Monthly Archives: July 2008


Sentences like this renew one’s faith in humanity:

Because of parallax, the likelihood of a solar eclipse depends not only on a syzygy’s nodal elongation, but also on whether it occurs north or south of the ecliptic, as was recognized in antiquity.

(See Freeth et al. in Nature, via xefer, where there’s also a link to a 44 page (!) Supplement)

Not irrelevant to the present moment

Tripping along in my leisurely reading of Guy Davenport’s Geography of the Imagination (which, by the way, is mostly about poets and other artsy rapscallions), I came upon this marvelous bit of invective:

True, it was a year in which the country had to turn out a pack of scoundrels, porch climbers, thieves, bullies, liars, and bores from the Executive Branch of the government, a year in which the sludge of usury which forms the basis of our economy began to slither and lurch, a year indistinguishable from any other in the national contempt for the arts. (pg 273)

(Davenport refers to 1974, but…)