30 June 2007

the book list at right is a lie.

I have recently discovered that I am in fact reading about 347 books simultaneously (give or take 336ish. Okay pretty much take 336ish) I didn't realise this, and I suppose it depends on your definition of 'reading' and how actively one wishes to interpret that particular verb. One could also say that I am currently in the midst of many many more books than I realised. Not counting books of short stories, which of course, can be read in smaller chunks (hence the 'short' bit), and not counting books I'm reading that are 'work books' I am currently reading/in the midst of:

Understanding Media, Marshall McLuhan (in the edition at right)
Blue Arabesque, Patricia Hampl
The Other Side of Silence, Urvashi Butalia
Prisoner's Dilemma, Richard Powers
The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova
Foucault's Pendulum, Umberto Eco (part of the mystery of this book, I'm convinced, is that in fact one never finishes it.)
and of course,
Merch y Felin: Dyddiadur, Eliza Helsted, Manceinion, 1842-1843, Sue Reid and Meinir Wyn Edwards

As someone who is normally a one-book-at-a-time type reader, this is a bit weird. Oddly, I feel fine picking up on page 2million, 94thousand of Eco's text after a gap of several weeks. I'm not sure how this happened. it is nice, once again, to have books scattered around the house.

update: forgot one...The Dictionary of Maqiao, Han Shaogong, trans. Julia Lovell

28 June 2007

new spam phenomenon

has anyone else been getting this new form of spam? I can't find the post that someone in my small hermeneutic blog circle wrote ages ago about those image-spams to get past the text spam-filters and thereby sell you things. The post detailed the problem of load to the e-mail system: these spams were larger than text spams and thus more problematic for the overall health of the interwebs.

The ol' viagra-image-spam weighs in at about 10-20 Kb; the one with the attachment of random devotional music in the picture above weighs in at 500K. I've received this as well as a scanned 'personal letter' of fairly random sentences and other things--none of these seem to be attempting to sell me stuff directly. Leading me to conclude they're of the spam variety that seeks merely to get a reply of some sort in order to confirm your email address and then truly spam you. Or there could be something hidden in the jpg files to destroy my computer (doubtful). Or maybe if you play the hymn backwards it spells out L-U-C-I-F-E-R or similar. Or, if you start singing it at the moment the lion roars in Wizard of Oz....hm. Anyone else getting these? or just me?

25 June 2007

on silence

been busy, I suppose, although not in the traditional hyper-Protestant work-work-work sense. more in the: it's the weekend. one should not open one's computer sense. and the: wouldn't reading a book be a Good Thing right now? and talking/iChatting/video chatting with friends in various portions of the globe. and during the week, some working. and cooking. and (horrors) gardening. so the silence on the blog.

part of it also is the enjoyment of reading other folks who are smart say stuff, whether friends in this small blogging universe or the essays at opendemocracy.net. I've also become addicted to woot.com's posts despite the fact that the chances of me buying something from them are slim to none. but they are funny.

Also funny: Flight of the Conchords (HBO, see also here)
also fabulous: John from Cincinnati. almost makes up for them cancelling Deadwood a season early. not quite. but almost.

watch more TV.

14 June 2007

tide is changing

mtg posted earlier about the glories of mac and the odd speed of time as regards technological breakthroughs--bathrooms and running water inside the house! films and news delivered to your living room through the air! then in colour! intercontinental verbal communication facilitated by booking through an operator! now video chat instantly with multiple people around the globe (some of whom will no doubt be in their pajamas as, well, we haven't solved that whole 'world is somewhat round' thing with the time and the sleeping at night and the similar issues. but still cool!)

I think the tide is changing. who would have possibly predicted, during the era of the Netscape wars (remember? when Bill Gates was evil and hadn't yet given away lots of money?) that Apple would be launching a web browser for both PC and Mac. I wouldn't. I'm flabbergasted. Our IT person has decided to purchase a new computer at home--a 20-inch iMac with iTV and the works. Why? because she thinks the tide is turning. she thinks she might need to know Macs as well as she knows PCs. intriguing.

04 June 2007

'all girls' big brother

someone must have posted on the gender-bending nature of big brother's voice itself--it can be female, male, a bit of both, and it is always referred to and addressed as 'big brother'. this small, perhaps too subtle element of gender twisting was enhanced at the start of this current series of big brother, which began with an 'all girls' house.

but was it?

the rhetoric circulated around the girl-only nature of the house for the first two days they were in there (a 'male' joined the bunch on Friday). the 'girls' were far from uniformly 'feminine' 'girly' or even 'girls' at all. the age range stretched from the 17 year old blonde twins who screeched for most of the first day or so and were over-the-top girly, well past the point of purposive performance of girliness. (one of the other housemates commented that she felt herself becoming more girly in the face of their girliness. is it catching?) On the other end, a 60-year old grandmother represented a different kind of person, it seems to me not very 'girl' at all--er, woman, perhaps? and then the raver whose bios on-line centre on the fact that she 'has not worn makeup in 15 years'. omigawd! how can she live like that!

so I argue that in fact it was never an 'all girls' brother-hood. rather it was a range of competing genders, some very much queering the norm, from the dress-alike twins bouncing around the sofas to the woman sunbathing to the pink-haired, no makeup individual defying all gender categorisations.

I'm pulling for the lovely Welsh girl, of course.

02 June 2007

Just in Case

I know that the chances of there being a person out there who reads this blog but does not read TheOddsAreOne are very slim indeed. But, just in case, I feel it necessary to point out to you that over the past month or so while things were going nowhere here in SecondAmericano land (to be honest, I'm on my third one right now), The Fly has been becoming the blogging Rock Star that he always already is.

Don't miss the poignant insights on everything from AI to the 2-4-6 double play, and don't miss the fantastic, free music.

Go now, Go!

Next!: I don't know, reports on the new Big Brother; questions about how to write a preface?