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Steve Douglas
Attends The University of Georgia
Lives in Perry, GA
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Steve Douglas

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A pedestrian interviewed on a Detroit news station last month summed up my feelings on this winter's crazy weather:

"I [consider] winter to be the Justin Bieber of seasons: it was kind of cute and exciting when it first started out, and now it's a bit obnoxious and should probably just stay in Canada."
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This is how I would have imagined it before being told that the "saw" was mostly for looks. Oddly satisfying for me (not for the prey) to see I was told wrong.

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H/T +Marko Bosscher
Slashy slashy! That's how a sawfish feeds.
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Animal :/  I'm cool with that :)
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Could This be it? I guess we'll see.
600 year old mystery manuscript decoded by University of
Bedfordshire professor
AN award-winning professor from the University has followed in the footsteps of Indiana Jones by cracking the code of a 600 year old manuscript, deemed as ‘the most mysterious’ document in the world.
Stephen Bax, Professor of Applied Linguistics, has just become the first professional linguist to crack the code of the Voynich manuscript using an analytical approach.

The world-renowned manuscript is full of illustrations of exotic plants, stars, and mysterious human figures, as well as many pages written in an unknown text.

Up until now the 15th century cryptic work has baffled scholars, cryptographers and codebreakers who have failed to read a single letter of the script or any word of the text.

Over time it has attained an infamous reputation, even featuring in the latest hit computer game Assassin’s Creed, as well as in the Indiana Jones novels, when Indiana decoded the Voynich and used it to find the ‘Philosopher's Stone’.

However in reality no one has come close to revealing the Voynich’s true messages.

Many grand theories have been proposed. Some suggest it was the work of Leonardo da Vinci as a boy, or secret Cathars, or the lost tribe of Israel, or most recently Aztecs … some have even proclaimed it was done by aliens!

Professor Bax however has begun to unlock the mystery meanings of the Voynich manuscript using his wide knowledge of mediaeval manuscripts and his familiarity with Semitic languages such as Arabic. Using careful linguistic analysis he is working on the script letter by letter.

“I hit on the idea of identifying proper names in the text, following historic approaches which successfully deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs and other mystery scripts, and I then used those names to work out part of the script,” explained Professor Bax, who is to give his inaugural lecture as a professor at the University later this month.

“The manuscript has a lot of illustrations of stars and plants. I was able to identify some of these, with their names, by looking at mediaeval herbal manuscripts in Arabic and other languages, and I then made a start on a decoding, with some exciting results.”
Among the words he has identified is the term for Taurus, alongside a picture of seven stars which seem to be the Pleiades, and also the word KANTAIRON alongside a picture of the plant Centaury, a known mediaeval herb, as well as a number of other plants.

Although Professor Bax’s decoding is still only partial, it has generated a lot of excitement in the world of codebreaking and linguistics because it could prove a crucial breakthrough for an eventual full decipherment.

“My aim in reporting on my findings at this stage is to encourage other linguists to work with me to decode the whole script using the same approach, though it still won’t be easy. That way we can finally understand what the mysterious authors were trying to tell us,” he added.

“But already my research shows conclusively that the manuscript is not a hoax, as some have claimed, and is probably a treatise on nature, perhaps in a Near Eastern or Asian language.” 

Find out more about his work at the University's Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment (CRELLA) and also on his personal website

Professor Bax, who was recently awarded the 2014 TESOL International Distinguished Researcher Award for his work on eye-tracking and reading, will discuss this and other research at his inaugural professional lecture at the University’s Luton campus on Tuesday 25 February at 6pm.
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The recent Google+ emphasis on photos might be working to combat Instagram or Flickr domination, but it's not enough - not by a long shot. This list by +Mike Elgan gives a good, long list of what needs to be done with Hangouts, and it contains very little fluff. It needs that much improvement, and fast.

But maybe rather than Elgan's implication that phone contacts should be decoupled from Google+ contacts, I think that Circles should be more persuasively presented as more than a Google+ gimmick; instead they should be a contact organization tool, encompassing and not obnoxiously trying to proselytize more than just current users of Google+. Users of Google+, Gmail, and Hangouts should be encouraged to create Circles that will help Hangouts identify people I do/don't want to communicate with via Hangouts. Family and friends not on Google+ could still use Circles to organize and be organized by others.

Plus, since this is so important to Google, getting people to sign up with Hangouts for cross-platform messaging (hello BB and WP!) and create a couple initial Circles for messaging could be a much better Trojan horse to get them using Google+. Much of this is already possible, but simply not advertised.

