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"Like plates washed clean"

Happy birthday to alii_s. May you have a wonderful day today and many more to come!

A few notes...

* For a limited time, HarperCollins is making Neil Gaiman's fantastic novel Neverwhere available online for free. I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you haven't read it, here's a perfect opportunity!

* Thanks to everyone who participated in my poll about October. My annual month-long, Halloween-inspired "spooky" blogfest will indeed be back this year, and I'm busy making plans, so I hope it will be lots of fun for everyone. I know I'm looking forward to it!

* Today we went to Charlotte and saw the "A Day in Pompeii" exhibit at Discovery Place. It was quite remarkable, especially the room-size frescoes, the funerary sculptures, and the plaster casts of the victims. Charlotte is the final U.S. destination for this exhibit, so if you're in the area and interested, be sure to see it.

"The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze."
- John Updike



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 9th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you! :)
Sep. 8th, 2008 02:20 am (UTC)
I saw the Pompeii exhibit here in San Diego, partly as research for my current GURPS book—and it was worth it; I learned that the ancient Romans had beam balances (the kind used for scales in many doctors' offices) as well as pan balances, which shows a conceptual advance in grasping that weight = F(length). I also got to look at some Roman surgical equipment.

Then there were the plaster casts of bodies, next to the exit, and those were hard to look at:

The man lying twisted up, reaching out one hand to touch his wife

The dog bent double in agony

The slave wearing shackles that would have slowed his flight
Sep. 10th, 2008 01:01 pm (UTC)
That was utterly amazing. I'm so glad it proved useful to you professionally, too! I was especially haunted by the dog and the slave, since both were chained and unable to flee properly. It's hard to wrap the mind around how terrible those last minutes must have been, even though death itself apparently came swiftly.

I'm glad we both had the opportunity to see it.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )