Saturday, 10 January 2009

the nutcracker suite

An assorted list of Xmas highlights and New Year realizations and resolutions:
  • My new watch (there’s a photo in last month’s post), branded by some as ‘pretentious’... I don’t understand why it is pretentious to have a watch with just one hand – surely having an additional hand is pretentious when one hand is just as good?
  • My new nutcracker. The nutcracker I am in fact referring to is not the one I received this year as an xmas present, which just happened to be the world’s worst nutcracker. In fact, words cannot express just how bad it is. So after a bit of research, I discovered this one, which I promptly bought. And believe me when I say it is the bee’s knees. You can buy it on Amazon, though I in fact bought it here (just in case you want to get it cheaper). I have thus far tried it on hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts. Jamie’s addicted to it, and won’t put the thing down. This is the ultimate nutcracker - be very confident that I am likely to recommend all sorts of things to all sorts of people in the course of my life, but none will be as good a recommendation as this one.
  • Jamie’s remote control car that really does drive up walls and across ceilings (the link takes you to a video). I thought it would be total junk, but I was wrong, and it would certainly be high on my list of recommendations (though not as useful as the nutcracker nor as smart as my minimalist and unpretentious watch).
  • Clearing the queues at the journal just in time to have them fill up again as everyone submitted manuscripts or reviews in advance of the Great January Hangover.
  • Spending Jan 1st compiling all sorts of statistics about the journal: 725 submissions in 2008; 35% rejected without sending out to review; an overall 81% rejection rate; 2267 requests to review sent to 1439 reviewers, with 65% of these requests resulting in an actual review.
  • The sudden realization as New Year celebrations reverberated around the pages of Facebook that it (Facebook) is not all it’s cracked up to be: Sure, you get an immediate sense of a whole bunch of people doing a whole lot of stuff, but it’s a whole lot of stuff which you’re not a part of. Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
  • My New Year’s resolution to be the first to start up a Psycholinguistics Research Laboratory on Second Life. Perhaps others will follow suit, and then I can start up and edit the first Second Life Virtual International Journal of Cognitive Science (aka ‘Cognition’ in our first life). How cool would that be? I reckon almost as cool, but not quite, as my one-handed watch which, through freeing my other hand, gives me plenty of opportunity to crack my nuts deploy that nutcracker...