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Posts Tagged ‘personal’

On Glamour Magazine & Bono

"Bono Just Became Glamour's First Man of the Year," exclaims the headline at Glamour Magazine. Note that it does not say, contra to the claims of reporters and commentators seemingly everywhere, that he's been named Woman of the Year, and most definitely not the Woman of the Year.

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How Many Days In A Month?

Mother very thoughtfully made a jam sandwich under no protest.

That, Gentle Reader, is a now-outdated mnemonic for the order of the planets going outwards from the sun. (The T is for Terra, an alternative name for the Earth.) The suggestions for non-Plutonian versions given on The Fount Of All Knowledge™ seem lacking to me in that, unlike the above, they omit the asteroid belt; but I must admit I do quite like "Mary's 'virgin' explanation made Joseph suspect upstairs neighbour."

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Is There A Mathematician In The House?

So, what it is; I'm hoping for help from a mathematician, should one happen to read this. But first, a complaint, the discussion of which may well end up taking longer than the actual topic…

The commonly given definition of a mathematical exponent (rather than an exponent of mathematics, which would be an enthusiastic maths teacher; I'm here all week, folks!) is that it represents how many times a given number should be multiplied by itself. Even as a child—a rather pedantic child, I should admit, but I know for a fact that I wasn't the only one—when I was given this explanation by a maths teacher, I found it both misleading and ambiguous.

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Since I'm now an over-fifty, I'm officially old enough to make posts about how youngsters these days don't know how lucky they are, compared to the days of my yoof, when we had to make our own entertainment out of clods of earth, pocket-fluff and string (the hairy Post Office kind). And since I was wittering on, a while back, about it being a good thing that vinyl makes cherry-picking of favourite tracks more difficult, let's consider what we did when we did want to have a bunch of favourites play one after the other.

These days, of course, creating a playlist is easy. Drag 'n' drop as many files as you want into your preferred music playing program, re-order to taste, and Bob's yer aunty's significant other; one playlist, created in seconds or minutes. And if you like the list enough, you can save it as a playlist file (.m3u or whatever), and have your very own compilation album, available for your listening pleasure at a couple of mouse-clicks. And there's no limit on the duration of the thing, either. (Billy music player* informs me that a playlist consisting of all of the contents of my main music folder, for instance, is three weeks, five days, twelve hours, forty-seven minutes and twenty-nine seconds long.)

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We 'ad one once, but it ran out of oomph an' Father said "humph,"
An' 'e took it to pieces an' straightened the creases,
Replaced all the strings an' tightened the springs
An' it worked again for a week or four, 'til it fell on the floor
An' its get-up-an'-go just got up an' went.
So up to the attic, it were sent.

Yeah we 'ad one once, but it weren't much cop so we left it to rot,
But now they say 'tis retro an' cool, an' they think me a fool
For pointin' out 'twas a bad design an' it broke all the time,
That the 'andles fell off at the 'int of a cough.
They grasp this "classic" wi' satisfied purr.
Useless bloody thing, it were.

Daz


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Beginning with a digression, the first shot, by Mark Selby, of the two shots in this video was voted shot of the championship in the recently-finished world snooker championship. For my money, though, Marco Fu's reply is just as good, if not better. Okay, he ended up leaving a shot on the yellow, but he performed a small miracle just by hitting the damned thing.

Getting on to my topic proper, this post on northierthanthou reminded me of something which always strikes me when I see what are purported to be detailed maps of other countries. Where are the youth hostels, the churches, the pubs, the carefully differentiated single- and multiple-tracked railways, the coniferous and deciduous forests? Where are the gravel-pits (not to be confused with the sand-pits!), the bridleways and footpaths; the camping sites and historical battle sites and triangulation-points? I've seen them all on foreign maps, but never all on the same maps. How lucky are we in Britain, in other words, to have access to the Ordnance Survey map, rather than having to buy multiple specialist maps?

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Vinyl

I'm in the middle of a quite major living-space reorganisation; and all because I needed to make room for some audio equipment.

Some time early last year, my old eighties-vintage hi-fi unit, which I'd been using as an amplifier for the computer's audio output, finally gave up the ghost. Everything bar the amp had died long since, so playing vinyl was summat I hadn't done for simply ages, even by then. And so my music-listening has, for well over a year, been accomplished via the not-exactly-satisfactory medium of a pair of basic desktop PC speakers.

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