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Very cross with my edition of The Naughtiest Girl in the School, right now.


This book was written in the 1940s.
The kids are given two pounds each week for pocket money.
Said pounds are made up of 100 pence each.


GRRR.


Judicious googling confirms my suspicion that the original edition had them receiving two shillings each week.

Why, oh why do people think these things need to be dumbed down? Either the kids won't notice the weird currency, or else they WILL notice and will therefore LEARN something!



This is actually annoying me more than the American editions of Harry Potter.

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Aussie elections

I have been reading a lot about the US election lately, and have come to a simple conclusion: our elections are better.

I've also realised that I've never told you all about our elections, so for anyone who's curious, keep reading...


Australian Elections and Why They're So Much Better Than Yours (Whoever You Are)

1) We have an independent group organising them.

This being the Australian Electoral Commission. They organise the whole shebang, and oversee the voting. Among other things, this greatly limits gerrymandering, as the electoral districts are figured out by people who are required by law to be impartial.


2) The campaign season doesn't go on for an eternity.

Most likely, our election this year will be held on July 2nd. We're still not sure, though, because it hasn't been announced yet.

You guys have campaigns that go on for MULTIPLE YEARS. It's INSANE.

Plus - we have no primaries. So we're not all sick of the candidates before we even reach the main event.


3) Voting is on Saturdays.

This makes it easier for everyone to attend, rather than getting stuck at work. It's also a lot more relaxing. (If you go to the right polling booth, you can have a democracy sausage afterwards. They are yummy and awesome.)


4) Voting is compulsory.

Everyone votes. EVERYONE. Which, among other things, means that you don't get candidates trying to "get out the vote" by being as radical as possible. Instead, aware that the vote will be "out" whether they like it or not, they have to cater to as many people as possible, by heading more for the centre.


5) We have preferential voting.

...and this is the best bit. The uber-reason why Australia's elections rock and everyone else's are just second best.

Our ballots are a bit more complicated than yours. We don't choose a single candidate - instead, we rank all the candidates, from best to worst.

Why is this awesome? Because there ain't no such thing as "throwing your vote away" on a third party candidate.

I can vote for Awesome McPolicyGuru, who probably won't win, in the comforting knowledge that, when they fail to win as per usual, my vote will instead go to Nice von-Competent rather than Evil Villainson. And, if enough people do the same, Awesome McPolicyGuru could even get elected! Woo!

This is why our government is less of a two-parties-and-nothing-else situation that the US. The way your elections are set up, you're pretty much always going to have two viable candidates and no-one else - whereas we usually have a decent showing of third party and independent MPs. Because we can actually elect them.

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compare and contrast: gynaecologists

In Australia, the gyno will happily take care of all your prenatal and delivery needs. Except for any blood tests or ultrasounds. For those, you'll have to go off site.

In Germany, your blood tests and ultrasounds will all be done right at the gyno's office.
...attend your delivery? Why on earth would he do that?



In Germany, you remove all clothing from the lower half of your body, walk across the room, hoick yourself up into the stirrups, and wait for large, cold objects to be shoved into you.

In Australia, you are given a hospital gown, and then the ultrasound technician, very discreetly, says "I'll just give you some privacy to change." After which, presumably, she comes back into the room and sticks large, cold objects into all the body parts she's carefully not noticing yet.
...at least, I assume so, if I hadn't snorted, told her about Germany, and stripped off right in front of her.



(Yep. You are correct in your wonderings.)

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want it, can't create it

Here's what I want:

I open up my tablet app, and select "make a new map". It gives me a blank grid of squares.

I decide whether the map is inside, in the street, or in the countryside. The app gives me the appropriate terrain types (such as "floor, table, stairs", "building, pavement, wagon", or "rocks, river, grass") based on my choice. Then I select a terrain type, apply it to some grid squares, select another, apply it to some more grid squares, etc.

Finally, I can select any grid square, and give it a label.

Voila! Map!


(Then, at a later date...)

I open up my tablet app, and select "use existing map". It loads the map I made earlier.

I add characters: Rohan the Ranger, Elthreli the Cleric, Snigwat the Fighter, Nora the Rogue, Orc 1, Orc 2, Captive 1, etc.

