Author name: Marica

Book Request

From our friend Haaswurth Good evening/morning everyone,  Wanted to Buy for our home library: A decent set of Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentaries.  Preferably 19th century in leather or half leather bindings, not ex library (or with minimal markings).  All boards attached. The Bagster or Brattleboro editions would suit, or whatever you have that fits the …

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A bird’s conception of manners

If birds have no conception of manners, how does it happen that half a dozen Cedar Wax­wings, sitting close together on a limb–which they often do–will pass a cherry along from one to another, down to the end of the line and back again, none of the birds making the slightest attempt to eat even part of the fruit? This little episode has been witnessed and re­ported by more than one thoroughly responsible observer of birds. What does it mean? If not politeness and generosity, then what?

Weekend Open Thread | For the Birds

Reading about Cedar Waxwings in Birds of America (T. Gilbert Pearson, ed., Garden City Books, Garden City, New York, 1936). Writing nothing much, I’m afraid. Thinking about what beautiful descriptions were in the old guides, such as Birds of America. Perhaps more on this later in the day.


Books Bygone: Wash DayMarica Bernstein My library contains a lot of old books by Great Thinkers addressing life’s most profound questions. What does it mean to flourish as a human being? How can we believe in a benevolent God in the face of brutish evil? What is the proper relationship of the state to the …

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“What does history mean to you?”

What does history mean to you? Is it alive, or is it dead and buried in the past? Is it a list of dry happenings with drier dates, or is it full of exciting or solemn moments and people doing the things you do, only in a finer, bigger way?”

These simple questions, asked of boys and girls in grades 5-8, begin Eleanore Hubbard’s Citizenship Plays: A Dramatic Reader for Upper Grades (1929). She continues, “If you had been present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, do you suppose you would ever think of it as an uninteresting document of long words?” Of course not!…

Social Consequences? | Horizon January 1962

For your reading pleasure (and amusement) I’ve scanned the complete, 5-page article. Though Clarke’s terminology is not what we use, he was quite precient in many respects. One idea that has been discussed at some length is the Orbital Post Office which may make most air mail obsolete in a decade or so. A single …

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Reading, writing, thinking | Open Thread

Reading: Informing the Inklings: George MacDonald and the Victorian Roots of Modern Fantasy (2018) a collection of essays, in particular “Genre Problems: Andrew Lang and J.R.R. Tolkien on (Fairy) Stories and (Literary) Belief” by Sharin Schoeder. Writing: “Princess Nobody and the Stranger,” another spin on a very old story line. Thinking I cannot believe I …

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‘Self-made’ Means More Than Ever

Books Bygone: ‘Self-made’ means more than everMarica Bernstein Did you know “there are at present time three types of motor vehicles—steam, gasoline, and electrical?” Regarding electrical vehicles: “its sphere of usefulness is confined to city traffic or very short tours out of town” because its battery must be charged after 40 miles. Did you know …

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