Sunday, May 28, 2017

Outdoors -- a bird's tale

The first broods of birds are out of the nest and learning to fly.

You can tell which ones they are. They look stiff.

They haven't learned to use their tails to maneuver yet, so they mostly fly in straight lines.

They haven't got this landing thing figured out either. They hover a lot, uncertain of whether they'll fall off that fence.

Reminds me of an old joke that ends "and boy are my arms tired."

When they do land, it's on a branch hanging way out there. They haven't learned to fly into a bush and brake hard right outside so that they perch instead of crashing into the branches.

But there are squadrons of sparrow and blackbird and starling families doing their best to give the kids plenty of practice.

Because they want this kid out on his or her own so that they can move on to laying and raising the next brood.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- chiasmus

The author’s next step in the redefinition combined with the fallacy of ambiguity to propose that a certain phrase dealt with material chiastically.
Chiasmus is a term used in a number of fields. In logic, it pairs items for comparison.
I’ve used chiasmus in this sense in legal briefs. When my case is similar to a case that came out the way I want my case to come out, I write my brief paralleling the similar issues and using similar language (as well as citing to the other case).  It tells a judge that it’s logical for her to decide my case the same way because it is stare decisis, which I discussed long ago.
Among scholars working in the oral part of SWLT (Rule 4), chiasmus is sometimes substituted by the term “ring structure.” A ring structure is a repeated phrase followed each time by similar or different material. Think of the poem “Bells” by Edgar Allen Poe. Each verse starts off “Hear the bells,” then it tells what kind of bells and then it describes the circumstances under which they are ringing.
Initially, in oral traditions studies, chiasmus meant a ring structure that promoted memorization and helped with oral reproduction of a work. Poets often intend for their work to be performed; reading poetry aloud was a popular pastime in Regency and Victorian England and America. It was felt to lead to formation of artistic taste and diction and, when memorized, could add artistic content to normal conversation.  Chiasmus is natural to poetry in almost every culture.
Lately I have seen studies that claim the ring structure promotes the action, because after each introductory repeat, there is a new episode in the narration.
I have also seen claims that the ring structure lets the narration display varying attitudes about the same issue because after the repetition can come sarcasm, humor, and so on.
In some papers chiasmus is part of the parallelism that introduces kennings; it’s a reminder of what the other term in the kenning is supposed to be.
So apparently chiasmus is coming to be a portmanteau word that covers repetition and everything associated with it in oral material. That amounts to a low redefinition.
The paper I am talking about is not about oral narratives or poetry. So the first redefinition in the article is that ring structure also applies to non-narrative material, in this case, Talmud. That’s not necessarily a valid procedure, as I will show in the last part of this blog. But it’s another hurdle that the author fails to overcome – he doesn’t prove that he is applying the right terminology to what he’s trying to do.
The author then says that just because a scholar identifies chiasmus in his material doesn’t mean it has an oral origin. Talmud is known to have an oral origin. So that’s a red herring (another fallacy). We don’t need to prove that Talmud is oral in origin. We need to prove that it has ring structures. That’s for next week.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Thursday, May 25, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- vocabulary review 1

Vocabulary review 1.
and, or, but, marker for some verb types
Emphatic direct object particle
he said
on, in, at, by (swear by), with (by means of), against
הַ, הָ
was (f.s.)
on, over, above
at the beginning
dark, darkness
earth, land, world
face, construct state, masculine plural
Let X exist
spirit, wind
waft, 3rd f. s., piel form (repetitive)

You have to memorize the words above the line.  You will see them over and over and you need to recognize them quickly when you see them.

We'll actually move on to a new verse next time.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Sunday, May 21, 2017

DIY -- wait, I'm not done yet!

Second week of the farmer's market.

Last year it either poured on Sundays or it was blisteringly hot.

This year has been lovely, as you may have seen from my photos. It was cloudy and mild today.

I came home with bulging (reuseable canvas) grocery bags about noon.

I stripped and blanched about 6 pounds of leafy greens, and they are in the freezer in the same bags as the ones I processed last week.

There are 2-3 pounds of cabbage freshly salted down for German style sauerkraut. I'll decant them and freeze them next week keyn ahora.

I still have to make pickled beets and turnips. There's be a beet in with the turnips to make them turn pink.

The strawberries are still a little young but I should be buying a couple of quarts in the next couple of weeks to gobble up and make into jam.  Looking forward to blueberries, too. And cherries. And peaches.  Slurp!

