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Messages - Calilasseia

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1
Words / Re: Monday 19th July 7-by-many HEXAMETER puzzle
« on: July 23, 2021, 04:43:30 PM »
Ah, the fun of poetic metre.

In the past, poetry was based upon the arrangement of stresses within the words contained in a line (I'll cover a complication in a little moment). Specific rhythmic arrangements of stresses, and their number, all have their own terms, known as meters. Rhyme was a much later development, and one that appears to be peculiar to English (unless someone else here knows better).

Possibly the canonical example of ancient poetry relying upon metre is Virgil's Aeneid, consisting of 12 books written entirely in dactylic hexameter. This form has six stresses arranged in a particular order. Stresses usually (but not always) fall upon long syllables, and so, the arrangement of syllables is important in metric poetry. A long syllable followed by two short syllables is a dactyl (-..), a spondee is two long syllables (--), and a trochee is a long syllable followed by a short syllable (-.) Each of these groups of syllables is known as a metrical foot.

Consequently, hexameter poetry has six metrical feet, and dactylic hexameter has those six feet arranged in a particular pattern. that pattern usually consists of five dactyls, followed by a spondee or trochee for the sixth of the metrical feet, though some works in dactylic hexameter also permit the substitution of spondees in the first four positions. Strict dactylic hexameter has the following arrangement of metrical feet:

-.. -.. -.. -.. -.. {-- or -.}

Poetry conforming to this specification was possible in Latin, because Latin is a completely inflected language, where meaning is conveyed by spelling changes, and therefore there is considerable freedom of word position in a sentence. You can change the word order in a Latin sentence without destroying meaning, because the precise grammatical function of each word is conveyed explicitly by systematic spelling changes for each different function. There were some rules for word order that applied in Latin, but these rules were pretty fluid as a result of the existence of complete inflection.

Languages that have lost complete inflection, of which English is a canonical example, make life much harder for any poet striving to apply metre. Rhyme, on the other hand is uniquely facilitated by English.

Now for a complicating factor. Classical Greek also features metre in its poetry, but in this case, one also has to take into account that Classical Greek placed emphasis upon musical pitch instead of stress for emphasis. Classical Greek has its own rules for the placement of accents denoting pitch changes in the pronunciation of a word (though these rules were, if one is to be rigorous, invented much later to make life easier for non-native Greek speakers and readers - I've covered the hilarity of how Greek was written in the 5th century BCE in another post). Just to make life harder if you delve into Greek poetry in the original, there are several different systems, not only for different literary genres (comedy, epic poetry, lyric poetry etc) but different systems for varying Greek dialects (the Homeric dialect used in The Odyssey and The Iliad stands out as something of an outlier - this was a composite formulated by Homer explicitly for the composition of epic works).

The above should explain why learning to read a wide range of works in the original Greek is a lifetime occupation. :)

As an aside, it should be noted that Enoch Powell, of "rivers of blood" fame, was, outside of his political life, an extremely diligent Greek scholar. However much you may despise his politics, you cannot subtract from him the effort he expended within the field of Classical Greek scholarship. Indeed, one of the projects he was working on prior to his death, was a complete re-examination from scratch, of the Koiné Greek texts used to compile the New Testament. Though the fun and games involved in the use of Koiné Greek for the New Testament is deserving of its own dedicated encyclopaedia, given the twists and turns that have been uncovered by two millennia of scholarship, including the non-trivial business of determining whether, for example, marks on original documents were simply blemishes in the papyrus medium, or actual iota subscripts intended to be in place by the authors. That one has caused many headaches over the years.


2
Words / Re: Elaenia
« on: July 09, 2021, 11:58:35 AM »
Interesting that odd words such as "Elaenia" are surprisingly prevalent in the bird world. Meanwhile, I'm hard pressed to find, for example, any Lepidoptera with common names that would be considered similarly unusual.

