Visits and reading


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Climbing a hill in Bath

After a slow day of reading and drinking tea yesterday, it was pleasant to spend a couple of hours conversing in the library, the MCR, and my room with Leonora and Lucy Richmond. Leonora has been mentioned before here, in the context of the Wadham Queer Bop, but they are both members of the college and relatively frequent attendees of events here. In particular, they seemed to appreciate when I showed them a few photos of Vancouver and Mica’s amusing Backstreet Boys video. I hope that moving out of Wadham does not completely sever my ties with them, as well as other interesting members of the MCR.

Along with some reading for the core seminar today, I finished the copy of Haruki Murakami’s The Wind Up Bird Chronicle that Tristan sent me. I think I need to puzzle over it a bit before I write a review. As one would expect of Japanese fiction, it was very strange. The combination of the outrageously fanciful with what often seemed like historical fiction produces part of that strangeness. While the number of characters is fairly small, it is a long and complex book, as well as one that is exceedingly brutal at times.

At some point tonight, Gabe Mastico is arriving in Oxford. He is visiting for a day as an adjunct to a debate tournament in London. While tomorrow will need to involve at least four more hours of reading for the core seminar – where I may be called upon to present – I should nonetheless be able to show him around Oxford a bit. It seems likely that the opportunity to introduce him to Margaret will also arise. It’s interesting that my second visitor here – after Spencer Keys – is also a former debating companion from UBC.

I am looking forward to my mother’s visit, in 18 days. Hopefully, the rest of my family will also get the chance to see Oxford sometime before my degree finishes in the summer of 2007. Likewise, I hope that some of the many friends to whom I’ve extended invitations will be able to take them up, possibly while en route to or from Europe. It would be remarkably odd, as well as welcome, to see Kate here.

  • A third candidate has expressed interest in my room in Library Court, and I have the general sense that this is a more durable commitment than the previous two. As an MBA student, I have the sense that she would approach such matters determinedly. She probably also has what it takes to cajole her way through any bureaucratic speed bumps that appear.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous March 6, 2006 at 6:09 pm

Riddle me this, oh person concerned with organic chemistry and sleep.

In North America, Bendaryl is Diphenhydramine, the generic version of which is good for inducing somnolence. For no good reason, Bendadryl in the UK seems to be Cetirizine Dihydrochloride, which has no such alternative uses.

Milan March 6, 2006 at 6:19 pm

According to the Wikipedia entry:

Diphenhydramine hydrochloride (trade name Benadryl®, or Dimedrol outside the US) is an over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine and sedative. It is also given in conjunction with typical antipsychotics to prevent akathisia. It is a member of the ethanolamine class of antihistaminergic agents.

Diphenhydramine is widely used in nonprescription sleep aids (Nytol, Sominex, Unisom, Compoz, Excedrin PM, etc.) with a 50mg recommended dose mandated by the FDA. In the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other countries, a 50 to 100mg recommended dose is permitted. In spite of its use and effectiveness as a sleep-inducing agent, when this drug is sold as an antihistamine, warning of the potential loss of alertness is never prominently displayed on packaging, leading to unknown numbers of traffic fatalities.

By contrast, Cetirizine Dihydrochloride is used in a different product: Benadryl One-a-Day. Unlike Diphenhydramine, cetirizine is a non-sedating antihistamine

Not that I entirely understand the purpose or relevence of the question.

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