2016 — 1 January: Friday — rabbits!

And a happy new year1 to anyone reading...

Hence "taciturn"?

Somewhat like "laconic", in fact. Source and snippet:

Edward Gibbon, known to slay fellow historians in acidulous footnotes, spoke with unremitting praise of Tacitus, referring to "the discerning eye" and "masterly pencil" and calling him "the first of historians who applied the science of philosophy to the study of facts." Gibbon added that "the expressive conciseness of his descriptions has deserved to exercise the diligence of innumerable antiquarians, and to excite the genius and penetration of the philosophic historians of our own times." High marks, these, from the toughest of all historical graders.

Joseph Epstein in Weekly Standard

Pencil? Really? I was unaware it had been invented quite so early. Can Professor Henry Petroski help? I recall he wrote an entire book about pencils. No luck: even my brand of focused enthusiasm has rebelled, and drawn a (non-pencil) line beyond which lurks his no-doubt masterly (but as yet still-unacquired) exposition "The Pencil". No matter.

Actually, I've enjoyed three of his other books...

Petroski trio

... the first of which, collecting various essays published between 1982 and 1992, is worth it purely for his splendid capsule history of the slide rule. In 1996 I borrowed a bit from that for an IBM Hursley Xmas piece in the staff magazine:

The computer is both blessing and curse for it makes possible calculations once beyond the reach of human endurance while at the same time also making them virtually beyond the hope of human verification.

Date: 1992

True then. Still true today. [Pause] How about my first breakfast of 2016? I'm starving.

Switching away from...

... my "traditional" New Year's Day Viennese dollops of Strauss, I'm now playing (for only the third time) the album my honorary niece Friedericka assured me I would enjoy:

Saltatio Mortis

It's still growing on me!

Four years ago...

... I followed a hypertext trail that culminated on the 'Daily Mail' website. All I saw was a huge range of 'news stories' about people I don't know, often risking skin cancer in sunny locations, or demonstrating recent weight loss, or boyfriend change. Sometimes all three at the same time. I was reminded of that by this:

a right way to write?

I also firmly believe in Cohen's "2: read it out loud". Any fluency in my own writing stems entirely from my first "book" — it was mostly a series of scripts that I ended up reading out loud in a recording studio. (It's a long story!)

The deadly combination...

... of an oxygenating denture cleaning tablet and a 'biological' laundry tablet mixed in very hot water has, in 10 minutes or so, restored my tea strainer to apparently pristine condition. I wonder if it would also work on my glass cup? I have to admit I'm a little disappointed by the way that has become somewhat less than sparkling in just over three months.

Just how much rain...

... can one sky hold, I wonder?



1  I shall let the noisy idiots hereabouts finish letting off all their fireworks before I head for bed, methinks :-)