475 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2023
    1. 'display_exceptions' => $bool, // display exceptions in template

      Setting this to false explicitly will remedy the issue --- and, of course, there's nothing preventing y'all from showing this while developing: just provide a Boolean expression that evaluates to true in a development environment and false in production. (See also https://stackoverflow.com/questions/63177596/laminas-hide-errors-on-productive-server.)

  2. Oct 2023
    1. endless plains of volcanic rock make it feel like you're on another planet

      Reminds me of the video for Björk's 'Jóga':

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loB0kmz_0MM

    2. We should get out of the habit of saying that anything is once-in-a-lifetime. We should stop pretending we have any idea how long a lifetime is, or what might happen in one. And yet, I strongly suspect that our long day in Iceland really was once-in-a-lifetime.

      I like this sentiment.

    3. the greatest hot dog I've ever eaten

      Another extreme.

    4. the weight of expectation

      I touch upon this in one of my prospective questions, viz., "Has anyone ever recommended anything to you really intensely — ‘You have to try this!’, ‘You have to listen to this!’, ‘You have to watch this!’, et c. — and did it live up to your expectations? Did the fact that someone recommended it to you predispose you to like or loath it, and if so, did that have more to do with what was recommended, or with the person giving the recommendation?"

    5. like anything that has become exceedingly popular, there is widespread backlash

      Another contrast --- popularity v. contrarianism.

    6. a surprisingly short line

      A fair number of surprises and serendipitous moments.

    7. Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur

      Finally, the eponymous hot dog stand appears!

    8. The marrow had to be sucked out of life

      This is definitely a theme of the essay, although perhaps not the primary one.

    9. sopping wet and bone cold

      From despair, to exultation, to misery.

    10. fifty degrees Fahrenheit in August

      Contrast between extremes

    11. "In Greeland it is always icy," she said, "but here in Iceland the weather is quite mild. They should call Iceland Greenland and Greenland Iceland."

      I first heard this quip back in elementary school. Seems to be a popular one.

    12. We saw the chess table where Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky in 1972.

      I would totally stop off to see that.

    13. the Icelandic language has changed so little over the centuries

      Really? That's interesting.

    14. my beloved team

      I love how he went from near-total ignorance of the Icelandic men's handball team to 'die-hard' fandom. Another example of extremes.

    15. I am willing to get excited about almost anything in sports

      It's easy to get excited about 'em.

    16. the only time I'd seen any public celebrations of a national event was in 1999, when the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team won the World Cup

      My folks were in Spain the night that country won the World Cup, and my dad stayed out drinking for an inordinate amount of time. (It actually pissed my mom off quite a bit.)

    17. even

      I believe this is a typo, and should read event.

    18. I felt exultant. I loved Iceland. I loved Reykjavik. I loved these people

      Another extreme of emotions. (This, I believe, is where the despair of Green's hangover starts to break.)

    19. some great wave of human experience

      I like this phrase, and should incorporate it into one of my questions (e.g., "Have you ever found yourself in what Green called 'some great wave of human experience'?).

    20. my unopened can of beer

      Didn't notice that he never opened it when I first read this essay.

    21. crying as they sang in the streets

      Another contrast between extremes. (They're crying tears of joy.)

    22. Beers were handed around. We took some.

      Even though (or, perhaps, especially because) you were hung over?

    23. "Maybe," Laura said, "they're all watching the same thing on TV?"

      How astute! I love how Green singles this sentence out for emphasis in its own paragraph.

    24. the noise overwhelming amid such silence

      Another example of contrast between extremes.

    25. squeezed

      Again, was it really that uncomfortable?

    26. entirely too loud

      Is it really that loud, or is this again the hangover talking? Starting to think that perhaps there's some unreliable narration going on.

    27. a hideously gray morning

      'Hideously' --- is that the hangover-induced despair talking?

    28. alcohol consumption increases my vulnerability to despair

      Does it commensurably increase his receptiveness to and appreciate of joy?

    29. a general desire to dissolve into the landscape
    30. I woke up reminded that my abject fear of hangovers is fully warranted
    31. so drunk that I was pouring cold beer over my head

      Yikes.

    32. "UND NOW VEE SAUNA!"

      Love how he capitalizes this phrase and evokes the accent.

    33. brännvin
    34. blisteringly, unprecedentedly drunk

      This'd be an extreme of indulgence.

    35. a certain hot dog stand in Reykjavik

      Bill Clinton at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur

      Obviously this must be the eponymous one, viz., https://bbp.is/.

    36. suck the marrow out of life

      I found that Green uses a lot of extremes in this essay, and likes to emphasize the contrasts between them.

    1. He saved the most dramatic for last (pp. 75 -- 78). Can't imagine what it'd be like to get stuck in a tornado.

    2. it stuck at 45°

      More math.

    3. I remember the heavy gentle lift atmy thighs

      Oh, shit, I can't bear to read what follows.

    4. We were both in thefugue-state that exhaustion throughrepetition brings on, a fugue-state I'vedecided that my whole time on tenniswas spent chasing, a fugue-state I as-sociate too with plowing and seedingand detasseling and spreading herbi-cides back and forth in sentry dutyalong perfect lines, up and back, ormilitary marching on flat blacktop,hypnotic, a mental state at once flatand lush, numbing and yet exquisite-ly felt.

