Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for April 19th, 2011

Weird: I now enjoy walking

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This is a new development. I just noticed it today, but in that way when you realize that you’re just now aware of something felt vaguely once or twice before. I wanted to go for a walk—not so much as a duty but for its own sake: the enjoyment.

Well, obviously, this is exactly what one wants: to make duty a pleasure, to derive enjoyment from a chore. That’s the whole idea behind the traditional wetshaving movement: make the necessary shave an enjoyable ritual. So, for exercise, too? Of course!

But it happened not by conscious plan, but (I’m prepared to believe) by my unconscious. I can readily see how the unconscious self might become convinced that exercise is important and thus start to activate motivators—and the little shot of dopamine is just the thing, augmented by a smidgin of smugness about getting the recommended amount of exercise (“30-minute walk daily”). But that’s a conscious pleasure, I suppose. And, on the conscious level, I’m certainly aware that the walk is now easy, the time short, and a real pleasure in knowing that walking a lot longer would not provide any significant increase in benefit. It makes me feel like I’m getting away with something—shooting the moon.

Now that it’s a pleasure, I find myself making sure to work it into the day—emphasis on “sure”: I want to know exactly when I will take my walk, and by Jove, I’m out the door on the dot if not before. … I recall just now a few days ago when I looked at my watch, realized I had nothing I needed to do in the next hour, and immediately set off for my walk—no MP3 player, no hat, no waiting: look at watch, glance at sky (sort of overcast but not threatening), and walk away. I also remember picturing the turnaround point for my walk and thinking that it was fairly close—or at worst, not far.

So now I need to figure out how one could deliberately cause such a transition in point of view. I’m certainly going to enjoy (while I can) this new mindset, but I really would like to explain how someone else might achieve such a result—the same impulse that made me write the shaving book.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2011 at 6:52 pm

Posted in Daily life, Fitness

Cool little crossbow

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Via The Firearm Blog:

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2011 at 4:10 pm

Posted in Techie toys, Video

Megs asleep

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Megs, taking a rest after an exhausting bath:

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2011 at 4:09 pm

Posted in Daily life, Megs

Yet another reason to buy an iPad

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An email I just received from Slate & Shell:

Anders Kierulf, creator of SmartGo Kifu for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod, has created a free app for these three devices, called ‘Go Books’.

Available from iTunes, the app offers several go eBooks, including two books from Slate & Shell. The first contains four games of Go Seigen’s ten game match with Fujisawa Kuranosuke, with full commentary presented by John Fairbairn. The second is four commentaries on professional games by Yuan Zhou, who is well known for producing commentaries that are helpful to weaker as well as stronger players.

Each of the eBooks costs $4.99.

While not available yet, we look forward to seeing the same sort of app for Android devices.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2011 at 2:44 pm

Posted in Games, Go, Technology

Listening in Spanish

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Understanding spoken Spanish is still a challenge, but by listening daily to 20 minutes of Spanish, together with listening to Spanish spoken in class and the audio and video used in the course, I’m slowly progressing.

I don’t like questions that ask me whether jovenes is a noun or an adjective. I don’t like them because it depends on context and that option is not offered. (Still steaming a bit about current exercise in textbook.)

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2011 at 10:32 am

Posted in Education

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

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Sounds intriguing:

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
by Manning Marable

A review by David Garrow

In 1965, a fascinating political voice was silenced when a team of assassins gunned down Malcolm X, a man whose intellectual and religious journey had finally transformed him into an eloquent spokesman for human equality. No comprehensive and credible biography of this signally important black freedom advocate has appeared in more than 35 years, but now, in the appropriately titled Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, Columbia University professor Manning Marable fills this void with a landmark book that reflects not only thorough research and accessible prose but, most impressively, unvarnished assessments and consistently acute interpretive judgments.

Malcolm, of course, chronicled — or authorized journalist Alex Haley to chronicle — his own life in his famous The Autobiography of Malcolm X, published nine months after he died, but Marable definitively establishes that the Autobiography omitted some significant aspects of Malcolm’s youthful criminal life while dramatically exaggerating others. Several chapters Malcolm had prepared were deleted before publication, and he did not review important portions of what millions of readers would think of as “his political testament.” The Autobiography as published, Marable warns, “is more Haley’s than its author’s.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2011 at 9:08 am

Posted in Books, Daily life

Gender-specific occupational titles

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During my morning shave, I got to thinking about gender-specific occupational titles (aviator/aviatrix, executor/executrix, actor/actress, waiter/waitress, steward/stewardess, fireman/firewoman, and the like).

Without getting into personal preferences, I find it interesting just to look at what is happening. I think I detect a general movement in the language as used today in the US toward gender-neutral occupational titles: aviator for both, for example, and food server instead of waiter/waitress (or using “waiter” for both, since “one who waits” could be either sex), flight attendant instead of steward/stewardess, firefighter instead of fireman/firewoman (plus “firefighter” is more glamorous and active, though I see no move toward calling police officers “crimefighters” in the same way).

There’s a tendency toward using “actor” for both sexes, though of course the Academy reinforces the actor/actress distinction with their awards. “Comedian” seems to be taking over for comedian/comedienne, and (though not occupations) fiancé and fiancée continue to be used, often incorrectly. (One often sees in print the bride-to-be referred to as someone’s “fiancé”.)

Then I hit a whole list of titles that never seemed to be gender-specific: “chief” was the first, but also: attorney, lawyer, doctor, physician, surgeon, dentist, professor, president, vice-president, judge, and so on. I got to wondering why those don’t have gender-specific forms. I speculate that women were effectively barred from those professions until recent times, so terms specific to women practitioners never became established. One did what I just did: “women practitioners” rather than “practitionesses”. So one saw “woman attorney,” “woman doctor” (not meaning gynecologist), and so on: the term is gender neutral, and if you need to know the sex of the practitioner, you add that separately—much as is done for the gender-neutral term “prostitute”, where one sees occasionally “male prostitute”, though that often is used when the sex of the prostitute is already clear from the context, as though the writer though that “prostitute” was gender-specific. I don’t think it is. One can prostitute oneself whether male or female.

At any rate, it’s an interesting clutch of words, and we see the change going on around us.

UPDATE: Interesting: I thought that “editor” was now solidly gender-neutral, but I just started reading Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water and find her thanking an editrix in the acknowlegements—and Ms. Yuknavitch has been reviewed as a good authoress (I suppose I should follow her preference in writing about her).

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2011 at 8:55 am

Posted in Daily life

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