Saturday, July 28, 2007
'Lord of the Universe, Your humble servants Samuel Pepys and Daniel Waterhouse pray that you shall bless and keep the soul of the late Bishop of Chester, John Wilkins, who, wanting no further purification in the Kidney of the World, went to your keeping twenty years since. And we give praise and thanks to You for having given us the rational faculties by which the procedure of lithotomy was invented, enabling us, who are further from perfection, to endure longer in this world, urinating freely as the occasion warrants. Let our urine-streams, gleaming and scintillating in the sun's radiance as they pursue their parabolic trajectories earthward, be as an outward and visible sign of Your Grace, even as the knobbly stones hidden in our coat pockets remind us that we are all earth, and we are all sinners. Do you have anything to add, Mr Waterhouse?'
(Neal Stephenson, The Confusion, p500)
I am reading Stephenson's vast Baroque Cycle, made up of the books Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World, historic novels based around the people and the times of the Scientific Revolution -- and I've been reading them for several months -- with something approaching sheer delight.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The countryside = No City Dust Here
Astronomers = Moon starers
Evangelist = Evil's Agent
The cockroach = Cook, catch her!
The Morse Code = Here Come Dots
Slot Machines = Cash Lost in 'em
Conversation = Voices Rant On
Software = Swear Oft
Eleven plus two = Twelve plus one
The Meaning of Life = The fine game of nil
To be or not to be: that is the question, whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. =
In one of the Bard's best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten.and some of the names:
William Shakespeare: I am a weakish speller
Tony Blair, MP = I'm Tory plan B
Virginia Bottomley = I'm an evil Tory bigotFlorence Nightingale = Nigel, Fetch an Iron Leg