Ruling Engine

Blessed are those who did not see, but, being blind, believed.


[sticky post]Updated Reading: Interlibrary Loan


Inspired by Ben Epsen and with time on my hands I decided to compile a list of my reading over the last few years. I'll start with a conveniently copied list of my interlibrary loan books,(most recently read first.) The list is light on fiction as I order little of that from ILL. It does not reflect my regular library borrowing or my purchases. I assure you I read a lot of trash.  I have omitted books I checked out but read little of; save where noted I have read through everything on the list, which is not to say, alas, that I actually absorbed all or most of it


The Runaway Brain
Christopher Wills
Current Reading
Beyond Natural Selection
written 1991; last book of political scientist Robert Wesson (1920-1991) who in retirement pursued a lifelong  interest in cosmology and biology (see also his
Metacosmos, 1989).
Accepts natural selection but with massive examples from the biological literature, he gently reviews the philosophical and scientific arguments against a strict materialist Neo-Darwinism.
The bibliography alone is worth the book, but I wesson was a superb writer on any subject he addressed.
Robert Wesson


The diaries of Dawn Powell,

Powell, Dawn

Recommended  by: Gore Vidal

Powell's often harrowing and always funny life should make for great reading but somehow I couldnt get into it. I'll have to content myself with her brilliant post WWII novels, especially Wicked Pavilion

Willard Gibbs,

Rukeyser, Muriel

 I was interested to see a poet tackle the biography of America's greatest mathematical physicist. Rukeyser wrote this when she was only 25. Alas I  got only as far as her account of Gibb's father, the attorney for the slaves in the celebrated Amistad case, before I had to turn the book in.

Read more...Collapse )



Or, at least, I will be when I sext young women.



I finally downloaded the IPAD APP for LJ. It's free but I'm lazy and don't post much, but LJ wouldn't access my photo album directly without it.

Here's the first page of Levy's 'Carmen'.




I once picked up a thin guide to opera at a used book vendor for about a quarter. Brief composer and lyricist bios, synopses, background history and the like.

The index was a little disconcerting, since all the titles were listed as the most literal English, including works universally known by the title in the language of composition. Thus, Knight of the Rose, The Bat, Puritans, Fall of the Gods, Gold of the Rhine for Rosenkavalier, Fliedermaus, etc.
Cosi Fan Tutte was actually rendered as 'They're All Like That', though indeed they are. If I still had it, I'd check to see if the gave 'Die Walküre' as 'the Shield Maiden'. They probably did.


What stirred that memory is that I've been reading up on Newman Levy (1888-1966),
a light versifier who was Assistant District Attorney of New York City in the 1920's and '30's.
Much funnier than Jack McCoy or even Rudy Guiliani, though.
He wrote plot parodies of 'Thais' and 'Carmen' which ticked me as a teenager.
Turns out there is a children's edition of his opera spoofs online, link below.
Has all the opera verses as jpg files with original illustrations, or you can download the book.
Just for a lark I ordered the 1923 Alfred Knopf original from ILL.



I have never seen Paula Deen's TV show and knew next to nothing about her till the recent brouhaha.

To show my support for her, I just ordered her Southern Cooking book from 2011, the first hardback I've spent money on in several

I also logged in with Target, Walmart, Smithfield foods, and Random House. I've done business with all of 'em in the past,
and I told them they were cowardly scum and would never get a penny of my money again.

In fact, considering the circumstances in which she uttered the Deplorable Word, anyone whatever who has condemned her is cowardly scum. 


Calvery's Ode To Tobacco

Calvery's Ode To Tobacco
(Written at Cambridge in 1862)
A tribute to this firm*
Thou, who when fears attack
Bidst them avaunt, and Black
Care, at the horseman's back
Perching, unseatest;
Sweet, when the morn is grey;
Sweet, when they've cleared away
Lunch; and at close of day
Possibly sweetest:
I have a liking old
For thee, though manifold
Stories, I know, are told
Not to thy credit;
How one (or two at most)
Drops make a cat a ghost, -
Useless, except to roast -
Doctors have said it:
How they who use fusees
All grow by slow degrees
Brainless as chimpanzees,
Meagre as lizards;
Go mad, and beat their wives;
Plunge (after shocking lives)
Razors and carving-knives
Into their gizzards.
Confound such knavish tricks!
Yet know I five or six
Smokers who freely mix
Still with their neighbours;
Jones - (who, I'm glad to say,
Asked leave of Mrs. J - )
Daily absorbs a clay
After his labours.
Cats may have had their goose
Cooked by tobacco-juice;
Still, why deny its use
Thoughtfully taken?
We're not as tabbies are;
Smith, take a fresh cigar!
Jones, the tobacco jar!
Here's to thee, Bacon!
*On the corner of Market Street and Rose Crescent, the shop used to be a tobacconist called Bacon. There is a plaque on the wall in Rose Crescent with a light-hearted poem in praise of tobacco, mentioning Bacon. This was written by Charles Stuart Calverley (1831-1884). He came to Christs College, Cambridge after being expelled from Oxford.
"Black care" is an echo of the Latin poet Horace, Odes 3.1.41: post equitem sedet atra Cura (black care sits behind the horseman). A 'fusee' is a match that stays alight even in a strong wind. A 'clay' is 'a clay pipe. It is tempting to say that "Confound such knavish tricks" is an echo from the second verse of the National Anthem (1745) "Confound their politics, Frustrate their knavish tricks".



He lasted 18 days...

...before they tracked him down.

Disappear in surveillance Britain?

The movie


Glorious Fourth!

Take a moment to give thanks for our nation's freedom.

Because of the Declaration of Independence we are not Canadians and don't have to eat poutine.

</span> /pˈtn/</span>; Quebec French pronunciation : [put͡sɪn] (

listen)) is a French Canadian dish of French fries, topped with brown gravy and cheese curds.)



More John Reilly Quotes

Review of Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey (David Horowitz's remarkable memoir of how the New Left turned sour.)

"By 1970, Horowitz's chief claim to eminence on the Left was as co-editor of Ramparts magazine with Peter Collier. Ramparts, based in San Francisco, was a politically engaged publication of the sort that was too pure to ever actually turn a profit. It depended on a series of financial angels and the fundraising skills of its managers. Collier and Horowitz took it over in a coup made possible by the fact that the angels of the East Coast could not be bothered to come to a board of directors meeting in San Francisco to discuss the latest financial crisis. Once in control, they attempted for a while to institute a regime of Maoist equality. Everyone got the same salary, all major decisions were made by collective agreement, even the names on the masthead were arranged alphabetically to avoid the taint of hierarchy.

One thing that this experiment proved was that hierarchy is an instrument of kindness. Without it, every dispute must be personalized and decided in public. Ordinary staff meetings became day-long struggle-sessions that not only wasted time, but envenomed personal relations. And behind it all, of course, was the fact it was a fraud. Collier and Horowitz actually ran the magazine as long as they had the angels on their side. It followed the policy they set, and their most unfortunate policy was to promote the Black Panther Party as a revolutionary vanguard."


Another tribute to John Reilly


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