charloween: (Default)
My favourite piece of academic reading today is from an article on Danish rock'n'roll television in the 1950s.

It's about performance, and there's a comment regarding how the "attempt to do rock'n'role dance" on the part of these early Danish rockers was "primitive, but very engaged".

I'm presuming the author had lots of fun doing archival research for this one.

In other news, I'm pleased with my Nexus 7. Especially as so many train lines and bus companies (including my daily commute!) offer free wifi to passengers. Reviewers online grumped about no 3G/4G capacity, but that's not an issue with such abundant free wifi. I haven't yet tried to stream video on the bus. Tonight I may attempt it. Living in the future...
charloween: (Default)
Sometimes, I read academic work on a series I'm familiar with, and I wonder "Are they watching the same show I did?"

But sometimes, there'll be something like this:
Whenever Starbuck is captured, there is usually a prolonged struggle where she has to save herself from gender norms being imposed upon her. However, when Apollo is captured, the situation is usually resolved fairly quickly via a Starbuck rescue. In ‘The Oath’, Apollo is wearing a sharp suit and tie appropriate for his new position in the government when he is captured. His masculine beauty is threatened by the grubby soldiers of both sexes who capture him. When Starbuck arrives on the scene, Apollo has his arms behind his back with a pistol to his head. Starbuck blows Apollo’s would-be executioner away, and Apollo is stunned: blood has sprayed all over his face and suit, and Starbuck is now in a tense standoff with the other mutinous captors.

...and, yeah, the author was definitely watching the same show I did.  (Apollo spends a lot of the series stunned.)

(From Patrick B. Sharp, "Starbuck as 'American Amazon': Captivity narrative and the colonial imagination in Battlestar Galactica." In Science Fiction Film and Television, Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2010, pp. 57-78.)

Also, vaguely related to this; I've finally started using my Kindle for academic stuff. Turns out syncing a pile of pdfs to the Kindle is a snap, and as I've got the keyboard version (boo touch screen) it's quite easy to make notes after highlighting bits.  I don't know how it would work with full textbooks, but for shorter works (~<30 pages) it's functional and simple.  It means I can sit on a bus and flick through a stack of recent papers on a topic area, mark a few bits to come back to, save trees, and spend less time scrolling up and down on a pdf reader app.*

*it lags a bit, bless it, but I'm willing to accept that ...for now

The thing I was told the Kindle could do, but I never tried to make it do, actually turns out to be a time-saving thing to do, and not difficult at all.  

And it maintains the pagination of the original document.  Magnifique.
charloween: (bookstack)
So! Because being near my family and my birthday won't overlap this year, I hinted* that all I wanted/needed was a Kindle. The Nook is probably superior but you can only access the B&N store from within the US (with reliable results) and it has a touchscreen bit (which - believe me - gets annoying fast if you're in a climate that needs gloves).

*The way I hint things, with extensive research and unambiguous statements.

Since waiting and surprises are for patient people, I've been playing with my new Kindle for a week, and I've glutted on novels. For someone like me, who'll happily sit down, start a book, finish a book and then wonder where the day went, this is dangerous stuff. Dangerous but amazing.

That's why I haven't put the Dublin pictures up yet: I've been reading.

I've read: too many books! )

I've also knit most of a shrug since the weekend: turns out you can prop up a Kindle like a paper book (but it's easy to balance, so you can keep knitting), and read outside and be able to see the screen in the sunlight (and the wind won't turn pages for you, so you can keep knitting), and if the darn yarn splits again you don't need to hunt for a bookmark for the Kindle (and you can keep knitting!). Magic.
Next test is seeing if graphics in pdfs of knitting patterns reproduce well...

In other news, this area's TV broadcasting is going digital as of next week. Most stations have switched over, meaning the analogue transmitters are being switched off. My parents' televisions are analogue-only, because the lowest-quoted digital aerial they could get was stupidly expensive.

Though perhaps all that's lost is convenience: Mum watches most of her television through her laptop, anyway.

ETA: Just saw an online ad for the Stratford Festival. It said, "From the director of Jersey Boys: Jesus Christ Superstar." I do not understand. Please someone explain to me why this is popular/going to Broadway/exists. I don't really get Jesus Christ Superstar in the first place, but still. This is not the kind of crazy I want from my internet.
charloween: (Default)
I joined last week, and I'm enjoying it.

It's like a giant Twitter text box that keeps a running word count but doesn't share your words anywhere and also keeps some neat stats* and gives you badges for stuff. So, not at all like Twitter. But found it via qui_oui's Twitter feed, so I can be forgiven? (Plus, the site has a combo birds-and-bowling scoring-and-badges thing that I'm enjoying, so tweets maybe aren't that far off? Yeah. /overthinking) Anyway - I like that there's a running word count displayed for me so I don't use checking the word count as a distraction.

