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16th September 2014

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Feet that feel the sway of it

I stand there. Eyes mist to the wind feel the fresh rush past. Up my nose. That sting. That new day it’s so early in the morning. I see the white and clear. Rising up of the waters. Running round my feet. My gravel feet. My earthbound feet that feel the sway of it. Water. Of the world that’s changing now no changed. It’s changed and this is looking back. The past a flash front.

Eimear McBride, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (2013)

Tagged: bookswritingwaterliteratureIrish literatureEimear McBride

13th September 2014

Photo

Henri Rousseau, View of the Ile Saint-Louis seen from Port Saint-Nicolas, 1888. Oil on canvas, 46 × 55 cm.

Henri Rousseau, View of the Ile Saint-Louis seen from Port Saint-Nicolas, 1888. Oil on canvas, 46 × 55 cm.

Tagged: paintingartParisFranceSeineHenri Rousseauart historyfine arts

10th September 2014

Post with 5 notes

John Montague, A Grafted Tongue

'A Grafted Tongue'

(Dumb,
bloodied, the severed
head now chokes to
speak another tongue —

As in
a long suppressed dream,
some stuttering garb-
led ordeal of my own)

An Irish
child weeps at school
repeating its English.
After each mistake

The master
gouges another mark
on the tally stick
hung about its neck

Like a bell
on a cow, a hobble
on a straying goat.
To slur and stumble

In shame
the altered syllables
of your own name:
to stray sadly home

And find
the turf-cured width
of your parents’ hearth
growing slowly alien:

In cabin
and field, they still
speak the old tongue.
You may greet no one.

To grow
a second tongue, as
harsh a humiliation
as twice to be born.

Decades later
that child’s grandchild’s
speech stumbles over lost
syllables of an old order.

—John Montague

Tagged: poetryIrelandIrishGaeliclanguagehistoryIrish poetryJohn Montague

9th September 2014

Photoset with 2 notes

The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

Tagged: filmsmovieschildrentrainstreesSpainSpanish cinema

7th September 2014

Post with 1 note

On intentionality in natural systems

[S]ystems, and especially a system as vast as Gaia, are all but impossible to discuss without employing purposive language. One asks why something behaves as it does within a system, and the answer automatically comes out “in order to.” The parts within a system act as if they had a sense of the whole. We have no other intelligible way to discuss such matters. Critics might argue that we are committing the empathic fallacy by reading intentionality into nature. They overlook the possibility that, first of all, nature has read intentionality into us. We see what it was given to us to see.

Theodore Roszak, The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology (1992)

Tagged: booksnatureecologysystemssystems theoryGaiaphilosophyecophilosophyTheodore Roszak

5th September 2014

Photoset with 6 notes

Tagged: filmsmoviessci-fiSolarisscience fictionandrei tarkovsky

5th September 2014

Post with 15 notes

5 billion years from now

Around 5 billion years from now, give or take, the sun will expand into a red giant, absorbing all the inner planets back into its fiery womb. At that point, water ice will thaw on Saturn’s moon Titan, where the temperature is currently 290°F, and some interesting things may eventually crawl out of its methane lakes. One of them, pawing through organic silt, might come across the Huygens probe that parachuted there from the Cassini space mission in January, 2005, which, during its descent, and for 90 minutes before its batteries died, sent us pictures of steambed-like channels cutting down from orange, pebbled highlands to Titan’s sand-dune seas.

Sadly, whatever finds Huygens won’t have any clue where it came from, or that we once existed. Bickering among project directors at NASA nixed a plan to include a graphic explanation that Jon Lomberg designed, this time encased in a diamond that would preserve a shred of our story at least 5 billion years – long enough for evolution to provide another audience.

