December 4th, 2002

Fishy Circumstances

Making up for lost time?

I did real work yesterday! Two of my shelves of books are currently classified as unsorted. Thus, it came as some surprise and a real delight yesterday to realize that at least four of those same unsorted books all dealt with the subject I wanted to work on yesterday - and all four of them just happened to be sitting next to each other on one of the shelves! How obligingly self-sorting of them. I hadn't even un-plastic-wrapped one of the books yet, and I've had it for two years. Now I know this comes out sounding very neglectful of me, but it's not nearly as bad as you think! The well-wrapped book was a free, randomly-assigned benefit of volunteering to work at an Eighteenth Century Studies conference a few years ago. The organizers gave each volunteer one of the books the publishers had sent for display at the conference. This book, The Autonomy of History, has a few relevant chapters right at the very beginning. So I started off by reading through the introduction and acknowledgements, and noticed something... both of the people writing recommendations for the book on the back of the dust jacket were also thanked in the acknowledgements for their assistant along the way with other things. Mind you, they're all well known scholars, but this does say something, perhaps, about how small academic fields can be sometimes. Or something like that.

I made my first improvised casserole yesterday and it turned out very well: acorn squash, sour cream, onions, and macaroni. This was a culinary accomplishment to follow up having made my own apple sauce the day before (and it was very good!) I was inspired by my mother having done so during my trip home to go with the latkes. On the subject of latkes, yesterday I learned that my uncle has a good reputation as a latke maker - he ended up cooking them for 60 people last year, and they were all eaten up.

I think more people I know on LJ posted entries yesterday alone than they did for the entirety of last week put together.

Back to translating Alcuinic poetry.
Fishy Circumstances

Human Genomics Project (and other light repasts)

A colleague of mine gave what was meant to be an informal talk on this work this afternoon. I'm fond of our series of "colloquialisms" (as they're called) since it's a good chance to find out what my peers are actually working on. So often I can only remember that it's "something to do with the recent history of medicine" or the like. Ted's working on aspects of the Human Genome project in Canada. I say it was meant to be an informal talk. Technically, it was, but Ted was inspired by the commitment to give us this talk into accomplishing a great deal indeed in the past week on his work, including a reasonably good powerpoint presentation to go with it.

Despite my recent resolution to avoid talks and accomplish more, I'm going to four of the things in the next week. They all fit nicely into my schedule without need for me to kill time waiting around for them to start, and they're all either especially interesting topic-wise, or else relevant to me. Anthony Grafton, for example, is speaking on “Magic and the Disciplines of Learning in Renaissance Europe.”

Just think... only 5 percent of LJ users pay for their accounts, but only that same 5 percent were able to post this afternoon. (I've no idea if the site problem's been fixed yet, so for all I know, they still are the only ones.) (Idle interest in the whole subject of free vs. paying services online is why I idly follow the End of Free journal.)
Fishy Circumstances

Overlooked news

I missed Daypop's return. But it's back! As of approximately the 22nd of November. For those of you who don't already know, it's an excellent source of news, trivia, and entertainment.