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I'm pretty sure this is a recent change: the Volvo logo is the male symbol (a la Austin Powers bling). I Googled this just now, and came across the blog of someone else who had also realized this, and phoned Volvo asking why. She received the explanation that the "male" symbol is also the symbol for Mars and Iron, and therefore strength.

Okay, that makes sense, but this must have gone through a focus group or committee at some point, and someone must have said, "But wouldn't most people think..." and so forth.

So we have Spike TV, and the Oxygen network, so there's already a schism in cable television. But if you think about it, that makes more sense; women in general like X, and men in general like Y, vis a vis entertainment. There's a lot of common ground, and a few exceptions, but you don't see a lot of guys lining up for chick flicks sans dates, for example. So give us our sides of the Venn diagram; a TV can only show one thing at a time. A car brand, on the other hand, represents a range of products, each one able to be suited to one or another lifestyle, so why have an umbrella term or logo for them all that seems to disqualify half your market, when you could just as easily depict the individual cars one way or the other?

I might, of course, be reading too much into this.

Also, I'm back! (For today at least)
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Current Location:
The Amygdala Says:
curious curious
Current Music:
Mansun - Negative
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Okay, if nobody's interested in my personal life (and I blame thee not), let's talk about what's in the news.

Google, for one, and China.

Everyone seems to be on Google's case for deploying a censored version of its search engine in the People's Republic of China, as per government regulations. They claim it goes against its informal ethos, "Don't be evil." Google execs, on the other hand, claim that to not provide their search service to fully a fifth of the world's population would be a greater evil than bleeping out Tiananmen Square pages.

The Chinese government is trying to deny Tiananmen Square ever happened, along with the oppression of Falun Gong members, the occupation of Tibet, and myriad other transgressions. Ergo, any searches from the Google China site will come up empty, or with a "blocked" message, or with some saccharine tourism pages.

I for one, side with Google. It sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out.

The power of the Internet is not just websites, or even mostly websites: it is the people. Google China is going to be a massive new way for Chinese citizens to find and interact with other Internet users, be it in forums, blogs, chatrooms and channels, or however. These people come from all over, from North America, from Europe, from other Asian countries, from everywhere. And they will know what the Chinese government does not want its citizens to know: the truth, in so many words. If you are a Chinese Internet user, and you would normally be searching "Tiananmen Square" or "Falun Gong" or Tibet", you probably already have a measure of curiosity about the matter, and if you're thwarted by directly searching, you could still use the engine to find ostensibly more benign sites, and from there people with whom to discuss these matters.

The fact is, massively cordoning off specific sites never works, especially if you can only do it to people within a certain country, large as it may be. The information is still out there, on the Internet and in the minds of others, and it will always seep through, perhaps slowly, perhaps thinly, but inevitably. And with each person on the inside who knows, comes one more source of information all the more easily accessible to those also within the walls.
The Amygdala Says:
thoughtful thoughtful
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A.k.a. Pestilence. I think I may be coming down with something. I've been sending in the Vitamin C Expeditionary Forces, but I think it's only a matter of time before the Flu Reich (or somesuch) invades Lungsland, and implements the Sneezekreig on Great Throatain.

That was rather fun.

I also woke up two days in a row with Leg Cramps From Hell, and I was actually hobbling around for a day.

Completely forgot about this place, which is probably a good thing. Just informing you that I've been feeling like shit.


The Amygdala Says:
sick sick
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[You can't sleep in somebody else's bed!]

Is that a challenge?


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I'm in the middle of a Hunter Thompson book I started ages ago and am only just beginning to make progress on, and it's getting into the Watergate hearings, and that quote from Futurama just keeps popping into my head.

"Come, headless body of Agnew, let's blow this joint!"

Anyway, do you know why this Thursday afternoon is better than any Friday afternoon? Because I got laid off again! So I have at least tomorrow off, but I'll be back soon enough. How soon, I don't know, because I'm in the middle of a fairly lengthy list of layoffs (thirteenth out of twenty-two), but I'm guessing almost certainly next week sometime. But a day off tomorrow! Whatever will I do? I was thnking of going to Chapters and buying books, but I managed to rein that horse in for once.

Jeez, what else was there? I leave work with a fairly good idea of what I'm going to write, and sometime during the bike back, it gets dissolved away in endorphins or something.

Speaking of which, biking downhill has never been so difficult. It was WINDY today, and unfortunately for me, it was in the wrong direction.

Aha! I've discovered rich text formatting mode on this thing!

[Your Blogging skill has increased to 17.]

...oh, and of course...

[Your journal has been updated.]


Edit: Okay, rich text formatting sucks. Back to the traditional for me then.

[Your Blogging skill has increased to 18.]

[You should rest and meditate on what you've learned.]

Thanks, I think I will (ugh, that hill).
The Amygdala Says:
tired tired
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"Good Omens", by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, that is. I'll admit I bought it because of the authors. Sue me. Wait, don't! I'm poor!

