April 24, 2006
A Glimpse Into The Mind
Backstory: For a class we have to either cut out or print out five articles per week from the Wall Street Journal. There is no stipulation other than they can't be rediculously short. We were assigned this at the beginning of the semester, and last week was the last week that we had to collect articles. All the articles plus a short paper is due two days from the today that was tomorrow a few hours ago. Because I'm so good at getting things done on time, I'm five weeks behind. Trying to catch up is where our little story begins.
The Story: Luckily www.wsj.com has a pretty good search feature which allows me to search for articles published during the week I was supposed to have procured them in the first place. So I'm semi-randomly opening and perusing articles when I run across one dealing with an interview of the Turkish Prime Minister. I begin to read it, and as I'm beginning the last paragraph, I run across the word "saccharine." Not being sure of the meaning of the word, I pause and decide it looks like "saccharin" which is a sugar substitute, so I take it to mean sweet. However, I wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing something, so I decide to look it up. I go through the usual new word routine of opening a new tab and copying and pasting the word into the Dictionary.com search bar in firefox (amazing little feature btw) and look it up. In the time it takes for this process to be completed, my mind wanders back to a happy day before my last Reformatting when I had a Firefox extension that let me right-click on a word and select a command to open a new tab and search Dictionary.com for it. Basically, a shortcut that I enjoy using to save a second or two. So I decide to go see if I can't find my old friend. I begin searching through all of the extensions. I see one for an RSS feed tracker, and think "hey that sounds cool" so I look through a few of those. As I'm reading through the comments for the one I ended up trying and promptly uninstalling, I think "hmmm, how does RSS work again?". And again, because of the awesome site search bar in FireFox, I'm on Wikipedia reading about RSS feeds. And as soon as I get on Wikipedia, with all its links to other entries right there in paragraph, it's all over. And so, after reading entries for RSS, Aggregators, Semantic Web, Portmaneau, Morpheme, Inflection, and Dravidian Languages among others I move back to my search for a dictionary extension. I look at a couple before I try the one I still have.
About this time, I go to the fridge for a pepsi and see the Subway wrapper from my roommate's leftover lunch. I decide that I'm kind of hungry, but I don't feel like Subway. Using a rare bit if initiative, I find an accomplise and we order some pizza. I decide to walk the two blocks to Domino's and stretch my legs after all that Internet-ness with wsj.com and wikipedia. I get back and we eat the pizza while watching sportscenter. They have a segment about the NHL playoffs, so when I get back to my room, I have a gander at the schedule of the games, getting drawn into analysis of the first game or two of each series and predictions about who will win. About this time I notice a tab with the title "After Ataturk". I click it, and see the word "saccharine" highlighted from the copy and paste. And now, almost two hours after I read its first sentence, I finish the last paragraph of the article.
It's no wonder I never get anything done.