Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The courteous canal

sancrucensis, with an assist from Newman, finds an important distinction that Roger Scruton missed in his lecture The Face of the Earth. Since all Truth is One, you might say, his distinction also sheds surprising new light on Belloc's poem Courtesy.

Monday, August 30, 2010


In the 1998 film Enemy of the State, a character chasing Gene Hackman as they zero in on his surveillance-proof workshop is wearing the same sort of horrifying translucent plastic rain jacket Hackman wore almost constantly in the 1974 film The Conversation. (If I hadn't seen plastic jackets like that when I was a kid, I'd never believe they existed.)

At extraordinary speed

A disquieting article in the Telegraph:
Simon Winchester, author of ‘The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary’, said the switch towards online formats was “prescient”. He said: “Until six months ago I was clinging to the idea that printed books would likely last for ever. Since the arrival of the iPad I am now wholly convinced otherwise. The printed book is about to vanish at extraordinary speed. I have two complete OEDs, but never consult them – I use the online OED five or six times daily. The same with many of my reference books – and soon with most. Books are about to vanish; reading is about to expand as a pastime; these are inescapable realities.”