Based on Dr. Seuss’s final book before his death, this is a story about life’s ups and downs, told by the people of Burning Man 2011.
Dr Seuss and flashes of nudity are not concepts I would normally include in the same sentence. For this is from Burning Man and of course there is some innocent nudity.
Mostly there is a thoughtful challenge.
Burgled from Dolce
In a care package which crossed the seas, my tatty cyber-Sis Marty had enclosed a creature close to my heart.
A creature from dimensions far from ours which will one day eat my soul!
Although I may contact John Carter who will be able to save me!
Oh, and Marty, I love craft work like this
This is a volume for which I have been searching for many years. I first found a reference to it in the original Index Librorum Prohibitorum. By the fourth edition of this list, Pair of Dice Lost had been removed from the list, perhaps an indication of just how seriously the Catholic Church took this heresy.
While I have still been unable to find a copy of Ludlow’s work, I have at least found a review written by Tad Tuleja in his Catalogue of Lost Books.
An engraving from the original manuscript shows that Michelangelo was aware of this heresy although he could only code an allusion in his work.
It is also probable that Albert Einstein had access to this manuscript and his reading of it, coupled with his rejection of the heresy, led to his famous comment that, “God does not play dice with the Universe.”
Pair of Dice Lost (1671), Jeremy Ludlow
John Milton’s great poem Paradise Lost covers the biblical ground from the revolt of the rebel angels to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden. Milton’s younger contemporary Ludlow, who was “enthralled by Mr. Milton’s sonorities,” nevertheless felt the epic lacked something, and he endeavored to provide it in a “predendum.” What was lacking, he felt, was a fuller depiction of Heaven before the revolt, when Lucifer was still the Son of Light and the favorite of God’s admiring legions. “It was Mr. Milton’s own picture of the Archfiend,” he explained, “that compelled me to intrude myself into his poem: for I felt that a Being so fully tortured must speak his case with the lacrimae doloris sui, and not the bombast of a Drunkard caught out at tippling.”
Ludlow was not the first or the last to question the rhetorical excesses of Milton’s “Archfiend,” though he was certainly unique in his response. Pair of Dice Lost describes the “halcyon aeons” from the beginning of Creation to Satan’s defection, during which the Creator and his luminous companions amuse themselves by running interplanetary races (Satan has the record for the Mercuryto-Jupiter circuit), quaffing an ethereal beverage called “nebula,” and when they tire of these exertions, gambling. Using polyfaceted “cosmic” dice, they play not for gain but for preeminence: the winners get to oversee the Milky Way for the next millennia, or (an even more coveted prize) to sit closer to God’s throne.
All goes well in this celestial entertainment palace until, around nineteen aeons A.C., Satan comes to a disturbing realization: since God is both omniscient and omnipotent, there is no assurance He is not cheating at the game, either by placing his bets on a foreseeable outcome or by manipulating the dice as they fall. The favorite angel broaches this sticky subject, and is informed magisterially, “Have you then invented Morality, my shining One? And when I breathed upon the waters, where were you?”
Understandably upset at this response, Satan muses darkly, “If the Almighty will not then set down Rules, why his loyal subjects must need set down their Own.” So thinking, he steals the cosmic dice, hurls them cavalierly in the direction of the planet Earth, and waits for judgment. It is not long in coming. Unable to tease an apology out of Satan for “rashly picking up My marbles and going home,” God banishes him from the celestial presence and condemns him to an eternity below on Earth. “On thy belly thou must goe,” Ludlow echoes Milton, “and eat dirt with the creatures that I send you; so much thou must endure until thou save my dice, and restore them to their proper horne.”
Satan never does find the dice – which is why, in Ludlow’s wry estimation, “This green yet besieged orb of mud and mistiness/ spins yet uncertain, the Almighty’s plan defied.” The Latitudinarian implications of this comment won Ludlow no friends among the Puritan hierarchy, and indeed his “spirited despatch” was soon made anathema both by Canterbury and (redundantly) by Rome. In the bitter whimsy of its theme – his hint that God himself may be out of control-it speaks more strongly to the modern temper than to Ludlow’s own.
List of all the shops located in Diagon Alley:
- 2nd Hand Brooms: A shop that sells used broomsticks.
- Amanuensis Quills: A shop that sells quills. It is next to Madam Malkin’s Robes For All Occasions shop.
- Broomstix: A shop that sells broomsticks.
- Eeylops Owl Emporium: A pet store located in Diagon Alley that sells owls and things that will help owls, like Owl Treats. It sells a variety of breeds, including Screech, Barn, Tawny, Brown, and Snowy.
- Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour: It was owned and operated by Florean Fortescue, and was located at Diagon Alley.
