Wednesday, December 31, 2014

There are so many homosexuals in clothing design, hair dressing, interior decoration, art, music, ballet, acting, TV producing, newspaper and magazine work, writing, education, and other similar vocations because those fields usually require people with a predominantly (or at least secondary) Melancholy temperament. And as we have seen, some people with a Melancholy temperament have a greater tendency toward homosexuality than people of other temperament groups.

Tim LaHaye, The Unhappy Gays (70)
The need for 25,550 trials was clearly an obstacle. Even if, as James Newman has suggested, Jacob Bernoulli had been willing to settle for the "immoral certainty" of an even bet—probability of 50/100—that the result would be within 2% of the true ratio of 3:2, 8,400 drawings would be needed. Jacob's selection of a probability of 1000/1001 is in itself a curiosity by today's standards, when most statisticians accept odds of 1 in 20 as sufficient evidence that a result is significant (today's lingo for moral certainty) rather than due to mere chance.

Peter Bernstein, Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk (127)
The anger passed after a moment's reflection. At the time of the deed, blueprints had probably been as common as weeds, and the owner of the box the probable culprit. He shielded the print from the sun with his own shadow while trying to unfold it further. In the lower right-hand corner was a printed rectangle containing, in simple block letters, various titles, dates, "patent numbers," reference numbers, and names. His eye traveled down to the list until it encountered: "CIRCUIT DESIGN BY: Leibowitz, I.E."

Walter M. Miller, Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz (17)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"Central heating" in Britain usually refers to one or two radiators in a hallway or in the living room. They are sometimes fed from the hot water system. Sometimes there is a hot water coil in the coal stove in the kitchen which heats a radiator or two. This is for "background heating", which means it will prevent water from freezing in the wash bowls. Temperatures away from open fires will still be about fifty degrees.

Shepherd Mead, How to Live Like a Lord Without Really Trying (36)
Rococo architects transcended the Baroque insistence on monumental form and therefore spaces defined by the structure. Full of flowing curves, complex geometry and dense ornament, Rococo spaces, such as Johann Michael Fischer's Ottobeuren Abbey in Bavaria, see architectural structure dominated by the exigencies of surface.

Owen Hopkins, Architectural Styles: A Visual Guide (93)
Toward the end of the Book of Revelation, the author describes two visions of things to come: one is a vision of heaven in which there are "flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a violent earthquake" (16:18), and the other is a vision of the earth in which God will dwell and will "wipe away every tear" from the human eyes (21:3-4). In the biblical vision, God is the unknown and unknowable and, at the same time, an intimate personal friend. Both are true, yet how both can be true at the same time remains a mystery. At the heart of the Christian experience of God there is a mystery, and the only possible response to such a mystery is worship.

Christopher L. Webber, Welcome to the Episcopal Church (25)
He closed his eyes, and my far hand gripped the bottle again, upside down, thumb extended to support my lifting it if it had to, as he recited: "I know the backs of her knees. I know the shape of her elbows. She used to eat tomatoes off the vine. She stole them in season and bit into them like apples. She climbed trees like us boys. She wore the same yellow bathing suit for years. A one-piece. She wouldn't give it up....Her father was in insurance, worked hard enough to get by, but he was a bohemian type at heart. Her mother was gorgeous, tall. Like her...She can draw, you know, pictures, and she sings. Have you heard that?"

Amy Grace Loyd, The Affairs of Others (233)
A queer, queer fellow was this Ned McLean that I had married. The simplest way to make him comprehensible is to show that he was just about a dozen men packaged as one jealous husband. He was so changeable that at times I felt quite polyandrous. We spent some weeks at Bar Harbor with all four of our parents beaming on us. Then, so we could be alone, we went back to Washington and stayed at Friendship. Joe Leiter and his bride, the former Juliette Williams, were with us for a while. Finally, however, Ned and I decided that we would not have a honeymoon unless we went roaming over Europe. Our fathers matched each other in extravagance and gave us each $100,000.

Evalyn Walsh McLean, Father Struck It Rich (111) 
When the two islands finally made contact with one another, they instantly developed a robust trade in bongos and tanning oil. Each island used its competitive advantage to send the other island products that were more valuable overseas than they were at home. In this symbiotic arrangement, both islands benefited. Living standards rose...and well-toned drumming was achieved by all.

Peter D. Schiff and Andrew J. Schiff, How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes (85)
However, by 1973, they were around 40, confident, owned their own restaurants, and were ready for fame. They could have done without the name of the fame – most don't like 'nouvelle cuisine' and talk about 'cuisine moderne' or something. But the fame itself was very acceptable. Guérard, Vergé, and the two Troisgros set about writing books about their methods which made them even more famous.

Ann Barr and Paul Levy, The Official Foodie Handbook (62)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The removal of the pump handle was a historical turning point, and not just because it marked the end of London's most explosive outbreak. History has its epic thresholds where the world is transformed in a matter of minutes—a leader is assassinated, a volcano erupts, a constitution is ratified. But there are other, smaller, turning points that are no less important. A hundred disparate historical trends converge on a single, modest act—some unknown person unscrews the handle of a pump on a side street in a bustling city—and in the years and decades that follow, a thousand changes ripple out from that simple act. It's not that the world is changed instantly; the change itself takes many years to become visible. But the change is no less momentous for its quiet evolution.

Steven Johnson, The Ghost Map (162)

Monday, February 24, 2014

I entered the stands for the visiting supporters and ended up following a skinhead—big and brawny—with a tight-fitting white T-shirt and fleshy biceps. His name, I would learn, was Cliff, which—sheer, unadorned, vaguely suggestive of danger—seemed entirely appropriate. The skinhead phase had long passed and, even here, in this crowd, Cliff stood out as a nostalgic anomaly, but Cliff had such an aggressive manner—the regulation braces and the heavy black boots and pockets full of twopences (their edges sharpened beforehand) to throw at Cambridge supporters—that he seemed the most obvious person to befriend.

Bill Buford, Among the Thugs (133)

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

During 1940 and 1941, Uniontown held a Turkey Carnival. Evidently many farmers in the area raised turkeys, and this was a way of promoting their sale. Pictured in the convertible are a king and queen of the activities. The building may have stood on the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 80 and Water Street. The building is no longer standing. (Courtesy of the author).

Eleanor C. Drake, Images of America: Perry County, (111)

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Olney was a man given to resentments; he nurtured and tended to them. When Beard asked him, a little over a year later, to give private cooking lessons to his longtime partner, Gino Cofacci, Olney readily agreed, while privately bemoaning Beard's "selfishness and willingness to use friends." As the same time, Olney was making good use of Beard's connections and knowledge as he arranged to teach a cooking class (his first) in Avignon that summer, sending Beard incongruously affectionate, intimate letters all the while. He wrote about the menus he planned, who had enrolled in the class, his hopes that Beard would attend one of the dinners, and about his love life. "I continue to moon around dreaming of my baby," he wrote of a boyfriend. "He keeps writing how much he wants to return here without promising that it can be a certainty."

Luke Barr, Provence, 1970 (157)