Archive for September, 2015

Roselle

September 30, 2015

In a conversation recently with a friend at Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden, he told me about a plant familiar to him from Mexico, which turned out to be Roselle. From Wikipedia:

Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a species of Hibiscus native to West Africa, used for the production of bast fibre and as an infusion, in which it may also be known as carcade. It is an annual or perennial herb or woody-based subshrub, growing to 2–2.5 m (7–8 ft) tall.

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A stem of Hibiscus sabdariffa showing flower, calyx and leaves, at Wave Hill, the Bronx

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Muhly grass

September 30, 2015

From a recent visit to Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden, a glimpse of a very pretty ornamental grass. Photo from the web:

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This is a white variant (White Cloud) of Muhlenbergia capillaris, Muhlenbergia being the genus of muhly grasses. (Note that the common name is derived by clipping from the botanical name.)

The botanical name will take us on an adventure in U.S. history, starting in the early 18th century.

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Another bagpiper

September 30, 2015

Commenting on Facebook about my Dudelsack posting (with its digression into Scottish bagpipe music), John Lawler reported on the “coolest opera name ever”: Schwanda der Dudelsackpfeifer (Schwanda the Bagpiper). Granting that bagpipes are a rarity in opera, this one has several operatic staples in it: folk characters, magical music, and the Devil, in particular.

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Philip Bonneau

September 30, 2015

Posted on Google+ by Tim Evanson yesterday, this image of a half-naked male superhero, Captain Marvel, that is simultaneously sexy and funny — celebrating the beauty of this broad-shouldered model’s body as he assumes a Captain Marvel persona in a gently mocking way.

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From the Flickr account of photographer Philip Bonneau, who’s an ornament of the Atlanta gay community and the creator of a Heroes + Villains series of male photography.

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Morning name: Dudelsack / doodlesack

September 29, 2015

Maybe WQXR played some bagpipe music while I was sleeping, but this was the name in my head when I woke: German Dudelsack (aka Sackpfeife) or English doodlesack, take your pick. In either case, the skirling and droning was in my head. A sample: the “Skye Boat Song” on bagpipes:

And, in case you haven’t seen a bagpiper and his instrument:

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Leberkäs(e)

September 28, 2015

From Ned Deily yesterday, a Facebook posting announcing:

Last night’s last meal in Berlin: Leberkäs, what else? — at Berlin Friedrichstraße station. … The joke is that it is neither liver nor cheese and definitely not Berlin-ish.

with a photo:

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More photos to come.

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Morning Name: Ritual Fire Dance

September 28, 2015

Intense music in my head this morning. From Wikipedia:

Danza ritual del fuego (Ritual Fire Dance) is a movement of the ballet El amor brujo (The Bewitched Love), written by the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla in 1915. It was made popular by the composer’s own piano arrangement. The dance has a duration of about three to four and a half minutes.

The work was influenced by Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee due to its fast, repetitive trills and ornaments. The piece was also influenced by the traditional, religious ceremony of a fire dance. This is a dance which was used to worship the fire-god, and in which people would often jump through or leap around the fire.

You can find photos of various native peoples engaged in fire dances — as on this cover of a recording:

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On display

September 28, 2015

(Captioned Daily Jocks ads, focused on men’s bodies and the presentation of the self in photos, not on language, though there’s a small morphological note.)

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All in his head:

In his trancewear, Rod
Re-plays his greatest
Tricks, three seconds per
Frame.

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Travis is on offer:

You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me?
You make the move. It’s your move, faggot.

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Two memorable actors

September 27, 2015

Two actors whose memorable faces and voices I recently recognized in tv shows (without knowing their names): very recently in the new show Blindspot, a little while back in NCIS: New Orleans. Both women, both black, both with family histories in the West Indies, both with their early education in England, both now working primarily in American television. Marianne Jean-Baptiste in Blindspot and C. C. H. Pounder in NCIS: New Orleans.

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Vicious wombats

September 27, 2015

From Gail Collins’s NYT column yesterday, “Bye, Bye, John Boehner”:

under normal circumstances, [Speaker of the House John Boehner] would have used the Democratic votes to keep the government funded. Then the right wing would have descended on him like a band of vicious wombats.

I was taken aback by the vicious wombats. In my experience, wombats are seen as stupid and ridiculous, rather than dangerous. From Wikipedia:

In general, wombats are seen by many as being fat, slow, lazy animals, and are often mocked.

But wombats have powerful claws and sharp teeth, and they don’t like to be handled. So, from Wikipedia:

Humans can receive puncture wounds from wombat claws, as well as bites. Startled wombats can also charge humans and bowl them over, with the attendant risks of broken bones from the fall.

If you mess with a wombat, you might well see them as vicious, as some people seem to. (But they don’t travel in bands.)

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