Aug. 27th, 2017 05:07 pm
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Was talking to [personal profile] matgb and [personal profile] innerbrat and [personal profile] magister yesterday and Mat told me how interesting Korean seems as a language: "Nobody really knows where it came from," he said. It's not related to other languages. Apparently there's a debate about whether Korean is related to Tamil, thanks to traders along the Silk Road, but that seems pretty mysterious in itself: why would that one group of people or words make an impact where apparently nothing else did?

I knew a little about the Korean writing system, which is also unique and intends to have similar sounds also look similar, and there's some connection between the characters and how the sounds they represent are made when they're spoken. This system, hangul, was apparently designed by the great Sejong, a 15th-century king (though he may have had help!), who was concerned at how few people could read and write so made this to help more people do so. He said, "A wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days." So maybe there's hope even for me! Amid early opposition from a literary elite that apparently liked being an elite, hangul was apparently used mainly for things like women's diaries and books for children. Which just makes it sound all the more awesome to me, frankly.

Then Debi started talking about all the Korean dramas she could tell me about that she liked. I can't remember the names, sadly, but she was able to inform me that they all involve a lot of women cross-dressing. She isn't sure if that's a facet of Korean culture or just that which has filtered through to and appealed to her. Girls dressing up as their brothers to get educations not available to women and that sort of thing seemed to be common.

Then James was telling me about a zombie movie (which I think is called The Train to Busan?) that he says is really good. "You should learn Korean so you can watch that without having to worry about the subtitles," he said.

Imagine, me turning up to Korean class on the first day and being asked why I'm there. "I've heard the dramas and zombie movies are good."
hollymath: (Default)
For those fortunate enough not to know about Facebook, it has a feature where you can add to your updates what you're feeling, reading, drinking, eating, and a bunch of other options, one of which is "watching."

It's just another way for Facebook to gather saleable data on you, but it's successful enough that I find it appealing enough to use sometimes. As I did the other day when I started watch my birthday present from [personal profile] miss_s_b, a box set of the Sherlock Holmes ITV series from the 80s (well, mostly...it looks 80s to me anyway).

To distinguish this from all the other Sherlock Holmes movies and TV shows I might have wanted to say I was watching, I saw that Facebook called it Sherlock Holmes With Jeremy Brett, not quite its official name but how a lot of people refer to it, perhaps because all these shows and movies seem to end up being called "Sherlock Holmes" and hopefully partly because Jeremy Brett is just so great. (I call him my favorite TV Sherlock Holmes because that means I don't have to decide whether I like him or Clive Merrison better.)

So such Facebook posts end up being structured: "[person] is [reading/watching/eating/doing] [book/movie/food/whatever]. Mine said "Holly is watching Sherlock Holmes With Jeremy Brett."

The first comment underneath says "I like the way this status makes it look as though you and Jeremy are cuddled up on the sofa together, dissecting the plot.

An, of course, irresistible idea. I declared that this was exactly what I would imagine happening.

And, true enough, tonight I am doing the unusual thing of watching stuff in bed, just because I'm too cold to be anywhere else (this afternoon I spent, for reasons I'm too tired to go into, an hour outside without my coat and then three hours in a flat with the door open...). I'm under all the duvets. And if Jeremy wants to cuddle up and dissect the plot again, I'll warm up quicker!
hollymath: (Default)
Friend of mine (his tweets are locked; no one any of you know anyway I think) tweeted
"Whatever Happened to My Transylvania Twist?": Nostalgia and Modernity in Vampire Culture
(Followed by some explanation of the quote: "I've spent an uncommon amount of time thinking about the lyrics to "Monster Mash," and that line especially." His silly, very suited-to-the-medium-of-twitter idea resolves its tension when Dracula finally accepts the historical process of the dialectic and joins the band.)

But I read this first tweet and smiled and then suddenly realized how intense nostalgia would be in a long-lived or immortal species. And now I really want to read this treatise. And it doesn't exist.

This feeling of longing to read a book that doesn't exist is probably the kind of thing you'd get in a book about the nostalgia that vampires have.
hollymath: (Default)
Now I want a t-shirt that says

hollymath: (Default)
* It pleases me that I started coveting this shirt while I was holding a boy's hand.

[personal profile] magister told me about a t-shirt he spotted when we were out today (which of course I missed, so I'm glad he did tell me!) that said "Girls don't like boys, girls like ghosts and Jillian Holtzmann."

This is a convention I learned about from this slogan:

but quick googling tonight found me this and now I want it so much.
hollymath: (Default)
So [personal profile] miss_s_b sorta hinted at wanting a Six/Evelyn story (her favorite Doctor, my favorite companion (and one of her favorites too but I'm less sure it has the top spot for her than I am for me)) fluff...

...and because I do love Evelyn so much and there are never enough stories about her, this was sufficient for me to want to write something. Especially for such an appreciative audience as would be, if I got it right.

