«Authoress» or «author»?

The discussion about the tolerant dictionary left many questions open

Reading time 7 minutes

Journalists and editors of the Internet portal «Such Cases»  (charity Fund «Need help» ) thought about tolerant vocabulary, and the result of these reflections was the tolerant dictionary «We do not say so» . According to the authors, it contains the basic formulations that will help to avoid unwanted incidents.

The publication of the dictionary caused a strong reaction in the network. The user NaVi writes: «the word «epileptic»  – than it offensive and worryingly? So I’m asthmatic, my son is asthmatic, we don’t feel insulted, and an epileptic should?» . Marina Pavlova said: «Socially vulnerable groups «robber» , «crook»  and «corrupt»  – it’s hard. Where can I transfer money to socially vulnerable Sechin?» .

After such reviews, on April 17, the portal «Such Cases»  organized a discussion with the participation of different experts  in the coworking «table» – from philologists and psychologists to activists and transgenders, where participants tried to «understand how we understand and correctly call each other» .

journalist of the portal “Such things” Maria Bobylev (left). Photo: Such Cases/Anya Todich

Author of the dictionary Maria Bobyleva, journalist of the portal «Such Cases»  stressed again that the creation of the dictionary was dictated by the desire to introduce tolerant vocabulary. «Sex change surgery – what is it? How, at the time invented the «face of Caucasian nationality»  – it seems to be polite, but this [nationality] is not really» , – says Maria, but adds that the dictionary is not the ultimate truth, many words in it cause controversy even among experts, and it will be modified and supplemented.

Ksenia Razen, the expert of the Center for curative pedagogics “the Special childhood” . Photo: Such Cases/Anya Todich

Particular emphasis was placed on the section of the dictionary devoted to diseases and restrictions. According to the authors, it is not necessary to reduce a person to one characteristic – his disease, it is worth remembering that this is the only part of a person’s life: for example, not «down» , but «a person with down syndrome» . The authors of the dictionary support the expert of the Center for curative pedagogics «the Special childhood» , Ksenia Razen: «I think it’s important that… we are discussing many different specific words… this process reduces the anxiety [in society] and provides security» .

Zara Harutyunyan, psychologist, specialist in working with victims of violence ( in the center). Photo: Such Cases/Anya Todich

According to Zara Harutyunyan, a psychologist, a specialist in working with victims of violence, the people who created this dictionary «think about how to intelligently express themselves», and Ekaterina Messorosh, a transgender woman, a transactivist of the initiative group T-Action believes that «the responsibility of public people is to introduce these words into circulation» .

Catherine Messorosh, transgender woman, TRANS-activist of the initiative group of the T-Action (in the center). Photo: Such Cases/Anya Todich

And, by the way, about «psycologist» : gradually the discussion began to move away from the dictionary to the problem of feminicides and their use in the Russian language. It turned out that the audience is keenly interested in the use of such words as «authoress» , «headmistress» , etc., although «сommunist»  and «weightlifter»  sound quite comfortable.

Maxim Krongauz, a linguist, Professor, HSE, Russian state University for Humanities. Photo: м24.ru/Александр Avilov.

«In Russian, the infinitive is used only if for some reason I need to emphasize that it is a woman»,  – says Maxim Krongauz, linguist, Professor of HSE and RSUH.

Does it turn out that the use of feminicides is a manifestation of selfishness? What if this particular woman-director is important to be told about her «directress» , stressing that her creation is the work of a woman, not a man? And what about mentioning the names of foreign authors, when it is impossible to determine whether it is a woman or a man?

Anna Narinskaya, journalist, literature critic (right). Photo: Such Cases/Anya Todich

Journalist, literary critic and exhibitions curator Anna Narinsky, supports the use of feminities, but believes that they cause negative associations from Russian-speaking people. «This is a real crisis of self-identification… here is the «female journalist» , no.. I’m probably a journalist, because I’m good»  – says Anna.

Hasan Huseynov, philologist, Professor at the HSE. Photo: Such Cases/Anya Todich

At the end of the discussion, many questions remained open. The desire not to stand out, to be «like everyone else»  and to speak habitually has not disappeared, and society itself should decide whether to accept new expressions or stay with the same, and the dictionary will be improved and developed. But, as noted by the philologist, HSE Professor Hasan Huseynov: «We live in a world where it s not necessary to be with the majority» .

