Books 2010

Books 2009

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Sunday, 04 October 2009


Oh! I have just found an explanation for the name cassock'cat! Should I dare saying it publicly? Maybe it could be because starfish use to hide under rocks, or plants, or even in the sand... just like a cat could be found napping under the cassock of a priest. Well, I will stop here or somebody out there might feel very, very offended!

Very interesting. I quite understand why a starfish could be called a devil's hand; it has 5 points and when you cut one of them, it grows a new one to replace the missing one. Then, I imagine that was something really puzzling for our ancestors (well, yours at least) and something that only the devil could achieve. I don't know if this is the right explanation though. On the other hand -so to speak, the name cassock'cat remains still mysterious for me.

I heard a few weeks ago that the Beatles first chose the name Beetles to name themselves, and finally John Lennon replaced the second "e" with an "a", making it a reference to their rather beating rythms.

Britsh Wildlife is great! I think such publications are sadly too rare. It is easy to write populist and it's easy to write expert esoterica, but to pull-off non-academic serious is a real challenge. I have only tried a couple of times and it was very difficult for me anyway.

The "devil's darning needle". I love that.

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  • 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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