austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Walkin' around some kind of lonely clown

Intermittent to heavy rains today, cancelling again vague plans to see the Night Safari at the Zoo. Had a bit of a scare earlier this week when I caught the evening news mention ``culling'' at the Zoo, Night Safari, and Jurong Bird Park; with the bird flu problem I was afraid there might have been an outbreak forcing them to kill their birds. Instead it's just (``just'') layoffs (``retrenchment'') of about 103 of the 500 or so staff. Many accepted buyout offers.

I'd like the ATM in the student union to surprise me one Friday by not being ``temporarily out of service.'' I also think this problem has so annoyed the squirrel that he's stopped hanging around campus. Or maybe he's just gone off somewhere to find a squirrel of the opposite sex to share living quarters (in shorthand, a ``SOSSLQ'').

Nineteen teams successfully completed a challenge to spend one week in the Singapore Cable Cars, a system running from the main island (Mount Faber) to the resort island of Sentosa (often featured on The Price Is Right as a prize destination). They were provided meals and were allowed up to ten minutes a day for bathroom use. I can imagine being in a cable car that long, but not on ten minutes of bathroom break a day. As the organizers didn't expect to have a 19-way tie, the S$30,000 grand prize (around US$18,000) went to the team who spent the least time in the bathroom.

And one last thing -- I've got a coupon for Powell's book store. Any ideas what to order? My interests include history, space, comic strips, mathematics, humor, science fiction, animation, railroads, New Jersey, etymology, the newspaper industry, literary criticism, science and technology, and the old wire loop bound books Compute! magazine would assemble of its type-in programs. Thanks for any advice.

Trivia: Private drivers of diesel cars in Singapore pay six times the road tax. Source: ``Green-vehicle law could raise costs,'' Christopher Tan, The Straits Times 26 March 2004.

Currently Reading: The Lunar Men: The Friends Who Made The Future, Jenny Uglow.


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