And I guess I read books faster than I thought. I thought I was in a lull this past year or so, but when I think about it, these are the books I've read (started and finished, anyway) since Christmas:

Sailing to Sarantium, Guy Gavriel Kay
Lord of Emperors, Guy Gavriel Kay
Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay
Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

And that's with just reading on the breaks during work and the occasional all-nighter. So about one every week and a half. On the other hand, these are the books I've bought in roughly the same time period:

The Lions of Al-Rassan, Guy Gavriel Kay
the Summer Tree, Guy Gavriel Kay
The Wandering Fire, Guy Gavriel Kay
The Darkest Road, Guy Gavriel Kay

... at this point I decided to step away from the "K" section...

Havoc in its Third Year, Ronan Bennett
Gilgamesh, Joan London
The Notebooks, a compilation of contemporary short fiction by various new writers
The Wind Singer, William Nicholson
Crime & Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Good Omens, those two guys
That one I mentioned a couple entries back which I'm not going to run into my room to check the author of

This does not include the books I purchased ages ago and still haven't read (or finished) yet. Admittedly, most of those are because I had nearly ninety dollars in Chapters gift cards and store credit after Christmas, and decided to use it up immediately. Twenty dollars a year for an iRewards card? How do they even make money off these things with people like me in the world?

Actually, now that I really think about it, this is a lull. Years back I read seven Michael Crichton books (I was into them at this point) at the rate of one a day during summer vacation. And still had time to go run like an idiot along the reef and fly the stunt kite.

I'll be turning twenty this year. God I'm old. And I know everyone says that when they turn twenty; call it a quarter-life crisis. Twenty. Twenty is a fairly hefty number, really, and look at the aesthetics of it. I mean, "nineteen" is nice and drawn-out, and a bit cursive. But "twenty" is very no-nonsense and consice. Two syllables. Click clack.

Edit: Okay, so "nineteen" has two syllables too. But the second one is longer.
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The Amygdala Says:
pensive pensive
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Okay, now it's Valentine's Day. Someone brought cookies to work, and I went through another one of those "phases" of mine on the after-lunch watch. Happy to depressed to content to depressed again to angry, all within about two hours. Although I'm not sure I can blame that one on Valentine's Day: I completely forgot about it for most of the day. Anyway, I'm back to content now. After all, I got some banking figured out yesterday.

Perhaps this forced frequent blogging will kill me one day. I feel like I'm talking out into a big empty space, stroking my ego the whole time. Which, it could be argued, I am. I am, after all, one of the most adept narcissists you're ever likely to know.

Hypothetical "you" again. Maybe I'll have to get used to that.

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The Amygdala Says:
listless listless
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I was just informed that the walls in the new bathroom downstairs (which will be used almost exclusively by myself and my brother) will be pink, since mom had already picked out the tiles and arborite, and pink was the only colour that matched.

I laughed for a solid minute.

The Amygdala Says:
amused amused
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I discovered (or remembered) today that Valentine's Day is on the 14th, not the 11th. How silly of me. Last year rather a lot of important things happened on the 11th of various months, so it's hard for me to break with habit.

Oh my, I just found out how to calibrate the gamma setting on my second monitor (which has until now been far too dark). How serendipitous.

It snowed today. For the first time in a while, actually. It was on the ground when I left for work early this morning, but it didn't start up again until about halfway through the first watch. There were a few flakes tumbling lazily down as I followed the forklift to which I had been assigned into the controlled-atmosphere hallway entrance, and when I followed it back out a few seconds later, the air could only be described as a blizzard, or at least a hefty flurry.

Oh yes. For those of you (the hypothetical "you") who don't know, I work at an apple sorting plant in Winfield. I currently dodge forklifts outside while ostensibly sifting through bins of cull apples to determine if they're good enough to be sent off to Sun Rype to be made into juice.

Oh. Don't buy Sun Rype apple juice, incidentally. If you have seen the things I've seen...

At any rate, the days go by much faster then they did when I was on the sorting line, or even stacking boxes on repacking (which built up some upper body muscle mass amusingly quickly)(I've reverted to my milquetoast self again, however).
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The Amygdala Says:
productive productive
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Hello, Livejournal. I've been blogging for a while at blog.ca, but I found it unwieldy and irritatingly full of ads, so I decided to move here, at the advice of preta_. Well, let's jump right in, shall we?

Today went quite well, even for a Saturday. Woke up at 10:30, got out of bed at 12:15 (see? great start), went on a quick pratcise driving run, then went into town for a driving lesson; today it was parking and various kinds of turns, as well as some lane changes. I'm getting rather good at this.

After that I popped into Chapters for a bit and bought a book (which always seems to happen when I'm near a Chapters) called "A Short History of Nearly Everything". The page I turned to while perusing it in the store had to do with combining amino acids, and how they manage to combine themselves. I've never really understood that sort of thing, and it was a steal at $13 for a hardcover, so I got it. I've been buying books a whole lot faster than I'm reading them lately, and at some point I figure I should just stop and read them all. Just not yet...

Well, that'll do for now. Good night all, and happy Valentine's Day.
The Amygdala Says:
relaxed relaxed
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