Rosh Hashana 5778

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:55 pm
filkerdave: (jew roll)
[personal profile] filkerdave

Tonight at sundown marks the start of the Rosh Hashanah and the year 5778. May all of you reading this be inscribed in the Book of Life for a happy, healthy, and prosperous year ahead.

לשנה טובה
larryhammer: a woman wearing a chain mail hoodie, label: "chain mail is sexy" (warrior babe)
[personal profile] larryhammer
On the agenda today are owls, big ships, and valkyries:

The 100 Greatest Owl Pictures You'll Ever See is not inaccurately titled. Content warning: not actually a Buzzfeed listicle. (via)

Timelapse of 30 days on a container ship at sea, including unloading/loading at various ports. Content warnings: pretty thunderstorms, lack of owls. (via)

Famous Viking Warrior Had Two X Chromosomes, No Y Chromosome. At least, that's what the headline should have read. Content warning: lack of owls. (via)

And in conclusion, owls!

---L.

Subject quote from "The Earthly Paradise, introduction to July, William Morris.
larryhammer: a wisp of smoke, label: "it comes in curlicues, spirals as it twirls" (curlicues)
[personal profile] larryhammer
Bits of languages:

"Most of the time, I feel a little bit sorry for people who make horrendous translation mistakes. This is not one of those times." (via)

Finding lost languages in palimpsests with bonus library geekery. Note that these aren't previously unknown languages, but new texts for known lost ones. (via)

Inside the world of professional poetry plagiarism. (via lost)

---L.

Subject quote from "A Prayer for My Daughter," W. B. Yeats.
larryhammer: canyon landscape with saguaro and mesquite trees (desert)
[personal profile] larryhammer
For Poetry Monday, something a little different:


A Quarrel of Crows: A Villahaikunelle, Bruce Pratt

A quarrel of crows
glean treasure from torn trash bags
on a rural road,

strut and cakewalk with
raspy-throated posturing.
A quarrel of crows

strip away limp gray rind
like coyotes feasting on doe.
On a rural road,

coon-toppled barrels,
bequeath uneaten orts to
a quarrel of crows

who caw, grateful for
this dessicated banquet
on a rural road.

On the first Friday
of the last month of the year,
a quarrel of crows
on a rural road.


Needless to say, I approve of this formal variation, and want to see more done with it. Possibly something more imagistic.

---L.

Subject quote from "No Gringo," Vienna Teng.
filkerdave: Made by LJ user fasterpussycat (Default)
[personal profile] filkerdave

It pretty much kills any real social media time, especially longer-form stuff like DW. I could probably do more if I turned the computer on at night but I really try never to do that when I'm on a project. There's no reason to.

Maybe things will even out a little. I'd made a commitment to myself to write here regularly, and I haven't quite been able to do it for the past few weeks.

On the bright side, Baltimore is a nice town so far. I'm sure there are parts that aren't nice, but that's true of every city, isn't it?
larryhammer: Enceladus (the moon, not the mythological being), label: "Enceladus is sexy" (enceladus)
[personal profile] larryhammer
In honor of today's end of mission, here are some Saturn flyby movies using Cassini photos. (via)

ETA: Animation of some of Cassini's last photos, showing Enceladus setting behind Saturn.

The world's oldest known trigonometric table is a 3,700-year-old cuneiform tablet. It is, to boot, highly accurate. (via)

Rocket Man, Elton John (Official Music Video), directed by an Iranian refugee. (via Janni)

---L.

Subject quote, also in honor of Cassini, is from the "The Earthly Paradise," Introduction to March, William Morris.
larryhammer: drawing of a wildhaired figure dancing, label: "La!" (celebrate)
[personal profile] larryhammer
Because I had something better to do, I checked the number of AO3 fics for TV shows TBD has watched more than a couple trial episodes (that I can remember):

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: 0
Tayo the Little Bus: 0
The Wonder Pets!: 0
Peep in the Big Wide World: 0
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: 0
Hurray for Huckle/Busytown Mysteries: 0
Chuggington: 0
Space Racers: 0
WordWorld: 2
Curious George: 4
Peppa Pig: 5 (all crossovers)
Dinosaur Train: 7 (half written for Yuletide 2012)
Blue's Clues: 8
Caillou: 11
Bob the Builder: 16
Dora the Explorer: 24
PAW Patrol: 46
Thomas & Friends: 80
Transformers: Rescue Bots: 270

The Thomas franchise has been around so long and Rescue Bots crosses over so much into the rest of the Transformers franchise, I don't it's fair to compare them to the others. OTOH, the large number of PAW Patrol fics speaks to just how engaging the show is: TBD interacts with it more enthusiastically than with any of the others, even those, like Blue's Clues and Dora, that invite viewer interaction. (Rocky is their favorite pup, because he fixes things.) Not to mention, has acquired more merch for it, not counting books.*

I'm most disappointed in the first number.** But there's still all the other zeroes. That's a lot of children's media filled with all sorts of fic-able holes that aren't getting filled, despite being co-watched by caretakers. Someone get on this, 'k?


