July 14, 2007

Bulk view

Buying books

I confess: I went to Chapters today with the sole intention of finding
a book to give to a good friend, and… and… I couldn’t help it! I
found myself buying not only a hardbound book for the friend
(appropriately entitled, “Surrounded by Geniuses”) and two hardbound
books for myself: “The 4-Hour Work Week” and “Automatic Wealth for
Grads”. The 4 Hour Work Week had been recommended to me by a number of
people. The book was published this year, and I didn’t want to wait
for the library to pick up a copy. The Automatic Wealth book looks
like a rehash of the usual advice, but maybe I’ll pick up something
from it anyway.

I like books. I like books a lot. And I’m starting to realize that
even with the Toronto Public Library being absolutely wonderful, I’m
still going to want to buy books—especially newly-published books,
preferably *before* everyone starts talking about them. I’m also
starting to realize that, like the advice I’ve read in a number of
books, hardbound books really *do* feel different. I need to think
about that a bit more. Maybe it’s just the writers’ bias rubbing off
on me.

But yes. Books. I confess: even with the public library and the
Internet, I still can’t help buying books.

Random Emacs symbol: eshell-prompt-function – Variable: *A function that returns the Eshell prompt string.

Dynamic Earth

We went to Dynamic Earth today, which is the other big attraction in
Sudbury. I knew that Canada’s mineral resources were significant, but
I hadn’t known that Sudbury played such an important role in the
mining industry. Sudbury’s huge nickel deposits gave Canada a
near-monopoly on the metal for a long time. Nickel is widely used in
the production of stainless steel. I was surprised to learn that the
production of stainless steel kitchen sinks is one of the biggest uses
of nickel today. What a great way to bring that point close to home!

We spent some time panning for gold in one of Dynamic Earth’s
interactive exhibits. I got pretty good at swishing the sand around to
separate it from the heavier gold flecks, although I don’t think it’s
something I should do as a full-time job! A short movie about gold
fever gave us a glimpse into the life of a modern-day prospector as
well as vignettes of gold’s importance all over the world and through
all the ages.

Good stuff.

Random Emacs symbol: ispell-pdict-save – Command: Check to see if the personal dictionary has been modified.