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The Call’s Gnuz & Lynx Roundup | 2015.10.11

English: El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley.

English: El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

G’day! Welp, I’ve decided that I won’t be participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo contest, because I’ll then have too much on my plate for other things, including study and housework. I will, however, start a writing challenge of my own, possibly as soon as later this month, and extending into November. Starting then, every other day I’ll post either an essay based on a recent news item I’ve come across, or a short fiction piece ranging from 13 to 800 words or so.

The thirteen word format is a favorite of mine, and I credit SF writer S. A. Barton for it. The fiction can be prose, poetry, or a combination of these, and I may do more than one post, of either or both types, during any given publishing day: fiction/fiction, essay/fiction, or essay/essay, as needed, which should be a good way to keep this blog on topic and active.

I’ll continue to post this installment and Caturday’s Astrophenia on weekends.

I’ll also keep posting fractals each week as I generate them, though I’m currently having difficulties with two of the apps I’ve previously used: Mandelbulber and Mandelbulb 3D, neither of which will work with my current OS (El Capitan). Mountains. It appears that once Apple ran out of cats to name the OS after, it’s now named after mountains…

Unfortunately, that means I can’t generate Mandelbox or hybrid images until those problems are overcome or I find another app that I can use to produce them. It also means that there will be no more Mandelbulber tutorials for version v.1.16. I’ll keep poking around in the meantime for updates that will work on my OS, but I’m not holding my breath for it. I may have to improve my coding skills and write my own app. That’s not out of the question, but it’s too soon to say for now. We’ll see.

I’m on my first real conversational lesson in my Bengali studies, and I take periodic reviews of the language’s elegant script and mellifluous sounds for practice. My progress is measurable, but slow, given my other activities and duties. I’m not moving on to the next study unit until I finish this one and complete the unit quiz. Let’s see, that’s unit 14 of Teach Yourself’s Complete Bengali. I’ve also ordered a full-sized English-Bengali dictionary for those words and phrases not accounted for in the above study text (that with only a vocabulary of 1,000 or so words), which I’ll be using often. But I’ll not rush this. For the study to “take” I’ll need to avoid impatience…

Stay cool, stay safe, and have a blast of a new week, all of you!


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xkcd: Hardware Reductionism

The Call’s Gnuz & Lynx Roundup | 2015.09.27

Mnemonic to remember the waning moonphase (des...

Mnemonic to remember the waning moonphase (descending – after full moon) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

G’day! This week, I prepare for guests to visit sometime this October, and part of that involves working on efficient study techniques, some of those involving mnemonic devices, a recent one I’ve put together I use to remember a sequence of numbers for the months of the year in the Gregorian calendar.

It’s a simple, grammatically discernible, memorable, but in fact nonsensical phrase: “Chennai, no less, may later shun Ray.” In this simple phrase is the number sequence 6, 2, 2, 5, 0, 3, 5, 1, 4, 6, 2, 4, encoded into each separately pronounced consonant sound, ch, n, n, l, s, m, l, t, r, sh, n, and r, for the months from January to December.

You see, there’s a neat little parlor trick I’m practicing on to improve my mental mathematics chops: Calculating, from a month code, a weekday code, and a year code, the day of the week for any date in recent history, at least after the adoption of the Gregorian system of dates, upon which the reasoning for the calculations is based.

Mnemonic to remember the waxing moonphase (beg...

Mnemonic to remember the waxing moonphase (beginning after new moon) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve kind of abandoned the use of mnemonics for language studies, and focusing mostly on retrieval practice and spaced repetition until I improve my ability for mnemonics in other areas. Some things you just have to know in themselves, and can’t simply be encoded, not unless you’re really good at it….which, I am not.

Next month, beginning later this week, I resume full study of Bengali, as right now I’m revising previous material while studying other subjects and working on lecture notes from my courses as well.


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Fearless Collective – Bonded, not Bound, Dharavi

The Call’s Gnuz & Lynx Roundup | 2015.09.20

English: Brihadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur, T...

English: Brihadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

G’day! This last week and weekend blogging has been a bit slow, and so has study. I’ve been working on rearranging stuff in my room, and in the house, to prepare for tomorrow’s upgrade to my room’s workspace, a new desk purchased for my birthday. I’ve also been celebrating my birthday, first with friends at the local zoo on Caturday and earlier today with family at a seafood spot in Virginia Beach. There shall be pics for Tuesday.

I’m taking care of the final preparations tonight, and will have to unplug the electronics in my room to move the old computer desk out of my room and into the kitchen. All must be ready before I get to bed for the night. I’ll get up and ready for it tomorrow morning.

Study as been slow for another reason as well. I’ve discovered that it has been hampered, though not completely, by a perfect trifecta, a sort of Unholy Triad, of procrastination (which I should put off for as long as I can 😉 ), a lack of deep focus on individual study units, and overthinking the content of the lessons instead of taking them simply as they are. It is much more than merely a problem of time-management. I have plenty of time as it is. Now that I’ve identified the enemy, I may deal with them as ruthlessly as possible. The mindfulness lessons I’m taking ought to be a useful tool to that end.


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The Wonders of Pluto