The most expensive mistakes of space engineers

How one bug in the program and confusion of meters and feet can cost millions of dollars

Reading time 6 minutes

Developers of space projects sometimes make expensive mistakes. Let’s recall the five largest engineering errors of the space era.

Rocket «Mariner 1»
Ракета «Маринер-1»
Rocket «Mariner 1». Ph: NASA

Mariner 1 is the first apparatus of the NASA’s «Mariner» project (automatic interplanetary probes designed to investigate Mars, Venus and Mercury), the launch of which was scheduled on July 22, 1962. The apparatus was supposed to fly to Venus, however, after 293 seconds it deviated from the course, and was destroyed over the Atlantic ocean. According to the official version, the programmer made a mistake while translating the handwritten formula into a computer code: he mistook the index symbol for a regular dash. As a result, the on-Board computer software perceived normal speed jumps as critical, which led to a failure. The accident could not have happened, but the device’s antenna lost contact with the guidance system on the Ground, and the program automatically moved to plan «B». The engineering error cost $18.5 million, which the New York Times called «the most expensive dash in history».

 

Space station «Skylab»
Станция «Скайлэб»
Skylab space station. Ph: NASA

Skylab is the United States orbital station launched in 1873 (the first and only one). It was designed for Earth observation, astrophysical, technological, and biomedical researchs. Before the destruction, it held three space expedition, however, due to increased solar activity, it went off the orbit in 1979. The lowering of the Skylab accelerated, and since the station did not have its own engine, it was not possible to raise it to another orbit. According to the forecasts of the mission control Center, the station was to enter the Earth’s atmosphere on July 11, 1979 and sink for 1300 kilometers in South Cape Town. But the inaccuracy in the calculations by 4% led to the fall of some wreckage of the station in Western Australia. The damage from premature destruction was estimated at $10 million.

Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope. Ph: NASA

Hubble was launched in 1990, but immediately there was a problem in its work: the telescope transmitted a blurred image. After checking, it turned out that edges of the telescope’s main  mirror were too flat, making the telescope «myopic». NASA scientists have developed a program for image processing and, at first glance, the problem was solved. But few months later, other problems were discovered (gyro failures, problems with solar panels and computer malfunctions), and NASA organized three space expeditions to eliminate those defects. One of them brought «glasses» for the telescope — optical correction system COSTAR. Manufacturing and delivering of «glasses» have cost NASA 49.9 million dollars, while since the beginning of telescope’s construction there were spent 6 billion dollars.

Mars Climate Orbiter
Аппарат «Mars Climate Orbiter»
Mars Climate Orbiter. Ph: NASA

Mars Climate Orbiter is an apparatus studying the Martian climate, which was launched by NASA on December 11, 1998. The main objective of the apparatus is to picture the surface of Mars and to study the dynamics of its atmosphere. Nine months later the unit arrives to the planet, turns on braking and begins to move on highly elliptical orbit. According to the calculations of engineers, the device was supposed to change the orbit to circular and to begin research two months later. However, 5 minutes after the start of braking the apparatus passed Mars and never sent any signals. After analyzing the errors, it turned out that the NASA team calculated the parameters of the decisive stage of the flight in the metric system, and the engineers of Lockheed Martin — in the British system (pound-force). As a result, the device crossed the orbit for 53 kilometers lower than required and disintegrated in the atmosphere of Mars; the loss amounted to $193.1 million.

Satellite «NOAA-19»
Спутник «NOAA-19»
Satellite«NOAA-19». Ph: NASA

The accident is not related to the software, but to ordinary sloppiness. In 2003, September 6, during the construction of the satellite, engineers have tried to move it to a horizontal position, but the device collapsed to the floor. The investigation determined that shortly before failure the technician has pulled from the truck 24 screws and has not documented it, but other staff did not check the presence of screws either. As a result, $135 million were spent to repair the satellite.

 

 

Гарри Поттер в альтернативной реальности

Попытка психоанализа героев знаменитой реплики Элиезера Юдковского

Reading time 4 minutes

Sorry, this entry is only available in Russian.

Fashion Trends of Fall 2018

How to be classy and not come out too extravagant

Reading time 5 minutes

This year designers have decided to put the emphasis on casual clothing. To stay in style, you should just add a couple of items to your wardrobe.

