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never trust anyone over 30?


apple, the venerable snob of the computer world, turned thirty on april 1. in celebration, fark.com has a series of photoshopped images from readers with ideas for what the minds that brought you all those little white boxes will come up with next.

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what i hate about you [languages]

through my adventures in language learning, i have come to appreciate the magic of all the different ways we have of speaking to one another. i hate the thought of the cultural diversity lost whenever a language goes extinct and applaud efforts to keep any and all of them fresh in the public mind. i marvel at the ability of languages to persist in an ocean of difference and get hot under the collar when i hear about attempts by despots to repress a language as a way of showing dominance.

i've purchased a few books on the subject [and been given a few others], but my primary learning method has been through free education beacon duolingo, where i've completed four "trees" [courses] in the last two years, which has given me a basic grounding in german, spanish and swedish, and significantly helped my french. my preference then is to move on to listening to or reading newscasts in order to get a sense of the rhythms and flow of these languages, as well, of course, for …

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…

making faces :: chanel's velvet realm

who doesn't love velvet? i know when i was younger, i used to, as george costanza longed to, "drape myself in velvet" and although that phase passed with time, i still think that the plush fabric has to be one of the high points of human achievement, up there with interior heating, advanced medicine and vodka. so to me, it's no surprise that one of the most hotly anticipated launches in the cosmetic world is chanel's new "rouge allure velvet" lipstick line, because even the name immediately makes me want to put it on my lips.

on a more concrete level, chanel describes these lipsticks as "luminous matte", which is sort of like the holy grail for lipstick lovers. we all want those intense, come-hither film noir lips, the sort where young men and sunlight are lost and never heard from again, but historically [including during the making of those films], applying a matte lipstick felt sort of like colouring in your lips with an old crayon that had…