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Tifinagh (Tuareg Berber Script)

Africa Writing systems Africa/Niger Morocco Berbers Tunisia Africa/Algeria Africa/Mali

Tifinagh (Tuareg Berber language: ⵜⴼⵏⵗ or ⵜⴼⵉⵏⵗ, Berber pronunciation: [tifinaɣ]) or Tuareg Tifinagh is an abjad script used to write the Tuareg Berber language by the Tuareg Berbers of the Sahara desert in southern Algeria, northeastern Mali, northern Niger and northern Burkina Faso. Tuareg Tifinagh is descended from the ancient Libyco-Berber alphabet.

Neo-Tifinagh (ⵜⵉⴼⵉⵏⴰⵖ) is an alphabet that was created in northern Algeria around the 1980s as a modified version of the traditional Tuareg Tifinagh. Neo-Tifinagh has been used since the 1980s by Algerians and later by Moroccans for the symbolic promotion of the Berber language, while mainly using the Berber Latin alphabet in most publications. Neo-Tifinagh is often simply called "Tifinagh" by non-academics in Berber countries and in the media, thus confusing it with the traditional and distinct "Tuareg Tifinagh" which is the actual "Tifinagh".

There are significant differences between the ancient Libyco-Berber script and the Tuareg Tifinagh script, but also many similarities. Many letters from the ancient Libyco-Berber script do not exist (anymore) in the Tuareg Tifinagh, while other letters evolved into a different pronunciation in the current Tuareg Tifinagh script.

There are also significant differences between the Tuareg Tifinagh script and the newly created Neo-Tifinagh alphabet. Many Tuareg Tifinagh letters are discarded in Neo-Tifinagh, and other ones are modified in form or in pronunciation. The Neo-Tifinagh alphabet also features invented vowels and other letters not found in Tuareg Tifinagh. About half of the letters in the Neo-Tifinagh alphabet were either completely invented (ⵥ,ⴻ,ⵕ,ⵄ,ⵃ,ⵞ,ⵯ,ⵇ,ⵚ,ⴽ,ⵅ,ⴿ,ⵖ,ⵠ), modified in form (ⴰ,ⵓ,ⴼ,ⵁ,ⵍ) or repurposed for a different pronunciation (ⵀ,ⵡ,ⴵ). All traditional Tuareg Tifinagh letters that consist entirely of dots (ⵗ,ⵈ,ⴾ,ⵆ,ⵘ,ⵂ) were discarded by the creators of Neo-Tifinagh and were replaced by newly invented ones. Tuareg people in the Sahara desert continue to use these dotted letters as an integral part of their traditional Tuareg Tifinagh script, thus deliberately distinguishing themselves and their writings from the northern Berbers of Morocco and northern Algeria who use the Neo-Tifinagh alphabet or the Berber Latin alphabet in writing the Berber language.

The ancient Libyco-Berber script (or the Libyc script) was used by the ancient northern Berbers known as Libyco-Berbers, also known as Libyc people, Numidians, Afri and Mauretanians who inhabited the northern parts of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya as well as the Canary Islands west of Morocco.

From the ancient Libyco-Berber script came the Tifinagh script (Tuareg Tifinagh) through a long evolution. And then from the Tifinagh script was the modern Neo-Tifinagh alphabet created.

The name Tifinagh is stylized as Tifinaɣ in the Berber Latin alphabet, and in the Neo-Tifinagh alphabet it is written as ⵜⵉⴼⵉⵏⴰⵖ, while in the Tuareg people's traditional Tifinagh it's written as ⵜⴼⵉⵏⵗ or ⵜⴼⵏⵗ.

Neo-Tifinagh, which was created in northern Algeria around the 1980s, is a heavily modified version of the traditional Tuareg Tifinagh script. This newly created Neo-Tifinagh script spread from Algeria to Morocco and was rebranded by the Moroccan Royal Institute of the Amazigh Culture (IRCAM) as "Tifinaghe-Ircam" or simply "Tifinaghe", and is used in a small part of Moroccan and some Libyan elementary schools to teach the Berber language to children, as well as in a number of literary publications and some websites and media. In Algeria, most Berber language education programs in elementary schools, high schools and university use the Berber Latin alphabet, while a small number of schools use Neo-Tifinagh, Tuareg Tifinagh in the south, or even the Arabic alphabet.