I can then position the characters on any grid squares I choose, and, at any point, move them from one location to another.



Thus allowing me to run awesome RPGs without constantly having to use a pencil and eraser on the back of an old character sheet.

That's the dream...

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it's kind of my JOB

I asked one of the team engineers to check whether a technical term was written correctly. He huffed, rolled his eyes slightly, and demanded "Who's questioning it?"

Why, good sir, I am questioning it. It is my bounden duty, as company editor, to question every half-formed piece of drivel that crosses my desk; to tear it to shreds and reconstruct it in a way that makes sense; to challenge every fact, every phrasing; to correct, to change, to disrupt - so that when your document reaches its final destination, and your now-flowing prose delights their every sense, our clients will not, even for a moment, question it.

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dragons I have known

The thing about dragons being fictional is that every author gets their own chance to decide what dragons are really like (see also: vampires and werewolves). As far as I can remember, the order I encountered them was as follows:


a short listCollapse )

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weird plural possessives

Okay. This has stumped me.

We have:
- one Surgeon General
- two Surgeons General
- one cup of tea
- two cups of tea
- The Surgeon General's cup of tea.
- The Surgeon General's cups of tea.


...when you have multiple Surgeons General, how do you do the possessive?

Is it:
- The Surgeons' General cups of tea?
- The Surgeons General's cups of tea?
- The Surgeons' Generals cups of tea?
...or what?

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work and stuff

Life is about to drastically change.

This week, the husband will be in Japan - so the kidlet and I will be home by ourselves. The next week, I will start working three days a week, while the husband drops down to three days too.

I am simultaneously excited and terrified. What if my son doesn't remember me after a whole nine hours apart? What if I forget how to read and totally fail at my job? What if aliens land?

...hopefully it will all be fine.

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*sporfles*

My husband just stopped vacuuming, and said (let me see if I can get this down accurately...) :

Farscape for vacuum cleaners. The broom from the Sorceror's Apprentice looks into the wrong cupboard, finds a Cyberman, and gets turned into a vacuum cleaner. "It's a broom! A living broom!" Hence, Talyn.


Deducting a few points for grammar and general coherence, but... he's awesome. And wonderfully geeky.

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film comparison

I've just been watching Branagh's Much Ado and Whedon's Much Ado back to back. I find it quite fascinating which lines get used or left out in each. Scenes start and finish in totally different places, and it really affects the tone.

Also:
- Branagh's Benedick is a very comic character, whereas Denisoff's is far darker.
- Fillion is the only person I've ever seen manage Dogberry - largely because he's playing him as a fool, but not as weird.
- The choice to turn Conrad into a woman was inspired.
- Kenneth Branagh is really good looking with a beard.

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one day I will watch a CURRENT show...

Am currently sitting out on my deck, watching my son terrorise the mint plant. (Alternating between pulling off leaves and dropping more gravel into the top of the pot.)

I have been rewatching The West Wing of late, and am once again dismayed to realise that I'm a decade too late to be part of the fandom. I want fervent discussion of plotlines! Why oh why am I so behind the times?

But seriously:
- I have OPINIONS on CJ's rise to Chief of Staff, Toby's leak, the Santos campaign, Will Bailey's very existence, the sad lack of Ainsley Hayes, and pretty much the whole of the post-Sorkin seasons.

- I want very much to see some post-series snippets of CJ (new job, new life with Danny, and Charlie tagging along to be her right-hand man), as well as a spin-off show with the new administration.

- Why oh why is there not someone West-Wing-ising the current US campaign with many brilliant layers of satire?



...and I had more thoughts, but my son has just realised he can fit underneath the car, so I have to go.

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Jan. 9th, 2016

So, I knew that ASL had a different alphabet to Auslan. (Our alphabet is two-handed; ASL is one-handed.)

What I hadn't realised until today was that they have different numbers as well.

I looked up the ASL alphabet today, and found this:




As an Auslan person, that bottom row looks to me like:
0, 1, 2, 8, 4, 5, 3 ...followed by words I don't know.


No larger point. I just find it interesting that counting can be so different in different countries.

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geekdom ahoy

Met some of my new coworkers this morning.

Our desks are arranged into groups (or "pods"). My pod has apparently been christened "Rivendell". We are preparing for a pod-decorating competition against the other pods, including the nearest: "King's Landing".


