The Very First F-Bomb


How good is this?

An image is spotted on FaceBook and a little research finds so much more.

So, where did it all begin and where does that image come from?

The sources quoted are worth reading in full!

The first recorded use

The first instance of use of the word “fuck,” came from a satirical poem, written in Latin, in the year 1500. The line is referring to a group of friars, and runs like this: “Non sunt in coeli, quia gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk.” If it suddenly starts looking like Kryptonian instead of Latin after the word quia, it’s because it had to be written in code. Each letter of the word was swapped out for the letter following it in the alphabet. Remember that the alphabet was in a different order back then, and that Latin conjugates verbs differently, but gxddbov translates as “fuccant.” The overall line states, “They are not in Heaven, since they fuck the wives of Ely.” That is one racy poem!

Those early scibes were a clever lot. We learn to read and write but how many of our modern educated people could code like this, knowing that others would know how to decode. We stoop to “fxck” using the “x” because “v” and “w” are too close to the substituted letter.

The image below is of a page transcribed by a monk in 1528.

The transcription was of  “De Officiis” (On Duties or On Obligations), an essay written by Marcus Tullius Cicero during October and November 44 BC. This was Cicero’s last year alive, and he was 62 years of age. The work is divided into three books, in which Cicero expounds his conception of the best way to live, behave, and observe moral obligations. It was considered so important during the 1400′s and 1500′s that it was the second book to be printed on Gutenberg’s Press, after the Bible.

fuckin

 

 

It is difficult to know whether the annotator intended “fucking” to mean “having sex,” as in “that guy is doing too much fucking for someone who is supposed to be celibate,” or whether he used it as an intensifier, to convey his extreme dismay; if the latter, it anticipates the first recorded use by more than three hundred years. Either is possible, really—John Burton, the abbot in question, was a man of questionable monastic morals.

John Burton was Abbott of Burton Abbey from 1305 too his death in 1316. There were several other “John”s as Abbot.

John de Stafford from 1260 to 1281
John of Ibestock from 1347 to 1366
John de Sudbury from 1400 to 1424

In 1528 the Abbott was William Beyne. He held office 1501-1531. He was followed by John Beaton who was Abbott from 1532-1533, just before the Reformation.

The Abbey appears to have had a lot of moral and financial problems over the centuries and certainly from the mid 1200′s onwards there were rumours of immorality amongst its leaders and the monks.

If the Scribe was referring to John de Burton, then he was doing so from legend and passed down tales within the Monastery. If he was referring to John Beaton, formerly prior of Burton, then perhaps he was anticipating a future promotion. Or perhaps there is a slight error in the timing of the above image.

NO COMMENT!

I make no comment on the possibility that this scribe was clairvoyant; seeing the future of a Great South Land and the depths to which it could tumble.

 

Cyber Reporting


What is truth? What is a fact?

Once upon a time it was what was written in the morning newspaper, unless that newspaper was named “The TRUTH”. Then it was known that its “facts” were often less than real.

New reporters learnt their trade at the feet of old editors and experienced reporters.

Then TV arrived and the best, and most photogenic, reporters moved across to the small screen.

Editors still ran things, increasingly on behalf of the owners. Even the “old-time” News was messed with. There was a famous circulation war between William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal  and Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. Using “Yellow Journalism” which was was the sensationalizing of stories of dubious veracity, it pushed public opinion and lead the United States into a war with Spain in 1898..

It has been an imperfect system for over a century

Yet generations grew up accepting everything that was written in the Press or said on Radio  or TV.

Reporters are now “Edjumacated” in institutions and end up with a piece of paper saying that they are Journalists.

In the ‘Good Old Days” all information beyond that which we saw ourselves, came through the gateway of the commercial media. The Fourth Estate.

Now we have a self-proclaimed  “Fifth Estate” based, not in the real world but in the cyber-world.

So we finally move to the purpose of this rumination. Not the differentiation between Fact and Opinion but the differentiation between Real fact and Cyber fact. Between Real lies and Cyber lies.

HELP!

In the “Real World” there is face-to-face contact with informants. There is ear to ear contact with informants. There is written contact with informants. Each form of contact has its own level of veracity.

Here in Cyberspace, I get an email, a blog comment, a tweet or a Facebook comment. How am I to judge its truthfulness? Do I use an inbuilt bias and accept information which fits my beliefs? Of course not. I need more than that. I need some connection with the informant. Some knowledge of the character of the person I am dealing with.

Of course, it could be that the information is coming to me via a third party. Can I trust the third party’s assessment of the original informant? Of course information like this is usually “anonymous” due to reasons of personal danger.

