Detailed first-hand account of the Philippine typhoon


Here’s the conclusion of a travel blogger and photographer named “Junglebelle” of her experience:

The island’s airport is expected to be closed for the next week. The signal tower is down and there are trees and debris on the runway. The coast guard is saying no boats will be allowed out for a week either. So I guess we’ll be here for a while. Our hotel is buzzing with frustrated and angry and probably scared stranded tourists. Trying to keep calm is not made easier when people around you are panicking or getting angry. Navy ships are trying to get through to all the islands though to bring food and supplies and the local tourism association is doing its best to help organise stranded tourists. 

It’s funny, when you’re in the typhoon you don’t think beyond it. Now that it’s past, the reality of the situation becomes clearer and you realise that getting through the typhoon is only just the start. I think today will be a tough day, but I know we’ll get there, it’ll just be slow progress.

You can read the whole thing here.

She refers to the typhoon as Yolanda, which apparently is what the locals were calling it. I had not heard that before.


“Huh” is a universal word

From the Atlantic:

“’Huh?’ may be a non-prototypical word, but it is a word,” they wrote. After all, it requires being spelled and conforms to the general principles of each language.

For the study, linguists Mark Dingemanse, Francisco Torreira, and Nick Enfield compiled information from 31 different languages, and compared the prevalence and use of “huh”-like words.

“Huh” was unlike other question words in those languages—it was always one syllable, consisting of a short vowel sometimes preceded by a glottal consonant sound (one made deep in your throat). It also almost always had a rising pitch, the intonation most languages use for questions. “What,” by contrast, took a number of different phonetic and structural forms across the languages, like “que” in Spanish, or, gloriously, “wat,” in the Netherlands.

Read on