Commonplace


Mautâm

Mautâm is a cyclic ecological phenomenon occurring every ~50 years, when the vast bamboo forests in northeastern India flower simultaneously, resulting in abundant seed, a subsequent boom in the rat population, then a famine when the rats run out of seeds and turn to crops.


The Stream that Sings

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do,

we have come to our real work

and when we no longer know which way to go,

we have begun our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

Wendell Berry


The Lenna Image

The "Lenna" image, cropped from a 1979 issue of Playboy magazine, was commonly used as a standard test image in the field of digital image processing, but its use has fallen out of favor owing to its sexist overtones and questionable suitability as a test image, as well as the disapproval of Lenna herself.


Boring Cultures

"We all know nationalist cultures are boring."

Dany Laferriere


Never Historians, Always Poets

We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps but an expression of a poetry that was lost.

Gaston Bachelard, in The Poetics of Space