larryhammer: Enceladus (the moon, not the mythological being), label: "Enceladus is sexy" (astronomy)
[personal profile] larryhammer
When Girls Studied Planets and the Skies Had No Limits. (via)

Redefining the kilogram, using precise measurements of Planck's constant. Note that despite the article's focus on America's NIST measurement, two groups in other countries have made similarly accurate measurements.

Study shows that having more than one illustration per page-spread makes it harder for early readers to learn new words. Key jargon: Cognitive Load Theory. (via)

---L.

Subject quote from "Hope on Fire," Vienna Teng.
larryhammer: topless woman lying prone with Sappho painted on her back, label: "Greek poetry is sexy" (greek poetry is sexy)
[personal profile] larryhammer
For Poetry Monday, jumping ahead to a post-Elizabethan sonneteer:


Sonnet VI from Sappho & Phaon, Mary Robinson

Is it to love, to fix the tender gaze,
    To hide the timid blush, and steal away;
    To shun the busy world, and waste the day
In some rude mountain’s solitary maze?
Is it to chant one name in ceaseless lays,
    To hear no words that other tongues can say,
    To watch the pale moon’s melancholy ray,
To chide in fondness, and in folly praise?
    Is it to pour th’ involuntary sigh,
To dream of bliss, and wake new pangs to prove;
    To talk, in fancy, with the speaking eye,
Then start with jealousy, and wildly rove;
    Is it to loath the light, and wish to die?
For these I feel,—and feel that they are love.


Mary Robinson was an English actress, royal mistress (her role as Perdita from A Winter's Tale gave the future George IV his early nickname of Florizel), and (after those two careers washed up) popular early Romantic poet. While there had been a few sonnets written in the decade before this was published, after being totally out of fashion for over a century, her Sappho and Phaon was the first sonnet cycle of the Romantic era, and a significant part of rehabilitating the form. If you like any of Wordsworth's sonnets, thank Robinson. If you like this sonnet, go read the rest: it's good.

---L.

Subject quote from "Who's Next?" Tom Lehrer.

A Hugo recommendation for next year

Jul. 18th, 2017 05:29 pm
filkerdave: (science fiction)
[personal profile] filkerdave

The truly wonderful What Football Will be Like in 17776 has finished so now's a great time to sit down and read it.

It's a lovely little SF piece. Be warned that you'll need to watch videos and animations as well as reading text. It's worth it, though.

Short shameful confession

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:52 am
larryhammer: pen-and-ink drawing of an annoyed woman dressed as a Heian-era male courtier saying "......" (dot dot dot)
[personal profile] larryhammer
Every time I read The Lorax, I want to take a blue pencil to the opening pages.
larryhammer: topless woman lying prone with Sappho painted on her back, label: "Greek poetry is sexy" (classics)
[personal profile] larryhammer
For Poetry Monday, an acknowledgement that Elizabethan sonnet sequences weren't all about the mens:

Sonnet 19 from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus, Mary Wroth

Come darkest Night, becoming sorrow best,
    Light leave thy light, fit for a lightsome soul:
    Darkness doth truly suit with me oppressed,
    Whom absence power doth from mirth control.

The very trees with hanging heads condole
    Sweet Summer's parting, and of leaves distressed,
    In dying colours make a grief-full role;
    So much (alas) to sorrow are they pressed.

Thus of dead leaves, her farewell carpets made,
    Their fall, their branches, all their mournings prove,
    With leafless naked bodies, whose hues fade
    From hopeful green to wither in their love.

If trees, and leaves for absence mourners be,
No marvel that I grieve, who like want see.

Lady Mary Wroth was Philip Sidney's niece, and author of a prose romance and scandalous roman à clef, The Countess of Montgomery's Urania -- to which this sequence was appended, in the persona of the heroine writing to and about the feckless hero (some of the sonnets from it also appeared diegetically in the text).

---L.

Subject quote from "Westminster Abbey: October 12, 1892," Thomas Henry Huxley.
filkerdave: Made by LJ user fasterpussycat (Default)
[personal profile] filkerdave

It turns out that there's no Music AH for Worldcon 75.

I mean, on one level, I'm not shedding any tears over screwups with the convention after they booted me (and the way it was done). But on the other hand, my friends are going to miss out on a lot of the activity they enjoy at the convention because there's nobody put it together.

Complicated feelings.

Leavin' on a jet plane

Jul. 12th, 2017 12:46 pm
filkerdave: Made by LJ user fasterpussycat (Default)
[personal profile] filkerdave

I'm off to the wilds of Jackson, WY!

Working remotely until the end of the month so I can spend time with my girlfriend (who lives there).

Mixed feelings

Jul. 11th, 2017 02:59 pm
filkerdave: (h2g2)
[personal profile] filkerdave

I just wrote a check, filled out a ballot, and sent in my vote for the 2019 Worldcon site selection. On one level it's good. I mean, I'm a Friend of the Dublin in 2019 bid, and they're the only bid so they're likely to win. I'm hoping that'll mean I just have a membership when they win.

But...

I'm doing this by mail. I'm not going to be in Helsinki to cast my ballot in person.

Blah.

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