Thursday, May 10, 2007

What level SPF for a creature of the night?

I am a Son worshiper, not a sun worshiper. I am the result of a thousand generation breeding program to develop the perfect denizen of the dark. Content to while away the daylight hours in my cave lit only by a flickering CRT or LCD. Fortunately I am often able to convince my bride to remain inside with me, avoiding the bright yellow sun (Yesss, insside. It hurts us it does. Yeesss, stay inside with us and our Preccciousss.)

So why bring this up now? Well, the sister of the bride and brother-in-law of the bat possess a boat. A rather large, sea-worthy vessel. We are going to visit them soon and just may be going in said boat on a 4-day trip to the Bahaman island of Bimini.

Can you even imagine the sunshine overload I could be exposed to!?! While I don't burst into flames in the first seconds of exposure, I do turn a nice lobsterry shade of red. And it hurts us it does. So if you have some uninvested funds lying around, put them in sunscreen. I hear demand is rising.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

That's Greek to you? No excuse!

As a few readers of this blog know, I recently took four semesters of ancient Greek while an undergrad at UNCG. And I know that some of you are students of the New Testament, which happened to be written in ancient Greek. So I will share with you a tool that I found to be a lifesaver in my studies.
Tufts University has an extensive online library called The Perseus Digital Library. If you go to the classics portion of the site, you will find links to the texts of many ancient documents written in Greek and Latin, and most of them have at least one English translation that you can also choose. Why was this helpful in my translation work on Homer and Herodotus? Glad you asked. My textbook already included the text, but looking up a Greek word is very difficult if you do not know the root word, and scholars can tell you that many words look nothing like their roots. Here comes the beauty of hyperlinking. Each word in the Greek text of a Perseus document is a link to its dictionary definition. So when you see the first word in the Iliad, μῆνιν, it is a link to the dictionary entry for μῆνις, meaning wrath or anger (the Iliad is all about the destructive wrath of Achilles! )

A quick word about set-up. When you first go to Perseus, the text will be transliterated and will not show the Greek characters. You need to change two things: 1) the default font on your browser (I like the way Palatino Linotype looks, very close to Times New Roman) and 2)The configuration in Perseus itself needs to be set to Unicode (UTF-8) with pre-combined accents. These two changes will cause the computer display to more closely resemble the fonts you might see in a Greek New Testament and will show the accent marks.

I hope this is a useful tool in your studies. I'll be happy to help you set up the configuration if you post a comment.

And to get you started, here is a link to John 1.