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Heart of the Problem: “If you want that one golden health tip, a transformative piece of advice that will guarantee to make you happier and healthier, then the assorted gurus of dietary health have no answers for you. The true answer is something that we already know. For a long life, don’t be poor. And if you really want to improve the health of the world, then it is inequality, not carbohydrates, that we all need to address.” (via)

Self-plug for my other journal: I have to admit, I'm pretty pleased with how last week's theme of non-dino -saurs came out: ichthyosaur, plesiosaur (with bonus pliosaur), mosasaur, pterosaur, and pelycosaur.

Basically, Henry is a Very Good Birb.” (via)

---L.

Subject quote from The Lake Isle of Innisfree, William Yeats.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/693589.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

For Poetry Monday, from another initials poet it’s three for the price of one:


from A Shropshire Lad, A.E. Housman:

XXXII

From far, from eve and morning
    And yon twelve-winded sky,
The stuff of life to knit me
    Blew hither: here am I.

Now—for a breath I tarry
    Nor yet disperse apart—
Take my hand quick and tell me,
    What have you in your heart.

Speak now, and I will answer;
    How shall I help you, say;
Ere to the wind’s twelve quarters
    I take my endless way.

XL

Into my heart an air that kills
    From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
    What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
    I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
    And cannot come again.

LX

Now hollow fires burn out to black,
    And lights are guttering low:
Square your shoulders, lift your pack,
    And leave your friends and go.

Oh never fear, man, nought’s to dread,
    Look not to left nor right:
In all the endless road you tread
    There’s nothing but the night.


This is one of a couple clusters of separated poems that I see as clearly resonating together, to the point that I sometimes think of them as sections of what was initially a larger poem, or maybe sequence, that was split up for whatever editorial reason. Another such cluster is VI, XVI, and LVII.

---L.

Subject slightly misquoted from Reveille, A.E. Housman.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/693371.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

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There may be some politics in these links:

Brief account of the font that toppled a government. (via)

Brief cartoon guide to the Julio-Claudian dynasty. (via)

Long profile of one of the first slashers, who started writing Kirk/Spock in 1966. (via)

May.

---L.

Subject quote from Godiva, Alfred the Tennyson.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/693168.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

Invertebrate, paper, invertebrate:

Army ants made a bridge out of their own bodies to attack a wasp nest, video and twitter thread of commentary (summarized). More. (via)

I've spent way too much time playing with this Origami Simulator. (via)

During a dive, a huge octopus, annoyed by my presence, tried to take away my camera.” As they do. (via)

Paper, paper, paper . . .

---L.

Subject quote from The Mermaid, Alfred the Tennyson, which gets anthologized far more than its gender-flipped companion.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/692817.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

She blinded me with science! links:

Researchers have demonstrated that it's possible to break a dry spaghetti into only two pieces. Spoiler: twist while bending. I love that these guys built on Ig Nobel Prize winning research.

Imaging Titan's surface features in infrared.

Explaining “Dark Matter Candidates”.

---L.

Subject quote from .

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/692678.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

Poetry Monday strikes back again with another initials poet:


Epic Simile, A.E. Stallings

For Rachel

Right shoulder aching with day-long butchery,
Left shoulder numb with dints clanged on the shield,
The hero is fouled with blood, his own and others’,
First slick, then sticky, then caked, starting to mat
His beard—the armor deadweight all around him;
His teeth grit and rattle with every jolt
Of bronze-rimmed wheels behind the shit-flecked horses.
But when he glimpses the mountains, the distant snow,
A blankness swoons upon him, and he hears
Nothing but the white vowels of the wind
Brushing through stands of spears like conifers
While a banner slips its staff and hangs in the blue
Like a kestrel or a contrail. The hero’s death,
The prize, elusive quarry of his life,
Stands stock-still in her cloven tracks in snow
And turns, one ear tuned to the creek’s far bank,
One dished towards him. Her unstartled gaze
Beads on him like a sniper’s sights, until
At the clean report of a cracking poplar branch,
She leaps away like luck, over rapid water,
And snowfall scrims the scene like a mist of tears,
Like a migraine, like sweat or blood streaming into your eyes.


I've mentioned this before: Stallings is my favorite poet my age.

---L.

Subject quote from Child Harold's Pilgrimage, canto IV, The Byron.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/692464.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

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A few stripy links:

What the Dunning-Kruger effect is and isn’t, including alternative explanations that significantly limit the domain in which Dunning & Kruger's proposed mechanism is valid. (via)

On the linguistic divergence of Northern and Southern Korean, above and beyond starting from different dialects, that is. (via)

This Comprehensive Guide to Yellow Stripey (sic) Things is mostly right but not exactly comprehensive. (via)

---L.

Subject quote from The Princess, part VII, Come down, O maid, Alfred the Tennyson.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/692219.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

It's Wednesday, and there's been some reading thither and yon. And sometimes even hither.

