Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Best comic ever! Sweet justice:

That toad isn't even trying to cross the road. Ha!

Βρέκεκεκεξ κοάξ κοάξ!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Here's an amusing toy: I Write Like. Drop a few paragraphs of your text in there, and it claims to analyze it and tell you what author matches your style. Of course, I seldom write like anything at all these days, but that's beside the point. My old Illinois River piece yielded up David Foster Wallace (doesn't mean much to me); my more recent discussion of tamarisk beetles gave Nabokov (thanks, but I don't think so); but my Gila River trip report yielded what is surely the correct answer (Iä ! Iä !)

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

The first five paragraphs of Call of Cthulhu gets you Arthur C. Clark. A few more paragraphs got us there, but "cyclopean" was a dead giveaway.

Via Atomic Nerds (sorry about the Atwood).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

World's first illustrated Christian bible discovered at Ethiopian monastery

The world's earliest illustrated Christian book has been saved by a British charity which located it at a remote Ethiopian monastery.

The incredible Garima Gospels are named after a monk who arrived in the African country in the fifth century and is said to have copied them out in just one day.

Beautifully illustrated, the colours are still vivid and thanks to the Ethiopian Heritage Fund have been conserved.

Abba Garima arrived from Constantinople in 494 AD and legend has it that he was able to copy the gospels in a day because God delayed the sun from setting.

The incredible relic has been kept ever since in the Garima Monastery near Adwa in the north of the country, which is in the Tigray region at 7,000 feet.

Experts believe it is also the earliest example of book binding still attached to the original pages....

Though the texts had been mentioned by the occasional traveller since the 1950s, it had been thought they dated from the 11th century at the earliest.

Carbon dating, however, gives a date between 330 and 650 - which tantalisingly overlaps the date Abba Garima arrived in the country.
Apropos of Ethiopia, an Abyssinian member of our congregation recently told us about a monastery she'd visited several times in Eritrea. According to local tradition, the monastery's founding saint wished to settle atop a sheer plateau, but couldn't climb the necessary cliff. He prayed to the Archangel Michael, who kindly sent a giant python. The snake first offered to take them up in its jaws, but the monks would have none of it. So the helpful python, doubtless rolling its eyes, reversed directions and took them up in its tail.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A conversation about apples:

Emily: The sweet peas are unchanged. Cattle-show is tomorrow. The coops and committees are passing now...They are picking the Baldwin apples.

Vincent: For such a child, that distant time
Was close as apple-trees to climb,
And apples crashed among the trees
Half Baldwin, half Hesperides

Annie: While Baldwins have been used for cider for more than two hundred years, and have received good marks in the past, several experiments have shown the juice to be flat and insipid.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seen near Riggins, Idaho:

This Highway Adopted by The Yahweh 666 Warning Assembly

It was up the road. Also:

Police have arrested a 74-year-old woman who is accused of repeatedly dumping maple syrup, corn syrup, ketchup and mayonnaise into a library book drop in Idaho's capital city... [She] was a person of interest in at least 10 other condiment-related incidents


Monday, July 12, 2010

The sun shone. We made hay. Now I am tired.