Friday, March 07, 2003

The Post and Rail has suspended operations for the time being and my recent reporting is not required. Oh dear. I've enjoyed getting out and chatting to people and writing about what's happening. The experience was positive and has given me a little more direction. I'm glad that the editor gave me the opportunity to report from our town.

A package arrived from Tassie today - a prezzie and card from my sister Megan. We thought the package was lost in transit when the post office told us a mail truck with deliveries from Tasmania was involved in a road accident. Didn't want to be too concerned about the parcel when we knew that people were hurt in the accident. Nevertheless, the parcel arrived and I now have a cute little ceramic container with painted flowers on that will hold a few precious items. Well, it will as soon as I have a few more precious items - perhaps if I bought fewer books, I could collect a few.

ResearchBuzz arrived in my In Box today with a few cool sites to check out. I love ResearchBuzz, it always has a happy vibe. A review of an Etymology Dictionary caught my interest today. Most strange was a list, compiled by the site owner, of search terms people had entered into search engines to bring them to the site. While I can imagine that people might enter some wacky combinations, it was often hard to draw a connection between the terms entered and the site. How many people enter a search term and then visit whichever sites are listed by the search engine, regardless of their relevance?

Tara Calishain from Researchbuzz's visit to the site found that 'access' originally meant 'an attack of fever'. Internet access is a bit like that. I found that 'futon' entered the English language from the Japanese in 1972, the year I was born. 'Vision' came about c1300 to mean 'something seen in the imagination or in the supernatural' and although it's origins are in words about seeing, was not used to mean 'sense of sight' until 1491. Yes, even though I mistake etymology for the study of insects sometimes, I was hooked.

Learnt more about The World's Greatest Shave for a Cure today, which sees lots of people, including the guy who sent me the info, shaving or colouring their hair in return for donations to the Leukaemia Foundation.

Also read today that people are returning rocks and soil stolen from Uluru (Ayers Rock) after experiencing bad luck ('Rock theft brings bad luck
' from The Age, March 7). I wonder how long before the rocks affect one's life? And I wonder if people who ride bicycles or tee off when atop the rock experience similar bad luck? Only seems fair. Yes, I can imagine that people might want to take a little of their Uluru experience home. Spread the spirit a little further.

My own trip to Uluru lasted less than a day. Cloud cover meant the rock did not change colour and I did not make the climb. I took dodgy photos along with the other backpackers on my Greyhound tour and the travellers from the many other coaches and cars in the viewing area. Hard to feel anything when you're on a schedule and people are quaffing drinks from placcy cups on trestle tables, as if they're at a sausage sizzle in an art gallery. Having been once makes visiting again feel more possible. I know the scale of the rock and I visited when the weather had been unusually wet, so the plant life was more obvious. Maybe I'll go again sometime and see the colours. Feel something more.

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