Genius quotes.

26 06 2009

Alexander Hamilton:

Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have lies in this; when I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it. Then the effort that I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.

…dovetails very nicely with my reading lately, including Why Don’t Students Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom

More of my favorite quotes


Not everyone has a marsupium.

23 06 2009

There are firewood rounds sitting on my driveway arranged around the basketball hoop.

A tree leaned its way across my driveway in a winter windstorm and the inexperienced handyman cut all of the rounds at an angle, so they are devilish to split, but I’m making progress, if only to make basketball less treacherous now that Robin has grown large enough to play.

Lifting one onto the chopping block, I disturbed dozens of tiny shelled creatures who had made their home in the decaying wood at the bottom.


Sow bugs, these are called.

They’d be pillbugs, if they rolled that way. (or any number of other names)

Crustaceans, like lobsters and shrimp and such.

Woodlouse seems like a nasty name for a creature that come out of the wood looking so clean and does no harm in the world, really – mostly just helping already decaying things along their way.


One of them was the largest I’d ever seen, as big as my fingernail, bigger than the biggest watermelon seeds from my childhood memories of gargantuan Hempstead, Texas watermelons. In Texas I was told that like armadillos, they could carry leprosy. This is a canard, but there is some size at which crawling things go from almost cute to almost creepy, and this one edged toward creepy. She was large enough that I after I coaxed her onto my hand, I could feel her individual feet as she ran along the back of my finger and eventually to my arm. I flipped her over to see the gills on her undersides, the 14 wiggling legs, and what I think was the white marsupium where she would store her eggs – or could have been storing them yet.

In this picture you can see one shedding its skin – they do one half at a time, for some unknown reason.


21 06 2009

“What good is intelligence if you cannot discover a useful melancholy?”

Ryunosuke Akutagawa

MUCH better version.

11 06 2009

I wrote about Neil Gaiman’s poem, The Day the Saucers Came here some time ago (Angels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars)
Now, in a weird twist, some people who I work with are connected with it being an showcase of a potential new way to show web comics — you can check it out (should check it out) here:
The Day the Saucers Came by Neil Gaiman & Jouni Koponen…

Adios Script

8 06 2009

Adios Script Specimen.jpg, originally uploaded by Ale Paul.

The jacket image on the previous post is from — I love typography as well!

I found a link to this beautiful font on that site.

Here’s something about the font, from the flickr page:

Inspired by designs in “how-to” commercial lettering guides of the 1940s, it has been refined and brought into the 21st century through a huge variety of ornate swash letterforms. The lowercase “h” alone offers 43 variants. Hundreds of ornamental ascenders and descenders allow a beautiful interplay of strokes and combinations, while avoiding overlaps or conflicts. Adios Script features a mind-boggling 1,470 characters in total, in OpenType format.

click through the image for more examples and info.

Wicked Plants

8 06 2009


I have many books about edible plants, but none about the most poisonous plants.

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities looks like the kind of book I’ll see remaindered at ½ price books if I wait long enough, but if I work my way far enough down my book stack, I’ll seek out a copy regardless.

I found out about it from Bookslut, where you can find a review:

A solemn vow

7 06 2009

The 1940s (Decades of the 20th Century)
The 1940s by Nick Yapp

Although the eclectic selection of photographs presents a view of the 1940s that is more piecemeal than comprehensive, this book still managed to impress, inform and even move me.

Although it feels more like a fairly random set of snapshots than a comprehensive picture of the 1940s, this book still managed to impress, inform and even move me.

For me, the most powerful image in the book (on page 154), is of a tray of wedding rings, stripped from prisoners at Buchenwald Camp before they were gassed.
The reproduction in the book was much better.