Saturday, June 25, 2005

Top movie quotes

1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," "Gone With the Wind," 1939.

2. "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse," "The Godfather," 1972.

3. "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am," "On the Waterfront," 1954.

4. "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.

5. "Here's looking at you, kid," "Casablanca," 1942.

6. "Go ahead, make my day," "Sudden Impact," 1983.

7. "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up," "Sunset Blvd.," 1950.

8. "May the Force be with you," "Star Wars," 1977.

9. "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night," "All About Eve," 1950.

10. "You talking to me?" "Taxi Driver," 1976.

11. "What we've got here is failure to communicate," "Cool Hand Luke," 1967.

12. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning," "Apocalypse Now," 1979.

13. "Love means never having to say you're sorry," "Love Story," 1970.

14. "The stuff that dreams are made of," "The Maltese Falcon," 1941.

15. "E.T. phone home," "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," 1982.

16. "They call me Mister Tibbs!", "In the Heat of the Night," 1967.

17. "Rosebud," "Citizen Kane," 1941.

18. "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!", "White Heat," 1949.

19. "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!", "Network," 1976.

20. "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," "Casablanca," 1942.

21. "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti," "The Silence of the Lambs," 1991.

22. "Bond. James Bond," "Dr. No," 1962.

23. "There's no place like home," "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.

24. "I am big! It's the pictures that got small," "Sunset Blvd.," 1950.

25. "Show me the money!", "Jerry Maguire," 1996.

26. "Why don't you come up sometime and see me?", "She Done Him Wrong," 1933.

27. "I'm walking here! I'm walking here!", "Midnight Cowboy," 1969.

28. "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By,'" "Casablanca," 1942.

29. "You can't handle the truth!", "A Few Good Men," 1992.

30. "I want to be alone," "Grand Hotel," 1932.

31. "After all, tomorrow is another day!", "Gone With the Wind," 1939.

32. "Round up the usual suspects," "Casablanca," 1942.

33. "I'll have what she's having," "When Harry Met Sally...," 1989.

34. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow," "To Have and Have Not," 1944.

35. "You're gonna need a bigger boat," "Jaws," 1975.

36. "Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!", "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," 1948.

37. "I'll be back," "The Terminator," 1984.

38. "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth," "The Pride of the Yankees," 1942.

39. "If you build it, he will come," "Field of Dreams," 1989.

40. "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get," "Forrest Gump," 1994.

41. "We rob banks," "Bonnie and Clyde," 1967.

42. "Plastics," "The Graduate," 1967.

43. "We'll always have Paris," "Casablanca," 1942.

44. "I see dead people," "The Sixth Sense," 1999.

45. "Stella! Hey, Stella!", "A Streetcar Named Desire," 1951.

46. "Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars," "Now, Voyager," 1942.

47. "Shane. Shane. Come back!", "Shane," 1953.

48. "Well, nobody's perfect," "Some Like It Hot," 1959.

49. "It's alive! It's alive!", "Frankenstein," 1931.

50. "Houston, we have a problem," "Apollo 13," 1995.

51. "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?", "Dirty Harry," 1971.

52. "You had me at `hello,'" "Jerry Maguire," 1996.

53. "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know," "Animal Crackers," 1930.

54. "There's no crying in baseball!", "A League of Their Own," 1992.

55. "La-dee-da, la-dee-da," "Annie Hall," 1977.

56. "A boy's best friend is his mother," "Psycho," 1960.

57. "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good," "Wall Street," 1987.

58. "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer," "The Godfather Part II," 1974.

59. "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again," "Gone With the Wind," 1939.

60. "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!", "Sons of the Desert," 1933.

61. "Say `hello' to my little friend!", "Scarface," 1983.

62. "What a dump," "Beyond the Forest," 1949.

63. "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?", "The Graduate," 1967.

64. "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!", "Dr. Strangelove," 1964.

65. "Elementary, my dear Watson," "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," 1929.

66. "Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape," "Planet of the Apes," 1968.

67. "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine," "Casablanca," 1942.

68. "Here's Johnny!", "The Shining," 1980.

69. "They're here!", "Poltergeist," 1982.

70. "Is it safe?", "Marathon Man," 1976.

71. "Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!", "The Jazz Singer," 1927.

72. "No wire hangers, ever!", "Mommie Dearest," 1981.

73. "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?", "Little Caesar," 1930.

74. "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown," "Chinatown," 1974.

75. "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers," "A Streetcar Named Desire," 1951.