And most of the summer still ahead of me.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Redefinition Fallacy

The next fallacy relates to my requiring you, when you write about Jesus in Talmud, to use ordinary word meanings, or else to justify that the text belongs to a specialized class requiring associated technical terminology, and refusing to let you say “if we define the word this way….” The fallacy is called redefinition.
There are two kinds of redefinition, low and high. High redefinition means restricting the scope of a definition. An example is that in Tannakh, the phrase “no X like that” occurs in several places. Sometimes it has a qualifier like a timespan and sometimes not. The high redefinition ignores the “like that” (quoting out of context) and restricts the phrase at all times to mean “never at all ever.”
A low redefinition broadens the meaning of a word or phrase. The problem is, sometimes it deprives the word or phrase of any distinction from other phrases with similar meanings. That can blur the lines between dictionary entries, and smooth out shades of meaning. Sometimes distinctions are necessary.
An academic writing about Talmud, an oral work, claimed that it could be edited, meaning that during oral transmission, some of the text that made it into the written record was intended to replace other material that made it into the written record.
The problem was that he chose ordinary concepts as signs of editing, for example, “I say that…” This is a high redefinition. It changes all proposals, intended to open a discussion, into definitive changes to existing material. Not every discussion ends in editing prior opinions. Sometimes the proposed alteration is rejected.
In Talmud, proposals are raised, discussed, and then Talmud says “and this is actually the law,” or “these are the words of rabbi X.” The latter is a polite way of rejecting the proposal. Talmud specifically states that when this latter comment is recorded, and somebody later uses the same argument, he could be told “you are only copying rabbi X” with the understanding that the new proposal is also rejected.
The academic writer’s problem was that he ignored this cultural phenomenon. (Failing the test of Occam’s Razor.) He also admitted he had not done the work necessary to see if his hypothesis checked out.
The third law of SWLT rejects changing a definition unilaterally without sufficient contexts to support the new meaning. This one paper cannot change the meaning of a term documented more than a millennium ago, in a work which thousands or millions of people understood to mean one thing, unless the author has substantial evidence that the work has been misunderstood. Some things in the paper suggest that the writer didn’t know the contents of Talmud or the history and metadata needed to prove his point.

To describe this writer's next problem, I have to teach you about a term thrown around a lot in oral traditions studies.  That's next week.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 18, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- Grammar Review 1

All right, this is about the fifth month of this series and I think it’s important to stop and review. Here are the things I’ve talked about so far.
Perfect aspect verbs
Progressive aspect verbs
Imperfect aspect verbs
Narrative imperfect syntax
Shortened imperfect verbs
Certainty epistemic
Evidentiary epistemic
Deontic verbs
Epistemic verbs
Piel binyan
Qal binyan
The binyan system in general
Verb root classes
The nine lamed heh verbs that appear in certainty/evidentiary epistemic
Future use syntax
Vav and three reasons why it doesn’t mean “and”
Construct noun
Construct phrase
Definite noun
Indefinite noun
Subject incorporated in verb prefixes or suffixes
Dagesh and gutturals
Dagesh and long vowels
Dagesh in resh in Jewish literature
Using a dictionary: root letters
Transitive and intransitive verbs
Opening and closing a narrative
“To be”
Amar in imperfect aspect
If you can remember just one thing about each of these subjects, give yourself a reward, such as a week off. I’ll keep posting but you might need a brain break.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Knitting -- summer cotton

So I have a favorite summer yarn now, Comfy Sport.

It has a nice hand and a lovely drape. The sox I made from it are light as air and not too warm for  summer. The point of knitting my own summer sox is,  not so they match the tops, but commercial summer sox have too little give to the cuffs and they cut off my circulation.

Also a sleeveless tee.  For my 40 inch chest and short back, the stitch counts are:

bottom hem:  cable on 240 and 2 rows k1/p1 rib;
bottom body: 110 rows to armpit;
BIND OFF underarm: 6 stitches each side of marker;
top of body: 65 rows;
shoulder knit off: 25 stitches.

For the upper body, don't put the armpit stitches on a holder and knit steeking.
Do a k1/p1 rib like the hem, then bind off while working back to the body.

Make a nice neat armhole edge finish like this:
On the knit side make the edges like this: k3/p2, knit across, p2/k3.
On the purl side do k2/p1/k2 on both edges.

Later you can add an attached edging of knit lace. I got this finish from a video on a lace pattern.

These counts should work for any sport yarn.

My next daring feat is to knit one of these with lace using motifs and edging from the Williamson  Shetland lace stole:

This will be practice for using them on a shawl.

But I want to knit them in color so until I order that, I will start the next thing I planned for this yarn; a cowl neck that I can put under wool pullovers for extra warmth and less scratch.

