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A delightfully nerdy page for nerds
January 28, 2007 6:51 AM   Subscribe

Dr. James B. Calvert, professor emeritus of engineering at the University of Denver, has an incredibly rich and deep personal webpage, which includes such gems as Latin for mountain men, the correct corn-hog ratio, travel by brachistochrone, anomalous sound propagation and the guns of Barisal, and about a billion other awesomely nerdy topics.
posted by sergeant sandwich (16 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
dammit. last link was supposed to go here!
posted by sergeant sandwich at 6:55 AM on January 28, 2007


Just remember, if you have a dicky ticker, you shouldn't travel by brontosauruschrome!

Thanks, SS, this is like a nerd power-up.
posted by The Deej at 7:32 AM on January 28, 2007


Excellent stuff, thanks sarge!
posted by carter at 8:13 AM on January 28, 2007


Rocketh like Docketh.

Okay, that was lame, but it's sunday morning.

Good links.
posted by eriko at 8:24 AM on January 28, 2007


This caught my eye:

The domain .com contains very nasty sites, normally with very poor information, that should be visited with care. The appearance of multiple cookies is a giveaway of criminal or commercial intent, so set your browser security at least to Medium. Internet information can be very disappointing. It is a shame that such a powerful medium has been so debased.

This guy needs to say goodbye to 1994, and join us in the twenty-first century.
posted by jayder at 8:40 AM on January 28, 2007


From the "Latin" link:
As Alexander Humez will inform you, Latin is an Indo-European language, and gives a kind of history that is often elaborated, but is pure wind. Linguists would almost claim to know the Indo-European flag, and the history of its people, but there is really nothing there, not even the Caucasian origin of the race. All that they have are existing (including classical) languages, and from this they construct fables about how they must have originated, like the tale of how the elephant got his trunk. It is a good story, with much intelligent reasoning, but it is just a story and one can learn no causes from it. No Indo-European survives, and no appropriate wanderings are historically attested. Scraps of information are swept together into a heap that it is hoped will pass for a science. How languages change with time is especially obscure, though what is well-described. The Romans thought Latin descended from Greek, but it did not, it is merely cognate. Modern "romance" languages are not evolved forms of Latin, but created languages that existed in parallel with Latin. Each has its peculiar ontogeny, which is mainly unknown. Anglo-Saxon is a Germanic language, but English, not being Anglo-Saxon or any evolution of it, is not. English was created by people who spoke Anglo-Saxon (and other tongues), however, so the similarity is not unreasonable. In fact, such classifications are largely useless and devoid of meaning. At least so I believe.
You believe wrongly, and further, you sound like the kind of fool who thinks he can form meaningful judgments on areas of study he knows nothing about, and the entire passage is an illogical jumble of half-baked thoughts and misunderstandings. I shall repay your contempt by not investigating your Latin lessons.

Nice post, nonetheless!
posted by languagehat at 8:53 AM on January 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


This guy is an ass.
posted by odinsdream at 9:04 AM on January 28, 2007


Another excellent supplement is Alexander and Nicholas Humez's Latin for People--Latina pro Populo

Real Latinists scathed that book.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:44 AM on January 28, 2007


You believe wrongly, and further, you sound like...

...another tragic case of Engineers' Disease, in which high competence in one area of study leads one to believe that one must be similarly competent in other areas, despite the fact that one has not actually invested nearly as much study in those other areas.

Lots of people besides engineers suffer from this ailment, of course. But engineers do seem to be particularly likely to, especially when they're getting on a bit, suddenly come up with Grand Unified Theorems, great insights into historical events, bold new ideas about astronomy, and so on.
posted by dansdata at 9:58 AM on January 28, 2007 [21 favorites]


The favorite Indian process was to soak the corn in wood ash lye until the hull softened and expanded, producing hominy. When boiled, this can be very palatable, and was a very familiar dish.

At last, something my great-great-grandmother would have recognized as food.
posted by SPrintF at 9:59 AM on January 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


The relation between supply and demand is more complex than the pronouncements of a pseudo-science imply.
posted by Chuckles at 10:39 AM on January 28, 2007


Real Latinists scathed that book.

I'd have gone for the Colbert-ish "The Latinistas."
posted by sparkletone at 11:07 AM on January 28, 2007


I think I sat next to this guy on a bus once.
posted by Falconetti at 11:28 AM on January 28, 2007


...another tragic case of Engineers' Disease, in which high competence in one area of study leads one to believe that one must be similarly competent in other areas, despite the fact that one has not actually invested nearly as much study in those other areas.

Nice way of putting it. I find that people afflicted with Engineers' Disease are also likely to put together web sites with long, condescending instructions on how to use the site (such as the fact that you can click on the various links to access the materials on the site), and elaborate explanations of which browsers should be used, etc.
posted by jayder at 6:31 PM on January 28, 2007


Although I did study Latin at the University of Denver, I never met Dr. Calvert.
posted by MotherTucker at 9:17 AM on January 29, 2007


I'd have gone for the Colbert-ish "The Latinistas."

As would I, had I thought of it. Damn!
posted by IndigoJones at 10:52 AM on January 29, 2007


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