Alan Weisman, The World Without Us (2007)

Tagged: futurefuturismbooksspaceSaturnCassinievolutionlifespace explorationAlan Weisman

3rd September 2014

Photo reblogged from so long as it's words with 2,333 notes

solongasitswords:

allthingslinguistic:

Writing Skills: XKCD is on point about language again.
Here’s a study from this year on kids who use abbreviations while texting, and here’s a summary of previous studies: 

The first study, published in 2008, showed that 11 and 12-year-olds in Britain who used more textisms — whether misspelled words (“ppl,” instead of “people”), grammatically incorrect substitutions (“2” for “to” or “too”), wrong verb forms (“he do” instead of “he does”), or missing punctuation — compared to properly written words tended to have slightly better scores on standardized grammar and writing tests and had better spelling, after controlling for test scores in other subjects and other factors. A 2009 study, conducted by some of the same researchers on 88 kids between 10 and 12 years old, found similar associations between high textism use and slightly better reading ability.

Hovertext from the xkcd comic: I’d like to find a corpus of writing from children in a non-self-selected sample (e.g. handwritten letters to the president from everyone in the same teacher’s 7th grade class every year)—and score the kids today versus the kids 20 years ago on various objective measures of writing quality. I’ve heard the idea that exposure to all this amateur peer practice is hurting us, but I’d bet on the generation that conducts the bulk of their social lives via the written word over the generation that occasionally wrote book reports and letters to grandma once a year, any day.

Once again we find that texting is not ruining language! Huzzah!

Though I sympathise with the gist of the cartoon, its message is confused: it conflates great writing with high scores in grammar or spelling tests – which begs the question – and it also mixes up frequency of texting with the use of txtspk.

solongasitswords:

allthingslinguistic:

Writing Skills: XKCD is on point about language again.

Here’s a study from this year on kids who use abbreviations while texting, and here’s a summary of previous studies: 

The first study, published in 2008, showed that 11 and 12-year-olds in Britain who used more textisms — whether misspelled words (“ppl,” instead of “people”), grammatically incorrect substitutions (“2” for “to” or “too”), wrong verb forms (“he do” instead of “he does”), or missing punctuation — compared to properly written words tended to have slightly better scores on standardized grammar and writing tests and had better spelling, after controlling for test scores in other subjects and other factors. A 2009 study, conducted by some of the same researchers on 88 kids between 10 and 12 years old, found similar associations between high textism use and slightly better reading ability.

Hovertext from the xkcd comic: I’d like to find a corpus of writing from children in a non-self-selected sample (e.g. handwritten letters to the president from everyone in the same teacher’s 7th grade class every year)—and score the kids today versus the kids 20 years ago on various objective measures of writing quality. I’ve heard the idea that exposure to all this amateur peer practice is hurting us, but I’d bet on the generation that conducts the bulk of their social lives via the written word over the generation that occasionally wrote book reports and letters to grandma once a year, any day.

Once again we find that texting is not ruining language! Huzzah!

Though I sympathise with the gist of the cartoon, its message is confused: it conflates great writing with high scores in grammar or spelling tests – which begs the question – and it also mixes up frequency of texting with the use of txtspk.

Tagged: cartoonsxkcdtextinglanguagewritinggrammartxtspk

Source: allthingslinguistic

22nd August 2014

Photo with 66 notes

Tagged: dogsethicshumourphilosophy

22nd August 2014

Post

A hedge of thorns around the palace

A large hedge of thorns soon grew round the palace, and every year it became higher and thicker, till at last the whole palace was surrounded and hid, so that not even the roof or the chimneys could be seen. But there went a report through all the land of the beautiful sleeping Rose-Bud (for so was the king’s daughter called); so that from time to time several kings’ sons came, and tried to break through the thicket into the palace. This they could never do; for the thorns and bushes laid hold of them as it were with hands, and there they stuck fast and died miserably.

From ‘Rose-Bud’ in Grimms’ Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm (Penguin Popular Classics, 1996)

Tagged: booksliteratureallegoryplantsfairy talesBrothers Grimm