Dan Goodman's journal - February 7th, 2005

February 7th, 2005

February 7th, 2005
12:30 am

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Another Day in the Ketchup Mine
Sunday February 6, 2005.

Comment in a thread on Nineweaving's LJ

I "hear" when I read. This doesn't usually come to full consciousness unless (for prose) the writing is particularly good, (for poetry) the writing is good but not very, very good -- or the writing is bad in a way which suggests the writer is word-deaf. Or, in fantasy and sf, the writer seems to be choosing names by how they look ("Ooh, how sparkly those apostrophes are!") and have no idea that some readers care about pronunciation.

My strongest "visualization" is a combination of touch and kinesthesia/other internal feelings. I can remember what it felt like to move through most of the places where I've lived, but usually not what they looked like. I remember addresses and such better if I write them down -- someone who says "I'll write it down for you" is not being helpful.

***And Papersky said something in that thread which sparked this realization: A story I'm writing doesn't feel solid till I have the right bit of dialog.
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Writing: "Dreams Do Kill Themselves" -- Added a bit, subtracted a bit. What I added will, I hope, show more about the people. What I subtracted was complications.

A Choice of Ruins -- Found the right bit of dialog for one chapter.

Other -- "Quiz for Science Fiction Writers." Informal piece, posted here and several other places.
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Self-help information:

Decluttering: Dishes washed. Trash picked up.

Mindwork: A bit of junk-jewelry meditation.

Bodywork: Focused on what my body was doing, when I remembered.

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TimeEvent
08:37 pm

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Science Press Release Synopses
From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php:
Public Release: 7-Feb-2005
Current Biology
Field-cricket study shows that when it comes to competition, sperm quality matters
By studying the relationship between sperm viability and reproductive success in a cricket species, researchers have come closer to understanding the contribution of sperm quality to reproductive success, at least in insects.
Secretaria de Estado de Educacion y Universidades, European Social Fund, Australian Research Council

Public Release: 7-Feb-2005
Current Biology
Sexual cooperation: Mating increases longevity in ant queens
The findings, reported in the February 8 issue of Current Biology by researchers from the Universities of Regensburg, Germany, and Copenhagen, Denmark, show that queens of the social ant Cardiocondyla obscurior actually benefit from mating by gaining increased lifespan and reproductive success, living longer irrespective of whether males could transfer viable sperm or had been sterilized prior to mating.
German Science Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, European Union

Public Release: 7-Feb-2005
Current Biology
Sexual frustration and learning in fruit flies
By observing the mating rituals of fruit flies after different mating experiences, researchers have gained a greater understanding of how animals organize their behavioral responses in complex learning situations. The work is reported in the February 8 issue of Current Biology by Dr. Leslie Griffith, of Brandeis University, and colleagues at the University of Toronto.
National Institutes of Health, McKnight Technical Innovation Award, Fyssen Foundation Fellowship, Canada Research Chairs Program

Public Release: 7-Feb-2005
Current Biology
Abnormal brain activity during the observation of others' actions
In a study that broadens our understanding of the neural basis of social interactions, researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of Montreal have shown that individuals with autism display abnormal patterns of activity in brain circuits that underlie the understanding of other people's behavior. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized in part by marked social deficits.

Public Release: 7-Feb-2005
Current Biology
Experimental domestication of foxes yields clues to cognitive evolution
New findings, made by researchers studying the outcome of a decades-long fox-breeding experiment, suggest that some aspects of social intelligence in animals are correlated with genetically selected "tame" behavior--for example, fearlessness and non-aggression toward humans. Understanding how intelligence evolved in humans and other animals remains one of the central evolutionary questions yet to be answered by behavioral scientists.
Explorers Club, Sigma Xi, Harvard Anthropology Department, Harvard Committee for Undergraduate Research, Russian Scientific School and Russian Academy of Science Program

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TimeEvent
11:43 pm

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I've put some predictions up at http://www.livejournal.com/community/futureguess/
and http://dsgood.blogspot.com/2005/02/from-alt.html

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TimeEvent
11:51 pm

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Another Day in the Ketchup Mine
Monday February 7, 2005. Steeple People. Mail: LASFS (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society) directory; replacement for one which got lost in the mail.

Email: Several Twin Cities meetups I've signed up for are without organizers, and meetup.com has sent out messages asking members to volunteer as organizers. One of them has 74 members, few of whom seem to have ever bothered to show up. Two others I've tried being organizer for, and didn't get anyone at meetups. I'll pass.

I'm currently organizer for two meetups. I don't expect the Declutter meetup to take off; I've been putting Clutterers Anonymous meetings in its schedule. The Writers meetup: there's a much smaller Minneapolis group which has been meeting weekly. I'm going to see if the person who's shown the most interest in the larger one (but hasn't been able to attend meetings) can be talked into taking over.
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Shopped at the Wedge co-op. They have a sign saying that all their baked goods are made with Hope butter. They have vegan baked goods, which don't contain butter. I keep meaning to fill out a suggestion slip about clarifying this.

On to Aldi. Either I misremembered their price for pinto beans, or they've raised it. $1.19 for two pounds is still fairly cheap.
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Writing: "Dreams Do Kill Themselves" -- There's a conversation I have to think out.

A Choice of Ruins --

Other -- Got down the beginning of "The Gift to Come Down to Where You Ought to Be." I've had the opening lines in my head for a while now: "I bought my soul at a yard sale. I suggest you do the same." For a shorter time, I've known that the speaker is asked who died and left him king. Now I know his answer: "The one called Lord of This World. And the one you call the Tyrant."

God is dead. The Devil is dead. Job openings everywhere.

"Sholam" (working title): Changed the background to include intelligent nonhumans. I still don't have a story for the setting.
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Self-help information:

Decluttering: Some trash picked up. Bought more small trashbags at Aldi.

Mindwork: Focusing when I remembered. I'm calmer than before; I think adding ginger root to my tea is partly responsible.

Bodywork: Relearning my body when I remembered. Small exercises. My upper back has definitely loosened up.

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