Archive for April, 2008



30 April, 2008

I want one of these two cats.




Please Hang Up and Try Again

30 April, 2008

This afternoon I heard something that I had not heard in at least a year—a busy signal. It was less the fact that heard it that surprised me, and more the fact that I had not noticed that it was missing from my life. (Not that that’s a bad thing, of course.) I figured out that the only way I could have heard that was if there was no one home at the number I was calling, and the answering machine must have already been taking someone’s call. (Or that there were two calls already going through, but I called again afterwards and got the message, so I assume that’s not true.)

So then I got to thinking about why I hadn’t heard a busy signal in so long. I realised it’s because everyone has cell phones now, and even if they don’t, most people have call waiting. So you either get a person or voicemail, and you never don’t get either. It’s weird how quickly we’ve gotten used to this instant connectivity. That’s technology, I suppose. This is also presumably why no one really knows each others’ numbers anymore; they put it into their phone once and never have to dial it again. I used to know all of my friends by heart, and now I can hardly say the area code of any of my friends at school. I still know the numbers I learned before my cell phone, though; maybe it’s tactile memory.

I was watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 the other week, and they were making fun of a short film called “Century 21 Calling,” about Bell (I think?) Labs’ presentation at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. This was off-and-on hilarious (it kind of dragged for being a short), but it was interesting to see what they saw as the future of the telephone. All the modern features—call waiting, speed dial, and so on— were actually there, but they were activated either by people or by punchcards inserted into the phone. Weird stuff. But it all happened (with some advances in user interface, of course).

Finally, two things that annoy me about phones.

1) In movies, when someone is making a phone call, and the person on the other line suddenly hangs up (usually because they’re angry, kidnapped, or killed), it makes the dial tone noise. THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN!!!!! When the other person hangs up, there is a click and then silence. No dial tone, nothing. After about thirty seconds the little noise comes on saying that you should hang up, but no dial tone. There has been one movie I have seen EVER that has done this right. Awkwardly, I can’t remember what it was, except that it was a very mediocre movie otherwise, but that little fact made me like it a lot more. And the dial tone appears in far too many movies to just be an accident. Maybe the dial tone is more dramatic? I don’t know.

2) When you dial a number outside your local area code, but you forget to add the 1 in front of the number, the phone tells you. If it knows that you need the one, then it knows where you’re trying to call. Therefore it should just connect you there. Seriously. I’m sure there’s some technical reason for this, but it annoys me to no end. Cell phones do it automatically, so should land lines.

Those are my two cents about the telephone industry. What does a payphone cost nowadays? It used to be 35¢… Well, if it still is, which I doubt, those are my 35¢ about the telephone industry.

(Also, incidentally, you can always tell where a person is from by whether they say mobile or cell phone. If it’s the former, it’s most likely the UK.)



24 April, 2008

Well, this is going to be a little bit of a reveal into the inner workings of the blog. Sort of. One of the wonderful things that WordPress does is show you how many people are visiting your site, from where, and what they’re looking at. Imagine my surprise when I discover that I seem to be one of the only sources on a livejournal phenomenon called salmoning. In the past day i was discovered as this, and my readership has soared—of that one particular article…

I happen to glance at my stats at 2:38 this morning and am amazed to see:

The beginning

But it gets better!

2:32 PM:

6:33 PM:

And finally, just now, at 11:43:

Still going strong, even after almost 24 hours. This is mainly from two livejournal communities. The first day’s worth of hits is from the community for victims of salmoning, that I linked to in the earlier article, and the second is from community where people ask questions. Someone asked “Who has been salmoned?” with a link to me. I guess I’m now the go-to blog when it comes to telling people what salmoning is. Pretty cool. I’m proud of myself.

Anyway, back to my insanely busy schedule (I’m in a play and finishing up the semester, which is why I have hardly updated at all recently). When I have to study for finals, I’ll certainly write more…



15 April, 2008

If you press option-delete in Word it deletes the whole last word that you wrote. This seems useful. How did I not know this before?



15 April, 2008

I just added a new link to my blogroll over to the right there; it’s a blog called Gossip Geek, which is a fun semi-tongue-in-cheek look at people at Harvard. Really entertaining, both from a gossipy standpoint, as well as a more meta view.

I’ll post more as time allows, by the way; I’ve been really busy lately with a lot of rehearsals. I’m in a musical called Jekyll and Hyde, which has been made most famous by the questionable casting in the Broadway cast. Who, you might ask? Well, David Hasselhoff. As Jekyll and Hyde. Here’s a video. Hilarious.

Now, in this show, the music is really good. That is, the melodies. The lyrics, however, are miserable. There’s a song all about façades and hiding behind them, for example, which includes the line “the houses ’round here are all flashy and swank and the front bit is what’s called a façade.” I did not come to a theatre for an architecture lesson… Also the line “it’s like when hope dies.” It’s no “Cry Me A River.”


The Past Comes Alive!

8 April, 2008

As some of you may know, I maintain a facebook profile for William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate from the turn of the century. This by itself is entertaining. But it gets better. Facebook recently added a “people you may know” feature to the homepage when you log in, which is actually pretty useful since it gives you suggestions of people that a lot of your friends know. When I logged in as Mr. Hearst today, I was greeted with this:

19th Century Meets 21st Century

There’s apparently a thriving 19th century community on facebook. Now if I could only facebook chat with them…

Also, incidentally, WRH has many friends. Yes, a lot of them are my friends, and yes I often initiated the friendships, but at least half of them friended me. Which means that people actually searched for William Randolph Hearst on facebook. Now when I created him, I was trying to think of a historical figure that wouldn’t already have a profile but that would be entertaining to be. And I have a special fondness for him because I did my 9th grade research paper on how he started (basically) the Spanish-American War in 1898. But I’m really impressed that other people know/care about him.

He is now, also, a member of the group “We Think William Randolph Hearst is a Douche Bag,” as well as “William Randolph Hearst is Pretty Much the Shit.” Two opposing sides in a conflict I didn’t know existed. But they were there, and so I (he) joined them. Facebook is full of wonders.


Monday Roundup 13!

7 April, 2008

Is unlucky, apparently. My computer is being a little weird right now, so bookmarks among other  things are getting confused. It should be back to normal next week; you’ll get a big bunch then!

Sorry for the break with tradition.