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Friday, October 31, 2008

Exams, Twitter, and a smiley pen

I'm deep into exam territory now, hacking through the dense foliage of revision with the machete of discipline and constant music pouring out of my computer speakers. The idea is that I study while listening to music and then when I'm in an exam and it's all quiet I'm suddenly able to hyperfocus because of the unusual silence. Like altitude training.

I had my maths exam on Wednesday and it went as well as could be expected. It's nice to know that I'll not have to do any more pure maths for uni, not that I won't still have to use a lot of maths in other subjects. Try to find an electrical engineer who doesn't use maths. It's like trying to find a trucker who doesn't use pep pills.

Join me next week as I report on my next exam with more absurd metaphors about jungles and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I have decided to relinquish yet another piece of my soul to the Internet and join Twitter. Now you can follow my trials and tribulations in unnecessary detail. I can even tweet over SMS, which is a good way to use up the $20+ of phone credit I don't use every two months before it expires (damn Optus).

Of all the things in the world that are mildly annoying, shoddy promotional merchandise that seems cool and then falls apart is one of them. I had a pen promoting something called Polident. The pen had a clear section containing three solid yellow smiley faces that rolled up and down the tube through some kind of viscous liquid when you tilted the pen. That top part eventually separated from the bottom part (the bit that had the ink for the pen). It seems the two parts were held together by some kind of glue which came undone, which is kind of ironic since adhesives are among Polident's product range. Anyway, I decided to break open the tube and extract the smiley faces. You can never have too many smiley faces. I broke the end off the tube which created a hole big enough to pour out the foul-smelling oil, but not big enough to get the smiley faces out. I could have tried cutting the tube open with a hack saw, but come on. They're just small plastic balls with smiley faces on them. I have better things to do.

Supposedly.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The gathering storm

Once again I slide inexorably towards exams. The first one's next week, and I've got one each of the two weeks after that. To top it off, this week I've got four assignments, one quiz and one lab that needs to be marked. So that's lame. But like Indiana Jones, I shall deftly avoid the snakes of laziness and the poison-tipped arrows of distraction, and reach the golden idol of Summer holidays. I have to make sure I put the right amount of the sand of knowledge onto the pedestal, lest it unleash the rolling boulder of exam failure. But I know I can do it with my whip of study and fedora of metaphor.

In more literal news: There have been a bunch of ants raiding my kitchen for the last few weeks. They infested the bag of brown sugar I didn't even know was there, but luckily left the Canadian maple syrup alone. I guess it was well sealed. Anyway I got some Ant Rid, and that stuff is insane. Within hours there were hundreds of dead ants gathered around the pools of Ant Rid I had left for them. I couldn't believe how much it ruled. They consumed an entire blob of Ant Rid, and were seemingly hungry for more, so I dumped some right on top of them. A few more dabs here and there, and I haven't seen a live ant in days. (Although I still haven't gotten around to cleaning up most of the dead ones.) Apparently the ones that don't die straight away are supposed to carry it back to the nest and it poisons the queen. I guess I can cross regicide off my life list.

Ant death

More ant death

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Enjambment

I just came across the word enjambment (in the alt-text for this comic if you really want to know). I recognised the word but couldn't remember what it meant. It's a pretty cool sounding word if you ask me - I don't know why, I guess it's something to do with the silent B. Anyway, I looked it up and I was mortified to find that it meant "the running on of the thought from one line, couplet, or stanza to the next without a syntactical break". I fucking hate that. It's the most pretentious thing ever.

It annoys me that such a cool word is used for such a terrible poetic device. I want to campaign to have a new meaning given to this word. What we now refer to as enjambment should be given a suitably ugly new name, like "skagugew".

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