The Library of Babel is a website that contains every possible combination of characters in the English language. It is the vision of its creator, Jonathan Basile, that once completed, the library will contain every possible combination of 1,312,000 characters. This would mean that contained within the texts, would be every book, every play, every song ever written or that ever could be written; It even includes the exact description of your birth and death. Although the library is currently limited to text of 3200 characters (lower case English letters, the comma, period, and space), it still contains the entire text of this article, as if it were already written (but we’ll get back to that later).
The library is arranged in hexagonal rooms, each with 4 accessible walls. Each wall has 5 shelves and each shelf contains 32 volumes of 410 pages. The number of total volumes in the library is so large that it is difficult to understand, around 105000 (that’s 10 x 10 x 10…. 5000 times). To put this number in perspective, there are estimated to be around 1080 atoms in our observable universe. The library truly does contain every possible combination of English letters; Every paper you have ever written, song you have ever sung, every conversation you’ve ever had. I mentioned that the entire text of this article was contained in the library, if you don’t believe me, you can look it up for yourself. It’s contained on wall 4, shelf 2, in volume 13, on page 244 of hexagon:
You can also access the page using the following link:
As a final thought, here is an excerpt from an essay by Jorge Luis Borges, entitled “The Total Library”:
Everything will be in its blind volumes. Everything: the minute history of the future, The Egyptians of Aeschylus, the precise number of times the waters of the Ganges have reflected the flight of a falcon, the secret and true name of Rome, the encyclopedia Novalis would have constructed, my dreams and daydreams in the dawn of the 14th of August in 1934, the demonstration of Pierre Fermat’s theory, the unwritten chapters of Edwin Drood, those same chapters translated into the language of the Garamantes, the paradoxes Berkeley cerebrated concerning time and never published, Urizen’s books of iron, the premature epiphanies of Stephen Daedelus which before a cycle of 1000 years will signify nothing, the gnostic gospel of Basilides, the song the sirens sang, the faithful catalogue of the Library, the demonstration of the fallacy of that catalogue. Everything, but for a rational line or just notion there will be millions of nonsensical cacophonies, of verbal farragoes and babblings. Everything, but the generations of men can pass without finding among the vertiginous shelves – the shelves that obliterate the day and in which the chaos dwells – a single tolerable page.
Library of Babel
Use the link below to view the full text of the Summer 2017 Newsletter.
The 2017 Tour de France starts in Düsseldorf, Germany, July 1. On July 2, the second part of the tour passes through the Neanderland. This area, after which the Neanderthal was named, will be showcased via a renowned French artist, Pierre Duc, with the help from students from Düsseldorf and Mettman. Pierre Duc is a “land artist”; to commemorate the tour de France in 2012 he and Thierry Gallibour created the image of a cyclist in a field made from various herbs, straw and wood, and the needle of the rear wheel clock was moving during the passage of the racers and helicopters.
The artists are building a giant Neanderthal wearing a cycling helmet with a speech bubble that says “Ich bin ein Neanderthaler. Et en plus, je parle français!” (I am a Neanderthal and I also speak French). He is supposed to be finished for the “grand départ”. The great work of art is 1,500 m² (16,145.86 ft² or 0.4 acres²) and will be visible from the air. The message is intended to express the importance of the place where the Neanderthals originated. It is also supposed to represent common origins and values, the joy of cycling, and the French influence of the area. The tour helicopters will be filming him and making him world famous. The event will be shown in over 190 countries, thus giving the region a once in a lifetime chance to be seen by the world.
The art can be seen in this German newspaper:
French eco designer Isagus Toche presented on June 23 her eco-clothing creations as part of an ecological forum in Kiev, Ukraine. Her dresses were all made from recycled material and from simply discarded materials. Unlike other designers that use material that has been recycled, processed or turned into new material, like plastic waste is being turned into usable yarn, Isagus Toche uses discarded items, cleans them and creates her fashion designs out of them.
There is a fascinating paragraph with jumbled letters on the internet that you may have run across:
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
(According to a researcher (sic) at Cambridge University, it doesn’t matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be at the right place. The rest can be a total mess and you can still read it without problem. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself but the word as a whole.)
Father’s Day has been officially celebrated all over the world for at least the last century and in Catholic Europe since the Middle Ages. There are rumors that it may have been started by a Babylon boy named Elmesu over 4,000 years ago. According to another theory, Father’s Day originated from sun worship by the Pagans.
In the US, the first observance of a Father’s Day was July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, which is now known as Central United Methodist Church. However, it was not until 1966 until President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law. The majority of countries celebrate on the third Sunday in June, but many other countries celebrate March 19th (the feast day of Saint Joseph).
Translation and recording of videos from English into other languages can become challenging as English uses fewer words than most other languages. The translated text must be short so that recordings can match the length of the English language video. That process often requires rephrasing or paraphrasing to get it just right.
We were recently asked to translate a commercial into Spanish. Part of the text said ‘Happy Hump Day’. Translating that greeting into Spanish caused many headaches. The Spanish language does not use such a greeting at all, and to translate the meaning of it would have made the text too long. We scratched our heads, used all kinds of dictionaries and the help of Google to come up with a solution that would work.
What does ‘Hump Day’ even mean?
The Urban Dictionary’s definition: The middle of a work week (Wednesday); used in the context of climbing a proverbial hill to get through a tough week.
Canada’s, as well as America’s, first inhabitants didn’t know how to write. The many different languages were only spoken languages. When schools were introduced and children ordered to attend classes, the language of the teachers was English only. While children spoke their native languages at home, they quickly adapted to English and soon interpreted for their parents and elders. Their command of their native spoken language became less and less.
The primary source of information for historians is traditionally written documents, but there were none. It soon became apparent that these languages and cultures needed to be preserved. Linguists started to interview elders most familiar with their native language and recorded these interviews. If they spoke no English, pictures were used to learn the words, the proper pronunciation recorded and written down as best as possible. These indigenous languages have sounds very unfamiliar to us. To preserve these languages, special alphabets were created to identify such sounds and create a glossary/dictionary.