But, I'm no good at fiction. I can never come up with ideas (it's why I have no problem blogging: this's just about stuff that's actually happened to me!). What could I do that'd be worthy of such beloved characters?

Since Andrew's out of the house tonight, I was with the Hamilton soundtrack without headphones, loud. (I was also vacuuming, these being two thing Andrew can't tolerate when he's in the house so I have to save them for when he's not. I know how to enjoy my rare evenings home alone, oh yes.)

So naturally I thought What would Evelyn the historian think of Hamilton? Other than that it's Not Her Period, of course... There is already a Six/Evelyn American-history story (it's a theatrical story, even!), and it's a good one -- Assassin in the Limelight -- but still.

Oh man. I just realized that such a story might be a really good home for [personal profile] po8crg's idea that Britain calling it "the American War of Independence" is arguably racist/white-supremacist... Now I wanna write this even more.
hollymath: (Default)
I just read a post in a local facebook group that says "Are there any electricians on here who can explain the strange happenings in my home?" and now I'm hoping I live at the beginning of a gently supernatural story.
hollymath: (Default)
So it turns out 70s TV The Incredible Hulk is a thing.

James and I are watching it and he says "I love how he turns into the Hulk when he gets 'angry or outraged.' "

"Good thing they didn't have Twitter then," I said.

"I was gonna say: 'Damn, someone's been misgendered!...oh shit. I really liked that shirt...' "

I then imagined a comic or something about Hulk spending his evenings mending shirts, thinking to himself "this is the one where [twitter.com profile] DHLinton got called 'a fucking feminatzi' and they thought there was a t in the middle of the word 'nazi'...this was the one I was wearing when I learned that Chibnall got the Doctor Who job, this one is where England lost three wickets in the time it took me to eat breakfast..."

The possibilities are endless.
hollymath: (Default)
There's an xkcd survey. It's just full of random questions, like a poll from the good old days on LJ.

Here's my favorite question, and my answer:
When you think about stuff on the internet, where do you picture it being physically located? Even if you know it's not really how things work, is there a place you imagine websites and social media posts sitting before you look at them? If so, where is it?

A big box somewhere. Probably in California. I met a guy yesterday who said he was from the part of California that was the most likely target after 9/11 because Google and Facebook and Apple are based there. So I reckon the big box where everything is is probably there. Or else it's in space. Nearby. A sort of low-Earth orbit.
I remember there being like fifty places that were all the "#1 post-9/11 target," I think it was a badge of honor for a while to live near somewhere important enough to be the next place to get blown up. But the California guy didn't seem too impressed with my theory -- he was very California.

And it's easy for me to say since during 9/11 I was going to college in the middle of a prairie, you had to drive 45 minutes just to see a movie or go to Target, so we were under no illusions about our importance as a strategic military target.
hollymath: (Default)
Having a statistically-significant other who's an engineer means I don't want t-shirt/badge/whatever that says SMASH THE PATRIARCHY; I want one that calls for CONTROLED DEMOLITION OF THE PATRIARCHY.
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Yesterday I announced, first to [livejournal.com profile] softfruit's front room and then to Facebook, "I'm totally doing a zine about how Pluto's only a planet according to the social model of planetude."

(Cf the social model of disability, for anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about...something that's been on my mind lately because I'm trying to get myself "on the grid," so to speak, after only nine years in the UK flailing around or making excuses or being too crazy to sort anything out.)

It got a bunch of 'like's on Facebook and for the rest of the evening any time I said anything silly or overly-excitable, [livejournal.com profile] haggis said "You can make a zine about it." And [twitter.com profile] chellaquint, who I saw hosting Comedy in Space again over the weekend. And she remembered me from last time, bless her, even though it was a year and a half ago, and she told me I should go to Sheffiled zinefest in a month (as did her fiancée, who I'd been talking to before about language geekery), and since I'm not on Twitter any more Chella and I are Facebook friends now so when I said this about Pluto she said, "Please bring this to zine fest because OMG". Even though she thinks Pluto should be a planet! (I'm quite glad she likes me despite this rift (which, as [livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours pointed out, is useful for telling us apart because otherwise Chella and I are a so alike!))

And when Andrew saw that, he said "when you do that zine I can help you with the desktop publishing software," and I said "what do you mean, 'when'?" Not even any "if"!

So if I'm not careful I'm going to end up writing about Pluto as an innocent object disabled by our ideas of how planets are better than non-planets.

(I think there's an interesting queer theory angle there too, about labels and how they're chosen...)


Feb. 2nd, 2015 05:23 pm
hollymath: (Default)
Last Sunday, I got an e-mail that at first looked like a spam. But having already opened it, I realized it was short enough and in simple enough German that I could figure out that it was in fact intended for someone called Hannelore with the same last name as me (I was immediately envious, as Hannelore's a much better name than Holly, but it's also something I can never change my name to now as it'd make it even more difficult for the right e-mails to get to the right person), and since my e-mail address includes my first initial and my last name, I could see how this guy (Dietz!) could reasonably have thought he was addressing Hannelore.

