- I was talking with someone about thermometers (of all things), and
I mentioned that when I was a kid, the thermometers we used at my house
when we got sick were these little plastic strips with dots printed at
one end, and the higher your temperature was, the more dots would change
And as I said that, I thought, wait, that's crazy —
I've never seen any such thing in the media or in stores or anything like
Were these actually a real thing?
And, to my relief, whew, yes they were:
- For years now I have been touting UC Berkeley's webcast site,
starting back when it was an archive of locally hosted Real video and
audio files — remember Real? — and continuing even
after all that content was taken down and replaced with an initially much
smaller set of Youtube links.
But this month, after the new semester's course list mysteriously failed
to appear, I clicked over to the webcast site and found this message:
"webcast.berkeley.edu has changed. New lectures will not be
available through this site to the public."
- One drawback of e-readers: if you spill something on a page, you spill
it on every page.
- In summing up the central conflict of the movie
In lieu of a romance plot, we get a story about the relationship between Merida and her mother, which falls along the lines you might expect: "I know what's best for you!" "You don't know the real me at all!"
The problem? Those weren't actually quotes from the movie. They were paraphrases. I eventually reworked that sentence to put the paraphrased dialogue in italics rather than in quotes, with a "vs." in between the two pieces. But that doesn't seem optimal. It feels like we use quotation marks for so many different things aside from direct quotation — paraphrases, scare quotes, denoting titles, etc. — that we should probably use a different type of punctation for those things… or, hell, maybe it'd be easier to just use a different type of punctuation for direct quotations. I thought about using chevrons, as French does, which would look like this:
In lieu of a romance plot, we get a story about the relationship between Merida and her mother, which falls along the lines you might expect: «I know what's best for you!» «You don't know the real me at all!»
…but every time I used that device I would need to explain it. Sigh.
- While I was researching my article on The Amazing Spider-Man, I happened
across a section of a Wikipedia article that listed other writers who had
quoted her "jackpot" line in one of their works.
I was startled to discover that someone had added me to that list!
(Princess Charlotte quotes it in Varicella.)
- After typing in the wrong window once too often, I was going to make a joke about how operating systems should direct keystrokes to whatever window you happen to be looking at, but on second thought there probably are people working on that very idea.