Monday, 21 September 2015


Нет, не луна, а светлый циферблат
Сияет мне, и чем я виноват,
Что слабых звезд я осязаю млечность?

И Батюшкова мне противна спесь:
«Который час?» - его спросили здесь,
А он ответил любопытным:

Osip Mandel'shtam from "Stone" 1913

No, not the moon, but a bright clock-face
Shines on me; in what am I to blame
That I feel the milkiness of the faint stars?

Batiushkov's loftiness repels me:
"What time is it?" - they asked him here,
And he told these intrigued: "Eternity".

Мы с тобой на кухне посидим,
Сладко пахнет белый керосин.
Острый нож да хлеба каравай...
Хочешь, примус туго накачай,

А не то веревок собери
Завязать корзину до зари,
Чтобы нам уехать на вокзал,
Где бы нас никто не отыскал.

Osip Mandel'shtam, Leningrad 1930
Let's you and I sit awhile in the kitchen,
The white kerosine smells sweet.

A sharp knife and a cob loaf...
If you like, pump the primus full,

And don't collect away this string
To tie our basket up at dawn,

For us to make for the railway station
Where no-one should come looking for us.

Friday, 18 September 2015

When the Sun Goes In

Blogista: Ya ta ta when the ya ta...
Readers: You're bored, aren't you?
Blogista: Yes.
Readers: So you've posted a fillum which will vanish for ever with its YouTube account and leave your readers perplexed as to what the point was.
Blogista: Ahem... 
Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his Hour or two, and went his way.

Home Hominid Hunt

FossilFinder: search the Turkana Basin for hominid bones and other fossils from the comfort of your own home!

Silliness aside (well, what did you expect?) the site is sponsored by among others the Turkana Basin Institute and the Fragmented Heritage Project: seems legit.
Readers: Stop being silly and get on with finding out what a stromatolite looks like.


Waited with bated breath for the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, then went and missed all the awards action, can't imagine how...
...and now the live feed video has been taken down.

Rumour has it that:
  • mammals weighing more than 3 kilograms take about 21 seconds to pee;
  • a chicken with an artificial tail attached will walk like a dinosaur (as far as anyone knows);
  • every human language has an equivalent of "huh?"; nobody can say why lol.
Having given this post a title universal in its significance, sympathy, and application, I expect my hit count to go through viral to netblattering and beyond at any moment now.

Googled for "huh?": around 112,000,000 results. I gotta be in there somewhere.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Sandwichgate: Maduro Speaks Out

Heremy Corbyn, he har veterano, also! El veterano to strogle on Americano Hobama y imperialista élite! El veterano to strogle on Británico gridibanker y imperialista Reina! He har no disservés dos sándwich, he har disservés dos millónes sándwich!

Heremy, you har senting me soon som rolles Handrex soft quilt con "natural caring touch" aloe vera y vitamin E?
Poor my harse she har crying!

The Charisma of Adolf Hitler

Part of  Hermann Giesler's model for the reconstruction of Linz's Danube bank.

An excellent lecture from Laurence Rees on Hitler's charismatic leadership:
It includes some discussion of ordinary Germans' support for the "deeply violent, prejudiced" Nazis:
[36.24] there's terrible social unrest, and these people are going to fix it for me as long as I just stay at home; they're just going to sort it out... and this one woman said to us: Well, d'you know, you've no idea what it was like in the Depression, I couldn't walk safely across the park. There were all these vagrants everywhere. And they solved the problem. They weren't there one day; they weren't there any more. And it's terrific they did that. It became extremely safe.

Hitler's first viewing of the Linz model, February 13th 1945: that night saw the first RAF raid on Dresden.

August Kubizek's 1953 memoir "Adolf Hitler, mein Jungenfreund", on his friend in Linz and Vienna between 1904 and 1908, would be comical but for what followed, and is worth reading for a sense of the extraordinary young man's nature (he had his own grandiose plans for Linz and Vienna).
 Landstraße looking towards the Schmiedtoreck: see Chapter 7.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


[...] from the publication of the first major survey of British antiquities by William Camden in the reign of Elizabeth I, books on Stonehenge have emphasised the lack of a generally agreed explanation of its purpose. It has been accepted as possessing some kind of ritual significance, but the nature of that remains open. This in turn has encouraged individuals to produce self-proclaimed 'breakthrough' hypotheses, which have achieved celebrity at particular periods. The most successful to date has been that of Geoffrey of Monmouth, published in the twelfth century - that it was a war memorial constructed by the wizard Merlin - which was dominant for almost five hundred years. In the 1740s William Stukeley proclaimed it a temple of the Druids, an idea which achieved pre-eminence for one century and remained popular for another.

