“‘Swallows certainly sleep all winter. A number conglobulate together, by flying round and round, and then all in a heap throw themselves under the water and lie in the bed of the river.’
Thus, in the year 1768, Samuel Johnson explained the disappearance of these birds in the fall to his biographer, Boswell. He was expressing—with Johnsonian finality—the prevalent belief of his time. In The Natural History of Selborne, Johnson’s contemporary, Gilbert White, noted that one eminent Swedish naturalist of the period talked ‘as familiarly of swallows going under water in the beginning of September as he would of his poultry going to roost a little before sunset.’ With the passage of time, the absurdity of this idea grew obvious. A better understanding of migration explained the mystifying disappearance of birds in fall and Johnson’s ‘conglobulating’ swallows became recognized as a classic misconception. Through the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century, the belief in hibernating birds stood as a symbol of human credulity.
It was against this background that Dr. Edmund C. Jaeger, in the Chuckwalla Mountains of the Colorado Desert, on December 29, 1946, discovered a hibernating bird.”
-from Wandering Through Winter: A Naturalist’s Record of a 20,000-Mile Journey Through the North American Winter by Edwin Way Teale, winner of the 1966 Pulitzer for General Non-Fiction. I’m reading it now and it is just full of little gems like the above, which opens chapter four (“A Desert Wind”). Teale goes on to describe how he, his wife Nellie, a friend, and Dr. Jaeger spent a night in the canyon where Jaeger discovered the hibernating Common Poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii).
Birds go through a daily torpor (a period where their body heat and metabolism drop to conserve energy) that lasts less than 24 hours, but the Common Poorwill is the only bird known to go into torpor for as long as weeks or months.
They are pretty cute little birds, too.
my favorite titles of animal studies works: a list
presented here for you, without comment:
- Cosmodolphins: Feminist Cultural Studies of Technology, Animals, and the Sacred
- Empire of Dogs: Canines, Japan, and the Making of the Modern Imperial World
- Beyond dominance and affection: Living with rabbits in post-humanist households
- The Platypus and the Mermaid and Other Figments of the Classifying Imagination
- The Feline Mystique: On the Mysterious Connection Between Women and Cats
- The tamed wild: symbolic bears in American culture
- Blue Juice: Euthanasia in Veterinary Medicine
- Frog and cyberfrog are friends: Dissection simulation and animal advocacy
- Blood Intimacies and Biodicy: Keeping Faith with Ticks
how about DON’T HARASS A GIRL OR WOMAN WHO IS READING AND IS NOT INTERESTED IN YOU
don’t look in a woman’s bag to see if there’s an unread book in it. how can you tell it’s unread anyway, get your nose out of her bag seriously before you discover that she keeps a mousetrap in there for people like you.
stop looking in her coffee cup, also don’t be so interested in what she’s drinking, whether it’s got milk or non-dairy creamer (which tastes like crap most of the time anyway) in it.
don’t sit down next to her or opposite her unless there are no other free seats available
—the rules are: sit at a table/area that no one else is already at if there is one free. if there isn’t, ask politely if anyone is sitting (here) before you sit down at a table someone else is at. after that, DON’T make conversation if they’re reading. drink your drink, eat your food if applicable, read your own damn book if applicable, don’t be a public nuisance.
don’t ask them if they like the book - either they do which is why they’re reading it, or they have to read it for a class or something and either way they probably don’t want to talk about it.
don’t buy her another drink. she probably doesn’t want it, or at least doesn’t want the social obligation that is seen as customary when someone buys you a drink (and I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about how you’re meant to be nice to them for buying it, and talk to them or whatever. sometimes people just do not want to be social okay). don’t put her in the position of having to weigh up if she can ignore you or if she has to pay attention to you because you’ll cause a scene if she doesn’t. don’t make her have to choose whether to leave ASAP because you’re going to be a douche, or whether she’ll have to be nice to you because people will think she’s so rude otherwise.
don’t start telling her your feels on books, and don’t ask her about hers. don’t assume she’s lying about her understanding of books. don’t lie to her. don’t try to pretend you know everything.
just leave her the fuck alone.
you have no guarantee that she wants your attention.
you are making it awkward by forcing contact.
