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Dizzying Intellect » Geek Girl

Category: Geek Girl

Public Service Announcement

When all of your dog’s favorite toys are made of hard, white plastic…

Or rawhide…

This is almost certainly a dog toy (especially when it’s in a leather cover).

That is all.

It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiiiime…

Yay, it’s the best ThinkGeek day of the year!

My favorite this year? I’m not sure if it’s even a gag. It might be real, for all I know, since it’s in a different section of the email. And if it’s not, with ThinkGeek’s recent trend of making some of these into actual products, it might be real soon:

I need this to follow me around like a sycophantic poodle. A flying sycophantic poodle. Because my capacity for generating my own is fading fast.

Also likely to be produced by popular demand? (And I’d probably break down and buy one, if they’re grown-up size) Morbid yet adorable. The Tauntaun Carcass sleeping bag, complete with plush intestine lining.

Likely to be the most popular overall? Squeez Bacon. Although, realistically, this is ThinkGeek. So if they do make it, the actual product will be caffeinated. And possibly alcoholic.

I also really, really, really want the Ultimate Assassins Weapon Ice Mold. But I think we can count on that one remaining fictional.

Also? I’m still waiting for my glow-in-the-dark, caffeinated beer. So hurry it up, guys. Chop chop.

Go outside, you freak

Can I please tell you how much I need this at work?

Technically, I have it. I’m using a five year old laptop that’s on its last legs (functioning hardware a big priority in IT? not so much.) and it freezes into a solid block of carbonite at least three times per day, for a minimum of ten minutes each. Why don’t I use that time to go outside and decompress? Your guess is as good as mine, but I think Tweedledee would sleep more soundly at night if I did.

Anyway, if you haven’t already, check out your gmail labs options. They spend a lot of time making cool much, much cooler.

Afterburn

Just bought this lovely from David Loong this morning.

His curlicues are just amazing, and these things are so tiny that the intricacy is mind-boggling. It’s my third piece of his that I’ve managed to snap up. Go have a look, and check out how he makes them too.

Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow

I don’t really consider myself a huge science fiction fan — even though I’m reading more and more of it lately, since general fiction seems to be regressing toward nothing but chick lit geared toward making the reader cry. (Just what we need in these cheerful times!) But I especially get a kick out of science fiction that was written before the space age.

When I bought my Kindle, I downloaded “A Princess of Mars,” by Edgar Rice Burroughs (the guy who wrote Tarzan, for the non-nerds in the audience) and I really liked it. I read a few light books in between, but then went back and got the second book in the series, “The Gods of Mars.”

They were written almost 100 years ago (1917 and 1918, respectively), so they’re really nostalgic and the old classic “martian” flavor is all there. The green-skinned natives and the martian canals and all of that. But there’s a surprising amount of sensible science in there, like dealing with the decreased gravity; complex machinery to create an earth-like atmosphere; and the two moons, moving at different speeds, which is a really nice touch to me, personally.

But the lack of science — trying to write about space ships when airplanes and cars had barely been realized — is the really intriguing part. The ships are all like, well, ships. They have anchors and rudders and flat tops with bridges just like a sailing ship. Even though they’re flying 1000 feet above the ground. The crew stands on top, and they can look over the edge at other ships flying below, or be shoved overboard, and they board each others’ ships with grappling hooks and rope. And they fight almost exclusively with swords.

And they have this advanced technological equipment, but no phones (or the second book would be half as long as it is). But as hilarious as it sounds, it doesn’t really distract from the story or the action. They’re beautifully written and exciting to read. It’s just an added quirk factor. If you’re into that kind of thing.

Colors

*groan*

I know, it’s not new. I’ve seen it before, and I even think it’s sort of clever, in the same way that those “roses are #FF0000, violets are #0000FF” shirts are clever.

I’m not mad or bent out of shape, I’m just tired. I’ll admit that I think a “#FF0000 Power” shirt would be cute (although no one would get it) and would fit right in at the Realm of Redheads store. But we all know perfect well that someone wearing a “#FFFFFF Power” shirt would still get the holy living hell stomped out of him.

And that’s where the cuteness kinda wears out.

I guess I just hoped that this nonsense was over. Aren’t we supposed to all be post-racial now? Or is that rule only for #FFFFFF people?

Survivalingismist

Here’s what I don’t get. If you buy gold, with the concern that civilization may completely fall apart when/if the banks fail and cash becomes useless — gold doesn’t come in less than a half-ounce, right? Maybe there’s a quarter-ounce coin that I don’t know about.

But people are talking about gold being worth $4-5000 per ounce. So you have the money to buy a small chunk of land in Montana, maybe with a little house on it, right? Or a truck? With one or two coins?

What do you use to buy a loaf of bread? Or gas? Or a dog? If your smallest denomination of money (assuming there’s a 1/4 oz coin) is worth $1000? Help me out here, it’s been bugging me.

