Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and I’m here to report that, according to my Google Alert, Edmund Spenser was cited much less frequently than in years past. His name was used in the Juneau Empire (save yourself the click) to explain the origin of the line “roses are red, violets are blue.” Hogwarts Professor continues to explore the connection between Spenser and J. K. Rowling’s detective hero Cormoran Strike. Last, another Spenser professor has retired: Dr. Gwen Ladd Hackler of Southern Nazarene University.
That’s all for now.
I posted a couple of interesting links on my Edmund Spenser blog and a few stray thoughts on my time tumblr, The Escapement. Check ’em if you like that sort of thing.
Augustine of Hippo gives his two drachma on the etymology of the word servus, which means “slave” in Latin.
The origin of the Latin word for slave is supposed to be found in the circumstances that those who by the law of war were liable to be killed were sometimes preserved by their victors, and were hence called servants. (Servus, “a slave,” from servare, “to preserve.”)
One who is saved from execution becomes a servant. This fits in very well with Paul’s words about Christians being slaves to Christ. I wonder if Augustine had that connection in mind. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with the corresponding Greek word, doulos, which comes from a verb meaning “to bind.” The Latin servant is the saved one, the Greek servant is the bound one.
Tom Whitwell put together this list of 52 things he learned in 2019. Among them…
- Each year humanity produces 1,000 times more transistors than grains of rice and wheat combined. [source]
- Let’s say a bank receives an average of 5.8 customers every hour and takes an average of ten minutes to serve them. With a single teller, the average wait time for a customer will be five hours. But if you add a second teller, the average wait time goes down to about three minutes. [source]
- People who live in “harbinger zip codes” are a reliable tracker of things that fail: products, house prices, political hopefuls… [source]
See Tom’s list for more head-scratchers.
Today I learned that people in the Netherlands open their car doors differently than we do here in the States.
A little bit of tid for you on this Sunday morning.
Apparently, H. G. Wells was somehow responsible for Japan’s current constitution.
The founding document of the most technologically saturated society in the world was based on the work of a science-fiction author. In retrospect, yeah, I really shouldn’t be surprised.
via Adam Roberts