Sunday, December 03, 2006

Topics of interest: Week ending Dec. 3

Not as much to share this week, but it's not due to a lack of interesting stories out there. I guess my time spent reading was down.

'Tower of Babel' translator made
A "Tower of Babel" device that gives the illusion of being bilingual is being developed by US scientists. Users simply have to silently mouth a word in their own language for it to be translated and read out in another.

US Mexicans haunted by repatriation
Seventy years ago, more than a million people of Mexican origin left the US in a little known "deportation frenzy" that still haunts many of them today. "They wanted us out of the country. I didn't understand why when we'd been born here."

String Theory: New Approaches to Instrument Design
New York Times
Mr. Martin, 63, whose day job is designing sleek rowing shells that slice through ocean surf, is consumed in spare moments by a similarly unorthodox pursuit: abandoning age-old norms of acoustic instrument design as he chases his conception of the ideal violin sound.

Ancient Moon 'computer' revisited
The delicate workings at the heart of a 2,000-year-old analogue computer have been revealed by scientists. The Antikythera Mechanism, discovered more than 100 years ago in a Roman shipwreck, was used by ancient Greeks to display astronomical cycles. ... "When you see it your jaw just drops and you think, 'bloody hell that's clever'."

From Medieval Relic to Roman Haven
New York Times
For most people, owning a centuries-old “appartamento” in a medieval Italian town is the stuff of dreams.

Non-Asians Show a Growing Interest in Chinese Courses
New York Times
With its booming economy and aspirations to expand its global influence, China may have achieved a victory in American classrooms.

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