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Ben Babcock

4 Articles in June 2009

  1. Your rose-coloured glasses are on fire

    Funny story. Last night I got an email from my friend Maria, who recommended to me her friend's LibriVox audio recordings for my summer audiobook odyssey. Since it's as good a place as any, I decided to begin with John Milton's Areopagitica.

    For those of you unfamiliar with Areopagitica,((I'm guessing that's most, but certainly not all, of you. And that's not a bad thing.)) Milton wrote it back in 1644. In many ways, the world was different back in 1644: global warming wasn't as much of an issue back then, the roads were slightly better, and Clint Eastwood had just starred in his first movie. Yet in many ways, the world was very much the same: young kids listened to pop music that drove their parents crazy, celebrities got into tabloid scandals, and short-sighted people wanted to censor books.

    Areopagitica is a polemic against the Licensing Order of 1643, which would essentially establish government censorship over all published works. Milton argues passionately and eloquently that such an order is foolish, that censorship is ineffectual and indeed harmful to a free society. He cites the examples of the Greek and Roman societies((The classical period was a…

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  2. Help me listen my way through summer

    During the summer, I bike to work. I could pretend that this is because I want to be green and stay in shape, but it's really because I don't have consistent access to a vehicle. Although it is good exercise, I must admit.

    The ride is about twenty minutes one-way. I usually listen to music on my 1 GB iPod Nano. Yeah, that's right: I haven't upgraded to the latest model. Shocking, I know. However, this usually means I end up listening to the same music over and over all summer. I suppose I could create weekly mixes or playlists to help keep things fresh, but I'm just too lazy.

    So this year, I'm going to try something different: audiobooks. It furthers my goal of reading more, and it's much safer than trying to read a book while biking. Rather than purchase audiobooks, I'm going to try Librivox, a crowdsourced repository of public domain audiobooks. I've gone ahead and created a shelf at Goodreads to track my summer listening. Now only one thing remains: to what should I listen?

    I'm open to suggestions. I'm considering some Victorian fiction, thinking that it may be less dry if I listen…

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  3. Push

    I'm still alive.((Although chances are equally good I'm just a component of a massive set of equations which we happen to perceive as the Universe.))

    Actually, when all is said and done, the wisdom teeth extraction was Not That Bad. I went in, the assistant hooked me up to various Machines That Go Ping!, gave me some nitrous oxide to relax, then stuck me with an IV. I drifted off to neverneverland. The next thing I know, the assistant is asking me to come lie down on a bed in a little recovery room. I do so and start to read my book. In about five minutes I'm fully lucid and feeling quite well.

    I won't rub it in, but I had no swelling, no bruising, and no pain. I took a couple of painkillers on Friday but kicked them after Saturday morning. I had pizza--in small bites--for dinner on Friday, although I stuck with yogurt, Jello, and very soft food until Tuesday. My jaw feels a bit different when I chew, but overall it was a painless procedure.((Aside from the part where I give them a substantial chunk of money, of course.)) All that trepidation....

    These past few…

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  4. Let me get this straight: time goes forward?

    I intended to post this two days ago, but somehow never got around to it. You know you need to blog more when your grandparents remark on your inactivity. So let's do this!

    The past few weeks have been, for the most part, uneventful (and that's good). I worked a bit more than I would like, but there's not much to be done. I've tried to use all the free time I have as wisely as possible, mostly reading. Now that the snow is gone--even though the frost warnings are not--I like to sit outside the front of the house on the nice days.

    Having finished playing Mass Effect a second time, I tried playing Tomb Raider: Anniversary again. Unfortunately, the controls continued to frustrate me as I fell back into the rythym of "No, Lara, jump that way--oh, and you died." So I tried Tomb Raider: Legend instead. While it's the same engine, the levels are shorter and more varied, so I'm less frustrated with it.

    I'm greatly anticipating Mass Effect 2, and a few days ago I saw the trailer for Assassin's Creed 2. I enjoyed the first Assassin's Creed, although the story was somewhat…

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About Me

I’m a 26-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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