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Thursday, April 29th, 2004

Time Event
9:56p
But that's not how I want it to be

Two workers are dead and 29 injured at another major construction collapse. This one, at the Fusionpolis site along the bus line between my office and the nearest MRT station, was caused by reinforced steel bar structure giving way at the sixth basement level. This is one of the deepest basements in Singapore; it's intended to be the site of two 26-storey towers. While it is intended to connect to the Circle Line MRT the collapse isn't related to the Nicoll Highway collapse last week; digging for this part of the line won't begin for years.

Work on the site had been delayed last year when a cache of 834 bombs left from World War II were discovered. The building is meant to be a media and telecommunication/Internet complex.

I actually got one question about how the grades meeting went. It was just about what I expected: A bit over an hour long, consisting mostly of people presenting grades for courses I don't know anything about to verify that students I don't know are doing about as well as we might expect. Not much material to make jokes about, I'm afraid.

And last night FurryMuck brought up again one of my least favorite repeated conversations. When I want to look at someone, I first smell and then look at them. This is so ingrained in me if somebody just morphs and mentions not changing scent I can't avoid smelling and then looking at them. Austin Dern is a coati; every language that has a name for coatis derives the name from ``nose''. It'd be grossly out of character not to sniff people. Most folks don't mind or are too busy posing dramatically once the cursed look-notify tells them someone's looked to worry about it.

But now and then someone demands I stop smelling them. I know; they imagine I have to jam my face up their rear ends. So I explain that it is remotely possible a creature which, in real life, has an astoundingly skilled sense of smell might just be able to smell a person in the room with him. This person griped even after I pointed out Bil Gilbert's observation of a coati possibly smelling humans approaching from a mile away.

I love talking about myself; but these conversations start on the wrong leg and don't get pleasant. So far everyone's conceded victory to me. I've wondered if someone would ever take my determination to smell people just as often as I look at them to the wizards. I imagine they'd tell the complainer to stop whining and come back when they have a real problem. (Have I got it about right, chipuni?) But it's the sort of win that spoils the whole night.

Trivia: The word ``pea'' was a folk-etymological formation, truncating the word ``pease'' which was originally singular and plural (like ``sheep'') to fill in a ``missing'' singular form. Source: The Origins and Development of the English Language, Thomas Pyles and John Algeo.

Currently Reading: The Second World War, John Keegan.

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