Sunday, May 24, 2015

Legal Week News Features First Innovation Awards for Law Firms in the UK

Speaking of innovation, how about honoring legal innovation in law firms?

Legal Week features the first Legal Innovation Awards for Law Firms in the United Kingdom. Take a look.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Are Other Star Groups Near Ophiuchus Marked in the Environs of Machu Picchu?

Machu Picchu is, in our analysis, not alone in being "marked" in that remote area of the Andes Mountains. Why should it be?

We know from many other ancient sites that the main "hermetic" i.e. "land location oriented by the stars" ("as above, so below"), often was accompanied by less detailed representations of the surrounding stars, and, indeed those can be seen in an "aerial" photographic view of Machu Picchu taken from Wayna Picchu by Martin St-Amant - Wikipedia - CC-BY-SA-3.0. 

See the enormous photograph at the following link, if your hardware can handle an image this large: 99 - Machu Picchu - Juin 2009" by Martin St-Amant (S23678). Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0. File:99 - Machu Picchu - Juin 2009.jpg. Uploaded by S23678. Created: June 28, 2009. Location: 13° 9′ 28.5″ S, 72° 32′ 48.8″ W.

What a photograph!

Do you see the stars of Scorpio marked as a large figure to the left of Machu Picchu? The three stars at the head of Scorpio are pointed downward and turned to the left, as terraces, it appears.

What about that large head of a bird sticking up prominently at the left in the photographic image? Is that a mountain peak? Does it represent a star group?

There are more. See what you can find.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 84 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

What Other Stars Are Marked in the Environs of Machu Picchu?

Inti Watana (Intihuatana) at Machu Picchu as the Solar Apex, the Apex of the Sun's Way on its Galactic Orbit in the Galaxy

Based on the position of Intihuatana (Inti Watana), "hitchpost of the Sun", and its 13° northward angle, its use to mark annual solar positions may have only been secondary to what we see as its possible use to mark precession and/or the Solar Apex (viz. Antapex) on its orbital path in our galaxy. The Solar Apex is also known as the Apex of the Sun's Way.

Accordingly, the "hitching post" of the Sun for the priest astronomers of Machu Picchu may indeed have been the galactic "Apex of the Sun's Way" in the galaxy, a path leading to (approximately) the star Vega in Lyra.

Intihuatana (Inti Watana) has remarkably similar Indo-European e.g. Latvian comparable terms, where we find tintiņš "the wheel of the spinning wheel" (root wort tin "to revolve about, to wind", also in Etruscan -- see The Etruscan Bronze Liver of Piacenza: An Ancient Starfinder and Calendar) and vietiņā "place of, home of".

That could indicate that an ancient name of the Sun originated in its apparent motion in the stars days before one knew that the Earth revolved around the Sun and not vice versa.

At Machu Picchu, Intihuatana is marked by a location that appears to mark Sigma Ophiuchus (although we also examined 41 Ophiuchus) which in turn points north toward Alpha Ophiuchi (Rasalhague) with a position angle between them of ca. 13° and that line seems to point along what we today regard as the Sun's galactic orbit on a line that runs from Sirius toward Vega, i.e. the Apex of the Sun's Way, with the home of the Sun thus being seen by the ancients as being located close to Vega.

Vega also marked the North Celestial Pole in ca. 12000 B.C. Could the ancients' astronomy have gone back that far in its roots?

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 83 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

Intihuatana (Inti Watana) at Machu Picchu as the Solar Apex, the Apex of the Sun's Way on its Galactic Orbit in the Galaxy

That Rare Road to True Character by David Brooks

The Road to Character by David Brooks, well-known for his New York Times Op-Eds, is reviewed by Angie Drobnic Holan.

Brooks is absolutely right that true character tends to be a rarity in our modern era of self-realization.

People do what brings in the rewards, and selfless service seldom does that, except in goodness being its own reward, but that still does not pay the rent.

