Monthly Archives: September 2014

  • Today is International Translation Day

    St Jerome in his study
    Today, 30th September is International Translation Day which is celebrated each year on this date. 30th September is the feast day of St. Jerome (pictured right), who is credited with translating the Bible into Latin (the so-called Vulgate Bible. Ed.) in the late 4th century. In 382 Jerome was commissioned by Pope Damasus I to revise the Vetus Latina (“Old Latin”) collection of Biblical texts in Latin then in use by the Church. St Jerome is also the patron saint of translators.

    International Translation Day has been promoted by the FIT (the International Federation of Translators) since its inception in 1953. In 1991 the FIT launched the idea of an officially recognised International Translation Day to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community (would that include our interpreter colleagues? Ed.).

    St Jerome’s early work definitely had a lasting effect, since the world’s most translated literary work is still the Christian Bible, followed by Carlo Collodi‘s Le avventure di Pinocchio.

  • Even carefully placed litter is still litter

    It’s not just fly-tipping that’s a problem in my part of Bristol (posts passim). Litter’s an associated problem that makes the place look scruffy and gives it that intimidating air.

    Collins Dictionary defines litter as “small refuse or waste materials carelessly dropped, esp. in public places“.

    However, some litter is not carelessly dropped, but is carefully placed – preferably off the ground – so that the perpetrator doesn’t feel so bad about being anti-social, as in the example below.

    discarded bottle placed on street sign

    Here’s a quick reminder for the hard of thinking: even carefully discarded waste materials are still litter if not placed in an appropriate container, like a bin. Not using a bin – or mistaking the street or public open space for a litter bin – may earn you an on-the-spot fine of £75 in Bristol.

    As for those who drop litter next to a litter bin, words fail me.

    Anyway, that particular bottle is plastic and can be recycled, so will be out with the rest of my recycling tomorrow, ready for collection.

    If you want to report litter in Bristol, the city council’s website has a handy form.

  • Nice one!

    News site has got the emphasis just right here on its report on a wedding that’s causing the media to get excited and distract attention from all the nasty things going on in the world like Ebola in West Africa or the continuing madness in the Middle East (news passim).

    screenshot of headline stating internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor

    However, it could have added the word(s) ‘ageing’ and/or ‘greying’ in front of ‘actor’. 😉

  • Happy birthday TDF and LibreOffice

    On 28th September 2014 The Document Foundation and the LibreOffice productivity suite will both turn four. In that time LibreOffice has had eight major releases, close to 100 million downloads, attracted over 800 new developers, a large number of active volunteers in every corner of the planet and millions of desktops “migrating” from proprietary to free office suites.

    LibreOffice is the fastest growing free software project of this decade: for 48 months in a row, it has been able to attract at least three new code contributors per month and an even higher number of volunteers active in localisation, quality assurance, marketing, communications and the development of local communities.

    Happy birthday LibreOffice

    Earlier today (25th September) The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 4.3.2; this is the second minor release of the LibreOffice 4.3 family, further improving the quality of the most advanced and feature-rich free office suite for Linux, Mac OSX and Windows. Further details of the release of LibreOffice 4.3.2 are available on The Document Foundation’s blog.

  • Islamic State: potted history

    If you’re having difficulty in understanding what’s happening with the militants of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria at the moment without going any further back than Bush War II (the overthrow of Saddam Hussein – and the roots of the conflicts and tensions in the region do go back to at least the end of World War 1 and the Treaty of Versailles! Ed.) then Aubrey Bailey of Fleet in Hampshire has provided a concise and not too confusing potted guide.

    image of newspaper letter with the heading Clear as mud

    Hat tip: Marina S.

  • Introducing is a campaign aimed at helping European public sector organisations make better use of open document formats, such as ODF.

    A number of public sector organisations throughout Europe have decided to support open document formats when communicating with the public and is a campaign to help them implement their decision effectively. One of the largest of these is the UK government, which recently opted for open standards for communicating and working with anyone outside Whitehall (posts passim).

    Inspired by the FixMyStreet project, aims to help European public sector organisations that have decided to support ODF to implement their decision by documenting, tracking and reporting their compliance online. Anybody can report public web pages which are not compliant with the decision, which are then checked and added to a central listing which is updated weekly.

    One of the first supporters of was European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes. In her statement of support (no. 6 on the list. Ed.) Neelie Kroes says:

    When open alternatives are available, no citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to use a particular company’s technology to access government information. No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one, through a government having made that choice first. I know a smart business decision when I see one – choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed.

    Well said, Neelie!

  • Happy Easton

    As a part of inner city Bristol, Easton tends to get into the papers for all the wrong reasons, such as fly-tipping (posts passim).

    However, it’s a vibrant area where I’ve lived for nearly 4 decades and so it can’t be all that bad, as is shown by the fact that community campaigners Happy Easton have produced their own video version of the record-breaking Pharrell Williams hit “Happy” to show a more positive side of Easton.

    The video was filmed at 18 sites around the area including Easton Community Centre, Trinity Community Arts, the soon to be shut Trinity Police Station and various local shops and takeaways.

    Are the dancing cops and PCSOs as embarrassing as your relatives at a wedding? Answers in the comments below! 🙂

  • Mobility scooter drink-driving case adjourned due to lack of interpreter

    image of gilded statue of Justice on top of Old BaileyYesterday’s Stoke Sentinel reports on the case of a Romanian man in court on a charge of being drunk in charge of a mobility scooter.

    On 7th August Staffordshire police stopped Romanian-born Silviu Croitoru on the A34 London Road in Newcastle-under-Lyme: 47 year-old Croitrou – now resident in Trent Vale, Stoke-on-Trent – was driving his mobility scooter at the time and gave reading of 95 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath; the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

    Magistrates at the North Staffordshire Justice Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme adjourned the case to arrange for the attendance of an interpreter and to allow time for defence representations.

    One would have thought that if the defendant required an interpreter, this should have been noted and arranged for the initial hearing, but waste and incompetence seem to be endemic in the justice system nowadays.

  • Under a week to go to SFD 2014

    Software Freedom Day 2014 bannerIt’s under a week to Software Freedom Day (SFD) 2014, which is being held this year on Saturday, 20th September.

    SFD is a worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). The organisers’ goal in this celebration is to educate the public all over the world about the benefits of using high quality FOSS in education, government, in business and at home – in short, everywhere!

    Software Freedom International a non-profit organisation, coordinates SFD at a global level, providing support, give-aways and a point of collaboration, but volunteer teams around the world organise the local SFD events to involve their own communities.

    For anyone wishing to organise a local event, there’s a handy start guide on the SFD wiki, as well as promotional materials.

    If you do organise an event, don’t forget to register your event and team so the event can be added to the 2014 events map.

    Software Freedom Day was established in 2004 and first observed on 28th August of that year.

    Reposted from Bristol Wireless.

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