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06 January 2017

Odd Bits: Happy New Year

Odd Bits from around the internet about learning Japanese and Welsh, drawing, and a Christmas Poem.

Someplace to Help: 

One of my high school girlfriends had a house fire on Christmas Day. The whole place, and all their belongings, all of it a complete loss, including the family business that they ran out of the house. All their people and even their cat got out safely, but everything else is a total loss. One of their relatives set up a GoFundMe in their behalf.

Something Japanese: 

Last month, I read about how many words are used in various different languages. Apparently, Japanese is a heavy-hitter. But in most of languages, you don't need that many to say what's on your mind, only about 3,000 words. Which is not so bad. And it got me thinking: if I found a word frequency dictionary, then I could look for high-frequency words that I don't know yet. And I found one. Cool. Looks pretty straight-forward to use, too, which is even better.

Something of Nature: 

We've been sick a lot over the past while. Makes it hard to go outside and look at nature, which is already hard in winter around here! But it also gives us an opportunity to work on some of the seeing skills that are so important when doing Nature Study. And our current favorite resources are from John Muir Laws's website. We started with the Drawing Birds Tutorial, which has a lengthy video workshop. Both boys worked on that over a period of a couple of days, with plenty of drawing practice in between. Hero understands that it's drawing from a model that's the kind of art under study here, and he's been doing some lovely work. Dragon has been doing more drawing of super-heroes he's making up, but I'm happy with that, too. It doesn't speak exactly to the goals, but he's still developing the skills that put his ideas on paper, and feeling successful at it. I'm working on a Cedar Waxwing that will eventually be a watercolor painting  I've got my eye on the How to Draw Hawks workshop next, and want to spend some time browsing around his site to see what other goodies there are. There's a lot of them. Plus, he's got books.

Something Poetic: 

Have you seen this? I've liked I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day for a long time, but I hadn't realized there was such a moving story behind it. For a long time I thought I didn't much care for poetry. I had no idea what I was missing out on. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one of the greats, but I hardly know anything about him. Clearly, this needs to change.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep...

Something Sacred:  

I've been messing around at learning Welsh for a while, and while progress is slow, there is progress. I always like to have scripture in the language that I'm learning, and decided recently that it's time to find some in Welsh. But the Church hasn't kept their editions up: Welsh was the first language that the Book of Mormon was translated into, and it hasn't even been put into verse format, and they don't offer a Bible at this time, either; I'm guessing that's because it's likely that nearly all Welsh speakers also speak English. But I want something to work with, especially if I can find something that's got an audio format. I found this version, which I think is the Morgan Bible and holds the same respect as English's King James Version, but if I try to read that, I'm almost certain to butcher the pronunciation... I need something to imitate. Audio. And I have to be able to find my way to whatever I find in English. I'm still hopeless in Cymraeg. But check out this 1588 Bible. It's beautiful. I wish my Bible was so lovely. I love illuminations. Looks like it might have a Latin introduction to a Welsh text. Gorgeous. Gonna have to keep looking around.

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