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birchbarkcanoe




Hello :) I like classical music and maps.


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I do have dead time now! I've been practicing cello in the morning for the past 10 years, so it's definitely weird. Twiddling my thumbs currently consists of reading and cleaning, though it doesn't feel quite the same. I can't wait to be back in a place where I can practice in the morning!

I wake up at 6:16 every day, because I was born at 6:16. The only time this rule is broken is when I need to be up earlier.

During the school year, the 6:16 wake up is followed by making my bed, breakfasting with a friend, and the slog across campus for an hour and a half or so of cello practicing before class.

Right now my rituals are all out of whack because I have neighbors and I play a loud instrument. So I twiddle my thumbs before work and then practice after work. So weird.

birchbarkcanoe  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Book Thread Time

I'm 50 pages away from the end of Les Trois Mousquetaires (The Three Musketeers) and it's wonderful!! The writing is beautiful and amusing. But I've been reading other books in between....

I read Robin Sloan's Sourdough, recommended to me by demure and a truly delightful read. It was a quick read and a quirky story and I loved every word.

I also recently read Code Name Verity, a YA novel about two young female WWII spies/pilots. I picked it up because it's supposedly based in the city in France where I just spent the semester! If you're looking for a page-turning tear-jerking YA quasi-historical read, it's good!

birchbarkcanoe  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Book Thread Time

I'm 50 pages away from the end of Les Trois Mousquetaires (The Three Musketeers) and it's wonderful!! The writing is beautiful and amusing. But I've been reading other books in between....

I read Robin Sloan's Sourdough, recommended to me by demure and a truly delightful read. It was a quick read and a quirky story and I loved every word.

I also recently read Code Name Verity, a YA novel about two young female WWII spies/pilots. I picked it up because it's supposedly based in the city in France where I just spent the semester! If you're looking for a page-turning tear-jerking YA quasi-historical read, it's good!

birchbarkcanoe  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: American Green

One thing I love about Vermont is that most people with land actually use it. Despite our wicked short growing season, almost everyone has a vegetable garden. I've noticed that people are so much more in touch with their land and what grows in their yard than where I grew up in Mass, and manicured lawns are the sure sign of Connecticut transplant retirees.

Also, those bullet-pointed facts in the middle there. UGH. The manicured lawn requirements make me so angry, can we all adjust to a world where native species and healthy wetlands hold the beauty standard over lawns?

I tried to be open-minded and try as much local cuisine as possible when I was in France last semester... foie gras did not make the list because I can't get over that process.

I miss 90% of the rest of French cuisine though!

Oof, the old boiled dinner. Blows my mind that this is such a "classic" when it tastes so much better if you just roast the same ingredients.

Also Necco wafers. Who thought sidewalk chalk would make good candy??

    I know plenty of people who feel frustrated by Spotify's handling of classical music, but most of them just embrace the suck and construct personalized playlists of renditions they enjoy (or, in some cases, renditions they can tolerate).

Guilty! Spotify also makes it really easy to share playlists; that "social media" aspect is good for sharing recommendations of favorite recordings, etc. with friends. I also totally agree that that separation would be a huge loss for everyone, even though my spotify statistics tell me that roughly 92% of my listening is classical and I might fall into that category of people who seriously consider a new streaming service.

Ooh, both of the towns that I have called home are represented by actors that starred in the Bourne Identity!

Weird geographical patterns aside though, I've always loved the visualizations from The Pudding. There always seems to be a good balance of functional interaction to actual data presentation. In this one I particularly like how the magnitude of the dot is related to the famous-ness of the person instead of the population of the city (see Ernest Hemmingway from Ketchum, ID), even though they're often correlated. It makes sense, but some data-visualizers these days.... wags finger

birchbarkcanoe  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 29, 2019

I have a little over a week left in France, where I've been studying (and more recently research-interning) since January. I've got a big research report due the day I fly home that has been preventing sentimental reflection time, but I have noticed one thing: I don't have very many photos of the city I've been living in! My camera roll has oodles of photos from spring break, but what about the big plaza here in town, the pretty timbered houses on the way to the bus stop, or the giant-ass medieval cathedral literally 150m from my door? I don't have pictures of them! This is a problem that I am working on resolving before I leave because I want to make a tacky sentimental photo album with my mum when I get home.

So my question: how often do you guys photograph your own neighborhood? Could you show someone your daily life through photos? When I got here, I had similar struggles in the opposite direction, trying to find pictures of my everyday life in the US to show my new friends. I'm sure your every day surroundings are beautiful in some way, but do you have a record of that? Do you want a record of that?

    I would definitely do grad school again if I was offered the choice

Wow this is so good to hear. Maybe the more vocal side of the internet is the side that regrets it. I think my dream is a teaching-focused position, though I could also see myself in a non-university research setting or, well, I don't know. As you said, it's an intellectual curiosity type of thing.

That is really great advice, thank you! I've had some professors mention that as a sort of aside when talking about grad school, and I'm starting to reach the conclusion that the people that are miserable are the people that don't take care of themselves. Anyway, thanks for your insight!!

As weird as it sounds, one of the main reasons I check out books from the campus library is because it's the most convenient way to access them. I do a quick search of the titles in my professor's course bibliography (shout out to great catalog search technology), go to the library, and find the books! Of course, journal articles are a different story and they are definitely more accessible online.

On the other hand, I love the collaborative workspace concept, but the way my school tackled that was by compressing the stacks with the sliding bookshelf mechanism where you press the button to open up the corridor so we got more study space and we keep the books. Lucky us, I guess!?

On a separate note,

    “We learn to read books and articles quickly, under pressure, for the key points or for what we can use. But we write as if a learned gentleman of leisure sits in a paneled study, savoring every word.”

Haaah. Yes, we need to have a real conversation about concision in academic texts. But is this a modern attention span problem or a long-standing issue where researchers just want to optimize their reading time? I have a feeling it's the latter.

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