#50: The oddity that we all perceive

Moo shoes, shoe-shi, English being weird, etc.


Lovely Linky Bits

Thoughtful reads and so forth.

A Pet Tortoise Who Will Outlive Us All
“To be in the company of a tortoise is to be reminded — instantly, inarticulably — of the oldness of the world and the newness of us (humans, specifically, but also mammals in general). Nature has created thousands of creatures, but most of us have been redrawn over the millenniums: Our heads have grown larger, our teeth smaller, our legs longer, our jaws weaker. But tortoises, some varieties of which are 300 million years old, older than the dinosaurs, are a rough draft that was never refined, because they never needed to be.”

The Body and Us
“The body’s perceptual apparatus, eyes, ears, nervous system, selects which object becomes your experience, carves out a world that is you, but it does not concoct this object in the neurons in the brain. The object is out there. Your experience is out there and you with it. The body is a selector and a facilitator, not a host or a container.”

Why Is English So Weirdly Different From Other Languages?
“English speakers know that their language is odd. So do people saddled with learning it non-natively. The oddity that we all perceive most readily is its spelling, which is indeed a nightmare. In countries where English isn’t spoken, there is no such thing as a ‘spelling bee’ competition. For a normal language, spelling at least pretends a basic correspondence to the way people pronounce the words.
But English is not normal.”

Curiosities & Delights

Some things to be glad about.

The art of shoe-shi.
Florence Nightingale’s infographics.
An exhibition of art for dogs.
The trash can vases of NYC.
The protective bubble we made.
Hooray for plastic-eating caterpillars.
Here’s what Thoreau’s Walden Pond looks like today.
Thoughtful reviews of brown inks.
Moo shoes for moonshiners.
Humans are still better at naming paint.
And here’s Inbox Pause.

Moving Pictures

Video treats upon which to press play.

The simple joy of spring flowers blooming.
This masterful maker of mazes.
Beatrix Ost and her avant-garde country paradise.
Just an all-night corner shop in Brooklyn.
And the strongest women in Kenya.