1.  8

     
    Crazy is the price you pay for having an imagination. It’s your superpower. Tapping into the dream. It’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
    — Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being
     

    book quotes quotes Ruth Ozeki 

  2.  2

     
    I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    — Douglas Adams
     

    Douglas Adams LOL lit quotes humor 

  3.  11

     
    You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfume and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.
    —  Ray Bradbury
     

    books lit quotes Ray Bradbury writing 

  4. Book Briefs: State of Wonder

    This will be a very short post on Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder, which I recently finished. In some review somewhere for this book, I had come across the word “deadpan” being used to describe the general style and tone of this book. My personal word choice for the same would be “unembellished.” That goes well with the progression of the story line and the resolution. As a result, the book has a general sense of harmony. Yet it was underwhelming for me for a number of reasons:

    • To some extent, I enjoy sweating through the rigors of original expressions and unfamiliar vocabulary. The book’s language was way too bare-bones. 
    • I expected a book set in the Amazonian wilderness to be enriching and even educational. There was barely enough about the flora and fauna. The Lakashi and Hummocca were projected as (subhuman) alien lifeforms. Sure, she talks about mosquitoes, temperature, humidity, maladies, and distance from Westernization. But there is nothing drastically unknown or particularly illuminating in any of that about life in the Amazonian tropics. 
    • Reading a lot (or watching a lot of movies) makes us sly and the endings more guessable! Accordingly (among other things) I felt with reasonable certainty that Anders was alive and that Dr. Swenson indeed recognized Marina. The outcomes and resolution were, therefore, far from jaw-dropping. 

    I must admit I literally sped through this book because it felt too dull. Upon discovering how drab the language was, I assumed the selling point of the book would be an intricate and intriguing plot. But I realized my fallacy soon enough as I read on! The story progressed slowly. Not a great deal happened eventually. To conclude, this isn’t a terrible book. It is just about tolerable. Therefore I just can’t comprehend how it came to be a bestseller! 

     

    books book reviews literature lit fiction Ann Patchett State of Wonder 

  5.  2

     
    Strong feelings do not beget strong arguments.
    —  Henry Hitchings, The Language Wars
     

    The Language Wars book quotes quotes books 

  6.  3

     

    The Pigeon Pie Mystery (Excerpt)

    1. Inspector: I presume you won't mind if my constable and I search the premises?
    2. Princess Mink: Go right ahead, Inspector. Oh, and if you find my collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, do let me know. I can't find it anywhere. I'm in the middle of the one with the police inspector who literally hasn't got a clue.
     

    Julia Stuart LOL The Pigeon Pie Mystery book quotes books funny lit quotes 

  7.  1

     
    We all know who won this battle!
(Sorry, Puss! As you know, Curiosity killed the cat.)

    We all know who won this battle!

    (Sorry, Puss! As you know, Curiosity killed the cat.)

     

    Curiosity LOL Mars rover astronomy cartoon comics science space tech NASA 

  8. Cute video starring Marvin the Martian and Bugs Bunny - apt for viewing while Curiosity approaches the Red Planet.

    Dear Martians, we come in peace!

     

    Curiosity LOL Mars Mars rover NASA aliens astronomy celebs comics design film science space tech television cartoon Looney Tunes Bugs Bunny Marvin the Martian 

  9. Enceladus is a moon of Saturn, only 310 miles in diameter, which, according to NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay, ”has got liquid water, organic material and a source of heat. It is hard to think of anything more enticing short of receiving a radio signal from aliens on Enceladus telling us to come and get them.”

    Here are some features of Enceladus (some uncovered by the spacecraft Cassini):

    • It has a thin atmosphere consisting of water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen.
    • It has an icy surface.
    • It has a subterranean ocean that is kept liquid by the moon’s internal heat.
    • Cryovolcanoes/geysers at it south pole spew out plumes of water and ice particles.
    • Organic compounds propane, ethane, and acetylene, have been detected in these plumes!

    Mckay says, “It just about ticks every box you have when it comes to looking for life on another world!”

     

    science astronomy aliens saturn extraterrestrial space 

  10. Amusing passage on the reformation of English

    Due to glaring inconsistencies between English pronunciation and spelling, complete reformation of the English spelling system has often been suggested. Here’s a “nice parody of reformed English, often attributed to Mark Twain, (which) appears to have been the work of the comparatively obscure M. J. Shields.” (source: The Language Wars by Henry Hitchings)

    In Year 1 that useless letter ‘c’ would be dropped to be replased either by ‘k’ or ‘s’, and likewise ‘x’ would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which ‘c’ would be retained would be the ‘ch’ formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform ‘w’ spelling, so that ‘which’ and ‘one’ would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish ‘y’ replasing it with ‘i’ and Iear 4 might fiks the ‘g/j’ anomali wonse and for all. Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6–12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez ‘c’, ‘y’ and ‘x’ – bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez – tu riplais ‘ch’, ‘sh’, and ‘th’ rispektivli. Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

    Hitchings observes, “By the end of the proposal M. J. Shields has become M. J. Yilz.”

     

    LOL The Language Wars book quotes books funny grammar language linguistics lit literature phonetics spelling