July 2nd, 2008

Interesting Words

inamac wondered about the following user interests I have in my user profile.

Ammonites: Fossils are wonderful things, and I used to have quite a collection of ammonites of all shapes and sizes. There's a beach just east of Watchet on the Somerset coast where you can walk on the shingle and pick up grey stones that are full of ammonite fossils - fossils of the mother-of-pearl that still glistens and glows in rainbow colours after all these millions of years. It's a beautiful place (with the added bonus of the occasional passing steam engine!).

Range Murata: Range Murata is a Japanese character designer who has worked on several highly influential anime series. I first came across his designs when I fell in love with the superb series Last Exile, but I've since also seen his work in Blue Submarine Number Six and Solty Rei. He has a very distinctive style, and it's one that's not the standard anime look and feel.

Exotic Tea: I like tea. We have a whole shelf of the stuff in the kitchen, everything from good old fashioned Yorkshire tea to traditional British blends and on out to some of the more interesting US teas from companies like the Republic of Tea. My usual start for the day is a green tea blend with honey and ginseng, though I may switch that for a nicely spiced black chai. I'm currently exploring white teas, as well as single estate Darjeelings.

Scranletting Ticklepenny Corner: Cold Comfort Farm is a delightful novel, and both marypcb and I have dropped quotes into our interest list. Hers is "one o'they Ford vans". Stella Gibbons made up lots of agricultural terms for the book, and "scranletting" is one of them. It's what Seth was doing up in Ticklepenny Corner before he first meets our heroine. I'll make a claim for the book as SF, too, as it takes place after the Anglo-Nicuraguan War of 1947, people have personal aeroplanes, and folk are shocked to find that rural telephone boxes don't have video.

Virtualisation: Probably the most important change in the way we do enterprise IT. It's a way of using one server to support several server operating systems - saving space and power. Go green, virtualise!

Lego: The all purpose metaphor for our times. Little mass-produced plastic bricks that fit together and make all sorts of wonderful things. That and, even after all these years, it's still fun to play with.

Superfluous Technology: The term may have been popularised by the Plokta krewe, but the truth is, you haven't seen superfluous technology until you go into a technology journalist's office. The shelves will be overflowing with spare kit, boxes of software, and all sorts of bits and pieces. I currently have four PCs on my desk, along with a several phones and a couple of small form factor web browsing devices. Now make that an office shared by two technology writers (who usually cover very different topics). That's where I work. A recent conversation between marypcb and me involved trying to track a hard drive that we knew was somewhere on the shelves. It was just a question of which one...