I'm going to try two yarns that are cotton/linen, one DK weight and one fingering. I plan to make a top in each one and a skirt from a pattern I got from my favorite online store. I think it was free. Will keep you posted.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 12, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- explaining translation

So the fallacy is that SWLT creates problems with translation.  What’s a fallacy is that the claimant doesn’t define translation and that’s the fallacy of ambiguity.
Is translation one-for-one substitution of a word in the target language for a word in the source language?
If so, yes, SWLT gets in the way because such a technique ignores multi-word idioms and the fact that no two languages have words for all the same concepts, because concepts are culture-based and each language represents a different culture.
If not, then SWLT doesn’t get in the way, it just makes the translator work harder to get a good result.  The lexical meaning and grammar must combine with an understanding of the culture for two reasons.
One is that every dictionary, unilingual or multi-lingual, if accurate, will give more than one meaning under most entries.  Most words in a given language have multiple shades of meaning or have multiple applications, as with “intent” and “theory.”  Picking the wrong target word in translation produces everything from “not even wrong” to something so slightly off track that you can’t put your finger on it.
The other, of course, is that the translator can’t do a really good job on some parts of the translation without footnoting the cultural meaning of the source word.  A naïve translator who tends toward word-for-word substitution won’t do this because he doesn’t realize that he is translating incorrectly for the cultural understanding of the words.  And if the translator chooses, as I often have, to transliterate and not translate, there should be a footnote saying why.
When a new translation is commissioned, the publisher intends to make a profit from it.  She decides what price point she will sell at, and hires her translator accordingly.  She’s not going to hire an academic if she wants to sell to an average reader at an average price.
She then takes her chance that she gives a work from 17th century France to a translator who knows a lot about 19th century France.  The difference in date means a difference in cultures, from the Grand Monarch to the Buonapartes’ Second French Empire, from the Scudery romances to Victor Hugo’s realism. 
Something like this probably happened with ben Hayyim’s book, resulting in “time” as a translation for a concept that grammar calls “tense” and which is, in any case, wrong for a grammatical description of an ancient Semitic language.
Without an objective definition of “translation,” you can’t discuss this issue objectively.  But you can point out that people who knew nothing about SWLT, including the Septuagint translators who worked 22 centuries before SWLT developed, had problems of translation. It’s the context, stupid!

Next up, a fallacy that goes back to the Talmud discussion.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 11, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- epistemics

Genesis 1:3
ג וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי־אוֹר וַיְהִי־אוֹר:
Translation:     Gd said Let light exist; light must have existed.
Whoops. What happened there?
Well, the last verb in this verse is not a deontic. It’s an epistemic. I tend to call it the certainty epistemic, but that only applies to one use of it and there’s another that I call evidentiary epistemic.
It looks like a shortened imperfect but it has the vav prefix.
There are only eight verbs that do this often, and one that does it less often, and they are all lamed heh verbs.
The last verb has two meanings: “torment”; and “respond, answer, recompense.” The latter is the one that shows up as certainty/evidentiary epistemic. 
What does this epistemic do?
As evidentiary, it introduces information that supports the claim made in the verb.
As certainty, it says “what I just said is unquestionably the truth.”
Epistemics are always about the “speaker’s” investment in the truth of what was just said and they are the second of the three modalities I learned about in Dr. Cook’s dissertation.
And they always look two ways at once.
What this verse ends up saying is “I believe with perfect faith that the events I just reported are true, that light came into existence by the thing that Gd said.”
But it also says “I believe with perfect faith that Gd is the One who said this and made it come about in that way.”
It’s belief in both the verb and the subject, due to the existence of the object or the predicate. I’ll explain that more when we get to the next verse.
It is not possible for English to capture in one word what the epistemic means. I had to use periphrasis to do it. This is standard for every translation from one language into another; the translator runs into things that word-for-word substitution fails to convey.
When you are looking for a translation of anything, especially ancient literature, and the publisher blurb touts it as “literal”, do not waste your money. The blurb was written by somebody who doesn’t understand translation and is preying on the ignorance of the average person to make a sale.
This is why Muslims and traditional Jews view all translations with suspicion. If you want to know what the Quran “really says”, you should be prepared to invest a good deal of time in learning Quranic Arabic. Luckily, there are a couple of texts online for free. One of them is based on the Quranic Arabic tradition of grammar; the other is more westernized, but it is the ONLY grammar of Arabic, either classical or modern, that actually explains what the so-called “energetic” verb form does.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 7, 2017

DIY -- Pickles for summer

Next week is the first farmer's market of the year but I already made a lot of the pickles I'll eat this summer.

