Books 2010

Books 2009

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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Comments

To Dark Puss
I have a non-expert and maybe silly question after I heard this singing sand. Doesn't every kind of material make noise when it moves? What is the difference with this singing sand phenomenon? Snow, wood, hay, grain, leaves, fabric (eg silk), air, not to mention water, they all produce noise.
Thank you in advance for your answer!

Dark Puss has already mentioned singing sands in a previous comment. It was short of two years ago; here is the link:
http://booksdofurnisharoom.typepad.com/books_do_furnish_a_room/2007/11/book-of-sand.html

Just saying hello to the outstanding cat, I will write something for him later on.

I remember reading this paper with great interest on the phenomenon: Douglas E. Goldsack, Marcel F. Leach & Cindi Kilkenny "Natural and artificial 'singing' sands", Nature 386, 29 (06 March 1997). There is a range of quite impressive examples of singing sands, on beaches, dunes etc., available from YouTube. This is one of the best http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yFaMsUawi4

I read this fairly recently and I agree it is not Tey at her best. But still pretty readable!

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Quotidian

  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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