Juliet, Romeo, Catan discussed on The Allusionist

The Allusionist


Cut all the crops, they would then when they tell us the crops, they burn the stubble. And so the reference to fire is about the farmers burning, which would obviously kill the lady birds and destroy their homes. And so they needed to get away quickly. Where could they go? The going Ken well, I don't know, it's difficult to knit into the shrubbery that we find. Right, yeah. Just go for the ornamental plants. Yeah, the other rhymes are sort of more romantic. So again, maybe feeding back into this fertility theme that the lady bird flies away towards your true love. In some way and so they call upon the lady bird to fly to their sweetheart. And the word lady bird, obviously, Romeo and Juliet. There's a little quote from Romeo and Juliet, but what lady bird love what lady bird what Juliet exactly. So again, I guess it means sweetheart in that context. Not so romantic although still very evocative is a lady bird ability known as male killing. What's that? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like. Male killing is caused by bacteria that live in the female lady bird and they get into her ovaries and into the eggs that she produces. And somehow, and we don't really know how they kill off the embryos that are destined to become male. So when she lays her clutch of eggs, normally we expect half of those will end up being female lady birds, the other half will be male, lady birds. But a female lady bird that has a male killer will often have a clutch of eggs where only about half of them hatch. And the half a hatch go on to become female. So the males were killed, right at the very beginning of their lifetime. And it works surprisingly, because the female larvae and something which is slightly disgusting, as they emerge from the egg, they need to eat something very quickly or they'll starve to death. They've got male eggs right there that aren't hatching into larvae. Those eggs, so they eat their dead brothers, nasty, little bit of cannibalism. But it's pragmatic, caramelization. Yeah, exactly. They're off to a big advantage compared to females in a clutch where everything hatched and there wasn't anything to eat. So I'm sure this is a metaphor for something. We're just going to take a little break for some ads. This podcast is sponsored by better help online therapy. At this time of year, I find there are many sources of personal contemplation out with the old and in with the new and all that. Festive gatherings with family or friends and the emotional fallout thereof, more COVID happening, more COVID edge lords happening. I am going into 2022 pre exhausted, but the best gift we can give ourselves at any time of year is looking after our mental health. Better help is customized online therapy that offers video, phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist. So you don't have to see anyone on camera if you don't want to. It's much more affordable than in person therapy. And you can be matched with a therapist in under 48 hours. Financial assistance is also available and you can use better help wherever you are in the world. You just need an Internet connection. So why invest in everything else and not your mind? This podcast is sponsored by better help and illusionist listeners get 10% off their first month at better help dot com slash allusionist. That BET ER HELP dot com slash illusionist. The illusionist is sponsored by catan, the board game where you build and trade without having to do all the paperwork of getting planning permission of your building or violating taxes for your trade or any real life admin. Because it's a game. Also, unlike life, it only takes a few minutes to learn the basics. The hexagonal tile board is endlessly reconfigurable, which I suppose is unlike real life unless you're prone to rearranging the rugs a lot. It is much easier to move a catan than a rock though and less dusty, so once again, game is a lot more convenient than real life. Catan is a cooperative board game for three to four players, aged ten plus, although younger kids can play with initial adult guidance. Get catan at catan shop dot com slash allusionist that dot com slash illusionist and listeners of this podcast get 10% off the original base game kataan by using the promo code illusionist at checkout often not good on other catan titles and merchandise, but does work a treat on the original base game Qatar. Back to the bonus bits. Tokyo Glover's daughter came on the illusionist to talk about the Icelandic languages moves to include more queer and gender free vocabulary, and how that is challenging, because the whole language is grammatically gendered. Can you have a gender free grandparent? We could say, no, we don't. We don't. We need one. We have amma for grandmother and ave. And we just have a moabi. I don't think I don't even think we have grandparents. Yeah, no, I'm suddenly like am I wrong? But I don't think we do. I would just say we would just have to say a molar. What we don't have in English is a gender free word for aunt or uncle. So we do have grandparents and parents and siblings, but not that. Yeah, we don't have that either. So we have franca for a female relative. And then or female a bit more distant relative than the cluster, and then we have the. Male more distant relative. We've been trying to, and that's another word we need for non binary people. So we need the third term there as well. People have met some people have been using Frank. Where they take the feminine feminine term and take the ending away. It's nice. Yeah. So that's one way of doing it. But we have so we don't really we don't have a distinction between aunt and uncle and nis nephew and cousin. We don't it's all friendly. So this is a problem for us when we're learn English. We need to figure out all of these relationships and how people are related to each other. No one really understands cousins. But the word friend, that means relative or not really distant, but cousin uncle so on. It's related to friend. Oh, yeah, where is the same word busy? So that's cute. Yeah. Paul of PK Porto, the museum of global communications, came onto the show to talk about SOS, the breakout star of Morse code. What do you think Morse codes became prevalent? It's probably the simplicity really. It's such a simple thing to use and learn that it became the standard way too. Morse code became prevalent before radio