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I recently started re-reading Catch-22.  (The only other time I read it was something like four years ago, and I’m not sure I really understood it at the time.)  In chapter two, there’s a reference to Raskolnikov (and his killing an old lady with an ax).  I was sort of familiar with Raskolnikov but only as a name in the Mountain Goats’ “Love Love Love” from The Sunset Tree:

Raskolnikov felt sick, but he couldn’t say why

When he saw his face reflected in his victim’s twinkling eye

So I decided to actually look up this Raskolnikov guy, and I’ve discovered that he’s a character in Crime and Punishment (which I was a bit suspicious of, what with the reference to killing an old lady).  And now Crime and Punishment is a little bit higher on my list of books to read.

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I’ve been keeping track of what books I read, but a list with start and end dates doesn’t really give an idea of how many books I was (and am) reading concurrently.  So I did a visual thing.
The ones in red are the books I’m still reading.
Because of internet stuff I don’t understand, you can’t see it in very good resolution though.

I’ve been keeping track of what books I read, but a list with start and end dates doesn’t really give an idea of how many books I was (and am) reading concurrently.  So I did a visual thing.

The ones in red are the books I’m still reading.

Because of internet stuff I don’t understand, you can’t see it in very good resolution though.

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"Don’t you realize, scoundrel, that if they were to squeeze you from head to toe, there wouldn’t be enough juice to make a sauce?"

From Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron (Ninth Day, Sixth Story), translated by G.H. McWilliam

I ran across this again last night.  I’d forgotten about it, and I can’t imagine how because it’s a great insult (so far as insults can be deemed great).

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So, on 10 August, I started learning Dutch through Duolingo.  Between German cognates and English cognates, it’s actually pretty easy so far (although I’ve done only four lessons).

But to-day I learned that the word for or is of.  Which is bound to be confusing because I already get or and of confused just when I’m typing in English.  So either I’ll have a lot of problems because of that or consciously distinguishing between the two will lessen the frequency of my confusing those while typing in English.

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Clint Smith: The danger of silence

"We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don’t," says slam poet and teacher Clint Smith. A short, powerful piece from the heart, about finding the courage to speak up against ignorance and injustice.

(Source: fizzylimon)

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"Don’t be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value."

— Arthur Miller (via wordsnquotes)

(via edwardspoonhands)

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I wrote a post about Biblical allusions in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

(Source: gleaming-arch.blogspot.com)

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I really wish there were an online university program designed for autodidacts.  Because I want certification I actually believe in, but the social aspect of education - even if it’s not in person - does nothing for me (except make me feel anxious).

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npr:

"When Snails Lose Their Way" via Robert Krulwich

"When a snail loses purpose, the universe reels."

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onelego365days:

Day 248/365
When Peterson had left, Holmes held the stone up to the light to look at it.
"It’s a beautiful thing," he said.  "Look at how it glints and sparkles.  Of course, it’s a nucleus and focus of crime, as every good stone is.  They are the devil’s baits.  In the larger and older jewels, each facet could stand for a bloody deed.  This one is not twenty years old.  It was found on the banks of the Amoy River in southern China.  It’s remarkable in having every characteristic of the carbuncle, but it’s blue and not ruby.  In spite of its youth, it has an evil history.  Two murders, a vitriol-throwing, a suicide, and several robberies just for this piece of crystallized charcoal.  Who would think something so pretty would lead to gallows and prison?  I’ll lock it in my strong box and send a line to the Countess to say that we have it."

I paraphrase much of the captions for these, but this is still a really interesting comparison that I hadn’t really thought about back when I read “The Blue Carbuncle.”

onelego365days:

Day 248/365

When Peterson had left, Holmes held the stone up to the light to look at it.

"It’s a beautiful thing," he said.  "Look at how it glints and sparkles.  Of course, it’s a nucleus and focus of crime, as every good stone is.  They are the devil’s baits.  In the larger and older jewels, each facet could stand for a bloody deed.  This one is not twenty years old.  It was found on the banks of the Amoy River in southern China.  It’s remarkable in having every characteristic of the carbuncle, but it’s blue and not ruby.  In spite of its youth, it has an evil history.  Two murders, a vitriol-throwing, a suicide, and several robberies just for this piece of crystallized charcoal.  Who would think something so pretty would lead to gallows and prison?  I’ll lock it in my strong box and send a line to the Countess to say that we have it."

I paraphrase much of the captions for these, but this is still a really interesting comparison that I hadn’t really thought about back when I read “The Blue Carbuncle.”

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starwars:

Spotlight Of The Week - ARC-170 Concept art by Ryan Church.

starwars:

Spotlight Of The Week - ARC-170 Concept art by Ryan Church.

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thebrainscoop:

The Brain Scoop:
Fossil Sharks

If an animal has a skeleton of cartilage can it still be found in the fossil record? Spoiler alert; yes, but sometimes it doesn’t give us the entire picture. 

Myths and conjecture surround the hypothetical monster sharks of prehistory but with the help of dedicated researchers and well-appointed technologies we are able to place some of these bigger questions to bed (at least, for now) - and in the case of sharks, with teeth as our only clue. 

Here’s No. 2 in our series of five consecutive calendar days dedicated to predatory cartilaginous fishes! 

Reblogging for the super appropriate Saint-Saëns piece (and also the possible The Life Aquatic reference?).  But also science!

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"No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."

— Robin Williams as John Keating in “Dead Poets Society” (via usatoday)

(via npr)

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LotR + Blades

(Source: isildur-elessar, via liamdryden)