And now, from the “what I’m reading while waiting patiently for ant” pile: Read more →
Why yes, I do believe I will be showing my daughter the cool videos from AuroraMax. Nice to see (a tiny, tiny slice of) my tax dollars at work for something cool.
I was recently pointed at an article in the Telegraph about how Druidry has just been recognized as a religion in the UK. The article ran with headline “Druidry recognised as religion in Britain for first time” and subhead “Druidry has been recognised as an official religion in Britain for the first time, thousands of years after its adherents first… Read more →
Now that I have learned of it, I will be desperately searching for appropriate places to work the phrase “if-by-whiskey” or “if-by-whiskey fallacy” into my everyday communications. Also, the canonical example of it is pretty great. (And apparently old men in Mississippi don’t mind having a nip in the morning.)
I have just lost a couple of hours to a suicide note. And I barely dipped my toe in. Here’s the background on the young man who killed himself after spending a huge amount of time preparing a 1900+ page suicide note that works out a philosophical justification for suicide based on a kind of existential nihilism. But if the… Read more →
I sometimes find, when talking to my contemporaries, that some of what has become my personal vernacular over the years refers to things that aren’t really part of the common & general knowledge, for one reason or another. One such term is the “Rube Goldberg machine“–I’d say that less than 10% of the people who I drop that term around… Read more →
Apparently I could make a packet playing poker with the Swiss Supreme Court.
It’s not often a YouTube video grabs my attention for the better part of an hour, but this did. I did want them to be a little less polite at a couple of points, but still utterly compelling for me. Read more →
What you’re looking at there is apparently around $613 million. (And yes, it is very odd when you think about the difference between owning digital copies of the images, which is free… and owning the originals, which are apparently somehow worth over $600 million. But that’s not the point.) Those five paintings were stolen last night from the Museum of… Read more →
I am unable to resist “obscure words” lists, and generally most of the words on them are actually familiar to me. Not so with this list, on which I knew these ones from prior encounter: agraffe, bathykolpian, blandiloquent, callipygean, defenestrate, mumpsimus, slubberdegullion, and yclept. These, while I don’t think I’ve ever seen them before, were obvious in their meaning from their components: autohagiographer, autotonsorialist, batrachophagous, cruciverbalist, dephlogisticate, interfenestration, and preantepenultimate. And the rest were new to me. I think the most fun one to say, although rarely called for, would be “zenzizenzizenzic“, the one with the most fun definition is “sphallolalia“, and the one least likely to come up in my life is “mallemaroking“. There are several, though, that I could easily see coming up in my life, not least of which are “gambrinous“, “philosophunculist“, and “ultracrepidarian“.
Links, pithy comments, you know the drill. The graphics on this one might not be astonishing, but the idea of supermassive black holes being flung from collisons at galactic cores is probably cool enough on its own to sustain interest. I love how science writers drop line like “these objects can have masses equivalent to one billion Suns” the way… Read more →
One kind of photographer that always particularly impresses me is one who can capture pieces of the world and use them to take me to a place I’ve never been or show me a bit of just how different parts of the world are from the part I know–and how the same in some ways. After spending a lot of… Read more →
A Toast See this bowl of purple wine, Life-blood of the lusty vine! All the warmth of summer suns In the vintage liquid runs, All the glow of winter nights Plays about its jewel lights, Thoughts of time when love was young Lurk its ruby drops among, And its deepest depths are dyed With delight of friendship tried. Worthy offering,… Read more →
Since I was just talking about scale and space in the comments, I thought I should also pop in this little number I saw today on the site of absolutely-damn-great SF writer Walter Jon Williams. (If it were me, I would have worked O Fortuna into the soundtrack–but then, if it were me it wouldn’t look nearly as good as… Read more →