is the systematic investigation of structures and artefacts as a means of enlarging one's understanding of the industrial past. it's kinda presumptuous for me to have that as an interest because i am completely not systematic, and i don't even study it. i just have a thing for industrial ruins and how things work, and when i come across something that looks cool and "weird" i try to find out what it was used for, and how people did things. my first interest is usually visual, such as seeing a structure and taking a picture of it, like the morden colliery tipple. but sometimes i come at it from trying to figure out how to do something myself with modest means and simple tools, and that usually leads me to how people did it some centuries ago.
collecting other people's hobbies
*heh*. i stole the expression from firecat and i think we're still the only two people on LJ who have it as an interest. if you have a hobby and you talk about it enthusiastically to me, i will be infected by your enthusiasm, and i will want to talk with you knowledgeably about the hobby, and i'll therefore pick it up and learn about it. i'll probably never get very far into it, but i will learn enough so i can ask good questions and wonder about interesting aspects of it. this is part why i am a jack of all trades and a master of none, but i actually like this aspect of myself because my knowledge base is very broad, and it allows for a lot of lateral thinking.
first there was making my own clothes. for which one can use knitting and crochet. for which one needs yarn. once i had yarn, i wanted to not only create my own colours (-> dyeing -> growing plants for natural dyes), but i also wanted to learn to construct my own because then i can control the material and the texture. and the cheapest way to make your own yarn is spinning with a handspindle (you can make one from a dowel and a toy wheel or a CD). i sometimes joke that keeping and breeding sheep or alpacas is next (and i am only half-joking).
a talented cartoonist, illustrator, and animator whom i knew when i lived in champaign-urbana. she got me into comics because she drew the funniest things with some bite, while i had previously only been exposed to superhero comics (which bored me stiff). i still have a lot of her early work (waves to zemblan), and i've loosely followed her career since then. oh, i see she has a wikipedia entry now. here's her personal site. she puts the fun into dysfunctional. :)
浮世絵, "pictures of the floating world", is the main genre of japanese woodblock printing from the 17th to 20th centuries. the "floating world" was the world of pleasure-seeking culture of the urban centres -- teahouses, kabuki theatre, brothels, more broadly, the world of common people. i am less interested in the depiction of geisha, sumo wrestlers, and actors as more into what ukiyoe broadened out into in the 18th century -- depictions of landscapes, daily life, and motifs from nature. the process of creating a woodblock print is fascinating, and it's easy to see why it became so popular -- it allowed for "mass production" of famous sights before photography, even non-wealthy people could afford the equivalent of postcards from far-away places. you have probably seen some ukiyoe; they became quite famous in the west during the impressionist era and beyond, they influenced van gogh, manet, degas, toulouse-lautrec and others. i think everyone has seen at least hokusai's great wave off kanagawa. wikipedia has an article with links to sites that go into much more detail.
i knew i wasn't gonna be able to stay away from the rice thing for any length of time when i first saw it, though i held out for several days. but today it's rainy, i am cold, and not in the mood for photoshop, or for organizing my smut, or, naturally, anything productive.
i'm hovering pretty much on 48, with a few forays all the way to 50, but i cannot stay on 49 reliably. i MUST NOT second-guess myself; if i have an immediate flash of recognition, even if i doubt it when looking at the choices, i should just trust it; i am much more often right than wrong.
the link gives no information about WHY they're associating the turn direction with right or left brain dominance, and i've been too lazy to dig up something on it myself.
look at it first before reading the rest of this post, since i might be spoiling your own investigative games otherwise. :)
when i first looked at it (i was distracted at the time and not really looking in a concentrated manner) it flipped on its own several times before settling on clockwise; i don't know what it started out as. nellorat got it to switch by thinking of very left-brainy things. i don't have to think about anything at all, i can make it switch on demand by looking sideways so it travels into my peripheral vision, and defocussing and quickly focussing again. bingo, switched directions. i think i could probably practice so i could switch it instantly without looking away. this leads me to believe it has much more to do with the visual cortex than anything requiring thought.
in tests i usually come out right/left brain roughly equal. like this one here, which actually comes in a little higher on the right brain than is usual for me.
