“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”—Lewis Carroll
—from Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)
ataraxy /AT-ər-aks-ee/ – ataraxia /at-ər-AK-see-ə/. noun. Deep tranquility; calmness. Stoic indifference. From French ataraxie > from Greek ataraxia (impassiveness) > from a (not) + tarassein (disturb). See also: serenity, imperturbability, equanimity, composure.[Read more…]
- February is International Correspondence Writing Month (aka, for the camel-casing cognoscenti, InCoWriMo or LetterMo), in which intrepid participants write a handwritten letter every day. ※ If February doesn’t work for you, there is always National Letter Writing Month in April…
- Arborists Have Cloned Ancient Redwoods From Their Massive Stumps (and the picture of the sapling slays me).
- From the origins of qwerty and why you’re tying your shoelaces wrong to trusting your senses and “black don’t crack,” the BBC Ideas Debunking Modern Myths video series has you covered.
- Paper book geeks, meet the endpaper enthusiasts. ※ See also, the Vintage Endpapers collection on flickr and the University of Washington’s growing Decorated Paper Collection.
- The BabyLand Diaries go inside BabyLand General Hospital, where Cabbage Patch Dolls are “born” through an artificial tree-like birth canal (and that’s not even the weirdest thing)…before exploring the still-mysterious, classically awesome, processes of labor and childbirth.
- Peter Gorman’s Barely Maps are intriguing minimalist maps/graphics/visualizations. ※ While we’re mappin’ it up, see also: The map that popularized the word ‘gerrymander’
- “It’s as rare as finding a fossilised sneeze,” said professor Phillip Manning of the identification of a 100-million-year old fossil of a hagfish.
- “Biohacker” Dave Asprey has made millions convincing people to put butter in their coffee and follows an insane regimen of supplementation, stem cell injections and more so that he can, he says, live to be 180. Guru? Huckster? I don’t know, but it makes for a fascinating story.
- Wow…feast your eyes on the Winning Images from the prestigious 7th Annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest! ※ See also: Wildlife Photographer of the Year: sharing a daydreaming leopard with the world
- Today in 1832, author, mathematician, photographer and Anglican deacon Charles Lutwidge Dodgson—better known as Lewis Carroll—is born in Daresbury, England. In addition to his most famous written works—Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its darker sequel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There—Carroll was an accomplished artist in the then-new field of photography and a well-regarded mathematician with 11 books to his (real) name. Carroll was also an avid correspondent—recording nearly 100,000 letters sent and received in his personal register alone, (which he didn’t start keeping until he was 29)—and inventor of the nyctograph and nyctography, a writing template and a shorthand devised so he could capture ideas in the middle of the night without having to take the idea-killing time to light a lamp. ※ Previously: Lewis Carroll’s “Eight or Nine Wise Words About Letter-Writing.”
American Sign Language is distinct from English, with its own grammar, syntax and vocabulary…so ASL has to grow to accommodate new science concepts and terminology. This is ► how deaf researchers are reinventing science communication. Thanks, Reader B.