Sunday, September 07, 2003

And why's it seem apt that the ad at the top of my blog is for latin learning courses. You too can learn to speak fluently - just like the natives. So that'll be think of the french word and fudge the ending. As I'm struggling to remember what comes after amo, amas, amat...amamus, amatis, amant? But as the likelihood of me needing to say I love, you love,...and I can't remember the order for we, they, he, she and it love[s], isn't really all that high. Languages never really where my forte, regardless of how many times I try to read lemonade (and invariably resort to babelfish).

Odd scenario thing: two young men in suits, in convertible Audi, hair up the road, slam on the brakes, stop in the middle of the road. Driver gets digital camera, points towards neighbours' house, oblivious to traffic trying to get round him. Small pause, shoot off again. Guess someone'll be moving soon then. It just seemed so typical of estate agents that the guy doesn't even turn the engine off, let alone go and park to take the pic. Hmm, doesn't sound so odd now. I don't know. Oh well.

Oh and with reference to the utter wrongness thing of the last post: triple J (odd aussie radio, but then I only get it during their night) had a version of "Je t'aime" [Orig: Serge Gainsbourg and some English actress] being sung by Brian Molko, as in he of Placebo fame. Quite strange. Trying to work out if he was taking the piss. But given they also had a Goldfrapped version of Marilyn Manson's latest...I guess anything goes at 2am.

Speaking of the land of Oz (that mean most people who live there are Friends of Dorothy then?), apparently they're going to get some Bush action. Ya think the much hyped moonfest will go international?

And speaking of arses (or asses for the US peeps who don't know that one's a donkey)...David Blaine. Well he was quite good when he was just a magician doing card trick things. So man + just a box + a long time = what exactly? Does it matter if someone can survive intact for that long? And 44 days, well that gets us to mid-October. When do we start getting the usual autumnal miserable weather? And what will they do if Fabian bangs a right, and scuds it's way up the Gulf Stream? And how many satellite or cable TV channels are doing live footage direct from the box (if only because it's a damn sight cheaper than conventional scheduling)?And if you don't know what I'm talking about, then A. how did you manage that? B. Go google. It's been on pretty much everything (AP, AFP, Reuters).

Which reminds me: Do you Yahoo? No, I google. One aggressively marketed to get people to use the brand-name as a verb, and the other which did it unintentionally. And Google don't want it become a verb because then they lose the trademark (a la Hoover), so there'd be nothing to stop Microsoft Google being launched. Can the OED count that little (TM) symbol as a letter and thus a part of the name?

Other than that it's just been the usual got bored, read rubbish on the internet. So now I know that there's pretty pointless stockmarket in blogs. And why Ikea furniture has such odd, rude or unpronounceable names (apart from the shelving system called Journalist - that's just cheating). Looking at their website: why's it seem so disconcerting to discover that there's Ikea in China. Delving a little further, it seems that the top 5 countries for sales do not correspond to the top five for purchasing. So as sales are usually measured in value, and purchasing in volume, this appears to imply that the countries where they sell the most aren't the most profitable. So Germany represents 20% of sales, but 6% of purchasing, and the other sales leaders (UK, USA, France) aren't in the top of the purchasing group. Which I think confirms what we already knew.

Anyway, Ikea names are themed after places, people, jobs, etc depending on what it is. So if you have a dining table named after a Finnish village (Lokka), is that an epotoponym then? (See Coherence Engine for where that term came from). Or is it only epotoponymic if it's intrinsically linked with the area, such as things made or originally developed within a place, eg. Cheddar/Edam/Roquefort cheese, rather than at the whim of a multinational?

And the Ikea catalogue - you know how they had a whole advertising campaign with the theme "chuck out the chintz" [chintz being visually fiddly flowery patterned material], well guess what costs £325 and is called Rosalinda...a wonderful 3 seater sofa decked out in particularly stunning material. And after a minor foray into being incredibly anal, I have discovered that one should never buy furniture in Australia, because a UK price of £325 is £385 there. But it's £314 in the good ole US of A (no fair, that's cheaper than us), £358 in Russia (it's amazing the way Ektorp looks like Ektorp in Cyrillic), and £337 in native Sweden [Current exchange rates according to Yahoo]. Obviously no one told IKEA that they're supposed to charge the UK more, and it's ok, we don't mind being ripped off (or is that just car makers and supermarkets?). Or maybe they just overcharge the world.

And why does Yahoo's currency converter default to US Dollars to Yen? Studiously avoiding the Euro, or am I just being unkind? Well probably yes, but it's just it always annoys me because it has £'s listed as British Pounds, symbol GBP, and no mention of Sterling, so you inevitably look in the wrong place in the list. Flicking through it - you don't get many ounces of gold to the pound (sterling). And what exactly is the Reuters currency?
Anyhow, as it's much later than it was supposed to be I'd better go and cook and stuff.

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