*Time-to-completion, wpm, how many times you were distracted, etc.

I've got 6 days in a row now of making it to 750 words, and while not all of it is brilliant, it's 6 x 750 words typed out that I probably wouldn't have typed. I used it to bash out some thoughts and plans in prep for yesterday's So-What-Are-Your-Research-Questions? meeting with my interim supervisor. I used it to go through some possible responses to questions in my rapidly-approaching job interview (in ~2.5 hours? - for an hourly-paid and supervisory job at the place where I've been volunteering). I haven't used it to write an entry for here, but I suppose that's not far off.

(Yesterday I mused about a Mythbusters versus Top Gear crossover, but decided that would be a Very Bad Idea since one show is people being perky about science and the other is people being grumpy about cars.)

Since the site keeps stats, I could see that over the last five days I've had the window open for hours in the background while I'm noodling off somewhere else. Today I decided that I'd try tossing words in all at once - and was able to get up to my limit (while muddling through some theoretical stuff for my thesis) in 18 minutes.

18 minutes to type 750 coherent words? Put that way, it hardly seems a chore at all. Wish me luck for tomorrow!
charloween: (pure style)
Now that I'm back with my parents for the summer, there are four adults (my brother's got the basement) living together - should be interesting. :D

We've also got more computers than people. I've just counted, and there are:

3 desktop computers
2 netbooks
1 functional laptop
2 mostly dead laptops
2 smartphones

For four people.

And despite that, more often than not to answer a question we'll still drag down a dictionary or encyclopedia volume from the Amazing Wall of Books.

I wonder if I should make a tag that'll help commemorate this summer of being back home after living away for 6 years...
charloween: (Default)
Gmail ads are funny. I guess what they want is for me to be emailing someone about how I want new shoes, an online PhD or Harry Potter fic, and then gleefully present me with sidebar ads that exactly match whatever I was talking about.

In practice, as I'm sure you all know, it's more fun to look at the sidebar ads and discover what Google thinks you want.  Who does Google think I am?  What does Google think I want?  What impression does Google get of my innermost hopes and dreams, after thinking through every email I've written in the last five years?


If I take all the opportunities offered by my super-duper personalized sidebar ads, I will:
  • rent property in Canary Wharf, courtesy of the area's "leading estate agent",
  • "come back to" Stratford, Ontario (a city I've visited at least twice a year for the last few years),
  • spend a relaxing two weeks in Tuscany,
  • enjoy accommodations at the Holiday Inn, Royal Leamington Spa,
  • purchase vacation property in either Florida (foreclosures!) or Australia (!?), and
  • become a helicopter pilot.

I get lots of use of this tag.  This should worry me.
charloween: (pure style)

I've been wasting time having fun with the Garfield Randomizer. Sometimes the panels make no sense, sometimes they're remarkably coherent, and other times they're just bizarre enough to be funny. Sometimes they're funny in a foreign-films-with-bad-subtitles way. Sometimes there's a magic donut.
charloween: (fly)
2010: The mobile phone is a tiny, slender box that'll do almost anything - including letting you use your voice to talk to other people who aren't in the same room.

1979: The mobile phone has a rotary dial.

I'm saving up for an HTC phone running Android. The Legend and the Desire are both wonderfully pretty, but I think I'll probably go with the Tattoo because it's going to be far less expensive (in comparison).

Has anyone made an app that'll let you dial your touch screen like it's a rotary phone?
charloween: (Default)
From you can check out Pompeii thanks to Google's Street View.

So cool!
charloween: (goaty grin)
I did it! After weeks of whining about it, I went and bought a netbook. I got the Asus 1000HE (*flips computer over* yeah, that one) and it's pretty damn cute. But it has an okay keyboard, a matte screen, a 6-cell battery and is shiny and all-black.

I'm typing on this right now, and I've gotta say - yes, the keyboard is cramped, and no, I'm not sure why XP thinks there are two (two!) possible LAN connections when there is only one port, but all in all, it's not as bad as I was fearing. And this "chicklet" keyboard is pretty awesome because every key is separated by a few millimeters so you can tell where the edges of the keys are. Neat!

The sad part is I'm sitting on my bedroom floor, surrounded by 1) my replacement desktop that I built and that [ profile] nevalent helped me make run, 2) my laptop which has capital-I issues but, I'm sure, a heart of gold, 3) the old HP desktop that I used and absued for 6+ years before it died, and 4) the Mac G3 which was a tide-me-over while both the old desktop and the laptop were off on some mystical adventure leaving me computer-less. And then there's 5), my new teeny tiny shiny. *pats the shiny* (Proof, a photo which was taken by my phone and then transferred to my teeny tiny shiny via Bluetooth, hee!)

