Tuesday, July 31, 2012


John McPhee, The Control of Nature1989, "Cooling the Lava"

The view over the community is of red, green, blue, beige, yellow bright rooftops, walls of oyster and cream.  Silver.  Turquoise.  Copper.  Butter.  It's a trig and colorful, prosperous, handsome town.  There is a house in three shades of green that closely resembles the geologic map of Nebraska.  Its appearance is not singular in Vestrnannaeyjar.

trig 2adjectiveneat and smart in appearance two trig little boys, each in a gray flannel suit.verb ( trigged trigging ) [ trans. ]make neat and smart in appearance he has rigged her and trigged her with paint and spar.ORIGIN Middle English (in the sense [faithful, trusty] ): from Old Norse tryggr; related totrue . The current verb sense dates from the late 17th cent.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

usufruct - an example

This seems a very good example of usufruct:

"After the Love Is Gone" by Nora Ephron (RIP) September 29, 2005, New York Times

"By the time Bill got involved with Monica, you'd have thought I was past being hurt by him. You'd have thought I'd have shrugged and said, I told you so, you can't trust the guy as far as you can spit. But much to my surprise, Bill broke my heart all over again. I couldn't believe how betrayed I felt. He'd had it all, he'd had everything, and he'd thrown it away, and here's the thing: it wasn't his to throw away. It was ours. We'd given it to him, and he'd squandered it."

The Seal

John McPhee, The Control of Nature1989, "Cooling the Lava"

"A year or so later, doctors at the London Hospital Medical College put him in a large tank - he is six feet four and weighs two hundred and seventy-five pounds - and hovered about with miscellaneous sensors while Gudlaugur reposed in water refrigerated to forty-one Fahrenheit degrees.  After an hour, Gudlaugur was bored, and asked for television.  The physiologists concluded that his subcutaneous fat closely resembled a seal's.  In Iceland, where swimming is the national sport, Gudlaugur is not regarded as much of a swimmer.  'He was fat,' said Magnus Magnusson, as he finished his story.  'He was no special swimmer.'"