Is the green apple quicker than the red? Does the green develop faster? Neither are very good questions without a context. That context is a potted apple tree that sits on our back deck. It’s been yielding green apples for over a month. Originally a gift, it’s been there about eight years and this is the most abundant yield to date. It’s an unusual apple tree in that there are two varieties grafted together. Two isn’t so many given the 250 that were in the news back in 2013. But two is enough for us.[Read more…] about Quick Green Apples
Tax Collectors I
I first visited Algeria between reading The Plague and A Savage War of Peace.
‘…the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good …’
Albert Camus’ fiction of the plague in Oran from 1947 is quoted as the Afterword in Alistair Horne’s visceral history of the decade leading to Algerian independence (as written in 1977).[Read more…] about Tax Collectors I
A quote from Laozi, the author of the Tao Te Ching:
‘If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.’
Myself and my walking buddy might have had good reason to have broken from our walk towards Rome and gone to Marseille last weekend. Day 52 of the trek would have found us in Lentilles. I’m still not sure how we’d have made the 700 km diversion from the Aube which is poorly served by trains. Nonetheless, we both had high hopes that Leinster Rugby would have made it to another European Rugby Cup Final and made good on the failure to win a fifth title in Newcastle last year.[Read more…] about Tuesday’s Muse
OC and Disorder
‘When a man gets power, even his chickens and dogs rise to heaven.’
This wasn’t originally an opening line. The idea for opening with it is from a 2011 fund-raising blog. I started every entry with the first line of a recently read novel. This was easy’ish’ because a novel a week was a great distraction from the inflections of geoscience projects and travel-induced jet lags. It was was a quiz-inspired fund-raising hook and I’d reveal the answer in a subsequent post. Interested readers might come back to learn, for example, that it was Hilary Mantel who opened Booker-winning Wolf Hall with ‘So now get up’. I had hoped, more importantly, that some might also contribute to a group fund-raising effort before a charity walk. They did contribute and most generously but not because of the quotations.[Read more…] about OC and Disorder
Hindcast: Dateline Dublin Christmas 1348.
14,000 have died of plague in the last five months. Dalkey and Howth together with the port at Drogheda have been devastated by the Black Death. One third of the urban population have died.
Forecast: Dateline Dublin Easter 2020.
1,500 may have died in the month since the first Irish death of complications arising from Covid-19.
Our capacity for benefit may become the ticket to healthcare and a future. The UK is considering having people 75 and older to sign DNR forms. Spain seems to be doing it unofficially for 65 and older by treating likely survivors first.[Read more…] about Hard Lines