×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

The Climate of Middle-Earth

Soulskill posted 1 year,15 days | from the climate-science-everyone-can-get-behind dept.

Lord of the Rings 163

sciencehabit writes "One does not simply model the climate of Mordor; unless, of course, you are the University of Bristol's Dan Lunt, who has created a climate simulation of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Using supercomputers and a model originally developed by the U.K. Met Office, his study compares Middle-earth's climate with those of our (modern) and the dinosaur's (Late Cretaceous) worlds. The Middle-earth model reveals that the Shire — home to the Hobbits — would enjoy weather much like England's East Midlands, with an average temperature of 7C and about 61 cm of rainfall each year. An epic journey to Mount Doom, however, would see a shift in climate, with the subtropical Mordor region being more like Los Angeles or western Texas." The full academic paper is available in English, Elvish, and Dwarfish.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Wait.... (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | 1 year,15 days | (#45627849)

I thought Texas was Mordor?

Re:Wait.... (5, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | 1 year,15 days | (#45627941)

No, but it is full of Orcs.

Re:Wait.... (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629039)

Or as we refer to them here in Texas, whorcs.

Re:Wait.... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628271)

I've read recently that Shanghai is mightily struggling to steal their Mordor crown.

Re:Wait.... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628701)

The eye of Sauron is in Washington (or Utah [wikipedia.org] ). Anyway the dark lord residing there had no problem if the climate of Final Earth turns far hotter than the Texas one. Who wants Shire's climate after all?

Re:Wait.... (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629059)

The eye is in D.C. but the hole at the other end is here [state.tx.us]

Orcish translation? (4, Funny)

femtobyte (710429) | 1 year,15 days | (#45627851)

We need this translated into Orcish, too, so the professional global warming denialists can properly read and respond to it.

Re:Orcish translation? (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628213)

Don't forget Trollish...... :)

Re:Orcish translation? (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628379)

No need. Orcs mostly speak the common tongue or else their own tribal dialect. The Black Speech -- as devised by the Dark Lord in elvish runes -- was a failed attempt to linguistically distinguish his followers from those of the Alliance. It didn't take among the Orcs, but strangely the East End London accent did.

Re:Orcish translation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628445)

Well the shire was supposed to be pre industrial revolution England so if you wanted inbred retards a cockney accent is perfect.

Re:Orcish translation? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629439)

Well, there's "take", and there's "take". By the end of the Third Age, many of the tribal dialects were in fact heavily corrupted and debased versions of Black Speech, but they were not intelligible to each other, nor to a speaker of pure Black Speech.

Re:Orcish translation? (1, Funny)

Dahamma (304068) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628885)

Oh come on, every knows Orcs an global warming denialists don't read!

Re:Orcish translation? (-1, Flamebait)

Oligonicella (659917) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629201)

You might want to send that translation to all climate scientists as the current consensus is shifting towards global cooling. And remember, consensus is what counts, right?

Model fails to account for magic and Valar (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45627861)

Does it really make sense to apply real-world climate science to a world controlled from the ground up by supernatural forces?

Re:Model fails to account for magic and Valar (2)

houghi (78078) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628321)

Yes. It is very useful to do this to understand other 'real' problems. It is training of the mind. I am sure nobody has problems with a sportsman playing against imaginary opponents or a boxer rope jumping.

You do not say to a boxer that he should not do that, because it is not a real boxing match..

That is if he understands that it is fiction. If he were to write about the climate of the 76 planets of the Galactic Confederacy AND saying that those also existed, THEN it would not make sense. (OK, he can write about Teegeeack.)

Re:Model fails to account for magic and Valar (1)

rossdee (243626) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628493)

Science fiction is supposed to have science in it, some authors spend a lot of effort to model their fictional worlds climate etc.

Fantasy is not controlled by science, so yes it is pointless to model the climate of middle earth with a scientific model.

Re:Model fails to account for magic and Valar (1)

Belial6 (794905) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629015)

That was my first thought. The climate of Middle earth can be anything because... MAGIC!

Re:Model fails to account for magic and Valar (1)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629241)

Only if you rely on old genre stereotypes. A lot of "fantasy" worlds depict a highly advanced civilization that just happens to refer to things as magic rather than technology, right down to having "magic spells" that are effectively chemical formulas (or recipes) derived through scientific experimentation. On the flipside, plenty of SF universes ignore anything remotely resembling the laws of science and contain technology or weapons with near-magical properties that are clearly just made up.