One of my good deeds for that day was employing my poor German language skills enough to say (I hope) that this e-mail address was not the one Dietz wanted. This despite [livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours's suggestion that I ask the guy for Hannelore's address so we could be penfriends, though that did make me smile.

But I got no reply to my I'm-not-Hannelore e-mail and forgot all about it...until this afternoon, when I got a delivery confirmation from lidl-shop.de for something Hannelore has apparently ordered.

So naturally the first thing I do is text [livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours. "I could be Hannelore's penfriend now!" I was excited to learn that she lives someplace called Königslutter am Elm, which I've since been reading about on Wikipedia, so now I know what its coat of arms looks like and its mayor's name.

So basically anything I thought I'd get done this afternoon has been abandoned in favor of learning what things like "Versandkostenpauschale" mean and looking at pictures like this:

Pleasingly living up to stereotype, there. But I know not to put too much faith in such things: if I did send her a letter and told her I was from Manchester and she looked that up on Wikipedia, she'd get the impression that it's a city that has sunlight.
hollymath: (Default)

I'm sure it's purest coincidence that it was the train conductor I immediately thought was cute (she clearly had a sense of humor) who left me a heart on my ticket.
hollymath: (Default)
And I got such great ones this year!

In 2015, minnesattva resolves to...
Take evening classes in baseball.
Overcome my secret fear of liberals.
Go to enthusiasm every Sunday.
Stop cuddling with whipchick.
Find a better procrastination.
Go to the road trips every month.

Get your own New Year's Resolutions:

But...but [livejournal.com profile] whipchick's so irresistible and cuddly!
hollymath: (Default)
Now every time I wear my new sandals I have to think about [livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours saying they're "half bondage half Roman soldier."
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Given the hopelessness of me even determining my Favorite Fictional Character (this year's BiCon ball theme), and the exponentially greater unlikelihood that if I do they'll be someone short and fat who I can dress up as without much trouble, I've already determined that if I go to the ball, I'll say I'm a Doctor Who from the future.
hollymath: (Default)
Heard some marvelously crazy-sounding birds outside my house this morning.

I wish I knew enough to identify bird calls. I'm the world's worst birdwatcher (as proved when we had to go out and write down the names of all the birds we saw in my tenth grade biology class; I had a lot of conversations with my clueless teacher that went "look, see that one there?" "nope" "there, in that tree!" "nope, sorry" "but how can you not, look, it's right--!?" "nope!") but I'd like to learn what they sound like.

There must be a CD you can get to practice identifying the bird calls of Britain, like the ones I got from the OU to learn other languages, that repeat the noise a couple of times, give you a chance to shout out your guess, and then tell you it was a bluetit or whatever.


Feb. 25th, 2014 09:54 am
hollymath: (Default)
I bought a shredder yesterday on my way home from work. I feel so boring and grown-up.

My whole week is boring and grown-p.

Except I'm having a very un-grown-up desire to shove all the old papers through it. The mislaid, the poorly filed, the neglected and unobtainable even if we needed them...

A new start is always tempting.

For now!

Jan. 13th, 2014 12:20 pm
hollymath: (Default)
A parody article I wish were true!

Yesterday while waiting for the tube, [livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours were sitting in front of a big ad for a fizzy drink whose slogan apparently is "live for now".

"That looks like it says "live...for now!" I said, inflecting the words like a cartoon villain. It made [livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours laugh, and by the time our train arrived we'd concocted a whole little dystopia about how this drink contains the antidote to a poison that the villain had already introduced into the water supply. And in keeping with the extreme sports imagery of the drink, the antidote is only activated by adrenaline in the bloodstream, so you not only have to keep drinking the soda, but also do exciting, adrenaline-stimulating things to survive (fans of Big Finish might be here thinking of "Phobos", but it was D who came up with this bit and I don't think he's heard it; I was busy concocting lysine-in-Jurassic Park-esque scenarios myself).

This kind of thing is the only use I can see for advertising.
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] po8crg has made my day by telling me that if a foreigner is appointed to the House of Lords, they're automatically naturalized.

So this is now my plan. Rather than saving up loads of money and having to fill in forms and prove every aspect of my life that involves paperwork to the satisfaction of the immigration services, all of which is unbelievably shit and stressful and dehumanizing, I'm just going to be a peer.

And then you're in the House of Lords! They pay you a lot of money just to do that!

[livejournal.com profile] diffrentcolours asked if I can be Baroness of Minnesota, but apparently you can be "of" anywhere you like, so I've determined I'm going to be Baroness of the Moon. I like the Moon.


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