Who was Anbar

Who was Anbar

According to Baby Name Wizard’s NameVoyager, the name Amber peaked as a baby girl’s name some time back in the early 1980’s and has been in steep decline ever since.

One theory has it that, as with many other names that became popular after 1970, the rate of new name invention has simply outstripped demand and the name Amber, after receiving its requisite 15 minutes of fame in the top 10, has since been shoved out of the way to make room for newer and brasher upstarts, über-brattish names such as Tayla, Kayla, Brianna or Madison. Poor old Amber, meanwhile, has had to be content with ranking below 80 on the various baby name Top 100 charts out there.

Of course the other reason might be that enough people started to realise that the etymology of the word is Amber is in fact “the vomit of a sperm whale”. Not quite the sort of thing parents usually like to think about when naming their daughters…[1]

OK I suppose I should “unpack” that statement just a little bit.

When people think of amber they normally think of that yellow fossilized resin stuff, that sometimes encases ancient little insects and can be fashioned into all kinds of pretty things like jewellery and ornaments. The word comes from the Arabic word ‘anbar however this is really a mistranslation or misappropriation of the word. Whereas the Europeans meant to refer to a substance that the Romans knew variously as succinum, glaesum or glesum and the Greeks knew as elektron, the Arabs were actually referring to an entirely different substance which is today rendered into English as ambergris or “grey amber”.[2]

Why devil’s music do not please?
What sort of thing is Ambergrease?

— Samuel Colvil Whiggs supplication: A mock poem in two parts. 1687

What’s not to like about ambergris? It is an extremely rare aromatic substance which is:

…soft, waxy, and so highly fragrant and spicy, that it is largely used in perfumery, in pastiles, precious candles, hair-powders, and pomatum. The Turks use it in cooking, and also carry it to Mecca, for the same purpose that frankincense is carried to St. Peter’s in Rome. Some wine merchants drop a few grains into claret, to flavor it.

— Herman Melville Moby-Dick, or, the whale. 1851.

Ambergris has been highly prized since ancient times as an ingredient for making perfumes. Its scent is often described as both sweet and earthy and it also has the property of slowing evaporation and making other fragrances last much longer. A single drop of it is said to be able to keep its scent for decades and a single lump could supply the needs of perfume manufacturer for several years.

Ambergris is expensive due to its extreme rarity and for a long time the source of this wondrous substance remained a mystery. It was only ever found washed up on beaches. The locals would collect it and bring it to market.

The pieces that are found on the coasts of this sea (of India) are thrown there by the waves. One finds the amber in the sea of India, but no one knows where it comes from.

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One only knows that the best Amber is the one found at Berbera and up to the ends of the land of the Zang (the East Coast of Africa), and also at Sihr and its surroundings. That amber has the shape of an egg and is gray. The people of that region go to find it, riding on camels during the moon-lit nights; they follow the coasts. They ride camels who are trained for that and who know how to look for amber on the coast. When the camel finds a piece of amber, it kneels down and its owner goes to collect it. One also finds pieces of amber floating on the water of a considerable weight. Sometimes those pieces are really big.

The Arabs believed that it bubbled up from subterranean vents:

And there also is a spring of crude ambergris, which flowed like wax or gum over the stream banks, for the great heat of the sun, and ran down to the seashore, where the monsters of the deep come up and, swallowing it, return into the sea. But it burneth in their bellies, so they cast it up again and it congealeth on the surface of the water, whereby its colour and quantities are changed, and at last the waves cast it ashore, and the travellers and merchants who know it collect it and sell it. But as to the raw ambergris which is not swallowed, it floweth over the channel and congealeth on the banks, and when the sun shines on it, it melteth and scenteth the whole valley with a musk-like fragrance. Then when the sun ceaseth from it, it congealed again. But none can get to this place where is the crude ambergris, because of the mountains which enclose the island on all sides and which foot of man cannot ascend.

The Sixth Voyage of Sinbad the Seaman

The Chinese on the other hand referred to it as “Dragon’s Spittle” because they believed that it was made from the congealed saliva that drooled from the mouths of dragons that slept on the sea floor.

As it turns out the Chinese were somewhat closer to the truth:

Ambergris is, in basic terms, what the sperm whale can’t digest.

It’s a combination of things like squid beaks and juice found inside sperm whales, but Mr Jury says that it is the quirky way the ambergris is released from the whale that really makes it off.