Life makes demands that force virtue into the background. Who is immune?

Origin of the Indo-European Languages in the East in the Corded Ware Kurgan Culture According to New Research in Population Genetics

Well, well, well. One should read Gimbutas on the Kurgan culture, nicht wahr?

As so many things we have written over the last 40 years, also as to the origin of the Indo-European languages and peoples, it is turning out via genetic research that we were right all along -- or nearly so, in looking eastward, and that the mainstream Western so-called "scientists" in the humanilties were terribly wrong.

Indeed, the first book we wrote was The Baltic: Origin of the Indo-European Languages and Peoples, and it was badly received. However, precisely that idea or its near comparable is again being argued in the forums. Take a look.

What has happened in the interim?

It appears from newest results in the field of population genetics that northern Eurasians are likely responsible for the influx of the proto-Indo-European language into Western Europe, and not, as long alleged by mainstream so-called "scientists", vice-versa.

Ewen Callaway reported the story of new genetic-based insights to the origins of the Indo-European languages at Nature magazine news in an article titled European languages linked to migration from the east: Large ancient-DNA study uncovers population that moved westwards 4,500 years ago. 

See in this regard also Callaway's earlier article Ancient European genomes reveal jumbled ancestry.

As Callaway writes in the most recent Nature article:
"[A] team led by David Reich ... at Harvard Medical School ... found [that] DNA recovered from steppe herders that lived in western Russia around 5,000 years ago closely matched that of 4,500-year-old individuals from Germany, who were part of a group known as the Corded Ware culture.

The herders, named the Yamnaya, lived in present-day Russia and Ukraine and represent “a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery”, Reich and his team say in a paper posted on the bioRxiv preprint server on 10 February1. Yamnaya ancestry survives in varying degrees in the genomes of contemporary Europeans, with northern groups such as Norwegians, Scots and Lithuanians maintaining the strongest link...."
The original academic article referred to relates to research led by Harvard's Reich and published at Haak et al., Massive migration from the steppe is a source for Indo-European languages in Europe, Now published in Nature doi: 10.1038/nature14317
which writes in the Abstract as follows:
"We generated genome-wide data from 69 Europeans who lived between 8,000-3,000 years ago by enriching ancient DNA libraries for a target set of almost four hundred thousand polymorphisms. Enrichment of these positions decreases the sequencing required for genome-wide ancient DNA analysis by a median of around 250-fold, allowing us to study an order of magnitude more individuals than previous studies and to obtain new insights about the past. We show that the populations of western and far eastern Europe followed opposite trajectories between 8,000-5,000 years ago. At the beginning of the Neolithic period in Europe, ~8,000-7,000 years ago, closely related groups of early farmers appeared in Germany, Hungary, and Spain, different from indigenous hunter-gatherers, whereas Russia was inhabited by a distinctive population of hunter-gatherers with high affinity to a ~24,000 year old Siberian.... By ~6,000-5,000 years ago, a resurgence of hunter-gatherer ancestry had occurred throughout much of Europe, but in Russia, the Yamnaya steppe herders of this time were descended not only from the preceding eastern European hunter-gatherers, but from a population of Near Eastern ancestry. Western and Eastern Europe came into contact ~4,500 years ago, as the Late Neolithic Corded Ware people from Germany traced ~3/4 of their ancestry to the Yamnaya, documenting a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery. This steppe ancestry persisted in all sampled central Europeans until at least ~3,000 years ago, and is ubiquitous in present-day Europeans. These results provide support for the theory of a steppe origin of at least some of the Indo-European languages of Europe."
Now, whether it turns out that the precise origin is in Karelia (see that link at LexiLine), in the Baltic, or further south of that, the general location in the East is clear.

