Oct 302009

We highly recommend it to you.

Brains — Let’s face it, as a class medievalists are just plain smarter than other people. Academic medievalists can often read more dead languages than most people can read living languages. We know what happened between the fall of Rome and the discovery of the New World. We know art, philosophy, you name it. You’ll never find conversation with a medievalist dull.

Apocalypse — If civilization collapses, who would you rather be with: the National Guard, or the Society for Creative Anachronism? I’d go with the SCA, because as soon as the gasoline and ammo run out, you’ll need guys who can fletch their own arrows and pierce a zombie’s eye at 50 yards. Never again have a date go bad because of unexpected apocalypse.

Plenty of other good reasons there, too.

H/T A Commonplace Book.

Sep 162009

In the last two days, I have been led to believe, by the search terms that lead people to this blog, that the hardest word in the English language to spell is ‘Australian.’ Here are a few of the variations since yesterday:


Oddly enough, these orthographically-challenged Googlers all seem to be searching for websites that feature Australian women having sex.

Except for the one visitor who spelled Australian correctly, whose entire search term was perfectly capitalised, punctuated, and somehow managed to convey the author’s sense of incredulousness: “Do Australians really fuck sheep?”

Sep 162009

Lately I have been debating the merits of Blogger vs. WordPress from the point of view of one who knows little about web technology, i.e. myself.

Blogger pros include all kinds of funky little settings you can play around with, like comment functions and notifications, and the ability to download free templates (or, if you are awesome, which I’m not, design a template yourself or fins out what the cost of an ecommerce website is and start from there) and use them, also for free. Downsides include not-so-friendly user interface and no stats page.

WordPress pros: friendly user interface and the stats page. Downsides: if you have a free account, you can only use the templates they let you use – no messing around with your blog’s appearance unless you pay.

And there is one drawback they both share: it is very difficult to find a template that doesn’t use sans-serif fonts. I hate sans-serif fonts. They’re hard on my senescing eyeballs. My total cheapness means that I can’t do anything about that in WordPress anyway. My total ignorance of code means that even though I could change this on Blogger, I don’t know how.

Also, although you can convert a Blogger blog to WordPress, you cannot, apparently, convert a WordPress blog to Blogger, which means that if I went apostate, I’d essentially have to start all over again and hope that the people who read this blog care enough to get the new feed address or whatever.

(Am I displaying my lack of tech savoir-faire well enough?)

Does anybody recommend Blogger over WordPress, or vice versa, and have any advice to offer me in my dilemma? Or should I just gird my loins and fork over the ten ‘credits’ WordPress demands in return for versatility?

(And please, no anti-Google screeds. I’m not a Google fanatic but I’m afraid Satan’s corporate corruption has already tainted me, in that some time ago I went Google Mail and I’ll never go back.)

Jun 052009

From memory:

Jacqui Smith.
Hazel Blears.
Beverley Hughes.
Tom Watson.
James Purnell.
John Hutton.
Geoff Hoon.
Margaret Beckett.
Tony McNulty.
Caroline Flint.

And why, when I google ‘uk minister resignation,’ is Al-Jazeera the top result? Suspicious, no?

Anyway, dare I say it: this meltdown is vastly more exciting than any other political event I’m old enough to remember, including Obama’s this-that-and-the-other. Although I was a child when the Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet Union fell apart, and Germany was reunified, these things meant nothing to me, living as I did with no understanding of twentieth-century Europe.

But I know a good farce when I see one, and I concur heartily with Obo: break out the popcorn. This truly is turning out to be The Best Show On Earth. Big, toothy, gleefully sadistic smiles all round.

Mar 122009

The other night, after finishing my umpteenth reading of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, the creative urge struck. Just as the anti-hero is a non-traditional, pragmatic protagonist, I thought it might be fun to write something about an anti-Faust: a non-traditional, pragmatic protagonist who sells his soul to the devil. I produced a couple of introductory paragraphs, which I reread earlier this evening, before (a) I ran out of steam, and (b) thinking about Led Zeppelin distracted me.

One marathon job-application-session and three glasses of wine later, I’m fascinated by the idea again. So I’ve given the burblings their own page on ye olde blog. Hurrah!