Shabby Background

Thursday, June 27

Summer reading

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

"It’s time for summer reading, so … today’s question? What’s the worst thing you ever did to your reading material? Sand in the bindings from the beach? Dropped into the pool? Covers smeared with sunscreen? 

And, if you’ve never done actual summer-time damage … have you EVER damaged your book/magazine/paper? Dropped it in the bathtub? Used it to kill a bug? Spilled with coffee?"

I left Dan Brown's Deception Point in my mother's living room long enough for a niece (who was also visiting) to be tempted to 'steal' it and make it her own summer read.

I normally take enough care of my books that none of them are ever damaged but there was a time when some of them were eaten up by termites.  The house help never informed me until the darn pests have burrowed into them.  I was brokenhearted. 

Thursday 13: things the world's smartest people are afraid of.  A hundred and fifty of them are listed on several internet sources. Worry was mentioned several times by, you guessed it - psychologists. What do you think of these fears?

1) Armageddon  ~ Timothy Taylor, archeologist
2) The demise of the scholar ~ David L. Everett, liguistic researcher
3) The post-human geography that will result when robots have taken all our jobs. ~ David Dalrymple, MIT researcher
4) That aliens pose a danger to human civilization. ~ Seth Shostak, SETI researcher
5) That genomics may fail us when it comes to mental disorders. ~ Terrence J. Sejnowski, computational neuroscientist
6) That we'll begin to treat technology like magic. ~ Neil Gershenfield, MIT physicist
7) The proliferation of Chinese eugenics. ~ Geoffrey Miller, evolutionary psychologist
8) The homogenization of the human experience. ~ Scott Atran, anthropologist
9) I worry that free imagination is overvalued, and I think this carries risks. ~ Carlo Rovelli, theoretical physicist
10) The end of hardship inoculation. ~ Adam Alter, psychologist
11) The pseudoscience will gain ground - Helena Cronin, author, philosopher
12) That we will continue to uphold taboos on bad words. ~ Benjamin Bergen, Associate Professor of Cognitive Science, UCS
13) I worry about the prospect of collective amnesia ~ Nogra Arikha, historian of ideas

Here are the rest of them:  150 things the world's smartest people are afraid of

Thursday, June 20

Lotus white, tea, braids and ice

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

"And, the reverse–which actors have been particularly badly cast in roles of characters you first met in the pages of a book? Do you blame the actors or the writers and other film-people for the failure? Who would you have cast instead?"

Ewan McGregor as Carlo Ventresca in Angels and Demons. I thought he was too thin and small as a carmerlengo. They could have cast someone with more body volume and a deep bass voice, but it's just me.

Katharine Schlesinger as Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey. Too pretty for her character as one who is into horror Gothic stories. Again, it's just me.

I don't care about blaming anyone for the failure. It's not worth the wrinkles. I just go get myself a cup of tea and find other books and movies to enjoy.

Thursday 13: Random quotes that mention white things in photos I took recently

1. The white lotus opens wide to those who know her secrets. ~ Fung and Iroh.
2. I failed to make the chess team because of my height. ~ Woody Allen
3. A picture is a poem without words. - Horace
4. There is not so variable a thing as a lady's headdress. ~ Joseph Addison

5. As lovely as the white orchid, I'll never own this bloom outright. Yet as I dream in my small chamber, faith blooms in ever spreading light. ~ Liilia Talts Morrison

6. Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one. ~ E.B. White
7. Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning. ~ William Arthur Ward 

8. From time to time I'm vilified as the person who cares about the look of a teapot. ~ Stephen Bayley

9. Real nutrition comes from soybeans, almonds, rice and other healthy vegetable sources, not from a cow's udder. ~ Ingrid Newkirk
10. Women eat ice cream. Men toast marshmallows. ~ Diana Hardy
11. Consumers are eating about six ounces of Pangasius per year. Hardly more than a mouthful ~ shared by a member of The Caravan Club

12. A girl without braids is like a city without bridges. ~ Roman Payne
13. I dread no more the first white in my hair, or even age itself the easy shoe. Time doing this to me may alter too my sorrow into something I can bear. ~ Edna St Vincent Millay

Thursday, June 13

Dream Cast

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

"And while we’re thinking about books converted to tv/movies. Do you ever sit and wonder who could be cast as your favorite characters? (Please feel free to give examples!)
What actors do you think have done particularly excellent jobs with some of your favorite characters?"
Cleopatra VII of Dan Brown's latest thriller; if they're converting Inferno to film soon- I wonder how would a younger version of Maggie Smith do. A complicated fancy but it's free to wish.