76. "Hasta la vista, baby," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," 1991.

77. "Soylent Green is people!", "Soylent Green," 1973.

78. "Open the pod bay doors, HAL," "2001: A Space Odyssey," 1968.

79. Striker: "Surely you can't be serious." Rumack: "I am serious ... and don't call me Shirley," "Airplane!", 1980.

80. "Yo, Adrian!", "Rocky," 1976.

81. "Hello, gorgeous," "Funny Girl," 1968.

82. "Toga! Toga!", "National Lampoon's Animal House," 1978.

83. "Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make," "Dracula," 1931.

84. "Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast," "King Kong," 1933.

85. "My precious," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," 2002.

86. "Attica! Attica!", "Dog Day Afternoon," 1975.

87. "Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!", "42nd Street," 1933.

88. "Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armor. Don't you forget it. You're going to get back on that horse, and I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we're gonna go, go, go!", "On Golden Pond," 1981.

89. "Tell 'em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper," "Knute Rockne, All American," 1940.

90. "A martini. Shaken, not stirred," "Goldfinger," 1964.

91. "Who's on first," "The Naughty Nineties," 1945.

92. "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac ... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!", "Caddyshack," 1980.

93. "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!", "Auntie Mame," 1958.

94. "I feel the need -- the need for speed!", "Top Gun," 1986.

95. "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary," "Dead Poets Society," 1989.

96. "Snap out of it!", "Moonstruck," 1987.

97. "My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you," "Yankee Doodle Dandy," 1942.

98. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner," "Dirty Dancing," 1987.

99. "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!", "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.

100. "I'm king of the world!", "Titanic," 1997. :-)

Breeder's Bane

Los Alamos, NM. Biologists today report the discovery of another spirit with authority over reproduction. "We call him the Breeder’s Bane," said laboratory spokesman George Frederick. "He is another assistant of Ceres, the accepted subdeity of species propagation."

The Bane was presumably given his position to prevent humans from excessive meddling with allele frequency, to which early twenty-first century geneticists were prone, rather than stewardship, to which we were called. The Breeder’s Bane has power to strike with barrenness. He does this only when variation within a kind has been pushed to its limit.

Secretaries at the Panangelon plan to have the Bane entered into the official lists early next month. Researchers are investigating possible ancient knowledge of the Bane. Should they discover any alternate names, they also will be included in the lists.

Books, Bealls, and intelligent design

Thank you, everyone who's been praying for the reading group. :-) The meeting Wednesday went well. I'd made up a lot of trivia questions and we divided into teams. It was actually kind of fun. In addition to the question (worth one to seven points), you also got a point each for knowing the book it was from, the chapter number, and the chapter title. This led to some impressive (accurate) deductive reasoning. "Well, that happened before this but after that, and it was pretty close to the end..."

Next, I did get the Bealls job after all. :-) I spent all day today watching training videos. The most interesting one was "how to fit a tux"; the most entertaining ones were with this one guy who--well, his photographers got creative. We spent much of one video watching things from the perspective of his pocket.

I have been made happy because I went to the library over my lunch break and checked out the new Amelia book, which came out last April or so and I haven't gotten to read it yet. :-)

And then tonight Daddy began his "Darwin or Design" seminar. The first hour was putting the creation controversy into the perspective of why it's important relating to apologetics. I liked the way Dad did it; he made it clear that creation is not the most important thing to defend in the faith; the Resurrection is that. After that we watched and discussed the first half of the movie "Icons of Evolution." Tomorrow the seminar resumes.

But Bealls wants me to work this Sunday. :-(

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Overheard in a doctor's office

Old man 1: Hi! How ya doin’? Still workin’ on those crazy isotopes?
Old man 2: Not really. We’ve branched out.
Old man 1: Oh? What are you doin’?
Old man 2: Counterfeiting.
Old man 1: Really? Money or somethin’ else?
Old man 2: Money. And golf clubs. Whatever.
Old man 1: Where do you do this?
Old man 2: Industrial park across from Otowi.
Old man 1: Nice that you branched out. Glad I ran into you—I was just tellin’ my wife I hadn’t seen you for a long time.