I have 3 jars each of kimchi and Amish sweet pickled cabbage in the fridge, a jar each of giardiniera, chow chow, Mexican carrot pickles, melanzane sott'oglio, marinated artichoke hearts, and Brussels sprouts.

I used up the end of the horseradish root from Passover to put up in vinegar with a little celery seed and brown sugar.

I got some cucumbers and made some misozuke, tsukemono, sweet mustard slices, and india relish. Need another one for spicy Chinese slices.

I found some broccoli with reasonably long stems and that is marinating in oil and vinegar and garlic.

Next week it's sauerkraut, pickled and frozen beet root and turnips, and blanched and frozen greens.

I have a new recipe for half sours but that will have to wait until late in summer, along with the pickled okra, yellow squash, zucchini, green and wax beans, and piccalilli.

Now look in your fridge. How many of these things do you have in  there?  What did you pay? How many of the ingredients can you find in the store to buy separately, and how many can you not even pronounce?

That's why I DIY. More ingredients I can say and fewer worries about what those chemicals are doing to my body.  And most of these things are half the price DIY compared to buying those tiny jars. Some are less than half.

OK you have to give up a few hours of video games or Outlander to run around the kitchen and slave over a hot chopping board. Which burns calories. Which is what doctors are starting to wise up to.  All that money we spend on those tiny jars puts calories on our butts that wouldn't be there if we saved money making our own.

Which is true with pretty much all DIY.

So seriously, is that even a choice?

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Friday, May 5, 2017

Fact-Checking the Torah -- tying up Anatolia

And now let’s wrap some things up with a nice pink bow.  About a year ago I pointed out that the likeness between “The Song of Going Forth” and Hesiod’s Theogony is a puzzle because one time when the Hittites were in contact with the ancestors of the Greeks, they were at war and the next time that Greeks lived in Anatolia, the Hittites had been gone for almost 4 centuries.  Van Dongen’s book assumed the material passed in writing but couldn’t explain how that would happen, since the Hittites used full-up cuneiform, the ancestors of the Greeks used Linear B, and the Greek alphabet was completely different from both.
The answer now is, the ancestors of the Greeks picked up that material in Anatolia after 6000 BCE but before their motion into Aeolia, Achaia, and the rest of the Peloponnese about 2000 BCE.  After 4000 BCE, the material migrated into Mesopotamia, probably with the Akkadians, and shaped the battle of Tiamat and Marduk in Enuma Elish.
The actual Greeks differentiated out of the ancestral Indo-European tree between 1200 BCE, near the time of the attack on Wilusa that destroyed Troy VIIb, and 1000 BCE, the time when the Pelishtim occupied their marine Pentapolis in the Holy Land.  The Italics differentiate out about the same time or a little before. 
This corresponds to the joint nature of the Ionians and Pelishtim, the Teresh/Weshesh as other members of the Sea Peoples different from the Pelishtim, and the differences between Latin and Greek, as well as the separation between Ahiyyawa and the Italic Etruscans and Oscians.
The conclusion is that the Hurrian, Hittite, Akkadian and Hesiod texts are alike because they are based on Anatolian material predating the cultures, and they differ naturally as the various cultures differentiated out of the Anatolian background.
These coordinate with the results that show an Anatolian locale for the origin of both Semitic and Indo-European languages. 
Remarkably enough, right away you can see that the ancestors of the Greeks did not flee quickly ahead of an invading army.  They filtered west over several millennia, while behind them the ancestors of the Hittites immigrated into their old turf.  Then it took several more centuries for the Greek language to develop, during almost the identical period as K’naani and Hebrew differentiated .
The fact that Greek uses an alphabet ultimately derived from Ugaritic cuneiform, the same as Hebrew does, and developed over the same period, shows that both cultures were in contact with Ugarit long before the Greeks/Pelishtim destroyed it.  Maybe they were all in contact from the 1500s BCE – just before Linear B (the language of the Pelishtim) shows up in the Holy Land and the Israelites entered after their stay in the Sinai Peninsula. 
And now back to my fallacy.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Thursday, May 4, 2017

