We are all closer

I remember my mother looking through the obituaries in the newspaper. I remember my father doing things like that as well, although I suspect he was always hoping to find someone he knew there so he could go to the wake and act like a good friend. The sadness of someone passing was always quite personal. My classmate’s dad died of cancer when we were both quite young. I had a schoolmate die of encephalitis when we were 16.

I was sad, people I knew had lost someone important to them. I went to the wakes, I went to the funerals. It was something quite… connected (I’m not sure what the right phrase would be here).

The Internet’s made things so different. We are struck by the deaths of people we’ve never met. I feel sad and sorry for more people I don’t know who have lost someone they loved. I feel it is such a shame that young lives end so prematurely. This week I read that Star Foster and Leslie Harpold passed away. I have never met either of them. I don’t think about them at any point during the day.

But it’s so depressing to read that young people with so much promise are gone. The Internet opens a lot of doors for everyone, but it also brings a lot of sadness. I didn’t need to read the blog of a young executive who died in New York on that day five years ago. I didn’t need to find out about Idle Days’ rare and fatal blood disease.

It’s as though the promise and potential the Internet brings comes at a price — you have to open your heart and feel all this sadness that you would ordinarily be spared.

(Wow, this sounds hokey. Sorry.)

Fun with hair

Getting my hair cut has been a battle all my life. As a child, there was a constant struggle between my mother and I when she took me to the hairdresser (she used to cut our hair but then I guess she later decided she was too busy). I would always ask the hairdresser (for some reason, I recall it being a bloke in a shop near the home) to go as short as he could, and my mother would always say no. “Shorter.” “No.” “Shorter.” “No.”

I dabbled with long hair when I was 14, cut it off when I was 15, tried again at 17, cut it off when I was 18 (left a tail! Agh!), got a flat-top when I was 19 and almost gave my mother a heart attack, tried for the last time when I was 25 (got too lazy to go for a haircut, essentially) and cut it all off when I was 26.

My normal standard of measurement with hairdressers is how much they charge. The favourite in Perth was only $12. In China, I preferred to get my hair massacred for 15RMB rather than a trim for 300RMB (wouldn’t you?). The only exception I’ve made is in Singapore, where Laurence has made several hundred off me over the last six or seven years. But he understands my needs, so I put up with the rates and inflation-adjusted increases. Sigh.

Girls with long straight hair will hate me. My hair is usually very well-behaved. Too well-behaved, in fact. I’ve been into the bed head, messed up look for years. Unfortunately, without the aid of ultra hold, so-crisp-it-could-snap-off gels, my hair just tends to sit there fairly uncontroversially. No flyaways, no unruly curls, adequate body. I just wash and go. Wash and go. No ‘comb’ in between. There’s no point in putting product in my hair — believe me, I’ve tried. After ten minutes (sometimes only eight) of looking trendily mussed, my Singaporean DNA calls upon my hair to do its duty and obey gravity. I just end up with greasy hair.

Except for the last couple of days. My hair’s grown out a little bit, so it’s kind of a long-ish crop right now. And I’ve got these two locks over my left ear that won’t lie straight. WTF? They sit there like freaking immovable statues when they’re short, now they’re longer and heavier it’s time to act like a freakin’ hippie?

And yeah, that whole post was written so I could complain about those two locks of hair.

The killer has privacy

So they’re definitely looking for someone who either lives alone or has access to somewhere isolated, as the woodland is just a dump site. Maybe he’s got a decent job and/or is a local and knows all the hideouts.

The police chief is probably doing the right thing by keeping fairly mum on the details. The bad thing is people like me with websites and news media are left to speculate like mad and GO INSANE doing it.

The Guardian says jewellery left on the victims (rings and necklaces) may be the killer’s signature (one man’s war on bling?).

And yes, it could be two people. It’s always possible. I just hope they find him soon, one less nutcase on the streets and all that.

100 million is still a lot

Blogging ‘set to peak next year’, reports the BBC. The ‘blogosphere’ (and that will be the first and last time I use that hated word) will level out at 100 million, according to predictions by Gartner. That’s because those who are interested in starting a bloog have already done so, and the attrition rate is high (the number of bloogs I’ve had to change in my links manager attests to that).

Frankly, colour me unsurprised, and it’s probably a good thing (the number of bloogs peaking, not me being unsurprised). It takes quite the personality to keep up the blooging mojo. Whether or not loads of people read your site, you’ve got to have kind of an addictive personality and be quite anal retentive, I think.

You must choose which species to save

voting for your favourite endangered speciesThere’s a programme on the normally woeful STV (ITV for the poms) called Extinct. From what I understand, people can call and vote on which animal they want to save. I know people can call to vote for every animal (the calls are charged, with the proceeds donated to animal conservation), but I don’t think many people would do that, and these endangered species have been reduced to a bunch of reality television contestants:

At the end of the week, the species with the most votes will receive half the total proceeds raised, whilst the remaining 50% of the funds will be split equally between projects helping the other seven animals.

The viewing public must be so… addicted to this ‘call and vote’ crap television format that is so cheap and nasty. Animals dwindling in numbers have to be filmed and sold as contestants to get humanity’s attention. Good Lord.

So yeah, STV is still pretty woeful.