      I love his description of this state --- 'a mental state at once flat and lush, numbing and yet exquisitely felt'.

    5. sapro-genic

      What does this word mean? ('Of, causing, or resulting from putrefaction' --- see https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saprogenic.)

    6. Neither of ushad noticed that there'd been no windblowing the familiar grit into our eyesfor several minutes-a bad sign.

      Good to know.

    7. Butterflies are primarily a condition-ing drill: Both players have to get fromone side of the court to the other be-.tween each stroke, and once the ini~tial pain and wind-sucking is over,assuming you're a kid who's in absurdshape because you spend countlessmindless hours jumping rope or run-ning laps backward or doing straightsprints back and forth along the per-fect furrows of bean fields each morn-ing, once the first pain and fatigue ofbutterflies are got through, if bothguys are good enough so that thereare few unforced errors to break upthe rally, a kind of fugue-state opensup inside you and your concentrationtelescopes toward a still point and youlose awareness of your limbs and thesoft shush of your shoe's slide andwhatever's outside the lines of thecourt, and pretty much all you knowthen is the bright ball and the octan-gled butterfly outline of its path acrossthe court, and at Hessel Park the courtwas such a deep piney color that theflights of the fluorescent balls stayedon one's visual screen for a few extraseconds, leaving trails.

      Damn, I think that's the longest sentence I've read in this essay thus far. Why run on?

    8. Tornadoes were, in our part of CentralIllinois, the dimensionless point atwhich parallel lines met and whirledand blew up.

      Another allusion to hyperbolic geometry?

    9. The result was not aGreek x or even a Cartesian axis butan alchemical circling of the square.

      'Circling of the square'? I usually hear squaring of the circle. I imagine a similar impossibility proof applies as far as ruler-and-compass construction is concerned.

    10. Like all serious wincls,they were the z-coordinate for our lit-tle stretch of plain, a move up from theEuclidian monotone of furrow, road,axis, and grid.

      More math.

    11. sauri-an

      What does this word mean? ('Any of a suborder (Sauria) of reptiles including the lizards and in older classifications the crocodiles and various extinct forms (such as the dinosaurs and ichthyosaurs) that resemble lizards' --- see https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saurian.)

    12. Tornadoes were a real part of myMidwest childhood, because as a littlekid I was obsessed with dread overthem.

      Shit, I'm an adult, and have never lived in a tornado-prone area (unless you count the fluke that touched down in Salt Lake City years ago), and they still scare the hell out of me.

    13. con-ferva

      What does this word mean? ('Any of various filamentous algae that form scums in still or sluggish fresh water' --- see https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conferva.)

    14. If there was an actual Warningwhen you were outside away fromhome, say at a tennis tournament insome godforsaken public park at somecity fringe zoned for sprawl, you weresupposed to lie prone in the deepestdepression you could locate.

      Again, didn't know this. Hope I'll never have to put that knowledge to use.

    15. open-ing every single window to thwart im-plosion from precipitous pressuredrops

      Damn, really? Didn't realize that that was a thing.

    16. threnody

      What does this word mean? ('A song of lamentation for the dead' --- see https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/threnody.)

    17. the rarer Tornado Warnings,which require a confirmed sighting bysomebody with reliable sobriety
    18. my township,in fact all of east-central Illinois, is aproud part of what meteorologists callTornado Alley

      I was wondering when he'd get to the tornadoes.

    19. Competing at Lin-colnshire was like playing at the bot-tom of a well.
    20. These tarps, developed by somewindophobe in the early 1970s

      Is windophobe actually a word? (Doesn't matter, really; I know exactly what he means when he uses it.) (I looked for it in Merriam-Webster and couldn't find it.)

    21. In MyElement.

      Again, love the capitalization, as though he's quoting Some Official Slogan. 😉

    22. thePeter Principle

      What's this? (According to Wikipedia, it's the observation that 'people in a hierarchy tend to rise to "a level of respective incompetence": employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent', which makes sense from the context.)

    23. I experiencedthe same resentment toward what-ever children abstract as Nature thatI knew Steve Moe felt when a sound-ly considered approach shot downthe forehand line was blown out bya gust.

      I love the callback to the wind gusts --- except that, this time, he's on the receiving end.

    24. myown recalcitrant glabrous little body

      Never heard the word glabrous before; what does it mean? ('Having a surface without hairs or projections' --- see https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/glabrous.)

    25. I could hitcurves way out into cross breezesthat'ddrop the ball just fair; I had a specialwind serve that had so much spin theball turned oval in the air, curved lefrto right like a smart slider, and then re-versed its arc on the bounce.

      I particularly like his description of his serve. He makes it sound like a magical art.

    26. I had, by thirteen, developed asort of Taoist hubris about my abilityto control via non-control.

      As something of a Taoist myself, I love this description.

    27. moon ballsbaroque with ornate spins

      Nice turn of phrase.

    28. candent

      What does this word mean? ('Glowing from or as if from great heat' --- see https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/candent.)

