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Illjwamh

This Day In History

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On 10/26/2019 at 6:30 PM, Illjwamh said:
On October 26 in History:
 
899 - Death of Alfred, the only English king ever to be styled "the Great". You know what that means; it's all downhill for England from here, lads.

Now, now, Prince Charles hasn't even ascended to the throne yet, and already you're discounting the possibility of a Charles the Great?

On 10/26/2019 at 6:30 PM, Illjwamh said:
1520 - Charles I of Spain becomes Charles V, HRE. He considers renaming Europe "Habsburgland."

And between that and his American holdings, he was said to rule "the empire over which the sun will never set."  Gosh, what a memorable phrase!  Surely it will be associated with the Holy Roman Empire forever!

Sure, he tried to get people to call him Charles the Great, but it never really took for him....he did get several beers and a popular Mexican chocolate bar named after him, though!

On 10/26/2019 at 6:30 PM, Illjwamh said:
1977 - Somali hospital cook Ali Maow Maalin contracts smallpox, which is notable not in that it doesn't kill him, but in that he is the last person ever to do so. Vaccinate your kids.

We eliminated rinderpeste a few years ago, too!  That one was in cattle, but it's believed to be what measles evolved from around 1000-1100 CE, so what we learned about it may help get that scourge next.  If we can bring down the percent of idiots, anyway....

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26 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

If we can bring down the percent of idiots, anyway....

I have no patience left for them. One of them bleated on Twitter how her husband and mother-in-law had gotten her oldest daughter vaccinated 'without her consent' and now she was afraid of what would happen and asked for hopes and prayers. She also asked what experiences people had had with getting their children vaccinated.

I told her that her daughter had my sincerest hopes and prayers that she would survive having such an incredibly stupid and reckless mother. I also told her that I have been vaccinated against various things dozens of times and that I feel fine.

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14 hours ago, Illjwamh said:

1814 - Birth of Adolphe Sax, a Belgian musician who is famous for inventing a new instrument. You'll never guess which one.

5 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

The kazoo! :danshiftyeyes:

I was going to guess the Adolphone. :)

 

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On 11/4/2019 at 1:45 AM, Illjwamh said:
On November 3 in History:
 
1978 - Dominica gains independence from the U.K. No, not that one; it's a commonwealth, not a republic, and it's pronounced differently!

I actually knew about this one, because I had a summer camp counselor from Dominica years ago.  Charming accent, very musical!

18 hours ago, Illjwamh said:
1860 - Abraham Lincoln is elected president of the United States. Upset at not getting their way, many southerners form plans to rage quit.

Yeah, that does seem a rather appropriate description, doesn't it?

18 hours ago, Illjwamh said:
1917 - Canadian forces finally take the village of Passchendaele in Flanders after three months of brutal fighting. At last, this strategically insignificant town and its irrelevant surroundings are firmly in allied hands.

Be fair, it was on the way to a German supply route.  And we got such a great poem out of the Second Battle of Ypres, maybe they were hoping for another iconic one from the Third.

 

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On November 7 in History:
 
921 - The Treaty of Bonn between West and East Frankian kings Charles the Simple and Henry the Fowler establishes the border between their two realms at the Rhine River. France and Germany never have border disputes again.
 
1186 - Birth of Ögedei Khan, poster child for remarkable historical people frequently outshone by his even more remarkable relatives.
 
1811 - Warriors of Tecumseh's Native Confederacy learn when you shouldn't let your spiritual leader (Tecumseh's brother) pull double duty as a military commander when they are defeated and their capital of Prophetstown destroyed by U.S. troops under William Henry Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe. But hey, at least Harrison will get a sweet campaign slogan out of it.
 
1879 - Birth of Leon Trotsky, the Snowball to Stalin's Napoleon.
 
1907 - Railroad brakeman Jesús García saves the town of Nacozari de García in Sonora, Mexico by driving a burning train full of dynamite out of town before it explodes. In the process, he inadvertently inspires the ending of The Dark Knight Rises.
 
1916 - Jeannette Rankin is the first woman to be elected to U.S. Congress (a Representative from Montana). Don't know what good she'll do in there; everyone knows women can't vote.
 
