10.11.2005

I need a stiff drink

I probably won't get one, though.

Today had two highlights. One was my Information Search & Retrieval or something like that class. The teacher is Scottish, so I like to listen to her talk. Only it turns out that for about 45 seconds I was dead asleep in my chair with my chin on my chest. So embarassing, but it was in the afternoon and the room was hot, okay?

Anyway, after the lecture we had our practical, which was called "Meet the Reference Section." Did you know that it's possible to find answers to things without using Google? Crazy. Anyway, she gave us this list of questions and a hint of the books we might find the answers in, and sent us to it. For your reading pleasure, here they are:

1. Who is 8th in line of succession to the British throne?
2. What is a eutrophic lake?
3. How many stories high is the Empire State Building?
4. With which design movement is Charles Rennie Macintosh associated?
5. What are the particular characteristics of the Irish bagpipe?
6. What is the origin of the phrase 'to get the sack'?
7. What is the address of the National Library of the Czech Republic?
8. What is pegmatite? Is it a laundry aid, a new type of glue, or a kind of rock?
9. When did the volcano Popocatepetl last erupt?
10. What is a 'little gentleman in black velvet' and how did one kill a king?

And because I worked hard to get these stinking answers, you're going to get them too:

1. Lady Louise Windsor, daughter of Prince Edward. Only I'm confused as to why she isn't HRH Princess Louise, like Prince Andrew's daughters are. What's that about?
2. It's a lake w/a high concentration of dissolved nutrients or minerals, which leads to excessive algae, which leads to lack of oxygen, which leads to the fish dying. Sad.
3. 102 stories. So don't lean over the edge, kids.
4. Art Nouveau, and the book I found this in (The Design Encyclopedia) is awesome.
5. The only difference between the Irish bagpipe and the Scottish bagpipe is that the Irish one has a single tenor drone instead of a pair. There--now that won't be driving you crazy next time you hear an Irish bagpipe.
6. This is from 17th-century France, when the boss would hand a fired workman the sack that he normally kept his tools in, and that was his signal to hit the road and use his sack somewhere else.
7. The address is Klementinum 190, 110-01, Praha 1. Remember that.
8. It's a rock. Hard to care much about rocks.
9. 2004.
10. A mole. King William III's horse tripped on a molehill & the king eventually died from the injuries. So all the people who hated the king drank toasts to the "little gentleman in black velvet." You must keep in mind, though, that these people were likely drunk by this point.

So, there you have it! I now know where to find the answer to any question! Maybe you should as me a question every now and then to keep my skills sharp or something, with the rule that I can't use the Internet.

Highlight #2 was my first night of Concert Band (out of) Practice. I spent the first 30 minutes thinking, "Oh my sweet mother of pearl. What was I even thinking? I can't do this! They're all gonna laugh at me!" Turns out it's been 8 years since I've sight-read anything, and I can totally tell. Plus it was all this really fast complicated music and the lighting in the room wasn't that great so it was hard to even see some of the runs, much less play them. Plus there were about 10 million flutes there, so we were all out of tune and didn't know what the heck we were doing, except for the ones who did, who kept shooting fearful glances back at the rest of us & then at each other.

But then it slowly started getting better, and I started enjoying myself and not worrying so much. Turns out the director does all the hard stuff in the beginning, because the regional competition is next month in Northampton, and then we get to play fun stuff like Christmas songs and show tunes and things for the rest of the year.

So I think I'll go back next week, heaven help me. And I'll be getting copies of the music so I can practice the crap out of it without anyone else hearing the mistakes and the blue language and the sounds of my flute being thrown out the window. Maybe I'll even go to the student union next week after practice and get a nice Sprite or something while everyone else drinks, since that seems to be a very important part of the Concert Band Experience, or something. Also it turns out I'm supposed to give them 28 quid, which I guess I will also do so that I can be a Band Geek again.

21 comments:

FantasticAlice said... [reply]

I very much think you just filled my head with very strange facts... but good for you for actually finding the answer.... cause I just would have been to lazy!

FantasticAlice said... [reply]

gin and tonic with a lime for me please!

kristen said... [reply]

Thanks, I always wanted to know what a 'eutrophic lake' was. Dude...who needs to ask Jeeves when we have you? I'll know where to come when I have some random (and useless) information I need to know.

Try something a little more hard core than a Sprite, like a Diet Coke or even Mountain Dew. This will alleviate pain and tension caused by stress and overexhaustion.

Hey, next time you talk to Amy, mention that stumbled onto her blog and tried to comment--but since I am not an official blogger, I am disciminated against and cannot leave my words of wisdom. (Shall I contact the ACLU?just kidding--I hate that organization).

Stupidramblings said... [reply]

Ooh. Ooh. I know some of the answers. Oh you already covered them.

In Croatia, there is a whole lake system of Eutrophic lakes. It's called PLITVICE LAKES. Look it up in your 'Gigantic Encyclopedia of the Paperised [sic] Google of Latter-Day Encyclopedias.' The pictures are beautiful.

fantasticalice, at first glance (and since I am a latin language speaker,) I thought your pseudonym was "Fantastica-Lice." Fortunately you have your picture right there beside your name. I was sorely grieved to learn your name was NOT "Fantastica-Lice."

Streets of Belfast said... [reply]

I'm so glad that you asked for questions because I have one that I can not find on the Internet (I'm sure because I'm not looking properly or more likely long enough). In 1921 (or as near before that date not after) what was the percentage of Protestants living in what is now the Republic of Ireland? It must especially not include the 6 counties that now make up Northern Ireland because that will mess with the results. Go.