Maciamo writes at Autosomal analysis of Yamna, Corded Ware and Bell Beaker samples that the genetic admixture in the Baltic is the only stable component in the whole genetic landscape under discussion:
"The Baltic admixture doesn't show big variations between Mesolithic (18%), Yamna (10-16%), Corded Ware (12-20%) and Bell Beaker (6-18%) samples. It is the only stable component. It might be linked to the ubiquitous mtDNA U5 (and Y-haplogroup I), found in all Mesolithic Europeans and absorbed by Neolithic farmers too. Nowadays U5 is most common in the Baltic region. I would think that this admixture was named Baltic because U5 genes survived best in this region, not because the Baltic was the source region (which it certainly wasn't since northern Europe was under ice until the end of the Würm glaciation 10,000 years ago)."[emphasis added]
In connection with that previous citation, I should say here that I have written before (28 March 2002) about the "ice hills" of that last glaciation and more as seemingly referred to in the Latvian Dainas -- so they could have lived on the "edge" of that glaciation --but no one has paid any attention in the intervening years, due to the widescale ignorance found in the mainstream humanities, especially Archaeology and Linguistics. It is nice to see things turning around a bit through Genetics. Here is that posting from 2002:

Latvian Plaid from Lejasciems, Latvia
Similar to Scottish & Tocharian Plaids
Did you know that the ancient Latvians, like the Scots, had bagpipes? or that weaving patterns in Scottish tartans have great similarities to ancient Latvian plaids? See the graphic above. The pictured Latvian plaid is nearly identical to an ancient Tocharian plaid - ancient European mummies of which have been found in China. Did these ancient peoples share a common origin? [For the linguistic tartans compare Latvian terpins, dim. for terps meaning "tartan", all probably derived from a term similar to Latvian dariba, darina (drana), darita, daritins meaning "worked (product)"), whence Latvian drebes "cloth" and English drapes. The Scottish kilt compares to Latvian kleita ("dress").]

It is perhaps not without reason that Paul Dunbavin, in his book Picts and Ancient Britons: An Exploration of Pictish Origins, suggests on the basis of still further evidence, "that the Picts were ... immigrants from the Baltic." Looking back even further in time, archaeology and a study of ancient skull types clearly shows similar Mesolithic humans (ca. 8000 BC) among the Magdalenians (the cave painters of Lascaux, France), the ancient people of Normandy, Scandinavia, the middle European lowland and Latvia. See Raisa Denisova, The Most Ancient Population of Latvia and Ilze Loze, Indo-Europeans in the Eastern Baltic in the View of an Archaeologist.

Hence, the culture and traditions of the Baltic peoples take on a greater importance for those who wish to study the origins of the cultures of the British Isles and of Western Civilization.

One of the important remnants of ancient Baltic culture is formed by the DAINAS. The word "DAINAS" in Latvian is pronounced exactly like the English "DYNAS" in DYNASTY. The Dainas are unique ancient Latvian "folksongs in verse form - originally intended to be sung". The Dainas relate epic, mythical, astronomical and cultural information. One such verse or "Daina" generally consists of four lines of unrhymed trochaic text (one long syllable followed by one short syllable, etc.).

The Dainas have been passed down over the millennia by oral tradition and cover all aspects of ancient Baltic life, mythology and astronomy. Dainas are called Dainos in Lithuania - where they are far less frequent. In Latvia, the Dainas are most frequent in the highlands. Comparables to the Dainas outside the Baltic are perhaps only found in ancient Mesopotamia in the most ancient Sumerian and Akkadian pantheon. An example is the Agushaya Hymn (Agushaya possibly = Latvian Augšaja "(on) the highest"), an ancient song text which was the dissertation subject of Orientalist Wolfram von Soden, who at that time could not have been aware of any possible Baltic connection. A number of lines in the Sumerian-Akkadian Agushaya Hymn bear strong similarity to texts STILL found nearly unaltered in the Latvian Dainas.

As noted by Hans Rychener, in his book "...und Estland, Lettland, Litauen?", Herbert Lang, Berlin, 1975, p. 24: "The myths of the Lithuanians and Latvians...remind one of the belief systems of the ancient Hindus and Greeks."

