One of the very nicest things about the Kindle is that, when I am insomniac and dysphoric and bored and realize that the internet will rise up as one and slay me if I write one more freaking thing about the Incredible Hulk, is that it makes it very easy to at least pretend I'm fixing that. It handles PDFs natively, which means I can put the 400+ page Hebrew textbook on it and not dislocate my shoulder carrying it around.

MIT and Harvard have also recently banded together (with a few other schools -- I think Stanford is in on this now, too) to publish a listing of free courses. You can't get an honest-to-God degree this way, but for a small fee you can get a load of certificates in whatever you manage to learn. It occurs to me that I may be able to use this as leverage to pry my way back into school, where I'm decidedly happier. And that if I can do so at one of the private institutions out here, there will be no faffing about with grants and loans -- if Harvard or MIT wants you, they simply pay for you, because they have ALL THE MONEY and can do that.

The only problem with that is that even Harvard and MIT won't let me get a degree in Everything with an emphasis on Stuff, and a minor in Reading Things. I ran into this a lot as an undergrad; I had four majors spread over five years, two of which I had to quit because my university literally did not run all the classes I needed to complete them. (I went to a shitty underfunded state school. There is a long story behind this, starting with my mother, and ending with a complete knucklehead being declared president of the university. Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of good teachers there -- it's just that most of them were marking time, waiting to retire somewhere quiet in the mountains, and had resigned themselves to a complete lack of resources.) When I finally did settle on one, I completed my entire major, literally, in two semesters and a summer. Technically, my minor lasted two and a half years, but only because it was a modern language, and you have to take those courses in sequence.

The other thing the Kindle can theoretically do is view some of these 4GB of Iron Man comics now sitting on my hard drive, because I'm an obsessive researcher and μTorrent is like right there. I'm not entirely sure how nicely they'll come out; the screen is slightly smaller than your standard comic book, but the dot pitch is finer and the engine for converting full-color pictures to the greyscale display is quite lovely. Even Wikipedia's demonstration photos for things like the botany articles come out surprisingly well. When I log into Google, the tiny thumbnail of my profile photo at the top is recognizable as such, although it is understandably very, very wee.