Saturday, January 15, 2022

Goobers

Say you're starting to get peckish. Dinners not for another couple or few hours, and you don't want to spoil it by eating a lot. But hunger will distract you from anything else you're doing if you don't eat something.

Peanuts sometimes work. I tend to have a jar of roasted peanuts lying around. But peanut butter seems to be more efficient. Today one spoonful did the trick. Granted, it was a pretty big spoon.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Break in the weather

The past few days we've had deeply cold weather. Definitely below freezing, and it felt like it. Today was relatively mild, like low 40s when the sun was at its height. Well, I was going to go out in the absence of anything truly freakish anyway, but the relative warmth was not bad. Meant I could go out in a lighter jacket anyway. See what tomorrow brings, shall we.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

[citation needed]

I've been a user, editor, and defender of Wikipedia since its early years. It's always had problems, certainly. Vandalism might get cleaned up within a few minutes or might stick around for years. Some band articles were obviously written by, like, the bassist or somebody in a desperate bid for publicity. But it's generally struck me as a good primer on various topics and guide to further readings.

For some topics this is still true. In other areas there are signs that go beyond troubling and into the realm of alarming. The article on Scott Atlas is illustrative. In terms of Atlas's work on COVID the article gives the last word--and most of the other words--to his critics. There's an entire section labeling his analysis and advocacy as "misinformation", including some things that are arguably pretty good information. At the very least there's still an active controversy.

Now yes, strictly speaking anyone can edit. But if you look at the article's talk page you see a lot of dissent not reflected in the article. Almost certainly some of these people have tried to influence the content of the article, ultimately to no avail.

When an open source authority is edited by disparate people at varying levels of knowledge, skill, and interest, it can be refined into something fair and informative. When a particular clique captures it and they're all working in one direction, it starts to approach the level where you should take it with a grain of salt.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Sprung

Until she started singing, I didn't realize the woman in this clip was Natalie Merchant. Then it became pretty hard to miss.

Gerard Manley Hopkins is my favorite of the Victorian British poets. His melding of pagan imagery and Christian ideas was certainly an achievement. But really I just love the way he sounds. He brought a new rhythm to old forms.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Fluffy and white

We got our first substantial snowfall of the winter today. Christmas Eve we got something but it was only ever a dusting and the rain the next day meant it was gone instantly. This might stick around. It's not huge, though. Didn't seem to stop traffic or anything. We're probably lucky it happened on a Friday rather than a Saturday, otherwise I think the city would have taken its sweet time plowing.

So, what did I do? I'm not sure I had gotten any good snow pictures before with my pinhole camera, so I took it down to the river and took a picture of a spot where ducks and gulls hang out. Slightly makes up for me completely sleeping through Waterfire season. Soon I'll get to developing and we can see how everything turned out.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Soundful

It's a nice, subtle thing about apartment living. Hearing other people go about their business. 

Oh, there could certainly be downsides. If you're trying to get to sleep and there's truly incessant noise, that can be aggravating.  But even at 2AM, the isolated bump here, floorboard squeak there is kind of a comfort. It reminds you that there are other people in the vicinity, fallible like you, but alive like you.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Here, kitty

 


Scottish wildcats―or highland tigers as they're sometimes known―are extremely endangered. Hopefully the decline can be reversed. Who knows?

Mind you, cute they may be, but you want to be very careful if you're around them. They sometimes charge humans out of the blue, and they do have enough natural weaponry to do some damage. African wildcats, the ultimate source of our domestic cats, must have had a different quality.