Monday, January 25, 2010

A Little of This, A Little of That

While skimming the blogs I noticed this somewhat cryptic observation: It's worth pointing out that "X is true" and "People exist who believe X is true" are not actually the same statement.

Equally applicable to cultists and atheists.

My Unfamiliar Word Section

mutable [myoo-tuh-buhl]
1. liable or subject to change or alteration.
2. given to changing; constantly changing; fickle or inconstant:

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

I recently read an interesting (to me) article in The Independent titled "Read 'em and weep: The literary masters of misery who delight in desolation." It will surely be of interest to both aspiring writers and intelligent readers.

After a modicum of deliberation and much procrastination I have finally given in to a curious inclination to learn to use the Linux operating system. I don't know why. Instead of downloading the free set of files, I opted to pay $4 (most of that for shipping and handling) for a certified copy on disk. I've had some bad experiences lately with downloads.

This is what's called a "Live Disk" and will allow the user to use Linux from the disk itself instead of installing it on a computer. That way one can try out and learn about Linux without disturbing the computer's existing system.

When the disk arrives I intend to also use it to try booting up my finicky old laptop which has decided that it can no longer find the (Windows 98) operating system.

What the heck, it's a new challenge of sorts.

I was at a loss as to the proper spelling of the medium. Is it "disk" or "disc" or both or neither?

At WiseGeek I found: For the most part, disc and disk can be used interchangeably to describe flat, round objects such as saucers or Frisbees. The British as a whole tend to prefer disc, while Americans generally use disk as their default spelling. Historically, the word disk entered the popular vernacular first, sometime during the 17th century. Many English words were formed from Germanic roots, which explains the use of a final hard K sound in words such as desk, whisk, task and disk.

WiseGeek's concluding paragraph begins with the sentence, "While there is nothing inherently wrong with either spelling, there are times when one is preferable to the other." and then it elaborates a bit.

A friend sent me a quiz that had been sent to him:

2 + 3 = 10
7 + 2 = 63
6 + 5 = 66
8 + 4 = 96
9 + 7 = ?

I puzzled out what seemed correct to me and then sent him my answer, which was 144. He replied that both he and his wife had independently come up with that same answer.

I have no idea if they and I are right or wrong.

"So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. But to sacrifice a hair of the head of your vision, a shade of its colour, in deference to some Headmaster with a silver pot in his hand or to some professor with a measuring-rod up his sleeve, is the most abject treachery."

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