In honor of the longest day

Ring ye the bels, ye yong men of the towne,
And leave your wonted labors for this day:
This day is holy; doe ye write it downe,
That ye for ever it remember may.
This day the sunne is in his chiefest hight,
With Barnaby the bright,
From whence declining daily by degrees,
He somewhat loseth of his heat and light,
When once the Crab behind his back he sees.
But for this time it ill ordainèd was,
To chose the longest day in all the yeare,
The shortest night, when longest fitter weare:
Yet never day so long, but late would passe.
Ring ye the bels, to make it weare away,
And bonefiers make all day;
And daunce about them, and about them sing,
That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.

From Edmund Spenser's Epithalamion

Monday, June 20, 2005

Fair and perilous

But Boromir stood irresolute and did not follow. "Is there no other way?" he said.

"What fairer way would you desire?" said Aragorn.

"A plain road, though it led through a hedge of swords," said Boromir. "By strange paths has this Company been led, and so far to evil fortune. Against my will we passed under the shades of Moria, to our loss. And now we must enter the Golden Wood, you say. But of that perilous land we have heard in Gondor, and it is said that few come out who once go in; and of that few none have escaped unscathed."

"Say not unscathed, but if you say unchanged, then maybe you speak truth," said Aragorn. "But lore wanes in Gondor, Boromir, if in the city of those who once were wise they now speak evil of Lothlorien. Believe what you will, there is no other way for us--unless you would go back to Moria-gate, or scale the pathless mountains, or swim the Great River all alone."

"Then lead on!" said Boromir. "But it is perilous."

"Perilous indeed," said Aragorn, "fair and perilous; but only evil need fear it, or those who bring some evil with them. Follow me!"


Gimli said, "But you speak of him as if he was a friend. I thought Fangorn was dangerous."

"Dangerous!" cried Gandalf. "And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord. And Aragorn is dangerous, and Legolas is dangerous. You are beset with dangers, Gimli son of Gloin; for you are dangerous yourself, in your fashion."

PHC in the New Yorker

The New Yorker has an article about us. The girl they spend most of their time on, Elisa, was my roommate freshman year. Hanna Rosin did a quite tolerable job overall, though there are some interesting bits.

--She quoted an email of Ben's (on the subject of modesty, which I gather is a foreign concept) rather out of context, and juxtaposed him with Farahn, a trifle unfairly. If you want the full email, I think I have a copy saved. It was much more humble and even-handed than the quote sounds.

--Actually, "the fishbowl" has never been Lake Bob. It refers either to the conference room upstairs or to PHC itself, being, as we generally are, surrounded by media video cameras.

--We manage to have a lot of fun, despite not getting drunk or sleeping around. We certainly have more fun the morning after. :-D

--She didn't mention Liberty Ball, even though she was there and I believe some of the guys asked her to dance. :-)

Father's Day Weekend

We just went up to Colorado!

We set off about 10:15 and drove up past Espanola through Abiquiu, past the old little zoo that the environmentalists closed down because it wasn't run by experts, past the Reservoir we went rafting on once, that day we prayed and God made a hole in the cloud so it wouldn't rain on us (we checked the Weather Channel maps when we got home), past the bright pasty and orange and red layers, and past the big hole chipped out of the orange layers that echoes so beautifully. We had a leisurely lunch and shopping at Chama, NM (the train lives there, you see, the narrow-gauge something or other that greatly excites the people who like trains), and headed up to Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Dad and I checked us into the hotel; or tried to. It was only three, and the room wasn't ready till four. So we went across the street and hung out at the Visitor's Center for an hour. It was on the banks of the San Juan River, which was overflowing itself and being generally busy. We took pictures. We also took pictures of "The Springs," which is a quasi-spa built on the very Springs Pagosa is named after. Beautiful place.

So then we checked in properly, checked out the pool, and had dinner. It had a back balcony that overlooked the River and the Springs. The food was tolerable, but the view was priceless...we watched a girl and her brother at the Springs. It was hilarious. They took turns, one holding the another's ankles while they leaned over and stuck their head in the river. I don't know WHAT they were doing, but it was awfully funny. And the girl had a stick almost twice as long as she was, and she'd toss it in the river and catch it just a bit downstream. Eventually her dad tossed it in with great vigor. No more stick.

Dad, Emily, and I went to the Springs ourselves after dinner; it was great. We spent most of our time in one particular pool. I read "The Two Towers" and they talked to an old gentleman who teaches school on a Navajo reservations during the winter and camps out with his horse all summer. He had a lot of great stories. There was a gazebo there with snow-cone and popcorn machines, so we got some of both and listened to a couple tell stories, about their daughter and son-in-law, who work in Hollywood and know all these celebrities I've never heard of. I am dreadfully out of the loop. Well...we started it, because we were talking amongst ourselves about how Torrey and Katie Jackson's little sister were getting married, and they thought we said "Kate Jackson." After dark, the Springs had an inflatable movie screen, a projector, and a highly effective sound system, and played Lilo and Stitch and A New Hope. But we left before that.

