June 12th, 2002

Fishy Circumstances

Today

I've been productive! Well, it certainly feels that way. Met up with Cat this morning and we went through a number of volumes from the Oxford Latin series to choose some pieces to work on this summer to keep our Latin brushed up. We found several which fit our criteria (namely, works which were not chronicles and that neither of us had ever read in any language and preferably works we really didn't even know anything about already.) We settled on some poetry on the way to Jerusalem. I ran errands around the department, returned some borrowed books, mailed envelopes and packages, had lunch, and am now the caretaker of 6 young pepper plants, 2 green pepper plants and four spicy red chili plants. All very satisfying.

Goal for the afternoon: edit 10 more pages.
Fishy Circumstances

Eurovision revisited

Just noticed H.D. Miller's sarky comments on the Eurovision song contest. Of course Eurovision is a bit of fluff, and a political love-in between competing nations. Or should I say, the nations permitted to take place in any given year, now that only the countries which received enough votes can go on to compete in next year's Eurovision and the countries which missed out on the votes drop out for a year. The broadcaster's confederation which runs the event has gotten too big now.

H.D. Miller mistakenly says this year's winning song is from a Latvian folk song. Does it look or sound remotely like one? I didn't think so. He says so himself the tune is a Latin one. The winning songstress, Maria Naumova, composed it. Whether or not you think it was a good song, it was definitely the best performance of this year's Eurovision, with its strip/male/female transformation sequence executed quite stylishly. No wonder it won.

It's a shame Denmark didn't receive more votes. I liked that song, even if I was cheering on Malta (second place) when it came to the votes.

There's something really wonderful about a competition revolving around 'greater Europe' and including Israel, Russia, ex-Russian countries, and Turkey as well. Very ecumenical.
Fishy Circumstances

ICONCLASS

Intellectually, I really can understand the concise usefulness of ICONCLASS, especially for computerized iconographic indicies. It's a number/letter system for categorizing iconography, so as to standardize the terminology used to refer to it, and has been around a while now (in early forms, since the 1950s). Still, there's something fundamentally odd about describing a picture with it. For example, a 26B2 is a rainbow, while a 45K231 is a siege engine, and a 46A7 is a crowd or a mob. It's true,, it's much more coompact to say that a 26B2 over a 45K14 filled with a 46A7, and with a 45D21 and a 45K231 in the foreground is somewhat more compact than describing an image as containing a rainbow over a mob-filled fortified city with land-forces and a siege engine in the foreground is. But at the same time, it loses a certain immediate comprehensibility.

Its Libertas browser is accessible online if you'd like to have a play.
Fishy Circumstances

Irony

Turns out H.M. Miller was being ironic when he called it a folk song. Far too subtle for my ability to discern.
Fishy Circumstances

Harvard and early decision competition

The purpose of the whole Early Decision thing was to keep Ivy League-type institutions from treading on each others' toes over bright and decisive students. Harvard's just unilaterally announced it will now offer admission to appropriate students even if they've already been accepted for Early Decision at another school. Read more about it here. I noticed the issue thanks to ReadJacobs.com. And no, I can't link to her comments proper.