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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

GI Me: Before & After

the night before I left for basic training

after about a month at basic training

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Most Interesting Theory on the Extinction of the Dinosaurs (and 2 other neat pics)

Taken at Dinosaur World in Cave City, Kentucky


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Pics of the translations of the Georgia Guidestones plus English message

Some are incomplete. It was hard to get the whole message in the shot without making it unreadable.

If there are mistakes in the translations, there is use in knowing what they are.















Bad Swahili Translation on the Georgia Guidestones

I learned Swahili as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania. On a recent road trip that took me through Georgia, I thought I would stop by the Guidestones since it one of the few monuments in the world outside east Africa that has Swahili on it.

The English text is:


Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.

Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.

Unite humanity with a living new language.

Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.

Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.

Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.

Avoid petty laws and useless officials.

Balance personal rights with social duties.

Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.

Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.



Here is a pic of the Swahili text:







































In the first line, I see the word "BINAADAM", which is spelled "BINADAMU" (human, humanity) in Swahili dictionaries.  The first spelling is more phonetic, which tells me that the person who wrote the translation is either a native speaker of Swahili or learned it at a young age. Adult learners like me learned the word by reading it, whereas a native or longtime speaker learned by hearing it.

Here's my translation line by line:

MAINTAIN HUMANITY UNDER 500 MILLION
ACCORDING TO THE NATURE OF THEIR SETTLEMENTS

GUIDE PARENTHOOD/REPRODUCTION WITH WISDOM
SPREAD HEALTH AND PROSPERITY FOR ALL

CONSTRUCT A NEW LANGUAGE TO UNITE HUMANITY

CALM DOWN PASSION - RELIGION - AND TRADITION
ALL THINGS WITH INTELLIGENCE AND REASON

PROTECT PEOPLE AND NATIONS WITH LAW AND THE JUSTICE OF COURTS

ALL NATIONS SHOULD RULE THEMSELVES AND SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS IN THE WORLD COURT

LET GO OF TYRANNICAL RULERS

BALANCE THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE AND NATIONS

TREASURE TRUTH GOODNESS AND LOVE
SEARCH FOR LASTING HARMONY/SYMPATHY

LET NOT THERE BE BAD SICKNESS IN THE WORLD
GIVE CREATION ROOM
GIVE CREATION ROOM

As you can see, there are some differences. With any translation, it's a good idea to have one person translate it into the target language, and then have another person translate it back. If the translation is good, it should be pretty close to the original when re-translated.

Some other random comments:

Goal 1 would require the death of over 90% of the people currently alive, so probably not a good idea.

Goal 2 is contradictory in the English version. The whole point of selective breeding is to reduce diversity by favoring some traits over others.

Language fascinates me because it is the only way one mind can know another.

I wonder how many other things have been translated incorrectly.

If I was going to leave a monument meant to last thousands of years with a message translated into several languages, I would write something simpler. My message would be:

REMEMBER THAT YOU WILL DIE

NO ONE KNOWS EVERYTHING

LIVE AND LET LIVE

THINK AND ASK QUESTIONS

TRY NEW IDEAS

BE VALUABLE TO OTHERS

KNOW YOURSELF

PURSUE KNOWLEDGE, FRIENDSHIP, AND MEANING INSTEAD OF FAME, WEALTH, AND POWER

NEVER MIX BEER AND WINE

SHARE AND ENJOY

Pretty standard stuff, really. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Various Adventures

A thinner me after returning from Tanzania in December 2009

A relative paid me $100 to shave and get a haircut


Mikumi Park, 2007: leaned out the window of the safari bus to get this picture


Checking to see if gravity still works, July 2011


At the peak of Kilimanjaro, September 2009


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

GI Me

Army Strong! Army SMASH!