I've already commented in another thread on the manner in which Indian butterflies were given their common names by the Sons of Empire during the Raj, and how those names reflected the prejudices thereof. "Commodore" or "Sergeant" would probably be considered common words in a Chi game, though "Nawab" is probably going to end up in the rare word list. I suspect that the Two-Tailed Pasha, Charaxes jasius, might also provide "Pasha" as a candidate for the rare list, though since both "Pasha" and "Nawab" have been used in the past as epithets for various eminent persons. "Pasha" was the name for a high-ranking political and military official in the Ottoman Empire, for example, and "Nawab" denoted the ruler of part of the Mughal Empire.

In other places, Imperial prejudices seem to have been toned down considerably when reaching for names - the various Birdwing butterflies in south east Asia being a case in point, along with the Oak Blues of the Genus Narathura (or Arhopala, depending upon which taxonomic authority you prefer), to which are related the Plushblues of the Genus Flos, and the Leafblues of the Genus Amplypodia. This collection, by the way, is in taxonomic flux, as the molecular phylogeny data is incomplete, and still awaiting further research.

Likewise, the Genus Drupadia are klown as the Posies, and the Genus Horaga are known as the Onyxes, courtesy of their resemblance to the geological rocks of the same name.

Given that there are around 10,000 species of bird, but over 20,000 species of butterfly, one would have thought that the latter would be more prone to acquiring unusual names. But aside from such infrequent oddities as Teinopalpus imperialis, the Kaiser-I-Hind, the majority of butterflies have been given common names that have at least some rational basis. Bhutanitis lidderdalei, for example, the Bhutan Glory, pretty much tells you what to expect when you see it - it's native to Bhutan, and is one of the truly spectacular members of the Swallowtail Family. In the case of Charaxes violetta, the Violet Spotted Emperor, the name again prepares you to expect something spectacular in appearance, and this species does not disappoint in that respect. :)

Then you have the Genus Marpesia - the Daggerwings, of which Marpesia petreus ranges as far north as the southern US states. The sharply pointed hindwing tails lead to this name, and these again include some real "catwalk stars" of the butterfly world, such as Marpesia marcella, the Purple-Stained Daggerwing or Pansy Daggerwing - you can view this beauty here. Another spectacular little species is Gunayan rubricollis, the Ruby-Collared Sapphire, whose name again tells you exactly what to expect.

Meanwhile, birds rejoice in names such as Keas, Tuis, Kakapos and Hoatzins. Go figure.


3
Whatever / Re: An anniversary
« on: July 07, 2021, 07:53:09 AM »
Where do you find out how long you've been playing?

Pretty sure I've now reached 5 years.

4
Whatever / Re: Butterfly alphabet (esp. for Calilasseia)
« on: June 07, 2021, 10:58:13 AM »
Whoops, almost forgot - the Genus Callicore also contains numerous "eighty eights". Callicore pitheas is a typical example.

5
Whatever / Re: Butterfly alphabet (esp. for Calilasseia)
« on: June 07, 2021, 10:49:25 AM »
My regret is that the article didn't identify the species concerned ... otherwise, I would have had lots of fun tracking them down!

The problem is that there's an entire Genus of butterflies, namely Diaethria, whose members have "80" or "88" wing patterns, of which Diaethria anna is but one of about a dozen such species ... Diaethria anna can be viewed here.

If you go to this huge list of butterflies found in the Americas, you can search through the Genus Diaethria and see a huge number of photos of the butterflies in question. For example, this page covers Diaethria astala.

6
Whatever / Re: Interesting Spider in My Home [PHOTO]
« on: June 01, 2021, 10:38:13 AM »
I think it is gorgeous! Did you let it stay or escort it outside?

All my specimens are released into the wild, unless I'm informed beforehand that the specimen is of interest to scientists.

My son-in-law (in UK) can only tolerate spiders in the house if he gives them a name  :). Here in Oz we have a constant supply of house spiders but none as colourful as yours.

Actually, if you check out the various Peacock Spiders that live in Australia , you'll find they're very colourful indeed! This scientific paper covers spiders of the Genus Maratus, which contains the Peacock Spiders, and I think you'll agree they're well worth looking out for!

