Monthly Archives: January 2009

Online J.R.R.Tolkien Translators and Font Converters

This is the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

This is the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

If you know me well, you know I’ve been a devout fan of the work of J. R. R. Tolkien since I was eight, when my uncle Jim gave me the Lord of the Rings for Christmas. I devoured the book, along with the Hobbit and then the Silmarillion, reading each many times. I still enjoy revisiting Middle Earth, most recently in Children of Hurin, the revised dark epic released by Christopher Tolkien last year.

Jim’s son, Chris, however, is a genuine Tolkien scholar, particularly with regards to linguistics. When I recently shared a J.R.R.T. resource I’d found online with him and other family members, he replied with a number of other wonderful resources. Since he was kind enough to share his knowledge with me, I thought I’d pass it along to the rest of the world.

The Tengwar Scribe allows you to write text in Roman letters, select a Tengwar mode, and have the text transcribed to Tengwar. Tengwar, if you recall, is “a script that was invented by J.R.R. Tolkien. In his works, the tengwar script, invented by Fëanor, was used to write a number of the languages of Middle-earth, including Quenya and Sindarin. However, it can also be used to write other languages, such as English (most of Tolkien’s tengwar samples are actually in English). The word tengwar is Quenya for ‘letters’.” (Wikipedia)

The Tengwar Scribe is Windows-only, however, so you may want to look into Online Tengwar Transcriber, which works on any platform.

YaTT, or Yet another Tengwar Tool, allows users to transcribe both into and from Tengwar. YaTT incluldes an option to transcribe text in other applications, including special support for MS Word. YaTT was originally made for the PC but Chris assures me that there is a “Lite” version somewhere for the Mac.

Hiswelókë’s Sindarin dictionary includes a Sindarin lexicon in XML (TEI) format and two freeware applications. Dragon Flame for Microsoft Windows and Linux, embeds the Sindarin dictionary along with additional tools. Hesperides does the same for OS X. Sindarin, as you may recall, was “the Elvish language most commonly spoken in Middle-earth in the Third Age. It was the language of the Sindar, those Teleri which had been left behind on the Great Journey of the Elves.”(Wikipedia)

Finally, Ardalambion, according to Chris, is “a good resource for learning about the Elvish languages themselves; you can even find an extremely thorough, well-researched “Quenya Course” consisting of 20 lessons, plus appendices and exercises with keys.”

Thanks for resources, cuz! There are many other wonderful Tolkien resources online too, notably the Encyclopedia of Arda, an Elvish to English dictionary and an English to Elvish dictionary.

pedo mellon a minno.

Ennyn Durin Aran Moria: pedo mellon a minno.

Note to people commenting here: I have shared links to Elvish translators here. There’s a great Tolkein translator online here. I am not offering translation services. Thank you! .

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Talking about e-health under a new administration

I recorded a new podcast about e-health and IT compliance earlier this month that just went live this week over at the IT Compliance Advisor blog: Dr. William Yasnoff on e-health and compliance in healthcare IT infrastructure.

I’m proud of the work and grateful to the good doctor for taking some time to talk with me about compliance in healthcare IT, e-health, Dossia and what changes we might expect to IT healthcare policy under Obama.

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Inauguration day

I’m still catching up from the whirlwind of the past 36 hours. In that time, I’ve seen an editorial conference come off without a hitch,  enjoyed some recognition for multimedia conference coverage, learned from hours of company meetings, mixed and mingled with hundreds of coworkers in front of 10′ screens, talked about blogging with Brian Madden and helped moderate a social media session with Chris Brogan, Colin Steele, Mark Fontecchio and a room full of bright, engaged tech reporters, editors, IT marketers and publishers. I plan to write more about that last later.

That alone made it a significant and looong day.

Add in the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States and I’m only now feeling like I’m sidling to the edge of rushing slipstream of events in my personal and professional life, to say nothing of the larger changes on a global level. The new WhiteHouse.gov captures some of that zeitgeist, with its radically improved design and features — not to mention a new robots.txt file, as Jason Kottke pointed out yesterday.

