The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


Ex-tasis


"Why is it that one who is having sexual intercourse, and also a dying
person, casts his eyes upwards, while a sleeper casts them downwards? It
is because the heat going out in an upward direction makes the eyes turn
in the direction in which it is itself traveling, whereas during sleep
the heat collects in the lower part of the body and so inclines the eyes
downwards? The eyes close because there is no moisture left in them."
(Aristotle, Problems, IV, 1, trans. Forster.)

"At Scotussae in Thessaly they say there is a little fountain from which
flows water of such a kind that in a moment it heals wounds and bruises
both of men and of beasts of burden; and if any one throws wood into it,
without having quite broken it, but having merely split it, this unites,
and is restored again to its original state." (Aristotle, On Marvellous
Things Heard, 117, trans. Dowdall.)

"The bird-fly of Florida, for similar reasons, prefers the vignonia. This
is a creeping plant, which finds its way to the tops of the highest trees,
and frequently covers the whole trunk. He builds his nest in one of its
leaves, which he rolls into the form of a coronet; he finds his food in
its red flowers, which resemble those of the fox-glove: he plunges his
little body into them, which appears in the heart of the flower like an
emerald set in coral; and he gets in sometimes so far, that he suffers
himself to be surprised there and caught." (Williams, The Vegetable
World.)

"dictation n. pat-a-ssu-gi" (Underwood, English-Korean Dictionary.)

"Since each step in the food chain involves a loss of energy, if one is
interested in an end product such as fish it is obviously important to
have a short food chain in order to utilize the maximum amount of energy
in synthesizing the desired product." (Brock, Biology of Microorganisms.)

"From all we have said, it becomes more and more clear that science is
fundamentally a well-organized aggregate of ideas, a theoretical
structure, and that the scientist is basically a thinker, a theorist, and
only secondarily an observer. All that precedes this state of theoretical
organization of phenomena is pre-scientific." (van Kaam, Existential
Foundations of Psychology.)

"Before refrigeration, when seafood might be kept a few days in a chilly
basement, this phenomenon of glowing decay was observed and noted. Charles
Dickens, in A Christmas Carol (1852), likens Marley's face in the knocker
of Scrooge's door to a glowing lobster: 'Marley's face...had a dismal
light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar.' How may nonmicro-
biologists have passed over that line unable to decipher what image
Dickens had in mind?" (Dyer, A Field Guide to Bacteria.)

"So much for worldly things, for the pleasures of vanity; I went into
detail because they are very rare for me, who have a sensitive soul and an
avaricious father, and because I have need of being disgusted with them in
order to give myself up entirely to my love for Victorine and THE FAME;
but that will come, I'm sure." (Stendahl, Private Diaries, trans. Sage.)

"Your form is now ready to be wired, meaning that the user interface is in
place." (Davis, Visual Basic for Windows.)

"QueryUnLoad First event in the death sequence; gives the programmer a
chance to put in code cancelling the unload." (Davis, Visual Basic for
Windows.)


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