Behind the ‘flight of stairs’

You may not know the term “nouns of assemblage” by name, but you definitely know it in practice. Nouns of assemblage are everyone’s favorite trivia question, and they’re practically never-ending: What’s a group of owls called? A parliament. Hippopotamuses? That would be a bloat.

Everyone loves a murder of crows, and we reference flights of stairs without even thinking twice about how that’s kind of a weird term for them. Though collective nouns exist in other languages, English is particularly full of these colorful, largely nonsensical linguistic specimens. In fact, many may have originated as a means to show off obscure, cultured, and self-consciously amusing vocabulary.

Who decided that certain objects and animals require specialized terms when they congregate, and why? Great question. Let’s gather to discuss.

I have had the exact same questions in the past, but did not have the patience or the time to dive deep into the etymology of these terms. This was an interesting terse read.

Source: Quartz Obsession, January 4, 2019

Edison

I was reading some daily news about the financial market and how GE has suffered to hold any growth value this past year. Reading more about GE, ended up eventually with a Wikipedia article on Edison. This is ripe full of historic trivia, links and facts and certainly looks well curated. Though I think Tesla was a genius, Edison holds his place as a fantastic businessman of his age. The link below certainly provides more details that I was not aware previously. I am sure you will learn a thing or two as well today.

Source: Thomas Edison – Wikipedia

Feynman always entertains

There is nothing to not love about him. Who says physicists are dull?

Sleep metamorphosis

I have explored extensively on the subject in the past and the topic is a recurring theme in my head as I try to find the right balance. Decent read.

Our floodlit society has made sleep deprivation a lifestyle. But we know more than ever about how we rest—and how it keeps us healthy.

Source: While We Sleep, Our Mind Goes on an Amazing Journey

How Einstein Reconciled Religion to Science

Nice.

“I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of the world,” he told him, “not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.”

Source: How Einstein Reconciled Religion to Science

On a similar note, I also like this thought that resonates with my own.

Typewriter Cartography

Beautiful.

The ideas here aren’t new. John Krygier has a post about typewriter mapping. Early computer graphics, such as ASCII art, along with early mapping software (like SYMAP), use essentially the same style as what I am doing (though mine is much more rudimentary): constructing images through individual characters.


Source: Typewriter Cartography

Onam Sadhya

One of my favorite festivals in the recent past. Food replenishes not just your body but takes a deep root in your soul, elates the mood, excites the mind, and brings renewed life to the being. A bad meal does the exact opposite. My opinion, that is why importance is given to food during days of celebration, as you make the best of memories, eating and drinking the things you like, among people you love. Feeling fortunate to not eat to live, or live to eat. But sensibly enjoying it when necessary.

Never, ever, deny a sadhya once in a while. Feel it. Love it. Embrace it.

Celebrate the harvest and the return of a beloved mythical king with this 26-dish Malayali feast.

Source: Onam Sadhya

Quotes 32

I love life. But I don’t love life because it is pretty. Prettiness is only clothes-deep. I am a truer lover than that. I love it naked. There is beauty to me even in its ugliness. In fact, I deny the ugliness entirely, for its vices are often nobler than its virtues, and nearly always closer to a revelation… To me, the tragic alone has that significant beauty which is truth. It is the meaning of life — and the hope. The noblest is eternally the most tragic. The people who succeed and do not push on to a greater failure are the spiritual middle-classers. Their stopping at success is the proof of their compromising insignificance. How petty their dreams must have been!

— Eugene O’Neill

Beautiful perspective. Optimism at its zenith. Portrays the difference between looking at life skin deep vs without mirrors.