    29. so awash in thestink of roasting com that kids wouldplay with bandannas tied over their'mouths and noses

      Interesting picture.

    30. Butto say that I did not use verve or imag-ination was untrue. Acceptance is itsown verve, and it takes imaginationfor a player to like wind,I and I liked wind.

      Excellent points!

    31. I couldn't begin to tell youhow many tournament matches l.wonbetween the ages of twelve and fif-teen against bigger, faster, more co-ordinated, and better coached op-ponents simply by hitting balls un-imaginatively back down the middleof the court in schizophrenic gales,letting the other kid play with moreverve and panache, waiting forenough of his ambitious balls aimednear the lines to curve or slide viawind outside the green court andwhite stripe into the raw red territo-ry that won me yet another uglypoint.

      Great description.

    32. It drove somekids near mad with the caprice andunfairness of it all, and on real windydays these kids, usually with talentout the wazoo, would have their firstapoplectic racket-throwing tantrum inabout the match's third game and bythe end of the first set would havelapsed into a kind of sullen coma, bit-terly expecting to get screwed overby wind, net, tape, sun.

      A few things here: 'real windy' is decidedly colloquial (grammatically, it should be 'really windy'); and 'apoplectic racket-throwing tantrum' is such a delightful turn of phrase.

    33. Because the expansionof response possibilities is quadratic,you are required to think n shotsahead, where n is a hyperbolic func-tion limited by (roughly) your oppo-nent's talent and the number of shotsin the rally so far.

      Another nerd alert. Lots to unpack here.

    34. Tennis is to artillery andair strikes what football is to infantryand attrition.

      I love this metaphor so much.

    35. competitive tennis, like money-pool,requires geometric thinking, the abil-ity to calculate not merely your ownangles but the angles of response toyour angles

      More math.

    36. a rhomboid patch

      More math.

    37. tear-assing

      Great usage.

    38. the Ro-totiller, a rented, wheelbarrow-shaped,gas-driven thing that roared and snort-ed and bucked and seemed to propelits mistress rather than vice versa

      Having used a Rototiller before, I love this description, particularly the part about it propelling its handler (because that's certainly what it did to me).

    39. quincunx

      What does this word mean? (It's an arrangement of five things in a square or rectangle, with one at each corner and one in the middle. See https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quincunx.)

    40. Most of mymemories of childhood,whether of furrowed. acreage or a' harvester'ssentry duty along R.R.l04W or the play of sharpshadows against the Le-gion Hall softball field'sdusk, I could now reconstruct on de-mand with an edge and protractor.

      More mathematics.

    41. (the east and westintersection-angles' tan-gents could be evaluatedintegrally in terms of theirsecantsl)

      Nerd! I love it.

    42. the gleaming Peo-ria kids whose hair nevereven lost its part right upuntil their eyes rolled up intheir heads and theypitched forward onto theshimmering concrete

      More class warfare?

    43. tenniscourts are for sun-and-eye reasons al-ways laid lengthwise north-south

      I never realized this! Makes perfect sense.

    44. The wind wouldjust die, some days, inAugust, and it was no re-lief at all; the cessationdrove us nuts. We real-ized afresh how muchthe wind had becomepart of the soundtrackto life in Philo. Thesound of wind had be-come, for me, silence.When it went away, Iwas left with the squeak of theblood in my head and the auralglitter of all those little eardrumhairs quivering like aT drunk in withdrawal.

      Nice imagery.

    45. gentleswells and declivities that make thetopology a sadistic exercise in plot- .ting quadrics

      I love how he introduces mathematically technical language into this essay from time to time. Also, what's a declivity? (It's a downward slope, which is what I suspected from the context.)

    46. Play the WholeCourt

      Love the capitalization.

    47. a weird pro-clivity for intuitive math

      I was always jealous of folks who had this. My mathematical talents manifested themselves in the formal arena, and I was never all that good at intuiting shortcuts (with one exception: the ARML relay competition, where I did spot the warp whistle, so to speak).

    48. At four-teen I was ranked seventeenth in theUnited States Tennis Association'sWestern Section ("Western" beingthe creakily ancient USTA's designa-tion for the Midwest; farther west werethe Southwest, Northwest, and Pa-cific Northwest sections), fourth inthe state of Illinois, and around onehundredth in the nation, having flownin 1976, at the regional association'sexpense, to the U.S. National JuniorHardcourt Championships in Kala-mazoo, Michigan,'where in the secondround I got my rural ass handed to meby a California kid named Scott Davis,who's now a marginal figure on thepro circuit.

      Damn, that's impressive!

    49. I cut my competitive teethbeating up on lawyers' and dentists'kids at little Champaign and Urbanacountry club events

      A touch of class warfare?

    50. my home of Philo,Illinois

      Never heard of it before.

    51. Calculus was,I quite literally, child's play.
    52. College mathevokes a Midwesterner's sickness forhome.

      How so? (I'm sure he'll tell us.)

    53. ajones for mathematics
  3. Sep 2023
  4. Aug 2023
    1. the 2009 publication of the influential text The Spirit Level by epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
  5. Jul 2023
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  6. Jun 2023
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