May 15th, 2001


How many states do you know?

Richard and I were watching an episode of "Friends" in which they play a game where you have to name as many states of the USA as you can in 6 minutes. So we decided to have a go at this ourselves. Between us, we managed 41 states, which I don't think is bad for non-Americans. (How many Americans could name all the member states of the EU?).

The ones we missed were Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Well, I didn't even know there _was_ a West Virginia - but the others, I just forgot.

We wondered if the ones we'd forgotten were clustered together. I'm pretty sure I know more about the coasts than the middle, for example. So I downloaded a map of the USA and coloured in the states according to whether we'd known them or not. Here it is:

Purple means that we both remembered it, blue means only Richard remembered it, green means only I remembered it and yellow states were the ones we both forgot.

Isn't that interesting? :)
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    "Earth vs. the Wildhearts" - the Wildhearts

enough of the Douglas Adams tributes already

I'm starting to feel very depressed by all the Douglas Adams tributes I'm seeing. Unfortunately, as every community I'm involved with is a community of geeks, his death has affected a lot of people.

I'm not trying to negate other people's grief, but I feel that no matter how important someone was as a cultural icon and inspiration, it's not the same as having someone you know and care about personally die. Richard and I are both hurting about his mum and having people grieve at us about someone they _didn't_ know personally makes us feel... ignored (It's not the right word for it, but I can't think of a better one at the moment). The worst thing is you can't even get away with ignoring newspapers and web news - people have in their sig files "RIP - 11th May 2001". Right now, I really don't need to see that constant reminder of last Friday being someone's death date.

Updated: Wednesday, June 27th 2001, 6.16am
Apparently Richard's mum actually died at about 1am on 12th May. We hadn't realised that. Not good for his poor dad, who had to wait until a "sensible time of day" before ringing us. Ironically, we were of course still awake at that time.