Got books

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Today’s harvest: 5 kg of books (5 copies for PG, to the left, and 15 for myself). I spent about 4 or 5 euros. Weight: 5 kg. About five were free.

Later some friends came by and we went out dumpster diving. I think I got 5 or 6 more books, although I am afraid to touch them for now.

See here for last year.

Warmest April day ever

The news said that today was the warmest April day ever recorded in the Netherlands. The measuring of temperatures at the same location (De Bilt) goes back a hundred years or so here, if I recall correctly. 28 degrees celsius.

I have been sick for a couple of weeks. Last week I tried a small hike by myself, but got tired pretty quickly. Yesterday my brother called if I wanted to come along, and I said yes. He and his girlfriend and a friend of hers wanted to go towards the beach. The way I understood it we would first take a long walk, and then the girls wanted to stay at the beach for a while, but as it turned out it was just going to the beach, with a long walk to the spot where we would stay.

Beach means: beige or blue, and sometimes beige and blue. We left early (seven in the morning) with the idea to avoid the queues and have the bonus of coming home early and still have some day left. We went to Wijk aan Zee, which is just North of IJmuiden, the town of the steel industry. Large chimney stacks dominate the view at the beach for miles in all directions.

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I only noticed the bug when I was sorting out the photos back home.

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The four elements: earth, water, wind and nekkid white folk. Or: the flag of a country, blue, blue, beige.

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I think I may have told you about how no beautiful thing has ever left my hands, and how I am trying to develop an own aesthetic regardless. The other day I realized that as part of that, I am developing my own vocabulary. I am learning what this camera can do, and what I can do, and how I can use these things in pronouncing this aesthetic I am after. There’s a lot of frustation in there, because I am learning to say things that I don’t necessarily want to say; or perhaps I am learning words that I don’t know yet how to use.

But whatever I do, I continuously assume that the pictures I make with the express purpose of making pretty pictures will turn out better than the accidental ones. And I get foiled at every turn. The next picture is my favourite in the batch because of the wild dunes in the background and the solitude of the sign — or perhaps because the sign makes it seem about something –, but the only reason I took it was because I wanted to know what it said on the sign, and was too lazy to walk over there. (You cannot see at this zoom level, but the sign warns against treacherous currents.)

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Blossom

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Videoblogging, no thanks

Brian Flemming, film maker, neatly summarizes the problems with video blogging when compared to regular text blogging:

  • what it takes you ten minutes to er and you-know, it takes me two to read
  • some video bloggers bore us with the process of making an entry
  • you can scan a text blog for interesting bits much faster than a video blog

So is vlogging a complete waste of everybody’s time? I doubt it has to be; but when you do vlog, make sure you’re not just copying text blogging, because text blogging is going to whup your little ass every time, and it’s going to do so with one arm tied behind its back. Use the medium. Use sound effects, music, animation — and use time warps, splices, speed ups (or downs); these are all things I cannot do in a text blog. And when you do use these things, don’t use them for the sake of using them, but use them to achieve an effect. Make them a part of your narrative. Don’t just read your diary to me, because I could do that myself, and probably ten times as fast.

Word list editors strike a blow for tolerance

The editors of the 1865 word list of the Dutch language strike a blow for linguistic tolerance. (The rest in Dutch.) De redactie van het “Groene Boekje” uit 1865, de “Woordenlijst voor de spelling der Nederlandsche Taal” van De Vries en Te Winkel, konden het niet nalaten om bij de bespreking van leenwoorden even uit te halen naar sommige al te intolerante landgenoten:

Ook in het opnemen der meest gebruikelijke bastaardwoorden moesten wij met eenige ruimte te werk gaan, om de toepassing der beginselen, die wij in dit deel der spelling hebben aangenomen, in de bijzonderheden te doen kennen. Men zal daaruit bespeuren, dat wij de rechten der gastvrijheid milder en onbekrompener opvatten dan sommige sprekers op het Rotterdamsche Congres hebben gedaan; dat wij de vreemdelingen, die geen misbruik maken van ons vertrouwen, volgaarne in ons midden toelaten; hen geheel als burgers erkennen, zoodra zij getoond hebben dit te begeeren; maar hen ook, in het tegenovergestelde geval, vrijlaten zich te vertoonen in hunne nationale kleederdracht, die hun zoo goed staat, in plaats van hun, ongastvrij en onwellevend, een Nederlandsch gewaad op te dringen, dat niet voor hunne leden geschapen is.

(Deze woordenlijst kan over enige tijd op Project Gutenberg verwacht worden. Mogelijk heeft de DBNL er al eentje.)