The word tifinagh is thought by some scholars to be a Berberized feminine plural cognate or adaptation of the Latin word "Punicus", (meaning "Punic" or "Phoenician") through the Berber feminine prefix ti- and Latin Punicus; thus tifinagh could possibly mean "the Phoenician (letters)" or "the Punic letters". Others support an etymology involving the Tuareg verb efnegh, meaning to write. However, the Tuareg verb efnegh is probably derived from the noun "Tifinagh" because all the northern Berbers of Morocco, northern Algeria, Tunisia and northern Libya have a different (and probably older) verb "ari, aru, ara" which means "to write".

A Fire Upon the Deep

Novels Science Fiction Transhumanism

A Fire Upon the Deep is a 1992 science fiction novel by American writer Vernor Vinge. It is a space opera involving superhuman intelligences, aliens, variable physics, space battles, love, betrayal, genocide, and a communication medium resembling Usenet. A Fire Upon the Deep won the Hugo Award in 1993, sharing it with Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.

Besides the normal print book editions, the novel was also included on a CD-ROM sold by ClariNet Communications along with the other nominees for the 1993 Hugo awards. The CD-ROM edition included numerous annotations by Vinge on his thoughts and intentions about different parts of the book, and was later released as a standalone e-book (no longer available).

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Occupational Safety and Health

ISO 7010 is an International Organization for Standardization technical standard for graphical hazard symbols on hazard and safety signs, including those indicating emergency exits. It uses colours and principles set out in ISO 3864 for these symbols, and is intended to provide "safety information that relies as little as possible on the use of words to achieve understanding." It is distinct from the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals specified by the United Nations to standardise hazardous material classification and labelling.

As of August 2019, the latest version is ISO 7010:2019. This revision incorporates all previous corrigenda, as well as incorporates water safety signs and beach safety flags previously specified in (the now-withdrawn) ISO 20712.

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Disneyland with Death Penalty

Freedom of speech Journalism Singapore

"Disneyland with the Death Penalty" is a 4,500-word article about Singapore written by William Gibson. His first major piece of non-fiction, it was first published as the cover story for Wired magazine's September/October 1993 issue (1.4).

The article follows Gibson's observations of the architecture, phenomenology and culture of Singapore, and the clean, bland and conformist impression the city-state conveys during his stay. Its title and central metaphor—Singapore as Disneyland with the death penalty—is a reference to the authoritarian artifice the author perceives the city-state to be. Singapore, Gibson details, is lacking any sense of creativity or authenticity, absent of any indication of its history or underground culture. He finds the government to be pervasive, corporatist and technocratic, and the judicial system rigid and draconian. Singaporeans are characterized as consumerists of insipid taste. The article is accentuated by local news reports of criminal trials by which the author illustrates his observations, and bracketed by contrasting descriptions of the Southeast Asian airports he arrives and leaves by.

Though Gibson's first major piece of non-fiction, the article had an immediate and lasting impact. The Singaporean government banned Wired upon the publication of the issue. The phrase "Disneyland with the death penalty" came to stand internationally for an authoritarian and austere reputation that the city-state found difficult to shake off.

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Fresnel Integral

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The Fresnel integrals S(x) and C(x) are two transcendental functions named after Augustin-Jean Fresnel that are used in optics and are closely related to the error function (erf). They arise in the description of near-field Fresnel diffraction phenomena and are defined through the following integral representations:

The simultaneous parametric plot of S(x) and C(x) is the Euler spiral (also known as the Cornu spiral or clothoid).

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Superman 64

Video games Comics Comics/Superman

Superman: The New Superman Adventures, commonly referred to as Superman 64, is an action-adventure game developed and published by Titus Interactive for the Nintendo 64 and based on the television series Superman: The Animated Series. Released in North America on May 31, 1999, and in Europe on July 23, 1999, it is the first 3D Superman game.

In the game, Lex Luthor has trapped Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, and Professor Hamilton in a virtual reality version of Metropolis that he created with the help of Brainiac, leaving it up to Superman to save them and break apart the virtual world. The game shifts between outdoor levels where the player flies through rings while saving civilians, and indoor levels where the player looks for access cards, activates computers, and fights villains such as Brainiac, Mala, Metallo, Darkseid, and Parasite.

The development of Superman began in 1997 and was largely hampered by constraints between Titus and the game's licensors, Warner Bros. and DC Comics, leaving little room for polishing the gameplay. BlueSky Software attempted to redo the game for the PlayStation, but this version was ultimately canceled, as Titus's license with Warner Bros. had expired by the time it was completed. With three E3 presentations and positive press coverage before its release, Superman 64 was released to strong sales and positive consumer reception; however, critical reviews were extremely negative, claiming it to be one of the worst video games ever made and panning its unresponsive controls, technical flaws, repetitive gameplay, overuse of distance fog, and poor graphics.

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