JB said... [reply]

You're a flautist too, huh? That's really cool. I picked up my flute a few years ago (after a good 2-3 year hiatus from flute-playing) and had the strangest experience! I could sight-read and even just plain old play the piano, but I couldn't remember what the notes were supposed to do when I tried to play my flute!

It took me a good half hour or more to remember how long to hold all the notes (we're talking eighth notes and quarter notes here). It was embarassing and enlightening all at the same time.

I hope this band thing works out well for you! Sounds like it could be a lot of fun. :)

daltongirl said... [reply]

Hey! I knew that about the bagpipes. I love the Irish bagpipes! They're awesome. Daltonboy wants to learn to play them. I think he should, but only with the understanding that he practices very late at night, outside, in the middle of the street. This is what a neighbor of mine used to do. It was slightly annoying.

CoolMom said... [reply]

Stu Pidramblings,
I think your problem stems from reading too much Harry Potter.

Co Olmom

Cicada said... [reply]

Sometimes I wonder what people did to answer questions before the Internet was invented. Now I know!

Savvymom said... [reply]

I worked at a library once. And I knew how to do some of that stuff. But then I realized it was a lot faster to just use the internet. And then it got to the point where if we looked in a book to find something our boss would get all put out.
Things change...

aadr said... [reply]

" 1. Lady Louise Windsor, daughter of Prince Edward. Only I'm confused as to why she isn't HRH Princess Louise, like Prince Andrew's daughters are. What's that about? "

Cuz Edward is only an Earl, but Andrew is a Duke. (God bless Google!)

Panini said... [reply]

That's a fun thing to do, I'm glad your keeping up your playing. So how do you find all this stuff without the internet...encyclopedia's or what?

Anonymous said... [reply]

Encyclopedias are so cool. I loved the Encyclopedia of Pop Culture when I was in Library School. I used to waste my time reading it instead of doing my reference homework. Sometimes books are quicker than google. I know I've spent hours on a google search when it was easily found in two seconds in a specialized reference book. Specialized search engines are also better than google because they narrow your hits. I'll leave the beauties of the hidden web up to your teachers to tell you.

redlaw said... [reply]

Oooh, the hidden web...I love me some hidden web something fierce!

I am glad to know that though an ocean separates us, you and I are learning the same things, Nemesis. I am taking Cataloging this quarter...kill me now.

amyjane said... [reply]

All right, my friend. I need blogging help. MY site seems to have gone away. At least the part wehre I post. How come? What do I do? I'm retarded. I knew I should have started this while you were still here to act as tech support. My next step is to ask Savvymom and I know how you feel about me calling her first. Any ideas?
This is also why Miss Kristen cannot post, I imagine.

Julie said... [reply]

Prince Edward is the queen's son in the same way Prince Andrew is. When he got married to Sophie the Queen gave them a title and so they said at the time, the happy couple decided that they wouldn't go down the HRH road as it causes more issues to the children as they grow up. This is following the problems Princess Diana had, when she was made to give up HRH staus on her divorce. Basically they are royal and can make up the rules as they go along!

Nemesis said... [reply]

Nice to meet you, fantasicalice! I hope the strange facts will serve you well someday.

Kristen, you know I can't hold my booze like you can!

Stupid--I bet you didn't really know the answers. You're just braggin', you are.

Streets--Crap, you would call me on it. Okay, I'll do my best.

Jessica--Then you know exactly how I felt those first 30 minutes! I kept thinking, "Wait, now, I know I've done stuff like this before! Why isn't it working???

daltongirl--I can think of a few things you could've done w/that bagger's pipes.

Cici--yeah, I know! It's like the answers are in the books, just sitting there!

aadr--thanks for looking that up, but I guess we'll have to go with what our resident Brit, even Julie, says on that one. Thanks ever so much, Julie! I knew Edward & Sophie seemed more down-to-earth than the rest, so good on them.

Panini--Yeah, some were in encyclopedias, others were in almanacs or dictionaries (like the Dictionary of Literary Pseudonyms).

Anonymous--Wow, I have never even heard of the hidden web before. Is it kind of like Diagon Ally?

Redlaw--Yep, me too. Cataloging, Classification, all that stuff. Next semester is when it's supposed to get fun, they say!

Amyjane--I'm on it. Have you tried clicking on the blogger link in the top left-hand corner? And also, when the heck is your baby coming? Every day I wonder if this will be the Big Day!!

CBH said... [reply]

BUUUULLCRAP 28 quid! Dont give them that much money unless they're going to be buying your sprites for you. Also, they should probably give out cheese on nice bread every practice as well. You should get a free shirt out of the deal too, nothing better than a free shirt (or a free shirt that cost 28pounds).

Nemesis said... [reply]

I do get a t-shirt, my brother. I believe the fees pay for things like the sheet music we play (ain't cheap) and the competitions we attend, and possibly even a tiny bit of salary for the director, who is a professional guy and not a student. All in all that's pretty reasonable.

Mmmm . . . cheese on nice bread, though, that would be something.

Anonymous said... [reply]

I wish the hidden web was like Diagon Alley that would be really cool. The hidden web is also known as the invisible web. This article explains it: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/InvisibleWeb.html

Anonymous said... [reply]

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/
TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/
InvisibleWeb.html

Throw everything together and you get the link. Blogger seems to cut links off.

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