Saturday, December 29, 2012

Argentina penult

US to send troops to Africa; US to monitor Latin American/Iran relationships; US to snoop on citizens any time any way they want. A UN report says Paraguay has lowest rates in health, education, & standards of living in South America — that is to say lower than the low it is here.

Six Innovators to Watch in 2013: I particularly like bio-tatts & Puzzlebox Orbit.

I am helping Miss Vee through the cat door, in/out, out/in, Push with your head, I tell her.

Paul Kingsnorth in Orion:

the reaction of most people when I tell them I’m a scythe teacher is the same: incredulity or amusement, or polite interest, usually overlaid onto a sense that this is something quaint and rather silly that doesn’t have much place in the modern world.

. . . And so I ask myself, what, at this moment in history, would not be a waste of my time? And I arrive at five tentative answers: 

One: Withdrawing. . . . Two: Preserving nonhuman life. . . . Three: Getting your hands dirty. . . . Four: Insisting that nature has a value beyond utility. . . . Five: Building refuges.

The excellence of the screen porch is too good to be true. More pix here.

Today I wash the screen porch floor & move furniture, I sew patches
on work jeans, I ride my bike with its new Slime tubes & Mr. Tuffys.

Mike cuts my hair, I pick zapallito & cucumbers, I take ibuprofen
for muscles cramped & aching from working outside, I give my body a rest.

from the Preface of Ford Madox Ford's Collected Poems:

Is there something about the mere framing of verse, the mere sound of it in the ear, that it must at once throw its practitioner or its devotee into an artificial frame of mind? . . . [M]ust it necessarily quicken them to the perception only of the sentimental, the false, the hackneyed aspects of life?

This afternoon I finished reading Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver: Volume 1 of The Baroque Cycle. A slow start, then a must finish, although at 927 pages it wasn't quick. I soon gave up trying to make sense of 17th century history — too many nobles, mostly related. The main characters — Daniel, Jack, Eliza, Enoch the Red, Leibniz, Hooke, Newton, Huygens, William of Orange, various nobles, etc. — & the presumably largely accurate period detail of alchemy, cities, countryside, courts, crime, cyphers, intrigue, medicine, punishment, sex, slavery, travel, war, etc. make the book. Yes, I expect I'll read Volume 2 . . . but not any time soon. Maybe my next long plane ride.

For the woman who was raped for an hour on a Delhi bus & subsequently died: may each of the men & the bus driver be executed.

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