Archive for March 8, 2011

Aurora Borealis

Posted in Poetry, The Universe and Stuff with tags , on March 8, 2011 by telescoper

What power disbands the Northern Lights
After their steely play?
The lonely watcher feels an awe
Of Nature’s sway,
As when appearing,
He marked their flashed uprearing
In the cold gloom–
Retreatings and advancings,
(Like dallyings of doom),
Transitions and enhancings,
And bloody ray.

The phantom-host has faded quite,
Splendor and Terror gone
Portent or promise–and gives way
To pale, meek Dawn;
The coming, going,
Alike in wonder showing–
Alike the God,
Decreeing and commanding
The million blades that glowed,
The muster and disbanding–
Midnight and Morn.

by Herman Melville (1819-1891)


I Mean You

Posted in Jazz with tags , , on March 8, 2011 by telescoper

Another Thelonious Monk tune, this time I Mean You, played by the superb British pianist Stan Tracey, who will be 75 later this year. He’s not very well known outside the UK, but I think he’s as good as any living jazz piano player anywhere in the world. See if you agree. This is just a fragment of a performance, recorded in London about 5 years ago, in which he demonstrates the highly unusual technique he uses to make music that’s inspired by Monk and Duke Ellington but which nevertheless manages be always uniquely Stan Tracey…


Astronomy Look-alikes, No. 52

Posted in Astronomy Lookalikes with tags , on March 8, 2011 by telescoper

Seeing Professor Mike Barlow‘s contribution to the written evidence submitted to the House of Common’s inquiry into particle physics and astronomy reminded me that he bears a striking resemblance to another noted man of letters…


Referendum result: Wales said Yes (via Devolution Matters)

Posted in Uncategorized on March 8, 2011 by telescoper

Here’s an interesting analysis of the implications of the “Yes” vote in last week’s Referendum, written by an expert on constitutional matters relating to devolution. It’s useful reading for those of you unsure exactly what the vote was about and what the result means!

The results from the referendum on the National Assembly's legislative powers are now in.  There's a very clear mandate for the Assembly to have primary law-making powers: the vote is 517,132 votes in favour, and 297,380 votes against (or 63.5 per cent to 36.5 per cent).  There's news coverage from the BBC here and the official results from the Electoral Commission are here.  Of the local authority areas used for counting, only Monmouthshire vote … Read More

via Devolution Matters