Finished:

Whiskerella, Hamster Princess #5, Ursula Vernon -- Not read aloud, because TBD was more interested in other books, but we already had it from the library so I read it. An even more bent fairy tale than usual, but the ensemble scope has been increasing and I can see why TBD's interest waned. Maybe we'll try again in a year. Querk!

Rogue Protocol, The Murderbot Diaries #3, Martha Wells -- Another quick installment of my favorite clinically depressed artificial person as it tries to navigate the social realms of humans, AIs, and evil corporations, all while pretending it isn't an illegally autonomous partially organic construct. A well-plotted adventure albeit ending with more of a cliff being hung from than previous novellas, related to the larger arc rather than the immediate adventure plot. <3 Murderbot.

On Wings of Song, ed. J.D. McClatchy -- Yeah, it took a year. Not the collection's fault, though to my surprise, the last third, as selections shade into birds used symbolically (think Shelley's skylark and Keats's nightingale), was the most interesting. I think this is now my current favorite anthology of bird poems.

American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang -- Yes, I'm only just getting to this. Yes, I should have read it years ago. Damn good story told damn well. This will be one of the last books we give up when the Great Culling comes, because TBD will need it as they navigate being Chinese-born in a white-dominant society. I want to know the sources for Yang's version of the Monkey King story.

In progress:

Boxers & Saints, Gene Luen Yang -- Boxer Rebellion, told as a two-volume YA graphic novel (or duology?) that's completely dedicated to the POVs of two young participants, one a Boxer and one a Catholic convert. Am almost done with Boxer, the first part.

The Poetic Old-World, ed. Lucy H. Humphrey -- A tourist anthology of poems associated with various European locales, which means a mix of poetry about the places themselves and about people or stories associated with same. I'm not really the audience for this, namely a traveler looking for some local color (thus the inclusion of “John Gilpin's Ride” for London) -- in contrast to, say, Longfellow's Poems of Places, which is aimed at a reader at home looking for evocations of places they haven't been to (yet). The relatively small size (“only” 500+ pages) means at best a couple entries for each location. (Belgium apparently consists of Bruges.) I do appreciate finding place poems more recent than Longfellow, though, so I'm keeping with it -- am about ~⅓ through.

Rise of Humanity, Zhai Zhu -- Still bounding along with the adventure. The treatment of female characters is unfortunately about par for the course in wuxia -- there are, at least, strong women but with one exception they are stuffed into stereotype roles, some more sympathetic than others (and then there's the demons…). Am up to chapter 362, with less than 100 translated chapters left (whereupon I'll be waiting for a while).

---L.

Subject quote from Rogue Protocol, Martha Wells.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/691886.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

Mix-and-match links:

Wikipedia maintains a list of all directly imaged exosolar planets. As in, the ones we've seen, not just deduced by star-wobble or whatever. (via)

Two doctors on Twitter figuring out how to treat a centaur having a heart attack. Because this is an important question. (via)

Verses Composed upon Reading a Review from Tripadvisor. (via?)

(Can I just have 2 from column A?)

---L.

Subject quote from Davideis, book II, ll.653-4, Abraham Cowley.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/691695.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

For Poetry Monday, another initials poet:


Autumn Song, W.H. Auden

Now the leaves are falling fast,
Nurse’s flowers will not last,
Nurses to their graves are gone,
But the prams go rolling on.

Whispering neighbors left and right
Daunt us from our true delight,
Able hands are forced to freeze
Derelict on lonely knees.

Close behind us on our track,
Dead in hundreds cry Alack,
Arms raised stiffly to reprove
In false attitudes of love.

Scrawny through a plundered wood,
Trolls run scolding for their food,
Owl and nightingale are dumb,
And the angel will not come.

Clear, unscalable, ahead
Rise the Mountains of Instead,
From whose cold, cascading streams
None may drink except in dreams.


This is number VI of Twelve Songs, published -- and in this case also written -- in 1936. It was set to music by Benjamin Britten later that year. (Pro-tip: search on "Now the leaves are falling fast," as Britten used the title "Autumn Song" for a setting of a Chinese poem.)

---L.

Subject quote from The Jews’ Cemetery on the Lido, John Symonds.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/691331.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

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A little bit of this, a little bit of that:

The Glue Famine. Spoiler: it's the slime. Warning: long-ass read is long and snarky. (via?)

Octonions! And how they might be a route to a grand unified theory. I especially appreciate that this article goes into the algebraic symmetries lost with each successive division algebra (though it doesn't bring out that these losses are deeply tied to why there aren't hexadecinions). (via, which has more material)

Live stream of bears catching salmon at Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park. (via)

---L.

Subject quote from Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, Thomas Gray in an entomological mood.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/691196.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

Poetry Monday:


Atlas, U.A. Fanthorpe

There is a kind of love called maintenance,
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;

Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes, which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living; which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in the air,
As Atlas did the sky.


---L.

Subject quote from Passing Afternoon, Iron & Wine.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/690933.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.

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... a place for posting bits of fluff caught in my filters. Warning: I list "very bad poetry" among my interests.

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