- Flourish and Blotts: A popular bookstore in Diagon Alley where most Hogwarts students purchase their schoolbooks.
- Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop: Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop is located in Diagon Alley. Fred and George, and Lee Jordan stocked up on Dr. Filibuster’s Fabulous Wet-Start, No-Heat Fireworks.
- Gringotts Wizarding Bank: Gringotts is the only known bank of the wizarding world. It was created by the goblin Gringott. It is located in Diagon Alley and is owned and run by Goblins. In addition to storing money and valuables for wizards, one can go there to exchange Muggle money for wizarding money.
- Junk shop: A shop that sells secondhand items such as broken wands, lopsided scales, etc.
- The Leaky Cauldron: A popular Wizarding pub in London. It is the entrance to Diagon Alley.
- Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions: Sometimes simply referred to as Madam Malkin’s, it is a shop in Diagon Alley. Students get their Hogwarts school uniforms there, and also dress robes, travelling cloaks, and the like.
- Madam Primpernelle’s Beautifying Potions: Located at 275 Diagon Alley, this store helps witches getting rid of “warts and worse”.
- Magical Menagerie: One of the shops where students buy their pets and supplies.
- Obscurus Books: Located at 18a Diagon Alley, Obscurus is a Wizarding book publisher. Its range of titles include the popular Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
- Ollivander’s Wand Shop: Ollivander’s Wand Shop is the sole wand shop of Diagon Alley. Peeling gold letters over the door of the shop read: Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.. The shop’s display consists of a solitary wand laying on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window. The shop is tiny, empty except for a single, spindly chair in the corner. Thousands of narrow boxes containing wands are piled right up to the ceiling of the tiny shop, and the whole place has a thin layer of dust about it.
- Potage’s Cauldron Shop: A shop that sells cauldrons.
- Quality Quidditch Supplies: A store in Diagon Alley. Its main products are things having to do with Quidditch such as Quaffles, Bludgers, and broomsticks.
- Scribbulus Writing Instruments: A shop that sells ink and presumably other stationary items (quills, parchment).
- Secondhand robe shop: A shop that sells secondhand robes.
- Slug & Jiggers Apothecary: Where students buy their potion ingredients.
- Sugarplum’s Sweets Shop: A shop that sells confections.
- TerrorTours: Located at 59 Diagon Alley, TerrorTours is presumably a travel agency for wizards and witches.
- The Ministry Press: A publishing house affiliated to the Ministry of Magic.
- The Daily Prophet’s main office: Presumably where the Daily Prophet newspapers are printed.
- Twilfitt and Tatting’s: Twilfitt and Tatting’s is a wizarding clothing shop located in Diagon Alley. Given that it is favoured by elitist pure-blood witch Narcissa Malfoy, it is probably an upmarket shop.
- Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes: Located at 93 Diagon Alley, it is a joke shop in owned by Fred and George Weasley. It sells practical joke objects, such as Extendable Ears, a Reusable Hangman, and Fred and George’s special WonderWitch products, such as love potions and ten-second pimple remover. There is also a section of Muggle magic tricks in honour of their father Arthur. They’re not big sellers, but they do fairly well.
- Whizz Hard Books: Located at 129B Diagon Alley. Whizz Hard Books is a Wizarding book publisher. Its range of titles include the popular Quidditch Through the Ages and Hairy Snout, Human Heart.
- Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment: A miscellaneous equipment store.
- Various stalls and peddlers: There are a variety of street peddlers who take up space in between shops out on the main thoroughfare of Diagon Alley. Included are: a flower vendor, a vendor who is selling roasted chestnuts, and a jewellery vendor.
I often drop in on Melbourne artist Jennie Rosenbaum’s website yet it was her twitter entry this morning which resonated with me. I was preparing this post under the title “Goodbye Borders”. Thank you Jennie for the new title and for the validation of my feelings.
“The borders closing sale is both intriguing and sad, it feels a little like looting a corpse.“
Two days ago I was in Perth and walked by the Border’s store in Hay Street. I had read the newspaper reports of this book store being placed into receivership and closed down. Not just in Perth but Australia-wide.
It wasn’t until I went inside that the full extent of this tragedy hit me.
I am a sucker for book stores and I found myself tearing up just a little. I also dropped thoughts of buying any books. It felt sacrilegious. I knew I would not be able to enjoy reading anything bought here under these circumstances.
I snapped these shots and said a mental “Goodbye”
I enjoy wandering through second-hand book stores. Sometimes I find genuine treasures. Unluckily, most store owners recognise the gems before I spot them. A case in point was a very expensive book I found a while ago. At $115 it was a little rich for me although it was an almost mint copy published in 1972.
