Oh that my lungs could bleat like buttered peas;
But bleating of my lungs hath caught the itch,
And are as mangy as the Irish seas
That offer wary windmills to the rich.
I grant that rainbows being lulled asleep,
Snort like a woodknife in a lady’s eyes;
Which makes her grieve to see a pudding creep,
For creeping puddings only please the wise.
Not that a hard-roed herring should presume
To swing a tithe-pig in a catskin purse;
For fear the hailstones which did fall at Rome,
By lessening of the fault should make it worse.
For ’tis most certain winter woolsacks grow
From geese to swans if men could keep them so,
Till that the sheep-shorn planets gave the hint
To pickle pancakes in Geneva print.
Some men there were that did suppose the skie
Was made of carbonadoed antidotes;
But my opinion is, a whale’s left eye,
Need not be coined all King Harry groats.
The reason’s plain, for Charon’s western barge
Running a tilt at the subjunctive mood,
Beckoned to Bednal Green, and gave him charge
To fasten padlocks with Antarctic food.
The end will be the millponds must be laded,
To fish for white pots in a country dance;
So they that suffered wrong and were upbraided
Shall be made friends in a left-handed trance.
– Anon., 1617, Quoted from John Ashton’s Humour, Wit, & Satire of the Seventeenth Century (1883)
I’ve already got a hybrid car. Half of it belongs to me and half to the bank.
– Bob Thaves, Frank and Ernest
Taste vs. Genius
Taste and genius are two words frequently joined together, and therefore, by inaccurate thinkers, confounded. They signify, however, two quite different things. The difference between them can be clearly pointed out, and it is of importance to remember it. Taste consists in the power of judging; genius in the power of executing. One may have a considerable degree of taste in poetry, eloquence, or any of the fine arts, who has little or hardly any genius for composition or execution of any of these arts; but genius cannot be found without including taste also. Genius, therefore, deserves to be considered as a higher power of the mind than taste. Genius always imports something inventive or creative, which does not rest in mere sensibility to beauty where it is perceived, but which can, moreover, produce new beauties, and exhibit them in such a manner as strongly to impress the minds of others. Refined taste forms a good critic, but genius is further necessary to form the poet or the orator.
– Hugh Blair, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, 1823
777² = 603729
(603 + 729)/2 = 666
Doing a similar procedure for 666,
666² = 443556
except that we don’t divide the sum of the two 3-digit groups by 2.
443 + 556 = 999
Same procedure for 999:
999² = 998001
998 + 001 = 999 Continue reading
There is a saying that “lightning never strikes the same place twice” (it’s a myth by the way) but there’s no saying which said that you can’t be struck by lightning twice… or seven times. According to the National Weather Service, the odds of being hit by lightning in your lifetime in the US is 1 in 13,500 and the odds of becoming a lightning victim in a given year is 1 in 1,083,000. So, being hit by lightning seven times in your lifetime seems almost improbable but somebody unlucky (or lucky) enough had beaten the odds.
Roy Sullivan (1912 – 1983), a park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, was hit by lightning a total of seven times between 1942 and 1977 and lived to tell the tale. This earned him nicknames such as “human lightning rod” and “human lightning conductor”.
A lipogram is a form of constrained writing composed of words wherein a letter or a group of letters of the alphabet is avoided. You can see some examples of lipogram in my post “Six Mary Had a Little Lamb lipograms” where the popular nursery rhyme is written in six different versions using different constraints. On the other hand, a pangram is a sentence or expression containing all the letters of the alphabet. The most well-known pangram is the sentence, “The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.”
The following verse from Handy Book of Literary Curiosities (1892) is a lipogram and a pangram at the same time. Each stanza contains every letter of the English alphabet except for the letter “e”.
“The abolishment of pain in surgery is a chimera. It is absurd to go on seeking it today. ‘Knife’ and ‘pain’ are two words in surgery that must forever be associated in the consciousness of the patient. To this compulsory combination we shall have to adjust ourselves.” – Alfred Velpeau (1795 – 1867), a famous surgeon, 1839
During the 1840s, anesthetics like ether and chloroform became popular. Velpeau was both amazed and wary, remarking, “On the subject of ether, that it is a wonderful and terrible agent, I will say of chloroform, that it is still more wonderful and more terrible”.