April 25 2001

day7: Trip to Plymouth, England

Today I take you to The Garden House near Yelverton, Devon, UK.

Is this the best garden in Britain? – From The Garden House‘s website:

“The Garden House is a magical place: a place designed to meld with its surrounding landscape to create an almost ethereal beauty; a place where luxuriant, brilliant colour creates unforgettable panoramas; a place where the past meets the present and stands at the gate of a bright future.

See the enchanting terraced walled garden with its 16th century tower and also the ‘magic circle’, quarry garden, wild flower meadow and much more.”

The photo shows the Magic Circle with the Long Walk in the background.


I’m currently reading Amusing ourselves to death by Neil Postman. Coincidence?

The book is on the list of books and articles I have to read for my exams in pedagogy. I’ve only read 20 pages or so (started yesterday), but I agree with Craig that everyone should read the book.

Craig writes,

“I honestly believe that if it wasn’t for the internet, there would be no serious discourse at all. “

This is interesting because before this book, I read Silicon Snake Oil : Second Thoughts on the Information Highway by Clifford Stoll. The author states that the internet has worse effects on people than the television.

And even with taking into account that he wrote the book back in 1995, when people had 486 processors and 14.4 modems in their computers and the internet was damn slow and not very well known, I have to disagree with him. I first had internet access in 1995, and I don’t remember it being full of commercial advertisements and other crap back then.

Stoll also accuses the internet of making people stupid because they don’t pay attention to grammar and orthography when writing email, depriving people from real experiences, destroying libraries, increasing the use of paper (because people print all their emails) and being too complicated for everyone to use anyway.

He complains that schools now teach computer skills while they are cutting driving classes, for example. This argument sounds especially ridiculous to me because I never heard of a school in Germany or Europe where you could learn how to dri ve a car. Driving lessons in school are so American.

Another funny thing was that he compared email to traditional mail and stated that the traditional way was faster, cheaper and more reliable, and traditional letters were preferable to email messages because they were more personal because of the writer’s handwriting.

After finishing the book I thought I had wasted a couple of hours and thought I might just as well forget what was in the book and tell the professor of my experiences with the web as it is today. The only problem with that is that I know that my professor doesn’t have any experience with the internet (or computers) whatsoever and is likely to believe what he reads in books like this one…


Nikon has announced the succesor to my camera (Nikon Coolpix 990): the Coolpix 995. Looks like the steps they take from model to model keep getting smaller – at least the differences between the numbers do.

I found it interesting to read that a battery and charger are now included in the package – because both were already included with the 990 in Germany! And the batteries were “normal” rechargable ones that you could use for other devices as well.

Link via Garret.

Community News

It’s good to hear that Susan’s 100 year-old grandpa made it through the surgery.

Mollie has finished her redesign and reorganisation of her website. I didn’t expect the new site to be up so fast! The only thing I don’t understand is why she didn’t like the title any more. I think Book of Days is one of the best weblog names I’ve ever heard, and I wish I had thought of something creative like that, instead of just calling mine Andrea’s Weblog.

Yay, more photos at Garret‘s! They’re just wonderful. Peaceful. I think I ought to move to New Mexico.

(This seems especially alluring today because after a perfect spring day yesterday, it rained today so I had to take the bus to the university, which I hate because the buses are always packed when it rains. Hey, I want spring and sunshine and warm weather!)