(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘rocks

“The library is inhabited by spirits that come out of the pages at night”*…

 

never let me go

 

Look, these days, I’ll take my cheering wherever I can get it. And this weekend, Ella Dickson put a smile on my face with her thread of book rocks, each one painstakingly painted to look like a novel. They are quite impressive, especially considering the uneven canvas. In 2018, Dickson, who is a math teacher at Beaumont School in St Albans, did a similar project with children’s books, but this summer, she’s used her isolation to whip up a crop of “some grown up books” to hide when libraries reopen. Because grown ups need wonder and discovery too!…

mantel

Via Emily Temple: “A math teacher has painted 45 book rocks to hide in her local library (when it reopens).”

* Isabel Allende

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As we extol Easter eggs, we might recall that it was on this date in 1901 that William Sydney Porter was released (on good behavior) after serving three years in the Ohio Penitentiary for bank fraud and embezzlement; a licensed pharmacist, he had worked in the prison’s infirmary.  But on his release, he turned to what had been a pastime, writing.  Over the next several years he wrote 381 short stories under the pen name by which we know him, “O. Henry,” including a story a week for over a year for the New York World Sunday Magazine.

His wit, characterization, and plot twists– as evidenced in stories like “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Ransom of Red Chief”– were adored by his readers but often panned by critics… though academic opinion has since come around: O. Henry is now considered by many to be America’s answer to Guy de Maupassant.

220px-William_Sydney_Porter_by_doubleday source

 

Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 24, 2020 at 1:01 am

“The world… gives back to every man the reflection of his own face”*…

 

In Chichibu, Japan, two hours northwest of Tokyo, there’s an odd museum; perhaps the only one of its kind. It’s called the Chinsekikan (which means hall of curious rocks) and it houses over 1700 rocks that resemble human faces.

The museum houses all kinds of jinmenseki, or rock with a human face, including celebrity lookalikes like Elvis Presley [below]. And according to a 2013 post on Kotaku, there are also movie and video game character rocks like E.T., Donkey Kong and Nemo…

Learn the back story and take the tour at “The Japanese Museum of Rocks That Look Like Faces.

* William Makepeace Thackeray

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As we practice being stone-faced, we might spare a thought for Christian Goldbach; he died on this date in 1764.  A mathematician, lawyer, and historian who studied infinite sums, the theory of curves and the theory of equations, he is best remembered for his correspondence with Leibniz, Euler, and Bernoulli, especially his 1742 letter to Euler containing what is now known as “Goldbach’s conjecture.”

In that letter he outlined his famous proposition:

Every even natural number greater than 2 is equal to the sum of two prime numbers.

It has been checked by computer for vast numbers– up to at least 4 x 1014– but remains unproved.

(Goldbach made another conjecture that every odd number is the sum of three primes; it has been checked by computer for vast numbers, but also remains unproved.)

Goldbach’s letter to Euler (source, and larger view)

Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 20, 2016 at 1:01 am

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