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Distractions [Aug. 22nd, 2006|02:44 pm]

Go visit this geography quiz...

And then go play this destructo-zombie-garden-creator game.... 
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(no subject) [Aug. 9th, 2006|01:34 am]

Today I fixed a computer belonging to a minister. I'm going to heaven.

I'm also going to Cambridge* and Geneva this weekend. Hurrah!

* via ferry and rail through Scotland. Wish me luck. 
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(no subject) [Jul. 16th, 2006|09:56 pm]
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[mood |anxiousanxious]
[music |GY!BE]

About 1840 a Catholic priest, Father Matthew, led a great temperance crusade through England, Scotland, and Ireland. It was one of the most successful that ever occurred; thousands took the pledge." One of them was an alcoholic physician named Kelly who practiced in Draperstown, Northern Ireland. "Aghast at the pleasure he had given up, but not wishing to break his pledge, [Dr. Kelly] cast about for a substitute. He had prescribed ether by mouth on occasion and knew of its pleasant effects. After a few personal experiments he imparted the knowledge to his friends and patients who had also taken the pledge." Ether sniffing became endemic in Draperstown.

Fifteen years later, when the British government placed a stiff tax on alcoholic beverages and when the constabulary clamped down on home distilled Irish whiskey, Kelly's discovery was recalled and exploited to the hilt. Ether, which was not subject to the tax, was distilled in London and shipped to Draperstown and other places in Northern Ireland by the ton. Ether "was preferred in some ways, and especially among the poor, to the now-expensive whiskey. The drunk was quick and cheap, and could be achieved several times a day without hangover. If arrested for drunkenness, the offender would be sober by the time the police station was reached."

A surgeon visiting Draperstown in 1878 remarked that the main street smelled like his surgery, where ether was used as an anesthetic. Old ether topers, he added, could finish off a three-ounce wineglassful at a single swig, without even water for a chaser. "Everyone who discussed this particular phenomenon," Dr. Nagle notes, "admitted that there appeared to be less chronic damage than with alcohol." But hazards were also noted: chronic gastritis, deaths from overdosage, and fatal burns from smoking while drinking–– for ether is extremely flammable.

--from Erowid.org

Who wants to go to Draperstown for Glasgowbury festival? This Saturday?

Still reading post-apocalyptic fiction, though have had to reintroduce some cheerier novels as mood-leaveners. Can recommend The Gate To Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper and The Last Ship by William Brinkley. Down To a Sunlit Sea by David Graham is rather less good though. The so-macho-it-hurts hero manages to land his airliner during a global nuclear war in a fallout free zone in the Azores, thus saving the lives of approx 600 passengers (some of who are orphans - bonus points!). If that isn't good enough, he goes on to figure out where to go for long-term shelter and how to get there, gets to sleep with two gorgeous women and manages all this on a non-stop diet of whisky and jazz cigarettes. Still looking for suggestions *hints at bookish flist*

All this death and destruction is weighing on my mind muchly, and I am reading up about how to make a radiation dosimeter and fallout shelter. Not sure what I can do about a global plague, or catastrophic climate change.
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Photos from last Hallowe'en [Jun. 28th, 2006|12:13 am]

Bah, I suck at being organised and taking films to be developed. Guess I'll have to go digital at some point...

Here be photos...Collapse )
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(no subject) [Jun. 23rd, 2006|01:35 am]
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Boing! Yay! Thank-you hello_chris for persuading me to come out to see Oppenheimer again. They fill me with glee - there's some music at http://www.myspace.com/oppenheimer if you wish to smile too...

You gotta love a band who get Tim Wheeler to do vocals on the album, then replace him in the live act with a Jedi cutout with a pasted on face. That nods along to the beat. Sinister.

Rah! Talked to Gunkel today, I might be popping over to the mainland at some point in August (possibly on my way to see Freija in Geneva). Many larks will be had, I expect.

This week, I have mostly been reading post-apocalyptic fiction. padzor must take the blame for starting me along this track by showing me the film of When The Wind Blows. On The Beach is amazing, but I wasnae so struck by Earth Abides. Other suggestions welcome...
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photo of my garden [Jun. 18th, 2006|08:28 pm]
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This is what happens when you tell Ewan to light a barbeque. Flames that are taller than Joanie.Collapse )
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How the Peace and Reconciliation Money is Spent: An Opera for our Place and Times [Jun. 7th, 2006|10:47 pm]
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Went to see an opera tonight in the Linenhall Library (private subscription library, which I'm very tempted to join). Music by Donizetti (L'elisir d'Amore) but with new words (in English, thank goodness). Story was about a Ulster politician called Fausta who made a bargain with a Eurocrat named Mestopheles: Money from Brussels in exchange for Ulster's soul. Unsuprisingly it all goes horribly wrong, the funds are mis-spent. The Civil Service and by extension the entire NI middle class are blamed. Went with dearbhloid (who is a civil servant responsible for doling out funding to community groups, although she hastened to note that she doesn't allocate European money :-)

Singers were amazing - I'd never seen opera sung in such a small place, and they can be so amazingly loud. Very good stuff. One night only at the library I'm afraid. Aren't you sorry you missed it?

I'm (slowly) making a Knit-thulu for fhtagn's birthday (belated). In fact I'm well behind on birthday wishes though I hope to catch up soon (sorry Matt and Ian). Pics when it is finished, probably. Body and legs are done, still to be done are head, arms, wings and tentacles. Bugger.

Uni is still fun, and I'm enjoying the peace&quiet now that term has ended. Not working hard enough, but when did I ever?

Other things planned this summer: Repeat trip to Kinnego Bay, crane-scaling, Glasgowbury and Electric Picnic. Maybe France for a wee bit? Tis all good.
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Scrake-tionary [May. 17th, 2006|10:39 pm]

My phone stores a list of all the words that you have had to teach it whilst texting.

Here goes:-


I'm not sure what these words say about me. I've got two restaurants and a coffeshop (Archana, Serai and Clements - all heartily recommended :-) and quite a lot of made-up words (badzoid, fooden-fooden, nyummen...) . Only one Irish word (craic).

Go check your phone to see if it has been making notes about the weird words you use in text messages. My list was under a menu option called "My Words".

Also, I trapped a Ewan. We went to stay at Joanie's house in Dunfanaghy - walked on beautiful Tramore beach (means 'big beach' in irish), drank muchos cider, played snooker and pool (I'm still crap). Back to Belfast and the weather minged mercilessly so we stayed in cooked and chatted and assigned positions on an imaginary starfleet vessel. I wanted to be a Klingon, but was over-ruled.
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Arth? [May. 10th, 2006|01:21 pm]
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Does anyone know what "Arth" means, in terms of mathematical notation? I'm a bit baffled (but might be missing something blindingly obvious)

Found it in this paper: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel1/2216/358/00006866.pdf?arnumber=6866

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I made this! [May. 2nd, 2006|06:22 pm]
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Knit in Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted (kindly imported from the US by Jakelet).

Felted in the bath this afternoon.

Twas my first time felting. So much fun! Nothing happens for a while and you begin to think that felting is a myth, and then all of a sudden it shrinks!

A prize for anyone guessing what it is. Yes, a non-knitted prize if you wish :-)

Lookee!Collapse )
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