“Now he looked defeated, his limbs trembling with such weariness it was only by leaning on his staff that he was even able to remain upright.”
“Aunt Petunia found a few moldy blankets in the second room and made up a bed for Dudley on the moth-eaten sofa.”
(why yes, I am reading Harry Potter to my 4-year-old son. Something tells me my sex life for the next year would be much more interesting if I’d gone for the book that is actually the closest. That, however, would be the one I’m writing, and I suspect that would be cheating. But out of curiosity… “Beside, he didn’t have protective ear and eye covering for another person.” Er, well… that could be… interesting.)
“I am here to enjoy the sportive, not the cultural aspects of the resort.” -The Rowan, paperback version, Anne McCaffery
…I am not certain what this even means.
“Then you will understand our necessity, Mistress.”
“Love does what his dear mother asks.”
“There must have been many women, with or without a sexual interest in other women, who would have answered her two questions with a resounding ‘no!’”
Where’s the asexual literature?
shit homophobic asexuals say
ok so first of all the books there appear to be non-fiction, not literature.
secondly, there aren’t really any major books, fiction or non, dealing with asexuality using the word/modern identity “asexual” cuz YALL HAVEN’T WRITTEN THEM YET
IT IS NOT DISCRIMINATION WHEN THE BOOKS YOU WANT AREN’T THERE BECAUSE YOU HAVE FAILED TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN
(and it’s still not gonna be ‘discrimination’ if future asexual works aren’t included under the glbt section ok)
this is a pattern with tumblr SJWs in general but it’s actually the same shit MRAs do too: act like all of the resources for and the cultural footprints of an oppressed group fell out of the fucking sky or were rationed out by governments or something. it’s so incredibly disrespectful.
seriously, these books exist because LGBTQ people realized that if you want something done right
you fucking do it yourself
I always kind of want to scan some of my old dog books
I have a small collection of dog books published pre-1950 and a few picture books related to dogs published pre-1970. I always think about scanning them but I don’t want to break their spines. bleeeeeh.
Sputnik sweetheart in your pants.
The Amber Spyglass in your pants
The Great Gatsby In Your Pants
^ favourite book
The Fault In Our Stars In Your Pants
The Prime Minister In Your Pants
Blankets In Your Pants
The Last Thylacine In Your Pants
is that where they’re hiding.
ugh just like eat and stop starving already
every few minutes I think about this review and I crack up again.
[cover art for John Harwood’s novel The Seance]
fall is the time for horror stories, because even big skeptic killjoys (like me) sometimes enjoy being scared of ghosts and yetis and shit. ghost stories scare the hell out of me, especially ones with an oppressive atmosphere. I like Susan Hill and Shirley Jackson, but I’m trying to branch out into other writers of horror, because you can only read The Haunting of Hill House so many times before you’re just reading for the lesbian subtext. anyway, this was recommended to me, as someone who likes ghosts and horror novels that aren’t embarassing to take to the checkout desk at the library.
[cover art for Louise Erdrich’s novel Four Souls]
behold, Erdrich, master of the multi-generational interwoven narratives in a fictional universe. Garrison Keillor lies awake at night knowing that he is not Louise Erdrich, and Lake Wobegon is for suckers. I’ve been reading all of Erdrich’s novels since Quinn gave me one as a gift, and her work ranges from “good” to “holy shit”. Four Souls focuses on Fleur, one of the recurring characters I’ve been interested in for a while. in it, Fleur leaves the reservation to find and ruin the man who cheated her family out of their home. I’ve already read Love Medicine and Tracks (where this backstory first comes up), so I’m really happy that there’s an entire novel focusing on Fleur.
I’m actually re-reading this, it’s one of my favorite novels. I have this thing for novels about beautiful, smart young people at exclusive schools where bad things happen (in this case, murders). it’s like a perfect combination of escapism and schadenfreude dressed up in literary fiction. since I’m waiting for some books to come in through the interlibrary loan, I’m reading this again.
another reread, and same as above, but instead of muderous Classics students, it’s homoerotic girls’ school horror. way better than it sounds, I promise.