by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Life, the Universe, and Everything”

Worst. Blogger. Ever.

Posted 31 March 2009 in by Catriona

I know. I know. And I don’t have anyone to blame but myself.

Well, myself and a combination of the following:

  • my parents visiting this week, which necessitates scrubbing out the spare room: it hasn’t been slept in since they visited last December for my graduation, and the dust levels were fairly bad—as you’d expect from a largely unoccupied room containing some thousand-odd books. It also contained the entire contents of the office that I had to give up last semester, so cleaning it wasn’t just cleaning it, but also involved finding space for eight years’ worth of office clutter. But I succeeded! Mostly. I still need to dust and vacuum.
  • a hideous cold, which I suspect I caught from either the wizard or the other ranger at last weekend’s Dungeons and Dragons session—I don’t know which, so shall mutter mild imprecations directed at both of them until I feel better. [Slight update: the wizard blames the halfling, but I have my suspicions about the veracity of that.] In the between-mutter spaces, I shall panic about how I’m going to lecture tomorrow, and what the chances of infecting my students are.
  • technically, the weekend’s Dungeons and Dragons session was another interruption to ordinary blogging activity, but it was such excellent fun that it doesn’t count.
  • interrupted sleep patterns. I think I know, largely, what’s causing them, but last night’s bad night (I didn’t get to sleep until well after three a.m.) was down to this hideous cold’s first symptom, a sore throat beyond any that I have previously experienced. After spending hours trying to beat it into submission with hot tea and my other favourite sore throat remedy (hot water and honey with a tablespoon or two of vinegar), I eventually had to take Panadol—Panadol! for a sore throat!—so I could snatch some sleep.

So now I’m snuffling, feeling sorry for myself, and drinking enormous quantities of tea, but the tidying of the spare room has at least turned up some odd stuff on the shelves.

I see a real post in the future . . .

Ada Lovelace Day

Posted 24 March 2009 in by Catriona

I’m only aware that it is Ada Lovelace Day thanks to The Memes of Production, but there’s not much I can contribute to a discussion of women in technology.

Women in literature, sure. But technology and I don’t talk much these days, not since I bought my Mac and stopped going to technology singles bars to chat to—really tortured metaphors.

Sorry about that.

I do know a little about Ada Lovelace, though—only legitimate daughter of Lord Byron. And that’s how I know her, really: I know a little of her contribution to mathematics and science, but I mainly know her in the shadow of the famous father whom she herself didn’t know.

And that doesn’t seem entirely fair.

This has never been a link blog but here are some links about the woman herself for Ada Lovelace Day:

  • her Wikipedia page, if only because I admire a woman who can programme computers and look gorgeous in silver satin.
  • and, for further reading (if you have access to a scholarly databases, anyway), why not throw Ada’s mother Annabella Milbanke into the mix, in Judith S. Lewis’s examination of mathematics and gender in the nineteenth-century British aristocracy.

Happy Day, Ada. I’m sorry I don’t know more about you and I haven’t followed in your footsteps, but, if it helps, I always thought your dad was a bit of a prat.

Lies I Have Told This Morning To Try And Attract Nick's Attention On Gmail Chat

Posted 9 March 2009 in by Catriona

1. I’m being stalked by radioactive broccoli.

2. There’s a man here who says he’s Namor the Sub-Mariner and he’s here to view the kittens we advertised in the local paper.

3. A bomb just exploded in the living room.

4. Apparently, I’ve been elected Queen of all the monkeys, and I have to go and live on an island off the coast of Patagonia. On the plus side, I get a pension for life.

5. I’m thinking of becoming a cannibal, to cut down on the cost of groceries.

6. I adopted a giant panda. It’s called Beryl.

Unfortunately, I was just getting into the swing of it when he actually started responding.

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