jeweled platypus


tuesday, october 26, 2004
My shoes smell like toothpaste

My awesome $13 saddle shoes (non-leather!) had been getting dirtier and dirtier. The white parts tend to accumulate grime and scuff marks and weird purple scratches. These are my frivolous shoes. I want them to look good. So, the Internet told me to scrub them with toothpaste.

One clean shoe and one dirty shoe.

I’m glad I had some plain white toothpaste around. I usually use whatever bright-orange/translucent-blue/multi-hued/cinnamon-flavored tube that shows up, but I don’t think any of those would have worked as well.

Other pictures from today:

Another boxload for my room. I love this junk.

I think this is a giant cowrie shell. Anyway, I was washing it in my sink.

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monday, october 25, 2004
Sunshiney street grime

A view down the street, on my way to school in the morning.

Taken a few days ago when it was raining like crazy.

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Scientific polling comics

A year or two ago, for some inexplicable reason (advertising space? uneven page numbers?), the LA Times split its eight-page Sunday Comics section into two four-page parts. I liked this, since my little sister and I used to fight over it and sometimes it ended up in shreds. Now we each got a part. But which section to grab?

I decided to find out. I graded each of today’s comic strips with my uber-objective funny scale: -2 (dumb) to +2 (amusing). Zero = no reaction at all. The data.

Comics I and Comics II each have 14 strips. Comics I also has a back page of reading material for younger kids. It’s a nice idea, but the content is bland veering on stupid. Comics II has a full-page ad on the back. I think Comics II has the advantage here since my eyes skip over ads.

The average funniness of Comics I came out to be -.14 (barely dumb). The median? Zero. Mutts and Foxtrot tied at 2. I’m biased towards Mutts, however, because my fourth-grade teacher liked it; it wasn’t particularly funny today. I sort of like Foxtrot’s nerdy boy, but I already forgot what the strip was about.

Comics II scored an average funniness of .07 (barely amusing). The median was zero again. Herman and Non-Sequitur got 2s. I don’t remember either of their strips today. I usually like them more than the other pieces of crap.

(Neither section’s score changed much when each strip’s amount of page space was taken into account.)

So, if you’re fighting with your little sister over the Comics sections, choose II. Maybe it won’t bore you until you rip both your eyes out. You need one to see, after all.

I wish the LA Times would cut the worst 14 strips and put some webcomics in Comics II. My choices? Since you asked:

dudley’s dungeon (awesome), toothpaste for dinner (amusing), white ninja comics (silly), exploding dog (required), pokey the penguin (required), and max (no friend-nepotism here, nope!).

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friday, october 22, 2004
Dr. G. and the Blast

“At first, nobody liked Ms. W.”

The hook of infamy! Written by me, in the student newspaper edited by me. It briefly stunned Ms. K., our (now former) adviser. It shocked and delighted my classmates. It’s making my principal supremely nervous.

Actually, I’m not sure which parts of our little student newspaper are making her nervous, but I’m sure most of it is. She sent us a memo, demanding prior review. She wants to know how we got the funds to print it. She corrected our spelling, incorrectly. She wants to meet with the entire newspaper staff.

I don’t think she realizes that she’s dealing with a blogger. Prior review: yeah, right. Funds: minimal expenses, paid out of pocket or supported by ads. Minor spelling issues: unimportant. Staff: anybody with something to say.

Oh, and she complimented the layout. Layout: completely obsessed over.

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sunday, october 17, 2004
Negative vacuums and superconductivity

My Statistics teacher can’t teach. Also, he has a lot of weird ideas that he might get from the internet. Some of what he said in class on Thursday (student comments in parentheses):

You know what a vacuum is, a perfect vacuum? (I don’t know.) You take everything out that’s in there and there’s a perfect vacuum. And there could exist negativeness in that, atmospheric conditions, develop negative atmospheric conditions. (But there’s nothing in there that you could take out.) You take it out, take everything out. In fact, you could take everything out so that there’s a negative effect of it. It’s a theory of these things. But if you could produce it, it would take an enormous amount of energy or effort.

Just like in making ceramics for conductivity, for computers, to get absolute high-speed, full, complete transfer, you need to have a temperature of 459 degrees almost. And what that is, at 459 degrees — negative 459 degrees Fahrenheit — all molecular activity ceases to function. So, in other words, it’s uh, all the elements in the compound, they are almost like in suspended animation. And it is that, they need to do things there, in the space of a femtosecond, just as they bond, and you froze them right there. And if you could come in at that point and alter something there, you could probably alter things that exist on this planet.