In other words, they're both forms of the same genre -- speculative fiction -- with different window-dressings. As the old quote goes: sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

A good example is the old "Dragonriders of Pern"series by Anne McCaffrey. On the one hand, it depicts a post-apocalyptic space colony in which humans genetically engineer creatures from a native species that evolved to travel via (IIRC)hyperspace, use HNO3 to kill deadly interplanetary spores, and the author carefully designed everything (including the creatures' skeletal composition & structures) to be reasonably scientifically plausible -- which sounds like SF. On the other side, they end up living in a post-tech medieval society, use "agenothree"to kill deadly 'threads' that fall from the sky, lack any record of their origins, and pair up with "dragons" capable of "teleporting" -- much more like fantasy.

Re:Model fails to account for magic and Valar (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629217)

The difference is they're not using a friggin' supercomputer to do it. There are far better uses of that resource.

Re:Model fails to account for magic and Valar (4, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628625)

Well, C.S. Lewis had an interesting take on this. He obviously believed in miracles, but he thought of them as becoming "naturalized", in the way a foreigner becomes a naturalized citizen in his adoptive land, and is subsequently bound by the laws of that land. So when the *supernatural* occurs (e.g. drowning the northwest corner of the continent at the end of the First Age), the consequences should follow *naturally*.

I bring this point up with my fantasy writing friends. Just because your world *has* miraculous things in it doesn't mean *everything* should be a miracle. People should have common-sense responses to miraculous things. If wizards throw lightning bolts in battle, then the cavalry shouldn't charge in a tightly packed formation until they're right at the line of battle.

George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire conspicuously soft-pedals magic, but ironically a lot of the world of those stories fails the naturalization test. For example kind of society depicted is dependent upon consistently generating a massive agricultural surplus, something that's not compatible in my opinion with decade-long winters. But I gave up after only a million words into the stories, so maybe that's explained elsewhere.

Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45627865)

Which part makes this science?

Re:Science (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,15 days | (#45627907)

Which part makes this science?/quote. The part where they model the climate of the late Cretaceous period?

Re:Science (1)

savuporo (658486) | 1 year,15 days | (#45627983)

And, who exactly funds "science" like this.

Re:Science (2)

femtobyte (710429) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628007)

FTFA: "The model simulations were carried out on the supercomputers of the Advanced Centre for Research Computing at the University of Bristol. They were not funded in any way, and were set up in the author’s spare time."

Re:Science (0)

maxwell demon (590494) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628215)

FTFA: "The model simulations were carried out on the supercomputers of the Advanced Centre for Research Computing at the University of Bristol. They were not funded in any way, and were set up in the author’s spare time."

Were they also done on the supercomputer's spare time? And did the author pay himself for the additional electricity cost?

Re:Science (5, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628287)

Why yes, I suspect they were done "on the supercomputer's spare time." That's what "nice -n 20" is for. Most university compute clusters aren't running at 100% capacity 100% of the time --- there are gaps between intense clusters of jobs queued up by researchers. Without strong proof otherwise, I'd highly doubt that any other researchers had their schedules set behind waiting for Middle Earth simulations.

As for the electricity cost --- sure, someone may have spent a few tens of dollars there. For a result with high visibility and outreach potential, encouraging public attention to (and potential future participation in, via motivated youngsters) science. If you're so miserly that you don't think such expense is worthwhile, even just for putting a smile on many people's faces, then please fuck off; you're a miserable burden to humanity that would rather see everyone's life gray and miserable than dare spending 0.00000001% of tax money on anything you don't personally want.

Re:Science (0)

maxwell demon (590494) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628563)

You clearly have no idea how compute clusters work (or maybe in America, they work substantially different? But I somehow doubt it). If you reserve nodes for your job (which you have to do for the queuing system to schedule it), then no other job will be put there by the queuing system until your job terminates (possibly forcefully because it has used up the reserved time), even if you use nice -20.

And no, I've got no problems with using university resources for such a project, as long as the university approves it. But it makes the claim wrong that their research was not funded in any way. It was funded by the university, by providing the computing resources for it.