...I think I'm going to like these people.

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Does everyone in non-Australia seriously call them twin beds?

Twin? Really?

Single/double works so well. Twin/double is more... aren't they the same? It sounds weird.

I'm rather confused.

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Star Wars

Well. That's pretty much what I was hoping to see 16 years ago.

Awesome.

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sorting houses and stuff

A few weeks ago I was musing about Hogwarts houses, and which one I'd be sorted into. Mentioned this to the husband, who responded with "Duh. Of course you'd be in Ravenclaw. Isn't it obvious?"

He is, of course, correct. When I thought about it, I realised that, if I was not sorted into Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin, I'd be sad, but also think "yeah, I suppose that's reasonable". If I failed to be sorted into Ravenclaw, on the other hand, I would be horrified that they didn't think I was intellectual enough.

I think, in fact, that's probably a good way of confirming someone's house. Someone who doesn't get into Hufflepuff, and says "But... you don't think I'm loyal and hardworking enough? I am SO loyal and hardworking! Let me show you how hard I can work at being loyal!" - or who doesn't get into Slytherin and is highly indignant about her resourcefulness being disparaged.



...and now, I will do what countless others have doubtless done before me, and sort the Buffy characters into Hogwarts houses. Because I couldn't get to sleep last night and this is what my brain does.

Gryffindor
- Buffy. Because duh.
- Spike. He's gutsy, and tends to put everything on the line just for the heck of it.

Ravenclaw
- Giles. (Bookish polyglot.)
- Dawn. (Ditto.)
- Angel. He knows his history, his languages, and his literature. And tends to research everything.

Slytherin
- Willow. I think she's more about knowledge so that she can do things and so that she can feel good about herself than because she actually wants to know for the sake of it. And she'd be upset about people thinking she wasn't prepared and resourceful.
- Anya. Pragmatic as all get-out. And I think she's the one character who would be most likely to shoot someone Indiana-Jones-style to cut the battle short.

Hufflepuff
- Faith. So ridiculously loyal - and the one way to make her absolutely destroy your life is to make her loyal to you and then (from her perspective) betray her.
- Everyone Willow has ever dated. (Seriously! Xander, Oz, Tara, Kennedy - all total Hufflepuffs...)

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also a music rec...

Anyone who likes modern instrumental music should check out "The Piano Guys". I am currently listening to their Christmas album, and desperately wanting to see them in concert.

(They also do rather fun YouTube videos.)

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*shakes fist at terrible memory*

Don't you hate it when you have an excellent idea for a blog post, but by the time you actually sit down to post it, you've forgotten what it was? *sighs*


So, random life update:
- Am almost finished with Latin book 5, at which point I will be a (self-described) Advanced Latin Student, ready for such majestic heights as fairytales-in-Latin, Harry-Potter-in-Latin, and short-excerpts-from-classic-Latin-texts-with-the-translation-right-there-in-case-I-get-confused. Very awesome.

- Am feeling very organised, because all my Christmas presents are wrapped.

- The boy is now walking all day, and getting rather adventurous. Fun, but slightly exhausting.

- We are between heatwaves, so having nice sunny weather. Most of my plants have survived so far.

- The husband is now halfway through season 3 of Farscape. He's enjoying it, most of the time.

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a lovely sound

After three ridiculously hot days, the storm has finally broken. We have every window in the house open, and I am sitting here in the cool, refreshing air, listening to the lovely sound of Aussie rain.

It sounds different here. Rain, I mean.

You see, we have this thing called corrugated iron, which makes up a rather large percentage of the roofs in this country. If you're standing anywhere near any kind of building, you are standing somewhere where you will hear rain falling on corrugation, every time it rains. It's a lovely sound. And not one I got to hear last year.

Tourism websites might talk up the landscapes and the marsupials, but my vote for Best Part of Australia is the sound of the storms.

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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Wondering where my tags are?

Along with my icons and my memories, they have gone MIA, and LiveJournal has not been any help in retrieving them.


Thankfully, my old posts are backed up at [personal profile] deird_lj, and the tags there are still intact. (No joy on the memories or icons.)

All new entries are at [personal profile] deird1.

Have fun with that...

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The Mezzanine

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