All entries for Wednesday 08 March 2006

March 08, 2006


Kangaroos in a wildlife park near Brisbane

(Click for larger image)

Took this at a wildlife park near Brisbane where visitors wandered around the same fields as kangaroos (cute, especially when they're peeling and eating bananas), koalas (smelly, dirty looking) and emus (outright scary). No cages, no fences; great place.

Post-processing: Cropped, removed red eye, which it turns out that kangaroos get just like humans do. Who knew?

Dizzy fingers

Writing about web page

When I was a child learning to play the piano, the two musos I aspired to emulate were Jon Lord, then of Deep Purple, and Rick Wakeman, then (intermittently at least) in Yes. This was the mid seventies, when rock and prog rock giants bestrode the globe like cape–wearing, private jet flying colossi (is that the plural of colossus?), and faster was very much better.

The phase passed, to the relief of everyone, especially my parents, who with hindsight must have been driven to the point of distraction by a ten year old trying to recreate minimoog solos on an elderly upright piano (though to their credit they never complained). But I retain a nostalgic soft spot for keyboard wizards so I was pleased to discover this clip of Rick Wakeman on YouTube. The music itself is nothing to write home about but his technique is still, to me at least, just dazzling. I've never seen anyone else play that fast with such great accuracy. I still play a little myself but I've decided that less – quite a lot less, in fact – for me will have to be more.

Caring for your introvert

Writing about web page

Jason Kottke who seems to find just about everything that's worth reading on the internet, points out this fascinating article called "Caring for your introvert". (Actually, Jason is even more on the ball than that; what he's pointing out here is not the original article, which he linked to three years ago but a new interview with the author of the piece.

From the opening paragraph of the original article:-

Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?

It's a really interesting piece exploring the characteristics of introversion and noting, for example, that it's not the same thing as being shy, nor anxious or frightened in social settings. It's also fair comment, I think, when the author observes that extroverts don't really understand introversion and that the adjectives used to describe extroversion are typically positive ("vibrant", "warm", "empathetic") whereas those used to describe introverts are less generous; "guarded", "reserved", "taciturn". I'm not a huge fan in general of the concept of personality types (I didn't find doing a Myers-Briggs test especially valuable, for example), because I think they tend to be a bit axial. But this is a keen and well-written insight, I think.

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