When I started my Greek/linguistics/language blog at jktauber.com I included an Atom Feed (it comes with pinax-blog anyway) even though very few people seem to use feed readers any more. I then went looking for a service that would let people subscribe to get emails when something new appeared on the feed.
Last year, when I started Modelling Music and Digital Tolkien, I decided to produce them using VuePress, a Vue.js-based static-site generator. While there's work being done on more blog-like features in VuePress, it's really best for general content and I wanted that to be a big part of the two new sites (and I plan to port jktauber.com over at some point as well). VuePress doesn't have Atom/RSS feeds (yet) though and I've been relying on Twitter to announce new posts.
Thinking about ways other than Twitter to update people got me interested in this whole email newsletter idea. I'd seen a few people do it using a variety of services and finally decided to take the plunge.
This single newsletter will cover the range of stuff I want to share thoughts and updates on. I know some people, at least according to the Twitter poll I did, would have preferred separate newsletters for separate topics. But one reason I decided against split topics for now (besides that a majority on the Twitter poll voted for combined—the "complete Tauber" as Paul O'Rear described it) is that there are some things that would be hard to fit into a single category. And I think of them as all interrelated anyway.
So here goes with various updates (and let me know what you think)...
After a period without funding, things are really taking off again for the Scaife Viewer. Besides a new grant from the Mellon Foundation that will fund work over the next year or so on supporting richer annotations, translation alignments and treebanks, Eldarion is also working on other enhancements supported by the scholarly publisher, Brill, who will be using Scaife for various projects (and deserves kudos for funding open source work!)
We're also starting a new Arabic text project that will build on Scaife (more soon). And there is an ongoing language learning project at Harvard that we're helping to implement using Scaife.
The vision for Scaife was always that it would be an ecosystem, not just a single instance at scaife.perseus.org and that is finally starting to happen.
Incidentally, for those who have followed my lemma lattice ideas over the years: they're a core part of the tool being built at Harvard. It will all be open source and I'll do blog posts (if not full-blown articles) about it at some stage.
There always a lot going on but I recently finished up preparing a digital text of the Apostolic Fathers with Seumas Macdonald. Next step is lemmatising it and what Eldarion has been building for Harvard will actually help with that process.
I've also been playing around with extracting information from Cunliffe's Lexicon of the Homeric Dialect so expect a new GitHub repository soon with code and data.
There's also some nominal morphology data coming soon and I promise to also get back to my Tour of Greek Morphology.
I'm putting together an FAQ on Greek morphology so let me know if you have any ideas for that. I already have a suggestion from Seumas: why do alpha-contract verbs not have an iota in the imperfective infinitive?
One of the things I love about the course I'm doing at Berklee College of Music is the diversity of music we analyse—literally everything from Monteverdi to Maroon 5.
One bit of Monteverdi we briefly looked at a couple of weeks ago struck me for its quite catchy bassline and my thought was immediately that it would fit well in a pop punk song.
So (quite separate from my studies) I found a recording by Les Arts Florissants, brought it into Logic Pro X and tweaked the tempo bar-by-bar to match. I then added a repeating guitar riff, doubled the bass and an acoustic guitar, added drums and filled out a couple of places with an extra harpsichord phrase copied from the original recording. I then EQ'd the original track to try to bring out the voices from the original instruments.
To my surprise, the result became quite popular on SoundCloud, depressingly eclipsing my own compositions by orders of magnitude in play counts.
A teaser trailer for the biopic Tolkien is out. Always hard to judge a movie from a teaser trailer as the emphasis can be shifted so much. I was sort of hoping Nicholas Hoult would attempt Tolkien's voice but alas not.
And speaking of teasers, the new Twitter account @LOTRonPrime for the Amazon LOTR-related series has been making a series of cryptic tweets featuring a map.
There was a wonderful Twitter discussion that followed, though, on whether there was a mistake in the runes on the compass rose and the answer turned out to be quite fascinating from a textual transmission point of view. See this post for a great summary.
I'm planning on a few posts at Digital Tolkien on the various writing systems anyway so I might cover some of that stuff in more detail there.
I'm confirmed as a speaker at BibleTech! No surprises I'll be talking about corpus-driven Greek language learning (pretty much an update of my 2015 talk there—with depressingly fewer updates than I'd like).
I recently submitted my rejected Vocab@LEUVEN abstract to EuroCALL as a poster. Still anxiously awaiting word on Tolkien 2019. I'm also a co-author on a recent submission to eLex.
I've been looking forward to The Oxford Handbook of Morphological Theory since Jenny Audring first told me she was working on it back in 2016 (at the AnaMorphoSys conference where she gave a wonderful talk on her work with Ray Jackendoff). I've read preprints of some of the chapters over the last couple of years and, being a handbook in an area I've focused a little on, I'm familiar at some level with most of the material but I plan to systematically read the book cover-to-cover over the coming months.
I only found out about Aragorn: J. R. R. Tolkien's Undervalued Hero recently but it seems worth taking a look at in preparation for Amazon's series.