How to Have an Intellectual Conversation

There is so much about this I like. For example:
“…having conversations with people isn’t about changing their minds, it’s about expanding your own. The tendency of human beings to force our opinions and worldviews onto others really cripples our ability to have intellectual conversations and debates with each other. We’re so focused on the end goal – on converting another’s opinions to our own – that we neglect to begin these conversations in the first place.”

Again, it is one of those posts that having read it, I find myself still thinking about it weeks later. I am not sure I can ask for more from a post; other than that it makes me laugh. And it does that too!

Wander Woman Thea

What do politics, sports, and religion have in common? Aside from being extremely lucrative career paths for men, they are totally taboo conversational topics and you never discuss them. Ever.

Why do you think this is so?

Because conversations about topics that tend to polarise people in a powerful way always end in fights: Catholics versus Protestants, Man United Football Club versus Liverpool, Democrats versus Republicans, etc. In the case of sports, these rivalries often end in bar fights; in politics, to endless bickering and dick waving; and in religion, to war. So we just avoid them in our day-to-day conversations. It’s better that way.

Or is it?

Let’s be clear right off the bat: This is not about what qualifies as an intellectual topic of conversation. I’m not going to sit here and list off all the interesting and worldly things you should be talking about with your…

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‘He Do the Police in Different Voices’: On Speech and Language Policing

I first read this a couple of weeks ago, and I have kept thinking about it. The thoughts on ‘strong declarative sentences’, are particularly making me think. Firstly, that I too don’t like them, and secondly, how often do I use them, nonetheless.

Jeanne de Montbaston

“And I’ll tell you another thing about the way women don’t Talk Proper …”
Filippo Lippi, Man and Woman at a Casement. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to speak, as T. S. Eliot puts it, ‘in different voices’. We use language as an index of belonging. At the moment, there’s an idiolect, which I’d like to imagine would immediately tell me whether or not I’m in the presence of the sisterhood. ‘Silencing’ is the new favourite Participle Of Oppression for all parties. Fourth wavers talk about language as a form of literal violence. Radfems say unsisterly things about fourth wavers and bite our tongues. We all thank the goddess for Rebecca Solnit coining the term ‘mansplaining’, and Deborah Cameron writes brilliant critiques of all the idiotic pseudo-scientific arguments that all misogyny would disappear if only women would learn to Talk…

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Interact with the first 3-D scan of the Rosetta Stone

via Interact with the first 3-D scan of the Rosetta Stone

This lovely 3D image from the British Museum is on the fabulous online platform Sketchfab. The detail is sufficient to see the individual characters inscribed n the stone.

There are also lots of other images from the museum and elsewhere. They have the Lewis chess pieces, and various classical statues, all in huge detail. You can pan, rotate and zoom in: cue hours of happy exploration.

The standard 2D image above of the Rosetta Stone is by © Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

The Swim Reaper V Topiary Cats

This is surreal, as well as in the case of the Swim Reaper, really serious.
And in answer to the blogger’s question: I am definitely Team Topiary Cat – I hate swimming and love cats :)

MY ENDURING BONES

I am not changing my mind- the coolest thing on the Internet is the Swim Reaper.

But The Reaper does have some competition- meet Topiary Cats

Which team are you on?

Team Reaper or Team Topiary Cat?

amm

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David Attenborough- and some penguins, some gorillas, and a pretty lizard

I have been watching David Attenborough for as long as I can remember. This clip recalls some of his earlier work, from long before I encountered him, as well as the more well-known pieces. Including the gorillas of course, and new to me, the baby (blind) rhinoceros.

The lizard is Attenborough’s fan-throated lizard (Sitana attenboroughii), a species of fan-throated lizards from Kerala in southern India. It is one of around fifteen species named after him.

Image: By David Raju [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Steam engine for pumping water made to the Savery system.

Thomas Savery, and a new invention for raising of water and occasioning motion by the impellent force of fire

Thomas Newcomen and James Watt are the names I think of regarding early steam engine development. Yet, it was a Thomas Savery, who on July 2nd, 1698 first patented the idea of an early steam ‘engine’, or perhaps more precisely its direct predecessor since it had no moving parts. It was as Savery explained:

A new invention for raising of water and occasioning motion to all sorts of mill work by the impellent force of fire, which will be of great use and advantage for draining mines, serving towns with water, and for the working of all sorts of mills where they have not the benefit of water nor constant winds.

Significantly, the patent was to last twenty-one years and this forced Newcomen to come to an arrangement with Savery when developing his own, more successful engines.

 


Image source:By PHGCOM [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons
Quoted text courtesy of Wikipedia

The Chilwell catastrophe: Fatal explosion on the home front

It is the pictures of the vast warehouses of shells, six hundred thousand of them, that is most shocking: that they could all be fired in just two or three days.

Heritage Calling

On 1 July 1918, at 7.10pm, a catastrophic explosion tore through the National Shell Filling Factory at Chilwell, Nottinghamshire.

The blast killed 134 workers and injured 250 – the biggest loss of life from a single accidental explosion during the First World War.

Rubbe and remains of a destroyed factory building after the blast A large part of the factory site was reduced to rubble after the explosion. © Historic England/AA96-03585.

Eight tons of TNT had detonated without warning, flattening large parts of the plant and damaging properties within a three mile area. The colossal blast was heard 30 miles away.

Eye witness, Lottie Martin, a worker at the factory, later recalled: ‘…Men, women and young people burnt, practically all their clothing burnt, torn and disheveled. Their faces black and charred, some bleeding with limbs torn off, eyes and hair literally gone…’

A destroyed factory building pictured after the blast Many factory buildings were twisted and distorted by the force of the blast. © IWM HU96428.

Rapid action by…

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