This year, the equinox was on Sunday 23 September. Unfortunately, I started this post before time, but didn’t finish it until today. The Sun crossed the celestial equator at 0951 Universal Time that day, and I almost blew a fuse trying to figure out what time that was here. I only ever used rote memorization to keep in mind that Hawai`i is UT-10, so I think I got it right that we are UT-8 here. Whatever, anyway.

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The persistence of memory

28 September 2007

Well, so I could just consider this blog a reposting engine for Arts & Letters Daily, if that statement wasn’t itself some statement of the problem of influence. Which in my case includes an acceptance that I’ll probably never know more than a tithe of what the concepts I invoke represent, in any discipline. At any rate. . .

I’ve read other discussions of the vast accumulation of all sorts of the information formerly known as ephemera, but none so thoughtful as Jessica Winter’s piece in the Boston Globe. And certainly the thought that your Google search history from 2004 might become an issue at a job interview in 2009 is wierd if not troubling.

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No TV is good . . . and bad

18 September 2007

Bad in the sense that I didn’t hear about the kerfuffle about a supposed Syria-North Korea super-villainous plan until today, despite numerous reports last week.

The money quote is right here, from Joseph Cirincione:

This story is nonsense. The Washington Post story should have been headlined “White House Officials Try to Push North Korea-Syria Connection.” This is a political story, not a threat story. The mainstream media seems to have learned nothing from the run-up to war in Iraq. It is a sad commentary on how selective leaks from administration officials who have repeatedly misled the press are still treated as if they were absolute truth.

sub rosa

17 September 2007

Watched the ‘palimpsest of Umberto Eco’s novel The Name of the Rose,’ over the weekend, and it was as good as I remembered. I was a little disappointed that the film didn’t focus a little more on what I thought was one of the most interesting, though indirect, themes of the book.

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Mostly natural

14 September 2007

Corvallis is nice. Almost, but not quite, that sort of little-bit-too-perfect, everybody-knows-everybody-else, Stepford-nice. But not quite.

It does have lots of trees, though, and while I knew that I would be completely lost for a while, I hadn’t counted on the absolute riot of diversity in leafy (and needle-y) things here. Within about a hundred feet of our house are several kinds of maple, fir, holly, birch, oak, elm, and magnolia. The tree map that I got, which covers part of campus and adjoining parks, has about a hundred and eighty kinds of trees on it. No kidding.

Birds are another thing, though it seems strange that I should be amazed by crows, turkey vultures, and pinyon jays scrub jays, given that in the week before I left, I saw a lot of endangered honeycreepers. But there you go. I am amazed, and even delighted.

I am also enjoying having a large and active public library within walking distance, and while I’ll no doubt rack up fines soon enough, my only monetary expenditures so far have been at the large and active used bookstore downtown. I snapped up a copy of Lost Discoveries, which I started reading before I left Hilo. One of the few hardbacks I’ve bought in recent years, but this book is worth it. From the public library, I’ve started both Song of Solomon and Bomb Scare at the same time. It’s possible that either one is more that I can chew, but perhaps I’ve got a big enough bite I’m deluded into thinking I can handle it. We’ll see.

Back on the science bandwagon soon, no doubt.