Jun. 7th, 2013

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cut due to length
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The plan for today was to work on clearing out the attic, while it's still cool outside. The day's more than half over, and it hasn't happened yet.   In a week, an energy inspection person is coming to make recommendations, and he really will need to see much of the attic.  I took a different visitor up there on Wednesday - an acquaintance who ended up taking two of my old Singer machines (one electric, about 100 years old, based on its serial number, and an slightly earlier treadle one). (don't worry - that leaves me two treadles).  I made a half-joking remark about the possibility of her turning me into the hoarder TV show people.  She said "this isn't hoarding.  This is normal.  You should see my attic."  My tact filters don't work very well a lot of the time.  Without thinking, I said "your house is the size of a football field.  How can it be full?"  (It actually is the biggest private home I've ever been in, not counting places like the mansions in Newport).  She said "things tend to go horizontal."  I understand that.  A flat place will attract objects.  It's nice that she didn't feel uncomfortable surrounded by stuff, but she didn't need to poke around at the insulation under the eaves, which the inspector probably will.

  I wasn't surprised by the Verizon phone data thing because I thought I remembered it from sometime in the past.  I don't approve, but I thought people had already known about it.  I'm not exactly sure what I'm remembering.

Two youtube recommendations
Mr Rogers - one of the re-mixes that PBS has commisioned:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdAZ79AhcfY&list=SP26EE48981A093CA0
The book of Acts in three minutes.  Could replace years of Sunday School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJIHgMR7LP0

The first episode of a TV show called "Graceland" aired last night.  The premise is that six undercover agents (FBI, DEA, customs) live together in a fancy beach house in Calfornia, cooperating to bring down drug dealers, the Russian mob, etc.  Some of it is like a bunch of housemates (there's a chore wheel, they have goofy nicknames for each other) and some of it is all business.  What I liked most what that the new guy addressed the other folks as sir or ma'am even when they were drinking or surfing together.
spoiler-filled trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMpDdkoPRIM

The Boston Early Music Festival starts on Sundays.  I've carefully gone through the schedules (regular and Fringe) and have made a chart of about 15 concerts.  I can't imagine that I'll make it to most of them - my track record in the past has been more like two concerts and one workshop (usually the dance one, which doesn't seem to be happening this year).

Abstract of a recent study of barefoot running. Other aspects notwithstanding, forefoot running doesn't seem to save energy.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23681915
Me running in a race near the Mystic River last month.  This is the biggest size of the flickr choices - it's close enough that you can see the sun glinting off of one of my gold molar crowns.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/arturo-gossage/8756278238/sizes/o/in/set-72157633538485454/

Last week I mentioned the use of red ochre in Australian rock paintings from thousands of years ago.   On Wednesday I was re-reading this article prior to recycling the magazine (yes, it's three years old.  I'm slow).
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=when-the-sea-saved-humanity
In addition to all the other stuff in the article, the author mentioned that they used red ochre (which is basically iron oxide).  It doesn't seem to have been available near where they lived - they valued it enough to travel to get it.  That's nice to know, but then he had to go and irritate me by claiming that the importance of red was probably related to blood and menstruation and was therefore ritualistic.  Argh.  Maybe they just liked red.  Then, trying to use the same kind of logic, I wondered whether stop signs are red to make people think of blood.  Stopping can be ritualistic in that way, not just a safety action.  I read an article that suggested removing stop signs, because it would make people think at intersections instead of just dutifully stopping without paying much attention. I'm not convinced.
reminder to self - watch this at some point.
https://gustavus.edu/events/nobelconference/2008/marean-lecture.php

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