Sequitur Books Blog

Kennings, the metaphors of meaning in Old English: hronrad and whale roads

Kennings, the metaphors of meaning in Old English: hronrad and whale roads

Critten 17/01/2019 0
Kennings, the metaphors of meaning in Old English: Hronrad and Whale-Roads.  There was a lovely article in the New York Times' Magazine on Old English Kennings by Josephine Livingstone. An excerpt: "The key, for me, was the kenning. Kennings are essentially portmanteaus, Old English words made of two nouns that have been mashed together to create a new one. At the bar that night with Roberta, I got it immediately: These kennings were metaphors of circumlocution, a way to talk around the thing you want to represent. For example, hron means “whale.” Rad means “a road,” or “a path.” Put them toge...
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Google recognizes Jan Ingenhousz's 287th birthday

Google recognizes Jan Ingenhousz's 287th birthday

Critten 08/12/2017 0
 Today, Jan Ingenhousz's 287th birthday is celebrated by Google Doodle.  Ingenhousz was a brilliant Dutch physician, biologist and chemist who discovered the processes of photosynthesis and plant cellular respiration.  Ingenhousz, working on Joseph Priestley's discovery that plants absorb gases, found that plants gave off oxygen in the presence of light.  This led Ingenhousz to reason that at least part of the mass of plants came from the air.  Also, Ingenhousz found that plants could renew air, i.e. restore oxygen, in the course of a few hours through respiration.  In 1779, Ingenhousz publish...
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Les Miserables: 155 years later

Les Miserables: 155 years later

Critten 30/06/2017 0
Les Miserables: 155 years later June 30th marks the anniversary of one of greatest literature works of the 19th century, Victor Hugo’s landmark “Les Miserables.” First conceived in 1830, Hugo would spend 17 years writing and perfecting his magnum opus. The novel contains various subplots, but the main thread is the story of ex-convict Jean Valjean, who becomes a force for good in the world but cannot escape his criminal past. Les Miserables is one of the longest novels ever written: 1,500 pages in unabridged English-language editions and 1,900 pages in French.   Hugo explained his ambitions fo...
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Strangest Biotech Of All - United Therapeutics of Rockville - Annual Report 2010

Strangest Biotech Of All - United Therapeutics of Rockville - Annual Report 2010

Critten 10/03/2017 0
Unusual Finds.   Strangest Biotech Of All - United Therapeutics of Rockville - Annual Report 2010  I recently acquired the 2010 annual report of United Therapeutics, a Rockville/Silver Spring bio-tech firm.  While it may seem dreadfully dull to read the annual report of business from 7 years ago, United Therapeutics is not your average firm.  United Therapeutics’s story is unique in bio-tech firms and reflects many of eccentricities the founder, Martine Rothblatt and the "Unitherian" culture.    United Therapeutics’s report is illustrated in comic strip form and features the exploits of Dr. Ma...
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Brain Pickings – An inventory of the meaningful life

Brain Pickings – An inventory of the meaningful life

Critten 26/02/2017 0
Brain Pickings – An inventory of the meaningful life.  Brain Pickings is the product of Maria Popova’s beautiful mind.  The Blog deals with culture, books, literature and a quest for human meaning.  I happened on it while researching a Rackham illustrated Alice in Wonderland book we have for sale. See Popova’s: How Arthur Rackham’s 1907 Drawings for Alice in Wonderland Revolutionized the Carroll Classic, the Technology of Book Art, and the Economics of Illustration To me, Popova’s writings echoed many of intellectual voices of the post-war 20th century.  What makes Brain Pickings so fun is the...
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Integrative Action of the Nervous System by Charles Sherrington

Integrative Action of the Nervous System by Charles Sherrington

Critten 24/01/2017 0
 In 1904 Dr. Charles Sherrington gave a series of ten lectures at Yale on the nervous system.  These lectures were compiled in 1906 in his book, The Integrative Action of the Nervous System.  "This work stands as the true foundation of modern neurophysiology; it is considered by Fulton to rank in importance with Harvey's De Motu Cordis, while Walshe asserts that it holds a position in physiology similar to Newton's Principia in physics." (Garrison-McHenry, History of Neurology, p. 229)   Before publishing The Integrative Action of the Nervous System, Sherrington had spent 20 years engaged in c...
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