Liebes-Lied | Rainer Maria Rilke

Jan. 29th, 2015 12:39 am
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Wie soll ich meine Seele halten, daß
sie nicht an deine rührt? Wie soll ich sie
hinheben über dich zu andern Dingen?
Ach gerne möcht ich sie bei irgendwas
Vorlorenem im Dunkel unterbringen
an einer fremden stillen Stelle, die
nicht weiterschwingt, wenn deine Tiefen schwingen.
Doch alles, was uns anrührt, dich und mich,
nimmt uns zusammen wie ein Bogenstrich,
der aus zwei Saiten eine Stimme zieht.
Auf welches Instrument sind wir gespannt?
Und welcher Geiger hat uns in der Hand?
O süßes Lied.

(no subject)

Jan. 28th, 2015 04:57 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Born on this day in 1457 to Edmund Tudor and Lady Margaret Beaufort King Henry VII of England(my toy,wikipedia). Henry VII took the crown at the Battle of Bosworth, where his army defeated and killed Richard III then buried him under a (future) carpark. He then married his 3rd cousin Elisabeth to "unite the houses of York and Lancaster" (interestingly Elisabeth was herself descended from John of Gaunt through her grandmother Cecily; I don't know why Cecily's marriage to Richard of York didn't "unite the houses blah blah" but probably because no-one had just won a decisive battle). Henry was the first Tudor monarch (possibly the Tudors are descended from people in charge in of Wales, but I forget exactly how) and created the Tudor badge (with both the white and red roses). He was super-paranoid about people claiming to be the sons of Edward IV.


Died on this day in 1547 aged 55 King Henry VIII of England(my toy,wikipedia). Son of the previous Henry. Henry was destined for the church until his older brother Arthur died making Henry heir to the throne, Henry married Arthur's widow because *why not* (or possibly because "we want this alliance with Spain and she is here and negotiations take forever") and then famously had another 5 weddings (4 of these marriages were annulled, so it's probably wrong to say he "had 6 wives"; at least from his point of view). *all 6* of his "wives" were cousins of his (because royalty is very incestuous); only 3 of his children survived him but he did have others including many who died very young.
kaberett: photograph of the Moon taken from the northern hemisphere by GH Revera (moon)
[personal profile] kaberett
so I was talking to the boything the other day about how I am very definite that I want who only by moving can balance/only by balancing move as soon as I work out who to commission to do the lettering for me, and I'm very certain I want it on my bicep, and he was being a bit baffled about this until I explained that the reason to have it on my arm is wheelchair user. (And also erstwhile pianist/harpsichordist, but hey.)

Which got him to talking about wheels as symbology. And, whoops, now I apparently want the outline of a circle (medium-thick, dark ink; cannot decide just yet whether black or v dark blue) about the size of a 2p piece, on my spine just below the nape of my neck/shoulders. Because: wheels and movement and the Moon and choices and decision-making and going in circles (every five years or so/I look back on my life/and I have a good laugh) and a reminder to not try carrying the world on my shoulders.

This is sufficiently straightforward that I might in fact get it for my birthday (in that I don't have to worry about lettering etc). Because it is a thing that Feels Right, and is absolutely a thing about which I'll keep inventing more symbology as I go along.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
1. I do actively like getting up with dawn and being in work by 8am. If I could find a way to do that sustainably (given insomnia, fatigue, etc) then I'd be all over it. (Two days running this week; aiming to replicate tomorrow. Though, to be fair, I did come home very early this afternoon and then sleep. But -- I got labwork done before 9am, I taught for three hours, and I booked mass spec time. And I'm doing some more faff at home. Writing abstracts is haaard. I mean, actually I think formal writing is hard, but perhaps I will work out how to get past this, sigh.)

2. Facesfriend is great, though - I stayed over at theirs last night, and sometime in the wee hours they very gently woke me up enough for me to disentangle myself from the nightmare I was having (whimpery rather than screamy, thank goodness; once a year or so I wake myself up screaming, and I'm always very embarrassed about the disruption to other people) and then they coaxed me back to sleep and... gosh, that was nice.