OK, I won’t go on trying to sound as though I know what I am talking about.

Because I don’t.

I just want to know what are the factors which can lead me to accept or reject a cyber-sourced tip? Especially when there is no “professional” journalist backing the report? And no Government release confirming or denying facts?

Who wants to jump in and make a suggestion?

Standing Work-Station


Watching Dr Norman Swan’s “Tonic” on ABCNews24 the other day, I was interested to see a segment on “Standing Work-Stations”.

In our world of increasing computer use, the standard model of a computer station where you sit at 8.30am and stand again at 5pm is being called into question.

The obesity danger is immense. We may be creating a generation of heart attacks in the waiting. In fact my habit is to do just that, with minimal breaks of verticality and my waistline is showing the damage!

SOoooo – When the Tonic segment started talking about using up to 1000 calories a day simply by standing at your computer my ears not only pricked up but they banged the side of my head, saying, “This is important!”

So I thought about how I could do it. I put an upturned plastic bucket on my desk and did some computer work on it. I found that it felt good but was totally impractical.

So off to K-Mart to find something which could be adjusted to what I had in mind. NOTHING!

Office Works – NOTHIN – - – Hang on – there is a set of steel shelving. HMMMMM

Far too expensive – so off to Bunnings – WOW! A flat-pak of steel shelves for $15.

I don’t have a photo of that because the carton no longer exists. More on that later.

I set up the shelving unit as instructed, leaving the bottom shelf two screw-holes above the floor so my feet didn’t get caught underneath.

Having set it up I found the top shelf was too high.workstation1 so I played with it and got a comfortable height. I had to make allowances for my own height (5’7″), my aging eyes which need the screen to be fairly close and the need for a back-board so things don’t simply fall off.

I finished up with something like this. The legs are two metal bits which slide up and down on each other. The more they overlap, the more stable the shelving becomes.

Being impatient, I tried it out and found the glare from the steel shelf was a bit much. I cannibalised the shelving’s carton and covered the top shelf and created a back-board.

There was sufficient cardboard left over to make a couple of short side-boards as well. In the longer term I shall replace the cardboard with 6mm MDF. The second shelf now holds my speakers and I have upturned the third shelf so it can hold odd leads and other stuff.

work stationPossibly my printer can fit on that shelf as well.

A power board will also need to be added, after the MDF’ing,  and I have already covered all steel edges with duct tape for personal protection.

I may put wheels on the base so I can move it outside easily. That is one of the joys of having used the steel shelving. It is light, adjustable and cheap.

I have found that, if I am searching for a word, looking for a metaphor or suffering a brain overload that it is so simple to take a few steps, clear the brain and back to work. Much easier than standing up, getting distracted and looking at the chair with dislike when the thought coalesces.

I am finding a problem with sore feet so I shall find a suitable mat or something similar to ease that problem. The whole idea is still a work in progress yet I have spent the past three days standing at my computer.

Standing, using extra calories, fresh air, moving to the music I play and still connected to the world. How good is all that?

By the end of summer I could become the Sun-Burned Geek

Mars


A Mole of Moles


Randall has amused me for years with his xkcd cartoons.

We all tend to forget that he is also a sciency geek!

Now he is going back to his roots and finding new ways to teach important science. He takes the approach of “What If – - – -”

Here is an example. Click on the image for more details. More GRUESOME details!

The Garden of Eden and SOPA


And while Randall is a funny guy, he does have his serious moments. I missed this earlier in the week.

General Assembly @OCCUPYFIELD


Nerd Love


Roses are #FF0000,

Violets are #0000FF,

All of my base

Are belong to you.

Wikipedia and Citogenesis


xkcd has invented a new word for a new age of information!

Incorrect Homophones Make Me Sweary!


 

Would You Make a Good Pirate?



You Are 45% Pirate


Ahoy matey! Ye can think o’ yerself as a swashbuckler in trainin’.

If ye study hard an ‘do what the captain tells ye, ye may be gettin’ part o’ the booty.

Get to work on yer pillagin’, swordfightin’, an’ drinkin’.

Ye dasn’t want to end up in Davy Jones’ locker, so make sure ye pipe down when the captain be around.

Steve Jobs’ Calendar; Ex-CEO, Day#1


Sadly the news of Steve Jobs retirement comes with rather unwelcome connotations and I’m sure we all wish him as much “well” as is possible.

Nevertheless, he was a CEO and all CEOs who retire face a problem.



Hey, Do These ‘Shrooms Look Funny?


Click on the image for the full, mind-expanding trip.


Gleefully burgled from Alternate Histories

And Your Password Strength Is?



Burgled from xkcd
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