Today is Herman Melville’s (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) birthday. probably most famous for writing Moby Dick. Though his first novel Typee was a best seller. I’ve actually read Moby Dick and while it is probably on someone’s over-rated classics list, I think it deserves the designation as a classic. All the themes – man versus nature, man versus God and destiny, revenge, self delusions, loyalty, class divisions and sexual identity are all universal themes still relevant today. Though for some reason the novella or very long short story Billy Budd,Sailor sticks in my mind . I think of it almost every time the death penalty makes its way back into the headlines. While I believe in individualism, Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street is a reminder that even the best ideals can go to extremes. Some people think that the famous line “Call me Ishmael” is the first sentence of Moby Dick. That is not true, Swimming Through Libraries – What and How Herman Melville Read
“Call me Ishmael” is undoubtedly the most famous sentence of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick; but it is not, despite popular belief, the first—at least, not exactly. Between the novel’s title page and Ishmael’s self-introduction are two chapters of decidedly bookish front matter: first, an “Etymology” of the word “whale,” including its Hebrew, Latin, and Greek forms; and, second, a collection of whale-related “Extracts” drawn from the Bible, Pliny’s Natural History, Michel de Montaigne’s Essais, James Fenimore Cooper’s Pilot, and a remarkable variety of other sources. The narrator claims that these prefaces were compiled by “a Late Consumptive Usher to a Grammar School” and “a poor devil of a Sub-Sub” librarian, respectively. But, of course, both the “usher” and the “sub-sub” are inventions: It was Melville himself who had, as he put it, “gone through the long Vaticans and street-stalls of the earth, picking up whatever random allusions to whales he could anyways find in any book whatsoever, sacred or profane.”
The overt scholarship of the “Etymology” and “Extracts” chapters points to an important, though often underappreciated, dimension of Melville’s life and art: his reading. While the settings, events, and characters of Moby-Dick are, to some extent, based on Melville’s youthful experiences as a sailor aboard the New Bedford whaler Acushnet, it was the time he later spent poring over great works of literature, philosophy, history, and science that truly shaped his intellect and inspired his genius. For Melville, reading was not merely the passive counterpart to writing; rather, it was an analytic, synthetic, and, above all, creative process—a process of “active study,” says Peter Norberg, a professor of nineteenth-century literature at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, “through which Melville tried to create a kind of library of reference that was directly relevant to his artistic ambitions.”
Larger image. Melville did not complete his voyage on the Acushnet. After rounding Cape Horn and sailing across the Pacific, Melville and another crew member deserted in July 1842 while the ship was stopped at one of the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific. He was not the only one, 11 others of the officers and crew also jumped ship.
This almost sounds, if not like an idea for a Melville story, than Poe, A blind man shocks researchers with what he sees.
To further test the extent of TN’s abilities, researchers from Tilburg University in the Netherlands devised a simple yet decisive experiment: an obstacle course. They arranged boxes, chairs, and various other objects down a long hallway. The team then asked TN ( blinded by strokes) to navigate the course without any sort of assistance. TN was skeptical, as he required the aid of a cane and a guide to get around. But eventually, he decided to participate. Researchers recorded the result in their recent paper: “Astonishingly,” the report reads, “he negotiated [the course] perfectly and never once collided with any obstacle, as witnessed by several colleagues who applauded spontaneously when he completed the course.”
TN’s visual cortex, the part that interprets what you see for the brain and turns it into what we think of as images or sight, was severely damaged, yet his eyes were still functional. Though his brain kept processing information to the degree he could make his way through an obstacle course and tell what expression was on someone’s face. A phenomenon called blindsight. “He is, to some degree, able to see without being aware that he is seeing.”
Congressional Republicans Propose Tax Plan That Raises Taxes On 10 Times As Many People As Democratic Proposal. This is part of the greatest most righteous crusade of our time, The GOP’s Bizarre, Disturbing Passion for Raising Taxes on the Poor. In this context when they talk about poor it is not just the people who make minimum wage, but people who have modest incomes. people who rely on the earned income credit at the end of the year to pay for their kid’s dental work or new tires for the car. When I was growing up it was called “living from hand to mouth”. There is no real disposable income. Everything goes for shelter, food and utilities as soon as they cash their checks. raising taxes on the working poor or low-income is so urgent because it would be soooo unfair for billionaires like Sheldon Adelson, the Walton (Wal-Mart) family or the Koch brothers to pay the same federal income tax rate they paid during the Clinton administration.
Rep Steve King (R-IA) makes spores that fall off the ass of rabid rats look like good citizens, Rep Steve King (R-IA) A Defends Dog Fighting