3. Guiltknitting progresses apace. It was supposed to be done 18 months ago. I was stalled on it for all sorts of reasons, largely boiling down to "autism" (it became apparent I hadn't bought enough of the main colour; no more of that dye lot was to be had; I couldn't work out what on earth to do about this; and then for the primary gifting period largest smallcousin bought me some very tasteful yarn, some medium-tasteful yarn, and some yarn that um looks kind of like a sunset got overly excited and has a terrible hangover; the sunset yarn goes very well with the purple). I am unblocked and nearly halfway through the section I charted up. Weaving in the ends is going to be a pain and a half - why I thought learning to do intarsia with two strands no less in the context of double-knitting I have no idea but hey, it's working and legible, so.

4. I have acquired the rest of the Toby Daye books in paperback from eBay, to my immense frustration, because apparently it's impossible to buy the ebooks from anyone but Amazon in the UK, and my preferred UK booksellers aren't carrying the volumes I want, so... eBay. And in attempting to locate the short stories I have spoiled myself for something that was starting to really irritate me, so I can now read on secure in the knowledge that the characters are going to stop being so infuriatingly oblivious sometime soon (well, two books' time, but). (I am also feeling kind of guilty for spending money on books by white folk - [personal profile] calissa posted recently about diversity and reading; one of the ways I try to (1) ~broaden my horizons~ and (2) restrict my spending on books, in addition to "don't buy anything while the to-read pile on the ereader is greater than $number" [currently 25, previously 50], is to by-and-large avoid buying books by whitey? On the grounds that I get loaned lots of them and I can satisfy most of my desire-to-read-white-people via loans, so. AND ON THE OTHER HAND I am working super hard this month in lab terms, I'm helping teach a maths course which is a massive deal, I am a bit ill, paper books are good for reading in lab because not metal, and for all I'm finding them gently frustrating they are excellent brain-candy.)

5. I really do need to set up that review blog. Which in turn means that I need to get my act together to choose a CMS for my personal website, siiigh.

(no subject)

Jan. 27th, 2015 05:08 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1763 aged 75 Duke Anton of Saxe-Meiningen(my toy,wikipedia). Anton had 2 wives and a total of 18 children, wow, a lot of children (11 of them survived to adulthood).

Born on this day in 1773 to King George III of UK and Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz , Prince Augustus(my toy,wikipedia). Augustus' first marriage was annulled because it had not been approved by the King (clearly very unfair!)

Good thing I'm not houseproud

Jan. 27th, 2015 05:36 pm
sunflowerinrain: Singing at the National Railway Museum (Default)
[personal profile] sunflowerinrain
In the kitchen is an old terry teatowel for the purpose of drying damp cats. For the information of catsitters it is helpfully inscribed, in indelible ink, "CATS' TOWEL".

Pepper came in this morning, fur covered in dew and paws coated in mud, and leapt onto the teatowel lying on the kitchen table. Before I could get there, he'd carefully wiped his paws. I pointed out that (a) he is not allowed on the table, and (b) this was a teatowel, not the CATS' TOWEL.

He pointed out that he is a cat and can't read.

And then he rolled on the sofa cover to dry his fur.

(no subject)

Jan. 26th, 2015 04:51 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 946 aged 36 Eadgyth of England(my toy,wikipedia). Eadgyth was the daughter of Edward the Elder, she married Otto I Holy Roman Emperor.

Born on this day in 1624 to Duke George of Brunswick-Luneburg and Anne of Hess Darmstadt, Duke George of Brunswick-Luneburg(my toy,wikipedia). Father of Sophia of Celle, who married George I. I think that Brunswick-Luneburg was part of the Holy Roman Empire... which was around for a long time (I may have said that already).

Spell | Carol Ann Duffy

Jan. 25th, 2015 04:39 pm
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
[personal profile] kaberett
Yes, I think a poem is a spell of kinds
that keeps things living in a written line,
whatever's lost or leaving - lock of rhyme -
and so I write and write and write your name.

(no subject)

Jan. 25th, 2015 02:35 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died yesterday (oops) in 1376 aged 70 Richard FitzAlan(my toy,wikipedia). Grandfather of Mary de Bohun who married Henry IV. Richard married his first wife when he was very young, and later the marriage was annulled because of his young age at the time. He had a son by this first wife, and that son was bastardised by the annullment and thus could not inherit the title of Earl of Arundel which went to Richard's first son by his second wife.


