Friday, June 17, 2005
Here's Halgerda tessellata, displaying the cosmopolitan insouciance that has made it the envy of boulevardiers from Manitoba to Kwajalein.
I may be able to write some actual posts in the next few days. I'm tantalizingly close to being done with my nightmare project, and must wait for a couple of files to arrive before I can continue, so it's entirely possible that I'll get back to a slightly more normal posting schedule over the weekend. What's far more exciting is the thought that I'll soon get back to reading my accustomed daily blogs. I've missed them!
Thanks for bearing with me in the meantime. I appreciate the kind e-mails I've gotten!
Posted by Phila at 3:05 PM
Friday, June 10, 2005
Hypselodoris infucata in the house, y'all!
As for me, I can't quite decide whether to drink rat poison, or get back to work.
I know...I'll get back to work so that I can afford rat poison! Ha!
Enough of this gay badinage. Have a nice weekend, friends!
Thursday, June 09, 2005
For the past year, I've read about two hours' worth of news and blogs per day, by cycling through roughly sixty bookmarked pages. I haven't had time to do that for the last couple of weeks, and on scrolling through my accustomed sites this morning I felt completely overwhelmed. My impulse, frankly, was to run away from it all. I feel like I have a better understanding of the public's lack of interest in current events.
It's been nice, for instance, not to think about H5N1. Effect Measure recommends a new site called EPIDEMIca; I second the recommendation. It's very...thorough. Distressingly so. But the information is presented responsibly and skeptically.
Lately I've been thinking about the Republicans' nonsensical claim that we must fight terrorists in Iraq, so we don't have to fight them here. It'd be nice if we took that approach to epidemic disease. Given a choice between spending $300 billion of taxpayer money on the Iraq War, and $300 billion on global flu surveillance and research, I think I would've been tempted to pick the latter.
It's also been nice not to be exposed to stories like this one from Pharyngula, which suggests that the military is coming perilously close to impressment, a practice that we once went to war to stop.
And I've done just fine without being exposed to metaphors for modern society like this dead-end fire exit.
On the other hand, where but the Internet could I find pictures like this?
In other news, I have a family of pacific slope flycatchers in my carport, including four hatchlings whose tiny beaks stand at attention when I open the car door. I'm going to try to post photos of 'em in the next couple of days. (Though if I don't cut my bamboo soon, I may never be able to leave the house again.)
Posted by Phila at 9:30 AM
Sunday, June 05, 2005
I thought I was done with book blogging after the last time, but when Revere writes me a prescription, I'm obliged to swallow it.
Number of books I own
Who's counting? My guess is roughly 6000 - 8000, but I'm constantly buying and selling 'em. One thing I can say for certain is that there's not enough room in my house for them. They're piled absolutely everywhere. It's obsessive behavior, and no good can come of it.
Last book I bought
If I could buy one book at a time, I'd be a better person. Here's the last batch I picked up:
Salt Dreams by William DeBuys and Joan Myers. This is a handsome book on the Salton Sea/Imperial Valley region, which is one of California's many lovely disaster areas. I've read about half of it, and it's pretty great.
Cold War Hothouses. This is a collection of essays on cold war culture and technology, which I bought mainly for its article on the Mission 66 national parks project. Some of the other essays look interesting, too.
Geographies of Exclusion by David Sibley. I read the chapter on "the exclusion of knowledge" and was fascinated by its brief discussion of "map-flapping," an 1885 method of transmitting mapped data by telegraph which was essentially a very, very slow form of fax machine. I had to buy it just for that; not sure how the rest of it'll be.
Civil Society and Fanaticism by Dominique Colas. The title pretty much gives this one away. It seemed timely, so into the pile it went.
Lichtenburg's The Waste Books. This is one of those books I've picked up many times over the years, but something in it always puts me off (I generally don't go in for Gnomic Utterance even when it's not trite). But I had money left on the credit slip and there's a nice new edition out, so what the heck. What sold me was line 98, which says nothing more than "A means of blowing out teeth with gunpowder."
I suspect I'll end up throwing it across the room at least once, all the same. Fuck aphorism, and (almost) all who sail with her!
Last book I read
It was either Giorgio Agamben's State of Exception or Gershom Scholem's Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship.
Five books that mean a lot to me
This'll be utterly redundant, but just about anything by Marilynne Robinson, Barbara Comyns, Tove Jansson, Herman Melville, or Simone Weil.
There you have it.
Now, I have to pass this on to five other bloggers...let's see...
Joseph at PublicOrgTheory
Wayne at Niches
Eli at Multi Medium
Hedwig at Living the Scientific Life
Monkeygrinder at Peak Energy
Posted by Phila at 1:52 AM
Friday, June 03, 2005
Good heavens. Another week gone by already? Time flies when your workday starts at 8 AM and runs 'til 3 AM!
My recent work schedule may have me teetering vertiginously on the edge of mental and physical collapse, but I hope you'll note that I still found time to ply you with this intimate (yet tasteful!) snapshot of Chromodoris lochi doing its hermaphroditic thing.
As for Friday Hope Blogging...suffice it to say that I hope I can write 200 pages in five days!
In summation: God damn everything but the circus.
Posted by Phila at 4:52 PM