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we try not to talk about uncle jack at family reunions

in case you've ever wondered, i use all lowercase letters because i find the effect more aesthetically pleasing. there's an evenness to the text that looks better than the jagged chaos caused when you start including capitals.

and if you think about it, capitalization is completely arbitrary. each language has slightly different rules for what gets capitalized and what doesn't. german insists that you capitalize every single noun. dutch used to, but realised that this was a pain and a half and got rid of it. if you ever wonder why some people think german is an ugly language, it has nothing to do with how it sounds and everything to do with the fact that it looks like it's about to poke you in the eye with its many harsh capitals.

i would also have argued that capitals don't really serve any purpose. if i say something about 'venice', is there really anyone who's going to run to the dictionary because they assume it's some word they've never seen before? no, they'll more than likely realise that i'm talking about the city. and if you want to say that it would become confusing when you were dealing with proper names that also mean something different when used as a 'regular' word, allow me to remind you that we've been using 'lead' for centuries and the language has survived. [i might also point out that 'buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo' is a grammatically correct sentence and even if you insert the capitals, there are still different meanings in the uncapitalized words.]

for all their capital letters, germans don't distinguish between saying "i eat" and "i am eating". polish doesn't even have definite and indefinite articles [the/ a]. because germans and poles are clever enough to be able to figure things out from context.

but then the poor gentleman tasked with editing the stuff i write for heathen harvest [where i do use capitals] posted this on my facebook wall this morning:

ok, maybe in this one specific instance, it might help to have access to capital letters.

or maybe, given that my family have done some pretty unsettling things, maybe i'm just happy to leave things ambiguous.

i'm still going to continue with using all lowercase letters here on more like space. but i probably won't be discussing horses. or uncle jack. let's just leave him alone. 


as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

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…