Thursday, October 14, 2010

What I'm learning

This is definitely one of my more interesting quarters in terms of reading, though I have to admit the volume kind of detracts from the interest. I'm learning all about medieval science and religion, and the historiography thereof. I'm also learning how languages shape and reflect cultures, and about the difficulties of translation and definition and some fascinating language quirks.

I like my history reading best (which is probably good, given I'm contemplating declaring a major in history), and in fact I am procrastinating on this week's history paper writing this post. I'm supposed to be writing about medieval technology.

Your interesting fact for the day: there's an Australian aboriginal language which reckons location not in terms of right, left, in front of, behind, but in terms of cardinal direction. Therefore, if there is a bug next to your foot, someone might tell you, "look out for the bug to your east." If you turn around to look for the bug, it will still be to your east, because directions are completely objective and not egocentric. Someone who wants more room on a couch might say "move a little to the north." Consequently, speakers of this language have incredibly good sense of direction.

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