Born yesterday in 1391 to King Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria, Joan of France(my toy,wikipedia). Sister of Isabella and Catherine of Valois who married (respectively) Richard II and Henry V. Joan married the Duke of Brittany.


Died on this day in 1139 aged 79 Count Godfrey I of Louvain(my toy,wikipedia). Father of Adeliza who married Henry I.


Born on this day in 1719 to King Frederick I of Prussia and Sophia of Hanover Princess Sophia of Prussia(my toy,wikipedia). Niece of George II, daughter of the King of Prussia.

Lashing of Money

Jan. 25th, 2015 02:36 pm
hairyears: (Woolly Monochrome sketch)
[personal profile] hairyears
I've been following the news - or what little has been reported - on our government's six million pound contract for consultancy services to the Saudi Ministry of Justice.

There's a good summary here from the Jack of Kent legal blog and a rather pointed list of questions which, to date, remain unanswered.

Here's my take on it: A cynic might ask... )

[poem] An Anatomy of Sleeplessness

Jan. 24th, 2015 09:44 am
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
painsomnia, noun, inability to sleep
arising from somatic symptoms.
insomnianger, noun, inability to sleep
because of rage.
insomnia, noun, inability to sleep
for reasons unclear, or perhaps uninteresting.
Deferential diagnosis is required.
Morpheus' border guards delight
in lengthy - endless - questioning.
O innocents, ye need not be afraid.
It is the rest for whom these gates are barred.
& so beware, be wary: caprice
is the only arbiter of guilt.

some things make a post

Jan. 23rd, 2015 08:20 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
1. Okay, apparently when I was complaining last night about how my entire street lost power for a couple of hours (and therefore I was missing a Skype counselling session), I should have been complaining about how my entire borough lost power for a couple of hours...

2. ... but on the upside, this means that I watched Belle with my housemate over dinner (because we had matches and gas hobs and fully-charged laptops, oh yeah, so food was a possibility as was everything else).

3. I continue incredibly annoyed that on any given afternoon/evening the 12-hour weather forecast determines my work schedule for up to the next week. In practice I have spent today flat out in bed, because first day of period, so having tidied up lab last night to the point where I could leave it and it'd be safe was a good thing? But still deeply irritating and seriously slowing me down (as is the fact that our lab manager's been laid out with something flu-y with complications for which she's been given antibiotics... for a fortnight).

4. See above re knackered: what this means in practice is that I made the puttanesca pasta bake again and consider it Improved. It goes like this: in a large deep rectangular baking dish, place: half a bulb of garlic, finely chopped; a teaspoon or two of dried crushed chilli flakes; some oregano or whatever; as much black pepper as you can be bothered to grind; half a jar of capers, with brine; half a jar of olives, with brine; a tin or jar of artichoke hearts, with preservation medium; two wossnames of tomato passata; as much pasta (penne is good) as will fit, when stirred in well; water to just cover the pasta, stirred in well; top off with grated cheese of your preferred description if not dairy-free; stick in oven at approx 200degC for approx 30-45 minutes (we stuck it in the oven and watched an episode of Elementary while it was cooking and it was fine).

5. Awesome ex-housemate C has a PhD offer! This means I might (depending on the places she's still waiting to hear back from) have cause to end up on the east coast of the US periodically...

A curious game

Jan. 23rd, 2015 05:03 pm
gerald_duck: (Duckula)
[personal profile] gerald_duck
Alice and Bob decide to play the following coin-toss game:
  • Alice secretly tosses a fair coin.
  • Bob then says "heads" or "tails".
  • Alice either concedes, or reveals that Bob guessed wrong.
  • The winner of that first round receives £x from the loser.
  • Bob again says "heads" or "tails".
  • Alice reveals the coin and Bob wins if he guessed right.
  • The winner of the second round receives £y from the loser.
Note the wrinkle in the first round: if Bob guesses right, he takes the money; if he guesses wrong, Alice can either prove him wrong and win or concede anyway.

Suppose that, when she has a choice, Alice concedes with probability c. Also, suppose that for round two when Alice wins the first round Bob changes his guess with probability a, but when Bob wins the first round he changes his guess with probability b.

How much does each player expect to win or lose each time this game is played? What strategic conclusions can we draw?

