I was talking to someone today (while I was out walking the dog) who’d been using a chainsaw. He’d started off a week or so ago just taking a couple of branches off a tree, and then more and more of the tree disappeared day by day.
‘The thing is,’ he said ‘using a chainsaw is addictive. Once you make a start on sawing something, you get enthusiastic and then just get carried away with it. Once you’ve finished, you’re looking for something else that needs a chainsaw taking to it. Then, after a while, you’re wondering where the hell you can bury the bodies.’
I’ll bear that in mind…
This last week I’ve been rewriting some material on sociology, which prompted me to investigate what’s available on Youtube. I was intrigued by some of the stuff I found.
Here’s one, 3 minutes or so long, on the sociology of the family for A-level students. Things I liked about it: the flat, emotionally unengaged voice of the character that keeps repeating ‘I feel your pain'; and the punchline at the end. Wonderful.
And here’s another, on homelessness and poverty. Six minutes in total, but the best bit is the cartoon at the beginning. One character argues that homeless people are real people, like you and me. And another asks, with a note of incredulity in his voice: You mean they’ve adapted? Copied our DNA?
Humour and irony as tools for learning. Excellent stuff.
Apparently one of the people I write education and training materials for has designated me an HPL. I discovered this when I phoned them to ask a question about their programme and the person I spoke to had to check a file, which referred to me and the other freelancers writing for the programme as HPLs. But she didn’t know what the acronym meant.
So – idle curiosity – I tried an acronym checker. The more amusing possibilities included:
High Pressure Laminate
Human Performance Laboratory (likely!)
High Performance Leadership (as a freelancer?)
Horizontal Protection Limit (?)
High Priority List (doubtful!)
I’ve since discovered from someone else in the organisation what the abbreviation actually means, but it’s boring. Anyone got any amusing suggestions?
After the last couple of rather moralistic posts, some light relief. I’ve lately been writing something that required – don’t ask why! – some phrases in Creole (or Kreyol, as it’s often spelt in Creole-speaking parts of the world). As a result of this I discovered a web page that gives you the translation of the phrase ‘My hovercraft is full of eels’ in 108 different languages, currently spoken, historical languages like Ancient Greek and Sumerian, and constructed languages such as Klingon.
And there’s also a brief note on the source of the phrase and the context in which it might become useful. Unfortunately, though, Kreyol isn’t one of the 108 languages covered…
Here’s the link to the page at omniglot.com.
Since we moved home I’ve been thinning out the amount of paper on my shelves – old notes, research briefings, policy documents, stuff that just arrives in the post because I’ve been on the mailing list of various organisations. A lot of it’s well over a decade old now and it was pretty ephemeral when it first came out.
And V says ‘I really like those government reports. They’re excellent.’
We have a multi-fuel stove in the living room. That’s the context for her comment.
‘Before using the product for the first time, take time to familiarise yourself with the product first. Read the following operation instructions and safety instructions carefully. Only use the product as described and for the designated areas of application. Please keep these instructions in a safe place. If you hand this product on to a third party, you must also pass on all documents relating to the product.’
I was sorting through old paperwork and came across this. It’s the beginning of a 7-page instruction manual…
… for a bath mat.