Sunday, July 9th, 2017 01:58 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Am just now watching a CNN series on the 1980s.

The first part they showed was about MTV. I didn't know that MTV refused to play black artists in the beginning. Back then we were living in Germany, and the only American channel we got to watch was AFN, the Armed Forces Network. I didn't get to watch MTV until 1985 or later, when we were back in the U.S. But nonetheless, it seems like nearly all the music that was popular in the 80s is among my favorite music, even without me having seen the videos for those first years.

There was a segment about the space shuttles and the Challenger disaster on Jan 28, 1986.

I had a memory of being at home, listening to my radio in my bedroom, and hearing about the Challenger accident on the radio... as if I was hearing it live*, or right after it had happened. The apartment/bedroom of my memory matches the year, 1986. Both the year before and the year after, I lived in other places. So the memory must be at least partially true.

But I just looked it up, and the accident was on a Tuesday, at 11:39am in the same time zone as I was. So surely I would have been at school when it happened. I don't remember hearing about it at school though. If I was home that day, what could the reason have been? Even if the school day ended fairly early, it wouldn't have been that early. So surely I must have been at school, gotten home at the normal time, and then heard about it on the radio after the fact. Unless we had a half-day for some reason...

Surely if I had been home at the time of the launch, I would have been watching it on TV, not listening on the radio? Or were space shuttle launches not televised live back then? ...

When a national disaster unfolded live in 1986
If you were an American kid in 1986, you probably remember exactly where you were: That's because so many classrooms were watching the shuttle launch live via a special NASA satellite feed to showcase what would have been the first American teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe.

No, I don't remember watching it live in school. Gah, no way to verify my patchy memories.

*I do think it likely that I listened to the launch live, probably on PBS, because I was into astronomy and NASA and things like that. Maybe we didn't get CNN at the time, or maybe I didn't know it was being televised too. I remember listening to other launch attempts on the radio, including aborted ones. (But as this post shows, I no longer trust such old memories. Maybe I only heard replays, not live broadasts?)

This morning I was lying in bed trying to figure out how long ago Qiao bought his house - was it 2 or 3 years ago? And how long ago was his accident? 2011 or 2012? And when was my brother living in my house? etc., etc. All that only within the last 7 years or so, and I'm already getting it all mixed up in my mind. At least now I have ways of looking up what happened when in my life. But not for 1986. I did occasionally write in a diary back then, but not about the space shuttle.

Update (7/10): I think I figured out why I was not at school that day. According to historical weather sources, it was a very cold day. In my area, it was under 20 degrees until 9am, and didn't go above freezing until the afternoon. Such weather is not usual in the South, and school was probably cancelled to keep kids from having to walk to school or wait for the school buses in such cold.
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Back in high school, we had to choose a scene from Macbeth, memorize it, and later recite it to the class. I chose one of the shortest scenes I could find, because, while I was good at remembering things, I wasn't particularly good at memorizing long strings of words.

I'm not sure if I ever recited it to the class; as much as I dreaded having to speak in front of the class, I usually ended up not having to do so. I never volunteered to go first (or 2nd or 3rd, or ever), and so the class usually ran out of time before getting to me. (Though in retrospect it would have been good to have more practice at public speaking. And it probably was a tiny bit of a let-down, getting all worked up at having to speak, and then not having to speak after all.)

As with the few other things I've memorized, I remembered it for a long time, because every so often I would recite it to myself. I didn't remember it perfectly - over time, I may have swapped in some wrong words here and there - but could still recite most of it.

Lately I had noticed that I could hardly remember any of it, except the first line. But this week at work, while standing at my desk, for some reason I started reciting it in my mind, and I remembered the whole thing again! The words flowed without a break.


It's the part with the witches talking, Act 3 Scene 5, that starts with "How did you dare to trade and traffic with Macbeth in riddles and affairs of death..."

But actually, reading that link, it turns out that in the intervening years, I had completely forgotten the 2nd half of it. I thought it ended with "thither he will come to [meet] his destiny". But I used to have the rest memorized too. "I am for the air" ... "my little spirit, see, Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me." Yep, I liked those parts!

Heh. And now I learn that the scene I memorized probably wasn't even written by Shakespeare. The above link describes the scene as "un-Shakespearean". This page says: "Some literary critics believe that these [sic] scene is way too hokey to be Shakespeare's work..."

Heh, hokey! You stick your left foot in, you stick your left foot out, you do the hokey-pokey and you shake it all about!

And that's another example of me remembering something, but not remembering it quite right.

*It's like how sometimes people's names are easy to recall, and sometimes not.
darkoshi: (Default)
Logging into the web page for my email account, I look up my password. (I don't usually have to remember it, as Thunderbird's Password Manager has it saved). And I wonder why did I ever set my password to *that*? There's no way I'd *ever* be able to remember it.

So I change it to something else that I'd at least have a chance of remembering, if I really wanted to.