Have you heard that theory before? (Not really.) I used to think about things like that.

He went on to talk about how Lovelace and Babbage had all the technology for making computers, but they didn’t know how to make plastic-injection-molded parts, so computers didn’t happen until later.

I can’t wait for him to discover RSS.

That teacher's classroom (and a guy taking a picture).
That’s his classroom. Ignore the picture-taking Linux-hater in the foreground. Most of the seats are empty because there are eight people in my Statistics class.

See also: the gates of hell.

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Mister Kyle got a new Zaurus SL-C860 from Japan (it only took two days to get here). It does pretty much everything his old laptop does except that it fits in his pocket. It runs pdaXrom and it’s neeeato.

It's a perfectly sized laptop for my doll.

It also doubles as my doll’s new 15” PowerBook.

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monday, october 11, 2004
A cafetorium show

Erick and Marvin.

Dead Norman, a senior-class fundraiser, a soda fiasco, a torn shirt.

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friday, october 08, 2004
A different sort of debate

At my high school, we don’t have 32 pages of debate rules. The candidates shout at each other. They confront. They argue. They’re limited to 15 seconds by screams and hisses. The debate might not even have been planned — it seemed to arise spontaneously in the seniors’ favorite corner, during break today.

Forty seniors and some others crowded around as if it was a fight. After each statement, there were shouts of “Viva Venezuela!” and “Woo woo wooo” …really, really loud shouts. I heard them from across the sub-campus, two classroom-lengths away.

Three people ran for twelfth grade president. None of them are Venezuelan. One is suave and ambitious and smuggled frozen Hi-C and popsicles into an outdoor assembly (profit!). Another is the smart, soccer-playing debater. Last, you have the big wiseass who hangs out with the Yu-Gi-Oh boys and me.

And they were all shouting at each other, encircled three-deep by 2/3 of a very excited twelfth grade class. I hung around the edges, where all the meta-discussion happens: “It’s loud, huh” “Vote for me for historian!” “I can’t see their faces” “Peter is lame” “You! Write about this for the newspaper.” “I wish I brought my camera”. The organizer, leadership-class president, looked on from a distance with a clipboard.

The three candidates, along with two potential vice-presidents, discussed their plans for the year: “Listen to all their plans! Did they ask you about those plans? No! How do you they know what you want! They don’t!” — “So? You don’t have any plans!” — “I ask the people, the people tell me what they want!” — “But you don’t even have an outline! Our plans are just outlines!”. I got there too late to hear the other issues.

After the debate finished, the hurricane crowd loosened into a civilized gathering. We discussed the arguments, they collected vote-promises, we weighed options, and all of us gossiped. Voting was in seventh period and not particularly anonymous.

A wet-floor sign in some bushes outside of my school.

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wednesday, october 06, 2004
Papyrus doesn’t look Egyptian anyway

I’ve noticed Papyrus in too many places. I guess it’s a very multicultural typeface, because it’s used for all kinds of ethnic connotations. Add its “similar characteristics to many Irish font…designs” and Egypt-evoking name and you have some real pluralism. That could be good, but there are just so many other nice typefaces waiting for a little yoga-to-pignolia love.

My pieces of worn-out Papyrus:

  1. A bench ad for an American Indian organization.
  2. “Country Lemon”-scented Joy dishwashing liquid.
  3. The windows of a yoga center.
  4. The menu of a pizza/pasta restaurant (review; social logic interface map).
  5. A sign for a Cuban-food restaurant.
  6. A table-ad (the kind that stand up — a piece of paper inside a folded piece of clear acrylic — what do you call those?) at a Rainforest Café.
  7. The label of a package of pine nuts.

I wish I’d taken pictures.

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Undeleting itself

A long time ago, Lizzy messed around with my camera and made It’s Lizzy rocking out, in her soccer uniform, in front of the computer, to Los Abandoned’s song “Stalk U”. Much later, the band’s singer found through Google — and she loved it.

And now, on Lizzy’s livejournal:

i finallly met lady p of los abandoned and she was excited to finally meet me and now they want me to dance for a longer amount of time so they can actually use the dancing for their stalk you video sygdaj!!787!gdsj. and so lady p summoned the band guy don verde over and they gave me free cds. so that was extremely awesome and i was ecstatic.

(Insert something here, something long and perceptive, something about Creative Commons and the glory of the web.)

I have a cool little sister.

Also in the repertoire of brilliant Lizzy stuff: Too bad Interpol already has a lame-o video for that song. Bands shouldn’t appear in their own videos.

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I’m Britta Gustafson.

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