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Poor Stieg Larsson

That didn't take long

The Girl Who Fixed the Umlaut
by Nora Ephron


...

Salander opened the door a crack and spent several paragraphs trying to decide whether to let Blomkvist in. Many italic thoughts flew through her mind. Go away. Perhaps. So what. Etc.

“Please,” he said. “I must see you. The umlaut on my computer isn’t working.”

He was cradling an iBook in his arms. She looked at him. He looked at her. She looked at him. He looked at her. And then she did what she usually did when she had run out of italic thoughts: she shook her head.

“I can’t really go on without an umlaut,” he said. “We’re in Sweden.”

But where in Sweden were they? There was no way to know, especially if you’d never been to Sweden. A few chapters ago, for example, an unscrupulous agent from Swedish Intelligence had tailed Blomkvist by taking Stora Essingen and Gröndal into Södermalm, and then driving down Hornsgatan and across Bellmansgatan via Brännkyrkagatan, with a final left onto Tavastgatan.

...

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[OralHistory] 1918 Flu Epidemic

The last few times I've gone to Goa, I've conducted a few oral history interviews with my parents and anyone else who will sit still long enough to answer my questions.

This time, in talking to my dad, I found out that my grandfather was hired as a grave digger in 1918/19. He was probably around 16/17 at that time, and my dad remembers stories about how they would have a funeral procession (Goa is very catholic) to bury someone who had died, come back to the village church and find another body ready for burial.

I'm glad H5N1 was not as brutal in its virulence.

Soap opera update

Continuing from where they got to from last time, this time around there's been a murder, a robbery and an attempted poisoning.

The woman that had been tied up and consequently lost her man, tries to poison the guy because apparently, he should have known better. And the woman who married into the house had her jewelry stolen and called the cops, which caused a huge scandal in the family and the neighbors, because this sort of thing is just not done. And I missed the plot-line where the guy (the attempted poisoning victim)'s sister has her husband kidnapped and killed for some reason, and she's told that he's gone away. And she discovers a locked trunk in an unused room in the house and breaks the trunk open to discover bloodstained garments.

Whew. I can't wait to get back....

AAA and alternatives

I don't normally think of an auto club as something that works against my long term interests, and it was disconcerting to realize that AAA has been lobbying against the clean air act and opposing new rules that require cleaner burning exhausts. This reprint from Harpers, 2002 lays it all out.

Here's another critique.

I was looking at options to CSAA and came across Better World Club.

A big benefit I can see with BWC is that they have a bicycle assistance program!

Is anyone using Better World Club? What do you think?

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Zun

Saturday, dr_memory and whynotkay brought over some drumsticks they found at the farmers market.

While I was prepping them for cooking I started wondering about words that exist in other languages but don't have an analog in English. Zun is one and in Konkani means a fruit or vegetable whose seeds are viable, but the fruit is still not ripe. If you pick a zun fruit/vegetable, allow it to dry and then plant it, it will germinate.


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Zun is also used when referring to people. If the person is older, it means senile and for a kid, it's usually used in the negative sense, as in you're not yet zun, grasshopper, wait a few years.

That got me wondering: is there a word in English that means something similar? I guess I could use mature, since zun seems to be the equivalent of puberty in fruits, but that's not quite it. And while we do call vegetables tender, it does not really mean the opposite of zun.

Aah, languages!

The impossible project

Good lord, they did it!


New York City, March 22, 2010.

The Impossible Project started in October 2008 at the last preserved Polaroid plant in Enschede (The Netherlands) with the aim to save anlog Instant Photography from extinction; today it presented its significant result. After 17 months of research and development, The Impossible Project announced that it succeeded in its task of re-producing a new analog Instant Film for traditional Polaroid cameras. Containing more than 30 newly developed components, Impossible today introduced a new, monochrome Instant Film - the PX 100 and PX 600 Silver Shade


Ok, it's only b&w for now (and it seems I was late to the party), but this is an exciting development.

[Garden] Strawberries!

Had the first strawberry of the season, ripened on the plant.


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It was very sweet. Should have lots more next year.

Six more months...

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Before I find out how it turned out.

The good news is, it'll be ready for the holidays this year.

Mazrak sath jiu

is a Goan proverb that translates to "seven lives of a cat".

Which got me wondering: how many lives do cats have in other cultures?

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[movie] Bounty Hunter

I went to see this with beckastar.

I picked the romantic comedy because a. I thought it would be funny and b. I hadn't seen one in a long time (Trial and Error was the last one that I remember).

And from what I remember, Trial and Error was better than this one.

Avoid it: the characters are non-existent, and the screenplay felt like the writer had taken one of McKee's story classes and come away with exactly the wrong idea. So instead of using character as the basis for the story, they were using the plot to drive the story.

Which made every plot twist and turn completely predictable. And I was a little annoyed that they had missed a few completely obvious comebacks.

This is a terrible movie. I was cringing through most of it. Sorry beckastar.

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