* Books, it's the Marvel comics universe, hands down, with DC and Busytown not far behind.

** And that's even aside from how little Daniel's Dad, the original Daniel Striped Tiger grown up, has an absurdly sexy voice.


---L.

Subject quote from "Nothing Without You," Vienna Teng.
larryhammer: animation of the kanji for four seasonal birds fading into each other in endless cycle (birds)
[personal profile] larryhammer
Reading Wednesday, with a few things to report --

Finished:

Poems of the Sea ed. by J.D. McClatchy, another Everyman's Library pocket anthology, which I snorked down like wahoo. I especially appreciate the songs and chanteys section. And ending with Whitman. Not quite as good as the seasons one, but close, and scratches a different itch anyway.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, which I greatly enjoyed, despite stalling a few chapters from the end for a week -- it's been that kind of reading time. Ragtag crew of a wormhole boring ship heading into a recent civil war zone on the prospect of a very well paying job, but unlike much space opera, the politics are downplayed to focus entirely on the crew and their relationships. I like the ways generic and individual characteristics are handled, and the whole crew in general. Want the sequel, even though it focuses on the character thread I'm least interested in.

In progress:

On Wings of Song ed. by J.D. McClatchy, yet another Everyman's Library pocket anthology, this one all about birds. My main complaint here is that there are too many very short sections, with title pages that take up space that could have been devoted to, yanno, poems. Am about halfway through, having just finished reading about owls.

Classical Chinese Literature v1 ed. by Minford & Lau -- crunching to about ~¼ in, having reached the Han dynasty. (One advantage, albeit a dubious one, of volume 2 being existentially challenged is not having to cross the Ming Dynasty without a camel, which is never fun.) I do like the editors' focus on how translations have been handled over the centuries, highlighting how western understanding of China and Chinese has changed -- as well as making sure ALL the modes are covered in reasonable depth. I think I very much need my own a copy of this.

---L.

Subject quote from "Paradise Lost" book XI, John Milton. Yes, I know, him.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)
[personal profile] larryhammer
For a Poetry Monday in a September that remains hot (highs still reaching 40°C):


Sestina d'Inverno, Anthony Hecht

Here in this bleak city of Rochester,
where there are twenty-seven words for “snow,”
not all of them polite, the wayward mind
basks in some Yucatan of its own making,
some coppery, sleek lagoon, or cinnamon island
alive with lemon tints and burnished natives,

and O that we were there. But here the natives
of this gray, sunless city of Rochester
have sown whole mines of salt about their land
(bare ruined Carthage that it is) while snow
comes down as if The Flood were in the making.
Yet on that ocean Marvell called the mind

an ark sets forth which is itself the mind,
bound for some pungent green, some shore whose natives
blend coriander, cayenne, mint in making
roasts that would gladden the Earl of Rochester
with sinfulness, and melt a polar snow.
It might be well to remember that an island

was blessed heaven once, more than an island,
the grand, utopian dream of a noble mind.
In that kind climate the mere thought of snow
was but a wedding cake; the youthful natives,
unable to conceive of Rochester,
made love, and were acrobatic in the making.

Dream as we may, there is far more to making
do than some wistful reverie of an island,
especially now when hope lies with the Rochester
Gas and Electric Co., which doesn’t mind
such profitable weather, while the natives
sink, like Pompeians, under a world of snow.

The one thing indisputable here is snow,
the single verity of heaven’s making,
deeply indifferent to the dreams of the natives,
and the torn hoarding-posters of some island.
Under our igloo skies the frozen mind
Holds to one truth: it is grey, and called Rochester.

No island fantasy survives Rochester,
where to the natives destiny is snow
that is neither to our mind nor of our making.


I don't think I could pull off using the name of a city as an end word in a sestina. For foreign context, the city in question is on the south shore of Lake Ontario, and northern winds pick up lake moisture and then dump it on the city as snow. all. winter. long.

---L.

Subject quote from "Homecoming (Walter's Song)," Vienna Teng.

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