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Archive for December, 2009

Cleopatra's Pylon and Google's Greek

Friday, December 18th, 2009

(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

According to the Associated Press, Egyptian archaeologists have excavated a huge pylon thought to be from the entrance of the Temple of Isis in Alexandria. Actually, dredged would probably be a better word, as much of the ancient city is now beneath the harbor of the modern city. The temple was part of the palace complex of Cleopatra.
More from Tisch on underwater archaeology.

Google Transliteration
Google Labs has a tool, Google Transliteration, to make it easier to write in non-Roman alphabets online and using several of its services. You can type what the word sounds like in English and have it automatically transliterated into Unicode versions of Greek (alas, modern only), Sanskrit, Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Russian, and about a dozen other languages. You can also install a version for Windows on your machine. Early experiments are πάντα καλά.

Cormac McCarthy's typewriter and Jane Austen's Twitter account

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Cormac McCarthy’s typewriter was sold at auction last week for $254,500, according to the New York Times. A friend bought McCarthy a new one, the same style of Olivetti, for less than $20.

McCarthy’s works at Tisch.

Sarah Milstein at O’Reilly Radar comments on the speed of mail delivery in 18th century London, sometimes as much as six times a day. Which from a certain perspective makes Jane Austen’s letters more like email or even Twitter posts in immediacy and level of detail. Or at least allows one to make the comparison