Wednesday, August 31, 2022
'WHO WORKS HERE?!'
Here's another photo from my walk on Saturday. This really shows the gritty urban reality of certain stretches of the Grand Union Canal, with the graffiti, the mysterious pile of garbage by the bench (no idea why that's there) and the train running over the bridge.
I have to be at work early this morning because we're closing early this afternoon -- so my hours are shifting. Something about a meeting in the library space. Yesterday was busy as all get-out, with new students being introduced to the library, and all the sixth graders going on a scavenger hunt that required them to run up to my desk in groups of four or five and yell "WHO WORKS HERE?!" at the TOP OF THEIR LUNGS. (They were supposed to list the librarians' names on their scavenger hunt form.) I also finally got departed patrons deleted from the Lower School system, and I've been working on getting back copies of the student newspapers bound into books for our archives, so I was e-mailing back and forth with a bindery in Southwark.
On the home front, I had to schedule our annual gas safety inspection, and I was e-mailing our landlord to ask about tree-trimming in the back garden. We have a green light to go forward with that; now I've got to call a tree service and have them come and give us an estimate.
Dave, meanwhile, was getting a PET scan to help determine the cause of his hand tremors. He said the experience was pretty interesting; apparently it involves being injected with radioactive glucose (I think?) from a lead-covered syringe and then lying in a full-body scanner. I asked whether Olga and I could safely sleep next to him -- I remember when my cat got a radioactive iodine treatment they told me not to sleep with her for a few weeks, a request I ignored -- but Dave assured me it wasn't a problem. (Famous last words.)
So, yeah, a little bit of activity around here.
This is Olga's newest trick -- lying on top of plants in the flower bed. That's a phlox right under her back. I have no idea why she's started this but suddenly she thinks this spot is the best place in the world to be.
I will leave you with some quintessentially 21st-century food for thought. Do you know those Google ads that appear on web sites, and say things like "Click now to see this video before it's banned" with a slightly provocative picture, or "Do this secret thing to improve your hearing -- they hide this from you"? It's called "clickbait":
Here are four common examples: Doctors are stunned by mysterious weight-loss vegetable (often with a picture of some food that's not a vegetable, or in this case, run-of-the-mill lemonade); Beautiful twins, then and now, ALWAYS with girl twins who look like they've been created by CGI; Puppies that allegedly turn out not to be dogs; Dangerous animals with a photo of some unidentifiable thing that may or may not be an animal. There's also the man who saves the bear cubs and mama bear does an amazing thing, or the most dangerous bridges in the world, or five places people die taking selfies, blah blah blah.
Anyway, I never click these ads, but I'm intrigued by the way they're constructed to draw us in. Evidently everyone's looking for easy weight loss (nothing new there) and we're all seduced by peril. We want to see "forbidden" videos that might be racy and we believe that experts (the famous "they") hide valuable knowledge from us. Sex, beauty, risk -- the marketer's trifecta.
They're like miniature experiments in psychology. Still, don't click them. They'll just stack your computer with useless cookies, pop-up ads and malware. Does everyone else see these same ads, or am I alone in getting weight-loss vegetables and dogs-that-aren't?