Monday, January 28, 2008

Random bullets of questions

  • Why does it so often happen that, after hearing a new word for the first time, I hear it again (and sometimes again and again) within the next few days? This week's example: fiduciary. Heard twice from two completely different and unrelated sources. Maybe it's in common usage and I'd never picked up on it until I had to ask my hubby to explain what the hell he was talking about. The best example was when a non-scientist friend came up to Glasgow to hang out with me and my geeky science buddies for Hogmanay. I used the word placebo, which she wasn't familiar with, and then over the course of the evening's festivities, 3 other people used it in unrelated conversations. She was very confused.
  • Why can't I find the right pair of knee-high boots? You'd think it would be easy. The criteria are: brown; leather; not lined with fur or nasty sweaty synthetic material; a heel that's a) not too high (2 inches is easily enough,) b) not too spiky, c) not a wedge; don't make me look like I should be riding a horse or a motorcycle; and in my size. I found one pair (Hush Puppies! In a sale!) that met all criteria except the last one, and another (Nine West! In an even better sale!) that were perfect except for being lined with fur. I was dripping sweat just in the store. Vancouver is f****** cold at the moment, but not cold enough for fur-lined boots.
  • Is it possible that the time until the next leap year determines how dark it feels? If I remember my primary school lessons correctly, we have leap years because every year is actually 365.25 days long and we have to compensate by putting all the 0.25 days together every 4 years. A lot of people are saying that this winter feels darker than normal. Could this be because the actual hours of darkness are set differently against the 24-hour clock this year, making it feel like the sun rises later than usual? Or is it all just perception? (This might be a really really stupid question. Feel free to laugh and point).

6 comments:

  1. As to #1, that happens with all kinds of things...new pants you bought, a car brand, glasses, words. As for #3 I don't think it had to do with leap year...I think it has to do with the fact that there have been way more storms and cloudiness...not to mention things like the US presidential elections. In Alaska darkness is always exacerbated by more negative things going on and vice versa.

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  2. Ah, so it's all about perception bias. I guess this means that when I do eventually find my perfect boots, I'll start seeing perfect boots everywhere.

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  3. Your boots criteria match mine (except I prefer black), so if you find any, I hope you share! I've been looking for the perfect boots for awhile, and it is starting to seem impossible!

    P.S. Zappos.com is a good place to look.

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  4. I already have some lovely black ones, although they're starting to wrinkle a bit and they might need to be replaced in the next couple of years.

    I'll have an hour or two to spare downtown later so I might look again then!

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  5. Weirdly, that's the second time I've seen "fiduciary" today, and I never knew it before! I think I must just ignore unfamiliar words a lot.

    Timberland Lexiss boots come in brown, but they might be too flat or too horsey. I have the black ones and love'em.

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  6. It's a fiduciary epidemic! Run for the hills...

    The Timberland boots look worth checking out - thanks for the tip! I didn't even think to look into their shop last week, equating them as I do with the yellow boots I had when I was a tomboy teenager. (Actually they were cheap rip-offs, but you know the kind I mean).

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