Sunday, March 28, 2010

The founding of the Inklings

Last night, my friends and I held a C.S. Lewis party in my apartment living room. We had tea and arepas (a Hispanic food) and discussed various C.S. Lewis quotes/ideas/books before watching the BBC movie "Shadowlands."

My roommate and another friend drew all over the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk to advertise this party. I didn't know about the chalking plan until I returned from a meeting and saw it all, in its completed glory. I laughed quite a lot and loved it.

At this C.S. Lewis party, we decided that it was the inaugural Inklings meeting. By which we meant, we were going to found a club called The Inklings (just like C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and others had) and meet about every Saturday night to discuss various authors and watch related movies. Of course, this is going to be pretty informal, since it's mostly an excuse to hang out and be the literary nerds we sometimes are.

Next time, we're going out to a bonfire pit and read our favorite poetry to one another, then will return to my apartment to watch "Dead Poets Society." Doesn't that sound fun?

Well, it's what I call fun, as a college student.

Monday, March 22, 2010

An advantage of two cameras

...is that I can photograph one with the other.

In your latest news, I bought a new digital camera last week, and picked it up from the campus post office today. I am very pleased with this addition to my technological possessions!

It's a Fujifilm FinePix S1500, 12x zoom, 10 megapixels, viewfinder, lots of settings (including a manual where I can set both the aperture AND the shutter speed!), and powered by regular batteries.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Live from NYC

Guess what?!?

I'm in NEW YORK CITY!

*very large happy grin*

My roomie invited me to go with her & her family to NYC to visit her brother's family, because my roomie's little niece was turning one over spring break. So, I found myself riding several hours in a van across multiple states to get to this fabled large city. And then, I went to Manhattan, and had a small tour of the place:
--Grand Central Station (including the little part where you & one other person stand in opposite corners & whisper to each other & can hear!)
--The Chrysler Building (gorgeous.)
--Rockefeller Plaza (they still had the ice skating rink out)
--Central Park (including another ice rink there, and lots of street performers)
--Trump Tower
--Radio City Music Hall
--a small Japanese eatery
--a small ice-cream shop that sells Cereal Milk (no joke, it's basically the milk that you get after a bowl of cornflakes)

Also, I've been in Long Island, Queens, and driven through the Bronx.

So, when I come again this spring for my World Journalism Institute course, I intend to see:
--The Empire State Building (since this is where I'll be taking the classes!)
--Times Square
--Wall Street
--The Statue of Liberty (that will take a train or bus ride or something....)
--The Flatiron Building
--The New York Public Library
--The old Singer Sewing Machine Corp. building (I don't even know if it's still standing)
--St. John's Cathedral (that will take a bus ride too)

I'll also return to Central Park.

And fortunately for me, all of the above except the Statue of Liberty are in Manhattan... so it shouldn't be too hard to hit all these places in two weekends! I hope anyway.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Al Gore again

I just finished watching "An Inconvenient Truth" for a class assignment. Aside from its dated material now (it was released 4 years ago, which is significant when discussing as much scientific data/conclusions as were in the film), it was... eh.

I did not really care for the egotistical-feeling introductory sequence where Gore walked on stage amid clapping and cheers (and between footage of his time as a politician), or for the other sequence showing his defeat in the 2000 presidential race. Neither had anything to do with the matter at hand, since he said at the outset that climate change was not a political matter (though he said later that it was, and I'm pretty sure he meant the two statements in different ways, but still).

As for the science... well, I just attended a seminar (part of the class for which I watched the movie) in which almost all of it was covered in more depth and with more up-to-date data (which Al Gore can't help, I suppose). I'm not convinced. (Whether the earth is warming, whether it's man's fault, whether any of it can be measured accurately... any of it, so far.) I look forward to reviewing my notes before the next seminar, and to hearing what the panel members discussing the movie have to say about its science-based claims and its projections/predictions.

Tangent: I doubt the fact that Toyota and other Asian carmakers "went green" is going to comfort us when we're seeing their cars' safety issues. That's the only thing I could think of when Gore was talking about how all these Asian car companies have made their products with a more environmentally-conscious mindset than the American brands have.

P.S. Al Gore remodeled his house so it's not quite the energy-sucking monster it once was, and Bush (President the Second) got a new house that's about 8,000 square feet. Sorry, that pseudo-news doesn't change my perception of Gore. It's the principle of the thing--you don't go around telling people to give up their comfort for the good of the planet when you yourself won't do the same. Just because your comfort is a little more energy-efficient doesn't justify still having a 10,000-square-foot house. That is excessive.

I think a lot of it's simple pride and selfishness. Usually human problems are derived from simpler roots than they are initially perceived to be from.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pi day

Tonight at church my brother asked me if I knew what day it was. March 14th, I told him, a Sunday. He asked me again, did I know what day it was? I thought at first he was being silly, but when I began to reiterate the date, I realized.... 3-14. As in 3.1415926...........

And I was happy.

I also looked up Google today, to see their logo:
It was also amusing. Especially since I understand pretty much everything on there, including the wavy thing there in the middle.

(Yes, I know it's been a week and a day since my last post. But I'm on spring break and trying to get some homework done...)

P.S. Wonderful news! I've been admitted to this program in New York that's all about journalism. :)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Nicholas Nickleby

My goodness! Has it really been this long since I posted on my blog?? I shall have to rectify this oversight!

Tonight I saw the movie "Nicholas Nickleby" for the first time. (Among other actors & actresses, it has Anne Hathaway, which I thought was interesting. I was glad she didn't have that big a part though, and to be fair she did play a slightly different sort of character than her usual.) Anyway, I really liked it. It's based on the book by the same name written by Charles Dickens, which I have yet to read but may attempt over spring break. I'll be on a nice long car trip for a good portion of that time so I may well be able to read it!

I've been curious about the story ever since reading "Rose in Bloom" (by Louisa May Alcott; one of my absolute favorite books) and noticing several references to it. Now my curiosity has been pleasantly satisfied.

It's about a young man whose father dies, leaving him, his mother and his younger sister penniless and seeking help from their uncle. Now, this uncle is a horrid old financier with no morals, so Nicholas ends up as an assistant teacher at a boys' boarding school where the boys are beaten for anything or nothing and the servant-boy is treated worst of all. My favorite part is where... but I won't spoil it!

I'll just say, men in suits and top hats who actually stand up for what's right are quite handsome. :P