Igbo Orthography and The Ndebe Script

literature language linguistics africa design


Vowels are separated into low, rising, and high categories, which are presumably the only tonal delineations in Igbo. The notable absence of a corresponding “falling” tone, I first thought, creates problems for adapting the script to a language like Yorùbá, where, for example, the ọ̀ in Báyọ̀ carries a “falling” rather than a “low” tone when the sound is properly rendered. But on a second look, I find that what is meant as “rising” here is actually the same as a “mid” tone in Yorùbá. Still, linguists interested in adapting Ńdébé for languages with different tonal patterns than Igbo’s, or with no tone at all, like Fulfulde, have plenty to work with. Igwe-Odunze, who has been working on this writing system for over ten years, has been clear that her original intention was to provide an Igbo script, calling Ńdébé her “gift to every Igbo person.”

Writing Africa’s Future in New Characters, Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sú in Popula

Why the Cessna Is Such a Badass Plane

aviation design


Way back in December of 1958, pilots Robert Timm and John Cook took off in a lightly modified Cessna 172 with a bold plan: they would remain airborne in their airplane, dubbed ‘The Hacienda,’ for 50 straight days, in hopes of breaking the world record.

They added a 95-gallon fuel tank to the belly of the aircraft with an electric pump that could transfer fuel to the internal tanks in the wings. They also replaced the co-pilot’s door with a special accordion-style setup that allowed them to lower the door for better footing as they refueled and resupplied from fast moving cars that would meet the aircraft as it flew just a few feet above the tarmac.

After 50 days of sleeping in shifts and keeping the plucky 172 aloft, the record was their, but they decided to see how much further they could push it. After 64 days, 22 hours, and 19 minutes, the two men finally brought their little plane in for a landing. Their record, which stands to this day, isn’t just a testament to the reliability of the Cessna 172 Skyhaw. In a way, it also serves as a worthy metaphor for how the aircraft itself has thrived for decades.

Why the Cessna Is Such a Badass Plane, Alex Hollings in Popular Mechanics