Charles Darwin, finally approaching a publisher with his Origin of Species: Publisher John Murray, fearing a financial fiasco, had balked at the 500-page manuscript, and initially asked that Darwin cut it down and focus the work on pigeons because “everybody is interested in pigeons.” From Archaeology magazine. So good I hope it’s true.
Category Archives: Dumb Stuff
I’ve been reading Varro’s De Re Rustica in the midst of my daily labors (mostly cutting and carrying wood), and seeing new mother Beyonce looking rather fit at the Superbowl last night minded me of this passage: “Ut te audii dicere,” inquit, “cum in Liburniam venisses, te vidisse matres familias eorum affere ligna et simul pueros, [...]
There are some rules in the intellectual world which are pretty reliable for detecting bloviating stupidity, or blathering solipsism (or however you want to render b.s.), and one of them is this: if someone launches a five-thousand word attack on a noted author, and never once quotes a single line from the voluminous works of [...]
Without a doubt the most striking thing about listening to the radio in Miami are the plastic surgery ads. With financing options. “Breast aug $199 a month. Lipo $299 a month. Bad credit? No problem! We specialize in people with credit problems!” There’s even a website, BeautyLoans.org.
Another display of the universe’s fearsome absurdity came on October 9th, 1992, when a meteor streaked across the entire eastern United States, breaking up over Kentucky and being filmed in Pittsburgh and elsewhere while streaking to its destiny of knocking out a taillight on a parked 1980 Chevy Malibu in a driveway in Peekskill, New [...]
A notable page from the chronicles of absurdity is the Hodges Meteorite, which on November 30th, 1954, formed a fireball visible in mid-day across three states, on its way to Talladega County, Alabama, where it crashed through the roof of a suburban home in Oak Grove. It bounced off a wooden console radio, and struck [...]
For whatever reason, I find “Kingman” one of the most appealing names of all the Route 66 towns – if I were getting a Route 66 tchotchke, I think I would try to get one from Kingman. I don’t know why.
Stumbled across the writings of Veronica Leuken, the authoress of a series of mad, mildly sadistic and occasionally humorous prophecies revealed to her by the Blessed Virgin and Jesus in – where else? – Bayside, Queens. As with all prophecies – one of the very worst habits of the Biblical tradition – they are a [...]
Just before the Battle of Actium: Of Caesar they relate that, leaving his tent and going round, while it was yet dark, to visit the ships, he met a man driving an ass, and asked him his name. He answered him that his own name was Fortunatus, “and my ass,” he said, “is called Conqueror.” [...]
From the Life of Antony. Antony, at the end of his life, his hopes shattered, said that he just wanted to end his days living the life of Timon of Athens. Plutarch thus digresses: This Timon was a citizen of Athens, and lived much about the Peloponnesian War, as may be seen by the comedies [...]