Mar 2000

29 Mar 2000[link to here]

Today I heard someone (on TV) say "Without her, I wouldn't be able to live independently.". It's completely self-contradictory, and it's so natural and concise it's a thing of beauty. She was speaking about her guide dog, so it was clear that she meant "independently of other humans", but it still sounded great, especially if taken out of context. I enjoy shouldering the responsibility for such emigrations.

31 Mar 2000[link to here]

English is more broken than I thought. I consult dictionaries more now that I have a few on my computer. "semiannual" means twice a year, as I thought it did. "semiweekly" means twice a week, as it should. As all sane people know, "biweekly" means once every two weeks. But according the two dictionaries I have on hand, "biannual" doesn't mean once every two years as logic and my memory indicated. No, it means twice a year, just the same as "semiannual" does. Bah! What good is that? We had a word for that, and it just causes confusion. I have a sudden urge to run outside and use the word "fewer" appropriately at the top of my lungs.

I finished off my toothpaste tonight. I thought I was going to run out days ago, but my tube squeezing skills surpassed my expectations. For days, I've been prepared with a replacement tube, but it's not exactly the same. That's one problem with living in a different country. Not only are many products I'm used to not available, but many of the ones that are have different names so I don't know what I'm choosing. My usual criteria for selecting toothpaste is that it be as similar as possible to what I had before, because I know I liked the taste. The enjoyment of a semidaily routine is at stake! (For the verbally challenged: that means twice a day.)

My staggeringly important exams are in two weeks, so naturally I've been watching a lot of TV. British TV usually sucks (much like American TV), but overall the four channels I get here are better than the two we got in the US. The commercials are better, half the channels don't have any (though I pay for that), and there are more science shows. I'm going to say that part again, because it's so nice. There are more science shows. If I wanted to do nothing but watch TV, I'd sleep all day and wake up when the stars and the science came out at night.

Equinox is a new series. Every Monday, for 90 minutes, they present a different well-made documentary. This week it was about Murray Gell-Mann, who turns out to be a wonderful person to have a documentary about, especially since they let him talk a lot.

Also this week, I caught a good show about steroid use and detection in competition sports. As usual, the coverage was deep and the direction was good. Every time I had a question, they answered it, and the whole thing was aimed at people capable of thought, rather than Joe Couch, the usual American TV demographic.

Yesterday, I watched a show about drug addiction. It was so good, I can't fit all my comments here, so I've put them somewhere else.