First – clothes with large plaid prints. This kind of prints could be on shirts as well as on pants. The red-and-black scottish plaid print became the most popular variation of these patterns. This season it has been  used in classic wool coat by Michael Kors and in glossy dress by Alice + Olivia. However, if you for any reason do not like red color or you prefer your clothes to be even more colorful you can follow Versace and wear a suit with yellow-and-blue plaid print.

Леопардовые костюмы неоновой расцветки
Carolina Herrera, Jeremy Scott, Tom Ford, R13; Fall Collection 2018

Leopard print has become a byword, so a lot of people tend to be careful with it. Although, designers are not afraid of experimenting, therefore, leopard pattern has burst into fashion in the most unexpected interpretations. Besides leopard coats and trench coats, you can also wear a leopard pencil skirt in grey tones or a yellow leopard collar over your plaid coat. And if these combinations are not audacious enough in collections of American designers, you can find more extravagant outfits, for instance, a leopard suit with neon colors for night parties.

Многослойность - один из главных трендов осени 2018 года
Hermès, Maison Margiela, Balenciaga, Rochas; Fall Collection 2018

After last winter, when Europe got to know the «Siberian Beast» – the weather front which brought almost Russian like frost – overlayered outfits became fashionable. And this fall designers keep following that trend. To stay tuned in fashion, you can get more clothes with overlayered tailoring or use in your outfits a couple of dense fabricated items. There is an option of combining a couple of warm oversized jackets or wearing a drape bulky coat over a thin one. As an example, you can put on a winter coat over a quilted jacket.

The mania for logos has not gone  away, so big letters stay a fashion trend of this fall. It means that you would better off buying some clothes with lettered prints. If you prefer your style to be more minimalistic, you can just embrace bags with mentioned pattern.

В этом сезоне шубы радуют яркостью и свободой
Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera; Fall Collection 2018

Fashion trends of this fall finally made peace between fur lovers and fighters for animal rights. Although, fluffy fur is still construed to be fashionable, it is has to be synthetic. Even Donatella Versace put away her natural furs. Now fur coats can be embellished with colorful applications, ornaments, and wide colored lines. Natural furs cannot allow designers to use similar color range and patterns: bright orange and neon pink lines, vivid purple dots, fluorescent yellow shortcuts. Also, this kind of fur coats is more democratic in price.

This mellow fall is keep surprising us with unexpected designer decisions: dresses with waist cuts , lacquered coats, outfits with two belts over mini-skirts. One thing stays obvious – this fall 2018 is a great time to use your imagination and try unexpected combinations.

Riot gendarmes

Во Франции продолжаются митинги полиции

Reading time 4 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!

French police made a protest on November 2 in Paris.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers in civilian gathered for a rally near the glass pyramid of the Louvre Museum, in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. The protesters tried to attract the attention of the government and the public to ineffective the work of trade unions, demanded better working conditions and tougher penalties for hooliganism against police officers.

The police at the Louvre
foto REUTERS

The action was directed in support of the victims of the guards in a clash with the youth, which occurred in the commune of Viry-Satio 8 Oct. Then a group of teenagers pelted police with Molotov cocktails, causing one policeman was hospitalized with serious burns.At the rally, the protesters were holding slogans “police pants” and “get your hands off my police”, and some burned sheets of paper with the words “membership card of the Union”.The patrol car that drove by the demonstration, gave the signal, supporting the demonstrators.

Police pants
foto Claude Paris/ AP

This is not the only statement to law enforcement officers. According to the Agency INTERFAX, October 21, the Paris police conducted one of the first protests. Then five hundred people rallied at the Trocadero, more than 200 in the suburbs of the capital. His colleagues supported the police of Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Marseille and Grenoble.

Bernard Cazeneuve
foto Thomas Samson / AFP

Note that 91% of the inhabitants of France believe these protests just. In the opinion of the government of France shares by any substantial psychological pressure on the guards of the events of the past year. The terrorist attacks in Paris, security during the Championship of Europe on football, the attack in nice, demonstrations against changes to the labour code – all this affected today’s unstable situation. Earlier, on October 26, in connection with the advanced requirements, the heads of the police unions had a meeting with President françois Hollande and Bernard Kaznenom – Minister of the interior, in which was announced the plan for the allocation of special subsidies in the amount of 280 million euros for the needs of the police.