Today's paper tells me that Alameda County had more growth in population than any other California county. Not necessarily a good thing. Unfortunately, the worst city in my area is one of the leaders in growth: Dublin would probably pave over Mt. Diablo if it could.
I just LOVE Wikipedia: Looking for a useful definition of "Magazine" (starting a new essay), and the final sentence is a wildly misleading statement about magazine closures...where going to the footnote shows, after one more link, that in the years cited, twice as many magazines *started* publication as *ceased* publication.
From today's San Francisco Chronicle--I love it that Antonin Scalia may turn out to be an enormously effective voice *for* marriage equality, much to his probable dismay: http://www.sfgate.com/politic...
Seasonal question (and I'm sure some of you have opinions): What are the greatest English-language long-form choral pieces (religious or otherwise, but probably mostly religious)? I have two immediate thoughts, but I'll hold off.
Seasonal synchronicity: Last night we couldn't decide whether to watch an Xmas episode of a series we've already watched...or just to watch the next episode in one of those we're watching now. So we did the latter: Episode 9 of Season 9 of Grey's Anatomy. Which, as it turns out, is set at Christmastime. (Not *exactly* an Xmas episode, though.)
Local note on the War Against Xmas, since I was out & about a lot the last few days, in this small city (85K people) full of scientists & winemakers, thus probably heavily secular: Percent of people (clerks, waiters, others) offering some form of holiday greeting: nearly 100%. Percent of *those* saying "Merry Christmas." Probably 80%.
Strange payment of the year: $3.30 from Amazon--which is broken down to $0.30 per month, each month from mid-2010 to early 2011. Best bet: One person must have subscribed to my blog via Amazon's blog subscription service, then wised up after 11 months.
Given various "X was white, and that's all there is to it!" stuff, I was reminded of one my favorite recently-written seasonal songs, "Some Children See Him." (We have James Taylor's version, also George Winston's, but the latter doesn't have lyrics.) I knew what I *thought* I was hearing...https://www.youtube.com/watch...
Crossing traditions: Growing up, one day during Lent--Maundy Wednesday, I think--we always had kartoffel pfankuchen for dinner (with applesauce). Now, I'd be more likely to have latkes during a very different religious holiday. As far as I can tell, kartoffel pfankuchen and latkes are the same thing.
Improbable lazyweb question: Any way to have a Wordpress install reject any comment where the "author" field is nonroman? That alone would get rid of 80% of the spamments on my blog. Which might mean I could go back to checking for trapped legit comments.
In Beall's latest Predatory post (apparently he's unbothered by his exposure as an extremist), he uses "charges extra for color illustrations" as one sign of a predatory publisher. I eagerly await his list of all subscription publishers who charge for color illustrations. Oh, but they're not based in India, so it's OK.
Fun piece in today's SF Chronicle on "Dance Party" on KOFY-TV. I've seen portions of it. Unlike Soul Train and Dick Clark's various dance shows, this one ***definitely does not*** feature great-looking young people. It celebrates diversity in its own peculiar way:...
I think I'll go ride mass transit, sneak up on some woman with an iPad, figure out what she's reading and use that as the basis to bloviate about how Too Many Women Read Something I Don't Approve Of. Because, you know, it's the thing to do.
I am getting feisty in my old age: Objecting to the "OMG! Huge solar panel plant kills 20 BIRDS!" or "OMG! Altamont wind farms kill 50 EAGLES!"--with a note about the tens of millions of birds killed by flying into office building/skyscraper windows each year and the billion+ killed by cats each year....
Pop culture question: Just watched Four Rode Out (Pernell Roberts, Sue Lyon, Leslie Nielsen, a...leisurely...film). Which opens with Janis Ian singing & playing 12-string guitar, and she provides the full score--the only music (mostly guitar, three other songs). The question:
Bizarro PC problem: Suddenly (2-3 days ago), Word won't print double-sided--it keeps turning off the setting in Printer Properties (although that's how it's set in the system). (And occasionally the spool hangs until I restart.) Duplexing is fine in Excel, Adobe Reader, Firefox...but not Word.
Moment of truth at dinner yesterday: During Livermore's Holidays in the Vineyards weekends a week prior, we'd purchased a split case of Viognier and Chardonnay from Nottingham Cellars, normally $24/bottle, for $150/case: Still more than we usually pay for wine. The question: Was the wine really that good, or were we caught up in the spirit?
Neat little suggestion of language/national differences, in Carl Frederick's "Fear of Heights in the Tower of Babel," in the October 2013 Analog Science Fiction, set in a kilometer-high Tower of Europe. At this point, in the restaurant at the top, with multilingual menu.
So now I'm learning that if you've ever done something one way, then become VERY FAMOUS, you are not allowed to advocate for doing it a better way without getting jumped on. A new variety of tall poppy syndrome?