In 1963, illustrator and author Edward Gorey published an alphabet book so delightfully subversive that it destroyed the very premise of the genre — making children feel comfortable and inspiring them to learn — that it took the macabre humor genre to a new level.
From ““A is for Amy who fell down the stairs,” to “Z is for Zillah who drank too much gin.” The Gashlycrumb Tinies was a delight for those with twisted minds.
Anyway, I came home, made a note on my “to do” list. A few days ago I found that note and did some googling. I found this version on one of the aggragator sites which I will not publicise here as it leads to so many other sites, not all of which are suitable for children.
The battle of the sexes needs to be renewed. Vive le différence.
Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you’re driving at another.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950), “Pygmalion” (1913)
Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.
H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956)
I hate women because they always know where things are.
James Thurber (1894 – 1961)
The male is a domestic animal which, if treated with firmness, can be trained to do most things.
When the candles are out all women are fair.
Plutarch (46 AD – 120 AD), Morals
Don’t accept rides from strange men, and remember that all men are strange.
Men live in a fantasy world. I know this because I am one, and I actually receive my mail there.
Scott Adams (1957 – )
Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.
Timothy Leary (1920 – 1996)
For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.
Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941)
Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned,
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
William Congreve (1670 – 1729), The Mourning Bride, 1697, act III scene 8
One of the novels short-listed for this year’s Booker Prize was “C” by Tom McCarthy. It is not the first novel to be identified with a single letter. Literary Gods such as John Berger, John Updike, and Vassilis Vassilikosall have titled novels with a single letter. In fact, McCarthy has reused a letter which has titled a novel by another author.
This may not be the way to go in this digital age as Google has a problem when searching for a single letter. Internet marketing could be a problem. Instead of word of mouth advertising, you would need letter of mouth publicity.
However, should you get the urge to title your next novel with one letter, there are some letters still untaken.
B, D, F, I, J, L, R, T, and U are still available.
So, now the question.
With that clue, think upon which letters have already been taken and can you name any of the authors. Other than the three mentioned above. With those three, name the novel.
After you have given up, head on over the jump. (more…)
A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.
Bob Hope (1903 – 2003)
Drive-in banks were established so most of the cars today could see their real owners.
E. Joseph Cossman
A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
I don’t have a bank account, because I don’t know my mother’s maiden name.
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), (Attributed)
He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.
Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.
Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870), David Copperfield, 1849
If all the rich people in the world divided up their money among themselves there wouldn’t be enough to go around.
Christina Stead (1903 – 1983), House of All Nations (1938) “Credo”
Endless money forms the sinews of war.
Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC), Philippics
Lack of money is the root of all evil.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
Aesop (620 BC – 560 BC), The Lion and the Mouse
The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible.
Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
There are no thanks for a kindness, which has been delayed.
Compassion is the basis of all morality.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)
There is no duty more obligatory than the repayment of kindness.
Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC)
Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.
Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)
Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.
Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC), The Confucian Analects
I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Ettiene De Grellet
Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
George Sand (1804 – 1876)
Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else’s life forever.
Margaret Cho, weblog, 03-11-04
I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
Tennessee Williams (1911 – 1983), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
The Dalai Lama (1935 – )
That best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.
William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)
I tested this new “Writing Analyzer” which I found because I read the unmatchable Raincoaster’s most recent post on the “Shebeen Club” by giving it a sample from my recent “Aliens and Australians” blog post. I was deemed to write like :
I thought to myself, I did, Wow! That’s cool.
So I decided to do a control check and I tested a few paragraphs from my even more recent post on Religion.
And found that
So now I have this vision of Bertie Wooster with tentacles. Or of Cthulhu Himself with a Shoggoth named Jeeves.
Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.
Alice May Brock
The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
Calvin Trillin (1935 – )
Food is an important part of a balanced diet.
Fran Lebowitz (1950 – )
My favorite animal is steak.
Fran Lebowitz (1950 – )
New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.
Orson Welles (1915 – 1985)
Fish is the only food that is considered spoiled once it smells like what it is.
P. J. O’Rourke (1947 – )
Never eat more than you can lift.
We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.
Agnes Repplier (1855 – 1950), Americans and Others, 1912
Total absence of humor renders life impossible.
Colette (1873 – 1954), Chance Acquaintances, 1952
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
e e cummings (1894 – 1962)
Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can.
One doesn’t have a sense of humor. It has you.
Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.
Lord Byron (1788 – 1824)
The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
Beware of too much laughter, for it deadens the mind and produces oblivion.
Laughter is the closest distance between two people.
Victor Borge (1909 – 2000)
Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.
W. H. Auden (1907 – 1973)