For in grief nothing “stays put.” One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?
But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?
How often — will it be for always? — how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, “I never realized my loss till this moment”? The same leg is cut off time after time.
Medieval kids’ doodles on birch bark
Here’s something very special. In the 1950s archeologists made a great discovery near the city of Novgorod, Russia: they dug up hundreds of pieces of birch bark with all sorts of texts written on them. The 915 items are mostly letters, notes and receipts, all written between the 11th and 15th century. Among the more notable scraps is a marriage proposal from a man called Mikita to his beloved Anna: “marry me - I want you and you want me, and the witness to that is Ignat Moiseev” (item 377).
The most special items, however, are the ones shown above, which are from a medieval classroom. In the 13th century, young schoolboys learning to write filled these scraps with alphabets and short texts. Bark was ideal material for writing down things with such a short half-life. Then the pupils got bored and started to doodle, as kids do: crude drawings of individuals with big hands, as well as a figure with a raised sword standing next to a defeated beast (lower image). The last one was drawn by Onfim, who put his name next to the victorious warrior. The snippets provide a delightful and most unusual peek into a 13th-century classroom, with kids learning to read - and getting bored in the process.
More information - On the scraps in general, see here. Here is a full inventory, in Russian. On the excavation, see here and here. More kids’ doodles here and here. Some letters in this Flickr stream. The Leiden scholar Jos Schaeken published a book in Dutch on this material, which can be downloaded for free here (English translation to follow next year).
Charlie and I are on the train and he’s making pictures.
I couldn’t help but notice the variation in Elf ears. Thranduil’s ears have a more defined point to them that curves back. Legolas’ ears are much rounder and subtle. Tauriel’s are rather large and are curved upward to a point. The consideration put into these costume designs is amazing. They could have made a standard Elf ear and fitted them to each actor, but they made different ears entirely.
The GOP has a plan to stop Wendy Davis: blatant voter suppression.
Women don’t like having their bodies policed, and are supporting Davis like no Democrat has been backed before. But Republicans aren’t fighting back on the issues — they’ve pushed through a Voter ID law that blocks the votes of countless Texas women.
Starting this November, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name instead of IDs like a birth certificate. That’s not a problem for single or married men — but it leaves a third of Texas women scrambling in a state with just 81 DMVs in its 254 counties.
The only way the GOP can keep Texas is by rigging the game. Women have the power to turn this state blue for the first time in two decades, but we need to help secure their rights first. Please, join us in calling on the Texas legislature to get rid of this unconstitutional Voter ID lawand stop trying to strip women of their votes.
DANGER! DANGER FOR TEXAS WOMEN!
fucking shit is this for real
Today has not been good.
It’s funny how you can forget everything except people loving you. It’s not the pain you’re getting over, it’s the love.
Reform ECPA: Tell the Government to Get a Warrant
Americans are deeply concerned about NSA surveillance.
But the NSA’s not the only problem. An outdated law says the IRS and hundreds of other agencies can read our communications without a warrant.
That law, known as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), was written over 25 years ago, before the services we use today even existed.
Right now, several bills in Congress would fix this by updating ECPA to require a warrant, but regulatory bodies are blocking reform in order to gain new powers of warrantless access.
We call on the Obama Administration to support ECPA reform and to reject any special rules that would force online service providers to disclose our email without a warrant.
wait, what are my objectives for today again?