Humuhumu update

Aug. 27th, 2014 07:38 pm
nanila: little and wicked (mizuno: lil naughty)
[personal profile] nanila
I've been jotting down various new quirks as they happen in a paper diary, but as Humuhumu seems to have undergone a big cognitive leap recently, it seems like a good time to make a longer update on her development.


She has lots of ways of referring to things that probably aren't obvious to anyone who isn't her parents. For instance:

  • "Door", accompanied by pointing to a specific kitchen cupboard. She knows that her special treat-foods are kept inside, such as "Pouch" (for an Ella's Kitchen fruit smoothie pouch) and "Cake" (can be either a rice cake or an Ella's Kitchen Nibbly Finger - a sort of chewy grain bar thing).

  • "Bey", which refers to the nursery rhyme "Wind the Bobbin Up". Usually she says this when she sees one of us holding our smartphones, and it means she wishes us to engage its most important function: playing YouTube videos. Today, however, she used it in a particularly devious fashion. I had just made a big bowl of popcorn, which we were sharing as a snack on the sofa. The bowl was sitting between us. She took a kernel, popped it in her mouth and then turned her big brown eyes on me. "Bey," she said. "Pull, pull, clap clap," she prompted, doing the arm motions.

    I started to sing. She smiled happily. Pulling the bowl onto her lap, she turned to face the arm of the sofa, giggling and stuffing popcorn into her mouth as fast as she could.

  • "Key", aka any cotton muslin square. Means "blanket", the corners of which get clutched tightly in her fist while she sucks her thumb. Probably explains why Iggle Piggle is her favourite In the Night Garden character, since he always has his "key" with him.

  • "CUGGLE!" Almost invariably shouted at the top of her voice as she hurls herself bodily at you. OK, this one probably is obvious even if you're not her parents, but she screams it so enthusiastically it's not always comprehensible.


These began fairly recently, and have been coming on in leaps and bounds. My favourites include:

  • "Bless you Mama (or Dada)", when we sneeze. She says it so promptly and clearly. My heart melts every time.
  • "I like/don't like [insert thing here]". Said things usually fall into one of four categories: foods, apps, YouTube videos or CBeebies shows. She uses "don't like" when she has grown tired of something temporarily.
  • "Night night Mama/Dada/Nani". Yes, she says good night to herself.


She loves her alphabet-based books, particularly A is for Aloha, which was one of mine when I was a child. It has a mixture of Hawai'ian and English words along with some beautiful black-and-white photographs of Hawai'i. She requests this one by saying, "'Loha". She also loves her Brian Wildsmith-illustrated ABCs (also ancient). Her identification of letters goes like this, depending on which book she's looking at. The ones with dashes are the ones where she can't say the word yet, e.g. canoe and elephant.

  • A is for: "'loha" or "Apple"
  • B is for: "Beebee" (baby) and "Boll" (ball) or "Fly" (butterfly)
  • C is for: --- (canoe) or "Meow" (cat)
  • D is for: "Dada" or "Fff fff" (dog - I think this is her attempt at "Woof woof")
  • E is for: "Nom nom nom" (eat) or --- (elephant)
  • F is for: "Suki" (friend) or *puffs out cheeks, makes popping noise* (fish)
  • G is for: --- (gecko) or "Goat"
  • H is for: "Hair" and "Flower" (hibiscus) or "Neigh" (horse)
  • I is for: "Ipu" or --- (iguana)
  • J is for: *jump* (jump) or --- (jaguar)
  • K is for: *kisses the page* (kiss) or *attempt at whistle* (kettle)
  • L is for: --- (lei) or "RAAAARRR" (lion)
  • M is for: "Mama" and "Mumu" or "Eee ee ee" (mouse)
  • N is for: "Net" or "Nest"
  • O is for: --- (octopus) or "Twit TWOO" (owl)
  • P is for: --- (pineapple) or "Peacock"

After this it all goes a bit hazy, apart from "Turtle", "Unicorn" (!!!) and "Yucky".

She's also attempting to "read" more independently. I'll read her a story and then she'll take the book and flip through the pages, chattering to herself as if she's reading it, although I don't think she can yet.


