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Archive for February, 2005

Smarm factor blossoming

Sunday, February 27th, 2005

It’s the end of that time of year here: the annual flower count, where Victorianites get to drive the rest of Canada crazy with our smarmy smugness over our mild climate. Last February (2004), residents and other boosters counted 1,877,329,190 flowers. This year, residents counted 4,773,559,217 flowers. And, for the first time in years, I […]

What are we trying to say with names?

Sunday, February 27th, 2005

Something about names struck me the other day. Looking through xeroxes of a sort of family tree my paternal grandmother had drawn up decades ago, the surnames all struck me as consistently and weirdly heterogeneous, especially when read as a list: Distaff: Lampert, Rixmann, Plocner, Wiesel, Bonn, Welker, May, Crein, Riegel, Walbroels, Zorn, Arndt, Zimmerschith, […]

Well, that was a msitake

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

There’s a serious bug in this blogging software. As I’ve complained in the past, I can’t use simple html in the posting window, unless I use Internet Explorer. If I try to blog something using any other browser, all my little ‘s are turned into &’s and ;’s, and hyperlinks lie dead on the ground. […]


Monday, February 21st, 2005

One of the things I like about using the variant of tagging allowed on Flickr‘s profile pages is indulging in vanity searches, flattering myself when I turn up really cool people who share my interest. I can mentally associate with them for brief micromoments, which is a kind of pointless indulgence, but it’s fun all […]

Signs of summer coming

Saturday, February 19th, 2005

This morning, as kidlings and self sat around the dining room table pondering questions such as, “An artist wants to completely cover [sic: split infinitive, ack!] a rectangle with identically sized squares which do not overlap and do not extend beyond the edges of the rectangle. If the rectangle is 60 1/2 cm long and […]

John Berger’s Dispatches

Friday, February 18th, 2005

I’m having a hard time with language lately. It feels strange because it seems to be blending into an envelope without markers, eluding me with its absence of edge. Guilt over the language-based tasks I’m leaving undone, including (e)mail to friends as well as various official words I need to shoot through the fog, magnifies […]

How to avoid going up in flames on Valentine’s Day: eat more fish and get a nanotech mattress made in China

Monday, February 14th, 2005

My [other] alma mater has a new electronically-available alumni magazine called Grad Gazette. Already, two articles caught my eye. First, there’s Old Computers and Toxic Waste, which profiles UBC engineer Monica Danon-Schaffer, who theorises that it’s all those computers in landfills that are causing the unbelievable build up of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) — flame […]


Sunday, February 13th, 2005

Among the disturbing news of neo-nazis on the march in Dresden, this article (published the day before the Feb.13th anniversary) presents valuable historical background: The myth of the “innocent art metropolis” that was unprepared and unfairly destroyed was started by the Nazis. They used the horrible images of charred bodies and smoldering ruins as propaganda […]


Saturday, February 12th, 2005

I entered a CBC literary writing contest some months ago (and I’m not linking to the contest site directly — you should work for this and sleuth, if you’re really interested, ha!). The contest has three categories: short story; travel writing-slash-memoir; poetry. I entered the oddly balled-up “travel writing/ memoir” category. Last week I received […]

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