Archive for June, 2019

June 25, 2019

Geology In:

“In a new survey of the sub-seafloor off the U.S. Northeast coast, scientists have made a surprising discovery: a gigantic aquifer of relatively fresh water trapped in porous sediments lying below the salty ocean. It appears to be the largest such formation yet found in the world.”

“The water probably got under the seabed in one of two different ways, say the researchers. Some 15,000 to 20,000 years ago, toward the end of the last glacial age, much of the world’s water was locked up in mile-deep ice; in North America, it extended through what is now northern New Jersey, Long Island and the New England coast. Sea levels were much lower, exposing much of what is now the underwater U.S. continental shelf. When the ice melted, sediments formed huge river deltas on top of the shelf, and fresh water got trapped there in scattered pockets. Later, sea levels rose. Up to now, the trapping of such “fossil” water has been the common explanation for any fresh water found under the ocean.

But the researchers say the new findings indicate that the aquifer is also being fed by modern subterranean runoff from the land. As water from rainfall and water bodies percolates through onshore sediments, it is likely pumped seaward by the rising and falling pressure of tides, said Key. He likened this to a person pressing up and down on a sponge to suck in water from the sponge’s sides.”

“Terrestrial fresh water usually contains less than 1 part per thousand salt, and this is about the value found undersea near land. By the time the aquifer reaches its outer edges, it rises to 15 parts per thousand. (Typical seawater is 35 parts per thousand.)”

Une sanglante barrière

June 23, 2019

Proust: “Tels les Verdurin donnaient des dîners (puis bientôt Mme Verdurin seule, après la mort de M. Verdurin) et M. de Charlus allait à ses plaisirs sans guère songer que les Allemands fussent — immobilisés, il est vrai, par une sanglante barrière toujours renouvelée — à une heure d’automobile de Paris.”

Andreas Mayor: “So it was that the Verdurins gave dinner-parties (then, after a time, Mme Verdurin gave them alone, for M. Verdurin died) and M. de Charlus went about his pleasures and hardly ever stopped to reflect that the Germans — immobilised, it is true, by a bleeding barrier perpetually renewed– were only an hour by car from Paris.”

June 23, 2019

relying on one subversion of stare decisis to support another

June: The Month of Balzac

June 20, 2019

… But the main thing for June is to attack a la Balzac and be serious. (Not to attack Balzack but to attack a la Balzac!)/ June is named The Month of Balzac for the extraordinary industry that will brought to bear during that month (Balzac, it is said, having been a person of the most extraordinary industry himself)….

In fact, when June faces the Hammers and Furnaces of The Month of Balzac; when June faces that welter of winches, that terror of tilt walls, with its pistons and jets, with its suffocating aromas of weldments and glues, there may not be much of June left, we must sadly report: a blasted fragment of a corner of a calendar day will be what’s left of that formerly erstwhile month known as June.

(That calendar as if put through a calender will be what’s left of what was known of that month; wisp of a shadow of a cloud that had appeared on one of the days of that month, is all that will remain of that month.) June may yet emerge from beneath the magma waves of the Month of Balzac, it is thought, but it will be a changed, a haggard and a molten month; it will have days filled with gaping holes, be an airless space, the days will be like rags upon the light, it will be a fetid asteroid field where once existed Planet Month, a noman’s land of an entire twelfth of our time, cratered, strewn with barbed wire air!

These assuredly will be the tragic consequences when we bring to bear the Industry of Balzac upon that slurry pit which will soon be formerly known as June (a great pit of coal ash now will it be, positioned adjacent to the brilliant solar mountain of July, Mont July, we shall call it! A tremendous shining summit! What a month shall be July, when after all our labor we found ourselves upon the mountain!) From every pore of my body I do espy a grimy smoking gas, delicious exhaust of the Month of Balzac, this is how much labor I can feel myself putting forward!

June 12, 2019

“Earth hasn’t always had plate tectonics and it hasn’t always progressed at the same pace,” Brown said. “It’s gone through at least two periods of acceleration. There’s evidence to suggest that tectonics also slowed to a relative crawl for nearly a billion years. In each case, we found a connection with the relative abundance — or scarcity — of glacial sediments.” ***

June 8, 2019


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June 5, 2019

-A final conjecture about Strange Commonplace that what Sorrentino gives us in this book is in some sense Time without history. Time is why we get old and remember; Time is what events occur in; Time is why there might be an appearance of history, a coherent network of events; but none of these moments are connected to each other in the way that history implies. There is not one story of our lives that we inhabit from start to finish, but many, a range of lives, each one of which we sample a little bit at a time.

Crane and Hemingway (Unterecker)

June 2, 2019

“Nevertheless, it is difficult to discover exactly what Crane’s reaction to war was. Certainly it was not the reaction of Ernest Hemingway — another young writer who was ultimately, for far different reasons, to prove a suicide, and who was born on the same day in the same year as Crane to a mother named Grace in Grace Crane’s home town. Hemingway, who suffered from defective eyesight (Crane did also), had moved heaven and earth to enlist in the war — and failing enlistment had settled for overseas duty with the Red Cross. ‘Delirious with excitement,’ he had marched down Fifth Avenue from Eighty-second Street to the Battery in an end-of-May parade that Crane might well have watched from the curb, his own contribution to the war effort in his pocket, a brand-new liberty bond.” (Voyager, John Unterecker, pp.108)