Saturday, May 26, 2012

Various & Sundry, May 26 Mostly images and literary snark

Whew! It's been a busy week. I'm glad to take a moment to dump post lovingly about some of the interesting things I saw in passing this week.

I missed the solar eclipse last weekend, but someone took advantage of it rather romantically.

Please note that this is a composite photo; they weren't actually able to get this in one shot. Still cool, though.

Are you part of a book group? I'm not. But if I were, these are some of the questions I'd be asking.  For example,
3. Several people have noted key differences in structure between the modern bestselling novel and commercially successful classic literature. Who do you think these people are trying to impress? Can we all acknowledge that these people went to Brown so we can move on?
Questions like these are the reason I'm not part of a book group.

On the other hand, I have nothing but the highest admiration for Philosophy Bro who reads and summarizes philosophy texts in frat speak. Behold, one of the less profane sections of Plato's Apology. (Actually, it's not one of the less profane sections, because I couldn't find one. So, yeah, bad language, you are forewarned.)
I'm not going to disobey the gods just to avoid death; why the fuck would I take the risk into account when trying to decide whether or not to do the right thing? Were the soldiers of Troy inferior because they said, 'Death? I don't give a shit, as long as justice happens on the way.' Spoiler Alert: No. Besides, I don't know shit about what happens after death, so how can I be afraid of it? You want me to not do a thing that I know is awesome, just so some mysterious thing I know nothing about won't happen? Yeah, fuck that noise.
That is exactly how I imagine Socrates talked.

I want to know what Socrates would have to say to the frat boys who might have accidentally burned down their frat house when they engaged in the year-end frivolity of burning their textbooks. Oops.

You know who else was a smart-ass? Mark Twain, who had this to say when he learned the library allowed children to read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn:
I am greatly troubled by what you say. I wrote Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn for adults exclusively, and it always distresses me when I find that boys and girls have been allowed access to them. The mind that becomes soiled in youth can never again be washed clean; I know this by my own experience, and to this day I cherish an unappeasable bitterness against the unfaithful guardians of my young life, who not only permitted but compelled me to read an unexpurgated Bible through before I was 15 years old. None can do that and ever draw a clean sweet breath again this side of the grave. Ask that young lady—she will tell you so.
Although I enjoyed the obituary about the competitive croquet player, obit of the week goes to Evelyn Johnson, aka MamaBird, who logged more hours flying than any other woman and died at the age of 102.
The record for hours flown is held by Ed Long, who flew more than 64,000 hours surveying power lines and whose last words, before his death in 1999, were supposed to have been: “Don’t let that woman beat me.” 
She made a valiant effort to do so, despite the onset of glaucoma and a car crash in 2006 which forced doctors to amputate her leg — she complained that it was not the flying that was the problem, but “getting the prosthesis into the small planes”. Though eventually forced to give up before beating Long’s record, she continued to manage the airport until the age of 101.
That's someone to admire.

Phillip Oliver, who blogs at Dirt Therapy, has been posting lots of wonderful pictures of gardens in Asheville this week. I particularly loved the ones from Christopher Mello's garden with its "dazzling array of bottle trees and found objects including old rusty shovels and Tonka trucks (yes Tonka trucks!)."

I found another great photographer this week: a high school classmate of mine who now does wonderful digital photography, mostly close-ups of flowers, such as the one below. I encourage you to check them out and enjoy them all.
Peas, baby by Glo Photography (glodigitalphoto) on
Peas, baby by Glo Photography

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!


it's margaret said...

I LOVE this post! Thanks!
WV is: chngthe commission
change the commission

LKT said...

That ranks way up there among word verification wonderfulness.

Thanks, Margaret!

Nysa said...

Thank you for sharing the obit of Evelyn Johnson. As a student pilot, I am inspired!

I found your blog by searching on the United Pickle tag painting by Maira Kalman but am enjoying your other posts too. Esp. the meatball sandwich sign and this one.