05/20/17

Multiocular O

From the bureau of indispensable knowledge:

Wikipedia: “Multiocular O (ꙮ) is a rare glyph variant of the Cyrillic letter O. This glyph variant can be found in certain manuscripts in the phrase «серафими многоꙮчитїи» (“many-eyed seraphim”). It was documented by Yefim Karsky from a copy of Psalms from around 1429, now found in the collection of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, and subsequently incorporated into Unicode as character U+A66E.”

ETA: This is the manuscript.

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04/7/12

Virtual hash cake and dreams

Last night I had either very minor food poisoning or a bad reaction to a creamy sauce and took about 3 hours to get to sleep. When I did get there, I dreamt I was at a restaurant where they served hash cake. I ate the hash cake and a ganja candy and felt a little woozy. When I got home, there was a mysterious copy of The Etched City on my bookshelves. Without my permission, someone had made a comic-book version of the story in which the characters were furry animals. As well as the usual word balloons, there was English text mixed with Japanese and Chinese at the bottom of the pages. I didn’t take a good look at the pictures, as for some reason I was more interested in reading the front matter. There was a pile of forewords and introductions by various people, none of which seemed to have anything to do with the book. Different artists had worked on the project, which seemed to be from the UK. The furry animal theme disappeared at some point.

Then this nerdy-looking kid with dark hair and glasses came into my room and asked if I wouldn’t mind him giving me some advice. He told me that Gunpowder Tea obviously wasn’t going to work, and I should concentrate instead on the story where I had a lot of countries on a coloured map. (I don’t have any such story, though it gave me an idea when I thought about it on waking.) Then he went outside my house to catch a train. The train went to Pest — as in, the Pest half of Budapest — which surprised me, as I thought we were in Bangkok. He laughed and said something to the effect that the train just went in that direction. (Maybe I thought he was a pest?)

While I was reading the introductions, the dream did a detour into what I think was a kind of visual representation of the feeling the introductions gave me. It was a scene that felt like a model, with odd plastic figures in a little booth or kiosk. One of them was larger than the others and looked a bit like a tall, thinnish, zombie version of the Michelin Man. It had a very nasty mouth. There was a sign saying something like “We make the kind of kind and wiry body we like to make” — referring to the white figure.

02/14/12

The inspiring Prince Dado Ruspoli

Yesterday I happened to turn on the TV and there was actually something interesting on, a documentary about the jetset of the 60s. I looked up one or two names, and happened across Prince Dado Ruspoli (obituary here), one of the few playboys of that era who didn’t die young. Quite a guy…

On opium and heroin (“the difference between ritual and suicide”)

Moments with Papa Dado 1 & 2

08/10/11

Goldilocks on the Enterprise

Last night I dreamed I was on the Enterprise and had to choose which crew member’s bedroom to sleep in. Kirk’s was too messy. McCoy’s and Scotty’s didn’t appeal either; one was too neat, I can’t remember what was wrong with the other. Spock’s was, surprisingly, nearly as messy as Kirk’s, but had a Chesterfield-like padding in red brocade on the floor, like some strange bordello, which I went for. Whatever the meaning of this dream might be, I’m not sure I want to know.

12/29/10

More white keyboards, please

I can’t touch-type. Yes, I should learn for the sake of posture if nothing else. But I never seem to get around to it. And since not getting around to things is a common human trait, I’m guessing there are quite a lot of poeple like me who have to keep glancing at the keyboard, and who consistently type ‘poeple’ for ‘people’ when they don’t.

A keyboard on an ergonomic desk with a tray is actually quite a long way from your eyes (even for a short person like me!) and moreover tends to be shaded by the desk. Most keyboards are black. Black keyboards are harder to see. Black is cool, I know — but, come on, so is white. And a white keyboard doesn’t need a desk lamp shining on it to make it visible to the naked eye. (Actually, I find even the contrast between the bright screen and a dark keyboard on a laptop can be a strain on the eyes after a while.)

I’ve seen a few laptops with white keyboards, but not many, and even fewer separate white keyboards. And while I’m on the topic, what’s with all the damn loud clicky keys? If I want to feel like a one-woman typing pool while I’m working, I’ll tell you. And if I want to hear the person in the next room typing, I’ll be sure to tell you that, too.

What I do like are the short keyboards. Narrow shoulders here! I need my keyboard and mousepad to fit in a small space, or my arms get pretty sore pretty quickly. So: compact, quiet, white. Or eggshell blue or eau-de-nil or cream stirred with a whisper of peach, if you insist. But comfort, darlings, comfort.

11/24/10

Election time again, so…

…have some Benny Hill Daleks.

An interview with a Dalek:

De-ve-lop! De-ve-lop! Da-leks will grow the e-co-no-my! The Da-leks do not con-sult the com-mu-ni-ty! Da-leks do not use pub-lic trans-port!  All your con-cerns are ir-re-le-vant! Ir-re-le-vant! Ir-re-le-vant!

Then why do you bother to spy on voters?

Be-cause we can! Be-cause we can! Ha-ha! Ha-ha! We are the Daaa-leks, we can do an-y-thing daaa-ling!

About that economy — isn’t it big enough? Aren’t we big enough? Developed enough? Why does the economy have to keep growing?

You do not un-der-stand! The Da-leks will grow the e-co-no-my to the ends of the u-ni-verse like a real-ly big bal-loon! Don’t you like bal-loons?

Er, yes, but…

The e-co-no-my will fill the u-ni-verse! The e-co-no-my will be God! The Da-leks will cre-ate God! Daaa-leks can do an-y-thing!

(Dalek gets distracted by a group of people with various human needs, some nice countryside, a beautiful old building, and a metropolitan train, and goes off to exterminate them.)