This last week has been an exceptional one in the amount of television we've been watching, since we've both been ill and on our own some of the time too. Hence, we've discovered that we like some new CBeebies shows. We knew we liked In the Night Garden already, as we get an episode of that on the tablet most nights before bed. But now we've added Pingu (penguin and his baby brother), some funny little animated French thing about insects with good music called Miniscule, DipDap (slapstick adventures of a line-drawn character) and Timmy Time (claymation sheep, younger sibling of Shaun, I think?).

We're lukewarm toward Chuggington (animated show about train engines) and Sarah and Duck (narrated by Roger Allam, which softens me toward it but not Humuhumu).

She also likes two I can't stand: Kate and Mim-mim, about a little girl and her purple stuffed bunny toy that comes to life, and Waybuloo, which I'm at a loss to describe. The former is too saccharine even for me (and I have a pretty high tolerance for cutesy) and the latter is strange and pointless and the animated characters are very uncanny valley.


One again, this week has included an exceptional amount of tablet usage, and Toca Boca has managed to make me part with money for apps, something I'd resisted for years. Humuhumu's learning curve on the tablet is positively terrifying. She doesn't know how to unlock it yet ("Uh oh, locked," she says, holding it out to me), but she knows how to scroll to the screen containing her apps, to pick the ones she wants and to use 70-100% of their functionality.

She also has a technique for ensuring that she remembers how to do things within her apps. For instance, in "Pet Doctor", she will select an animal, hold out the tablet for me to show her how to cure its ailment if she can't immediately figure it out, watch me do it, and then keep going back to the same animal four or five times until she has its treatment down pat. She went from being able to "treat" one animal on her own on Tuesday to being able "treat" nine of them unassisted today. I find it fascinating, watching her absorb information and improve her fine motor control in such a methodical way.

Dear Femslash Exchange Writer

Aug. 27th, 2014 03:46 pm
cleo: (Stock: Ballerina)
[personal profile] cleo
[syndicated profile] speculumannorum_feed

Geneva rooftops and opposite mountains (Salève, Massif Jura) from the cathedral north tower. Cathedral spire from the north tower. (16.8.14)

No One Obliged To Cry.

Aug. 27th, 2014 06:27 pm
tree: a drawing of the profile of a girl wearing an aviator hat ([else] six days at the bottom)
[personal profile] tree
There is a horror barely concealed in the past tense. We all feel it. We treat that tense with wary respect, it and its myriad complicated grammatical variants. That tense is where all the misery of the universe is cached.

adam roberts, by light alone
[syndicated profile] speculumannorum_feed

Greylag Geese and Friend. Friend appears to be a hybrid - we thought Brant for a while, but his head is white, not black. Based on these hybrid examples here, and the geese listed on a habitat=lakes search of Birds of Switzerland, I think maybe a Brant/Greylag hybrid? (16.8.14)


Aug. 26th, 2014 08:44 pm
kaberett: Photo of a cassowary with head tilted to one side (cassowary)
[personal profile] kaberett
kaberett: ... chris
kaberett: chris I have broken everything enough
kaberett: that alt+ctrl+f2
kaberett: doesn't give me a terminal
kaberett: please tell me you're impressed
Chris: ...
Chris: *how.*
Chris: this is the machine you just reinstalled, right?
kaberett: no this is the desktop
Chris: oh ok
kaberett: chris
Chris: so I mean it's possible that xorg.conf contains DontVTSwitch I guess?
kaberett: how did I do this
kaberett: it didn't ought to
kaberett: how do I fix the thing
kaberett: sorry the clarifying point
kaberett: is that it's failing to load the graphical desktop either
kaberett: which is why I'm even trying
kaberett: :-p
Chris: ah
Chris: ..
Chris: but I mean, is it showing you some empty/faulty graphical screen which you then can't switch away from, or..?
kaberett: black featureless screen of d00m
Chris: (or something text based I mean)
kaberett: it briefly shows me a text-based login prompt
kaberett: which gets REPLACED
kaberett: never to be seen again
Chris: ...
kaberett: ... there's the additional special
kaberett: (yes there's more)
Chris: those sure are some impressive sharks you've got there.
kaberett: (do you actually want to hear it)
Chris: yes
kaberett: okay so
kaberett: I was fucking around with installing some more xserver-xorg packages
kaberett: on the grounds that the internet suggested that was a reasonable fix for the issue I'm having -- ... was having? -- with saving xorg.conf
kaberett: and nothing obviously broke
kaberett: ... until I went away to the kitchen
kaberett: ... and came back after the screens had gone to sleep
kaberett: ... whereupon um
kaberett: ... they wouldn't wake up again?
kaberett: I got a brief flash of background+mousecursor every time I hit space or moved the mouse enough to trigger
kaberett: ... you're proud
Chris: wtf.
Chris: *applause*
jjhunter: closeup of library dragon balancing book on its head (library dragon 2)
[personal profile] jjhunter
[ profile] djinni is hosting another Icon Day! Submit your request before this Friday, 8/29, to receive a free icon, and throw in a tip if you'd like it in full color.
- -