During the twentieth century, when it was firmly dated to the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. the element of mystery was stressed still further and has enabled the monument to function a people's temple, apparently outside the power of learned archaeologists and historians to appropriate and explain, in which anybody is free to see what she or he wills [...]

For centuries, Stonehenge has effectively functioned, even more intensively and effectively than other relics of prehistory, as a mirror in which modern people can reflect and justify their own prejudices, ideals and expectations. Those who find their own time, and society, wanting have seen in it the work of ancestors of a superior knowledge and morality. Those who preach the creed of progress, or their own religion, or else the folly of religion in general, have filled it in their imagination with gory, barbaric and orgiastic ancient rites.

Ronald Hutton "Pagan Britain" (2013) pp116-7

What we see in this mirror keeps changing and proliferating: the latest find being a huge stone arc under the banks of Durrington Wells, two miles distant, described here and with links to the picture (here besmall'd) below. Thirty stones survive, buried, out of around 90. It seems the stones were toppled 4,500 years ago and buried under the new ditch and bank, for reasons unknown.

It is hard to contain. Stone or wood circles in general have become known as 'henges', despite the term coming from Stonehenge's unique arrangements of uprights and crosstree resembling henges, gallows.

Alexander Thom, an engineer, proposed a theory of Stonehenge as an elaborate celestial calculator. His concept of the megalithic yard (my) has been discredited and some critics saw the precision of fit of his schema to the features in his diagrams as far neater than the fit to the features themselves.

One historian noted a rhyme between Rachel Whiteread's work and the trilithons that define the spaces where standing stones might be (a nice thought).

As a child I used to play all about the site and lie on the 'altar-stone' imagining myself both as priest and sacrifice. Since it has been enclosed I have not been near it, having no wish to mix with the batty people who hog the solstices, or to book through English Heritage (A Stone Circle Access visit is not a guided tour, and touching of the stones is not permitted [...] To enhance your Stone Circe Access visit you can order a guidebook). Enhance?

It is a bit unfair I think of Prof Hutton to lump in Monmouth and Stukeley with the pyramidiots (or whatever the equivalent is - the unhenged? lol), ley hunters, ufologists and bogus druids de nos jours. Stukeley's drawing of serpentine avenues at Avebury were long derided as snaky emanations of the druids buzzing in his bonnet until recent excavations began to bear his picture out (then again I have yet to read his books).

Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? (John 18:38) It is unclear what he meant by this.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Law is an A...

And the judge says: That veil is too long.
And the girl takes off the veil
That she has stuck onto her hat with a pin,
" Not a veil," she says, " 'at's a scarf."
And the judge says:
      Don't you know you aren't allowed all those buttons?
And she says: Those ain't buttons, them's bobbles,
Can't you see there ain't any button-holes?
And the Judge says: Well, anyway,
      you're not allowed ermine.
" Ermine? " the girl says, " Not ermine, that ain't,
" 'At's lattizzo."
And the judge says: And just what is a lattizzo?
And the girl says:
                             " It'z a animal."

Signori, you go and enforce it.

Ezra Pound from Canto XXII - A Draft of XXX Cantos (1930)

Monday, 7 September 2015

Seek, and Ye Shall Find

All the way from Uttar Pradesh a recent visitor Googled for

pahrees romhans love

and got in 7th place (at the time of the search)
which is one word each from four items posted between 16th August and 5th September.

Readers: Another disappointed reader, then.
Blogista: Evidently.
Readers: Not too many of those to the pound.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Passing iClouds

Blogista: Grararrarrgh time to looks at th'email.

Facebook: Do you know Stag Pophopholos, Tottie Biscuit and Brundt Polaks?

Blogista: No.

   From: Amber Monsoon
Subject: A request from a virgin
        To: Me

Come to my house of pleasure right now
I had sex only once in my life and I want more!
My virgin shaved pussy is all yours I want you to glance through my portfolio and assess my naked body

I bet you will miss me

Blogista: Got a .38 pistol in a .45 frame, I canna miss when I got that aim, gonna ride ol' Railroad Bill chang chang gonna riiide Railroad Bill.

Railroad Bill: Whut.