Robert Payne, in "The Green Linden, Selected Lithuanian Folk-songs", Voyages Press, N.Y., 1964, writes: "The dainos...represent a form of poetry as ancient as anything on this earth.... They have a beauty and pure primitive splendor above anything I know in Western literature, except the early songs of the Greek Islanders. They seem to have been written at the morning of the world, and the dew is still on them."

Hermanis Rathfelders, in his many writings in Acta Baltica, wrote that the Latvian Dainas were extremely ancient, preceding the milling of grain, so that the mythological and astronomical Dainas may reach back many thousands of years in time. 

Oral Tradition and the Dainas

The Dainas as ancient verses were handed down through oral tradition from generation to generation in Latvia, often at great cost.

During one stage of German occupation of Latvia in the 16th century, women caught reciting the Dainas were burned at the stake as witches, which only solidified the cultural resistance more than ever.

In the 18th century the famous German writers Johann Gottfried von Herder and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe devoted serious attention to the Latvian Dainas, which surely helped to generate Herder's interest in his later "Essay on the Origin of Language", as well as "Oldest Records of the Human Race" and his collection of Folk Songs ("Volkslieder").

Through his contact with the Latvian Dainas, Herder may also have developed his theory that the poetry of legend was the "soul of history" - or, as written in the Encyclopaedia Britannica "[Herder] considered poetry to spring from the natural and historical environment" of man. At the end of his life, Herder was thus a great opponent of the modern developing "classical movement" in German literature, which estranged poetry from its place as a historical record, leading to a modern misinterpretation of antique sources which has persisted down to the present day, not just in Mesopotamia, but also in the misinterpretation of the Dainas. 

Krišjanis Barons and the Dainas

In 1878 a group of Latvian intellectuals in Moscow decided to collect and publish the "best" of the Latvian Dainas, not fully realizing the immensity of the task before them. They had no idea that so many Dainas existed. The last volume of their collection, Latvju Dainas, was thus in fact published in St. Petersburg only 40 years later. [See Archives of Latvian Folklore]

The best known of the three initial "collectors" of Dainas is Krišjanis Barons, who was the main coordinator of the project to collect, classify and publish the Dainas. Barons was born on October 31, 1835 in Latvia. He attended schools in Dundaga (German Dondangen), Kurzeme (German Kurland viz. Courland), Ventspils (German Windau) and Jelgava (German Mitau). From 1856 to 1860 he studied mathematics and astronomy in Tartu (German Dorpat), Estonia (German Estland). When Barons passed away on March 8, 1923, he was celebrated by thousands as a national hero, for having collected 35,800 Dainas, including 182,000 variants, for a total of 217,800 verses.

But this was not the end of the matter. Collection of Dainas continued through the 20th century, and there are now a total of ca. 2,000,000 (two million) collected verses, counting variants. As written by Vilmos Voigt, it is the greatest such collection of ancient folksongs in the world - and yet the population of Latvians in Latvia has never exceeded 2,000,000 people, so this must be a very old tradition.

Barons dealt with the Dainas over decades and thus began to understand their essence. He wisely organized the Dainas according to the events of the mythical, astronomical and agricultural year - to which their content is in fact well suited and from which they surely originated. One of the Dainas even speaks of "ice hills" - perhaps glaciers of the most recent glacial period - so that the Dainas may be among the oldest human records.

The DAINAS presented here are selected from and adapted from the 12-volume Latviešu Tautas Dziesmas (Chansons Populaires Lettonnes), Imanta Publishers, Copenhagen, 1952-1956, ed. A. Švabe, K. Straubergs and E. Hauzenberga-Šturma. These volumes followed the Barons system of classification for the Dainas. Dainas were grouped by assigned subject matter and each "basic unique" Daina was assigned a number starting with 1 and today reaching about 60,000, not counting the variants, which bring the total to well over 2,000,000. This classification system is retained on this web site.