Meanwhile, a pretty thorough run-down of the various Australian members of the Salticidae can be viewed here, but be warned you have a LOT of photos to scroll through on that page. :)

For example, Simaethula auratus looks as if it's made of opal.

In the Araneidae, Eriophora curculissparsus is mint green, and Araneus praesignis has a mint green cephalothorax with a white abdomen. You also have several interesting black and yellow striped Argiope species to look out for in the same Family, along with odd looking species in the Genus Arkys. Also check out the Genus Austracanthus, which contains colourful and bizarrely shaped six spined spiders, as does the related Genus Gasteracanthus. In particular, Gasteracanthus westringi will probably leave you with your eyes on stalks when you see it! These and more can be viewed here.

Also see the Australian members of the Family Thomisidae,

Several of the smaller Huntsman Spiders belonging to the Genus Neosparassus are bright green. The big, scary ones belong to the Genus Heteropoda - but as big as the Australian members of this Genus are, they're eclipsed by Heteropoda maxima from Laos, which has, wait for it, a 12 inch leg span. That is NOT a species that should be searched for via a Google search by arachnophobes!




7
Whatever / Interesting Spider in My Home [PHOTO]
« on: May 27, 2021, 09:38:35 AM »
This little beastie turned up in my home on 2021/05/20.

Don't worry, it's only small, it just looks huge in the photo because my camera has a super macro zoom facility that can make a small coin look like a manhole cover. :)

What struck me about this was the fact that while I was photographing it, it appeared to have an iridescent metallic green abdomen - not the sort of colour scheme usually associated with British spiders!

Specimen has since been identified as Philodromus aureolus.

To give an indication of actual size, the leg span is only marginally wider than the diameter of a UK 5p coin (which is a pretty small coin).

In the past, I've had the related Philodromus dispar turn up in my home, whose adult males look as if they're wearing a tuxedo colour scheme wise.

8
Whatever / Re: Location of Active Forumites
« on: May 27, 2021, 09:26:33 AM »
Not a biggie, but the state I live in is spelt Illinois — and the expression 'there is no noise in Illinois' is for those pronouncing the final letter (it is silent).

Tangential diversion moment ... you just reminded me of this album by Sufjan Stevens :)




9
Word Games / Re: What's "new"?
« on: May 08, 2021, 06:43:37 PM »
What's the hex code for that shade of red? Might use it myself in a future JavaScript project! :)

10
Words / Re: two suggestions
« on: April 27, 2021, 11:26:37 PM »
And, of course, Alan only has finite time to devote to updating the database. And relies upon us to let him know of such anomalies. :)

11
Words / Re: Spelunker and spelunk
« on: April 27, 2021, 11:24:54 PM »
Anyone who learned about software development on a UNIX system and spent time playing Colossal Cave will know about this. :)

12
Word Games / Re: Who picks these words?
« on: April 05, 2021, 04:52:15 PM »
Speaking of "who picks these words" ... today's Standard (5th April 2021) strikes me as being some sort of late April Fool's joke.

I can't see any way of making just ONE nine-letter word out of that collection of letters, let alone two ...

EDIT: just 10 seconds after posting this, I found the two nine-letter words.

Even so, this puzzle is probably one of the most exasperating I've played to date.

13
Words / Re: Word suggestion ?
« on: March 18, 2021, 04:33:41 PM »
I've always seen these logic gate names written in all capitals, as you've done, whisky and ridethetalk. That would rule them out as Chi words.

Also, isn't exclusive or normally written as XOR? At three letters, this is too short for us.

These are also basic machine language operations for CPUs. However, depending upon which CPU you're referring to, different conventions apply to the exclusive OR instruction when these are written in assembly language.

For example, in the case of Intel or Zilog processors  the operation is described using XOR. So, for example, on a Z80 CPU, you can have and instruction such as

XOR A

which performs an exclusive OR operation on the contents of the accumulator with itself, or

XOR B

which will perform an exclusive OR operation between the contents of the accumulator (A) with the B register, the result being stored back in the accumulator. There are also variations on the XOR instruction allowing the use of memory based operands, either using an absolute memory address, or using the HL register pair as a pointer to the memory operand, as in:

XOR (HL).

