There are people whom the sea depresses, whom mountains exhilarate. Personally, I want the sea always—some not populous edge of it for choice; and with it sunshine, and wine, and a little music. My friend on the mountain yonder is of tougher fibre and sterner outlook, disapproves of the sea’s laxity and instability, has no ear for music and no palate for the grape, and regards the sun as a rather enervating institution, like central heating in a house. What he likes is a grey day and the wind in his face; crags at a great altitude; and a flask of whisky. Yet I think that even he, if we were trying to determine from what inner sources mankind derives the greatest pleasure in life, would agree with me that only the emotion of love takes higher rank than the emotion of laughter. Both these emotions are partly mental, partly physical. It is said that the mental symptoms of love are wholly physical in origin. They are not the less ethereal for that. The physical sensations of laughter, on the other hand, are reached by a process whose starting-point is in the mind. They are not the less ‘gloriously of our clay.’ There is laughter that goes so far as to lose all touch with its motive, and to exist only, grossly, in itself. This is laughter at its best. A man to whom such laughter has often been granted may happen to die in a work-house. No matter. I will not admit that he has failed in life. Another man, who has never laughed thus, may be buried in Westminster Abbey, leaving more than a million pounds overhead. What then? I regard him as a failure.—Max Beerbohm
—from “Laughter, 1920”
—found in And Even Now (1920)
oppilate /OP-i-layt/. verb. To block, obstruct, stop up. Most of often pores or bowels. Noun: oppilation; adjective: oppilation. To remove such an obstruction is to deoppilate. From Latin ob (in the way, against) + pīlāre (to ram down, pack closely).[Read more…]
- In The Guardian: why we are fascinated by miniature books. And when they say “miniature,” they really mean it: the smallest is less than 100 micrometers (around the diameter of a human hair) in width and height and has pages that have to be turned with a sharpened needle. ※ David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books doesn’t include any miniatures, but it’s fun to browse anyway.
- I hear Grover swearing in this Sesame Street clip and now I can’t unhear it. But, an audiologist explains that it’s all in my ears. What do you hear?
- In The New York Times and in The Atlantic, stories about the discovery of flecks of lapis lazuli in the tartar of a 10th century-nun and what it tell us about forgotten medieval female scribes.
- I’ve featured various kinds of typewriter art and sculpture here before, but Jeremy Mayer’s human(ish) sculptures made of typewriter parts are a whole different thing.
- @TerribleMaps on Twitter. Trust me.
- This American Life‘s “The Room of Requirement” is extraordinary for its range (the Brautigan Library!) and emotion (homeless girl befriends children’s librarian, ultimately becomes one herself, and then journeys back to meet the woman who changed her life). ※ See also: the 110-Year-Old Dead Tree that is Now a Magical Little Library.
- The story of Justin Alexander is one of spiritual seeking, sadhus, suspicion and disappearance in a remote region of the Indian Himalayas.
- A treat for your eyes: Booooooom‘s 64 Favorite Photos by 64 Photographers: 2018 Edition ※ See also: Anastasia Pottinger’s Centenarians and Time Lapse Video of Keith WIlliams Making Geodesic Spheres
- The occasional weird links dump: silver skivvies and Costco’s 7-pound tub of Nutella (plus the Quartz Obsession: Nutella) and HATETRIS and The Influencer who Didn’t Influence and ► 15 Minutes by Tim Minchin and Who is Little Debbie?.
- Today in 1935, comedian Rip Taylor is born in Washington, D.C. The handlebar mustache and toupee wearing, confetti and prop wielding comic was Carrot Top (but actually funny) before there was a Carrot Top. Taylor was a regular on the Ed Sullivan Show, a regular Atlantic City performer, a 1970s TV game show fixture, a voice on various cartoons from Scooby-Doo to The Addams Family, touring partner with Judy Garland, Debbie Reynolds and Mickey Rooney, and a guest on various 80s and 90s sitcom and a part of the Jackass, umm, universe. ※ Watch Taylor’s appearance on David Letterman in 1987, an early 80s interview with Taylor, Phyllis Diller, Marcia Lewis and Melanie Chartoff and his appearance on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”.
Made from over 14,000 photographs and constructed over seven years, Simon Schreiber’s short stop-motion film ► The Lighthouse tells the story of “a lighthouse keeper’s surprising discovery pulls him out of his monotonous, daily routine and takes him onto a journey into uncharted territory.”