“They actually belch it out, and apparently those rare souls across the world who have actually heard this happen, say you can hear it for miles.”

Once the whale has belched up the ambergris it stays in the ocean for around a decade.

“If you were to take it… immediately after the whale has expelled it, then you would put it back in the water, because apparently the smell is horrific. But importantly it has to float around the oceans of the world for ten years… so that the sun and the water of the oceans can wash it, until all the nasties have gone and it assumes that sweetness that we’re witnessing now.”

Mr Jury says scientists believe only about one per cent of sperm whales release ambergris.

The above quote comes from this article about a 15 kilogram lump of ambergris that was recently found washed up on a beach in South Australia.

The lump is currently being valued around US$300,000…

Dactylonomy

Dactylonomy

What is Dactylonomy?

It means counting with fingers. Here’s a image that illustrates exactly how its done. This was discovered in the second world war when an english girl was doing so. It has to do with the chinese characters as well.

By positioning the hand in different positions, you can see how they actually do it. This was also used when bidding for property.

Property auctions date back to even before Christ.

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The Evolution of Numbers

How and When were the numbers invented.

Counting in groups of ten, a practice evidently suggested by the number of fingers on two hands has been practiced by many cultures for millennia . But the act of writing them down using a system of place notation system which can expand without limit is only comparatively recent innovation.

Here then is the story of 1 to 9 and of 0 and 10.

In the last few centuries before the Christian era, by our reckoning, India emerged from a dark age that had endured since the fall of the Indus valley civilization fifteen hundred years earlier. It was at this time that the written word started to reappear, especially in the form of edicts and inscriptions left by Ashok , the great emperor of the Mauryan Empire. These words were written in a script known as Brahmi and in amongst its letters we find symbols to express numeric quantities which look like this:
Even in this embryonic form it is possible to see the outlines of their future shapes, but it is important to realise that they did not as yet comprise a fully developed place-notation system, something which requires the symbol zero. Instead Brahmi used special symbols to represent 10, 20, 30, 100, 1000 and so on. The inclusion of zero or “nothing” as a numeral occurred some time around 600 AD and it transformed the Indian counting system into one that allowed numbers to expand without end. It could achieve this remarkable feat economically and without cumbersome notation or need to invent more and more symbols, a feature that all previous systems lacked. In computer parlance, the new positional system was really scalable .

As a slight diversion it is worth looking at how the Greeks represented numbers at the time. Many of us are familiar with Roman numerals but what system did the Greeks use? All of the famous classical mathematicians were Greeks, right?

The Sand Reckoner

Greek mathematical notation was not positional; it utilized many symbols and was cumbersome to work with. They were fixated about numbers and their financial economy.

The “M” is a myriad , and represents 10,000. The Greek work is murious (uncountable, pl. murioi ). The Romans converted to this to myriad .

It has been argued that the reason why this innovation occurred in India rather than the West was largely because of a peculiarly Indian fascination with astronomically huge numbers .

The traditional Indian cosmology states that the universe undergoes cyclic periods of birth, development and decay, lasting 4.32×109 years, each of these periods is called a Kalpa or “day of Brahma”. During each Kalpa the universe develops by natural means and processes, and by natural means and processes it decays; the destruction of the universe is as certain as the death of a mouse (and equally important). Each Kalpa is divided into 1000 “great ages”, and each great age into 4 ages; during each age humankind deteriorates gradually (the present age will terminate in 426,902 years). These is no final purpose towards which the universe moves, there is no progress, only endless repetition. We do not know how the universe began, perhaps Brahma laid it as an egg and hatched it; perhaps it is but an error or a joke of the Maker.

This description of the universe is remarkable for the enormous numbers it uses. The currently accepted age of the universe is about 1018 seconds and this corresponds to about 7 Kalpas+335 great ages. A unique feature of Indian cosmology is that no other ancient cosmology manipulates such time periods.

In the Surya Siddanta it is stated that the stars revolved around the cosmic mountain Meru at whose summit dwell the gods. The Earth is a sphere divided into four continents. the planets move by the action of a cosmic wind and, in fact, the Vedic conception of nature attributes all motion to such a wind. It was noted that the planets do not move in perfect circles and this was attributed to “weather forms” whose hands were tied to the planets by “cords of wind”

The Brahmi script went through a continuous evolution, spawning numerous variants, the most important of which was the Devanagari (or sometimes simply Nagari) script. With Devanagari numerals, the 1 was rotated by 90 degrees and had developed a serif-like loop at the top. The 2 and 3 took on their familiar shapes due to shortcuts taken by scribes, who chose to link the parallel bars rather than lifting their pens.

Knowledge of Indian numerals spread quickly to the West. As early as 662, Severus Sebokht, a Nestorian bishop who lived in Keneshra on the Euphrates river, wrote:

I will omit all discussion of the science of the Indians, … , of their subtle discoveries in astronomy, discoveries that are more ingenious than those of the Greeks and the Babylonians, and of their valuable methods of calculation which surpass description. I wish only to say that this computation is done by means of nine signs. If those who believe, because they speak Greek, that they have arrived at the limits of science, would read the Indian texts, they would be convinced, even if a little late in the day, that there are others who know something of value.

However, it had to wait until the Arab conquests before the Indian numerals began to be adopted widely and even then only very gradually. In the 11th century, the Muslim mathematician and astronomer al-Biruni referring to Indian numerals wrote:

Whilst we use letters for calculation according to their numerical value, the Indians do not use letters at all for arithmetic. And just as the shape of the letters that they use for writing is different in different regions of their country, so the numerical symbols vary.

While the Devanagari numerals already look quite familiar to Western eyes, in the process of adoption by the Arabs led to a stylistic split between East and West. The Western Arabs of Morocco and Andalusia continued to use numerals that quite closely resembled their Devanagari forebears, even as late as the 14th century:

 

However in the East, the numerals evolved quite rapidly in a different direction.

This example comes from a work dating from 969.
But only 120 years later they looked like this.
And this is what they look like today in modern Arabic
On closer examination, it can be seen that the numbers 2, 3 and 7 have become rotated by 90 degrees but the other figures have not. One explanation for this is that Arab scribes who write from right to left do so by turning the paper 90 degrees so that the right hand edge is at the top. Lines are then laid down by writing them from top to bottom in columns. It’s thought that some scribes less familiar with the Indian signs failed to rotate them correctly.

From Spain and North Africa, the Devanagari numerals passed practically without modification to Europe and the rest is, so to speak, history…
Margarita philosophica by Gregor Reisch (early 16th century)
Pythagoras thinks: Hmm, me thinks this referee dame is unfairly prejudiced.
But while migration of the Indian numerals westward was to have a dramatic effect on later developments, it would be wrong to think that this was the only direction of their movement.The first millennium AD was India’s Golden Age, a time when India’s power and prestige were at their zenith and its culture was being transmitted to all of its neighbours, both East and West.

This was the time of Greater India .

Buddha statue on the upper terrace of Borobudur Stupa, Java, Indonesia

So here then is a brief survey of some of the other paths taken.
Tibetan
Burmese

Cham

Western (Cambodia)

Eastern (Vietnam)


Khmer


Thai


Javanese

Image result for numbers history

 

What makes us humans happy

We are weird creatures of nature.

In the olden days where there was no tv and women did not work, men were more loyal to their wife or fiance. Nowadays, unfortunately there’s so much hatred, separation and divorce going on.

What happened was that women now work and meet men on the workplace. If a man is nice to a women, which he will be at work, because there’s a more casual environment and all that, attraction and flirting start to build and that’s when relationships start to go downhill.

Humans should care more about each other and there will be less trauma for kids and families around us. The world would be a better place to live in.

Wierdest blogs on the planet!

I am going to start the first article by listing the top 5 wierdest blogs on earth!!

 

wierd cat on the ground

1. https://www.breadedcats.com/

It’s all about wierd animals and scary & funny stuff

2. http://hungoverowls.tumblr.com/

This is actually a tumblr site where they have a list of strange owls! Nice or ugly, i do not know what else to call them! hehe

3. http://moustair.tumblr.com/

Another tumblr blog. These guys are hilarious really!  Its like a face into another face, actually a face into the chin’s same face! Click on the above like to see what I am talking about

^^^ hilarious!!

4. http://anorak.co.uk/

Controvertial news site with pop, culture and sports wierdness so to speak. I am not a big fan!

5. http://arbroath.blogspot.com.mt/

Last but not least, it is arbroath, a daily mix of strange news and things happening around us. This is a blogger blog.

Is there any difference between a cat and a dog. Find out here…

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