4 July 2010

The week that was and other things

Didn't have the best of weeks for a variety of reasons. Think I might have to retreat and think about what I can do to fix a couple of things. Nothing too drastic this time (ie. no quit job, swop hemispheres, get married this time, middle-age crisis?pah...). I've had some ideas, but being a public forum here there's not much I can say.

So by Friday I was feeling pretty grumpy, however I'd forgotten our Friday lunch group had decided we'd have some free beer in the evening (didn't help I had to miss Friday lunch either). It's surprising how cheering sitting outside with an ale watching a stunning sunset does for the spirits. We had dinner at a local Thai place near the pub which was actually reasonably good. Nothing stunning, but rather than disguising their inability to cook with chilli, this place let the flavours come through with a limited amount of heat. Then back for more beer. Mmm beer.

Saturday, the Leicester experience, was unexpected, fun, and enjoyable. So that was a definite win. Some CDs had also turned up, so I've had new music (John Grant and Christopher Rees) as well. That's always a win. And the food has been lovely, there is something approaching divine in fresh Italian bread, with buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, pepper, tomato and top quality olive oil drizzled over it.

An interesting article on Scientific American concerning what separates humans from primates. According to this article it's wanking, or to be less dramatic, masturbation to climax, but I prefer wanking. As a description you understand. I think there's some good points in the article, but as Chris alluded to on FB,there doesn't seem an evolutionary driver for it. The article suggests a reason to explain the result, but doesn't say why that would occur and what would drive it. More comparative studies on what lights up neurologically during masturbation between humans and other primates might be interesting (as an aside, that sentence could have been written better). Also what the tipping point for ejaculation is, are primates reaching the same hormone levels but rather than ejaculating (as humans do) they get the brain stimulus, without the ejaculate. And no, I'm not wanting to go back to science.

There's a been a number of people ranting recently, or more politely, commenting, that they don't want to read books on a kindle/ipad/etc. I think in principle I agree, but I think people are missing the concept here - and simply loading their existing views of books onto the new technology. I have pointed this out to people, but I didn't have any examples to explain what I meant. Basically it's the same as my comments that the death of desktop and possibly laptop will occur in the next year or two for basic usage.
However, there was an article in the Saturday Review section that does explain the potential - and does it much much better than I could hope to. This is definitely worth a read. The potential for enhanced books will revolutionise how we understand,learn and relax. But the massive culture shift will take a little time to reach critical mass - if only for the apps/books (aBooks? iBook+?) to reach a level where writers/producers (who knows what they'll be called) understand the potential for the technology, and how to use it.

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