Friday, December 08, 2023

White Goldfinch in the Winterberry



  1. Howdy! We have been so wildly busy with the flooring, Christmas shopping and prepping for our trip to Maine that I haven't even finished reading the last thread yet. Hopefully, I can catch up while Wil is driving on Friday. Home Sunday and more flooring on Monday. Not moved into the new room quite yet. Almost. Take care all.

  2. A small collection of news stories.
    William Saletan: Cynical, Nasty, and Nuts; What I saw in the fourth Republican debate. [Click]

    The Texas Historical Commission Removed Books on Slavery From Plantation Gift Shops [Click] “An agency spokesperson claimed that the move had nothing to do with politics. Internal emails show otherwise.”

    GOP’s Brutal Math: Trump Could Secure Nomination Before Conviction [Click] “Looking at the primary schedule, Republicans see the party handcuffing itself to a candidate on the verge of politically toxic criminal convictions.”
    Well, maybe he could be convicted before gaining the GOP nomination. Or have a stroke, either before or after gaining the nomination.

    U.S. and U.K. [launch effort to] Disrupt Russian Political Cyber Campaign [Click]

    Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.7% [Click]

    Woman arrested over alleged arson attempt on Martin Luther King home [Click] After local police responded to the incident, several relatives of the woman also arrived, appearing “very distraught.” The woman’s relatives said they had been looking for her using the GPS signal on her phone, adding that she was a veteran with mental health problems.

    McDonald’s to take on Starbucks with retro-style stores called CosMc’s [Click] “Retro-style?” Weird, more like.

    [video] This is how the war in Ukraine saved the S military industry [Click]

    1. Correction: "S military industry" should read "US military industry.

    2. My eyes saw "US" to begin with. They more and more tend to see what I expect them to see.

  3. How to learn Old English from scratch (and why you should!) [Click] Hmmmm.... So Republicans won't understand our conversations? Oh, they already don't, you say?

    1. I can tell you from experience, Old English isn't for the faint of heart.

    2. whan that aprille with his showers soote. . . .


      Also I remember false breaks, where napron becomes an apron and a napkin becomes an apkin with the opposite type of break. . . .


    4. "whan that aprille with his showers soote" is from The Canterbury Tales; Middle English. As long as I set aside any concerns about spelling and pronunciation and just read it out loud, it seems reasonably clear to me. For Old English, try Beowulf on for size:

      Hwæt. We Gardena in geardagum,
      þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,
      hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
      Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum,
      monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah,
      egsode eorlas. Syððan ærest wearð
      feasceaft funden, he þæs frofre gebad,
      weox under wolcnum, weorðmyndum þah,
      oðþæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra
      ofer hronrade hyran scolde,
      gomban gyldan. þæt wæs god cyning.

      Beowulf is probably not a good place to start, though, because it is a highly developed form of poetry quite unlike any we are familiar with, chock-a-block with allusions. With respect to unfamiliarity of form, it is like classic Latin poetry-- unlike any we know today. Historical texts might be a better place to start study of Old English.

  4. 1PM here; sun just beginning to peek through the clouds a bit, light breeze, feels like there must be snow in the mountains. The high temperature is predicted to slowly rise over the next few days. We are going to skip gardening today.