Oct. 21st, 2005

piranha: red origami crane (Default)
if you have some time to kill or at least seriously maim:

how to turn your child into a creepy doll

scrolling down and clicking on "more samples" on each page comes up with more chuckys.

via [livejournal.com profile] eub.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
1. One of the first things I learned when I met you was your desire to live on a boat. Now that you have a boat, has the dream altered and if so, how?

it has altered a lot from my original idea of sailing around the world and exploring, but i don't remember whether we met during that time, or later. it hasn't changed yet from the incarnation of meandering around the georgia strait whenever we feel like it, and being tied up in a marina (with highspeed internet access) the rest of the time, so we can continue to make a living. the boat isn't in the water yet; once that happens a lot of things might change.

2. Language differs in more than just word-to-word translations. I often find the British/Canadian phrasing to sting some undefined nerve in myself. With your experience of many cultures, has there been anywhere that you experienced emotion translation difficulties? If so, did you overcome it?

yes, all the time. i hate not knowing a language fluently because i know that i'll miss a lot of the fine nuances one can't pick up from dictionaries and textbooks. this keeps me from speaking a language out loud for quite a while, which is counter-productive. i overcome it by exposing myself as soon as possible to the language as spoken by natives, via television and non-art films to start with -- for american english i watched soaps, for example -- once i was quite the expert on all my children and general hospital, if you can imagine that.

i don't really experience a sting though, that would imply that i think something is wrong with the new language, and i don't feel that way, probably because i've been exposed to so many variants. i do have aesthetic prejudices sometimes, and assign slightly different meanings -- grey and gray are not the same colours, for example, *heh*. and i get really annoyed at written-as-spoken dialect in books; my pattern recognition algorithm can't read it.

is that what you meant? i wasn't entirely sure.

3. The Pacific Northwest is one of the places I hope to explore one day. If I were visiting where you live what would be the first thing you would suggest I explore? Why?

my refrigerator, since undoubtedly you'd be hungry from the long travel. :) i have no idea, this would be extremely dependent on what sorts of things you'd be interested in. if you love nature and small detail i'd take you to a beach at low tide to marvel at the life in the tide pools. but we could also drive along the coast highway and enjoy the views -- around every corner there's another amazing sight. or we could explore the different ecosystems; it's never very far to yet another microclimate. or, depending on the time of year, watch a salmon run which also includes seeing lots of bald eagles. i hear the local museum is good; i haven't been yet, *heh*, but it undoubtedly has lots of historical information about the area. i could show you the coal seams and the old colliery just down the road.

4. If you were an animal besides human, what would you be?

a japanese beetle grub. eat all day, yum! (whenever people talk about how their totem animal is a wolf or an eagle, i like to toss this one into the ring. :)

seriously -- probably a parrot, like an african grey. i'd love to fly, and i would still have some modicum of intelligence and the ability to manipulate things to some degree with talons and beak. one can't overestimate the utility of tools. and i could learn to speak to other species. at least i could imitate them, and drive them batty!

5. Do you have a list of things you want to do?

before i die, that sort of list? not really. there are some things i vaguely think would be interesting to do, but i have no firm goals along those lines. i've found that life tosses plenty of interesting stuff my way, and being open to them has been good for me.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
hurricane wilma is battering cozumel, and cancun (pictures).

i wonder whether i'd be writing journal entries while a hurricane is busy trying to tear my home down. probably.

cuba evacuated 370,000 people from its western coast. how come cuba is so good at evacuating? they seem to have it down pat. lessons to be learned?
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
yesterday i read about a pharmacist at a missouri target refusing to fill a prescription for emergency contraception. contrary to [livejournal.com profile] king_tirian, my boycott of target until they stop weaseling, and state a corporate policy of resisting faith-based customer service wouldn't do much good; there is no target around here, and i am not currently visiting the US.

while looking into this case, i've also learned that the USA's largest pharmacy chain, CVS, has instituted a policy allowing its pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions on the basis of "deeply held personal beliefs" (which i just bet is code for "fundamentalist christian beliefs").

this is wrong. here's a suggestion for people whose deeply held personal beliefs seem to extend to pushing them on other people when they're in need of medication: get another job. surely the pro-life movement would love to have you work for them in some capacity. and to those companies who give such people the time of day because you don't want to alienate the fundies: just you wait until those of us who usually live and let live start to exert similar pressures.

it's ridiculous. would it be reasonable for a vegetarian to work at burger king and refuse to serve any customer who orders a whopper, or another meat-containing dish? the person would get fired faster than you could say "2 weeks notice". maybe a muslim worker at the 7-11 should have the right to refuse to sell you any fast food during daytime hours of ramadan? how about the orthodox jewish salesperson at sears who won't sell you anything on saturdays. would you like that? why should we make special exceptions for fundamentalist christians? why should their deeply held beliefs count for more?

a modern democracy should not just stand for freedom of religion, it should also stand for freedom from religion.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
things that don't make me homesick. especially when considering the 14 songs that'll compete for "best" status. while i recently admitted to actually liking some ABBA songs, "waterloo" is not one of them.

and OMG, i didn't know céline dion competed for switzerland. i was long gone by that time.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
today we have suggestions (beta). this was quite amusing. i am mostly recording it here to compare with later versions of the algorithm; i'm not gonna make recommendations (like i ever, *snrk*).

long list hidden under this cut )

the suggestions are based upon the books owned by people with similar libraries; the idea is that, if someone shares a lof of books with you, the books you don't share might be of interest to you. it seems to work well towards that idea -- the vast majority of the suggested books i have already, and the algorithm either didn't pick them up correctly (damn all those different editions), or i haven't entered them yet.

however, it favours large sections of books -- as you can tell easily. most of the books i have so far entered (and most of the books the household owns) are sff. i am rarely interested in suggestions in sff from a source that doesn't know me personally because i am pretty knowledgable about the field, usually already know what i'll want to buy, or buy easily by browsing in an actual store. in sff and mysteries i have "it" -- whatever it actually is -- the "it" that allows me from looking at the hook and a few pages in any book i pick up at random to determine whether i'll like reading it.

what i'd really like from librarything is recommendations in the areas in which my library is poor. yes, i realise that would be much harder. :)

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