Five minutes later I'm at the login screen of another site, whose password I usually have no trouble remembering. But due to me having used a particular word in the new password I set above, and due to this password also having contained that same word, I'm now completely flummoxed as to what the rest of this password was. So I end up having to look it up.

into dark

Monday, November 9th, 2015 10:06 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Watching this Star Trek Into Darkness Gag Reel, tempts me to believe I might enjoy the movie.

Before watching that clip, I wasn't sure if I had already seen the movie or not. I thought the "Into Darkness" one might have been the first movie that I watched with the new younger actors, which I hadn't enjoyed that much. But no, this is a different one. With Benedict Cumberbatch, even.

I have similar problems with the LOTR and Hobbit movies. I know I've seen at least 2 of the Hobbit movies. I think I've seen the 3rd, but after reading its plot on Wikipedia, I'm still not certain. The plot sounds like mostly a bunch of continuous strife, so maybe that is why it wasn't memorable to me.

Hmm, that's odd. There've only been 3 Peter Jackson LOTR movies, and 3 Hobbit movies. It sure seemed to me like there had been more than that. Like, wasn't there a 2-part non-animated Hobbit movie even before the LOTR movies, or something?

ginnickity kinnickinny

Thursday, July 16th, 2015 11:32 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
While thinking about the pronunciation of words starting with 'kn', I realized that in English the 'k' is always or nearly always silent. Whereas in German, both the 'k' and 'n' are spoken.

Then I thought about words starting with 'gn'. Again, in English the 'g' is nearly always silent (the GNU software term being an exception). Whereas in German, both the 'g' and 'n' are spoken.

And I was thinking, maybe that is why I always want to pronounce the 'g' in the English word 'gnome'.

Tonight I found a website that provides both British and American pronunciations of words.






British, like German, seems to generally be spoken with a higher pitch than American English (or maybe it seems that way due to its vowels being spoken higher in the throat?).

I started mimicking the online pronunciations. You know, how when you say the same word over and over again, it gets funny?

Gnome. Gn^oem. Gnoume. Gneoum. Gnome. Nu. N^u Nu N^u... Nocky! Nokey. Nocky! No Key. No Key.
Nong. Noing. Nong. Noing!

Zorro didn't like it. She left the room.


A few days ago while walking to my car, I realized that people's names and faces were coming very easily to my mind. I tested myself, thinking of more and more coworkers, even from long ago. There were only a few I couldn't easily name. It seemed quite surprising to me, as usually there's a significant pause between me thinking of someone and remembering their name (if I'm able to come up with a name at all).

A couple days later I tried again, but my memory seemed back to normal, ie. not easily remembering many names.

So I wonder, what could cause memory changes like that?


Something else I've wondered: Where do slugs go in the daytime?
Google? Ah, ok. So I'm not the only one who has wondered that.
darkoshi: (Default)
The "View - Reload" menu item has been removed from version 25 of Firefox. Apparently for quite a while already, "Reload" was only available when pressing "Alt+V" to view the menu. But now it's no longer there at all. I wonder why the Firefox designers feel the need to remove functionality from the menus, when the menus aren't even visible by default anymore.

Why do little changes like this bother me so much? Because it's like coming home to find that all your door handles have been removed and replaced by knobs, and furthermore, the knobs are on the top of the doors rather than in their hitherto-normal positions. Then you find out that for the last 10 years, 98% of other people have been using wireless mobilephone apps to remotely open all their doors, rather than using the door handles.

Now I have to remember to use either F5 or Ctrl+R to refresh the page when I don't have my hand on the mouse. I feel like I'm too old to learn new mnemonics. I can never even remember that Ctrl+Tab is for switching between tabs, even though I constantly use Alt+Tab for switching between windows. (I also can never remember the hotkeys for indenting or outdenting a block of text, in my email program at work).

Hmm. To press either F5 or a Control key combination, I have to look at the keyboard. Maybe that's why I find the menu mnemonics using the Alt keys easier to learn/remember. If I need to copy/paste something while typing, I still tend to use the Alt-Edit-Copy and Alt-Edit-Paste keys. My fingers however, know that Ctrl+Ins, Shift+Ins,and Ctrl-C can also be used.... but I don't use Ctrl-V much because how am I supposed to remember that V is for Paste?

Hmm. When editing text (as opposed to typing), my left hand is in the normal position, but my right hand is centered on the arrow keys. That lets me scroll through the text with my right hand, and also lets me do copy/paste/delete operations using the keys on that side.


I've found that it is much easier to iron clothes while they are still damp from the washer. No need to first let them dry. No need to put water into the iron, nor to drain it out afterwards. Ironing damp clothes makes them dry faster too.

This makes me more likely to iron clothes right after I've washed them, avoiding an ever-increasing accumulation of wrinkled clothes waiting to be ironed. If I know that I won't have time to iron right after washing, I may not even put those particular items into the wash.


I've been noticing a recent tendency to bite my lower lip while washing dishes, especially if I'm in a hurry. It's an odd subconscious thing; as if biting my lip will somehow make me get done faster. I have to consciously put effort into not doing it, as it's not a habit I want to have.