I was fortunate to be able to watch the swearing in and the speech itself on a projected screen with the rest of my division. I’ll always be grateful that those resources were made available and that I was able to share that moment with my colleagues, along with the world’s Tweets about the #inauguration streaming along on the screen of my iPhone.

Aretha Franklin gave us a rendering of My Country Tis of Thee for the ages.

The quartet Yo-Yo Ma , Itzhak Perlman , Anthony McGill and Gabriela Montero performed an exquisite classical composition arranged by John Williams.

And then for a twenty one minutes, we enjoyed the extraordinary spectacle of shared collective excitement, hope and sustained eloquence.

(I was amused to hear that Barack had to retake the oath today after that hiccup at the beginning with Chief Justice Roberts.)

I’m still sifting through many other remarkable moments from the day and evening. Now that the celebrations have ended, the real work begins.

Tired as I am, I’m buoyed by the renewed sense of possibility I felt in the office, online and in the airwaves. My to-do list grows ever longer, both at home and at my editor’s desk. Even so, I feel a sense of hope, of optimism and of gratitude for being alive at this moment.

We live in extraordinary times.

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Yes We Can

“When inspiration calls, you don’t send it to voicemail.” – will.i.am

I introduced someone to will.i.am’s landmark song and video this morning. I’m proud to have been the one to share that campaign anthem and reflect on its significance in the election of our next president.

I shared the song and video because I heard will.i.am talk about what inspired him to compose the song and create the video on NPR’s Weekend Edition this morning. I nearly had an NPR ‘driveway moment’ but kept moving through the streets of Cambridge, as I had to return my Zipcar. will.i.am heard the speech Barack Obama made after he won 36% of the vote in the 2008 NH Presidential Primary and decided to do what he knew how to do to support Obama: put the candidate’s words to music, cut a video and get it distributed.

NPR has made the interview available at Will.I.Am: A Song To Inspire A Nation.

Wikipedia has a comprehensive encyclopedia entry for Yes We Can, which includes the estimate that the video (below) has a ‘combined web total of more than 26 million viewings.’

The full transcript of this speech is available at CNN.com.

Andres Useche also recorded “Si Se Puede Cambiar” (Yes we can change), which I’ve also embedded below:

Regardless of your ideological beliefs, this viral video demonstrated the power of eloquent rhetoric, stirring composition and, of course, the Internet.

According to NPR, will.i.am will join “countless other musicians in Washington, D.C., in an HBO-sponsored inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Each artist will perform songs related to the theme “We Are One.” The concert will be broadcast or streamed live online at 2 PM EST.

Yes, we did.

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Harvard Bridge is 364.4 smoots & 1 ear

364.4 smoots & 1 ear

364.4 smoots & 1 ear

364.4 smoots & 1 ear.

Oliver Smoot later became chairman of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)[2] and president of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

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Trashcone

Trashcone

Trashcone

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Pabelbon Prius @Zipcar

Papelbon Prius

Papelbon Prius

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Staying warm

Shadow (1.13.08)

Shadow (1.13.08)

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Published @Touchbase on ‘twacronyms’ FTW!

I had the great pleasure of seeing my Top 15 Twitter Acronyms post go live over at the Touchbase blog this morning.

That post was a long time coming. That I finally contributed to the Web’s best microsharing blog is due in no small part to @pistachio‘s perseverance, kindness and a gentle nudge at last Friday’s Pink Slip Party.

@pistachio gestures to #pinkslipparty on Twitter @betahouse

@pistachio gestures to #pinkslipparty on Twitter @betahouse

Thanks to all for the great feedback — and the retweets!

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Here’s to staying dry and warm in foul weather!

@NoOneYouKnow & @digiphile rock the hurricane pants

@NoOneYouKnow & @digiphile rock the hurricane pants

I’ve met dozens of great folks from Twitter over the years. When I cycled over to Peet’s Coffee in Harvard Square for a tweetup last year in the driving rain, I found that I wasn’t the only ‘tweep’ that liked to be visible in foul weather. Adam Zand, aka @NoOneYouKnow, brought even more color to the gathering. I don’t have many favorite pictures of myself, for whatever reason. This one was a happy exception.

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