This is what Google censorship in China looks like

February 3, 2006 at 6:19 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on This is what Google censorship in China looks like

The husband sent me an interesting link this morning: click here to see a side-by-side representation of what Google’s dot-com search engine shows under “images” of Tiananmen Square on the one hand, and what Google shows in China under the same search term. It’s an effective visual-graphic representation of censorship in action.

Screenshot courtesy of Computer Bytes Man.

Library Thing (again…)

February 2, 2006 at 7:05 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on Library Thing (again…)

Ok, Library Thing is way too addictive: just a couple of days into the process and I’m 22 books shy of upgrading to a lifetime account. And I can hardly wait because I’ve only managed to get two shelves catalogued so far — there are many more that number to go. Many more. It’s very easy to use, and while there have been some wait times while Tim Spalding ugraded to a new server over the last few days, it’s a real breeze inputting data. I’ve noticed that I get fussy at times and try to make sure I’ve actually catalogued the very edition I have, but other times (with mass market stuff), I figure that the pretty picture from Amazon is good enough and who cares if I have the 1998 edition or the 2000, if it’s not a revision, that is… The main thing is that it’s a mnemonic for me: this is a book some version of which I have, and it’s now been tagged so that I can find it when I’m looking for a particular subject. It’s also been incredible fun getting reacquainted with some old friends.

And yes, it is a bit narcissistic, but all in good fun: I can check my “fun statistics” page and discover that out of the 178 books I’ve catalogued so far, only 48 are titles “shared” with other Library Thing users. And yo!, I haven’t even started on my obscure stuff yet!

Great work, Tim, really! This is one hell of a useful (and fun) application…

Better Living Through Chemistry

February 1, 2006 at 9:52 pm | In yulelogStories | 5 Comments

The only benefit I can discern thus far accruing from the miserable bug laying siege this late winter to wide swathes of my circle of friends and acquaintances, and its concommitant bacterial assault on my sinus cavities, is that the bath of antibiotics at this moment swishing through my insides has rendered the possibility of infection from something as banal as a kitchen incident moot.

There, did you follow that?

(You have to know German to construct sentences in which the key verb word [*] comes at the very end of a sentence 65 words long. …)

So there I was, on a recent evening, shredding mozarella on the coarse grater in preparation for making pizza from scratch, and whoosh!, I sliced the top of my right thumb’s knuckle. Off. Bone. I pulled back in time to prevent the lacerated flesh from separating entirely, hence no added protein found its way into the pile of already shredded mozarella. The shock to my system was great enough to prevent immediate bleeding — hence the incident did not lead to loss of bodily fluids right away, or their further addition to the aforementioned mozarella. Dinner thus was not ruined — just my digit.

Normally, a cut like that would result in an icky scab, typically the colour of …well, you know: the colour of white blood cells doing their job. And I was dreading this one! But nothing happened: the cut is healing unbelievably (unnaturally?) quickly. It’s now a little crater of a depression, tough new skin already forming across its diminishing face.

It must be the meds. But then, I’ve been a chemical bath of sorts lately, so perhaps it’s the combination. Yesterday I went to the dentist to have an old filling replaced — turned out a bit of decay had already formed beneath its failed seal. My dentist, whose father was a drug enforcement officer for the RCMP, knows that she has to give me lots of drugs, otherwise I go through the roof. I came out of her office pumped full of enough anaesthetic to knock out a small mammal. I know that the small mammal part of my brain went to sleep for the rest of the day, that’s for sure…

When I was a teenager I used to see a dentist named Dr. Boag, who took care of a couple of fillings I needed — in fact, probably one of the same ones I had replaced the other day. His office was in Victoria’s Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce building. He was a young, modern dentist (this was back in the 17th century), and he used to marvel at the amount of drugs I needed to put a nerve to sleep. One time he casually asked me whether I took a lot of drugs, recreationally, because none of his other patients seemed to require such quantities …and I naturally weaselled on the answer. When my pupils finally stopped dilating, he remarked that my eyes were a rather unusual shade of green-but-not-green: he insisted I had khaki-coloured eyes. Subsequently, I soon began to experiment with emerald-green-coloured contact lenses, which, in combination with yellow-tinted Ray-Ban gold-metal Aviator sunglasses, really did make my eye colour …unusual.

Of course Dr. B. was right: between the pro-drugs counterculture and strange family doctors who prescribed Valium for bronchial asthma, I had a steady exposure to eye-colour altering substances. Tonight I’m ending a 7-day run of Ceftin @ 250mg twice daily. Tomorrow, I’ll start topping it off with 3 more days of the same at double the dose. Together with my dentist’s painkillers, plus the ibuprofin I took to kill the pain afterward, and the Flo-nase corticosteroid together with the guaifenesen and pseudoephedrine for the sinusitis, …well, all that in combination and I’m sure I can count on imminent organ failure now.

But, boy, my thumb sure healed quickly!


[*] update, next day after a night’s sleep: Ok, I guess I’m not a grammarian — moot isn’t a verb. It functions here almost like an adverb, modifying the verb render, and sort of turns that whole thing into an adverbial phrase that works a bit like an adjective. Or something. But the general point’s the same… 😉

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