Re:Science (4, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628659)

You're technically correct that "nice" isn't the command you use for specifying batch job priorities on a multi-node system (I also don't know what the specific setup of the University of Bristol's computational resources is). Nonetheless, there's typically some equivalent in the batch job submission system (and/or automatically enforced by per-user or per-group policies) for specifying job priority --- how many nodes to run at once, and what priority they are given against competing requests. Unless you have evidence otherwise, I'd consider it highly unlikely that Dr. Lunt's simulations were run in "use every single node the system has, while blocking all other requests" mode --- much more likely, they would have been trickled in to otherwise unused nodes, with negligible impact on anyone else's "real" research.

So, yes, these results were "funded" by the university --- at such minuscule levels compared to formal funding of personnel and resources that they will never appear above rounding errors. It was "funded" in the same sense that lights left on to illuminate campus walkways at night may provide benefit to pedestrians not at the moment engaged strictly in official university business.

Re: Science (-1, Flamebait)

savuporo (658486) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628791)

Im sure you wont mind valet taking you ferrari for a spin - its just sitting there. Wolowitz doing rover donuts in martian dunes would also be a total comedy.

Re: Science (4, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628873)

As a member of the non-Ferrari-owning social class, I don't lose any sleep worrying that a non-multimillionaire might be permitted to have a little fun in life. For my own more meagre possessions, I'm perfectly happy to lend them out to friends and acquaintances while not in use; accepting a little uncompensated wear and tear on my books or electronics is a negligible price to pay for helping other people out, and living in a community of decent human beings (rather than being a spiteful multimillionaire incensed that a peon valet should enjoy more than misery).

Re:Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628737)

Were they also done on the supercomputer's spare time?

Yes

And did the author pay himself for the additional electricity cost?

The cost of running the CPUs is infinitesimal compared to the cost of them running idle (you don't power off compute nodes or interconnect switches). Plus it's better to keep the systems at a constant load rather than cycling them between load & no-load; that introduces thermal stresses which lead to early failure of components, which can actually be a big deal when you're dealing with an HPC cluster of any reasonable size.

The net cost was essentially zero. Nice try though. Would you like to try an argument based on the intrinsic value of his time, instead?

Re:Science (0)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628045)

Who cares anyway... that's in England.

Re:Science (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628065)

No one. You may find this amazing and possibly even difficult to grasp, but free market economics isn't necessarily the prime motivator behind science.

I hope this revelation hasn't been too much of a blow to your world view.

Re:Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628067)

"The model simulations were carried out on the supercomputers of the Advanced Centre for Research Computing at the University of Bristol. They were not funded in any way, and were set up in the author’s spare time."

Re:Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628263)

The linguistic contribution to the esteemed languages of Elvish and Dwarfish can not be underestimated.

Re:Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628395)

Yes...the linguistic contribution of only changing the font... Hint: try copy-paste.

Re:Science (1)

Entropius (188861) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629127)

And not even all the characters are there (I'm looking at the Cirth version). It's definitely not in Dwarfish, since Tolkien describes in some detail why the adjective form is dwarvish. This was also a secret language, and the dwarves wouldn't publish a paper in it (nor would Radagast, even if he knew it). The alphabet is the Cirth, designed for carved letters, and isn't unique to Dwarvish except for the fact that they carved a lot and there's a bunch of it in The Hobbit. (And, in the illustrations in that book, Tolkien didn't even really use the Cirth; he used the Futhark, upon which it's based.)

Re:Science (4, Funny)

meglon (1001833) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629327)

There was a greater secret about dorvish...er...dwarvish.... it wasn't actually a language at all. Dwarves would simply scribble lines on things to make the other races think they were intelligent enough to have a language.

Yeah, but... (1, Funny)

Type44Q (1233630) | 1 year,15 days | (#45627875)

with an average temperature of 7C

(Insert hick accent) Yeah, but what's that in degrees?

Re:Yeah, but... (2)

femtobyte (710429) | 1 year,15 days | (#45627995)

(Insert physics hick accent) That's 280 kelvins, and don't let me ever hear you spewing that "dee-grees" nonsense in my house again!

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628017)

As a tool, let me actually ask why is the word "degrees" used with "celcius"?

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

femtobyte (710429) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628049)

As in OED definition 1a,b [oed.com] , in the sense of a "step" on a scale --- each "degree" is one of 100 steps on the (somewhat arbitrarily chosen) scale between the freezing and boiling points of water (at standard pressure).

