Certaine Queries Answered


CERTAINE QUERIES ANSWERED


CQA about CQA

Why couldn't you just call this an FAQ page, like everyone else?
That wouldn't be perfectly honest, since I hardly ever get questions about this blog, let alone frequently asked questions.

Okay and what is with the Certaine?
The phrase Certaine Queries Answered appeared in The Discovery of Witches, a 1647 book by Witch-finder John Hopkins written in FAQ format. I thought it would give the blog sinister Gothic undertones, but it doesn't seem to be working.

History

Why did you start blogging?
I interned at a law firm in Bombay in the summer of 2008, much of which was spent spinning on swiveling chairs and speculating on the ketchup conspiracy by the law-firm kitchen mafia. But even these activities lose their charm after a few days. And then, this happened.

And why do you continue?
Life is more interesting if you have a blog (though this approach can be carried too far). Because I am usually on the lookout for material for my next post, I find I observe things more keenly, think about stuff a bit more. Sometimes I do a bit of research for a post and discover cool trivia. Through blogging, I've come to know some people I would not know otherwise. I like reading readers' comments on my posts (even the ones which just say "Hehe"). And of course, I write in the hope that some people will enjoy reading the posts. In case you were wondering, I don't make any money from this blog, because I don't allow advertisements.

Why did you choose Blogger over WordPress?
Two words: HTML editing.

What is the story behind the v3.0 in your blog header?
For reasons best known to no one, I deleted this blog in July 2008. Two months later, I had a change of heart: I revived the blog and republished the old posts. The resurrected blog of September 2008 was called Version 2.0. Then in December 2011 it got its first major image makeover, so the version you see now is v3.0. If you're curious about how it used to look earlier, here's a screenshot.

Content

Does the blog have a theme?
There's no particular theme; I tend to post about whatever catches my fancy. The tag-list in the sidebar catalogues some of the recurrent themes. Some posts form a series; all the series are also listed in the sidebar.

Why is this such an annoyingly cheerful blog? Does nothing tragic ever happen to you?
All the time. Why, only yesterday I went to a tea shop desperately craving watermelon iced tea, and the shop was closed. But I assume people would rather read cheerful posts than whiny posts.

How do you do the My Hobby drawings?
My Hobby 1–11 were drawn with ink on paper, and then scanned. For some of them I used image-editing software to make small tweaks to the scanned image. My Hobby 12 was drawn with a graphics pen and tablet.

Why are there occasional discrepancies between the date/time you have mentioned in a post, and the publication date/time as recorded by Blogger (e.g. in this post, or in the Extracts series)?
Since I started this blog, I have lived in three time zones: IST, UTC/BST and JST. Unfortunately, when I change the time zone settings for the blog, stupid Blogger applies the change to all posts, whether published before or after the change.

Terms of use

Can I link to your blog or to specific posts?
Sure. You don't even need to get my prior consent, but I would appreciate it if you let me know (just because it's nice to know when I've been linked to).

Can I share text or images from your blog, or publish them on my website?
Yes, but I would appreciate it if you could (a) attribute it, preferably with a link to my home page or the relevant post, and (b) let me know.

Design/typography

Is your blog design based on a Blogger template?
Yes, it's based on Simple (one of the standard Blogger templates) but I customised the CSS with lots of modifications to suit my own tastes. If you have a query about any particular design feature or want to use my template code, feel free to contact me.

Where did you get your header image?
I found the drawing of the bananas on a blog (www.charicekt.blogspot.com), and obtained permission from the blogger to use it as a header image. That blog is now private, but here is a copy of the original sketch.

Which font do you use?
From November 2011, my default font has been Verdana. Before that it used to be Times New Roman.

You claim to care about typography, so how come there are some typographic inconsistencies in your posts? For example, not all quoted conversations are formatted the same way, occasionally there is a line-break before a spaced en dash, and some posts use curly quotes while others use straight quotes.
Typography on this blog is a work in progress; I know a bit more about typography than I did when I started blogging, and my tastes have changed with time. I care about typography, but (it pains me to admit this) probably not enough to proofread and reformat every single archived post to match my current typographic preferences – an exercise that would take several days to do properly. But if you see something particularly offensive, let me know.

Comments

Why do comments on posts before July 2008 appear together as one comment?
When I temporarily deleted my blog in July 2008, along with the old posts, the comments got deleted too. I later revived the blog using backup copies of old posts I had retained on my hard drive, but the comments proved to be a problem. Republishing all comments on a post together as one comment seemed like the best option.

Why do you have Word Verification on comment pages? It's so annoying!
First, to prevent spam comments. I experimented for a while without WV, but because I allow anonymous comments, I was being flooded with spam. But this reason is less important than the ones that follow.
Second, I believe that everyone should do at least one completely pointless activity every day. I do my bit by keeping WV on.
Third, it's fun when you get a real word in WV. It makes me happy for days.
And fourth, if by any chance you are turning into an automated program which leaves unsolicited messages, which is to say, a bot, you will find yourself unable to pass WV. This will alert you to your fate while you can still do something about it. And you will have me to thank for it.

Can I leave an anonymous comment?
Well... I allow anonymous comments because I think you shouldn't need to have a Google or Open ID account to be able to leave a comment. But it would be nice if you could leave a name (feel free to use a pseudonym), just so I recognise you if you comment again.

Personal

Does your blog not have a Contacts page?
No, but if you want to get in touch, my email address is .

What camera do you use?
Sometimes a Canon PowerShot S5 IS, and sometimes a Nikon D5000. They both have swivelling LCDs. If you buy a digital camera, go for one with a swivelling LCD.
Edit, 22 August 2010: Most photos that I will be posting from now on are taken with a Canon PowerShot SX20 IS. This too has a swivelling LCD.
Edit, 29 February 2012: Some photos are taken on an old Minolta film SLR with a 50mm f/1.7 lens. This does not have an LCD, swivelling or otherwise.

Is The World According to Garp your all-time most favourite book ever?
No.

Do you love me?
Yes, but I'll love you even more if you comment on my posts.
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