February 6, 2018

Winter Olympics ~ watching the Games usually involves little focusing on our part, so it can be very soothing. Weather has been showing some clear irregular patterns for freezing, snowing etc – way more than in previous years. Meantime, I keep ingesting absurdly copious amounts of hot cocoa, hoping to ride all irregularities away.

Last night I finished reading David Grann’s captivating article about Henry Worsley’s challenging journey across Antarctica – very good. So right now, planning for a peaceful weekend ahead (perhaps with some bowling), maybe read Grann’s increasingly popular book on the Osage, and continue our planning for Merida, with some probability of the ever elusive pulque. Relishing like a Cheshire cat over how this little tablet’s portable library has expanded to include all of Colombeia, all of Dickens, Shelley and wife, Hodgson, Melville, Kipling, Saki, Sir Isaac Newton, Aristotle, Carlyle and Maugham. And still at the weight of slightly above one pound.

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January 5, 2018

Minimax and LPDs, 0 sums, plan versing in FME-IT package, great OS for playing around with linear differences and redundancies.

Started the Felton book, halfway through Morley’s.

Happy New Year!

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December 23, 2017

I came across this nice quote by the recent winner of the Nobel Prize of Literature, Kazuo Ishimuro; it is from his acceptance speech:

“In a time of dangerously increasing division, we must listen. Good writing and good reading will break down barriers. We may even find a new idea, a great humane vision, around which to rally.”

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November 25, 2017

A tiger was shot on a Paris street today. It had escaped from a circus ~ the Borman-Moreno. A tragedy soon to be ignored, all too soon; it averted other tragedies, very possibly. It breaks my heart a little, or should I say a lot. I feel very sympathetic to it, in a way I cannot explain. It is this man-beast affinity that exists at a very deep, primeval level. Something mysterious unites us with strange affection for these large felines which occasionally prey on us. Hemingway saw it in the leopard, inexplicably high up there, wandering in the snows of Kilimanjaro. And Borges saw fit to leave us the story of the writing of the god… in it, in his timeless imprisonment by the Spaniard conquistadores, a Maya priest experiences a single mystical revelation from his cell window in the spots of a captured jaguar. It is a flash, this secret of uncanny proportions. Yet in all his newly acquired wisdom, the priest chooses to keep, rather than use, the fourteen-word formula that summons all divine forces which could free him. For he has accepted his own destiny and the futility of human design against fate. Fortunately, we have love, and that is all we need.
Il tempo vorace oltre a noi distrugge ogni cosa.

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November 21, 2017

Two fragments evoking the once legendary, now nearly forgotten Irish maiden Deirdre of the Sorrows:

Last night sad and pining as I lay reclining,
Sleep at last came twining bands around my soul.
Then a maiden slender, azure-eyed and tender,
Came, me dreamt, to render lighter my sad dole.

~ from ‘Slainte Righ Searlas’, 1783 by Eoghan Ruadh O’Sullivan, and converted to English verse by Clarence Mangan.

[…] With crimson gleaming, the dawn rose beaming,
On branchy oaks, nigh the golden shore.
Above me rustled their leaves, and dreaming,
Methought a nimph rose the blue waves o’er.
Her brow was brighter than stars that light our
Dim, dewy earth, ere the summer dawn.
But she spoke in mourning—’My heart of sorrow,
Ne’er brings a morrow—Mo Buachaill Ban.’
Her teeth were pearlets, her curling tresses,
All golden flowed to the sparkling sea.
Soft hands, and spray-white, such brow as traces,
The artists’ pen with most grace, had she.
Like crimson rays of the sunset streaming,
O’er snowy lilies, her bright cheeks shone—
But tears down fell from her eyes once beaming,
Once queenly seeming, for Buachaill Ban!

~ By Seaghan O’Coilea

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