Monthly Archives: March 2011

Vindemy

As I am an apiarist and a logophile, you could have guessed that this Wednesday’s word would be Vindemy.

Vindemy is defined as “To take honey from beehives” and is from the Latin vindemiatus – to gather the vintage. Often used to define the gathering of grapes for wine, the word transitioned to encompass the gathering of honey from bees.

My fondness for honey often leads to a sticky trail through corners of the house, which irks Bubo to no end. Frankly speaking, though, she should keep her beak to herself; I don’t begrudge her fondness for nocturnal vermin nor the small bones I often find stuck in an errant glob of honey.

Vindemy.

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Pi Day

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating the little things. Though, let’s be honest, Pi is not a little thing at all. It’s a mathematical constant. It is an infinite decimal.

The modern symbol for Pi was first used (in our modern sense) in 1706 by William Jones:

There are various other ways of finding the Lengths or Areas of particular Curve Lines, or Planes, which may very much facilitate the Practice; as for instance, in the Circle, the Diameter is to the Circumference as 1 to (16/5 – 4/239) – 1/3(16/5^3 – 4/239^3) + … = 3.14159… =

(A History of Mathematical Notation by Florian Cajori)

And, yes, you may also celebrate by eating a piece of pie. Just think about the fact that Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter while you’re cutting a slice.

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The house drips and shudders.

Bubo has returned wet and cranky from a bleak and stormy hunt. The drunken goat child has disappeared. The Kurundu Bird is singing with the rain. The Blue Wuzzelthump has been adopted. I am sipping whiskey and listening to the storm rattle this old house on the back of the hill in Brooklyn.

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No Whining Day

It is No Whining Day, a holiday that is near and dear to my heart. Valued friends of mine in the North Country (that’s New Hampshire for you cartography fans) started this day of celebration and observation, and I firmly and unabashedly adore it.

There is entirely too much whining. It has become such a part of our emotional lexicon that too many forget that they’re actually whining. So quit it. At least for one day. March 10th. You can do it.

Besides, it’s rather unbecoming on you.

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