May 6th, 2007

Semiformalishmaybe

STeaped Rivers

Last night, I spilled tea on my laptop, and the keyboard stopped working, and rebooting caused it to die before the BIOS. I was relieved this morning that removing the battery and letting it dry while upside down in the right way restored it. I imagine most people with laptops have had nervous nights that are substantially similar...

Recently, I've been really impressed at how cool cellphones are - I overheard a conversation in Baker Hall where someone was asking where the person he was speaking to was, and he was surprised to find that they were halfway across the country (presumably, they were someone local). The phone network in general seems alien, cool, and impressive - taking it the last step where someone is walking in an open space in one city while talking to someone who could be almost anywhere on the planet (I exaggerate slightly) is pretty neat. It's like an abstraction layer for conversation.. Another thing that strikes me as pretty cool is the Hangul writing system. I learned a bit more of how its sound clustering works, and how that clustering maps into their graphemes (only superficially related to yesterday's entry), and I think it's interesting how what's a "compound character" in most Chinese characters (pronunciation on one side, meaning cues on the other) differs from compound characters in Hangul (where different "letters" within a sound cluster come together like foods on a plate to form a single Unicode character). I also think it's neat that when foreign words are represented in Hangul, they can represent words that don't fit the Korean language clusters (consonant-vowel-optional consonant cluster) by not doing that visual clustering, an option that the Japanese Kana system doesn't have because its letters are at the level of sound clusters already.

News-y type things:Collapse )

My next entry will probably be a fairly large one - I may have mentioned that I was interested in the (really poorly-written and of questionable encyclopedic merit but darned interesting and suitable for my task here) Wikipedia articles on Etiquette in various areas of the world. I'll probably drill through the interesting bits of each and summarise my thoughts/usage. If anyone else is similarly interested (it adapts well to almost being a quiz, and thus has lj-theme-parsimony) and wants to beat me to it, feel free.