1917 - The Bolsheviks storm the Winter Palace as part of Trotsky's birthday party.
 
1944 - Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President of the United States for the fourth time. We're pretty much gonna keep picking him until he dies.
 
1990 - Mary Robinson is the first woman elected president of Ireland, adding just one more to the long list of countries who've managed this before the United States.
 
1996 - Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor is born. She'll never be royal, but she might one day rise as high as a Lorde.
 
2007 - A school shooting in Jokela, Finland, results in the deaths of nine people. Pundits blame repeated exposure to American culture and news broadcasts.

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4 hours ago, Illjwamh said:

Railroad brakeman Jesús García saves the town of Nacozari de García in Sonora, Mexico by driving a burning train full of dynamite out of town before it explodes.

Incontrovertible proof: Jesús saves.

4 hours ago, Illjwamh said:

2007 - A school shooting in Jokela, Finland, results in the deaths of nine people. Pundits blame repeated exposure to American culture and news broadcasts.

Well duh. It OBVIOUSLY can't be caused by guns.

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It's been busy around here and I've missed a couple of days.
 
On November 8 in History:
 
1519 - Moctezuma throws a great big party to welcome Hernán Cortés as the latter enters the city of Tenochtitlán. This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
 
1605 - Robert Catesby, ringleader of the infamous Gunpowder Plot, is shot and killed in a raid at Holbeche House in Staffordshire. His death is not ritualistically recreated every year, as his face doesn't make for a good mask.
 
1644 - The Shunzhi Emperor, who is six years old, becomes the first Qing emperor to actually rule China when he is enthroned in Beijing. A bit presumptuous of his two predecessors to call themselves emperors then, isn't it?
 
1745 - Charles Edward Stuart, a.k.a. Bonnie Prince Charlie, invades England with a Jacobite army of 5,000. Ish. I'm sure it'll go swimmingly.
 
1884 - Hermann Rorschach is born in Zurich. No one can agree on what he looks like.
 
1923 - Adoph Hitler and the Nazis attempt and fail to overthrow the German government. Whew. Dodged a bullet there.
 
1936 - Francisco Franco and his fascist troops attempt and fail to capture the Spanish capital of Madrid. Whew. Dodged another bullet there.
 
1939 - Adolph Hitler literally dodges a bullet - well, a bomb - when Georg Elser tries to blow him up during a speech in Munich celebrating the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putcsh, mentioned above. It won't be the last time. He's a slippery bugger.
 
1965 - The United Kingdom abolishes the death penalty. A long list of exceptions applies.
 
1974 - Kishimoto Masashi is born with a nine-tailed fox sealed within him.
 
2002 - The U.N. tells Saddam Hussein to disarm Iraq or face "serious consequences". That is ominously vague.

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9 hours ago, Illjwamh said:

1884 - Hermann Rorschach is born in Zurich. No one can agree on what he looks like.

A prevailing theory is that he looked kinda like this.

9 hours ago, Illjwamh said:

2002 - The U.N. tells Saddam Hussein to disarm Iraq or face "serious consequences". That is ominously vague.

Well, they needed him to get rid of the weapons of mass destruction that he didn't have.

When I heard that, I just heard 'they needed to get rid of him' and they already had me at that.

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On November 12 in History:
 
1028 - Zoë Porphyrogenita, daughter of Byzantine emperor Constantine VIII and niece to Basil II, becomes empress-consort to Romanos III Argyros. The "consort" part is only temporary, I can assure you.
 
1035 - Death of Cnut the Great. I don't really have a joke; I'm just a big fan of his.
 
1817 - Bahá'u'lláh is born. The Jesus to the Báb's John the Baptist. The Mohammed to his Jesus. The Alexander to his Philip II. The Augustus to his Caesar. The AOC to his Bernie. Look, you get the idea.
 
1912 - George I of Greece triumphantly enters the newly liberated Thessaloniki after 482 years under Ottoman rule. Is this the return of the Byzantine monarchy we've waited so long for?
 
1927 - Stalin forces Trotsky to leave his own party. Not cool, bro.
 
