Nature of Man
… nothing that happens to Man is ever natural

27 March 2006, Monday

Ljube - Kon (Любэ - Конь)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mordred @ 19:01

This is a beautiful Russian acapella song, sung in a traditional Russian polyphonic folk style. And to answer the trend of translating lyrics among my blogging friends, here is a singable translation:


Выйду ночью в поле с конём,
Ночкой тёмной тихо пойдём.
Мы пойдём с конём по полю вдвоём,
Мы пойдём с конём по полю вдвоём.

Ночью в поле звёзд благодать…
В поле никого не видать.
Только мы с конём по полю идём,
Только мы с конём по полю идём.

Сяду я верхом на коня,
Ты неси по полю меня.
По бескрайнему полю моему,
По бескрайнему полю моему.

Дай-ка я разок посмотрю -
Где рождает поле зарю.
Аль брусничный цвет, алый да рассвет,
Али есть то место, али его нет.

Полюшко моё, родники,
Дальних деревень огоньки,
Золотая рожь да кудрявый лён -
Я влюблён в тебя, Россия, влюблён.

Будет добрым год-хлебород,
Было всяко, всяко пройдёт.
Пой, златая рожь, пой кудрявый лён,
Пой о том, как я в Россию влюблён!
Пой, златая рожь, пой кудрявый лён…

Мы идем с конем по полю вдвоем…



Riding on my horse in the night
Silent, on the fields we both ride
On the fields at night, riding alone
On the fields at night we ride all alone
(On the fields at night, riding alone
On the fields at night we ride all alone)

Blessed the stars all over the fields
where no living soul could be seen
Just the two of us, riding alone
Just the two of us, we ride all alone
(Just the two of us, riding alone
Just the two of us, we ride all alone)

Here I sit on top of my horse:
Carry me with all of your force
Run along the field that never ends
Run along the field that will never end

Let us run and maybe we’ll see
Where the dawn is born in these fields,
The cow-berry light, rising red-bright,
Would it come unto my dreams or my sight?
(The cow-berry light, rising red-bright,
Would it come unto my dreams or my sight?)

On these fields alone I do reign
Seeing windows light far away
Oh, the thriving flax, oh, rye of gold
Oh, I love you my Russia, my love!
(Oh, the thriving flax, oh, rye of gold
Oh, I love you my Russia, my love!)

May the harvest ripen and grow
All that happens will come and go
Sing, my thriving flax, sing, rye of gold,
Sing: “I love you my Russia, my love!”
Sing, my thriving flax, sing, rye of gold …

On the fields at night we ride all alone

23 March 2006, Thursday

Lies, Damn Lies and Concealed Truths

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mordred @ 14:22

Another “interesting” statistics chart which is sorted by the most meaningless column. Of course all becomes clear when one sorts it by gender ratio — not anyone would want their embassies bombed by non-violent protesters…

The “gender ratio” column means “males per 100 females”. Listing top 30 and bottom 10:

214 United Arab Emirates
206 Qatar
150 Kuwait
132 Bahrain
128 Oman
117 Saudi Arabia
108 Brunei Darussalam
108 Jordan
108 Samoa
108 Timor-Leste
107 Afghanistan
107 Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
107 Solomon Islands
107 Western Sahara
106 China
106 Maldives
106 New Caledonia
106 Pakistan
106 Papua New Guinea
105 French Guiana
105 French Polynesia
105 Guinea
105 India
105 Niger
104 Bangladesh
104 Guam
104 Occupied Palestinian Territory
104 Tonga
90 Martinique
89 China, Hong Kong SAR
89 Netherlands Antilles
88 Belarus
87 Armenia
87 Lesotho
87 Lithuania
87 Russian Federation
85 Estonia
85 Ukraine
84 Latvia

It is interesting to note that the bottom 10 contain mainly ex-USSR republics, and many of them appear in the above-mentioned suicide rate chart. Has this any connection with the number of pirates I am not qualified to comment though.

It is also notable that top 30 countries with the lowest female life expectancy are hardly the same as those with the worst female to male ratio, which points an accusing finger at female infanticide not only in India and China.

30.53 Botswana
35.17 Zambia
35.94 Swaziland
36.34 Mozambique
36.81 Lesotho
36.99 Zimbabwe
37.55 Angola
37.88 Malawi
38.64 Namibia
39.96 Rwanda
41.75 Ethiopia
41.97 Niger
42.66 Afghanistan
43.08 Central African Republic
43.98 South Africa
44 Burundi
44.44 Djibouti
44.76 Cote d’Ivoire
45.1 Kenya
45.21 Sierra Leone
45.61 Tanzania
45.83 Burkina Faso
45.87 Mali
46.83 Uganda
48.83 Cameroon
48.92 Guinea-Bissau
48.99 Liberia
49.46 Somalia
49.63 Chad
50.55 Congo, Rep. of the

14 March 2006, Tuesday

News from the Evolutionist/Creationist Front

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mordred @ 21:12

In an official press release, both sides of the debate announced they have reached a consensus:

1. Humans evolved from monkeys
2. Monkeys were intelligently designed by the Designer in his own image and likeness.

In other news, a group of scientists, without knowing of the agreement have brought out another nail for the ID coffin:

Abstract: The arctic flora is considered to be impoverished, but estimates of species diversity are based on morphological assessments, which may not provide accurate counts of biological species. Here we report on crossing relationships within three diploid circumpolar plant species in the genus Draba (Brassicaceae). Although 99% of parental individuals were fully fertile, the fertility of intraspecific crosses was surprisingly low. Hybrids from crosses within populations were mostly fertile (63%), but only 8% of the hybrids from crosses within and among geographic regions (Alaska, Greenland, Svalbard, and Norway) were fertile. The frequent occurrence of intraspecific crossing barriers is not accompanied by significant morphological or ecological differentiation, indicating that numerous cryptic biological species have arisen within each taxonomic species despite their recent (Pleistocene) origin.

Read the article

(but if you were too lazy to read the abstract, let alone the article, here is it short: new species DO appear. All thanks to our heavenly Father, The Flying Spaghetti Monster!)

6 March 2006, Monday

Oldest Game in the Universe

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mordred @ 20:50

Many (strategy/board) games are fighting for the title of being the “oldest in the world”, and while Go does appear in the list, the claims that this or that emperor devised the game to educate his son in ~2300 BC (plus or minus a couple of centuries) are not quite based on actual evidence per se (there, more latin!) There are even doubts that the 600 BC mention of “Yi” by Confucius is not exactly about Go (though judging from the contextual evidence, there is high probability that it is indeed Go).

Some forms of tick-tack-toe, backgammon and nine-men-morris existed in Egypt and Mesopotamia (they probably called it nine-slave-bellydance), and in Africa they had Awale and the other games of the Mancala family (they have quite a few names btw).

It is interesting to note what the Almighty google thinks the oldest game in the world is. Hmm, yeah, nine-men-morris, mancala, backgammon, strip poker, chess, dice … true, true.

Wikipedia is totally off-track, with the honorable exception of mentioning Cat’s cradle (which ain’t exactly strategic, and is certainly no board game)

My vote is for the Mancala games, and for a leisure way to meet the game, try this shareware (blah:( ) version, which knows the rules of many variants and can be played on the internet (you have to arrange a meeting with a friend, as there is usually nobody online to play with)

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