What am I doing?

It turns out I don't actually have class today. The classes are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday — but the Monday and Wednesday classes are every week, while the Thursday class is only the last week of the semester, to make up for the fact that the semester begins on a Thursday.

I did pick up my textbooks today. They are just as heavy and expensive as they always have been.

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What am I doing? Collapse )

re: Χριστός-mas

Today is Christmas Day, a US federal holiday that coincides with the Christian holiday Christmas. Christ is a transliteration of the Greek word Χριστός, which means "smeared with oil." In the ancient Mediterranean, people smeared themselves with vegetable oil in much the same way that we use petroleum-based hair conditioners and skin lotion. But the Hebrew and Jewish peoples had a tradition of ritual smearing for kings; in this sense, the first Christians called Jesus the Christ to proclaim him rightful King of the Jews. Later Christians redefined the term to mean something else, since kings don't usually end up crucified before they take office.

the Britons

[book cover]
Reading Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter (9781592404940). The author claims that spoken Old English existed just long enough for the Anglo-Saxon-Jutes to conquer the the Britons, then the conquered Britons immediately mangled the language, producing something very akin to Middle English within a generation. But the A-S-J scribes continued to write a dead language for five hundred years. This is why English is so unlike other Germanic Tongues.

(no subject)

Where can I get information on all the various environmental costs of the production of various meats? Water input, fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and pollution per gram of protein?


Redistricting: smallest sum of the boundary lengths, lowest average distance to the center of the district, shortest-splitline algorithm, or gerrymandering?

cocoa and flavonoids

If cocoa has health benefits, how do I maximize those benefits? Obviously hot chocolate mixes full of added sugar are bad. Is there a brand I should buy that maximizes flavonoid content?