amount vs. number

2006-09-29 at 23:06 (article)

I’m a pedant, which means I get really annoyed really quickly when people make little mistakes. The one I’m going to elaborate on today is the misuse of “amount” and “number”.

You don’t have an amount of people. You have a number of people. (Say them both; see which one feels more natural.) You don’t have a number of flour. You have an amount of flour, e.g. 3oz, or whatever other measuring system you prefer. And here is the difference: an amount deals with a pile, and number deals with a distinct, well, number.

So get it right! (Also feel free to find esoteric examples to prove me incorrect in some cases. :)


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integrity in the moment

2006-09-28 at 00:46 (article, musings)

Does the past actually exist? Can you touch it? STOP TIME NOW!

Pretend you that everything up to the last sentence was actually just “planted” in your head — never had any real substance or reality. Reality starts from that moment. Would you act differently to how you act now? Would you change things in your life? If so, why?

We must act with thoughtfulness and intent in each moment: we must do what we feel is “the right thing” to be doing. Else, we act without integrity. If one’s true beliefs and actions take no notice of each other, unhappiness must follow — you’re unbalanced, unaligned, and have no hope of true internal freedom and happiness. Even if there is more immediate unhappiness in taking action rooted in your beliefs, when you get to that blissful state of balance, it is easy to maintain. Your personal universe will resonate with the single, unifed tune that you produce in every moment.

Only when your actions are in line with your beliefs do you get a sense of personal integrity, and from that, freedom. If not everything you do is in tune with who you feel yourself to be, there’s something wrong.

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2006-09-26 at 20:04 (poetry)

i don’t wanna hear
about yesterday
with all that shit
he used to say
i want to hear about here and now
like how i set your heart on fire
and how you know you’ll never tire
of my endless wit, delightful charm
how everything i seem to do
shows you you’re mine
and’ll always be true
about how whenever you’re with me
you can’t explain it, it’s just the way
you know it’s always meant to be.

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steep gradient

2006-09-22 at 22:27 (poetry)

bring death to the streets of manchester
six thousand white sheets
splotted with blood red paint.

— the anticipated “mass die-in” on the 23rd September to represent the people who’ve died in Iraq by lying on a white sheet on the ground.

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more puns!

2006-09-20 at 23:07 (puns)

you can’t be a passive activist, but you can be an active pacifist.
anti-war protesters don’t get much time to eat, so when they do, it’s peace-meal.
i met a vampire the other day. he was a bit drunk and had been playing poker, and he told me: “i don’t like gambling. the stakes get too high.”
for my favourite band, the vocals are a pretty important factor in their success, but the guitars are instrumental.


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2006-09-14 at 22:22 (lists, puns)

Thing about René is that he always puts deh carts before deh horse.
Since starting to read philosopy, I’ve really found my nich-e. (credit Dom McGoldrick)

University courses
I was looking at the degree course on textiles — looks totally fabricated to me.
Now that there’s a £3000 fee every year of the course, Economics just isn’t anymore.

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2006-09-12 at 23:33 (poetry)

we sat and drank the night away
and said things we never meant to say
but what does it matter, anyway?
tomorrow’s always another day

and eventually, it all fades away.

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music loud

2006-09-11 at 12:51 (poetry)

music loud.
you catch my eye
i motion, you come
  in catwalk strides
so i thought i’d try
  said “come to mine”
and then we arrive
  on the floor we lie:

you feel my touch and nothing more.
both used like cheap and addict whores
as we are, to the senses we adore
leaving us lifeless, senseless, sore.

— been around for a while, this one, but took a while to finish properly. still not perfect, but then nothing is.

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The Poker Ladder

2006-09-10 at 14:28 (lists)

It’s here because I always forget it whenever I want to play poker.

  1. 5 of a kind: this is the highest possible hand, but is only possible when playing with wild cards.
  2. Straight Flush: a straight flush is 5 cards in order, all of the same suit.
  3. 4 of a kind: four cards of the same rank (i.e. four kings or four nines).
  4. Full House: Three of a kind and a pair, like two kings and three sevens, or two jacks and three twos.
  5. Flush: five cards of the same suit.
  6. Straight: five cards in rank order, but not of the same suit.
  7. 3 of a kind: three cards of the same rank.
  8. Two pair: a set of cards, with two of one rank, and the other two of another rank (i.e. two aces and two kings).
  9. Pair: two cards of the same rank.
  10. High Card: when the hand contains none of the above, then highest card counts.

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2006-09-10 at 12:40 (quotes)

They’ll call you “luv”, but they won’t give you change. (Jane Crilley, on British bus drivers)

Character is doing what is right when no one is looking. (J.C. Watts)

Those who live by the sword are shot by those who don’t. (Unknown)

Two takes on pain:

  • Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. (Zen)
  • Pain is life. Anyone who says differently is trying to sell something. (The Princess Bride)

Real conversation:
Clive: Why not have a cold shower?
Kinnison: that’d involve having a shower
Kinnison: Given the amount of time you’ve spent in my bathroom, I kinda assumed you knew that we didn’t have a shower

Bono, back in his articulate, insightful days (that is, before he learnt Spanish):
“We scorch the earth, set fire to the sky. We stoop so low to reach so high.” – “Red Hill Mining Town”, U2

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