This is my first blog post since the Christmas holidays ended (approximately the month from December 21 to January 21).
A lot of things happened in that time, many of which I’ve mentioned in previous posts. Others include looking after a friend’s corgi puppy, relocating the contents of a damaged costume room at the local town hall, discussing bookmashes with a friend and old schoolteacher over tea one evening, working on a challenging jigsaw puzzle, misplacing my credit card, my cousin’s inception as the new Uniting Church pastor for Southern Yorke Peninsula, etc. You can ask in the comments if you’d like me to extrapolate on anything.
One surprise unveiled at Christmas was that my family is planning a trip to Kangaroo Island later in the year (probably March 14th). I’ve been there once before, but I was ten years old back then.
I’m making good progress on the road to getting rid of my current ISP and switching to a better one. During the holidays I spoke to the computer expert I’ve been getting advice from and got some useful information including prices, etc. Meanwhile my address book is up-to-date and old email cleaned out (i.e. either filed or deleted) until October 2012. After that point, emails are too recent to be worth sorting, and might as well stay in my inbox.
The new year is a good time to experiment with different ways of blogging. For example, you may have noticed that I’m now including entire blog posts on the front page, instead of hiding most of them ‘below the fold’. There may be other changes, but more dramatic ones will wait until my ISP changes — a faster connection should make fiddling with the blog a much more practical prospect.
Below are links to the best articles that I read online during the holidays, for certain values of “read”. During the holidays I accessed the Internet using my ten-inch netbook, with no ability to print hardcopies. I can’t really digest long texts in those circumstances, so in most cases I browsed them, bookmarked them, and read them properly when I got back. Also, some of these involve pictures and video rather than text.
I’ve divided them into three categories — Interesting, Delightful, Awareness & Personal — depending on whether I recommend them because they’re interesting, because they’re emotionally appealling, because they address important issues in society, or because of some connection I have.
- Falling into a black hole more hazardous than previously believed (more).
- Mapping how concepts are stored in the brain.
- Caught up on Lynne Kelly’s intriguing ideas on Stonehenge.
- A 2007 article about the Codex Seraphinianus.
- Documentary about musical instruments made of recycled parts.
- Weird but strangely alluring fiction.
- Amazing palindromic map.
- Snowballs in medieval paintings.
- I’ve asked certain people to try the Up-Goer Five Text Editor, no response yet. Meanwhile, here’s Mike Brown’s entry.
- Article on the insanity of American life sentences. (Depressing, but with hint of hope.)
- Prominent opponent of genetic modification changes his mind.
- I added information to a page about the Australian commercial card game Gone Bush (including a paraphrase of the rules).
P.S. Just for interest, here’s a pie chart showing the number of classifications I’ve contributed to various Zooniverse projects. I won’t link to individual projects because they tend to have a short half-life (Ice Hunters expired long ago), so it’s better to subscribe to the main site if you’re potentially interested. My favourite projects are the ones that don’t require much focus, and can be used to wind down at the end of the day. (I made the Snapshot Serengeti contributions before the holidays, in between cleaning and packing.)