Pig Latin on Web

A slightly silly use for some advanced computer technology can be found at a Web site that will translate the phrase of your choice into pig Latin. The text-to-speech synthesizer can be found at (www.bell-labs.com/project/tts/piglatin.html). The translator features your choice of a male, female or child's voice and will read a phrase back to you at three different speeds - depending on whether your comprehension of spoken pig Latin is at the novice, intermediate or advanced level. Several audio file types are available to match your computer's capabilities.

On a related and even sillier note, self-described Web "kook" Earl Vickers has translated the entire Bible into pig Latin and has pig Latin text of the books of Genesis, Job and John available at (www.well.com/user/earl/ible-bay.html).

"I've recently completed what is, to the best of my knowledge, the first complete translation of the Bible into pig Latin. This is the 319th translation of the entire Bible," Vickers says at his Web site.

Life deep in ground

The world's largest ship equipped to drill samples from the sea floor, the JOIDES Resolution, has extended the known limit for life in the depths under the ocean.

JOIDES found living microbes in hard sedimentary rock as old as 15 million years and as deep as 2,776 feet under the ocean floor. The ship sailed into the harbor at Sydney, Australia, in August, completing a two-month expedition to investigate an active sea floor fault zone off the east coast of Papua New Guinea.

Funded largely by the National Science Foundation, the cruise aimed at gaining a better understanding of how tectonic plates slip. Specialized drilling equipment on the ship was used to recover sediment and rock samples from 3,000 feet under the sea floor.

"What was once a terrestrial area of islands, swamps and lagoons 6 million years ago . . . now lies several miles below sea level," said NSF spokeswoman Cheryl Dybas.

Martian moon's dust

New temperature information and close-up photos of the Marian moon Phobos show that the surface of the moonlet has been pounded into powder by meteorite impacts. In places, landslides left dark trails marking the steep slopes of craters.

"New temperature measurements show the surface must be composed largely of finely ground power at least three feet . . . thick," said Diane Ainsworth of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The information was returned by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, which is orbiting the red planet.

High temperatures measured for Phobos were 25 degrees Fahrenheit, while lows were -170 degrees.

Philip Christensen of Arizona State University, Tempe, principal investigator for the Thermal Emission Spectrometer aboard the spacecraft, said the extremely fast heat loss from day to night as Phobos turns on its seven-hour rotation can be explained if hip-deep dust covers the surface.

Contact us - maybe

A San Francisco-based Internet and customer support company is promoting its business with the claim that customers get ignored when they use those "contact us" e-mail links found on virtually all commercial Web sites.

An informal and ongoing Deseret News test shows the same, with responses sometimes taking weeks and others not returning at all.

Russ Cohn's Brigade Solutions offers to hire out "CyberReps" to monitor a company's Web site and read and respond to incoming e-mail in any of eight languages.