Archive for April, 2018

Prickly silk

April 30, 2018

One plant from today’s visit to the cactus garden at Stanford: the silk floss tree, Ceiba speciosa (Ciba /síbǝ/), with trunk and branches studded with prickles and with still fresh palmate leaves (with 7 leaflets per leaf on this particular tree).

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Food news in the neighborhood

April 30, 2018

Two recent developments: the closing in December of the neighborhood homey Mexican restaurant La Morenita (at 800 Emerson St., across Homer Ave. from Whole Foods and around the corner from my house, to the southwest) and its replacement a week ago by Taverna, a stylish Greek restaurant; and the recent opening of the Georgian restaurant Bevri (at 530 Bryant St., a couple of blocks from my place, to the northeast).

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Meadowland fauna!

April 30, 2018

On the way to the Stanford Cactus Garden this morning (plant news to come), parked in front of the university’s art museums, facing a meadow of spring wildflowers in the eucalyptus and liveoak woodland that rings the university — when leap! bound! a jackrabbit flashed in the middle of the meadow, then reappeared to sit alert and survey the area.

Pocket gophers, (tree) squirrels, ground squirrels, and chipmunks are all over the Stanford lands, and I’m familiar with jackrabbits from driving across the desert, but a Cardinal jackrabbit — whoa! a double dactyl! — was a new experience for me.

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Antimetricality

April 30, 2018

The short title for a linguistics talk tomorrow at the Stanford Humanities Center: a team of scholars, Paul Kiparsky (Linguistics), Scott Borgeson (Linguistics), Arto Anttila (Linguistics), and Ryan Heuser (English) will present “The Rise and Fall of Antimetricality”.

A notable example of how the Stanford department nourishes combining the methods and results of theoretical linguistics with those of the social sciences and those of the humanities.

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Books and their covers

April 30, 2018

Today’s Zits:

  (#1)

Kids these days! Did Pierce never think to look at the Wikipedia entry for the book? I thought that’s what kids do first when assigned a book report.

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All the dessert world is not either cake or pie

April 29, 2018

Steph Shih on Facebook today:

There is this dessert that Darya [Kavitskaya, who is natively Russian, which will eventually become important, but not in this posting] sometimes makes and she calls it a “pie” when really I insist it falls better into the category of a “cake”. So finally today, I drew this.

(#1) Steph’s objection framed as a Magrittean disavowal (it’s obviously a pie, but… — except that for Steph, it just isn’t a pie)

But, as it turns out, it’s not much of a cake either, as most people use that label these days. It looks a lot like a clafoutis, but most of you won’t even know that name — for anything, much less a fruit flan (a term also unknown to most of you).  Unlike pie and cakeclafoutis and flan are specialized cooking terms

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Visit to a Small Planet

April 29, 2018

My morning name from a couple of days ago: the title of the Broadway play starring Cyril Ritchard, specifically (and not the movie starring Jerry Lewis):

(#1) Playbill for the show

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acuminate

April 29, 2018

Today’s morning name, and it turns out to be surprisingly relevant today.

adjective acuminate: Biology (of a plant or animal structure, e.g. a leaf) tapering to a point. ORIGIN late 16th century: from late Latin acuminatus ‘pointed’, from acuminare ‘sharpen to a point’, from acuere ‘sharpen’ [cf. acute].

Relevant to my daily life through the variegated agave (Agave desmetiana) that flourishes on my back patio (last noted here in my 11/4/17 posting “The succulent report”); it has wicked needle-like — acuminate — leaf tips that wound me every time I try to work around the plant. These plants evolved to seriously stave off herbivores and other pesky creatures.

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Return to Austin TX

April 29, 2018

… in today’s Zippy, which features the old Fran’s Hamburgers in Austin TX — it closed in 2013 — and its notable fiberglass mascot:

(#1)

In Zippy’s world, fiberglass figures are often given to intense self-reflection, especially about their place in the world.

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Frieda Box

April 28, 2018

The One Big Happy from April 1st:

A typical Ruthie eggcornish re-interpretation of an expression that’s unfamiliar to her: free the box makes no sense, but it just could be a proper name (maybe for a warrior princess).

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