Likewise, on 80x86 processors, you can have instructions such as

XOR AX,CX
XOR AL, 0C0H

and in the case of processors from the 486 upwards, the operands for these can be pretty much anything.

However, if you write code for the 6502 processor, the instruction is written as EOR, not XOR. So you can have instructions such as:

EOR #$AA
EOR (loc),Y

Similarly, the instruction is written as EOR when writing code for Motorola processors, such as the 6809 or the elegant 680x0 series. In the case of the latter, you can have operations such as:

EOR.W D0, #$AAAA
EOR.L D0, #$AAAAAAAA
EOR.L D2, D7
EOR.L (A0), D0

and by the time you're coding for the 68020 upwards, all manner of complex memory operands as well. In the case of the operands above, a ".W" after the instruction signifies a 16 bit operation, while ".L" signifies a 32-bit operation. You can also have ".B" for 8-bit operations on appropriate operands on this series of CPUs.

I still have the manuals for these, even though I last wrote assembly language code in anger around 1998.

14
Words / Re: Childhood Diseases
« on: March 08, 2021, 10:48:16 AM »
Can anybody explain why Pat's quote by rogue mother is dated February 05, 1975?!
Is there a spanner in the works?  Or am I seeing things?
Hi Val,

You can dismiss the psychiatrist  :D  You weren't seeing things.

I can't tell you how it happened but I can tell you what produced the result. The first line in the code block is what should have been used. Somehow the 6 at the end got deleted to give the third line.

Code: [Select]
[quote author=rogue_mother link=topic=4308.msg66928#msg66928 date=1608244346]
[/quote]
[quote author=rogue_mother link=topic=4308.msg66928#msg66928 date=160824434]
[/quote]

If you copy the text in the code block to here where it will be executed you get -


I hope to see you back at the ranch sometime soon.

There's a reason for those numbers.

The underlying PHP code references the MySQL UNIX_TIMESTAMP() function. A Unix timestamp is a unique integer, consisting of the number of seconds that has elapsed since midnight on 1st January 1970, which was agreed by convention as the starting point for time measurement when the Unix operating system was developed.

However, there's a problem with the existing Unix timestamp, namely that it's an unsigned 32-bit integer. Which means that the largest value it can take is 4,294,967,295. Therefore, the Unix timestamp cannot handle dates beyond February 7th, 2106. If a 64-bit timestamp is introduced, this will allow integers all the way to 18,​446,​744,​073,​709,​551,​615. A 64-bit timestamp will be good all the way to July 21st, 2554 with nanosecond accuracy, and if used only to 1 second accuracy instead, will be good all the way to the year 584,000,000,000 - around 42 times the current age of the universe. That should be future proof enough for most people's needs, though possibly not those of cosmological physicists :)

Those who want to explore arcane time measurements further, can enjoy the age of the universe in seconds. :)




15
Words / Re: word suggestion - woodrat
« on: March 02, 2021, 11:17:02 AM »
Since rodents have put in an appearance here, I thought I'd mention one that has a truly wonderful name.

Dinomys branickii.

Otherwise known as, wait for it ... Count Branicki's Terrible Mouse.

In its native South America, indigenous peoples call it the Pacarana.

Though at 33 lbs in weight, it's bigger than any mouse most of us are likely to encounter.

Scientists have apparently determined that it belongs properly in the Family Dinomyidae, which translates as "Terrible Mice". Though it's closer to guinea pigs morphologically than true mice.

One of its extinct relatives was much bigger. Namely, the wonderfully named Josephoartigasia monesi, which was, in effect, a guinea pig the size of a Nissan Micra car. Exceptional specimens of that beast had a body mass of 1,000 kg or so. The fossil skull that was found belonging to this animal is nearly 2 feet long. What we have here is a rodent whose skull is large enough to act as a vivarium for a modern day guinea pig. :)

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