Wednesday, April 20, 2005

See, Mom??? All those wasted mornings...

When I was little, my mother would often tell my brothers and I that we couldn't do fun things outside or with our friends or whatever unless we made our beds first. Well, she may have doomed us to a childhood of respiratory problems. National Geographic this month has a short news piece about a recent study that suggests that microscopic dust mites are less likely to survive in unmade beds since the exposure to air dehydrates them. In a nicely-made bed, warmth and moisture that get trapped in the smoothed sheets may help dust mites thrive.

Yet another justification for my post-parental-home slovenly nature. Now if only I could find a way out of doing the dishes forever and ever :)

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Booklist

I just added National Geographic magazine to my list of "Currently Reading", since it occurred to me that I sometimes spend an awful lot of time reading it instead of books. My parents gave me a subscription two years ago for Christmas - they had cancelled their subscription earlier that year on the alleged basis that "no one ever reads it" - my little brother and I then proceeded to list off 5 or 6 articles that had recently appeared in the magazine and then subsequently discussed at the dinner-table - hence the gift subscription - and I quite enjoy it. I enjoy the variety of articles, though it can be fairly American-centered at times. I don't always get around to the entire magazine each month (though I try!) and I often read past issues that I never finished the first time around, but I figured I find it interesting so you will too!

This month's cover story was on Homo Florensis, nicknamed Hobbit, who lived about 18,000 years ago. The amazing thing is that Homo Florensis, found on Flores Island, a small island a few "hops" east of Bali in Indonesia, should not have been able to make it there at all (lack of sufficiently advanced watercraft, etc.). Another quite enjoyable article was about so-called "killer whales", or orca, on the Pacific West Coast. There are three different kinds of orca - residents, who stay near coastlines and eat only fish; transients, who venture further out to sea and eat only marine mammals (apparently in the 1970s, when orcas were commonly caught and put in captivity, one pod went refused the fish it was offered even after one of its members died of starvation; only later did scientists discover that there is a distinct type of killer whale which never eats fish), and are likely the ones who gave orcas their "killer whale" label; and finally, a third type whose name escapes me at the moment (and I'm too lazy to go look in the magazine which is in the next room) which stays mostly out at deep sea, coming only occasionally to the coastlines (it eats fish and some marine mammals). Anyway, I like it.

As far as my book reading goes, I am almost finished Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto. (OK, I admit it: I just like saying her name.) And I will start posting on pixxiefish in the stacks soon*. And - argh! I was about to put a link to my index page for my new website (just an index), but Geocities (whom I hate anyhow) is telling me it doesn't exist. So, ah, I need to figure that out. Besides, it won't be more than an index page until I re-remember how to do CSS - I have 423 photos to post and, as I do profess to be somewhat of a semi-geek, I believe that will be the simplest way for me to post them all. Any other suggestions, please let me know! And as soon as I figure out a way to make work fade to the background (it's been a busy two weeks), I will reclaim my rightful place as Somewhat Of A Part-Time Computer Nerd.

* Rebecca, so glad you like the name.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Betcha' can't play just once!

Enter at your own risk : DINKYBALL!!!!!

Warning : Not recommended for students or working folk or anyone who basically needs to get something done during the day.

There are more fun things here, but I haven't had the chance to check most of it out yet myself, so I make no warranties or representations as to its quality and/or general fun levels...

Also, I swear this game is not the reason why I haven't posted in two weeks. I swear.