06 Dec

Watch out, Tim Horton’s

Krispy Kreme is coming to Delta, British Columbia in February. In the meantime, some donut-loving Canadians make the pilgrimage to Burlington, Washington on a regular basis; nearly 25% of the business at the Burlington KK shop comes from B.C. Tim Horton’s reps say they aren’t scared — they’re a “full service” restaurant, and they’ve removed the “D” word from their name to emphasize it.

06 Dec

Importing Blogger posts to WordPress

Well, I finally took the plunge and imported 3 years’ worth of old Blogger posts into WordPress. And guess what? It was easy! Seems to have worked fine. If you’re running WordPress and you’re not sure how to do it, just look in your wp-admin folder, and you’ll see a php script (import-blogger.php) for importing Blogger stuff. Load this page in your web browser, and read the instructions. It’s all pretty straightforward.

Anyway, now you can read the old posts right here in the main site, and even better, you can search them. Have fun.

06 Dec

Infographics weblog

There was a time about 10 years ago when my job was to create infographics for a daily newspaper. Every day I went in to the newspaper office, made a graphic or two, then went home. (It was a part-time job.) There are worse jobs out there, though after a while, the assignment “make a graphic displaying ‘job growth in the South Sound region,’ and it has to be different from the job growth graphics you did last month and the month before” was less than thrilling. Still, it was kind of fun.

I’ve just found an infographics weblog with a running list of links to a variety of infographics. It also has links to collections of infographics about 9-11 and the Columbia disaster. (The Columbia link is broken, but the page can still be reached at http://www.nixlog.com/infographics_new/space_shuttle_columbia.php.) Interesting stuff.

05 Dec

Informed consent

I know someone whose husband, in his thirties, is planning to leave his career and go to med school. I recommended that she read the excellent Hermes – A Resident’s Life blog, mostly because it’s a good read, but also because it has some relevance to their future. Now, a few days later, the blog addresses some of her questions, and warns her what they are about to get into.

04 Dec

No smoking in Pierce County

The Pierce County Board of Health voted yesterday to ban smoking in restaurants, bowling alleys, casinos, and bars. I suppose I should see if any good bands are playing in Tacoma, because now I’ll be able to go see them. It’s been so frustrating to be unable to see bands that I really want to see, and to not have the choice to see them in a smoke-free place (since flying to California on weekends is generally out of the question).

What’s interesting is that the article says 20% of Washingtonians smoke. 20%. What percentage of live music nightclubs are smoky? Probably 90%, at least. Why is it assumed that people who drink also want to smoke? (For that matter, I rarely drink, either, but at least if I don’t want to drink at a show no one is forcing it down my throat. I am forced to breathe the smoke, which is much more dangerous for me since I have asthma, and smoke tends to give me pneumonia. So I just stay home and curse the smokers for it.)

If they would invent a cigarette that was smokeless, I would have no problem with it. Smoke all you want right next to me, if there’s no smoke in my air. But I guess they haven’t invented a successful smokefree cig yet.

02 Dec

Canadians vs Americans: Going opposite directions

Canadian and American cultural values are diverging, with Canada moving further left while the United States moves further right. It certainly does seem as if the US is getting more and more frightening (from my liberal perspective), which is one of the reasons why it has not been uncommon lately among many of the people I know to discuss emigration. Certainly I find the average Canadian perspective on many things much more sensible than that of the average American.

02 Dec

Vicip?dia Latina

Latin is a language I’ve always wanted to study, and never really had the chance. It wasn’t taught at any of the schools I attended (well, I suppose it was and is taught at the University of Washington, but I was only there for two quarters, specifically to take Japanese classes, so it wasn’t really an option at the time). A couple of years ago I posted about this great Latin-language world news site, but via this Metafilter post today, I’ve now found something that might even be cooler: a Latin Wikipedia. Maybe someday I’ll be able to read it.

02 Dec

New themes added

Now that World AIDS Day is over, I’m going back to the usual page design here at Slumberland. However, the gray is still an option under Change Theme in the menu. I also added a slightly more colorful variation on the theme: Violet Basic. Please try it.

01 Dec

Why Slumberland is gray today

Today Slumberland’s default style is gray (you might not see this if you already chose a different theme for the page). This is to mark World AIDS Day. Along with many other sites, we are participating in Link and Think, and posting AIDS-related material for the day.

I think many of us tend to downplay the impact of AIDS these days. New medication means that we aren’t seeing as many people around us die (I remember in the late 1980s when the obituary pages were full of listings of gay men in their 30s and 40s. It really was overwhelming). But they are still being infected. This P-I editorial tells the sad truth — worldwide AIDS infections and deaths have reached an all-time high. The epidemic may have slowed in the United States, but it is far from over, and right now, it looks like things could get worse before they get better. A cure must be found.

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