Re:Yeah, but... (2)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628547)

Because "degrees" is used with every unit used to measure temperature, as in degrees Celsius, degrees Fahrenheit, degrees Kelvin, degrees Reumur.
Usually you won't write it, but 'say' it while reading, or you even ommit the unit.
In europe no one says / writes degrees Celsius, or says the temperature is 35 celsius, you only say: it is 35 degrees.

Re:Yeah, but... (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628609)

Unlike the degree Fahrenheit and degree Celsius, the kelvin is not referred to or typeset as a degree.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelvin [wikipedia.org]

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628815)

Wikipedia does not count :)
Ofc every one I know 'says' degree to kelvin, too.
However strictly speaking as a physicist, you ommit the degree part and only use the unit, just like in feet vs. meter.

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629283)

I was taught Kelvin does not use the "degrees" qualifier but the others do, I thought it was some weird quirk of the English language so I never asked for an explanation.

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628119)

This in an article that amounts to a nerdgasm over academics spending their efforts to model the climate of a fairy tale.

       

Re:Yeah, but... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629311)

They probably learnt something about their models, I haven't read it so I'm not sure why anyone would publish it in a journal?

"Elvish" (5, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | 1 year,15 days | (#45627885)

... that's not even badly transliterated. Without even looking at it closely, you can tell the entire text lacks vowel diacritics. They probably selected the text and changed the font, which works about as well with Tengwar as it would with Arabic or Hebrew.

Re:"Elvish" (5, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | 1 year,15 days | (#45627905)

(And if this kind of griping sounds overly nerdy, keep in mind they're the ones who decided to model the climate of Middle-Earth. :P )

Re:"Elvish" (2)

Megahard (1053072) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628077)

That's it exactly. Cut-and-paste into Emacs and it's in English. And no, I have not installed mod-auto-elvish-translate.

emacs doesn't translate it but vi does (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45629021)

So there.

Commence battle

Re:"Elvish" (3, Interesting)

Sun (104778) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628197)

OT, but I couldn't resist :-)

Actually, non Arabic natives could gain from doing precisely that. The cursive nature of the writing, coupled with the amount of characters that are only differentiated by the number of dots they have, make it a relatively hard language to learn to read. The multiple forms each letter take depending on its position in the word don't help either. In fact, some elementary schools in Israel teach spoken Arabic by using Hebrew letters, not bothering with trying to teach reading or writing.

As someone who went through the motion of pretending to try to learn literary Arabic in school, I actually don't think that's a bad idea. Get some vocabulary and grammar going, and only then dump trying to decipher the text on students. After all, that's also the order in which native Arabic speakers do it.

As for Hebrew, there are some madmen who tried something very similar. See, for example, http://www.stav.org.il/karmeli/ [stav.org.il] . Needless to say, it did not gain any significant traction.

Shachar

Re:"Elvish" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628759)

Also, the text in the figures has been left in Roman font. As a result, in figure 5 (for example), the subplots are labelled (a)-(f), but the references to these labels in the figure caption have been lost.

Re:"Elvish" (1)

maroberts (15852) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628997)

Personally I'm surprised Google Translate doesn't do this sort of translation. There's enough nerds working there, so languages such as Elvish and Klingon should be available by now.

Re:"Elvish" (1)

Entropius (188861) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629141)

Came here to post the same thing. Also, Dwarvish is a secret language, and even if Radagast knew it he wouldn't publish a paper in it (nor would anyone writing on paper in whatever language use the Cirth, since the Tengwar were designed for that.)

#BADBIOS - You Were Warned About This For Years! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45627897)

#BADBIOS - You Were Warned About This For Years!
http://slexy.org/view/s2BLnoBPxn [slexy.org]

State sponsored rootkits and the failure of malware scanners
http://slexy.org/view/s2otvoDuKW [slexy.org]

TL;DR: most antimalware programs are proprietary pieces of shit you can't see the code, but they can read (sorry, I meant scan, *cough*) all of your private files and some use the cloud so kiss your privacy goodbye.

Mordor weather is like Los Angeles?? (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | 1 year,15 days | (#45627901)

Do they even know what LA weather is like? It's about 300 days of sunshine here. On the other hand, Mordor is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume.... from all that volcanic discharge from Mount Doom.

Re:Mordor weather is like Los Angeles?? (5, Funny)

Viol8 (599362) | 1 year,15 days | (#45627925)

"Mordor is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume"

So how's that different from LA?

Re:Mordor weather is like Los Angeles?? (1)

Xaemyl (88001) | 1 year,15 days | (#45627959)

Well, we DO have a Fire season here ...

Re:Mordor weather is like Los Angeles?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628137)

"Mordor is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume"

So how's that different from LA?

Dime a dozen movie star wanna be hot chicks

Re:Mordor weather is like Los Angeles?? (4, Funny)

kinkozmasta (1140561) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628159)

The traffic in Mordor isn't quite as bad?

Re: So how's that different from LA? (5, Funny)

M. Baranczak (726671) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628325)

Mordor has a much better public transit system.

Re: Mordor weather is like Los Angeles?? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628047)

Not with ten thousand men could you model this... it is folly.

Hawaii everything okay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45627957)

Just checking.

Yes but... (4, Funny)

Lije Baley (88936) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628013)

...what are we going to do about Middle-Earth warming?!?

Re:Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628079)

...what are we going to do about Middle-Earth warming?!?

We'll just have to mount an expedition consisting of halflings, dwarves, normal sized men (that includes a very old magical wizard), plus one computer generated character. Send them all off to destroy the all seeing bloodshot eye, and the earth's climate will soon be back to normal.

Easy-peasy!

Re:Yes but... (1)

Vanders (110092) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628101)

That sounds like a lot of work. Can we at least wait until after second breakfast?

Re:Yes but... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628189)

Stop wasting magic energy, of course.

Re:Yes but... (1)

maroberts (15852) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629009)

...what are we going to do about Middle-Earth warming?!?

seek the council of Saruman.

Mordor... (1)

PrimeNumber (136578) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628053)

East TX (think Houston) would be more appropriate, as it is truly a subtropical climate. West Texas is semi arid.

Re:Mordor... (1)

Notabadguy (961343) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628309)

Well, Texas *does* have more Trolls than anywhere else, if Patent Litigation is any indicator.

Re:Mordor... (1)

Notabadguy (961343) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628315)

Egads, that was supposed to be...

Well, East Texas *does* have more Trolls than anywhere else, if Patent Litigation is any indicator.

Re:Mordor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628437)

Less trolls than Slashdot.

Re:Mordor... (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628457)

Yeah, if you look at a climate map [wikimedia.org] , West Texas, as you said, is clearly arid or semiarid, depending on exactly where we're talking about. East Texas is classified as subtropical, but, then again, so is almost all of the southeastern US, and I'd imagine that a place like the backwoods of the deep South is hardly what most people have in their head when they think of what "subtropical" looks like, despite the fact that it actually is.

But Houston is a great example. Houston is essentially a massive marsh that was built over rice fields, hence why it's still referred to as the Bayou City to this day. If you think of that field where all of the dead were at in Mordor (the book's take on it, not the film's, which is clearly in a colder place with fog and mountains), that's pretty much Houston. I've lived either in or within an hour of it for the last 14 years, and it does get rather humid with the Gulf winds blowing in and the thick "gumbo" soil preventing the water from soaking in, meaning a lot of it sits on the surface and stagnates (or becomes mosquito-ridden). For additional reference, I spent the 9 years prior to my current time in Texas in south Florida, which is where the only truly tropical (as opposed to subtropical) climate is located in the continental US, and in many ways I'd consider some of the descriptions from LotR to be more descriptive of a climate like what we had there (which really is quite different than what we have here).

Amazing. (2)

Petersko (564140) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628097)

This story broke my nerdometer.

fishing (3, Insightful)

fche (36607) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628109)

Fishing for an Ig Nobel Prize perhaps, good luck!

Not Elvish and Dwarfish (2, Informative)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628131)

It's not translated. It's just using elvish and dwarfish scripts.

Re:Not Elvish and Dwarfish (1)

hey! (33014) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628291)

... as were nearly all examples of tengwar and dwarf-runes we have from Tolkien's own hand.

Re:Not Elvish and Dwarfish (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628841)

A lot of Tolkien's tengwar writing was English, but it was actual English writing, where the ‘t’ tengwa stood for the ‘t’ sound and the ‘a’ tehta stood for the ‘a’ sound.
But even a glancing look* at TFA shows that they just selected the text and changed the font. If it had been transliterated English, that would have gotten them some points in my book, but this...
* There are no tehta (vowel diacritics) anywhere, nor any full-mode vowel characters; that should be a hint even to those who cannot read tengwar.

Re:Not Elvish and Dwarfish (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629221)

And it's not even using them properly. You can transliterate English into Tengwar script pretty well (though you have to decide whether to go with phonetic or English spelling), but whatever happened to this text makes it just a bunch of random letters that can't be pronounced.

These guys have broken the Fifth Rule (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628147)

They have taken themselves far too seriously.

"No university would employ me today" (1)

globaljustin (574257) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628317)

Just a few stores below in my feed, I see this

Physicist Peter Higgs: "I wouldn't be productive enough for today's academic system" [theguardian.com]

I'm not against screwing around with the lab computer on off hours and make it model "Middle Earth"...that's a fun idea...no, I'm mortified that this became an official research project and was published.

It proves what Peter Higgs was saying in the most weirdly fun yet depressing way....

Re:"No university would employ me today" (3, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628401)

Proves? You mean, disproves. This publication isn't in a peer-reviewed journal; it's not contributing to the author's official publication count. Instead, it's an example of a researcher being able to follow his own interests, and do personally-motivated stuff with no short-term payoff in "publish-or-perish" terms; in other words, exactly what Higgs is worried researchers today aren't able to do. This one isolated counter-example doesn't prove that Higgs' concerns aren't valid, but it certainly does not support them.

Subtropical? (1)

multimediavt (965608) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628347)

with the subtropical Mordor region being more like Los Angeles or western Texas.

I do believe that anyone that bothered to read the books would know that Mordor was arid, volcanic in climate, hardly subtropical. L.A. is temperate bordering on semi-arid, and West Texas is certainly semi-arid to arid, a bit more like Mordor minus the volcanoes, fishers and orcs. (And, did I forget to mention the giant spider, spawn of Ungoliant at the back door?) That Mordor? Texas ain't anything like that Mordor. But, then again there is evil that lives there. Hmmmm....

Re:Subtropical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628703)

Fissures*

Making climate science serious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628489)

What better way to prove the validity of climate science than to write an "academic" paper on what "scientific" computer models say about a 100% fictional environment.

This, but no Higgs (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628621)

We just had a posting here Peter Higgs speculates that no university would have employed him today. Meanwhile, this.

Re:This, but no Higgs (1)

g01d4 (888748) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629123)

I thought about this too and decided to skim TFA:

The model simulations were carried out on the supercomputers of the Advanced Centre for Research Computing at the University of Bristol. They were not funded in any way, and were set up in the author 's spare time.

I wouldn't argue this was a waste of resources as one's weather models should be tested for reasonable results in 'alien' settings. The amount of information and research methods have come a long way. It's not meaningful to compare the environment fifty years ago.

East Midlands? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45628635)

Tolkien intended the Shire to be similar to his home region, which was of course the West Midlands. How could he have been so far from the mark?

Taxes (1)

scsirob (246572) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628799)

This kind of research is exactly what the government needs. Another excuse to blame Global Warming on some computer model. First they did this on upper Earth, now it's Middle Earth.

I can see it coming, CO2 taxes to 'save Middle Earth'..

Doubtful (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628833)

I find it very hard to believe that Tolkien created such a perfect world that its climates would naturally be just as he described.

Re:Doubtful (1)

hey! (33014) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628987)

Models work from assumptions. The assumptions you put into them don't have to be plausible; a model simply spits out the consequences of the initial conditions you choose. Thus you could start a simulation of the Earth which started with the tropical seas being frozen and the polar seas being at 38 C. Those initial conditions are impossible, but the computer program will faithfully spit out *some* kind of result.

New Zealand (4, Funny)

luckymutt (996573) | 1 year,15 days | (#45628861)

Couldn't they have saved a lot of time and just pulled up the data we have on New Zealand?

I bet the author... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45629161)

throws up when people speak badly of hobbits.

not everyone uses metric (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45629233)

7 degrees Celsius = 44.6 degrees Fahrenheit
61 centimeters of rain = 24.0157 inches

Re:not everyone uses metric (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#45629347)

But how many hobbit-nuts is that?

The Climate of Middle Earth (1)

StewBaby2005 (883886) | 1 year,15 days | (#45629295)

Wot? No Klingon?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?