Kala Phrase

자라 나허 비나하 여사터 아며
tsala nahe pinaha yesatle amye
/t͡saːla naːɦɛ pinaːha jesaːt͡ɬe aːmʲɛ/
sauce into wise-AUG still-REL be.alone
A curry solos into the stationary genius.

Star Trek Discovery vs The Orville

This is the new Star Trek Discovery trailer. And as exciting as it is, I’m uneasy about much of the aesthetic choices, most especially the Klingons. Yes, I know the Klingons have changed a few times, but never this drastically, or for seemingly just the heck of it. Some will point out that when he had the money, Roddenberry changed the look of several aliens…well, yes, he did, but he did it to what we know from the ’80s and ’90s, not this new version. I’m not trying to make the case that new aliens and a modern aesthetic are contrary to good storytelling, that judgment will need to wait until the show actually airs. However, what many fans have come to expect from Trek is a certain level of consistency, and this seems to disregard consistency for what I can only assume is renewed interest.

Keeping in mind that this show will air only its pilot on network television, and then reside behind a paywall, CBS is banking on serious interest that this trailer only barely stirs, at least in someone that has watched Star Trek most of his life. I hope that the show will have success, but given the issues they’ve had with the roll-out, delays, budget and personnel, I fear this show may be shorter lived than Enterprise was.

Meanwhile, this is the trailer for a new show on Fox, starring Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, American Dad, and so much more. This show looks to be a lighter look at the future and space exploration, almost refreshing given the numerous dystopian themes running through much of network and cable television. This seems like a bit of a coup for Fox as “The Orville” looks more like Trek than the new Trek. It also, by using humor, might have an edge over a show that seems like it might be focusing a bit to much on the drama of space travel…and doing so in horrible stylistic contrast to its predecessors.

I will admit that I am looking forward to both of these shows, but there is reason to bet on the latter having more success than the former if nothing else but because people might want a healthy dose of funny and interesting rather than space battles galore plus drama. The current political climate might just be the thing that sets the shows against each other.

My daughter drew this for me

My daughter is 5 y/o and new to using a computer, but I thought I would share what she made for me. It’s a picture of a unicorn.

Kala Phrase

ha te kimu hayo kamakanahue eloye
3SG from duty 3SG.POSS city-leader-LOC resign-PST
He resigned from his position as mayor.

eha nya manyeko uetiye
P.3SG by manage-AG dismiss-PST
She was dismissed by the manager.

kam nya tsame ke itotlatsa asakuamya
3PL by gather O wood-fire life-all-CAUS
They have lived their whole lives by gathering firewood.

NB: The last sentence is quite a grammatical liberty…an attempt to be somewhat poetic.

“Arrival” (spoilers)


Various coffee stain rings that the audience is meant to accept as actually imparting meaning and nuance.

Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that “Arrival” is about linguistics. Not at all…other than a few mentions of pseudo-linguistic perspectives about how language (and time for that matter) works. I watched with what is commonly referred to as an “open-mind” in the hopes that I would appreciate the lengths the filmmakers went to incorporating linguistics into the story line. I was disappointed. While there is mention of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, and some weird attempt at explaining “nonlinear orthography” (not really a thing, by the way), as well as a few examples of Dr. Banks speaking Chinese and understanding Russian, that’s all there is.

Much of the rest of the story is sadly an emotionally driven plot about her deciding to give birth to a daughter that she knows – by way of being able to perceive time like the aliens, in a “nonlinear” way (eye roll) – will eventually die of an incurable form of cancer.

This is silly. And, yes, I mean that in a completely dismissive way. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is debated as much as any other contentious theory and has been studied at length without much evidence to suggest its validity. But, again, this movie only uses linguistic theory as a plot device, relying on it in very much a Sci-Fi trope-ish way, including a healthy dose of “if you could time travel and change stuff, would you?”

Lastly, as someone that has studied virtually every writing system known to have existed, I just want to point out that partial circles that closely resemble coffee stains do not a written language make. If you’re looking for an entertaining movie that has a healthy helping of linguistics, this movie isn’t for you. If, however, you want to have your heart tugged at with the backdrop of science fiction, then, by all means go get some popcorn and enjoy.

This isn’t Colorado.

I pretty sure my evening was just interrupted by a fire alarm in my hotel (in northern Virginia) because of some knuckleheads smoking pot in their room with a towel at the foot of the door. I do not have an issue with that particular activity…but when you mess-up my relaxing evening doing dumb shit, I can no longer find you faultless.

Given that multiple states have legalized medicinal marijuana, and a few have made recreational use of the drug legal, it makes sense that some might mistakenly believe that they can smoke in places that haven’t yet taken the steps to fully decriminalize its use. However, the use of a smoke-able substance in a hotel (where all smoking is verboten) is just not smart…most especially when one places a towel at the base of the door, thereby reducing the free flow of air. Of course, this was done in order to keep people from discovering what was happening, but the irony is that by doing this the culprits almost guaranteed the smoke detectors and fire alarms would be deployed and cause en mass discovery.

Do what you want, but plan accordingly and never jeopardize the safety or security of others without their express consent. And just for informational purposes, the individuals were asked to leave the hotel after the fire department confirmed that they were smoking marijuana.

Translation

ameyo ke panta patse ma pokohue uaki’u | ke “maka” te pisako matsaha | ke kua ameyohue kuna
America O swamp terrible and urine-LOC boil-REFL | O music GEN be.savage-AG gibberish-AUG | O all America-LOC shit
“America is a terrible swamp boiling itself in piss. Its “music” is the jabbering of savages. Everything in America is shit.” http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=44375

I don’t agree with this sentiment in the slightest, but it makes for an interesting translation. Also, it stands as testament to the ire being stirred by the current political climate.