21st Century Bible Hebrew -- Deontics

Genesis 1:3
ג וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי־אוֹר וַיְהִי־אוֹר:
Translation:     Gd said Let light exist; light must have existed.
A long time ago the name “jussive” was slapped on y’hi in this verse. Then, in spite of the fact that vav doesn’t always mean “and”, the same label was slapped on va-y’hi.
The jussive in this verse comes from hayah. If it looks like it’s based on imperfect, there’s a good reason for that.
Obviously, if you’re saying “Let there be light,” you think there’s something wrong with the current state of things. You would let it alone if you were satisfied with the situation.  The term for that is deontic.  Since you’re saying that the world isn’t perfect it ought to be obvious that:
imperatives and all their relatives are based on imperfect verbs.
The feminine of y’hi is t’hi.
It would be smart not to call this the jussive any more for two reasons. One is because that’s a label from Latin and I’m trying to avoid using terminology from other languages. It has been so wrong so much of the time that it’s better to pry all those terms out of your brain.
The other is that it hints at the connection to Arabic. Arabic also has a shortened verb form which has also been slapped with the name “jussive”.
But it’s not a deontic at all. It is a form used to negate past actions in normal situations. Think about it. Anything that didn’t get done, is not complete, and using a perfect aspect in the negative is another case of cognitive dissonance.
So it’s more consistent to think of all these things as shortened imperfect verbs.
What’s more, in Arabic every verb has a shortened imperfect that is not an imperative of any kind, but used in negation. The Arabic term is majzum.
I almost slipped up and used a term without defining it.  BH has three classes of morphology  you probably never heard of unless you’ve read  Dr. Cook’s paper.  One is called “deontic”.  It means “the world isn’t the way I want it” and expresses what it is you do want.  This class includes imperatives, jussives, hortatives, cohortatives, and another form that I’ll discuss when  we get there.  Deontics relate to how imperfect the world is, so it makes sense that they are based on imperfect aspect.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

Monday, May 1, 2017

Knitting -- lace

I have crocheted yards or miles of lace in my time but it took me forever to get the hang of knitting lace.

For this I used up leftovers from previous knitting. You'll recognize some of the colors in these samples if you saw the photos of the completed Fair Isle project.

There are mistakes in all of these, most of all that I shot the picture without first washing and blocking them. The top one is Shetland Old Shale (although it looks like feather-and-fan, it's worked differently), the brown is Shetland horseshoe, and the green is a leaf pattern. Youtube has videos teaching all of these patterns.

Lessons Learned:

Markers. When you are starting out, mark the edge of the boundary and then every repeat of the stitch-pattern. Otherwise until you memorize the pattern, you'll go crazy trying to figure out where you are horizontally. Vertically you can figure out from the boundary or if there is an internal marker as there is in the green leaf stitch pattern.

Which way?  You can knit rectangular projects shortways or longways.

Longways works better on a circular needle; the brown stole is 6 feet long and I was able to work it on a circular needle with a 24 inch tether.  Longways also makes it easier to produce longways stripes, of course. You need to be really good at calculating stitches per square inches or you will overbuy yarn or  -- worse -- underbuy and not be able to get the same dye lot when you repurchase yarn. If you are working a multicolor project, doing it longways means buying more yarn so as not to get stuck in the middle of a row. Luckily there are things like granny squares to use up the leftovers.

Shortways can work on straight needles and is better for crossways stripes. Calculating your needs is less critical. But it's harder to work vertical stripes if, like me, you are knitting up leftovers. 

Yarn overs.  One of the keys in knitting lace is that to make holes, you knit stitches together.  To compensate, you do something called a "yarn over".  If you don't do enough  "yo"s, you will come out with the wrong number of stitches on some rows. On the leaf lace, I had to unravel back to the start three times when I found mistakes like this.

I found it was easier to do "yo"s if I knitted continental style, with  the tail of yarn in my left hand.  If you tried my Fair Isle lessons, you know how to do that because it's how you carried your secondary color.  So find a video on Fair Isle knitting that shows you how to carry your yarn in that hand and practice for a while.

The purple throw pattern is free on the website where I get most of my yarn.  They tell you how to use three different weights of yarn to get a delicate scarf, a more substantial shawl, or a warm throw. You might think knitting holes would be the opposite of warm, but the holes help trap heat. I was surprised myself at how cozy that throw is.

Scarves.  Most lace patterns point in one direction. If you are making a scarf, it's useful to knit each end separately and then knit both sides together where they will go behind your neck. Otherwise on one side the pattern will be upside down. I did this with the leaf lace.

The Antique Pattern Library's knitting catalog

has PDFs of books with patterns for lace knitting like this one from 1902.

or this from 1955

It also has a companion to Isabella Beeton's Book of  Household Management, Beeton's Book of Needlework

Then there's this from a 1956 collection

You can buy the book here.

Also go to my last post, LOLLAPALOOZA, for the Vasquez site that teaches lots of knitting stitches.

Find Joannesweb's Youtube channel with more, including a traditional Shetland horseshoe stitch.

And see my next post on the subject of knitted lace.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved