I have cracked and eaten a lot of walnuts over the years. I have never seen a trifurcated one before. Anyone else?
Dredged from 2011:
"In my day we used to get together for an orgy, and YOU have to go to MASS."
--Garth Ennis in the character of the Ghost of Yuletide Past, "Hellblazer"
(Best wishes for whatever holiday you celebrate, however you choose to celebrate it.)
Dredged from 2012:
Some years ago this very night, I was coerced into attending a Christmas Eve service by my in-laws. Things went well enough, until the preacher got to his sermon and segued from "Little town of Bethlehem" to London's Bethlehem hospital. Eventually he referred to the House of Bedlam, and the music started to play in my head. I did not laugh, nor even snort, but I think I SHOOK until he finished preaching, and had Dementia howling in the car on the way home. The preacher was up there being solemn, and I was hearing...
For to see Mad Tom of Bedlam,
Ten thousand miles I travelled.
Mad Maulin goes on dirty toes,
For to save her toes from gravel.
Still I sing bonny boys, bonny mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonny;
For they all go bare and they live by the air,
And they want no drink nor money.
I went down to Satan's kitchen
For to get me food one morning,
And there I found souls piping hot,
All on the spit a turning.
My staff has murdered giants,
And my pack a long knife carries,
To cut mince pies from children's thighs,
With which to feed the fairies.
The song is nearly 400 years old, and anyone who knows anything about folk music knows it, but apparently not this fellow. I pretty much swore off Christmas Eve services after that...
Dredged from 2011:
A songwriter of necessity serves two masters; music is all about Truth, but lyrics are pure Trickster.
It occurred to me that, with today's 6 KM, I have logged 161 KM on the rowing machine in December, which is 100 miles. Granted, rowing machine miles are NOT the same as actual water miles; I can do 11 or 12 KM on the machine in an hour, as opposed to about 5 KM in a real boat, but it's still a fun statistic, and represents almost 15 hours of rowing...
Dredged from 2013:
Hyena: ...proving once again that I am morally superior to you.
Dementia: I knew that.
Hyena: I know. But it's OK; morally defective women are fun.
I am sufficiently non-crazy that I often forget about it, and most people don't believe me when I talk about it. I am fine with this.
I am NOT prone to panic; I have looked down the barrel of a loaded gun; I have been in more than my share of life-threatening situations; I have both suffered and witnessed significant injuries, and have dealt with them competently. I am, in most ways, steady.
But send me to the grocery store to buy pre-packaged salad, and I lose the ability to comprehend written English and start turning into a blob of quivering protoplasm.
Fortunately the lizard in my brain stem got angry, and the crisis was averted. I even managed to buy the salad.
My brain is a strange place. But you knew that...
"So many homophobes turn out to be secretly gay that I'm nervous I'm secretly a giant spider." Jeremy Kaplowitz
Brian Wilson says that the melody of "California Girls" grew out of the theme from "The Magnificent Seven", Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," and LSD. Sounds about right...
Dredged from 2011:
Professor Tolkien was born on this day in 1892.
This is one of my personal favorites, and it doesn't see daylight nearly as much as some of his stuff (and wasn't in the films).
Song of Durin (by JRRT)
The world was young, the mountains green,
No stain yet on the Moon was seen,
No words were laid on stream or stone
When Durin woke and walked alone.
He named the nameless hills and dells;
He drank from yet untasted wells;
He stooped and looked in Mirrormere,
And saw a crown of stars appear,
As gems upon a silver thread,
Above the shadow of his head.
The world was fair, the mountains tall,
In Elder Days before the fall
Of mighty kings in Nargothrond
And Gondolin, who now beyond
The Western Seas have passed away:
The world was fair in Durin's Day.
A king he was on carven throne
In many-pillared halls of stone
With golden roof and silver floor,
And runes of power upon the door.
The light of sun and star and moon
In shining lamps of crystal hewn
Undimmed by cloud or shade of night
There shone for ever fair and bright.
There hammer on the anvil smote,
There chisel clove, and graver wrote;
There forged was blade, and bound was hilt;
The delver mined, the mason built.
There beryl, pearl, and opal pale,
And metal wrought like fishes' mail,
Buckler and corslet, axe and sword,
And shining spears were laid in hoard.
Unwearied then were Durin's folk;
Beneath the mountains music woke:
The harpers harped, the minstrels sang,
And at the gates the trumpets rang.
The world is grey, the mountains old,
The forge's fire is ashen-cold;
No harp is wrung, no hammer falls:
The darkness dwells in Durin's halls;
The shadow lies upon his tomb
In Moria, in Khazad-dûm.
But still the sunken stars appear
In dark and windless Mirrormere;
There lies his crown in water deep,
Till Durin wakes again from sleep.
Breakfast conversation this morning involved hydrography, and the fact that there is a hypersaline river flowing along the bottom of the Mediterranean from Israel to Gibraltar.
I like this place. I am glad I live here.
Generally speaking, generalizations are a bad thing.
One of my favorite cosmic puns is the fact that the conversion factor from miles to kilometers is within 1% of being a Golden Ratio.
Happy perihelion day, folks! Yes, indeed, today is the day that the earth passes closest to the sun, and the day that the planet as a whole receives more solar energy than any other day this year. Of course, locally, it is far and away the coldest day of the (admittedly very young) year so far.
(Tagging Eugenia, who is the only person on my freinds list who actually lives in the Southern Hemisphere...)
Breakfast conversation: You could get to the edge of space, 100 KM up, at a walking pace if you wanted to. It would be incredibly inefficient and stupid, but you could do it. But ORBIT requires five miles a second, and there is no way around that.
Dredged from 2014:
On this day in 1880, the world became a slightly duller place, because the reign of Joshua Norton, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, came to an end.
Linguistic bugaboo of the day: People who do not know the difference between "faze" and "phase". Grrrr.
A joke of sorts. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
Cop (or maybe lawyer) show, female protagonist. Every episode, as part of the opening credits, we see her in a local coffee shop. She exchanges a few lines of dialog, usually about sports, always different in every episode, with a female barista whose nametag is clearly seen at least once. As the protagonist leaves, we see the name of the shop: Bechdel's.
Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
Dredged from 2016:
A short linguistic rant: A "Masterpiece" is the single piece which establishes a specific artist as a master. It is seldom that artist's BEST work, unless the artist died young. Note well: Each artist only gets ONE masterpiece (if that).
Said in my household: You know how all music cassettes left unattended in a car turn into Queen tapes? Well, all VW vans eventually become turquoise.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will perform for the last time this May, and when it vanishes, a certain amount of magic will leave the world forever.
Dredged from 2015:
"He was always cold,
But the land of gold
Seemed to hold him like a spell,
Though he'd often say,
In his homely way,
That he sooner live in hell."
It's Robert Service's birthday today. Think about him, and Sam McGee, as you trudge though your own snow today.
I have been aware of the Fibonacci Sequence since at least my freshman year of high school; I am amused and horrified to learn that the intervals between the elements converge to a Golden Ratio (another concept I learned of at about the same time), and I never noticed. I also feel significant wonder at this realization. It is, simply, beautiful.
"If it deserves to be ordered by name, it deserves to be drunk neat."--Julia Haynie
Alan Alexander Milne was born on this day in 1882. In honor of this, tell a plush toy that you love it. Be sincere.