Blizzards and Fragments

A blizzard has begun to fall on this city. At the moment there is a curtain of flurries falling but by tomorrow we may have as much as half a meter (1.5 feet for those of you still using outdated measurement systems). I’m both looking forward to the beauty of the blanket of snow and dreading moving through it.

Have you ever come across a phrase or word for which you could find no definition in a standard dictionary? I believe most of us have. Pseudodictionary.com is a web-based collection of slang, webspeak, colloquialisms and other uncommon expressions you may wish to learn the meaning of. It’s fun just to take a few minutes to browse through it even if you don’t have any words you’re itching to know about. Another interesting dictionary of sorts is Clich?Site.com, a website that has collected hundreds of clich?s and is sure to be a good guide for phrases to aviod in your writing and to overuse if you’re looking to annoy people or make them laugh. I’m fond of the Clich? of the Day, “She’s a peach.”

XFN is a very useful and inventive tool that I believe many journal keepers and bloggers will find useful and entertaining. “XFN (XHTML Friends Network) is a simple way to represent human relationships using hyperlinks. In recent years, blogs and blogrolls have become the fastest growing area of the Web. XFN enables web authors to indicate their relationship(s) to the people in their blogrolls simply by adding a ‘rel’ attribute to their [link] tags.” For instance, if I am linking to my friend Mark’s personal website, I will from now on include rel=”friend met” in the link tag, indicating that Mark is my friend and that I have met him (e.g. Mark Christian’s Shiny Plastic Bag). You can format the links using CSS2 and have them look different depending on the type of friendship you share with the person you are linking to (e.g. perhaps a heart image would come before the link to someone you are dating). I’d like to see something like this adopted widely because it’s a great way to explore relationship networks online and has a lot of potential to make websites interact in new ways. Please take a look at XFN, at least.

Have you been looking for new music or other audio to listen to on your computer or portable music player? CKDU, Halifax’s university radio station, recently launched a great new feature, Recent Sounds of CKDU. It’s an archive of all the station’s programming for the previous two weeks. You can download blocks of the station’s broadcasts or listen to a stream. The MP3 download is perfect for putting on your portable music player. CKDU broadcasts a very wide range of content, from hip hip to post-rock to world music. You can take a look at the schedule to find something you’ll enjoy.

One of my favourites on the CKDU schedule is Radio Free Polygon. an electronic music show that features some great tracks that you’d likely never hear on commercial radio. The show is associated with The Polygon Network, “an open collective of electronic musicians from Atlantic Canada,” that runs a net label where you can download full albums for free.

Another great source of music is Scissor Kick, a blog that shares promotional music and information about bands and artists currently under the radar. It focuses more on rock than does R.F.P. and has one bit on my favourite band, Stars.

Before returning here to close this entry I did one of my rounds. This hotel is in the midst of a great swirl of snow, snow that covers my boots when I walk through it and clings to them. More is falling at a rapid pace, tumbling with a speed more like that of rain than the snowflakes I’ve become used to. The lake is covered in a white layer, the ice of its surface hidden and unable to reflect the lights on its far shore, the lights that always fill me with a sense of beauty when I take the time to connect them. The snow, however, provides a wonder of its own, altering everything within sight with a striking monochrome.

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