And then today we went swimming, had lunch and shopping at a Victorian tea house, went to Best Buy and Old Navy in Santa Fe, and came home. I amused myself this evening by editing "The Quartz" (I think it's done now) and starting an epic in limericks about the Normouse. His name is Striking, so presumably in the past he had an ancestor named Strike. Oh, and I've been doing reading for the reading group, which meets Wednesday. If anyone comes up with good DQs for "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," Book II of "The Two Towers," or "The Horse and His Boy," I'm open for suggestions. :-)

Happy Father's Day, y'all!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Stray bits of sciency things

The lab has developed a multi-color LED. This is moderately cool.

The lab has also been cryogenically manipulating spin on electrons. The atmosphere got a little cold when the idea came up, but everybody's happy now.

Stanford is making a serious effort to measure how much Earth is dragging its inertial frame along with it in space. The goal is to test Einstein's general relativity. If spacetime is a cube of jello, the earth is a spinning ball inside that cube, and the jello will be dragged along with the ball. That's what Gravity Probe B is interested in.

The current theory is that the universe is up to 90% dark matter, named so because we don't know where or what it is. However, it has to be there because otherwise the universe couldn't have held together properly since the big bang. Second reason: there's a project in the works (entitled, regretfully, OGLE) to use it as a sort of gravitational magnifying glass to see more distant stars than they otherwise could. The only creationist position I could find was skeptical of dark matter. Personally, I don't have any deep objection to dark matter (more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy), but I would rather have a sounder basis to assume it. Does anyone know more than I do?

Incidentally...David Weinberg's "Dark Matter Rap" is pretty funny. The lyrics, I mean. Haven't watched the video, so do so at your own risk. :-)

More on the mighty huntress

That would be the sweet little Lilly-cat. She has been...ah...affectionate lately.

As I was setting the table, the Lillianalithian was coiled up on my dining room chair. In general (I don't know if you're familiar with this thermometer, but it's rather accurate) one can tell the warmth of the room by the cat's sleeping position. Stretched at full length indicates 90 degrees or above, a tight ball with all paws and tails and ears tucked in around the edges indicates fifty degrees, and so on. Today the cat failed us. It was about seventy, which would call for flopping on one's side with paws splayed, but she more closely resembled a snail shell. Astonishing. And very cute.

Anyway, the time came for dinner and I didn't have the heart to rout her out. So I sat on the edge of the chair. (This usually convinces them to leave and has the added advantage of making them think it's their own idea.) She endured my company for a good five minutes, but then she made her fatal move. She twitched. I tentatively scooted back a bit. She sat up. I took full advantage of the newly freed seating. She stretched a bit and vacated it entirely. Happies!

After we had all eaten, Dad spoke to the floor. "What do you want?"

In response, a cat magically appeared on his lap. She nosed up toward him, and he resignedly began the full-body massage. Mom explained how the soror scratches her--the cat--behind the ears, and her eyes go closed in an ecstasy of petting. Dad patted her behind the ears. Wasn't right. I tried to show him how to do it. Lilly quite clearly gave me the, "boy was that that sub-par" look. I stopped.

And now she is draped upon Mom's lap, in quite a standard 70-degree position, cuddly and soft as all-get-out.

That cat really needs to learn to relax...

Who'd have thought?

Dad: Last night, I saw Lilly up on the table eating apple pie.
Mom: !!!
Dad: Off of someone's plate. Who'd have thought that a cat would like apple pie?
Mom: That'll teach us to clear off the table.
Dad: Probably not.
Mom: Be nice!
Dad: I certainly have no intention of learning from it. Have you?
Mom (clearing off the table): Probably not.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Juliet dress

I just hemmed a dress.

Not just any dress: a green velvet medieval dress with gold trim.

Not just any medieval dress: one my grandmother made for my mother about thirty years ago, which I have loved since about middle school (in my "Romeo and Juliet" phase), but which until now needed a hem.

It looks like something Juliet would wear—or an Arthurian noblewoman—or Maid Marian—or someone similarly legendary, misty as to period, and charming. :-D

This is possibly the coolest dress ever.

