July 25, 2008

Not quite Literary Scenery VI…

Monkey
... but an amusing line from Futurama.

“All I ever wanted was to be a monkey of moderate intelligence. That’s why I’m transferring to business school.”


May 09, 2008

Literary Scenery V

Follow-up to Literary Scenery IV from Lahari's

From Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ 100 years of solitude:

”’The world must be all fucked up,’ he said then, ‘when men travel first class and literature goes as freight.’ That was the last thing he was heard to say.”


November 24, 2007

Literary Scenery IV

Follow-up to The elusive lotus from Lahari's

From David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas:

  • “The better the organized the state, the duller its humanity.”
  • ”... for though the humanity’s topsoil is fertile with talent, only one seed in ten thousand will ever flower – for want of discipline.”
  • “I said something about reading not being true knowledge, that true knowledge without xperience is food without sustenance.”

March 18, 2007

Is every snowflake truly unique?

“No two snowflakes are identical” – The first thing I was ever told about snowflakes.

Being young and impressionable, I was very dazzled by it and dutifully spread the word; after which, I filed it away in that part of my brain reserved for useless but amazing facts.

The first time I experienced snow, I was 19 and much too enraptured with the actual snow to dwell on the minute details. The next, love waived all practical thoughts from my head and the last was a day of returning to missed childhoods and revelling in the excess.

The inclination to question this fact never having risen before today, a particularly lazy Sunday when snow was the thought of the day and not the catalyst for a string of new thoughts and experiences, it lay dormant and unexposed to other facts I had learnt through the years.

So, now I pose the question, “why is it that they are considered unique?”

The general argument, I believe, is that no two snowflakes are formed under the exact same conditions, i.e. temperature, humidity, wind, dust, etc. However, surely the commutations of these give you a finite number of possibilities and there are an infinite number of snowflakes, as one assumes there will always be one more snow. Even if this were not the case, have you seen the number of flakes in just one shower? The number of snowflakes must vastly outnumber the commutations.

Furthermore, no one has proven this to be fact and it is probably not possible to do so.

So, not only have I been duped as a child, but I’m part of the conspiracy in my role of ‘word-spreader’. It’s only fair that I bring my doubts to the attention of those I have plied with this misinformation.


March 02, 2007

Angkor Wat

AngkorWat


The largest religious structure in the world, Angkor Wat is a temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Today, it is a buddhist temple, but it was built in the early 12th century as a Hindu temple. This fact is confirmed by its design; the five central towers and surrounding moat representing the five-peaked Mount Meru, abode of the Hindu gods, and the cosmic ocean.

Remarkably well-preserved despite the years of unrest and the encroaching jungle, Angkor Wat has become a symbol of Cambodia, taking centre place on the national flag. This temple not only impresses with its size and design, but the bas-reliefs covering all four outer walls of the temple and the intricately carved apsaras adorning the inner walls.

The apsaras are celestial dancers who, myth has it, danced for the kings of Cambodia. They are a key feature of many a Cambodian temple. Their presence in a place of worship may seem odd, but considering it represents the abode of the gods, perhaps less so. The apsaras of Angkor Wat are considered the most beautiful due to their slimmer and taller figures and generally complement the magnificence of the structure. The fact that some are carved in enormous single blocks of sandstone adds to the amazement one feels when looking up at Angkor Wat and wondering on the hows and whys of this construction.

Apsara

February 03, 2007

Oh, to be blessed with an awesome voice…

Jeremy Irons

From http://xkcd.com


January 12, 2007

The elusive lotus

Follow-up to Literary Scenery III from Lahari's

From Daniel Mason's The Piano Tuner:

"My men went on and presently met the Lotus-Eaters, nor did these Lotus-Eaters have any thoughts of destroying  our companions, but they only gave them lotus to taste of.  But any of them who ate the honey-sweet fruit of lotus was unwilling to take any message back, or to go away, but they wanted to stay there with the lotus-eating people, feeding on lotus, and forget the way home."


November 16, 2006

Lyon and the Rhone

Lyon and the Rhone


August 24, 2006

Cats and Dogs

It rained

I’ve come to realise that even though it hardly ever stops raining in England, it is hardly ever referred to as anything other than “rain”, even when it is clearly less (occassionally, more) than actual rain.


Where I come from, we almost never have anything less than monsoons, nevertheless we have a multitude of words and phrases for the different types of rain, both in English and our language. It makes it that much more interesting.


I’m curious to know any interesting ways of describing rain. English is a pretty extensive language; it’s a shame to waste it all in just one word. And, how about some foreign phrases. They probably lose some essence in the translation, but it would be nice to have an idea.


Go on, indulge me.


I couldn’t have picked a more appropriate moment to publish this – just as the sun came out!


August 02, 2006

Honey does it again!

Follow-up to The best discovery in the world! from Lahari's

HoneyHeal

Surely this warrants a Nobel prize for the discoverer, if only we knew who it was. Perhaps it could be awarded to the beautiful architects of such goodness. Unfortunately, I hear they aren’t very popular. However, it could just be a case of getting a better PR team.

This certainly won’t help. Revenge


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