Monthly Archives: August 2001

Generics Day


Well…today I build a silly generic room, and finished off the last little bits of the Generic Talking Stick room. And I spoke to my lovely friend Evita today, who’s sounding sort of blue. I discovered that she works on a moo more local to her, which is sadly lacking in tools. This isn’t their fault, it’s not really anyone’s fault, it’s just that the basic moocore doesn’t come equipped with a whole lot of stuff. Well, comparatively speaking. Especially these moos that don’t have a) any programmers, and b) a whole lot of people to know what else is out there and what can be ported over.

Well, I love Evita. Though I know I shouldn’t talk about it right now, it’s one of my greatest hopes that I’ll see her living in my neck of the woods shortly. And for the most selfish of reasons. I just think my life would be so greatly improved by her presence…she’s one of those people, you know, the ones who will understand (and take seriously) some of the sillier things in your mind that you really want to take seriously. I’ve never met anyone like her. It would just be nice to be able to hop on the subway and end up at her doorstep, bottle of wine in hand, and spend an evening talking shop/fun/social/chicks and so on. But we can do that in any case, even if she’s NOT in my neck of the woods. Ah, the dissertation drama….

Anyway, so I found out that Evita has her own MOO to deal with. Well, perhaps you already know that I have commited myself to building generics of late. Initially I was commited to building Bingen, but lately I’ve been thinking about generics. This started when I built the keyword bot (which shockingly worked completely reliably!) because I accidentally deleted the parent of the fake-out kw bot I’d been using up until then. The new was was a kid of $thing only, so no traceback and no conflicts. And solid as a rock. It was pointed out to be pretty quickly (the next morning) that this bot had many more uses than just fixing my own characters in Bingen. It immediately went into use in Marlene’s Russian-English tutorial, and was a hit at the teacher workshops last week. Evita was saying today that it would be ideal for tutoring, because you can program it to repeat information that teachers don’t need to type in over and over again. This pleases me greatly. After the kw bot, I managed to get the whole world to help me get my Talking Stick Room working (it’s perfect now, thanks to leigh). I built a very simple room that you can add and remove noises from as well, for truna, another fabulous MOOprof from Australia whom I simply adore. So I was sitting on a series of generics that were, for all intents and purposes, mine.

And Evita’s moo needed some tools. So I ported them over. Because I love Evita and I want all her pursuits to be as simple and successful as possible. And a lack of tools shouldn’t stand in her way.

Besides, it feels GREAT to be the author of tools people can use. I hope someone does. 🙂

Tuscans and their Families


This is just unbelievable…I’m sitting in the library reading this and exclaiming aloud as I do. People must think I’m insane. But read this:

Prevailing attitudes toward children, of both sexes, also led to oversight and confusion. Adults tended to ignore, neglect, and forget their offspring; infants in early life possessed a kind of transparency. It may be that their slim chances for survival prompted adults to keep a certain distance from their infants, to avoid cementing emotional attachments with them until their chances of survival susbtantially improved. Moreover, it is probable that the scant value accorded female babies multiplied the instances of simple oversight. The underreporting of female infants may thus be futher evidence of the negligence or indifference with which a father of this epoch regarded his daughter. Herihy and Klapish-Zuber, Tuscans and their familes

You see what I have to work with? Sheeesh.

Our lady of the Lost and Found


Time passes, we say: like a football, a parade, a ship in the night. Time flies: like a bird, a plane, like Superman. Time flows: like a river, like sand, like blood. Time, we have been told, is a reef, a hand, a wheel, a gift. Time is avenger, devourer, destroyer, a subtle thief of youth. Time, we hope, heal all wounds.

We talk about spending time (like money), serving time (like dinner), doing time (like lunch). We talk about buying time (like a car, a refrigerator, a new pair of shoes), borrowing time (like a library book, a cup of sugar, an egg), stealing time (like hubcaps, third base, a kiss). At one time or another, we have all had time on our hands, time to squander, time to kill. Most often we say we are pressed for time: like a shirt, like grapes for wine, like a flower in a book, like a hand against a heart. Time, we say, has run out on us, like milk, luck, or an unfaithful spouse. So much time, we complain, is lost: like mittens, sheep, or souls.

“Some wounds never heal,” Mary said. “People should know that by now.”

–Diane Schoemperlen, Our Lady of the Lost and Found



Must…blog…this backwash conversation….

It was all about marriage. That’s how it started. And while people were talking about the advantages of getting married, I posted this:

Its a step you take, a life step for lack of a better description.

It’s a step straight people take, since they have the option. And it’s lovely to call it a ‘life step’, but all of this seriously degrades relationships that can’t be taken to that official step.

Straight girl: Like it or not, marriage IS how society validates relationships. The fact that you “can’t get married” is moot. You CAN get married, you just choose (yes, choose) not to date men, and same-sex relationships are still, for whatever reason, very taboo.

Cool straight girl Gem: just because that’s how society validates relationships doesn’t mean that it’s right. you’d think the divorce rate would be enought to show just how very silly that is.

The fact that you “can’t get married” is moot. You CAN get married, you just choose (yes, choose) not to date men,

what? i’ve never in my entire life thought of homosexuality as a choice. i am not sure why some people are homosexual and others are not. i have not done a lot fo research. i don’t know if it’s a nature or nuture thing. regardless, i don’t think it’s a choice.

Annoying straight girl: I merely thought it was semi amusing that someone would point out how they felt cheated by not being able to take said “life step”. I’m sure if you really wanted to, you could date elephants; just don’t expect to get married.

Me:Ah…..I see now. Thanks for the clarification. To further your argument….let’s say we have generic woman working at generic factory, making 30 cents less per hour than her male conterparts, just because she’s a woman. She shouldn’t argue that women deserve the right to make as much as men, and therefore the wage gap is unfair. She shouldn’t point out that it’s wrong, that it’s problematic, and that they make that wage on the backs of women like her. That would be silly! Clearly she is choosing to be a woman, and choosing to bear the social penalties that come with that choice. What she should do is go out and get a sex change.

Heeee……(waits for the next segment)