Monday, September 28, 2015

a wily kernel coinage

(image by Steilos Faitakis via surlaterre dot me)


"THE ANGEL that presided o’er my birth
Said 'Little creature, form’d 1 of joy and mirth,
Go, love without the help of anything on earth.' "

William Blake

Ghosts & semi-ghosts.

"I am eternally grateful to Dorothy Day for conveying to me the nicest poetical compliment I have ever received. She had been in jail in the old Women’s Prison at Eighth Street and Sixth Avenue for protesting against air-raid warnings. There the prisoners got a shower once a week. It so happened that a poem of mine had recently appeared in The New Yorker, of which the last line ran: 'Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.' One of Dorothy Day’s co-in-mates was a whore who went off to her weekly shower quoting it. 'My God,' I thought, 'I haven’t written in vain.' " --W H Auden

How to clean a hat.

Jack Vance's Big Planet (& its sequel Showboat World) takes place on a planet that has "30 times Earth's volume" & only "one-third its specific gravity." I don't know if anyone has actually run the figures in the ensuing 60-odd years, but i get a radius of 1.92757321 times Earth & a mass of 2.38324146 for this redoubtable sphere. Its gravity works out to be 0.642524403. Clearly a metal-poor system, there are none quite so small among the known candidate stars; however, tau Ceti & Kapteyn's Star are in the ballpark...

For Stanislav Petrov Day.



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