Solution )

(no subject)

Jan. 23rd, 2015 05:11 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1698 aged 68 Elector Ernest of Brunswick-Luneburg(my toy,wikipedia). Ernest married his second cousin once removed Sophia and was the father of George I (Sophia's mother Elizabeth, the Winter Queen, was the daughter of James I&VI hence George's claim to the throne after Anne died with no living children). Sophia's father was Elector Palatine.

Born on this day in 1378 Louis III, Elector Palatine(my toy,wikipedia). Louis III was another Elector Palatine, but from a rather earlier... he married Blanche, the daughter of Henry IV.

"Elector" means that the person got to vote in elections for the Holy Roman Emperor. The County Palatine of the Rhine is in German Pfalzgrafschaft bei Rhein from which I have no idea how we get to "Palatine" ... it existed from 1085 to 1803, although not always the same place. Looking at the map on wikipedia it seems to have been non-contiguous, which is a bit odd and leaves me feeling that I really don't understand German history or geography.

shuffle things meme

Jan. 23rd, 2015 02:19 pm
damerell: NetHack. (normal)
[personal profile] damerell
Take this list, remove a thing, sort it by how much you like the things, add a thing at the top, a thing in the middle, and a thing at the bottom (preserving the sortedness, pedants):

(most liked)
Steam locomotives
Nessie Ladle
Maths
Twitter
Eating paper
Running away from zombies
Getting up early
Undercooked Aubergine
Oilseed rape in hayfever season
(most disliked)

(from http://wildeabandon.dreamwidth.org/238730.html).

Shuffle meme

Jan. 23rd, 2015 01:19 pm
wildeabandon: me sitting by the thames (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
This is silly and amused me.

Original rules
 (reorder, add one new item at the top and one at the bottom)
mutated rules (reorder, remove one item, and add three more, one at the top, one at the bottom, and one somewhere in the middle)

(most liked)
World of Warcraft
Maths

Nessie Ladle
Running away from zombies
Twitter

Undercooked Aubergine
Getting up early
(most disliked)


(no subject)

Jan. 22nd, 2015 05:20 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Random thought on the news: in NI there is a problem with people not having water, because the water-company employees are on a work-to-rule. It strikes me as very odd that the water-company is so short-staffed that it is reliant on the good-will (and overtime-working) of its employees to manage to provide even a basic service!

(no subject)

Jan. 22nd, 2015 05:15 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1901 aged 81 Queen Victoria of UK(my toy,wikipedia). Married her first cousin, Albert, and the niece of the previous King (who had no children). The wikipedia page unaccountably lacks an "in popular culture" section but I rather enjoyed the film "Young Victoria".

Born on this day in 1397 to King Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria Louis(my toy,wikipedia). Dauphin of France, like three of his brothers, his younger brother managed to live long enough to be King. Louis was a really very popular name.

poetry-in-waiting

Jan. 22nd, 2015 12:16 am
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
[personal profile] kaberett
  1. The sonnet about dormice.
  2. The villanelle about intimacy and mortality and flavours of love.
  3. The poem about love and opticians (with or without?).

(no subject)

Jan. 21st, 2015 04:53 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1900 aged 62 Duke Francis of Teck(my toy,wikipedia). Father in law of George V. Francis's father was the Duke of Wurtemburg, but couldn't inherit because his father's marriage was "morganatic" which is basically the notion that if a Duke does marries a commoner this is a BAD THING and his children can't be Dukes; this seems to have been A Thing on and off, in various places, I guess depending on the whims of whoever was in charge when the couple married?

Born on this day in 1338 to King John II of France and Bonne of Bohemia, King Charles V of France(my toy,wikipedia). Not all Kings of France were called Louis, many of them wore Charles... (kings of France lacking something in the imagination department?). Charles V was mostly at war with the English - the French? at war with the English? Never! ;-p

Incidentally, this toy is a database thingy, so is amenable to being asked questions wikipedia isn't. So if you want to know what Charles V *did* then you read wikipedia, but I can tell you which of the people-in-my-database are his 5th cousins (it is, lamentably, inevitably, incomplete)... for instance I have this fun list of people who married their cousins http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~naath/spouses-related.html (incomplete, obviously). The website doesn't let users type arbitrary SQL at the database (OBVIOUSLY) but I can ask it questions you might have.