when the telegraph was stood on wires. Over at PK, we have loads of systems that people developed in the early days of the telegraph to read the signals at the other end. As things look further and further away, you needed much more sensitive instruments to detect things. So you ended up with a very sensitive galvanometer which measures tiny, tiny electrical currents, and it would go one way or the other, because these other ones move so slowly, the cable code became it was exactly more code except instead of dot and dash it went left and right. That led to all kinds of useful things. So you could get automation. So you attend it to kind of a siphon recorder so paper strip would be pulled through this machine. And a little siphon in a pot of ink will be putting down the patient. As it moves left and right, then the trace on the piece of paper move left and right. And experienced operators could read that. But it gave a permanent record of the signal that we've gone. There have also been similar systems involving holes being punched into paper strips. So the paper will be pulled through the machine and it will punch holes left and right for the dashes and the dots of the Morse code. That could be automated then so somebody could type just on a typewriter keyboard. That will punch the correct holes for the letters, and then the tape will go through a machine, which would send them all straight faster than somebody could tap ahead. And then at the other end, another machine could punch a new tape for somebody to read there. During the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, cables were laid under the sea to create a worldwide telegraphy network, allowing words to travel between continents in the same day. But over the really long stretches of cable, the signal would get very weak, so you couldn't send a signal over a long distance in one go, for instance, from Australia to Britain. Therefore, tiny islands in the middle of oceans suddenly became very useful to telegraphy companies, so they could plunk relay stations on them. They were all kinds of stations at places like Ascension island. And so you'd have people there who would read the message coming in write it down and then send it out again. And by the 1920s, with this punch paper tape, they'd invented a system called regen, which regenerated the signal at any human intervention. It's all based on clockwork, clocks for timing, the electromechanical switches and motors to keep everything running. Completely automatic. So the staff of those little cable stations they've got a lot smaller. You just needed someone who could keep everything running. And no one to write their messages down in send them again. So one story we tell the children that come out to PK is that life on those stations changed because instead of playing football and cricket with a team of people, you'd be playing tennis with your whole staff because they weren't enough there. For team sports. Yeah, well just hitting a ball against the wall on your own. Yeah. It's amazing, though. I mean, it still seems extremely impressive. I mean, we still got a signal kind of thing even with fiber optics because even the light signal gets weakened on the way through the cables through the fibers. So underneath the ocean, there are things about the size of a cow, which boosts the light signal, get it bright enough for the next stage of the cable. And now I have a mental image of cows strolling around on the ocean floor, beaming light around. Not complaining is nice. Finally, talking about a different kind of signal is muddy lung of BA concierge in Buenos Aires, who appeared before to tell us about the cake names of Argentina, which arose from protest in 1888, and are still in use today. Here she talks about another form of process. Casserole lazo, which involves banging your pots and pans. Casserole lazo has been used a lot in South American countries, but also across the world. In fact, this very year, people in Myanmar protested the military coup with castle lazo at 8 p.m.. When the protests here started, they actually began everything it does revolve around food. It began with, I believe the conventi shows. These were like these big old mansions that once the rich people moved north to the greener pastors, all the immigrants started moved into these big mansions, so instead of a single-family home, it would be like a hundred family home. And there was maybe one bathroom and the rent was really high, and so these conditions were really bad. And it was actually the grandmas and the moms that would grab their pots and pans and bang, and that's how the protests began. And they called it Casa de laso, basically the big casserole do. And to this day, every once in a while, the city or the social network will plan at Casa de lasso or just before social media was just the neighbors or the newspapers. And if you're if you really care about whatever your protesting against, which is usually the government, you can go to a big street corner and everybody knows the main corners of the city where they do this. Or you just go out on your balcony at 9 p.m. on whatever day, and you bang your pots and pans. And it's, for me, I love it. It's because it's just this real thing that happens without computers without telephones. But it's the pots and pans because these are these basic things you have to make noise. Like with the cake names, you make your point with whatever resources you've got. They lose this is sponsored by Squarespace, your one stop shop to build and run your own website. From choosing the design and your own custom URL all the way to picking the colors in the footer which, does anyone ever even look at it? I'll do it just in case. The biggest project of my life have always started in January's past. Answer me this, and the illusionist, both launched at the start of a year, so if you've been sitting on a project, waiting for it to hatch. May I recommend now? What am I going to launch this coming January? Don't know yet. It's still December at the time I'm talking. But what I do know is whatever said project turns out to be when it is born it will have its own Squarespace site. And you can have your own Squarespace site too, head to Squarespace dot com slash illusionist for a free trial. And when you're ready to launch, use the offer code allusionist to save 10% off your first purchase.

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