full transcript
"From the Ted Talk by Gregory Heyworth: How I'm discovering the secrets of ancient texts"

Unscramble the Blue Letters

On January 26, 2013, a band of al-Qaeda militants entered the ancient city of Timbuktu on the sreohtun edge of the saarha dseret. There, they set fire to a medieval library of 30,000 manuscripts written in abirac and several African leagngaus and ranging in subject from astronomy to geography, history to medicine, including one book which records perhaps the first treatment for male erectile dysfunction. Unknown in the West, this was the collected wisdom of an entire continent, the voice of Africa at a time when Africa was thought not to have a voice at all. The myaor of Bamako, who witnessed the event, called the burning of the mucntapsris "a cirme against world caurlutl heritage." And he was right — or he would have been, if it weren't for the fact that he was also lying.

Open Cloze

On January 26, 2013, a band of al-Qaeda militants entered the ancient city of Timbuktu on the ________ edge of the ______ ______. There, they set fire to a medieval library of 30,000 manuscripts written in ______ and several African _________ and ranging in subject from astronomy to geography, history to medicine, including one book which records perhaps the first treatment for male erectile dysfunction. Unknown in the West, this was the collected wisdom of an entire continent, the voice of Africa at a time when Africa was thought not to have a voice at all. The _____ of Bamako, who witnessed the event, called the burning of the ___________ "a _____ against world ________ heritage." And he was right — or he would have been, if it weren't for the fact that he was also lying.

Solution

  1. manuscripts
  2. desert
  3. southern
  4. sahara
  5. languages
  6. mayor
  7. cultural
  8. arabic
  9. crime

Original Text

On January 26, 2013, a band of al-Qaeda militants entered the ancient city of Timbuktu on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. There, they set fire to a medieval library of 30,000 manuscripts written in Arabic and several African languages and ranging in subject from astronomy to geography, history to medicine, including one book which records perhaps the first treatment for male erectile dysfunction. Unknown in the West, this was the collected wisdom of an entire continent, the voice of Africa at a time when Africa was thought not to have a voice at all. The mayor of Bamako, who witnessed the event, called the burning of the manuscripts "a crime against world cultural heritage." And he was right — or he would have been, if it weren't for the fact that he was also lying.

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
multispectral imaging 5

Important Words

  1. africa
  2. african
  3. ancient
  4. arabic
  5. astronomy
  6. bamako
  7. band
  8. book
  9. burning
  10. called
  11. city
  12. collected
  13. continent
  14. crime
  15. cultural
  16. desert
  17. dysfunction
  18. edge
  19. entered
  20. entire
  21. erectile
  22. event
  23. fact
  24. fire
  25. geography
  26. heritage
  27. history
  28. including
  29. january
  30. languages
  31. library
  32. lying
  33. male
  34. manuscripts
  35. mayor
  36. medicine
  37. medieval
  38. militants
  39. ranging
  40. records
  41. sahara
  42. set
  43. southern
  44. subject
  45. thought
  46. timbuktu
  47. time
  48. treatment
  49. unknown
  50. voice
  51. west
  52. wisdom
  53. witnessed
  54. world
  55. written