Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More Noongar language books

Four new children's books have been produced in Noongar language by Batchelor Press. These are traditional stories told by Jack Williams and Carol Petterson of Albany that have been told in Noongar and English by the authors. With the assistance of Denise Smith-Ali and a variety of family members the authors have used the current Noongar vocabulary and their own memories and idiosyncrasies to produce a new text. A similar process has been used by the Laves family translators although in the latter case the original story tellers have long since passed away.

This process which is occurring more and more these days is indicative of the way in which Noongar is being re-invigorated within the indigenous community. The language of the stories is discussed within families and a new generation of speakers and writers is evolving. It is only a matter of time before we start to see a new generation of texts in Noongar language.

Carol Petterson recalls that she was "beaten for telling the bobtail story in that 'filthy' Noongar language", an experience that was shared by all members of her generation. The "shame and distress" that she felt as a youngster is these days a strong motivation for her and others to revive the language.

Jack Williams' stories come from the Stirling Ranges and the real treasure in Jack's work is to be found in the accompanying CD where he sings a traditional Noongar song associated with his stories.

There is a renaissance of Noongar culture that is just starting to flower. The next few years will be exciting indeed.

Copies of the books are available from Batchelor Press email them at batchelorpressATbatchelorDOTeduDOTau

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cape Verde Cliffs on Mars

"Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech."

This picture is from NASA's Opportunity Rover which is beginning to crawl into the interior of Victoria Crater, the cliffs have been christened "Cape Verde" by NASA. The color is from "scattered light from dust on the front sapphire window of the rover's camera" according to NASA's press release. I've cropped NASA's image. If you click on this you'll get a larger version that will fit on your desktop if so inclined.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A new warm current

Sea surface temperatures off southern africa

Off the east coast of southern Africa the water is quite warm at the moment. In fact there's a warm current carrying warm water far down into the southern ocean.

temperature anomalies

It's been that way for the last month (these pix are from Nov 2 and are cropped from the daily pixs posted at the US Navy's Oceanography & Meteorology Centre ). The anomaly picture shows how unusual it is - the deep red splodge is 4 degrees above normal.
Currently the temperatures off the north west coast of W.A. are slightly below normal which is why the La Nina is not happening as it should. The Leuwin current is sluggish and only just getting into gear. Instead all that warm water is on the other side of the Indian Ocean probably gonna melt a few icebergs but it ain't gonna make it rain.

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