Archive for the ‘Martin Luther King’ Tag

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; it commemorates his birth on 15 January 1929.

A great man, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A great man, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Instead of reading some inane comments by me about Dr. King, why don’t you read something from Dr. King instead?

Once you’ve done that, you may want to watch this video of King’s last speech, which was rather prophetic, given that he was assassinated just a few hours later.  It was just a few minutes long; here is the peroration:

To learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr., see his Wikipedia page and/or check out MLK Online.

Advertisements

Word clouds

I have just discovered word clouds. They are distilled versions of a block of text that picks out the words that appear most commonly in said text and display them graphically, making the more commonly used words larger. They don’t serve any unique purpose, but they can quickly show you the emphasis of a text and can be kind of fun and distracting. You can make your own at Wordle.net. Here are some examples that I created (click on them for full size):

Word cloud of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) in New International Version

Word cloud of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) in New International Version

Word cloud of 1st Corinthians 13 (NIV)

Word cloud of 1st Corinthians 13 (NIV)

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech

United States Constitution

United States Constitution

This is the concluding chapter of "On the Origin of...", well, you figure it out

This is the concluding chapter of "On the Origin of..." well, you figure it out.

The site allows you to save your word cloud and make it available for other site visitors to see. I was very surprised to see that my ideas were actually not very original at all. At least three other people in the past three hours entered King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, another guy had already uploaded the U.S. Constitution, and passages from the Bible are very well-represented: I saw portions of three of the four canonical gospels, including the Sermon on the Mount; 1 Corinthians 13; parts of Isaiah; passages from Revelation; and what I think was Genesis, but it was in French so I’m not sure. And I thought I was really clever entering passages from the Bible.

On the other end of the spectrum, recent political speeches are also popular subjects. This use is very interesting; it can quickly point out the main themes of a speech. Many people have entered the recent convention speeches of Obama, McCain, and Palin, but not Biden.

So, make your own cool word clouds and see how neat it can be. Here’s one more I maid, I’ll give a tilde to whoever can identify the original text used (this is very possible if you’re familiar with the work).

Identify the original work behind this word cloud and win a tilde! Submit guesses by commenting below.

Identify the original work behind this word cloud and win a tilde! Submit guesses by commenting below.