microsoft, and after turning Nokia and Skype into dust, now it seems that LinkedIn will be their next victim. I received this e-mail the other day:

desempregado

The once excellent social business network LinkedIn was recently bought by Microsoft. Looking at this network update, how they want me to congratulate a friend who recently got unemployed (“Desempregado”) is just one more sign of their continuing “King Midas in reverse”. (Name and image have been altered for security reasons.) See and listen also to reference # 5 below.

And, there is one more thing …

temers

Brazil’s First Lady, Marcela Temer, presents the new social program Criança feliz (“Happy child”), with her husband, president Michel Temer, behind her, on 2016-10-05, photo by Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress. The same newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo, published today 2016-10-08 a cartoon by Montanaro, in which an admirer says “My, does Marcela speak well!” and Michel responds “Of course, who do you think taught her to speak her first words?” (This kind of political gossip is common due to the large age difference between the two, 76 vs. 33 years.)

… That’s what I learned in school !

byran

Do you need to TRANSLATE DOCUMENTS between ENGLISH, BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE, and the SCANDINAVIAN (SWEDISH / DANISH / NORWEGIAN) languages? Contact “Byrån / The Taskforce” here !!!

Refs.:

1: Besök Dubai – Upptäck Dubais alla möjligheter!

2: Nobelpriset i medicin 2016

3: Nobelpriset i fysik 2016

4: Nobelpriset i kemi 2016

5: The Hollies “King Midas In Reverse”

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-10-02 (Sunday)

Today, I learned that:

Once more, it is municipal election day in the pseudo democracy called Brazil. I say so, because voting is not only a right for Brazilian citizens, but also a duty! The result is obvious beforehand: A conservation of the ruling class, which has the financial means to control the situation. Everyone declared capable, aged from 18 to 70 years, must vote. Although there are some other democracies in the world where it is also mandatory to vote, what comes to my mind right now is Belgium, a country that stayed without a government during almost three years after a general election. My conviction is that elections should be open to everyone who is qualified to vote, but nobody should be obligated to do so! But since it is the proper politicians who must decide on such a measure which would go against their interests, unfortunately I do not see such a change coming ever.

titulos

Two opposite sides of the Brazilian society: To the left, the well-off citizen with all his titles and investment bonds, and to the right, the poor person, whose only right (and obligation!) is the document which identifies him as an elector. Drawn by Jean Galvão and published in Folha de S. Paulo today.

I feel very honored to have so many friends spread out all over the world, and when they travel they often send me pictures to show their destinations, and today is not at all different. My friend Barbara, who has lived in Sweden for decades, went back home to her native city, Świnoujście in Poland, last month for an important family celebration. And here you can see some of the pictures she sent me. Dzięki, Barbara!

Below are some more pictures from this sea-side city in the extreme north-west corner of Poland, bordering Germany and with a daily ferry to Ystad in Sweden. See also reference # 1 below.

swinoujscie
swinoujcie2

Six photos from Świnoujście, all taken by Barbara Sigurdsson in September, 2016. The main photo shows the post office to the left, and the two photos in landscape mode of the next front row show scenes from the seaside promenade. The leftmost one pictures the German town Ahlbeck in the distance and the second one is a typical one from this neighborhood. In the second row, to the left, is a former Soviet military base that now has been transformed into a civic center, including sports arena, theater, tax authority and a music school. The next photo shows typical residental buildings today, in bright contrast to the rightmost photo of a skyscraper built during the communist regime.

Last Friday, 2016-09-30, was International Translation Day. When I was a teenager, I did not know which career I would follow, since I liked both technology and languages. My uncle, who had a high position in Ericsson, advised me to study technology and include as many languages as possible in my curriculum. Of course, I followed his advice, and today I am proud to say that I am very fond of making translations, in particular those involving technology, in the language pairs SwedishEnglish, SwedishPortuguese, and EnglishPortuguese. If you need to have any document translated in those languages, or including Danish and Norwegian, contact me or my fellow translators of the Taskforce, see link in reference # 2 below, and click on the appropriate flag in the upper right corner.

Finally, if you live close to an airport and are disturbed by the noise of aircraft while arriving at the airport, here comes good news for you. A study performed at KTH in Stockholm, confirmed at Heathrow airport, shows that if the landing aircraft forms an angle of 3,5 degrees to the ground instead of the current 3 degrees, then the generated noise can be reduced by 2 decibel, which is quite a lot! See references #3 and 4 below.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Świnoujście

2: Do you need to TRANSLATE DOCUMENTS between ENGLISH, PORTUGUESE and the SCANDINAVIAN (SWEDISH, DANISH, NORWEGIAN) languages? Contact “Byrån / The Taskforce” through this link !!!

3: Brantare landning minskar bullret

4: Slutrapport Förstudie Brantare

+: What did you learn in school today ?