A new edition of the Dainas is being prepared by linguists in Latvia according to a new system of classification [See LTK, "Das bäuerliche Jahr im Volkslied", Deutsche Tagespost, No. 85, p. 10, July 16, 1985]. If the new system departs from the ancient scheme of calendric feasts and astronomical events in favor of "modern" views of poetry (such as Herder correctly opposed) - the new compilation may well be less "authentic" than the older versions, and thus less useful for historical study. But we shall see.

All English translations and interpretations of the Dainas on this site, unless otherwise noted, are by Andis Kaulins, J.D. Stanford University; FFA Lecturer emeritus, University of Trier, Germany; Author, Langenscheidt Fachverlag. I find it interesting that ALL the kings of England up to the present generation can be traced back by royal blood to CEAWLIN, who was not only King of the West Saxons (Wessex) 560-592 AD but - according to the historian Bede - was also bretwalda of England south of the Humber (Kingston upon Hull). Bretwalda meant "Brit-ruler, overlord" and Baltic valda means "rules, governs". Do the similar names CEAWLIN and KAULINs also show an ancient historical connection between the Balts and the British Isles?

Most of these translations and interpretations are new and suggest a more modern understanding of the ancient mythology, astronomy and culture of the Baltic peoples, who, according to the recently published History of the Baltic Countries (a book subsidized by the European Union) trace their origins back to the Magdalenians, the cave painters of Lascaux... which is e.g. surely why French tu es is the same as Latvian tu esi or French a'dieu may find itself in ar dievu in Latvian. Accordingly, the most ancient Dainas may trace clear back to the earliest origins of modern human civilization.
In any case, ponder what the now correctly identified Eastern origin of Proto-Indo-European language means for the sheer etymological nonsense that predominantly Western linguists have been writing for years about Indo-European and proto-Indo-European languages.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Free Webinar on Advanced Legal Research May 28, 2015 - Contains Link to Register

Via Technolawyer we were alerted to a free upcoming
Webinar on Advanced Legal Research, May 28, 2015
by Clio Legal Practice Management Software.

Register here to watch the one-hour seminar.
This is not an ad on our part - we are just passing along useful information.

Cognition of Geographic Information and Human Spatial Orientation and Navigation in an Age of GIS and Virtual Reality: Locomotion Wayfinding and Systems of Reference

One critical area of scientific inquiry that bears directly on our ongoing analysis of ancient rock art, megaliths, mounds, earthworks etc. as land survey markers sited by astronomy is the question of human spatial and geographic orientation in a given environment and the role of systems of reference used for this purpose. Far too little research has been devoted to this topic and it is the kind of thing that research foundations should be sponsoring and funding.

We refer here to fundamental articles in Robert B. McMaster & E.Lynn Usery (eds.), 2004/2005. A Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 402 p., ISBN-13: 978-0849327285 ISBN-10: 0849327288, eBook ISBN 978-1-4200-3833-0