Via, Smithsonian Seeking Volunteers To Help With Massive Digitization Project
According to the Smithsonian, their "collection is so vast that transcribing its content using its own staff could take decades." [...] The site is now live for volunteers to sign up and help out with transcriptions. History nerds, this is for you.

James Somers @ the blog: You’re probably using the wrong dictionary
A book where you can enter “sport” and end up with “a diversion of the field” — this is in fact the opposite of what I’d known a dictionary to be. This is a book that transmutes plain words into language that’s finer and more vivid and sometimes more rare. [...]

I don’t want you to conclude that it’s just a matter of aesthetics. Yes, Webster’s definitions are prettier. But they are also better. In fact they’re so much better that to use another dictionary is to keep yourself forever at arm’s length from the actual language.

A lunchtime run!

Aug. 26th, 2014 03:02 pm
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28 posting in [community profile] c25k
The weather forecast was sufficiently cool-and-damp that I took my running gear to work, intending a lunchtime run for the first time in weeks (fx: checks community, 3rd July, so nearly 8 weeks).

By the time lunchtime came around, I was feeling distinctly dont-wanna-run, which for me is different from not actually fit to run. Usually it means I really should go, because I need a change of scenery and a mood boost.

The sun came out while I was running but it wasn't too warm, and indeed before long I was feeling pleased I'd gone out.

I ran it at 1m:1m and came at pretty much the 'expected' pace for that ratio, and a little slower than the 11k 'slow run' I ran on Sunday.  I think this means that I've got pretty good at running for 30s at a time between walk breaks, but need more practice at running for 60s or longer.  Magic Mile this weekend is definitely called for.

(no subject)

Aug. 26th, 2014 02:21 pm
liseuse: (reading in the dark)
[personal profile] liseuse
What Are You Reading (Not Actually On A!) Wednesday (because it's Tuesday and I got all confused about days):

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

War and Peace, Tolstoy. It's Bad Decision Theatre all over the place. Boris is being very very Boris-y and making terrible decisions, made even better by the fact that he knows he's making terrible decisions. Pierre isn't that far behind him on the terrible decision front, and Princess Mary still makes me eye-roll a lot.

Citizens, Simon Schama. This is suffering because it, and War and Peace are both being read on my ereader, and Tolstoy's offering is much soapier and entertaining.

Women of the World: The Rise of the Female Diplomat by Helen McCarthy. I'm only about twenty pages in, but so far this is gloriously scathing about the system of appointing people to positions because of their place in the old boys' club.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Secret Listeners by Sinclair McKay. This never quite stopped being a series of anecdotes with no connecting thread, despite the fact that McKay did sort of try to use the progression of WWII as his narrative string. And to be honest, by the final chapter I was more intrigued by following these people after the war, and reading about what they put their unexpected experiences in India and Egypt and tiny islands in the middle of the ocean to use with once WWII was over. Alas the book ended with the return to peace time.

The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen. There's a mysterious book plague that Ella notices, which brings her into contact with Ingrid, and then into the Rabbit Back Literature Society, or Laura White's Writing Group, which in turn brings us into a mini-mystery and a sort of magical-realism novel. I found the novel faintly frustrating because it was trying to be both a mystery novel and a magical realism novel and only pulling them off about one go in three. There were some wonderfully chilling moments, and some flashes of good magical realist writing, but ultimately the result was an unsatisfying porridge of the two.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I got Richard Hoggart's The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working-Class Life out of the library the other day. (I have to say, the temporary closure of Home City's Main Library for refurbishment has done wonderful things for the stock in Lower Schmeh's branch.)