Monday, June 13, 2005

A good land

Northern New Mexico--if I did not know better, I would ask if elves dwelt here. The air is dry and clear, stars gleam like sunlight on stream droplets, mesas and cajas stand and meditate on the seasons, and the desert blooms pink with Apache plume and cholla cactus.

Tolkien’s elves would love our mountains, where pine and aspen line the rocky streams, but the valley elves would need to be less English and more Spanish or Greek. (DOES Spain have elves? Greece, I know, had a pantheon full of minor deities.) Northern elves need water and green plants. They will find some in our mountains--high, where it is often chilly even in July, and where moss and wild strawberries humbly do their thing--but the lowlands are different.

But the lower ground has a wild beauty that Virginia, soft and green and damp, can’t match. Even the dust charms. (Dust is the stuff of miracle, you know. Out of the dust He created man, and to dust we will return.) The mountains are blue in the distance, and slope down to the foothills. There the vegetation fades from pines to the shorter pinons and junipers, and the blue fades to honey. Nearer than the foothills, mesas are sliced by canyons, so the layers of Bandelier tuff sit in all their weathered orange glory above the red sandstone.

A sudden little mesa juts out, all brown, for no reason but the sheer joy of it. Along its edges, the roots dangle where softer dirt has eroded. An arroyo slices through the valley floor from the hills to the river. The arroyos are empty now, but when a summer thunderstorm comes, they will be full and wet. When the waters subside, wildflowers and chamisa will pop out, green and pink and yellow, and bloom madly. If the monsoon season is good, it may stay green for weeks.

Shrubs and grasses dot the earth as far back as the mountains, to where trees fade into the general blue with a paler blue above.

Elves once dwelt in the land of Hollin, between Rivendell and the Mines of Moria. Hollin yet retains a wholesome air. Much evil must befall a land before it forgets the elves. Here is a wholesome air, in truth, but where did it come from? The dwellers of this land have never, as a people, poured from terra cotta pots libations to the Maker of this dust, but only to the sun and thunder and crop gods, or, more recently, to Lady Science with her whispers of power and knowledge, and to the tyrant-queen of everyday life, who appears with a calendar in one hand and car keys in the other.

But the monsoon rains continue to fall on the just and the unjust alike, and the drought has ended. The valleys are green as they have not been for years. The rivers are full and the rocks still bright. The sun travels by day and the stars by night. Praise to the Maker!

Monday, June 06, 2005

The fruits of my stargazing

I have been stargazing. Last Wednesday night was clear and there was no moon. So I amused myself by consulting the National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Night Sky, and finding ten constellations.

I began with Boötes, for the chart on page 42 said it should be at the zenith. Indeed it was, sparkling away merrily. It looks a trifle like an ice cream cone, with Arcturus being bright at the point. Boötes is the Herdsman; some say he herds the Great Bear, who is his mother, Callisto. Zeus was up to his normal shenanigans, and Hera, in her usual unhelpful way, took it out on the girl: in this instance, Callisto. Others say Boötes is the son of Ceres, the crop goddess, and that he was put in the stars for inventing the plow. Others say the bright Arcturus is the Guardian of the North—arktos, arctic. The Chinese saw Arcturus as a horn of a great dragon chasing a pearl, the moon. Apparently, to this day Chinese New Year is illustrated with dragons and pearls.

The Big Dipper was right where it should have been, but somehow the Little Dipper went missing. I consulted the sky, the book, the sky, the book again, and finally discovered it lurking, its low magnitude almost blending into the background dark. Polaris, the North Star itself, is much more low-key than such an important star has any right to be.

Then I tried to find the Corona Borealis. It was charmingly prominent, charmingly crownlike. The NASFGTTNS said it has been associated with pretty much every crown ever, but it’s primarily the Crown of Ariadne. She, if you’re not familiar with the story, is the beautiful and brave daughter of King Minos of Crete. Every year he demanded a tribute of seven youths and seven maids from Greece, which he promptly fed to the Minotaur he kept in his basement—er, labyrinth, under his palace. One year, Prince Theseus of Athens volunteered to go for the tribute. Ariadne took pity on him and gave him a ball of string so he could find his way out of the labyrinth. He smuggled in a sword, killed the Minotaur, and escaped with his life and the princess. However, he immediately showed himself a villain of the foulest sort by abandoning her on Naxos to the gods. In one story, Dionysius fell in love with her, but she didn’t believe he was a god and didn’t like him anyway (sensible girl!), so he lost his temper and threw a crown into the sky to prove his deity.