Note to self: in June, DO NOT BUY A COMPUTER.

Many thanks to [ profile] nevalent and his membership, infinite patience and good humour, and willingness to visit the P-Mall on a Saturday. Thanks too to all you flisters who've been listening to me go on about effing netbooks. (I has a shiny!) :D
charloween: (Default)
I did the other .5 on Friday, giving the presentation that the write-up was complementing. Or in aid of, or companion to. Seriously. Can't brain, have dumb.

AND AND AND I sent in the (late) 1.0 worth of DW paper, so it's currently lurking on a server in Wales and I won't have to think about it again until July. HURRAH!

I don't have any due dates this week, but I do still have four massive papers that are in various stages of done-ness. Unfortunately it's the two larger papers that are at the haven't-properly-started-the-research stage. But The List of Pain is down to 4 things.

I might buy a netbook this week. Might.
charloween: (Default)
The funny thing about a) being paid at the end of the month and b) having your rent cheque due at the end of the month is that:

When you lust after a pricey electronic toy all month, thinking, "but I get paid at the end of the month", writing out a cheque for that same amount of money plus another hundred dollars to give to your landlord... well, the fire of lust does dampen a bit.

Though I carried my Acer Aspire 5570 laptop to school and back two days in a row and I think my body would like me to get a smaller, lighter computer. (My kid-brain just wants any excuse for one of those floppy keyboards...)
charloween: (Default)
What do you think about netbooks? Useful, wasteful, the perfect size for a little on-the-go computing or too damn small to be worth anything?

Grabbing a cute little computer so soon after getting my desktop resurrected seems to exceed my undefined budget for how many computers I can buy in any given 6-week span, but those little netbooks just seem... useful.

Or is this just a fad that I shouldn't waste money on?

I spend my time wondering about this rather than doing schoolwork )

Thoughts? Observations? Opinions? If you have a netbook, how do you use it? Do you like it? Should I be scared of buying anything from Acer again (my current laptop is Acer) or would HP do me fine (my workhorse of a desktop was HP and lasted 7ish years)?

*goes back to schoolwork, no really*

EDIT: I asked if I should get one and it said 78% yes (I should).
charloween: (goaty grin)
Since I'd started using, it's recorded just over 28,000 songs that I've played. I don't know how many hours of music that is, but it's enough to create amusement when I tune in to's "My Library" online radio station.

The "My Recommendations" station takes what you listen to and gives you things you've never heard before. The "My Library" station, on the other hand, takes only stuff you've played in the past and then plays it again. I bet it would suck as a feature if you've only logged a few dozen songs, but I've given it a bit more to play with.

Now, some time in the last three years, I must've listened to Elton John's "My Father's Gun". I don't know when or why, but I did. And I was logged in to at the time, and it knows all.

The point here is that I'm just tickled that's giant computer brain decided that the first two songs I wanted to listen to this morning were Hayseed Dixie's cover of "Rockn' In The Free World" followed by that Elton John song. *pats giant computer brain*
charloween: (Default)
Did you know the Beatles recorded Christmas greetings? I did not, until The Onion told me so. Scattered throughout this recording (from 1963) are some of the best verses of "Good King Wenceslaus" that you've never heard.


Jun. 19th, 2008 12:42 pm
charloween: (arty TARDIS)
My abstract got accepted to the Whoniverse Conference!

I'm on the technology panel, which rocks.

This means I'm a) officially an A-1 nerd and b) officially an academic!  I might also be c) officially insane, because the conference is in Cardiff.  But I'm also d) looking for flights to Wales, and they're not that pricy.

I've got months and months to prepare, and to figure out what the heck one does when one presents* at a conference ([personal profile] thucyken , [profile] piratefanatic : expect many emails), and plan another day of standing in line at the RSC to buy tickets to see David Tennant in Love's Labours Lost on the tail-end of its run.  Hey, a girl can dream.

[profile] whoniverse_conf  has updates about the conference.

I'm going to run around and tell everyone at the office now.  :D

*about the convergence of avant-garde and commercial forms of electronic music in the early days of the medium; more accurately the way the work of the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop (peopled by innovators and then-cutting-edge sound artists) reached a large audience through being the ambient noise and background music of classic Doctor Who episodes...
charloween: (pure style)
York University Commons, taken through a window on the south side of the bus loop

See? I can take pictures on my phone! There's even a little button on the side that's like a shortcut to the picture-taking menu! I'm sure the novelty will fade in a week or so, but until then I'm having lots of fun.
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