bunsen_h: (Popperi)
When the accused has pretty clearly done something insanely monstrous, and the defense lawyer spits out something so monstrously insanely monstrously insane that it would be far better just to say "he didn't do it, neener neener", who is responsible for that?  The defendant and his lawyer by consensus?  Would it be that the defendant has come up with it and the lawyer has to do what the defendant says?  (And the lawyer can't withdraw from the case?)  Surely a defense based on mental incompetence doesn't require that the lawyer lack mental competence?

Appalled.  Boggled.
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
I was on my way to bed last night, somewhat too late after a pleasant party at Farthing Party.  In the bathroom, sitting in darkness with my eyes dark-adjusted... I saw spatters of something glowing on the wall beside me. I thought it might be a reflection of light from the hallway, under the hotel room door, but exploring it with my fingers and trying to block the light with my hands made it clear that that wasn't the case.  I turned on the light... and there was nothing to see.  Just the wallpaper.  I turned the light off again, and again I could see the glow.

Looking around the area, I found more glowing spatters on the wall in the little alcove that held the ironing board.

The glow didn't decrease visibly after several minutes.  The phosphorescent materials that I know about usually fade more quickly.

I turned the light on again.  I still couldn't see anything on the wallpaper.  Light off... still glowing.  Could it be under the wallpaper?  Some kind of hole in the wall, with a lit area on the other side?  Some kind of LED display, papered over?  There seemed to be too many tiny glows, distributed oddly, for something like that.

Light on.  Still nothing to see.

Something radioactive?  Some kind of Whovian crack in reality?  A Lovecraftian thing oozing through the wall?

I eventually decided that it probably wasn't anything like that.  But it took me a while to get to sleep.  When I woke up again in the wee hours, I went back to check, and the glowy stuff was still there -- much fainter than before.  I turned the light on for a few seconds, and the glow went back to being bright.  That was a big reliief -- it was following normal laws of physics.

Before I checked out of the room this morning, I borrowed a UV light from Jon Singer to shine on the walls.  As I expected, that made the stuff glow very brightly.

I haven't any idea what was going on.  When I checked out, I told the woman at the desk about the glowy stuff.  She suggested that it might be residue from a "glow stick", but I don't think that stuff phosphoresces..?  And I don't know if it would be completely invisible on the wallpaper.

If I start glowing, or turn into a mutant with amazing glow-stick powers, or disappear leaving behind only a cryptic written gurgling, the clue may lie in room 1119 of Hôtel Gouverneur Place Dupuis in Montreal.


Aug. 8th, 2012 10:36 pm
bunsen_h: (Default)
Noted without comment, apart from "My name is Jael ben Dovid (allowing for difficulties in transliteration) and I approve this graffitization."

Street spam is treyf

("Treyf" is, basically, the opposite of "kosher": ritually forbidden.  Usually applied to food, sometimes to other objects or practices.)

Also, the group's website has stigmata of kookiness.  I've chosen those words very carefully.

"That word... I do not think it means what you think it means."

Mangled franglais: "Bonless"

It is possible that a weekend in Montreal sensitized me to badly-mangled Franglais.
bunsen_h: (Default)
If you'll forgive a brief cane-shaking kids-today-like-crappy-music comment (of the kind I've been making ever since I first heard music not selected by me or by my parents)...

Science, as a discipline — loaded word, that — requires long-term focus, both to learn a subject and to observe experiments.  You need to notice anomalies, exceptions to an expected pattern; if you're very lucky, they can lead to discovery of something novel and important.  If you're attracted by videos full of hard cuts, in which the longest uninterrupted segment is somewhat less than a second long, you're probably not going to do well in research.

(To say nothing of the bizarre and distasteful assumptions embedded in that video, about which much has been said elsewhere.)

Now imagining Magnus Pyke doing a voice-over: "She blinded me!  With science!  It's a Girl Thing!"
bunsen_h: (Default)
ACME Special

Got a few extra body parts?

ACME Special

They seemed to be doing moderately good business earlier in the day.
bunsen_h: (Default)
Should I be concerned that the 15-digit "secure access code" in the 2011 census envelope can easily be read without opening the envelope, by shining a bright light through it from behind?  Thus enabling someone to complete the census on-line for the specified address without leaving any traces other than, say, the IP address from some public-access site..?
bunsen_h: (Default)
The horror is not ABBA crossed with Lovecraft.  Terence Chua's work is pretty well done and lots of fun.

The horror is ABBA crossed with Gregorian chant.  Or, for that matter, Elton John crossed with Gregorian chant, or Elvis with Gregorian chant.

