3.29.2011




one of my favorite things: listening to coltrane on a rainy spring evening while cooking dinner and dreaming of a life beyond the academy.

3.28.2011

"that's another thing we've learned from your nation," said mein herr.  "map-making.  but we've carried it much further than you.  what do you consider the largest map that would be really useful?"

"about six inches to the mile."

"only about six inches!" exclaimed mein herr.  "we very soon got to six yards to the mile.  then we tried a hundred yards to the mile.  and then came the grandest idea of all!  we actually made a map of the country on the scale of a mile to a mile!"

"have you used it much?" i enquired.

"it has never been spread out yet," said mein herr: "the farmers objected: they said it would cover the whole country and shut out the sunlight!  so we now use the country itself, as its own map, and i assure you it does nearly as well."

lewis carroll, in sylvie and bruno cncluded

* * *

in that empire, the craft of cartography attained such perfection that the map of a single province covered the space of an entire city, and the map of the empire itself an entire province.  in the course of time, these extensive maps were found somehow wanting, and so the college of cartographers evolved a map of the empire that was of the same scale as the empire and that coincided with it point for point.  less attentive to the study of cartography, succeeding generations came to judge a map of such magnitude cumbersome, and, not without irreverence, they abandoned it to the rigours of sun and rain.  in the western deserts, tattered fragments of the map are still to be found, sheltering an occasional beast or beggar; in the whole nation, no other relic is left of the discipline of geography.

borges, 'of exactitude in science'

3.09.2011

amanda baggs is an austism rights activist and a 'low functioning' austistic woman.  this video tries to explain her way of communicating with the world.  beautful and powerful.

3.07.2011

st. elmo's fire (also st. elmo's light) is an 'electrical weather phenomenon in which luminous plasma is created by a coronal discharge originating from a grounded object in an atmospheric electric field (such as those generated by thunderstorms created by a volcanic explosion).'  [thanks wikipedia]

the phenomenon sometimes appeared on ships at sea during thunderstorms and was regarded by sailors with religious awe for its glowing ball of light, accounting for the name. [named after saint erasmus/elmo].

it usually appears around large structures, like ships or skyscrapers, but can also occur around smaller objects, like a cow's horns.  [i would love to see this]

about, about, in reel and rout
the death-fires danced at night;
the water, like a witch's oils,
burnt green, and blue, and white.

[coleridge, rime of the ancient mariner]