and especially to Chapter 3 by Daniel R. Montello and Scott Freundschuh on the Cognition of Geographic Information, where they write, inter alia:
"Cognitive research about space and place has focused on several issues:  the responses of sensory systems that pick up spatial information, the development of spatial knowledge from birth to adulthood (ontogenesis) and upon first exposure to a new place (microgenesis), the accuracy and precision of knowledge about distances and directions, spatial language, cognitive structures and processes used during navigation, and perceptual and cognitive issues in cartography, and very recently, GIS. With the advent of new technologies like GIS, new questions about spatial perception and cognition develop, and old questions (both basic and applied) become focused in new ways. 
One of the most basic concepts in this area is that of the cognitive map. Introduced by Tolman (1948) in his work with rat spatial behavior, the cognitive map is a mental representation, or set of representations, of the spatial layout of the environment. According to Downs and Stea (1973), “cognitive mapping is a process composed of a series of psychological transformations by which an individual acquires, stores, recalls, and decodes information about the relative locations and attributes of phenomena in his [or her] everyday spatial environment” (p. 9). The cartographic map thus serves as a metaphor for spatial and environmental knowledge. Other metaphors have been offered as well, from topological schemata to cognitive collage (see Montello & Freundschuh, 1995). GIS and virtual reality provide our latest metaphors for environmental knowledge. 
Cognitive researchers are interested in comparing various sources of geographical knowledge. Montello and Freundschuh (1995) review the characteristics of acquiring knowledge from direct environmental experience, static pictorial representations such as maps (see Thorndyke & Hayes-Roth, 1982), dynamic pictorial representations (movies, animations), and language (see Taylor & Tversky, 1992). Montello and Freundschuh listed eight factors that may play roles in differentiating these sources of geographic information: sensorimotor
systems involved, static vs. dynamic information, sequential vs. simultaneous acquisition, the arbitrariness of symbols, the need for scale translations and their flexibility, viewing perspective, precision of presented information, and the inclusion of detail varying in relevance.
It is commonly thought that spatial knowledge of the environment consists of three types of features: knowledge of discrete landmarks, knowledge of routes that connect landmarks into travel sequences, and configurational or survey knowledge that coordinates and metrically scales routes and landmarks. In fact, inspired by Piagetian theory, it has often been suggested that these features represent a necessary learning sequence (Siegel & White, 1975; for an opposing view, see Montello, 1998). Landmarks in particular are thought to play an important role as anchor-points or reference points for the organization of environmental knowledge (Sadalla, Burroughs, & Staplin, 1980; Couclelis, Golledge, Gale, & Tobler, 1987).

Spatial cognition researchers have studied human navigation and orientation (Golledge, 1999). Navigation is coordinated and goal directed movement through space. It may be understood to consist of both locomotion and wayfinding processes.

Locomotion refers to perceptual-motor coordination to the local surrounds, and includes activities such as moving towards visible targets and avoiding obstacles.
Wayfinding refers to cognitive coordination to the distant environment, beyond direct sensorimotor access, and includes activities such as trip planning and route choice. Humans navigate and stay oriented both by recognizing landmarks (piloting) and by updating their sense of location via dead reckoning processes
(Gallistel, 1990; Loomis, Klatzky, Golledge, & Philbeck, 1999). Some of these processes are relatively automatic (Rieser, Pick, Ashmead, & Garing, 1995), while others are more like conscious strategies (Cornell, Heth, & Rowat, 1992).

A fundamental issue about human orientation concerns the systems of reference that people use to organize their spatial knowledge. Various possible systems have been discussed, including those that encode spatial relations with respect to the body, with respect to an external feature with or without differentiated appearance, or with respect to an abstract frame like latitude-longitude (Hart & Moore, 1973; Levinson, 1996). Several researchers have investigated reference systems within the context of verbal route directions (Allen, 1997)."

Patent Law Absurdity Continues with Gene viz. Genome Editing Patents for CRISPRs (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)

Genome editing patents are one of the negative fallouts of
  • unclear judicial decision-making by the United States Supreme Court, and
  • weak law-making in U.S. Congress regarding intellectual property law

    and both of those regrettable situations have led to the
  • continued issuance of what we regard to be absurd patents by the USPTO.
As written at the Wikipedia piece on CRISPR:
"Since 2013, the CRISPR/Cas system has been used for gene editing (adding, disrupting or changing the sequence of specific genes) and gene regulation .... By delivering the Cas9 protein and appropriate guide RNAs into a cell, the organism's genome can be cut at any desired location."
As written by Antonio Regalado at MIT Technology Review in Who Owns the Biggest Biotech Discovery of the Century?
"There’s a bitter fight over the patents for CRISPR, a breakthrough new form of DNA editing [which] turn[s] that natural machinery into a “programmable” editing tool, to cut any DNA strand, at least in a test tube." [emphasis added by LawPundit]
Once again, the patent-happy USPTO is handing out patents left and right for technology that is based on laws of nature

-- as written above by Regalado in the MIT Technology Review

-- on "natural machinery" of the genes.

