Category Archives: NOC

Not otherwise classified

Serendipity

How wonderful to come across a cite of one of our stories from 2006, ‘Adventure Playgrounds’ a Dying Breed in the U.S., by Kristin Wiederholt for KALW, about a Berkeley playground where kids bang together play forts from scavenged nails and scrap lumber, in one of the texts I’m recording for Learning Ally, Julie Bullard, Creating Environments for Learning: Birth to Age Eight, 3/e (2017). (Inside baseball note: This NPR story is so old [in the digital domain], it doesn’t follow our copy editing stylebook that all words in the title are to be capitalized.)

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Peculiar muzak: 4

Portishead, “Sour Times,” in the Unique thrift store in Merrifield.

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Father forgive all of us

Coventry Cathedral keeps its doors open.

We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, straight, gay, confused, well-heeled or down-at-heel. We especially welcome wailing babies and excited toddlers…. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throats as kids or got lost on the Ring Road and wound up here by mistake. We welcome pilgrims, tourists, seekers, doubters and you.

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Squee

What a great idea: there’s a growing movement (partly imported from Japan) of sport fishing to maximize the number of species caught, rather than the size of the individuals. Anglers go after shiners and darters rather than bass and trout.

Micro-fishing, you’re using the smallest-size hook you can find at your local tackle stores, so your fly fishing hooks and things like that,” [Michael] Moore says. “And instead of casting, like you would with regular fishing, it feels really weird, but you’re usually just dangling the bait in front of fish that you can see.”

Some successful fishers have a species list that numbers in the 400s. There aren’t a lot of birders that have a list that long.

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Still don’t get the “Birdhouse in Your Soul” reference

It’s National Lighthouse Day, people! Take a tour of lighthouses on National Wildlife Refuge lands.

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50 feet to the inch

Glen Creason takes us through the map collection at the Los Angeles Public Library.

NYPL Wire

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Don’t ever stop being you, Pennsylvania

In the commonwealth of economic development by pointless naming, PA 424 in Luzerne County is officially designated the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce Beltway. This 6 km-long bypass, a straight shot between I-81 and PA 93, used to be named simply the Hazleton South Beltway.

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Holidays, be happy

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I like it

Already widely linked, and even parodied, Jonathan Franzen’s op ed piece, adapted from a commencement address, is still highly linkable. Franzen’s like/love distinction reminds me of another excellent piece from the Times, Russell Baker’s “Why Being Serious Is Hard.” (My clipping of Baker’s column has, alas, gone missing.) Baker made a similar distinction between passionate commitment to something, even to the point of looking silly (“being serious”), and merely going along with the flow (“being solemn”).

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Low tide after a big storm

Via The Morning News, Cornelia Dean visits a conference of the North American Sea Glass Association.

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I get confused: 2

(With some help from Leta.)

  • William Golding wrote Lord of the Flies and several other books less well-remembered. No matter, he received a Booker and Nobel for his work.
  • William Goldman writes screenplays, including the magically popular The Princess Bride and the Penelope Ann Miller vehicle Year of the Comet. He is the source of the catchphrase “Nobody knows anything.”
  • James Goldman made the stage play The Lion in Winter and collaborated with Stephen Sondheim on Follies and Evening Primrose.

Still confused about the Goldmans? It’s not surprising: they’re brothers.

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Some links: 42

A few weeks ago, Bas Bleu retraced the track of a bicycle trip she took across France 30 years ago, this time en voiture. I’m reading her reports completely out of order, chronologically and geographically, but I don’t think it matters. You could pick up the thread with her in Bordeaux, perhaps.

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Underpants

Via Arts & Letters Daily, Stuart Jeffries explores the recent population explosion of bangs, and in passing visits a small town in Québec (named for what I think of as a feature of landscape architecture), Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!

“Cut out all those exclamation marks,” wrote F Scott Fitzgerald. “An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes.”

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I get confused: 1

Bill Bryson is the guy who writes the humorous travel books; Bill Buford used to edit Granta; Bill Bruford was the drummer for Yes. Bruford is the Brit; Bryson, although a resident of the U.K. for a time, is from Iowa.

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On the road

Google Maps’ search features have become more forgiving, so that a state-by-state search for thoroughfares named Gorsline turns up usable results:

Each one is a concrete tracing of someplace that my ancestors and family have passed through.

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