It's not the concept I object to, not at all.  It's the execution.  Cheezy synthesized music.  Weird pronunciations -- they pronounce "Waterloo" to rhyme with "toe", not "too", even though they've got the hint from the next line of the verse.  Lumbering monotonic rhythm.  Chopped-down vocal range so the choir can all keep up.  The reduced range would at least make some sense if they were determined that the entire group had to sing all the notes, but in a few places they're doing multi-part  harmony, so that's not the case.  Just because you're the "Brothers of St. Gregory" doesn't make anything you sing "Gregorian chant".  It's just... painful.


Feb. 25th, 2011 03:50 pm
bunsen_h: (Default)
Not all handicaps are physical.


Parked partly on a handicapped space, partly on a not-a-parking space.  Well done, that driver.
bunsen_h: (Default)
There's a big poster up on the wall beside the "shallow pool" at the Nepean Sportsplex.  I think it's created and distributed by the Lifesaving Society.

In 7 days, your child could ride a bike... because he learned.

In 4 hours, your child could tie her shoes... because she learned.

In 20 minutes, your child could say his ABCs... because he learned.

In 30 seconds, your child could drown...

The logical structure, and its conclusion, make me itch, metaphorically.

On the other hand, right at the moment, I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed.

I had a follow-up appointment with the neurosurgeon a week and a half ago.  The MRI shows distinct improvement in my spinal cord; the syrinx is much smaller.  However, I'm having increasing discomfort in my left shin and foot — very likely due to compressed nerves getting back into proper shape after all these months, and yelling at me about the state of things.  The surgeon recommended that I back off on my exercise somewhat for a couple of weeks, and also suggested that massage and acupuncture may help.

My stamina for sitting up, including in front of the computer, is still poor.

I'm still having a lot of trouble getting to sleep at night.  Part of this is due to that pain, part to gastric reflux, part to simple fretting about things.  On the other hand, I'm tending to drop off to sleep rather abruptly in the late afternoon, lying on my sofa reading or watching a DVD.  It's very odd for me to suddenly wake up, lying down, with a mouthful of food, and realize that I must have dozed off while eating supper.

My friend Phil Whiteside passed away early Tuesday morning.  I feel... odd.  Distant, emotionally flat.  It hasn't really hit me yet.  I didn't get to see him in the last few weeks, because of my own difficulties in travel and because I guess I kept hoping that he'd rally one more time.  About a week ago, I woke up in the early morning, utterly overwhelmed with grief, but without any clear focus for the emotion that I could identify.

Many of my friends are dealing with a lot of their own problems.  There's too much crap going on around here.
bunsen_h: (Default)
I've been comparison shopping for a heating pad. Almost every local store I've checked sells essentially the same items made by Sunbeam, in some cases house brands labelled as "made by Sunbeam". There are a few other models around. Canadian Tire's website seems to show that they've switched to units made by a different company but haven't properly updated the site to reflect the changes.

Every model I've seen has instructions which specify that one should not sit on or against the heating pad, and that one should place the pad on and not under the "affected body part".

This is bizarre. It seems to be very close to "any plausible use of this device will void its warranty", since most of the pads are definitely not designed to be wrapped around the body nor conveniently attached to it. I've got back pain -- am I supposed to lie on my stomach and try to keep the pad positioned on my back? I've been to physiotherapy sessions and massage sessions in which I was lying on a heating pad -- were those "professional" units?
bunsen_h: (Default)
Earlier this afternoon, I was heading westwards along my street (Norice), and was slowing to a stop behind the student driver waiting at the red light to make a left turn onto Woodroffe.  The SUV well behind me honked.  I glanced backward, then returned my attention to the important matter of signaling my turn and coming to a safe stop, centred behind the student driver.

The SUV pulled up close behind me.  Then edged fowards, partly in my lane and just to my right, so the woman could open her window and tell me that I wasn't supposed to ride across the road.  "You're supposed to walk your bike across."

I gave her a "what planet are you from" look.  "I'm a vehicle, and I have as much right to be on the road as you do."

She became more insistent.  "But you aren't supposed to ride across the road.  I'm sure of it.  I don't want you to get in trouble."

A "what colours are the moons around your planet?" look.  "Read your Driver's Handbook.  I'm a vehicle, and I have as much right to be on the road as you or any other vehicle."

"But I don't think..."

Then the light changed, the car ahead went through, and I followed it.  Carefully switched into the bike lane on Woodroffe when I was through the intersection.  I was worried that the idiot was going to pass me on my right and then cut me off, but she stayed behind me through the intersection and stayed in the regular lane.

Good grief -- if she's expecting that cyclists won't ever try to bike across roads, she's going to hit somebody.  Of the two of us, I know which one shouldn't be on the road.  How can people be so ignorant?

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