Links from the past weeks

  • I found old notes I made, and I had copied a part of T S Eliot’s Burnt Norton on a piece of foolscap paper. I guess that was an early version of a commonplace book. I duly copied the text into my current system. And of course, I had to go read What “Into the Rose Garden” Means.

  • Reading Compass is a true exercise of the mind. I enjoy reading it but have to take breaks from it. Mathias Énard is quite an interesting character but mostly because the world he inhabits is so foreign to me. I first saw the book in the UK a few years ago, and finally got down to getting myself a copy. I contemplated reading it on the library app, but this is the kind of book that has to be read in hard copy form.

  • Six Famous Notebook Users

  • Apparently the concept of wind phones is not new, but I just read about one on Whigbey Island.

    The desire to speak to those who have departed is not an uncommon one (though I personally do not have it), and I guess there is just something about speaking into a receiver.

  • It’s cutting calories—not intermittent fasting—that drops weight, study suggests.
    But if time-restricted eating helps you to cut calories, it works!

  • I sometimes wonder if I am half a naturalist. I cannot be that much of one because I live in a concrete jungle sometimes masquerading as a garden city. But every once in a while, books on the natural world catch my eye.

  • On having no visual memory

    I do not see images in my head. And reading about it felt so gratifying. It feels like oversharing if I tell someone about it, but I have been wanting to find someone else I know who is also this way. [The story behind how the condition came to have a name is an amusing one.]

  • Behold, a commonplace book in the form of a website.

Driving in Seattle

It was my first time driving on the other side of the road. And so I had to be extra careful. I didn’t have any real issue, and this, I believe, is largely due to the graciousness of those who were driving around me. Some observations:

  • Right lane line should align with centre of car. Back home, I had gotten very used to my car and hardly give any thought to this. But in Seattle, the rental company issued me a car much wider than I am used to.
  • Turning right on red – did it for the first time!
  • I had read about the middle island for turning vehicles but had to overcome the idea that I can drive onto an area marked by yellow lines.
  • Nobody horned (at me) and motorists waited until they could safely overtake me.
  • People tend to give way once you signal – in crawling traffic, I could make it to the HOV lane quite easily.
  • People drive at speed limit on the slowest lane of the freeway. That would be a marvel in my country, where the speed differential from the fastest to the faster to the slowest lane can vary quite a bit.
  • The entry lane of the freeway merges with the slowest lane on the freeway – so when I am on the slowest lane, I need to watch out and give way to entering vehicles.
  • How to behave at uncontrolled intersection was another matter I was curious about. It was quite easy – each driver goes in turn, depending on who reaches the stop line at that intersection first. Frankly easier than what happens in my home country – you are supposed to give way to your right but many a time, it is a matter of who is more daring.
  • Went around a roundabout. It was in a quiet neighbourhood and so narrow! And it goes counter-clockwise.

Everything is amusing when it is new/ flipped from what you are used to. I was happy that I managed to come out of this unscathed. Haha.