bookmark_borderBlack with no sugar

Real men love coffee
Originally uploaded by phyl1.

This photo that I found on Phyllis’s Flickr pages is just perfect. I know there’s probably very little coffee in the mug, if any, but wee Léon just looks so much like an addicted coffee drinker. I love the was he’s grasping the mug and watching the camera while drinking – it just signals that the most important thing in the world is getting his caffeine, and nobody is going to stop him.

Possibly I find the photo so good because I know how much he loves coffee. A few months ago, he visited me (with Phyllis, of course), and just as an experiment, I gave him half a teaspoon of Turkish coffee. He was ecstatic – he loved it so much! He demanded spoon after spoon till he had drunk most of my cup. So I know this guy loves coffee!

bookmark_borderHow to drive less

Inspired by a posting on Phyl’s Blog, I started thinking about how we can stop driving so much. The thing is that it’s fairly limited how many miles people drive for the fun of it. For most people, it’s all the short trips to work, to school, to the supermarket and so on that really add up to a lot over the years.

And so, in order to really reduce car usage, one has to prevent commuting and shopping. In theory, we could all work from home all the time and use home delivery from Tesco or Asda, but it’s not good enough. To work from home most of the time, we all need good video-conference equipment at the very least. I guess that would help with buying groceries on-line, too, because what is holding me back is not seeing what I’m buying – I want to see the apples (I really want to smell them too, but that might get possible in a few years’ time), and I want to see the expiry dates, so small robots with video cameras moving a trolley around Asda would do the trick for me!

However, even with perfect equipment, I think there’ll be a social problem. We’ll all go mad if we never have to go out any more. So I think the solution might be mixed offices in the neighbourhood. That is, one would go to an office five minutes’ walk away in the morning, log on to the computer and switch on the video conference equipment, and go home in the evening.

It would have some interesting consequences, though. For instance, the coffee breaks wouldn’t be with one’s colleagues, but with one’s office mates. And when one gets a new job, one would keep the old office. 🙂

bookmark_borderNaš jezik

There’s an article in The Economist this week about how Serbocroatian is being revived in a fashion under the label of naš jezik (“our language”).

It’s really an interesting linguistic situation in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. Even within one country, it seems that more than one variant is used. For instance, if one goes to the Serbian Wikipedia, one can view each page in four variants by using the selectors on top called ????, ??????, ekav and ijekav, or in other words, one can choose between two alphabets and two linguistic variants, the latter choice being whether a river is called reka (a form often associated with Serbian) or rijeka (a form more often associated with Croatian); the variant rika is not included here, so presumably that is not allowed in Serbian.