Oct. 9th, 2015 11:05 pm
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[Poll #2024587]

Edit: I forgot rabbits, horses, and goats as options! Alas.


Oct. 1st, 2015 01:50 pm
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This is really cool. (American dialects)
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And my curiosity appears to be back and _staying_ back. This appears to be strongly correlated to how chipper I'm being.

for politeness )
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It's often easier to remember things if I say them aloud, so for one of the questions I keep saying "inflect, derive, inflect, inflect, derive" and then either "yes", or I interrupt myself with "um..."

Also, periods of "yes, good, yes... what? No..." or "what?" followed by confusion probably sound pretty odd.

(grading is boring, so weird things occur to me! And apparently music means I can keep _doing_ it without insanity, but still boring)
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In the context of my pending hair cut, being reassured that someone (who I have admittedly been dating a long time) is certain that I will continue to be beautiful with short hair, evidently makes for a mental stutter (hiccup? not sure).

IM may have meant my mental stutter was non-obvious, I have no idea. I did manage an appropriate thank you in a reasonable amount of time.

I think I was bemused for a number of reasons. First, the notification of pending short hair was meant to be informational. Mind you, we had just been talking about my leaving grad school, and I'd pointed him to my recent posts on the topic. (This was in large part both a 'fyi' and a 'this likely means I'm not visiting you this year'.) So he had good reason to believe I might need reassurance in general.

But, and I think this is the more interesting aspect, I have trouble thinking of myself as beautiful if the context is purely appearance-based. It's not that I don't think I'm attractive (although, yes, depression is not helpful there), but that to me the concept of physical beauty is both highly unusual (I think a _very_ small - perhaps nonexistent? - number of people are beautiful when based solely on appearance) and needs to be to the level of breathtaking/awe to make sense.

So what's beauty?

I can't think of a way I use it purely about people's appearances. A still photograph of someone just can't be beautiful to me. Water, sky, the play of light on things: things like this can be still shots and be beautiful to me. Not people. (and perhaps not animals or plants, either. Not without light/water/sky things going on)

Once you add motion, it's no longer just physical appearance. It's going to include how someone expresses themselves, how they move, how they carry themselves. Even if you ignore possible sound/vocal cues, there is a _lot_ of info in motion.

One example for which I am pretty consistent relates to graceful movement. If someone nearby is doing something graceful, and I notice and don't have a good reason not to, I will become entirely distracted and just watch. It's absolutely about awe and beauty and things for which words are not coming. And it is entirely possible that my jaw will actually drop.

I have a similar reaction to enthusiasm being shared with someone, where, if it's with me, it's usually stronger than if I just happen to get to watch other people enjoying that experience. Enthusiasm and glee about things are absolutely beautiful.

Other ways people move can be beautiful, although it's not often something I'll notice if I'm in the middle of a conversation with someone (paying attention to conversation trumps noticing physical things). I think it may still tend to involve either grace or enthusiasm, now that I think about it! Or sometimes the way the light catches someone.

Perhaps my bafflement at being called beautiful is simply that I don't have many contexts in which I find people beautiful. So it's a temporary (and often fleeting) thing ('estar'), not a constant thing ('ser'). Which, why do we not have two "to be" words like Spanish does?

What do you all find beautiful?


Aug. 29th, 2015 10:25 pm
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Went on my own on Monday now that I have a pass for the year.

photos! )

XKCD wins!

Aug. 14th, 2015 02:22 pm
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http://xkcd.com/1564/ - very much a thing I have thought (and I'm not a sociologist).
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If you decide to make s'mores in your toaster oven, even if you usually prefer dark chocolate, milk chocolate is much wiser. First, dark chocolate will go liquidy and stay that way the entire time you are trying to eat it. Second, it stays _quite_ hot. Also, ow.

And now you know!
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What do you call the things in the title?

I have no go to word for this!

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Exploring recent research on robotics and virtual agents and immersive virtual environments and whatever else I get distracted by while trying to select a useful topic for my fourth year project (and dissertation).

I doubt we have the hardware for the immersive virtual environment stuff, alas.

*continues exploring*
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The background on a fellow grad student's computer was this shirt. I kept giggling for a while. :)

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Because not only am i not getting much exercise, but my normal movements are not smooth.


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But it's _SO WARM_.

Even just a little bit of work in the garden had me dripping sweat.

*checks wunderground*

Oh. It's 90.


I hope it rains soon.
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Or touch?

I was outside briefly to put things in the shed, and was all "I want to take a picture of the smells!"

After a pause, I was bemused to realize that no, I cannot photograph the smell of our lilacs in bloom. Nor the feel of things.

Why not?!
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Free things on Fridays this summer

Me, I think the MIT museum on June 26th, Garden in the Woods on June 31st, Tower Hill Botanical Garden on July 17th, Arnold Arboretum at Harvard or Fruitlands Museum on July 24th, Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park on Aug 7th, Franklin Park Zoo on Aug 21st, and the EcoTarium on Aug 28th all sound interesting.

I also still mean to go to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (mostly for what I hear about the Courtyard) at some point.

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