Sunday, August 29, 2004

Rekur Van, a biological engineer and geneticist now reviled across the League of Nobles, squirmed in his life-support socket, unable to move more than his head because he had no arms or legs. A retention socket connected the geneticist's body core to nutrient and waste tubes. Shortly after capturing him, Erasmus had seen to the removal of the man's limbs, rendering him much more manageable. He was certainly not trustworthy, in sharp contrast with Gilbertus Albans.

Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Dune: The Battle of Corrin (14-15)
Art directors at magazines still, for the most part, prefer freelancers to submit images in the form of transparencies - unless you shoot with a high-end digital camera capable of rendering a high-resolution image no smaller than 10 to 12 megabytes. "Film still has the depth, the color-saturation quality, and sharpness digital does not have," says Tammy Lechner, photo editor for OCR Magazines in Orange County, California. "But with the very high-end cameras, I'd say we're right at the point where there is basically no difference here. The advantages to digital are great. The immediacy of seeing an image during a shoot, the ability to immediately transfer the image through throught upload and download on the computer, and the storage capability of disks for the digital cameras have become greater and greater."

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, "Making Pictures," in The ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing (204)
According to a popular medieval legend, the hermit John of Beverley was tested by God, who sent an angel to force John choose among three sins: drunkenness, rape, or murder. Sensibly, as anyone might, the hermit chose drunkenness. Or not so sensibly, as it would soon turn out, because, in his drunken insensate stupor, he raped and murdered his own sister.

Francine Prose, Gluttony (15)

Sunday, August 22, 2004

'Me neither,' Mick said. 'But fame's an interesting thing isn't it? I mean if you'd been raped by Roger Moore, you'd have recognized him, wouldn't you? Or Keanu Reeves or Rowan Atkinson. So he's not that famous. But I was thinking, he was taking quite a risk wasn't he? It wouldn't have done his career much good if it got out that he took part in a gang-bang, would it? You could have gone to the papers or anything.'

Geoff Nicholson, Bleeding London (122)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I found myself on the bridge, between the shores, connected with the past yet connected with some poorly imagined future, in this new place of somebody else's making, futuristically quaint with cars like Bakelite radios, men with jet packs strapped to their shoulders, dressed in skin-tight silver synthetics, helicopters and monorails full of commuters. We thought it might be like this, the London of Dan Dare. We were wrong to expect the expected.

Geoff Nicholson, Bleeding London (28-29)

Monday, August 16, 2004

Joan [of Arc] was a being so uplifted from the ordinary run of mankind that she finds no equal in a thousand years. The records of her trial present us with facts alive to-day through all the mists of time. Out of her own mouth can she be judged in each generation. She embodied the natural goodness and valour of the human race in unexampled perfection. Unconquerable courage, infinite compassion, the virtue of the simple, the wisdom of the just, shone forth in her. She glorifies as she freed the soil from which she sprang. All soldiers should read her story and ponder on the words and deeds of the true warrior, who in one single year, though untaught in technical arts, reveals in every situation the key to victory.

Winston S. Churchill, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples: The Birth of Britain (422)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

The ecological crisis cannot be resolved by politics. It cannot be resolved by science or technology. It is a crisis caused by culture and character, and a deep change in personal consciousness is needed. Your fundamental attitudes toward the earth have become twisted. You have made only brutal contact with Nature; you cannot comprehend its grace. You must change. Have few desires and simple pleasures. Honor non-human life. Control yourself, become more authentic. Live lightly upon the earth and treat it with respect. Redefine the word progress and dismiss the managers and masters. Grow inwardly and with knowledge become truly wiser. Think differently, behave differently. For this is essentially a moral issue we face, and moral decisions must be made.

Joy Williams, "Save the Whales, Screw the Shrimp," in Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals (21)
The Despensers and their King now seemed to have attained a height of power. But a tragedy with every feature of classical ruthlessness was to follow. One of the chief Marcher lords, Roger Mortimer, though captured by the King, contrived to escape to France. In 1324 Charles IV of France took advantage of a dispute in Gascony to seize the duchy, except for a coastal strip. Edward's wife, Isabella, "the she-wolf of France," who was disgusted by his passion for Hugh Despenser, suggested that she should go over to France to negotiate with her brother Charles about the restoration of Gascony. There she became the lover and confederate of the exiled Mortimer. She now hit on the stroke of having her son, Prince Edward, sent over from England to do homage for Gascony. As soon as the fourteen-year-old prince, who as heir to the throne could be used to legitimise opposition to King Edward, was in her possession she and Mortimer staged an invasion of England at the head of a large band of exiles. So unpopular and precarious was Edward's Government that Isabella's triumph was swift and complete, and she and Mortimer were emboldened to depose him. The end was a holocaust. In the furious rage which in these days led all who swayed the Government of England to a bloody fate the Despensers were seized and hanged. For the King a more terrible death was reserved. He was imprisoned in Berkeley Castle, and there by hideous methods, which left no mark upon his skin, was slaughtered. His screams as his bowels were burnt out by red-hot irons passed into his body were heard outside the prison walls, and awoke grim echoes which were long unstilled.

Winston S. Churchill, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples: The Birth of Britain (319)

Thursday, August 12, 2004

By the time dessert is offered, everybody at the table is drunk except for me and the Nazi. Even Greer has had two glasses of Chablis, which for her is drinking to blackout. I sit there and think how it isn't fair that I can't drink at all, even a little. I realize I have crammed an entire lifetime of moderate drinkinbg into a decade of hard-core drinking and this is why. I blew my wad.

Augusten Burroughs, Dry: A Memoir (223)

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Of all the tribes of the Germanic race none was more cruel than the Saxons. Their very tribe name, which spread to the whole confederacy of Northern tribes, was supposed to be derived from the use of a weapon, the seax, a short one-handed sword. Although tradition and the Venerable Bede assign the conquest of Britain to the Angles, Jutes and Saxons together, and although the various settlements have tribal peculiarities, it is probable that before their general exodus from Schleswig-Holstein the Saxons had virtually incorporated the other two strains.

Winston S. Churchill, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples: The Birth of Britain (65)

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Sober. So that's what I'm here to become. And suddenly, this word fills me with a brand of sadness I haven't felt since childhood. The kind of sadness you feel at the end of summer. When the fireflies are gone, the ponds have dried up and the plants are wilted, weary from being so green. It's no longer really summer, but the air is still too warm and heavy to be fall. It's the season between the seasons. It's the feeling of something dying.

Augusten Burroughs, Dry: A Memior (74)