Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Check in bringing the mind home.
~Sogyal Rinpoche

this week's hand-lettering

Did you see the yoga videos by Adrienne that I showed a while back? In her videos, Adrienne often mentions checking in with the breath, checking in with the body. I like that idea.

These two "body scan" videos below (which I have used when I have insomnia) lead you through a little relaxing checking-in. They are pretty similar, but one has a man speaking and the other features a woman. Take your pick (or try both).

Monday, November 20, 2017


What we ask is to be human individuals, however peculiar and unexpected.
~Dorothy L. Sayers

The other day I received a press release about Hailee Steinfeld's new song. I wasn't familiar with her, but my 16yo had seen her videos, including the one I'm sharing for Music Monday. This upbeat song caught my attention with its supportive message about having things in common even though "no two are the same":

Most Girls (Official Video) by Hailee Steinfeld on VEVO.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sonnets again

A sonnet might look dinky, but it was somehow big enough to accommodate love, war, death, and O.J. Simpson. You could fit the whole world in there if you shoved hard enough.
~Anne Fadiman

Someone who carries a wee copy of Shakespeare's sonnets with him and has your favorite one (nearly) memorized? It's enough to win Kate Winslet's heart:

William Wordsworth in defense of form poems generally, and sonnets specifically:

NUNS fret not at their convent's narrow room
William Wordsworth. 1770–1850

NUNS fret not at their convent's narrow room,
And hermits are contented with their cells,
And students with their pensive citadels;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
High as the highest peak of Furness fells,
Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells:
In truth the prison unto which we doom
Ourselves no prison is: and hence for me,
In sundry moods, 'twas pastime to be bound
Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
Should find brief solace there, as I have found.


Why did I call this "Sonnets again"? I also posted sonnets by Michelangelo, Shakespeare's sonnets in Chinese and in an app and sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Raincity Librarian has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jane!


I have tried to improve telescopes and practiced continually to see with them. These instruments have play'd me so many tricks that I have at last found them out in many of their humours.
~Sir William Herschel

Spyglasses today, a.k.a. monoculars! ("Monoculars" sounds like a funny word, although "binoculars" is ordinary. Is it like "disgruntled" and "gruntled"? "Rejected" and "jected"? I'm just making stuff up now.)

Priscilla Long writes, "The spyglass was the first scientific instrument to amplify the human senses, to make previously invisible objects visible." Read the whole article (about Galileo and the spyglass) here.

Galilean spyglass, reproduction of one of Galileo's spyglasses, XX.
photo by Alessandro Nassiri, Museo scienza e tecnologia Milano

Nachet collection: two spy glasses made by Dolland, London

Exhibit in the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon (Zwinger), Dresden, Germany

O catalexo-Looking at the sea. The spyglass.
photo by luscofusco

Opera glasses, exhibit in the Brooklyn Museum
photo by Daderot

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Looking on the bright side

Make every misadventure an adventure.
~Alana Siegel

Today's hand-lettered quote is from a poem suggested by Michelle and written by Anonymous:

The optimist fell ten stories,
and at every window bar
he shouted to his friends,
"all right so far!"

Scientists say you don't need to start out optimistic because it's possible to become an optimist.

A charming talk by an optimist, perhaps especially good for people who think they don't like classical music:

Monday, November 13, 2017


Are we hanging onto something special?
I think so
~Milky Chance

An interesting video by German group Milky Chance with British singer-songwriter Izzy Bizu (If they seem familiar, I did feature them each before, separately):

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Action needed

If one thinks of various ways in which commonplace items, from car seats to medicine bottle tops, have been childproofed, it's clear that society's general desire has been to eliminate as many potential dangers from children as possible, even when the number of those who might be harmed is relatively small. If one child's death is preventable, then the proper question isn't "Why should we do this" but rather "Why shouldn't we?"
~Gary Younge

photo by silvioassuncao

I had something else ready to go for this week, but when I read this, I moved the other post to next week. This has to be said, much as it tears me up.

Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild
by Kathy Fish

A group of grandmothers is a tapestry. A group of toddlers, a jubilance (see also: a bewailing). A group of librarians is an enlightenment. A group of visual artists is a bioluminescence. A group of short story writers is a Flannery. A group of musicians is — a band.

A resplendence of poets.

A beacon of scientists.

A raft of social workers.

A group of first responders is a valiance. A group of peaceful protestors is a dream. A group of special education teachers is a transcendence. A group of neonatal ICU nurses is a divinity. A group of hospice workers, a grace.

Humans in the wild, gathered and feeling good, previously an exhilaration, now: a target.

A target of concert-goers.

A target of movie-goers.

A target of dancers.

A group of schoolchildren is a target.


Some people say there's nothing that can be done. I reject that.

Jama's Alphabet Soup has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jama!