Richard Harris (HP1 & 2) and Michael Gambon (HP3-6) were perfect for their role as Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

They couldn't have chosen a better actor than Leonardio di Caprio as Jay Gatsby in the recent The Great Gatsby.

Jacob Black of the Twilight series was played quite well by Taylor Lautner. I don't mind that he is not as tall as his book character. Taylor is the best shape shifter ever and he played Jacob very well I was in love with him for months.

Thursday 13: Random bookish photos in my files

1. the latest Dan Brown thriller

2. I piled these last Christmas to make a tree out of them

3. got to watch the film first; went straight to the bookstore for the reading experience

4. at my fave second-hand bookshop: deciding which ones to check out

5. writing a research-reflective note on a page of a Jane Austen book

6. I heard my mother mutter quietly while watching me bid goodbye to these books I bought after a week-long vacation at home, "Anastasia and her latest loot.'

7. Advertising Management books, Business Management Faculty office (my playground)

8. this boardroom at work teems with e-books
9. Kinokuniya search machine; looks like the one that replaced the note cards

10. a book filled with color drawing of fairies by Mary Cicely Barker

11. some of those books I bought from Logos Hope

12. normal state of the bed

13. playing with free photo background online

Wednesday, June 12

Flea market supper

Three cousins wrestle a mountain of clothes in the flea market. An hour or two in they proceed to the food section. It's been awhile since the girls had somtam, or green papaya salad. So it is high on their list of dishes to have for supper. Joy is finding a vendor whose somtam combo is exactly one's taste.




This is the state of the coffee table the day after- a mainly fruit breakfast to offset the effects of coke drunk during the somtam supper which cost just $4.50.

And this is how fruits in the tropics are enjoyed: ten mangoes for $1.61, a kilo of rambutan for $0.60, two kilos of mangosteen for $1.30, durian for $3.25, a dozen pieces of jackfruit for $0.65. Joy is spending less for healthy food.

Somtam is everywhere in Thailand and popular among locals and foreign visitors alike. The Thai variation is no. 46 on CNN Go's World's 50 Most Delicious Foods. Here's a recipe by Maangchi Kim.

Monday, June 3

Unbirthday tea

As Lewis Carroll's neologism in his Through the Looking Glass, an unbirthday is "an event that can be celebrated on any day that is not the person's birthday." People who love celebrations may be into unbirthdays regularly. I am. It keeps me counting blessings and looking at life positively.
"Statistics prove that you have one birthday, just one birthday every year. But there are three hundred and sixty-four unbirthdays. And this is a reason to gather and cheer." 
An unbirthday is also
"when you acknowledge that it is, indeed, the date of your birth, but refuse to acknowledge that you have aged."
and to you!


~ Sally's Blues and Maiylah's Food: sticky rice sweet coconut balls ~

It is also suggested that an unbirthday is "the day of a sibling's birthday where you also receive presents/money in order to keep the peace." 

I didn't know about this before but I have been buying gifts for my fur kid when the biological one has a birthday, and vice versa. When CJ turned nine I decided to join in the fun with my boys by having an unbirthday; albeit a working mom style one, spread and ongoing.

The local delicacy is the saving grace of the plastic water glass and paper coffee cup - served as snack during a 15-minute research conference break (intense and seemingly endless; not to mention quality control meetings here and there). When things go this way, as they usually do, the answer is an unbirthday.

~ My World: Business Faculty meeting, TRU-STech 18, Bangkok Campus ~

Never mind that it's punctuated with research thingamabobs: Epistemology. ANOVA. Enthnography. Multiple regression. Theoretical framework. Gimme the darn findings already! A long shot but it's nice to wish sometimes.

Plowing on - content validity, strategic communications, deception analysis. Crack! I need tea!

~ Mellow Yellows: it's strawberry milk tea time in my nook ~

And another unbirthday. So I made a little detour to Asia Books from bank errands the other night and got myself the latest Dan Brown thriller. Don't you just love the feeling of holding a 'just out' book in your hands?

~ ABC Wednesday: unbirthday treat ~

I read the prologue aloud to myself, heart skipping at the mention of Uffizi, huddling in the shadows...; then halted unexpectedly on chthonic, laboring beneath the earth.... How is 'chthonic' pronounced anyway? Anyone?

~ Ruby 2: Inferno ~

They are behind me unyielding, closing in. 
They do not understand what is coming.... 
Ungrateful land! 

The pressure to publish is floating around my nostrils. "'Seek and find,' the woman repeats" (Brown, 2013). Back to research mode. The load does get lighter when fueled by unbirthday tea.

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