You remember having friends who used to lampoon the world so effortlessly, crouching at the verge of every joke and waiting to pounce on it, and you remember how they changed as they grew older and the joy of questioning everything slowly became transformed into the pain of questioning everything, like a star consuming its own core.
Who was it who said that every virtue contains its corresponding vice? C. S. Lewis? Virginia Woolf? You forget. But it has always worried you that what the virtue of wit contained was the vice of scorn.—Kevin Brockmeier
—from “The Human Soul as a Rube Goldberg Device”
—found in The View from the Seventh Layer
capitonym /KAP-i-toh-NIM/. noun. A word that changes meaning (and sometimes pronunciation) when capitalized, such as August and august, Earth and earth, Polish and polish. A portmanteau of capital + -onym (word or name).[Read more…]
- I love Robyn O’Neil’s large scale (one piece is 14 feet long!) pencil drawings that remind me (and many others, apparently) of Bosch and Bruegel. ※ I actually discovered Robyn thanks to her delightfully conversational, personal podcast Me Reading Things.
- “Letters reveal how language changes. They also offer a peek into the way people–especially women–have always constructed their private and public selves.” → The Ladylike Language of Letters ※ Also, since InCoWriMo continues: Find a Local Letter Writing Society.
- “…some of our favourites from the first hundred years of the book cover (as we commonly understand it today)…” → The Art of Book Covers (1820–1914) [Thanks, Reader C.!]
- Fascinating reading as more and more implications of DNA testing, research and history emerge. → Is Ancient DNA Research Revealing New Truths — or Falling Into Old Traps?
- I want to be snarky about this, but maybe there’s something to the idea… → Why we need to bring back the art of communal bathing
- Old news, but new to me. And delightful. At least for the dolphins. → Dolphins Seem to Use Toxic Pufferfish to Get High ※ See video and more pics: What does a dolphin use to get high?
- “…we refresh and refresh every tab, and are not sated. What are we waiting for? What are we hoping to find?” → Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction (Yes, I see the irony).
- “It is engraved with 13 verses from the poem recounting the adventures of the hero Odysseus after the fall of Troy.” → Homer Odyssey: Oldest extract discovered on clay tablet [Thanks to a different, but related!, Reader C.]
- I haven’t read linguist Lisa Smartt’s Words at the Threshold: What We Say as We’re Nearing Death (and naturally have my own thoughts on what these words might mean or point to), but it’s fascinating to consider the words people choose in their last moments. → Final Words Project
- Today in 1876 in Eastport, Maine, Julius Wolff cans the first sardines (in North America, anyway, the earlier history is disputed by avid sardinophiles). Sardine isn’t a specific species, but a name given to a variety of small, oily herring. Canned sardines are an often underrated food both for their taste and nutritional value, but also merit distinction as one of the few canned foods I am aware of that have an active community of enthusiasts (search for yourself and see). And because word nerds need to know, the words sardine and sardonic are most likely related: the former is thought to have come from the island of Sardinia, while the latter derives from a Sardinian herb, Sardonia, which was reputed to “produce facial convulsions resembling horrible laughter, usually followed by death,” and which Homer rendered as sardanios, or scornful laughter.
Mike Dawes is a one-man band on a single guitar…and reveals beauty within songs you might not otherwise appreciate. Amazing. → ► Mike Dawes – One (Metallica) – Solo Guitar ※ See also, Mike’s version of a wholly different style of song, equally awesome: ► Somebody That I Used To Know – Mike Dawes – Live At Cedars Hall.