Tag Archives: winter

Gleanings: January 10, 2013

The Cold Hard Facts of Freezing to Death | Outdoor Adventure | OutsideOnline.com

But for all scientists and statisticians now know of freezing and its physiology, no one can yet predict exactly how quickly and in whom hypothermia will strike–and whether it will kill when it does. The cold remains a mystery, more prone to fell men than women, more lethal to the thin and well muscled than to those with avoirdupois, and least forgiving to the arrogant and the unaware.

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Chris Ware’s Newtown-Inspired Cover for The New Yorker : The New Yorker

As parents and citizens, we entrust our children not only to the safety of schools but also to the nurturing and cultivated environment of schools and teachers. Education is the very foundation of civilization and cannot be undermined or undersold. That we now have to somehow consider an unchecked population of firearms as part of this equation seems absolutely ludicrous and terrifying.

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More Guns = More Killing – Elisabeth Rosenthal

I recently visited some Latin American countries that mesh with the N.R.A.’s vision of the promised land, where guards with guns grace every office lobby, storefront, A.T.M., restaurant and gas station. It has not made those countries safer or saner.

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Victoria Beale Reviews New Books By Alain De Botton And Philippa Perry | The New Republic

Then there is the relentless urge to lean on those who’ve proved themselves more “interesting.” To explain how sex declines within marriage de Botton writes, “repudiation of lovemaking [by a married couple] may thus be likened to a mountain climber’s or a runner’s not wishing to luxuriate in the lyricism and hypnotic grandeur of a great poem, perhaps by Walt Whitman or Tennyson, just before scaling a peak or starting a marathon.” Everything is wrong here, the logic, the assumptions, the contortions to mention Whitman and Tennyson. Not even a quote, just a shout-out to ensure that we are aware of every last volume on the author’s bookshelf.

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Then I recorded Space Oddity…

“Then I recorded ‘Space Oddity’ and made some money and spent it which everybody liked.”

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The wrong goodbye of Barnes and Noble » MobyLives

In short, B&N’s scorched earth policy of the 1990s has ultimately left us with, well, scorched earth.

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a haiku for Eleanor Arnason

Vultures circle low,
seeking Winter’s thawed corpses;
birds return in Spring.


One of my favorite science fiction writers is Eleanor Arnason; if you haven’t read her, I highly recommend the short stories The Grammarian’s Five Daughters and Knapsack Poems, and the novel Ring of Swords. Her work is smart and insightful, very much in the tradition of Ursula Le Guin.

Also smart and insightful is her occasional blog, where she writes about science fiction, politics, economics, and nature. She lives in Minneapolis, so her observations about the changing seasons are a treat for me to read; she notices things that I don’t.

Today she noticed that the vultures had returned to the skies over our rivers, and offhandedly noted that “[i]t calls for a haiku, but I can’t think of one right now.” Though I’ve noted with my recent string of juvenilia that I gave up poetry about twenty years ago, I managed to come up with a little something, which I’ve inflicted above.

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