Aug. 26th, 2014 11:16 am
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
[personal profile] liv
[As we used to say back on LJ: Been Away, Not Kept Up with Reading, Please Tell Me if You Posted Anything I Need To See.] It's not actually as bad as it used to be now that we have smartphones, I think I'm actually more or less caught up with LJ and DW, but I've been skimming. And I have been feeling semi-withdrawn from my online life, I've not followed Twitter or FB where the more real-time updates tend to be these days, but equally there's no point reading back when you've been out of contact for a while. I've not been commenting on posts or even cogitating and sparking ideas off them as I usually do. So I would definitely appreciate it if you pointed me to anything significant, either thinky or in the big life news vein, from the last couple of weeks.

My August has looked like this:
  • New PhD student starting in my lab
  • Long weekend with [personal profile] jack's family in Shropshire, with good food and the proper hiking I've been missing and time for sitting reading.
  • Long weekend in west Wales with [personal profile] angelofthenorth and [ profile] gwyddno, with a different style of appreciating beautiful countryside and eating good food and all kinds of memorable experiences.
  • Exchanging contracts on the house I'm buying with [personal profile] jack
  • Worldcon, which is when I really started falling offline. I definitely do want to write up the con but the summary is I had a great time socially, including meeting some new people from DW *waves*, whereas the actual programming did not inspire me.
  • [ profile] rysmiel visiting for a few days, which was extremely wonderful and felt, as their visits do, like a holiday out of time.
  • Long weekend in Cambridge seeing [personal profile] jack and my parents, and a production of Much Ado about Nothing.
And there isn't much of the month left but I'm hoping in the next few days to actually buy a house (if all goes smoothly, which it should at this point, tomorrow), and to go away for a few days actual holiday with [personal profile] jack.

And it's Elul, how on earth did it get to be Elul? That means I have less than a month until the High Holy Days and the start of the new academic year both hit at the same time. So I'm not absolutely promising more content here in the coming weeks, but I would very much like to get back to participating properly in my online communities.

Film festival plans 2014

Aug. 25th, 2014 08:04 pm
ceb: (films)
[personal profile] ceb
Slightly dependent on assignment but it's going really well so far.

? = maybe
* = definite

Thurs 28th
? 1800 Peter Sellers: The Early Shorts (Emmanuel)

Fri 29th
* 1830 Ningen
? 2300 The House of Wax

Sat 30th
? 1930 Ida + Short Reel Award
? 2230 Inferno

Sun 31st
* 1600 Ningen (if I miss it on Friday)
? 1830 The Overnighters
? 1830 Attila Marcel

Mon 1st
* 1830 M
? 2100 Before I Go To Sleep

Tues 2nd
? 1800 Night Will Fall
? 2030 Violette

Wed 3rd
? 1830 Stations Of The Cross
? 1830 The View From Our House / Crossing Point (Emmanuel)
? 1930 Still The Enemy Within
? 2030 People To Each Other (Emmanuel)
? 2030 Peter De Rome: Grandfather Of Gay Porn

Thurs 4th
? 1815 We All Want What's Best For Her
? 2015 The Connection / Butterfly
? 2030 The Distance

Fri 5th
* 1100 Four Corners
* 1330 German Shorts
* 1600 People On Sunday (Emmanuel)
* 1730 BFI Local Filmmakers
* 1915 Pride
* 2230 The Mad Magician

Sat 6th
? 1100 Finsterworld
? 1300 Berlin, Symphony Of A Great City
? 1640 Street Life Desire
? 1700 Amour Fou
? 2100 West

Sun 7th: off on holiday!

Coming soon

Aug. 25th, 2014 08:01 pm
ceb: (drawing)
[personal profile] ceb
I am approaching the bit of the year when I can do whatever I want! for a whole month. Just a week off. To some extent I feel like I'm already there, but actually this is because I have somehow convinced myself that if I had a completely free choice what I would be doing right now is my masters assignment. To be fair it is quite fun...

(no subject)

Aug. 25th, 2014 01:21 pm
lotesse: (Default)
[personal profile] lotesse
hold on wait up - Darren Wilson, the man who murdered Michael Brown in the street in Missouri two weeks ago - Darren Wilson is my age??? Mofo looks like he forty! Guess callousness is prematurely aging.

The Temeraire/Korra crossover

Aug. 25th, 2014 02:41 pm
kaberett: Grinning emoticon. (:D)
[personal profile] kaberett
in which Ikki and Iskierka are besties 5eva.
[syndicated profile] speculumannorum_feed

Giant chess. Limited opening hours. Which completely contradict those posted on the website. And those posted on the sign in the foyer (different again). (18.8.14)


highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)

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