Monday, June 28, 2021

And cobalt is goblin metal

For no good reason, I was reading about different kinds of metal, and I came up with this: Since bronze is copper and tin while brass is copper and zinc, a useful mnemonic to keep in your head is that each of these alloys gets exactly one Z. I’m so pleased with myself. I think this belongs right up there with Roy G. Biv or my very excellent mother just served us nachos. And what do you know; it happened again. See, I keep meaning to procrastinate but something interesting always diverts my attention and I end up being productive.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Double Dutch

Theo van Doesburg was a Dutch artist who, while not as famous today as his friend and fellow Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, also made paintings that featured strong black horizontal and vertical lines defining rectangles of primary pigment. They agreed that this was the best way to make art. Then Doesburg suggested that diagonal lines might be cool too, and Mondrian said nope just horizontal and vertical, and they stopped talking to each other for five years. Which might seem silly at first but the more I think about it the more I wish I cared about anything that much.

Monday, June 14, 2021

There's your trouble.

When I was a boy we drank water when we got thirsty. Okay, sometimes birch beer in frosted mugs from Royal Castle, but mostly water. And there was plenty of snow every year. But now there’s not enough snow and the Southwest could be looking at another dreadful fire season because they count on the melting snow to refill their reservoirs. And look, all this time ya’ll are enjoying these naturally essenced unsweetened fizzy beverages which (hello?) the bubbles in those cans are little balls of carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas and we’re burping our way to extinction.

Monday, June 7, 2021

In which bears ruin everything.

Looking over the score of a Chopin Etude, he was fascinated by the areas of paper that did not have ink on them. Thoroughly unmusical, knowing only that the black marks were instructions for manipulating the keyboard of a piano, he theorized that the white spaces could be interpreted as directions for what to do with the mute cracks between the keys. He was thinking of exploring this idea further. Unfortunately,  his investigations were brought to a sudden and tragic end when, while on a nature walk near his summer home, he was waylaid and fatally eaten by some bears.