Are +Vic Gundotra et al. still listening?
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+Steve Douglas A couple of things are odd about that (and thanks, BTW, I had never seen that page).  First, it only found 9 of my contacts that were not already on Google+, and those it only gave me the option of adding them AND inviting them at the same time.  I don't want to invite them to G+.  The rest that are already on G+, I can add them to a Circle (now that I know they are on G+), but I don't want them to know that I have added them to a Circle.  And, when I go to their page in Contacts (not one of the 9 which it said were not on G+) it still has the "Add and Invite" button as if they were not on G+.  All very confusing to me.
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"...about the size of the Pandora Directive"?! Well, I'm gonna go ahead and apologize to my wife in advance, first for the month of crawling Internet access while this thing downloads, and secondly for the many evenings she'll only see my back at the computer.
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+Polygon takes a look back at the mid-'90s FMV boom, how Tex Murphy rose to the top of the genre, and how 'Tesla Effect' is bringing the best parts of the classic series to a modern audience!
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It's on.
The stakes could never be higher...

Warren Lissel's profile photoRowel Lirag's profile photoSteve Douglas's profile photoTimothy Street's profile photo
Damn snowbirds keep coming to Florida and filling up our jails . . . .
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Full time day-jobber, overtime hubby/daddy, too little time dissertation-writer.
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Perry, GA
Clarksville, VA - Moncks Corner, SC - Forsyth, GA - Altus, OK - Warner Robins, GA - Cleveland, TN
I'm a jack of few trades, master of none.

I win the bread as a supervisor for a team collecting data that is fed into our software tool, which predicts and helps mitigate the problem of electronic and electrical components going obsolete. Got that?

I'm in a doctorate program for historical linguistics at the University of Georgia: my primary emphasis is Germanic and secondary emphasis is in Indo-European. I really enjoy Anglo-Saxon literature and Germanic/Norse mythology -- especially where they overlap. My dissertation research relates to analysis of the lamentably limited Gothic corpus.

Right now I'm trying to stay focused on my studies while also being highly interested in several unrelated subjects -- not to mention my family (which will always trump all).

I'm also a recovering musician.

To give you an idea of some of my interests, here are a few of my circles:
  • tech (especially Google/Android)
  • science (archaeology, paleontology, anthropology, linguistics)
  • theology
  • music
  • sci-fi (among my favorite TV shows: The X-Files, Babylon 5, LOST, Doctor Who, Farscape...)
Bragging rights
I can do several Muppet voices. Yes, even better than you.
  • The University of Georgia
Basic Information
Steve Douglas's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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Welcome to the. Linguistics Program at the University of Georgia. Discover the Department. Undergraduate · Graduate · For Faculty/Staff · Fo

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My favorite Asian restaurant in these parts. The food is great and the service is quick, efficient, and friendly.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
Such a pleasant place to hang out. They have breakfast food, lunch sandwiches, and pastries (from Wilson's) in addition to java. I tried a mocha latte, which had excellent flavor. The upper floor has tables, side rooms, and a selection of popular used books on sale (from Gottwals across the street). It's a great place to study. It's also set up for live coffee-house-style performances (with sound equipment and even a guitar ("for experienced guitar players only"). The decor was tasteful and attractive throughout. I especially liked the old photographs of downtown Perry.
• • •
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
Pretty sure this is the best Pad Thai I've ever had--certainly the best I've had in Athens. The lunch portion is quite generous. My waitress was friendly and attentive. I'll certainly be back.
Food: Very goodDecor: GoodService: Very good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Since my not-yet-girlfriend (now wife) first brought me to eat here in 1998, this Mongolian BBQ has been my absolute favorite restaurant. I live in Georgia, but when visiting my in-laws here, everyone knows that I will be eating several meals at Mongolian BBQ. I have to get my fix! Nothing I've tried back East even approaches this place. Even when it's been over a year between visits out here, the friendly wife of the owner always remembers my wife and I. This shows more than just the frequency of my visits -- it helps explain the frequency of my visits. The food is great, but so is the service. If you try it and don't care too much for the food, remember that you can completely vary the ingredients or sauces next time and have an absolutely different dish. The suggestions they provide are tasty as well, so you can rely on that if you don't want to have to think about it. This is great food, people.
• • •
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
16 reviews
Food: Very goodDecor: Very goodService: Very good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
We've been using Big Indian for our tack and feed needs for several months now. They're very professional, very knowledgeable, and very helpful.
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Could have used a little atmosphere - LCD TV's and no music made things a little too clinical. The food was pretty good and unique, but didn't light my fire (speaking of, my wife's food at "medium" hot nearly smoked her out). Try it out, but don't expect the greatest experience unless you really love Greek and/or Indian food.
Food: Very goodDecor: Very goodService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago