1st march 2004


Wednesday, 21st February 1872
One day Perch skinned an owl in London and from midnight till one o'clock he roamed about the streets seeking where he might bestow the body of the owl, fearing that the carcase of the owl might be found and described in the papers as the body of a fine full grown male child. Eventually he whirled the corpse over a garden wall.

Leap Thursday, 29th February 1872
There is a general belief amongst the Clyro and Langley people that I cannot travel from Radnorshire to Wiltshire without going over the sea.

Sunday, 3rd March 1872
Supper at the Castle and home under the clear sky brilliant flashing moving with the quick lights of the stars and the bands of Orion, the sweet influences of the Pleiades and Arcturus with his sons.

- Kilvert

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3rd march 2004


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10th march 2004

dix-neuvième siècle

. . . Hussonet owned a periodical.
At the moment, he printed it on pink paper; he invented hoaxes, composed puzzles, tried to stir up controversies, and even - despite the unsuitability of the premises - attempted to put on concerts.

- Flaubert, Sentimental Education

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11th march 2004



Dorset  UK, 2004  

Emerging from the taverna into the bright sunshine and gentle zephyrs of the port, one could be forgiven for believing oneself transported back to an ancient past. Perhaps Bacchus' bounty flowed somewhat too freely over luncheon, and perhaps age is beginning to throw its cloudy cape over the eyes, but look at the ships! Flecker's "swans asleep" indeed; fishing boats just such as these, with bold eyes staring from their prows, surely bobbed in the wake of Agamemnon's triremes as the Mycenean sped vengefully towards far Ilion.

     - J. L. Trowbridge, An Attic Idyll

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12th march 2004

not bad, monkey #637

A spammer writes:

shall I compare thee to a summer's cguilxn

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16th march 2004

fourteenth way

David had both his hands full, tying a double knot in his right shoelace; and his mouth was full of crust and butter; and his eyes were watching a blackbird standing in the sun catching something in a shadow; and his mind was wondering whether anything the bird caught could taste anything quite like end-of-loaf with enough butter: so Anne brushed his hair without being noticed.

from William Mayne, The Member for the Marsh

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20th march 2004

20th March 1959

Greyhound bus: Chicago - Los Angeles - Thru. Flat rich countryside. Space and sun. Red oxide barns with silver pinnacles. White timbered houses like Essex. Black and white cattle. Black purple soil layered with streaks of pale blue snow. Ochre sticks of corn stubble. China blue sky with hawks. Pink pigs burst out of the black earth like truffles. Hinky-Dinky superstores. Nothing over 100 years old.

Amerika du hast es besser
Als unser continent das alte
Hast keine verfallenen Schlösser
Und keine Bassalt.

Approaching Omaha. The fascination of waiting rooms where people are organized for doing nothing - for waiting. The air of expectation: of probing contacts. Curious notice in Atlantic: FOR SALE - NIGHT CRAWLERS. And small blue signs eveywhere which say 'EVACUATION ZONE' (from Indians or H-bombs?), and the extraordinary prevalence of mortuaries, neon-lit and glittering like cinemas.

- Keith Vaughan, Journal

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24th march 2004

. . . it struck me forcefully (again) that the more 'richly connected' we make our world the more vulnerable we make it. Empowerment cuts both ways: as the complexity of things increases, so does the ability of an increasingly minute number of people to destabilize it. This, it strikes me, is the real limit on development - that we will accept the threat of terrorism as a limit on how complex we make things. So the Utopian techie vision of a richly connected future will not happen - not because we can't (technically) do it, but because we will recognize its vulnerability and shy away from it.

So I expect a limit to be reached, a sense of pulling back from what is possible. and this will be followed by waves of nostalgia for the future that could have been . . . a sense of disappointment with ourselves - perhaps like the sense that pervaded Europe on the failure of the League of Nations.

- Brian Eno, email to Stewart Brand, March 1995

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27th march 2004


There is an interesting theory, developed by Richard Ford, nineteenth-century travel writer and historian, and supported by Arnold Toynbee, that both the Spaniards and the Berbers are Punic people. Ford finds partial proof in their mutual fondness for the chickpea, and he points out that the Punic love of chickpeas so pleased the Roman playwright Plautus (c. 200 BC) that he introduced a chickpea-eating character speaking Punic, which is comparable to Shakespeare's use of a toasted-cheese-eating Welshman speaking Welsh.

- Paula Wolfert, Good Food from Morocco.

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29th march 2004

a desmid's life


I miss my microscope.*

The tiny particles in the vacuoles at each end of a Closterium cell exhibit Brownian motion. No one knows their function, or if they have one. Like stuff that rattles around in your head - nice to look at, but pointless.

* It was lost in a move between houses and never seen again.

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The golf course: a landscape beloved of small mammals, light entertainers and mushrooms.

- Jonathan Meades

A horse is a camel designed by a fool.

- Tuareg proverb