And now, after the holidays, Nathaniel and I leave on a trip to South-Eastern Europe on Monday. Our plan is to hit Rome, Venice, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Split, Podgorica, Belgrade, Sofia, Istanbul, Athens, and Corinth (route map) in two weeks. Insanity.


paper art

Recently Google Chrome came out with beta releases for Mac and Linux.  In playing around with it, I set my theme to be a design by Yulia Brodskaya and then continued to investigate her artwork.  I really like both paper art and illustrative styles, so enjoyed looking through her work, which is wonderfully color and diverse in style.  I might be imagining Slavic influences because I like Russian Lacquer Boxes so much, but this kind of intricacy and color are themes I've seen among the work of some Slavic artists.  Her work reminds me tangentially of some things by Brittany Lee, who often works with paper.


puishment and gender

I read this BBC article on punishing women a few weeks ago, and since then, I've been thinking about the nature of punishment. This is a hard thing to philosophize about because in an ideal world, everyone would behave themselves in the first place. How much can we abstract away before we lose the realism of the situation?

Back to the article, though. I tend to be hesitant about simple declarations that men and women are different, especially when there isn't much elaboration.  I acknowledge that men and women can behave differently, but I like to know the specifics of that behavior so that I can think about how much of that comes from the society in which they live and how much is due to potential inherent differences.

To be fair, I don't think the intent of the article was to be a rigorous argument.  I could poke many-a-hole in it if it was, but then I'd probably go on to poke holes in my own arguments, anyway, so I'll leave that for now.

As per the article, Justice Secretary Jack Straw said the following:
We have to be sensible and humane in getting offending down in men and women, and we have to have different, but firm, approaches.

And the Ministry of Justice stressed:
[O]nly vulnerable women rather than ones who are "serious or dangerous" should be punished in the community.

I agree that punishment should be sensible and humane regardless of gender.  I suppose the reason this article ruffles my feathers is that men are vulnerable in prison too.  They are raped and beaten.  So why focus on the gender distinction if you aren't going to support it with any further details?  I'd rather them consider punishing all vulnerable prisoners in the community.  Is that too scary for the public?


Done. Cooked. Finished.

All my graduate applications are now in!  I just have to play hall monitor for a bit and make sure my transcripts, scores, and recommendations arrive, but that should be straightforward.  Yay!



It's really cold in SF/Berkeley this week.  The prediction is that temperatures won't hit above 50F.  Usually I like colder weather, but the bay area is ill-equipped to deal with it.  For instance, there's no heat and very poor insulation at work.  Imagine typing at 40F.  Not my favorite thing.  However, the frost last night made everything very pretty this morning!


randøm stüf reħash (81-100)

cozy nyc studio
What's the opposite of man?
rotating kitchen
the decline of empires
surprised kitty
paper stop motion ad
the bold italic
internet vices
evolution of storage
giving up the gimp
potential free netbook by google
100 x 100 rooms in china
shotwell review
microsoft patents sudo
funny things from google suggest
google dashboard announcement
shopping while black
how to use an apostrophe
Schrödinger’s Rapist

    Let the festivities begin!

    In my own personal liturgy, I like to mark the beginning of the Christmas season with St. Nicholas day, which is tomorrow, December the 6th. The celebration of Saint Nicholas is where the contemporary conception of Santa Claus, presents in stockings, and much of the gift-giving in general originated (as much as we'd like to give credit to the Magi and cite them as justification, St. Nicolas brought gift giving into modern practice).

    I think my ideal gift-giving pattern for the holidays would be to stuff shoes or stockings on St. Nicolas day, and then on Christmas Day proper only have a few select gifts.  But until I'm, say, a parent, I don't think I can pull off stealing my friends' shoes and sticking candy in them, even though I desperately want to every year.

    In the meanwhile there's still all the food!  Making cinnamon-sugar walnut candies, sticking cloves in oranges and hanging them about, drinking wassail, the chocolate wafer log, hot chocolate, pudding, cakes, cookies, tarts, and pies! I suppose there's a reason it's a "feast day."
    Another reason I love the season is the freshness it brings into homes. The smell of cinnamon, peppermint, apples, and cranberries is amazing. But then you add the garlands, poinsettias, and fir trees, which bring a whole other set of smells, and make the home look more alive. Maybe I just like plants, but I don't think I'm the only one.

    A third reason is the colors. Green and red happen to be my favorite colors, and since they evoke associations with Christmas, most of the year they are considered to be tacky together.  But at Christmas, I can bring together the deep green shades of garlands and fir boughs with the rich reds of ribbons, candles, etc. and trim it all with shades of white and off-white, silver and gold, and it can be quite beautiful and tasteful.

    Finally, there's the general friendliness and goodwill of people in the season. There's a fair amount of grumpy I've-got-to-get-this-present or I-just-don't-like-Christmas people, but for the most part, people like to eat, celebrate, give and get gifts, no matter their religious inclinations, so they tend to be happier and nicer in general.  Unless, of course, the stores start playing Jingle Bells on November 1st, in which case everyone gets Christmas burnout.


    which word?

    We got a Polish Translation for Shotwell this week, which lead to Jim realizing that the word Polish changed meaning completely when it lost its capital: polish.  As in to make things shiny.  Are there any other English words with such a huge change when capitalized?


    Thanksgiving photos

    A slew of people photos, none of them explicitly relating to Thanksgiving.