As written at the Wikipedia:
"CRISPR was first shown to work as a genome engineering/editing tool in human cell culture by 2012. It has since been used in a wide range of organisms including baker's yeast (S. cerevisiae), zebra fish (D. rerio), flies (D. melanogaster), nematodes (C. elegans), plants, mice, and several other organisms.
Additionally CRISPR has been modified to make programmable transcription factors that allow scientists to target and activate or silence specific genes.
Libraries of tens of thousands of guide RNAs are now available."
In other words, CRISPRs exist in nature and have not been "invented" by any human being, even though human beings may have discovered that CRISPRs exist in nature and can be used for practical applications such as gene editing. This does not make their use for cutting genes patentable by any means.

We simply do not understand how the patent happy people at the USPTO, as well as the clueless in the legislatures and in the judiciary seem not to understand that patent protection was not created to grant people vast monopolies on the natural machinery of nature!!!!! regardless of how discovered and no matter how that natural machinery is used!!!!!

Nature is nature!

Come up with something else NEW, and then you can get a patent.

Finding out how "nature" works and how it can be used can be a great discovery, as in the case of CRISPRs for gene editing, but the "cutting" work is done by nature, not by the inventor!!! NOT PATENTABLE SUBJECT MATTER!!!!

Inventions and Prior Art: Origin of the Triple-Bar Drop-Down Menu "Air-Vent" "Hamburger" Icon Symbol Now Ubiquitous on Smartphones Facebook Apps Etc

Xerox was the modern-day so-called "inventor" of the digital use of the now ubiquitous triple-bar "air-vent" so-called "hamburger" menu icon symbol.

BBC News has the story at Hamburger icon: How these three lines mystify most people - BBC News.

The Wikipedia writes: "The triple bar, , is a symbol with multiple, context-dependent meanings...."

The triple bar is hardly a modern-day invention, being already predated by two other significant "prior art" uses in long-gone eras, as noted at the Wikipedia:
  • , Qián, the trigram of the I Ching that consists of three unbroken lines
  • Ξ, capital letter Xi of the Greek alphabet
The I Ching trigram meant "heaven, sky".

The capital letter Xi Ξ of the Greek alphabet, as we analyzed in our book, The Syllabic Origins of Writing and the Alphabet, has comparable signs in Linear B, Old Elamite, the Cypriot Syllabary, and the Samekh of the Hebrew and Phoenician alphabets, and evolved as a symbol "out of fish signs and signs representing fish drying racks having two or three levels upon which to place the fish" as also found in symbols in Sumerian, Pharaonic Egyptian, and Luwian.

Indeed, the Hebrew Samekh means "support", i.e. the function of the fish rack, a concept which surely is related to the I Ching idea of a triple bar as meaning "heaven, sky", as the "supported" firmament of the ancients.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

New York Times Typeface Page Freezing Up Browser Due to Downloadable Fonts?

In the past several days we have accessed some New York Times articles online only have the browser freeze up for an indeterminate time because of the loading of something called

We found a likely explanation for the problem at, which would indicate that it is caused by a browser glitch in dealing with downloadable fonts.

In about:config we found
set to true
and so one solution is surely to toggle the value to false
but we really have nothing against dowloadable fonts as long as they load fast.

Perhaps one can reduce the downloadable fonts fallback delay which is set by default to 3000 and which we will try to reduce substantially to see if that helps. See

gfx.downloadable_fonts.fallback_delay (default value at 3000)

Otherwise, we will simply have reduce our NY Times online viewing.
If fonts have been downloaded once it is not to be understood why they apparently have to be reloaded time and time again.

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