Pages

About the blog

Thursday, July 7, 2016

(Bad) Poem of the Day 2016-07-07

Clunky, but has potential. I’ll probably return to this idea another time.

Deconstruction

Just a branch or two tremor
--or should that be tremble?—
it’s hard to know the proper word,
so many to defy conventions with.

"The rainbow crossarchangeled the retirement-home-wall sky"

looks promising, but will anyone get that:
  • "cross" started the whole thing, "crossed the sky"…
  • made me think of crossword, but crosswords are perpendicular, which a rainbow is not
  • so, "cross arc" solved that problem, a rainbow being an arc
  • It’s also an “arch,” and of course I think of “archangel,” because
  • arch and arch aren’t pronounced the same, which tickles me, and
  • I liked the idea of an angel holding up a rainbow, and
  • angel sounds like "angle," referring back to crossword puzzle geometry.
  • Thus "crossarchangel," which confers other possible meanings on the rainbow. It could be "cross," i.e. angry. It could be a chief (or high) rainbow.
  • Never mind whether any reader will calculate that "retirement-home-wall" is a substitute for "gray."
And this doesn’t account for wrong—intentionally—grammar.

A verb by any other word would speed as sweet(ly).

Friday, October 3, 2014

Louis Simpson: The Silent Piano

We have lived like civilized people.
O ruins, traditions!

And we have seen the barbarians,
breakers of sculpture and glass.

And now we talk of 'the inner life',
and I ask myself, where is it?

Not here, in these streets and houses,
so I think it must be found

in indolence, pure indolence,
an ocean of darkness,

in silence, an arm of the moon,
a hand that enters slowly.

         *  *  *
I am reminded of a story
Camus tells, of a man in prison camp.

He had carved a piano keyboard
with a nail on a piece of wood.

And sat there playing the piano.
This music was made entirely of silence.

 

--1969

Wallace Stevens: The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm

The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom the book is true, to whom

The summer night is a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

 

1947

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-07-17

Reddit users retouch newborn’s photos after her death at father’s request A grief-stricken father desired an image of his daughter "without all her tubes," turning to Redditors who responded with retouched images of the newborn who spent the entirety of her short life in hospital.

Double Amputee Veteran’s Wheelchair Breaks in Lowe’s, Workers Drop Everything to Fix It I’m proud to say I can easily see this happening with buddies of mine. Though they might go overboard and redesign the wheelchair, too.

Hero Pit Bull Rescues Deaf Boy From Burning Home Today’s dog story is what the title says. What I love is the simplicity of the reaction. The family knows they were lucky.

Daily TED Talk

Two nerdy obsessions meet – and it’s magic David Kwong is a magician who makes crossword puzzles — in other words, a pretty nerdy guy. And for his next trick ...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-07-15

An all NPR edition, today. You can read the article and/or listen. I like listening because there are often items left out of the print version.

Stress-Busting Foods Which foods increase your stress? Which reduce it? It’s the latter that I’m interested in. I know I eat the wrong foods when stressed.

This is Your Stressed-Out Brain on Scarcity It’s not good news to be stressed, but it is valuable to realize how much attention it consumes. Armed with that knowledge, we can make changes in ourselves and in our perceptions of others.

The 3 Scariest Words a Boy Can Hear Joe Ehrmann, a 75 professional football player, discusses the pitfalls of the words “be a man.” Excellent stuff, and an article I’ll be bookmarking for use in my own coaching.

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic on Parody in the Age of YouTube Yankovic is releasing his final “traditional” album, meaning songs collected on a CD. He talks about himself, his work, and being weird.

35 Years After Minnie Riperton’s Death, New Fans Still Find Her Famous for her song “Loving You” and her five octave vocal range, which is almost inhuman. Musicians are joining together to celebrate her work. Riperton died from breast cancer in ‘79 at 31.

Daily TED Talk

In fact, I watched this yesterday. I found it useful. What simplistic stories are you telling yourself?

Be suspicious of stories (15 min) “Like all of us, economist Tyler Cowen loves a good story. But in this intriguing talk, he asks us to step away from thinking of our lives — and our messy, complicated irrational world — in terms of a simple narrative.”

Monday, July 14, 2014

Curated Good News 2014-07-14

Back at it, after a week-long lapse!

India’s “Plastic Man” Turns Litter Into Paved Roads Rajagopalan Vasudevan has a method for turning plastic trash into a partial replacement for bitumen in asphalt. In other words, reuse the unrecyclable plastic for roads!

Smelling Farts is Healthy It’s a real study, with real implications, especially for the world of stand up comedy. And for preventing or reversing mitochondrial damage. I’m not sure which is more important.

Colbie Caillat Is Tired of Being Photoshopped This is just outside of what I call news, but it’s a good story with a lovely video, and it made me feel good that my wife doesn’t wear makeup.

Daily TED Talk

Stella Young: I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much ‘Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair — a fact that doesn’t, she’d like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity. In this very funny talk, Young breaks down society's habit of turning disabled people into “inspiration porn.”’