Sunday, April 19, 2009

Netflix unintentional bias

So it occurred to me this evening to see if you could find foreign language films on Netflix by searching for the language in question. As it turned out you can, sometimes, which is not so surprising or funny. But the part that left me cracking up and searching for more was the "Related Genres" section of the results. For example:

Searching for French we get Homework Help and Language Instruction and Romantic Movies (standard issue Parisian bias there on the last one, no?). But we also get Sexual-Awakening Movies (why does this get a hyphen?), Steamy Movies, and Revenge Movies. Revenge Movies?

Ok, let's try another language:

Relatively commonly learned language, so we still get Homework and Instruction. And Romantic. Fair enough. But now we also get Dark Movies, Spy Movies, Suspenseful Movies, and Visually-striking Movies (Are they not allowed to have more than two separate words in their database?) Are German movies more often visually striking than their French counterparts?


Apparently English movies (or movies with the word English in the title, of course) are more likely Feel-good, Goofy, Heartfelt, or feature Mistaken-Identity or a Strong Female Lead. Really? Is this just the ocean of movies about female royalty? And I thought I was on to something about the reason for hyphenation until we hit "Movies Featuring a Strong Female Lead"

Irish? (Sorry, couldn't help it...):

So much for the language learning aspect now, but we have the relatively upbeat Comedies, Con-Game, and Music, but the rest of it is Dark, Independent, or Suspenseful. And nixy nixy on the romance and steaminess.

And apparently Japanese movies are understated and may involve wilderness survival.

Monday, March 24, 2008

SXSW music reviews

This made for great lunchtime reading. The reviews are perfect bitesize bits. (Even without listening to the clips.) Check the sweet blurbs between sections. Discovered via the latest "Brief Message". Locals Cyn2 & the Pons scored.

Short is harder than it seems.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

10 weeks tomorrow - and a picture!

Yep, 10 weeks! And you can take my lack of posts as witness of the fact that my life is returning to normal. I can now walk (fighting that tempting limp). Last night I went to my first yoga class since before surgery. This afternoon I biked down to the water (3 blocks away) and then a little way around the bay and back again. That was even easy :) I don't have my full range of motion back yet, but easy going... I'll get there.

Any PT-minded folks peering at this? If not I'll lay off the PT updates, but for now: still in the pool - walking forwards, backwards, and sideways, leg swings, abduction, adduction, squats and gentle jogging/jumping. This week I tried a gentle flutter kick down and back holding onto a kickboard and that wasn't too bad.

My only real trouble for now is that my tendon doesn't move smoothly over the 2 temporary screws I have, so anything that goes from dead straight to a slight bend (walking, stairs) annoys the heck out of it. The bonus? My leg doesn't get straight enough when I'm biking for it to be an issue!

Friday, August 10, 2007

speedy update

Seven and a half weeks out and life is good! I'm down to one crutch (pulled that off at 6 weeks and have been so busy since that the blog has been somewhat abandoned). My PT and surgeon are thrilled with where I am now. I've been working on one new party trick a day - Wednesday was driving :)

Today'll be the real test... 10 or 11 hours in a car... somewhat scary.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

5 weeks and change

So the magic days have arrived. Yesterday I went to the pool down the street from our house during lap-swim time in the morning. (What an amazing place is that?!) I discovered they have one of those cool accessibility chairs that can lower you into the 3' deep section of the pool. In I went and started trying to figure out how to move forward again. My sweet mother came along to get me there and to act as a human crutch as needed, but I found I only really needed to lean for the first bit of time. Before long I figured out that I could still sort of propel myself forward on either foot. Very very odd feeling. And most of the time I was reminded of the Ministry of Silly Walks (mouse over the bits in that second link for the full effect).

In the evening I gave a go to a stationary bike for about 10 minutes and that felt pretty good too. No residual misery today aside from feeling like it's all been gently used. This morning I hit the pool again. Things are looking up!

And the next patient in the extended family is now just post-surgery. K came through her shoulder surgery with flying colors. (A will hopefully get a date for his knee surgery tomorrow.) She's now home being well cared for and spending hours sitting in her 'continuous passive motion' chair where I'm sure she'll grow bored, but at least the Vicodin is doing its job!

Anybody else out there scheduled for a knife? How can there be so many at once?

why I love designers

“…it’s an incurable, if not mortal disease. I can’t explain it. I just like looking at type. I get a total kick out of it. They are my friends. Other people look at bottles of wine or girls' bottoms, I get kicks out of looking at type.” --Erik Spiekermann (via Subtraction)

Friday, July 20, 2007


So I've been a little slow about getting my xray of my hip screws scanned in, but in the meantime I have other entertaining pictures for you!

Yesterday we had the ducts cleaned in our house. I was sitting at the dining room table finishing breakfast when I saw the truck pull up outside. I said peaceably to A, "They're here, and they're backing into your car." Adam went to the front door to let him in and then I saw him bolt outside - turned out the fellow really was backing into his car, or at least the back corner of it. I didn't think I was serious!

Once that was all sorted out (and with everyone still in good humor, though the man was looking a little undone by the whole thing) he got to work on the cleaning. They essentially attach an enormous vacuum to your vents in the basement, and then go room to room cleaning things out manually. About 3 hours later after running tubes all over the house and saran-wrapping a few vents here and there to help things along he was finished and came up to the living room where I was crashed out with my book and laptop. He handed me these before & afters:

That one on the bottom really is what it looks like - a wooden duct. We have one of those in the basement from way back when. The rest are happily metal. These are scary though, aren't they?

When was the last time you had your ducts cleaned? Worried now?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

4 weeks out

Yep, 4 weeks today. Two more to go with the sticks which are getting nastier since I'm now up for trying to go greater distances. Like to the Art Fair on the Square last Saturday, which was great for making me feel like I'm back in the world, but rough on the body. As a result I spent Sunday on the couch and have been nursing my hands ever since. But they made me a balloon animal snail to attach to my crutch (unfortunately it only lasted about half a block before it popped), and a sweet volunteer couple watching a small table with some leaflets told me to come sit down for a minute and pointed to their three knee scars between the two of them from joint replacements. "We know what that feels like" - and they looked like they did.

And also traveling farther like back to work. I haven't gotten as far as busing in both directions yet, but I've done bus one way and a lift the other. I have to say that even with a bus route that goes directly from half a block up my street to the road right in front of the hospital it's still a rough trip. If I had to transfer I'd probably tell them I'd be another 2 weeks before returning!

Yay for University sick leave allotments though.