Saturday, January 13, 2007

Blithering

1) I discovered the other day that the car dictionary does not include another of my favorite words: Luddite. Beth was unfamiliar with this word. (She claimed it was a fake word, just as I claimed that bumf was a fake word when she first introduced me to it. I have since come to greatly appreciate it.)

2) Part of me wonders whether I should provide definitions for the words in question here in my blog. More of me thinks: (a) You're reading this blog on the internet, where information is always available to you. You can find it yourself with a few mouse clicks and keystrokes. (b) Maybe if you don't know any of my test words, you'll check your own dictionary (or dictionaries, if you have multiple). Maybe you'll get your own ire up if you discover that the dictionary you've trusted for years is really quite inadequate. I'll admit that there may be nothing terribly outrageous about a dictionary's editors choosing to omit anhedonia. On the other hand, I can't bring myself to justify the omission of pariah from any dictionary that doesn't have "Children's" or "First" in its title.

3) Nobody's commented about the new look of my blog. I changed the background color and the header graphic so that The Repeal of Gravity Blog no longer looks like the thousands of other blogs that started with the same Blogger template as I chose. I wonder what you think of the new look. Please comment. In fact, I like getting comments about anything I post. So please comment.

4) Part of the reason why I started this blog is just for personal amusement. Part of it, however, was to try to increase the number of hits to my Official Campaign Web Site. Frankly, regardless of how that site's hit counts are doing, I'd really like to see the hit counts increase on the blog. I try to make it interesting. I try to write well and to spell correctly. I try to provide interesting photographs. What am I doing wrong? How can I find a larger (interested) audience (given that I have no budget with which to pay for advertising)? I know I tend to get wordy when I get rolling, but I would think that would be counterbalanced by the infrequency of my posts. Advice, anyone? Maybe the way to go is to put out a call to other bloggers: Link to my blog and send me an e-mail saying that you've done so, and I will add a link back to your blog. Could I do this in good conscience? I suppose it would require some sort of disclaimer: This offer only good if I'm not in some way opposed to or inappropriately disturbed by your blog. Oh, what the heck? Why not? The offer (with disclaimer) is hereby made!

5) As mentioned earlier, it seems that many of my recent visitors have been coming from Google's image search showing my bleeding heart photo. The photos I posted on November 23, however, still don't show up in Google's image search. They all have alt text behind the scenes. (For example, the first , third and fourth all have "Zion formation" as their alt text. but searching Google's image search for that phrase (using quotation marks) only results in one hit. And it's someone else's photo.) Does anybody have any good advice as to how to get those images into Google's image search database? I happen to think that all of those pictures are of an equally good quality as my bleeding heart photo. Perhaps getting them into Google would serve to bring in more gawkers. Gawkers are good! Welcome gawkers!

6) I didn't have my word list with me last Sunday, but I flipped through another dictionary on my lunch break. I have high hopes for this one: The New Oxford American Dictionary. In fact, I also plan to check it out tomorrow to start on a new secret project, inspired by my current research project. (One of the perks, which I rarely use, of working for a book store is that I'm allowed to use it as a lending library for any hardback or trade paperback that we have multiple copies of in stock. I should really take better advantage of this perk, but I have tons of books I already own that I just don't have time to read. I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's literally tons. Very sad!)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ants!

Our friends Kuki and Gary were kind enough to get us an interesting jelly-based ant farm as a gift. We ordered harvester ants to occupy it. They arrived earlier in the week. I believe we have 14 survivors from the journey, and they've started tunneling. Fascinating little beasts, really. Anyway, here are some pictures:


Harvester Ants


Harvester Ants