11 January 2009
Well, if I can say something without jinxing it, it appears as though our two weeks of winter may be over. Not but what it won’t be grey and rainy for a while yet, but the incipient buds are swelling more greenly on their socially networked branches. The leaves cluttering the sidewalks are from the sweetgums, and most of them only just fell within the last month. We’ve had some sunny warmth here and there, and while I haven’t seen any hummingbirds yet, the Steller’s Jays have been joined by squads of robins.
But the thing that really brought a sense of seasonal change for me was at the end of the cold snap we had in December. Hardly seems fair of me to use that term, when Fairbanks has been pretty chilly by comparison, but people take notice when we get a weeks worth of heavy frosts in Corvallis. At any rate, on about 29 December, I woke to find cirrus clouds covering most of the sky, and causing a strong, beautiful 22 1/2 degree halo around the Sun. I’ve long since given up any pretensions to being able to photograph such phenomena, so I contented myself with staring upward for several blocks on the way to work.
10 September 2008
11 November 2007
Which serves two purposes, really. It excuses (or explains) my lack of posts, and saves me from having to come up with a better explanation (or excuse). Although it is possible that the sudden access to two good libraries within the last few weeks has diminished my online presence, save in card catalogues.
Anyway, I soon hope to be posting on religion debate rhetoric, drag show-influenced politics, tree identification, epistemology of Holocaust deniers, and the philosophy of quantum theory. Right after I summit K2, of course. Meantime, here’s a list of some good books:
On Literature, Umberto Eco–the essay on Borges and influence alone is worth the price of admission
Denying the Holocaust, Deborah Lipstadt–I learned more about the process of rationality from the first two chapters than from any other single book I’ve read
Envisioning Information, Edward Tufte–beautiful and needs to be read several times
Where the Suckers Moon, Randall Rothenburg–zany, educational, and bearing few points of reference to anything familiar (it’s about advertising)
18 September 2007
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.
16 August 2007
Well, no tsunami yesterday, completing the trifecta of non-disasters. The potential here was anulled rather quickly, but it took a while longer to clear things in Chile. We did, however, have another earthquake last night. This one was centered, as nearly as I can tell, just a few miles northwest of our house. Also, again last night the clouds were at just the right elevation to be spectactularly illuminated by the 21 July fissure.
15 August 2007
Anybody on this island looking for inspiration for literature from the natural world will not lack material for the latter half of August.
Beginning with the Perseid meteor showers starting sometime around 8 August and peaking on 12 August, there have been several routine (in the geologic or astronomical sense) yet remarkable (in the participant or observer’s sense).
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