November 15th, 2008

international

Bums of the World

How are "bums" portrayed in your ancestral cultures, and why? I don't mean homeless people per se, but rather the shiftless, the no-accounts.

In ancient China, for example, bums are frequenters of tea houses, given to carousing - minstrelsy, chatting, and playing chess. They are depicted with lutes, knapsacks, and bird cages. (I'm not sure whence the "bird cage" originates, but perhaps one of you can tell me!)

--
Banazir
food

Great Cuisines of the World

You know, for a hobbit, I need a more awe-inspiring food icon. This one is appetizing to me, but there needs to be an impressive feast! Say, a panning animation with camera movement down a measureless table like the gun racks in the Matrix, with a text splash at the end, reading: "We're going to need more food."

Apropos of which, what are the great cuisines of the world to you? The Xenophobe's Guide to the Hungarians, not surprisingly, lists Hungarian cooking with Chinese, Italian, and French. I've rather liked Russian food myself.

--
Banazir
  • Current Mood
    hungry hungry
  • Tags
international

Not-So-Great Cuisines of the World

By contrast, what national and ethnic foods are you less fond of?

My parents claim that they don't like Mexican food, though my mom has changed her view since she had some of the real stuff on a conference trip to Acapulco (IJCAI 2003) that I took her along on. I personally haven't met a cuisine I didn't like, though there are some very strange Asian dishes that I am not sure I want to try: take rats and water cockroaches, for example, which are Cantonese delicacy. Actually, I might try rat, but I'm squicked by dog meat, like most Americans.

I've always heard bad things about British food, but some of the pub meals that my folks and I had in Edinburgh (IJCAI 2005) included fish and chips, bangers and mash, etc. and they weren't bad at all.

Is there anything you've tried but don't want to have again? Anything you refuse to try even once?

--
Banazir
  • Current Mood
    nostalgic nostalgic
  • Tags
games

Lords of the Riven Myst

Who among you played Riven and Myst? Did any of you actually like them?

I would have posted this as a poll, but I wanted to read some cogent discussion. My students say that the games consist of "random puzzles without much of a unifying plot". From just looking at the game descriptions and playing similar games such as 3 in 3, 7th Guest, and 11th Hour, I find this whole genre too tedious and boring to play all the way through. It just feels like homework to me.

My cousins were crazy about 7th Guest, and I remember a few classmates who liked puzzle games. Since the mid-1990s, though, and especially since I started my LJ, I haven't come across anyone who professed to liking them. Anyone?


--
Banazir
  • Current Mood
    curious curious
  • Tags
adult

Cool Word of the Month

χθών [transliterated khthōn] (Ancient Greek, noun) - ground

χθών is the root of the English adjective chthonic, meaning "dwelling within or under the earth" (Wiktionary). AFAIK it is a direct adaptation from Ancient Greek.

I remember seeing the word a lot in the writings of H. P. Lovecraft. It's evocative of ancient buried things, some lost to time and suggestive of the sinister.

--
Banazir
peace

At One Remove: Cleaning Up Windows Vista (and Windows XP)

I've been trying to clean up Hirilonde (my notebook computer) and Osse (my desktop PC) this week. Here's what I'm working on:

  • Removing startup items judiciously. What do you use to clean your startup menus in XP? In Vista, if you use it? Do you just go edit the startup folder? I really can't stand scouring the registry, and my Aura of Trask tends to make that a little dangerous anyway.

  • Uninstalling legacy packages (Mozilla, etc.). I have a lot of redundant packages, which wouldn't be such a burden if they didn't all want to launch little startup services and put updaters in my system tray.
    What have you replaced your old browser with? Are you all Firefox now, or do you have a good secondary one with good tabbed browsing and bookmark support? By "good", I mean better than IE. :-)

  • Making documents appear in the Recent Items menu of Vista. For some reason, documents I recently opened don't all appear there. Has anyone else experienced this problem?



--
Banazir