Archive for October, 2010

Super-cute oven mitts and synaeresis

My site stats say someone found my page by searching “synaeresis 縮む” and since that was probably because my Twitter feed shows up on the side (and has since scrolled off) I thought I had better make a more permanent cooking mitten memorial.

Last month I bought a pair of adorable kitten-and-cherry-blossom print green oven mitts from Daiso, and was baffled by a line on the tag, which I tweeted about. The tweets in question:

Cutest cooking mitten in the world; sadly prone to synaeresis, however http://twitpic.com/2soisv
The label says 又、多少縮む場合もあります。How that became “This product has the possibility of synaeresis” I couldn’t easily tell you

Loosely translated, it means “Also, there are conditions under which it may shrink slightly.” Not being a chemistry geek or, apparently, enough of a linguistics geek to have heard the term before, synaeresis was entirely unknown to me, but shrinking fabrics — that’s not so bad.

I wonder if it was a machine translation… How would Google Translate handle the same line?

Also, you may shrink slightly.

By the way, I got the pink bunny ones too, which are just as cute; it would be worth shrinking slightly to have such a cheerful kitchen. I did get something on the thumb of one of my green ones, but I haven’t had the courage to try to wash it yet.

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Running Log, October 28

1:30 run, 3:30 walk, ten times around.

I felt exhausted after this one, and I wonder if, when I think I’m not ready for two whole minutes, I’m psyching myself out or just being realistic. At some point (I think between 1 minute and 1:30) I thought, perhaps instead of doing each week twice, I can do the first week once, the second week twice, the third week three times and so on. I dismissed the idea, but maybe I shouldn’t have! I have no pride, when it comes to running. I don’t mind stretching a 13-week program out to 2012, or to Doomsday if it comes to it. In any case, I won’t have the chance to run for a few days coming up here, so I can put the decision off.

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Running log, October 25

Ran 1 minute 30 seconds, walked 3 minutes 30 seconds, eight times. One more and I’ll be moving on to 2 minutes!

Note to self: Never buy anything from Pearl Izumi. (No matter how cute it might be.)

I’d like to think that if I was an experienced, expert runner I would be rather proud of all the hard work and dedication it took to get to that point; I can’t imagine I would then need to feel even more superior by looking down on someone who prefers treadmills, someone who just wants to look good for her wedding pictures, someone stumbling through her first week of a run/walk program with all the speed and grace of a sloth stuck in a paper bag. How superior can a person really be if, after all of their hard work, mocking the efforts of others is what makes them feel special?

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Running Log, October 23

Same as last time: 1 minute 30 seconds running, 3 minutes 30 seconds walking, ten times around.

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Running log, October 21

Ran 1 minute 30 seconds, walked 3 minutes 30 seconds, ten times. I’m counting this as day 3 of the first week, so three more days and I will be moving on to *gulp* two minutes.

The difference between 1 minute 30 seconds and 2 minutes is just about unimaginable, even though I generally do rather well in the ridiculous-flights-of-fancies department. Speaking of which, sometime when I’m not dead tired, I’ll write about ways to distract myself from looking at my timer all the time when running.

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Running log, October 19

Got out of the running habit again! I decided to start going early in the morning, before work — because trying to go after work wasn’t working out, I just didn’t have enough time or willpower. So we’ll see how early morning works out for me. Ran a minute and thirty seconds, walked three minutes thirty seconds, eight times.

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Outline of The Search for Modern China by Jonathan D. Spence

Part I: Conquest and Consolidation

Introduction
The flourishing Ming dynasty began to decline in the late 1500s, due to desertion, famine and plague; the Manchus, who co-opted Chinese bureaucratic structures and gained the loyalty of many Chinese, conquered China and formed the Qing dynasty. Emperor Kangxi was able to consolidate the Chinese state, and his son carried on his reforms; however, in the late 18th century, the inefficient and corrupt state was unable to handle foreign and domestic problems, and Western observers thought that if China was unable to adapt, it would be destroyed.

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