Tidbits

The theme of this collection of linkiness? Research that I wish I was doing, in place of what I actually do:

  • Did you know that there are lexicography conferences? What do they do there, you ask? Well, among other things, they participate in word-making workshops, according to the wonderful blogger behind Dictionary Evangelist. My favorite of the neologisms described here is "Googlegänger" - 'the other person who shows up in Google search results when people search for you."
  • How does a chimpanzee's laughter differ from our own? Why does a stroke victim give a lopsided smile when asked to laugh on command, but laughs with both sides of the face when told a joke? Discover Magazine tries to get at the roots of laughter in this article. Would that I were doing this sort of research: "A number of tickle-related studies have convincingly shown that tickling exploits the sensorimotor system’s awareness of the difference between self and other: If the system orders your hand to move toward your belly, it doesn’t register surprise when the nerve endings there report being stroked. But if the touch is being generated by another sensorimotor system, the belly stroking will come as a surprise."
  • Check out the Open Library demo for an ebook that overcomes one of my major objections to the medium - the loading lag between pages - while managing to look really sumptuously tactile. It is a thing of beauty.
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In other news, I am still hard at work at The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, which is very easy to immerse myself in (phenomenal characterization!), but nonetheless somewhat slow going. I couldn't help but start Black Swan Green somehow, and it is also very gripping (I am glad to get back to my NYT Notable Books list). David Copperfield has, sadly, fallen by the wayside this weekend, and I begin to fear that I won't finish it this month (NOOOO!!!).

Yesterday D and I went bowling with the people he works with, and I discovered that I am a bowling wimp. I acquired just about every minor bowling injury it is possible for the game to inflict on a person, from broken nails to bruised fingers and sore arms, and managed to drop the ball at least once on my back swing. Ah yes, public humiliation.

Today we plan to do a bit of furniture shopping (exciting stuff, given the ... spartan nature of our apartment furnishings), and perhaps finish of the first disc of the second season of "The Shield." So far it doesn't seem to be quite as vitally brutal and well-characterized as the first season - which we watched last summer and loved - but I will give it time to improve.

Onwards!

2 Responses so far.

  1. kookiejar says:

    You are reading some good stuff. Too bad 'David Copperfield' has to wait, but I'm sure you'll get back to it.

    Are you sore after your bowling adventure? I was surprised how achy I was after my first game.

  2. Sore beyond belief. Even two days later. I feel a deep sense of shame, but it is not that often that I exercise my swinging-a-ten-pound-ball muscles.

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