January 2007 Archives
After the blip that was the Nigella pancake post yesterday, we return you to regular mind babbles. The topic this week coincidentally has been speech. I’m not sure why, it wasn’t planned.
Via kottke’s remaindered links comes today’s fun language tidbit. The immortal phrase “my hovercraft is full of eels” in more languages than we will ever need. (Not all translations show up because of character set.)
Also on the site, translations for “a sandwich short of a picnic” and “this gentleman/lady will pay for everything.” Not to mention under Useful Phrases we have the Esperanto for “I want to hug that squirrel,” the Finnish for “is it ok if I bring my laptop in the sauna?” and the Swedish for “the giant crayfishes are attempting to conquer the Earth!” Huh.
I’m watching Nigella right now and she just made the most lovely looking pancakes. Okay, American pancakes.
3 eggs separated
2 tbsp sugar
250g cottage cheese
50g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
strawberries macerated in balsamic sugar and 1/2 tsp sugar
Mix sugar, cottage cheese, flour, vanilla extract into the egg yolks. Lightly whip egg whites and fold into mixture. Fry on griddle for 1 minute each side. Serve with strawberries and syrup.
I think she made another one with ricotta in another show. I must give this a try.
The speech accent archive has over 630 recordings of people from all over the world reading the same English paragraph. The idea, according to the archivists, is to “uniformly exhibit a large set of speech accents from a variety of language backgrounds.” They rightly point out that people notice it if someone speak with an accent different from theirs and may even make judgements about the speaker based on accent alone.
Great site, where people can search by clicking on the flags of the country or region they are interested in. I had loads of fun listening to the various accents, and with some I found myself imitating them a little bit.
This is the paragraph they read. May be I should record me and save it here. Hahaha, I dunno.
Please call Stella. Ask her to bring these things with her from the store: Six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and maybe a snack for her brother Bob. We also need a small plastic snake and a big toy frog for the kids. She can scoop these things into three red bags, and we will go meet her Wednesday at the train station.
via yahoo news, people who are fully bilingual and speak both languages every day for most of their lives can delay the onset of dementia by up to four years compared with those who only know one language.
The scientists from Toronto’s York University says that the extra effort involved in using more than one language appeared to boost blood supply to the brain and ensure nerve connections remained healthy — two factors thought to help fight off dementia.
That’s good isn’t it? So, to extrapolate, if I were fully trilingual would I delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by 8 years?
Among all the virtual reams of articles about Macworld was a Jacqui Cheng interview with the YM development team about … *gasp* YM3 beta 2. Okay, it won’t be released for a few months yet but some of the things they’re promising us:
- voice chat (about bloody time)
- tabbed message windows (about bloody time #2)
- message logging/archiving (about bloody time #3)
- spotlight integration
- phone in and out integration through Yahoo Voice
- webcam support
Adium has been behaving strangely lately, since an upgrade a few weeks ago. It keeps wanting to load my gmail contacts even when I’ve removed them. Now I’m hoping they catch up with YM when beta 2 comes out.
Man, I don’t like talking, but even I get the urge to open my mouth occasionally.
Yeah, it’s not even 2 weeks into the new year and I have a new toy already. Well, in my defence this is my Christmas present, I actually asked for contributions towards this from my family. Naturally mm gave me a generous contribution too. :D
Yeah, I bought a new lens — the EF24-105mm f/4 L IS USM. The most important part of that spec is that it’s an L-lens. Top of the range, flagship and all that good stuff.
Now I really have to go learn how to take pictures.
mm and I finally saw Casino Royale on saturday. It was one of the best Bond films I’ve seen, and I like Daniel Craig as Bond, very much. Not since Connery has a Bond had this much grit and cool menace. Much closer to Ian Flemming’s Bond than Roger Moore (blech) or even Pierce Brosnan (too suave).
The action sequences were brilliant, absolutely brilliant. And I like that they relied less on gadgets (no Q, even). The foot chase was much more exciting than any car chase I’ve seen, and mm was so engrossed she was clutching my sweater! Heehee.
Bonuses were announced today. Mine is unchanged from last year. I didn’t react, I never do. It is what it is. Compared with many people in the company, it’s not very exciting. But it’s equivalent to some people’s annual salary, so I’m already grateful. It’s more than enough for me to live on, and I can go on holiday, buy nice toys and treat mm to something good (noooo, not a car, heehee).
Internet access is back to sporadic. It depends on the site — apart from here and google, everywhere else is sloooooow or can’t load. I’m getting annoyed. Luckily some books arrived today so I can read instead.
What’s more annoying is the ISP claims that general access has been restored. I’d much rather they be honest and say there’s still connection issues and customers should expect delays, not feed us bullshit marketing spiel because they have KPIs.
We had plans for today. May be go watch a film, or get a massage, or go to the fair. But we ended up staying home all day. I made a lot of food though.
For lunch I made grilled chicken with carrot & sweet potato mash. It was the first time I tried making this mash — 3 carrots, 3 small purple skinned sweet potato. Peel, chop and simmer in boiling water till soft. I added a few cubes of vegetable stock for extra flavour. When soft, mash with a knob of butter and seasoning. It was good, no wonder it’s a popular baby food. The chicken I had marinated with sliced lemon, honey, mustard and a little soy sauce overnight.
We finally drank the half bottle of pink Moët I’d saved up for a special occasion. In the afternoon we watched TV and took a nap. Relaxed.
For dinner I made squid ink pasta with garlic, ham julienne, cherry tomatoes and brie. Similar to what I make quite often for lunch except I used squid ink spaghetti and added the ham (from the ham on the bone over Christmas). Squid ink pasta is stickier than usual pasta, I must remember to add olive oil to it when it’s cooking.
Too full even for dessert. So, yeah. An eating and drinking New Year’s Day.