Genius!

It’s time to determine what’s “Genius”—I mean, yes,
The talented people, deserving of grants
MacArthurs, of course—they give dollars to scholars
And artists, and authors, and folks who can dance;
Lawyers, musicians, mathematics, dramatics,
Inventors of this or the other device
Each year, I think “hey—sepielling? No telling!”
Each year, I conclude, “well, it would have been nice” [Read more...]

“Hold On” (Donkey Kong Variations)

Oh, my. So, as my regular readers both know, I am a Tom Waits fan. Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan are incredible songwriters; I know personal tastes differ, but if you disagree, you are quite simply wrong. And Mule Variations is a great album, with a taste of all the different facets of a musical life; it has some of my favorite songs ever–which I would elaborate on, but I would go on forever, and that’s not my point.

My point is, somebody (Buddy Peace, is his internet name) also loves that album, and a couple of months ago put out a tribute, “Donkey Kong Variations”, in the 8-bit musical stylings so familiar to video game enthusiasts of a certain age. I am roughly of that age, but was not a gamer, so the Waits/Brennan angle is the hook for me–and Kathleen Brennan herself linked to Buddy Peace’s version of “Hold On”, which is how I found it. “Hold On” was the most successful single (do they still use that term?), so the most likely to be known by those of you who are not necessarily fans… anyway… [Read more...]

Unexpected Science: Sixth Grade Edition

Lionfish live in the ocean
Little Lauren gets a notion:
Might they live in rivers, too?
Would they thrive in brackish water?
Lauren, ichthyologist’s daughter,
Knows just what to do

Slowly starts desalination
Learns some brand-new information
Of which we’re now aware
New understanding’s always great
So, never underestimate
The sixth-grade science fair! [Read more...]

Cuttlefish Shakespeare Fanboi Squee!!!!

So today is, as far as you know, William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday (no one knows for sure, but it’s as good a day as any, and better than most, to pretend that it is). Which is cool. The odds are very much against anyone knowing I ever existed nearly 4 centuries from now (and if you exclude whatever future version of ancestry.com is in use then, the odds are even lower), but Shakespeare will be known for pretty much as long as people are known. If the last copy of any human book that ever exists is a version of one of Shakespeare’s plays, it would not surprise me (yes, assuming that I still exist to be surprised by the heat death of the universe), and if it is something else instead, more’s the pity. [Read more...]