Repurposing Resources

Disclaimer: I have a personal and overwhelming hatred of corporate buzzwords. My brain just shuts off — my eyes glaze over and I unintentionally stop listening, when someone starts using them. I know what they mean. I just hate them.

“Resource” is the one that really makes me grit my teeth, even though I’ve been hearing it for years. A stapler is a resource, not a person. (And if you have to dehumanize people to do your job, maybe you’re in the wrong profession.)

Anyway, I’m so glad that HR resume readers agree with me.

197 words that can kill a resume (and the HR person reading it)

Imagine a conversation with a self-described envisioneer who, when it comes to mission critical, is on the cutting edge, a proactive people-person capable of meticulously strategizing a paradigm in the aggregate.

Ha. I totally know that guy.

Capobianco and a small crew of writers operating as GW Press uploaded the first edition of the “Resume Dictionary” at ResumeDictionary.com.

“We’re not making much,” Capobianco said. Which sort of adds up since GW Press is giving away the Resume Dictionary for free. Never mind the money. Then came the sequel: “197 Words You Should NOT Use on Your Resume.”

Yes, it’s all here.

From “acute sense of perception” to “white paper” with “deliverables,” “functionalities,” “matrix,” “optimize,” “thusly” and 190 other clunkers in between.

“People are trying to sound smart,” said Capobianco. “But if a human resources person gets a résumé with a made-up word (architected, anyone?) it lands in the reject pile.”

Segue: “Thusly” reminds me of “myself” — which is a personal pet peeve of mine. As in “He asked Kate and myself to lunch.” Dude, the word is “me.” Deal with it.

But that’s a rant for another day.

In an interview, as with a résumé, the trick is to use the English language to communicate rather than impress, says Capobianco.

No wonder every job description I’ve seen in the past month has specified “good communication skills” under the requirements. You eventually have to talk to real humans, not just your corporate-ladder climbing boss.

The website isn’t linked from the article, which is pretty common for the Post-Dispatch, so here it is: Resume Dictionary

Kindling

So, I bought a Kindle 2. Not so much because I thought I’d use it, but because I just like gadgets. I’m pretty hit-and-miss on whether they actually get used (Palm, iPod) or not (video games), but I hadn’t bought myself anything fun since my Wii in 2007, and I decided it was time.

It arrived last Wednesday (hooray for Super Saver shipping when it’s also super fast) and I have to admit, I really like it. I’m not really “used to it” yet — I’m not quite sure where to put my hands — but I’ve used it every day.

I was concerned because I have really bad insomnia, and it’s almost impossible for me to fall asleep unless I read myself to sleep. And I almost never buy hardcover books, because they’re so hard to read while lying down, see? So it was either going to be a double-win or a double-loss, because either the Kindle would be workable while lying down, and I’d also get to start reading hardcovers again, or it wouldn’t and I wouldn’t.

So I downloaded A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs and gave it a shot. At first I was thrown out of the story every time I had to “turn” the page, but that goes away surprisingly fast. Which is a good thing, because even with the smaller fonts, a page doesn’t hold many words. It’s also a little more awkward than just having a book fall out of your hands when you nod off, because it’s more vertical and so it falls a lot more aggressively, but that didn’t really bother me beyond the first startling time, either.

With that dealbreaker out of the way, I started getting attached to it. It’s really light and shockingly thin. When I see it on the dresser, I’m always surprised by how flat it is. And the graphics are really unusual. I hadn’t seen one, obviously, but I’d heard that the e-Ink is just like a book. How much can that be true, though, since it’s electronic? But it really is. The font doesn’t get pixelly, even at the largest setting, and because there’s no backlighting, it’s very easy on the eyes. The images are what really surprised me, though. When it goes to sleep, it pops up random black and white paintings of classical authors (Poe, Austen, etc) and they’re remarkably clear and attractive. I really just like it.

You can get books from Amazon, of course, which is the idea — but there are also several websites that offer public domain novels, and you can easily download those too. And I’ve heard that there are torrents of books that haven’t been released, but I haven’t checked that out yet. (Not sure if it’s worth potentially damaging my new toy for an illegal book, but maybe I’d consider it for Harry Potter…)

I want to read Fool, but I need to re-read King Lear first (not one of my favorites) so I’m not totally lost — I know I could just watch Ran again, but it’s not really an exact match. So I’ll get King Lear from manybooks.net and Fool from amazon. Also, I ordered one of these covers because I’m a klutz, and I’ll update when it arrives.

So anyway, I recommend Kindle 2. There you go.

More Datamancer

You know I’m obsessed with Datamancer.

I am not, however, obsessed with Scrabble. Not my thing, although I’ve been known to play the bastard cousin game with the stacking tiles occasionally. Whatever it’s called.

Anyway. I know others like it, so go see.

Seems like it would be hard to get used to such huge keys (I think they’ve been scaled down a little, but still), but to each his own. It looks cool. And the function keys make me happy.