Hercules, the constellation immediately below the Corona and Boötes, tried to hide, but I eventually found him. There’s a horizontal swoopy, with two stars underneath in the middle making a box, and a jig going to the lower left from one box corner and a jog going out from the other corner.

Bright little Lyra was right under Hercules. It’s a shapeless blob, primarily remarkable for the star Vega.

And Cygnus is right under Lyra. It does in fact look cross-shaped; its main stair is named Deneb.

I also found Draco. I’ve been looking for him for a long time. To find him, first you have to find both dippers and then, while holding onto their locations, find Boötes, Corona Borealis, and Hercules. Draco is in the middle. He snakes between the dippers, loops down and back up, and its head is a quadrilateral right next to Hercules.

Then it occurred to me that there was more to Ursa Major than just the dipper. (I’m seeing a slogan…) So I found it. Ursa Major is supposed to be the Bear Callisto was turned into, but in my opinion it looks more like a rocket with three legs and a tail.

Down between the two hind feet I found what must have been Leo Minor—all three stars of it.

Then I was reading Dante, and he talked about most of these stars I just found! So I append it. :-)

Let him imagine who would fully grasp
What then I saw—and while I speak hold tight,
Like a firm rock, that image in his clasp—

The fifteen stars[1] that here and there so bright
Enkindle heaven that of their rays take toll
No densest vapours in the air of night;

Imagine that true Wain[2], content to roll
Through our own skies, that so, by eve or morn,
The plough lacks never to its turning pole;

Imagine, too, the bell-mouth of the horn [3]
Whose point springs from the axle’s tip on high
Round which the Primum Mobile is borne;

That all these stars have formed upon the sky
Two signs like that which Minos’ daughter traced [4]
When the chill took her and she came to die;

That like a ring within a ring embraced
They shine, and both together make rotation,
Each in its pacing by the other paced;

He’ll get some shadow of the constellation
And double dance that really circled so
About the spot whereon I kept my station….

Paradiso, Sayers’ translation, Canto 13, 1-21

[1] According to Sayers, these were the fifteen stars of the first magnitude visible in his time: Sirius (in Canis Major), Capra (in Auriga), Arcturus (in Bootes), Vega (in Lyra), Rigel (in Orion), Procion (in Canis Minor), Bethelgeuse (in Orion), Altair (in Aquila), Aldebaran (in Taurus), Spica (in Virgo), Antares (in Scorpio), Pollux (in Gemini), Regulus (in Leo), Fomalhaut (in Piscis australis), and Deneb (in Cygnus).

[2] Ursa Major

[3] Ursa Minor

[4] Corona Borealis

Since then

Since then:

-Applied for a job at Bealls
-Drove to Portales with Em and Megan
-Watched the soror open her birthday presents (happy birthday, soror!)
-Ate lemon cake with strawberries

-Slept in
-Went shopping in Clovis: Bible bookstore and the mall
-Had dinner at the Rib Crib
-Dad opened his birthday presents
-We dashed out to see Episode III, and arrived just in time to miss the previews (rejoicing!)
-Chocolate cake and vanilla and strawberry ice cream

-Dad's actual birthday (happy birthday, Dad!)
-Soror and Megan and Dad and Granddad went out to the farm to take pictures, ride about in the back of trucks, get sandblasted, and get water from a windmill
-Drove home from Portales by way of the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa and Las Vegas, NM
-Dante's Paradiso
-Retrieved a pizza
-Megan and soror went to the overlook with the Piotrovae and associate, returning after dark for ping-pong, while I finished an Amelia book


Last Thursday Megan came!

I was well and truly surprised. Mom had been planning to go to Albuquerque for several days to go shopping. We'd been recently (to take Judah from and to the airport), but we shop often, and the sister needed a swimsuit. So to Albuquerque we went.

The first inkling I had that anything was up was when Mom was in a hurry to leave the mall. I mean, it wasn't like we had to be anywhere.

The second inkling happened when we drove into the airport. I still didn't quite believe we were picking anyone up; after all, I would have known about it. Mom told me we were going to some of the little shops, but I didn't quite believe her.

At this point it became unavoidable that Mom and Em had been Keeping Things From Me.

So they start telling me about him-er--this person we were going to pick up. Clue: tall, dark-haired, good-looking. So I figure they're leading me astray and he was in reality short, blonde, and ugly. But I couldn't think of anyone likely to come...

And then it was Megan! I was left without words.