1970 - The Oregon Highway Division blows up a whale. It doesn't really make much sense in context, either.
 
1982 - Birth of Anne Hathaway. The Hollywood actress, not the wife of Shakespeare. Though I suppose the date may have given that away.
 
1990 - Akihito is crowned emperor of Japan. As of me typing this, he's still alive, so we're still allowed to call him that.
 
1991 - Indonesian soldiers open fire on and kill over 200 East Timorese independence demonstrators in the capital of Dili. "Oh shit, you guys, the optics on this are not gonna be good."
 
2011 - Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi resigns, not in disgrace, because that would require him to have shame. "I'll be back. Again," he says.
 
2018 - Stan Lee dies, but he will live on forever in our hearts, and in his characters who will continue to print money for Disney until the end of time.
 

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On November 13 in History:
 
1002 - Æthelred II "The Unready" orders the death of every Dane in England. I can't see this going south in any possible way.
 
1312 - Birth of Edward III, the last English king before the line starts to go all screwy.
 
1460 - Death of Portugal's Prince Henry the Navigator, who never actually went anywhere.
 
1887 - Police and Irish protesters clash in a violent way in London in the original Bloody Sunday. Accept no substitutions.
 
1947 - The Soviet Union completes their development of a new rifle called the AK-47. Only time will tell whether or not its use will catch on.
 
1955 - Caryn Elaine Johnson is born as a result of her parents making Whoopi.
 
1956 - U.S. Supreme Court to Alabama re: segregated buses: "Yeah, you can't do that."
 
1989 - Start of the reign of Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein. Everyone is briefly reminded that they're a thing.
 

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2 hours ago, Illjwamh said:

1002 - Æthelred II "The Unready" orders the death of every Dane in England. I can't see this going south in any possible way.

There's a long tradition behind the Brexiteers and in all that time they haven't learned anything.

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2 hours ago, Illjwamh said:
 
1002 - Æthelred II "The Unready" orders the death of every Dane in England.

But you can't spell ENGLAND without DANE

Well, all you would have is NGL, and that just doesn't seem like a good name for any place outside Wales

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Given how Welsh spelling and pronunciation seem to match so poorly, I think that the language could benefit from some major orthographic reform.

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34 minutes ago, ijuin said:

Given how Welsh spelling and pronunciation seem to match so poorly, I think that the language could benefit from some major orthographic reform.

I absolutely agree. The alphabet is poorly suited to a lot of languages. In fact, a script based entirely on phonetics would be better. The brilliant linguist and reformer King Sejong of Korea (1397-1450) invented an alphabet called hangul that might serve as a good source of inspiration for it.

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Well, there is the International Phonetic Alphabet... I can't read it...

There needs to be a balance, though. A lot of literature includes attempts to write accents and dialects, and these attempts typically (circa 99% of the time) work only in small doses. Imagine if ALL writing HAD TO be in accent and dialect... remember how slow it was to "sound out" words when you were in third grade or thereabouts? I think most people (and definitely the fastest readers) don't normally translate printed words into sounds and then listen to the sounds to get the meaning, they go from printed words directly to meaning. This is much easier to learn to do if the spelling of the printed words is not altered by the presumed speaker's accent.

Here's a certain famous five-word phrase in IPA, with a few different accents (courtesy of online accent "translators"):

1) ˈfɔːˈskɔːr ænd ˈsɛvn jɪəz əˈgəʊ

2) ˈfɔːˈskɔː und zeffen jɪəz ako

3) fourscoah ænd saeven jeəz agao

4) Fourscooar ɛn ˈsɛvn jɪəz əˈgəʊ .

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5 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

Well, there is the International Phonetic Alphabet... I can't read it...

There needs to be a balance, though. A lot of literature includes attempts to write accents and dialects, and these attempts typically (circa 99% of the time) work only in small doses. Imagine if ALL writing HAD TO be in accent and dialect... remember how slow it was to "sound out" words when you were in third grade or thereabouts? I think most people (and definitely the fastest readers) don't normally translate printed words into sounds and then listen to the sounds to get the meaning, they go from printed words directly to meaning. This is much easier to learn to do if the spelling of the printed words is not altered by the presumed speaker's accent.

Here's a certain famous five-word phrase [url=https://tophonetics.com/https://tophonetics.com/]in IPA[/url], with a few different accents (courtesy of online accent "translators"):

1) ˈfɔːˈskɔːr ænd ˈsɛvn jɪəz əˈgəʊ

2) ˈfɔːˈskɔː und zeffen jɪəz ako

3) fourscoah ænd saeven jeəz agao

4) Fourscooar ɛn ˈsɛvn jɪəz əˈgəʊ .

 

IPA is actually pretty easy to read once you get the hang of it. A large part of that of course being that it's based on the Latin alphabet, which gives us an unfair advantage. Though also, as a Linguistics major, I too have an unfair advantage, as I had to learn to transcribe speech directly into IPA, so I have a lot of practice.

 

You are of course right in your observation that readers tend to look at and associate meaning to whole words as a unit rather than as a collection of sounds. This is a known and documented phenomenon. The msot fmauos elpxmae is the ppuoalr doniometsarn of how wrdos rimean lgeilbe wehn sraclbmed as lnog as the fsrit and lsat lrtetets raimen the smae.

 

9 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

I absolutely agree. The alphabet is poorly suited to a lot of languages. In fact, a script based entirely on phonetics would be better. The brilliant linguist and reformer King Sejong of Korea (1397-1450) invented an alphabet called hangul that might serve as a good source of inspiration for it.

 

Hangul is great as a system. In practice, however, Koreans leave out just as many of the written sounds as we English speakers do. It's quite frustrating when you're trying to learn, he said, using one of the most notoriously difficult orthographies in the Western world.

 

 

I actually had this conversation with a friend of mine on Facebook, who has taken to writing all his status updates in IPA (though neither he nor anyone else can read them except for me and at least one other person I've seen. He uses a converter, and recently accidentally used one for RP British English and didn't notice until I pointed it out). His argument is that written language should reflect spoken language, and that words should be written how people actually say them. My argument was that while there is certainly merit in simplifying a lot of our orthography, dialectical variations will always make a purely phonetic alphabet impractical and unfeasible outside of academic settings, as he inadvertently proved.

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On November 14 in History:
 
565 - Death of Byzantine emperor Justinian I, the last high water mark of Roman civilization. It's all downhill from here, folks. Strap in; it's gonna take a while.
 
1840 - Birth of Claude Monet. His features are indistinct, but he gives of the general impression of a baby.
 
1886 - German inventor Friedrich Soennecken develops the hole puncher, which is exactly what it says on the tin. It's a slow news day.
 
1918 - The newly independent Czechoslovakia becomes a republic. Not gonna lie; they are not ideally placed geographically for this.
 
1922 - A broadcasting company in Britain begins its radio service. The only thing now is figuring out what they should call themselves.
 
1922 again - Birth of future UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, son of Yusuf Buotros Ghali, son of Boutros Ghali.
 
1960 - Four federal marshals have to escort a little girl named Ruby Bridges to her first day of elementary school in New Orleans because white people.
 
1975 - Spain relinquishes control of Spanish Sahara - hereafter called Western Sahara - and bequeaths it to Morocco and Mauritania. Not consulted: the inhabitants of Western Sahara.
 
1977 - Death of Abhaya Caranāravinda Bhaktivedānta Svāmi Prabhupada, founder of the Hare Krishna movement. 5000+ years of recorded human history, plus however many tens of thousands before that, and we're still making new religions.
 
2013 - Death of Hindi children's literature author Hari Krishna Devsare. No relation.
 

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17 minutes ago, Illjwamh said:

His argument is that written language should reflect spoken language, and that words should be written how people actually say them.

Maybe point out to him that it's more important for written language as read to carry the writer's meaning, and that doesn't work if hardly anybody can read it.

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1 hour ago, Illjwamh said:

1960 - Four federal marshals have to escort a little girl named Ruby Bridges to her first day of elementary school in New Orleans because white people.

Goldarn white people. It's all this idiocy of considering melanin deficiency a mark of superiority.

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