Your Brain Usage Profile:
Auditory : 28% -- Visual : 71% -- Left : 41% -- Right : 58%
and hey, i came across more tests this week which i thought were fun to do:
test of visual recognition memory.
i got 100% correct on the first two testlets, and 83% on the last. i could have gotten 100% on that too if i had actually paid 100% attention, but bacchus was doing something obnoxious at the time. the names are oh so very british and rather easy for me to remember. i bet if they were japanese i wouldn't do as well, and korean? forget it.
those results make me happy right now because i generally feel so much less capable than i once was. but at least i can still recognize faces, eyeglasses, and british names!
fine, i meme. and i'll cut because i
( 10 things y'all probably know about me, though some might not, and i'll toss in extra detail for fun )
( 5 things you probably don't know about me )
What color is fear?
What sound does affection make?
What texture does Autumn have?
What shape does a conversation make?
What fabric is a kitten made of?
What noise is made by curiosity?
What is the smell of knowledge?
How do you punctuate life?
What does death taste like?
my answers are in first comment.
1. Go to www.careercruising.com
2. ## instructions removed because the password was shared without approval.##
3. Take the 'Career Matchmaker' questions at the upper left corner
(you need to pick a name there first so the test can address you properly :)
4. Post the top 20 results.
( click if you really want to see my results )
interesting algorithm; it seems to privilege small networks over large ones, but looks in general like i would expect (people whom i actually know but have purposely not flisted are good test cases, as are people whom i know but whose LJ's i don't read because they don't post :). there are very few names i don't recognize at all; i'll check them out when i run into one of those periods where i actually have more energy to read LJ. and hey, a couple of secondary journals i didn't know about.
i didn't bother with the liked/disliked marking; i can in fact not remember it about quite a number of these books, which i read more than 30 years ago. and while this list may make me look well-read, it's a picture of my past. in the last 10 years i've read very little mainstream fiction, embarrassingly little. some of the names on this list i don't recognize, and posting it will remind me to look those up.
i'm happy to see some SF here, and even a graphic novel.
if you'd like to get a piece of "art" from me, comment on this post. i can't promise you quality -- that's why the quotes; i have a hard time calling my stuff artistic. but i'll try to make it something good; not a first experiment :). if i can i'll individualize it, but i might not know you well enough to do that sufficiently. it'll be a unique piece in any case. it might be a collage, or a photograph; it might be made from polymer clay, or wire (maybe with beads or rocks), or fabric; it might be knit, crocheted, sewn, woven, knotted. if it's for personal adornment, i'll consult you about colour and possible allergies.
there is no hitch. i won't demand that you perpetuate the meme because i don't see why only artsy people themselves should get art -- but it'd be really cool if you did decide to participate yourself.
i won't limit it to the first 5 people who comment either -- i'll toss all your names into a hat and pick a number yet to be determined, depending on my energy. 
 -- thanks go to rysmiel for that great term :)
 -- now my secret fear is that nobody will want anything because all my stuff SUCKS.
( hidden because nobody wants to see 20 of these in a row on their friends page )
there was one question i liked (addendum -- i liked it because it got me to thinking in contorted ways, while none of the other questions were any fun at all):
determine the missing number: "car, glove, clock, sock," "4, 5, 12, ? "
At a minimum, you should know exactly where to find these possessions (assuming, of course, you own them—and you should): (a little patronizing and prescriptive here, aren't we?)
( hidden away to not burn the eyes of anti-lj-meme peoples )
i find things easily not because every thing has its place (hahahahaha) but because i have an interesting visual/kinesthetic memory. i am better at finding stuff, even stuff other people mislaid (if i watched them use it last, or if i have a good sense of their organizational methods), than most people i know.