/HAP-tik/. adjective. Relating to the sense of touch. From Greek haptomai (to touch, to adhere to, to cling) + -ic (suffix: of or pertaining to).
A zoologist who observed gorillas in their native habitat was amazed by the uniformity of their life and their vast idleness. Hours and hours without doing anything … Was boredom unknown to them?
This is indeed a question raised by a human, a busy ape. Far from fleeing monotony, animals crave it, and what they most dread is to see it end. For it ends only to be replaced by fear, the cause of all activity.
Inaction is divine; yet it is against inaction that man has rebelled. Man alone, in nature, is incapable of enduring monotony, man alone wants something to happen at all costs—something, anything…. Thereby he shows himself unworthy of his ancestor: the need for novelty is the characteristic of an alienated gorilla.
—E. M. Cioran
—from The Trouble With Being Born
pinguid /PEEN-gwid/. adjective. Fat, greasy, oil. Unctuous. Rarely (usually referring to soil): fertile. From Latin pinguis (fat) + -id (adjective suffix, as in languid, torpid, etc.).
“For the first minute the water grips me like a cryonic gel, glacial, faintly pinguid…” (Greg Jackson)
“Her suspicions got embellished by, of all people, Mike Fallopian of the Peter Pinguid Society.” (Thomas Pynchon)
“In the numb gesture of this ever-dead, a pair of pinguid crows hopped, foot to foot, along one pleading limb, like two conspiring nuns cackling and pecking and flapping into the air…” (Nick Cave)
“The angel would stand, giant in her consciousness, its head bent down. She would stare up into its meteor-scarred face and its wings would open slowly, with pinguid plumage, a wider span than any sea eagle.” (J. M. Ledgard)
“There, staring back at us, between the drum major’s braided cap and the gold epaulettes, were the dark pinguid features of Dada made flesh: His Excellency Al Haji Field Marshal and President for Life of Uganda: Idi Amin Dada.” (T. C. Boyle)
“Pingle should not be confused with pinguid, which means greasy, though if the food is too much the latter, it may cause the former. So if you were stuck with a bad cook in Antarctica you might pingle a pinguid penguin.” (Mark Forsyth)
A Major Dictionary Has Officially Added Emoji || A pairing from the other end of the dictionary spectrum: The Nationalist Roots of Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary
This tree has been receiving love letters, upwards of 1000 a year, for more than 100 years…it even has its own postal code and mailman. || See also, a photo essay about Japanese mail boxes and (public) Mailboxes Of Seattle. || And I might as well throw in the ubiquitous (and rightly so) Brocolli Tree parable here too.
Unruly Bodies, a month-long [pop-up] magazine exploring our ever-changing relationship with our bodies.
Much beauties in this piece on Astronomical Typography.
Even people who “don’t listen to podcasts” can enjoy the trend of incredible, short-run, journalistic series such as Repeat and the upcoming Caliphate. The latter features (the awesome) Rukmini Callimachi. Read her recent report, The ISIS Files: When Terrorists Run City Hall, on the strange business workings of the would-be Caliphate and listen to her interview on Longform.
April Fool’s pranks written by neural network. Thanks, Reader B.
Don’t be so sure you know what a lowercase G looks like. Thanks, Reader S.
Today in 1911, writer and philosopher E. M. Cioran [chore-AWN] is born in Resinár, Romania. Author of amazing, #sadhappy books like The Trouble with Being Born, A Short History of Decay and On the Heights of Despair—titles emblematic of Cioran’s position as a leader of philosophical pessimism–Cioran was also a notable, and notably bleak, aphorist, writing such dark gems as “the fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live—moreover, the only one,” and “melancholy: an appetite no misery satisfies.”
A great short talk by Austin Kleon, a creative hero of mine. If you make things you should watch this.