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Just a quick selection of Gidget photos from one recent morning! 😸 As far as her vet-ordered diet is going, good news: she’s broken through her previous plateau at 7kg, and is now weighing about 6.7kg. She seems to be more active around the house now, too – although just as convinced that diets are oppressive as ever!

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things normal people say that make no sense at all to linguists 

- "he's terrible at his own language"

- "I don't speak a dialect"

- "ruining the language"

- "this word doesn't exist"

- "in this city people have no accent"

- "kanji etymology"

- "so many people are using word X *wrong*! the actual meaning is this!"

- "English is irregular"

- "primitive language"

- "drawl"

- "eliminate the passive voice from your writing"

- "German is logical/aggressive/ugly" etc., "French is romantic/sophisticated" "Japanese is mysterious" etc.

- "phonetic language"

- "L'Académie française"

- "grammar error"

Enjoyed this article: Novelists Still Don’t Know How To Talk About The Internet

The proliferation of the so-called ‘internet novel’ genre indicates this anxiety. What does it mean to exist as a person online right now, and how is it different to life conducted offline? The problem is that this question is the wrong question, and consequently the answers you get are almost always fucking awful.

I keep ending up with SO MANY open tabs because I’ll be like, “I want to read this article/comment on this/have this open for reference while I work on something/watch this video, but I don’t have energy for that right now, so I’ll just keep the tab open as a reminder of what I wanted to do.” I’m not sure whether Vivaldi’s “tab stacks” feature helps or hinders, in the end, because sure I can keep my dozens of open tabs better organised now… but I also have less impetus to ever actually work through the tabs 😂

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scientists (wrong): the world is billions of years old
christians (wrong): the world was made only around 4,000 years ago
unix system admins (correct): the world was created on january 1st, 1970

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Just a reminder that the internet archive, a resource I greatly benefited from for researching furry history, is at risk of being taken down because five publishers that earn billions think they lose money from libraries.

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Let me tell you, don't rely on flash for cold storage of important data. I learned it the hard way, despite knowing better.

A short thread. (1/n)

We're due to return Gizmo home later this afternoon. Gidget hasn't been able to resist bullying Gizmo a little bit – at one point when I tried to give Gizzy one of his dog biscuits, Gidget marched in and pretended like she was about to take it, so Gizmo conceded the biscuit to her and walked away sadly… (even though she had no interest in the biscuit at all, just didn't want Gizmo to have it, and stopped pretending once he'd left). Then later on, she intimidated Gizmo into getting off my lap twice, when she had no interest in sitting on my lap herself. Other than that things have been peaceful, though. Certainly both of them have been getting their share of cuddles, whether they know it or not.

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„Imagine you are working on your novel on your home computer. It’s nearly finished; you have already written approximately one million words. All of a sudden, the online word processing software tells you that you can no longer open the draft because it contains illegal information. Within an instant, all your words are lost.“

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My parents have gone to Bendigo for a couple of days, so Gizmo is staying with us! Originally the plan had been that my sister would stay home with him, but since she’s stuck in the UK with Covid… (she has a flight booked home for the 26th, and Dad paid for her to fly business class because there were no economy seats available until September 🙈). Gizmo was definitely a bit freaked out by the unexpected car ride away from my parents, but he’s settled in OK now he’s here!

The Guardian has an article about mindfulness classes in school not improving students’ mental health.

I came across it via this great Twitter thread, which I think makes the critical point:

Mindfulness was selected as a school-based panacea because it essentially costs no money to implement, and is focused on individual actions.

Then I saved it as a link post on my blog, where I elaborated a bit more on my agreement with that Twitter thread. I don't think mindfulness itself is the problem, more the way schools and employers try to fob off concerns about stress + overwork by going "oh well that's your fault for not being more mindful."

The complete failure of Australia's housing stock to be appropriate for living in during winter is in the news again:

A while back I added draught snakes under every internal door, and silicone strip things to block the 1cm of open space under our front and back doors, which has helped improve heat retention and thus our power bills. Only while we actively run heaters though 😒 I'm thinking our next step is to add window insulation film stickers to all our windows, but I need to do more research. And also psych myself up to do the job, haha.

Great article, with a lot I could relate to, about the accessibility of video games:

(Also posted as a link post on my blog, where I wrote up a couple of paragraphs of further thoughts!)

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Neighbour's cat: Ah, dinner is served 😽

Me: If you observe closely you will notice I have served 2 helpings of food to 2 cats who you also see before you. You will also notice this is not your house

Neighbour's cat: This is exactly like Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens 😾

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Cat: I insist this is my correct feeding time 😾

Me: It is

Cat: It is? 😸

Me: Just in here

Cat: In I go! 😽

Me: See you in 90 mins

Cat: This is exactly like One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 😾

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Me: You don't get fed for another 90 minutes. You never get fed at this time.

Cat: This is exactly like 1984 by George Orwell 😾

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However it's arranged, there are clearly SO DAMN MANY galaxies that it's utterly impossible that they don't harbor life. I mean, our own galaxy almost certainly is loaded with life. It's impossible to imagine how much life there must be.

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On the internet, everyone knows you're a cat — and that's totally okay.