Leonardo da Vinci | Mona Lisa | c. 1517
As we celebrate Banned Books Week, let’s remember that book restrictions in prison - limits on the number of books allowed to prisoners, infrequent access to prison libraries, bans on receipt of books by post - have a seriously detrimental effect on prisoners’ education, and likely also on reoffending rates.
look at this cop-hating suffragette kitty
The erotic functions for me in several ways, and the first is in providing the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person. The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.
Another important way in which the erotic connection functions is the open and fearless underlining of my capacity for joy. In the way my body stretches to music and opens into response, hearkening to its deepest rhythms, so every level upon which I sense also opens to the erotically satisfying experience, whether it is dancing, building a bookcase, writing a poem, examining an idea.
The self-connection shared is a measure of the joy which I know myself to be capable of feeling, a reminder of my capacity for feeling. And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my life that it can be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called ‘marriage’, nor ‘god’, nor ‘an afterlife’.
During World War II, we bought sealed plastic packets of white, uncolored margarine, with a tiny, intense pellet of yellow coloring perched like a topaz just inside the clear skin of the bag. We would leave the margarine out for a while to soften, and then we would pinch the little pellet to break it inside the bag, releasing the rich yellowness into the soft pale mass of margarine. Then taking it carefully between our fingers, we would knead it gently back and forth, over and over, until the color had spread throughout the whole pound bag of margarine, thoroughly coloring it.
I find the erotic such a kernel within myself. When released from its intense and constrained pellet, it flows through and colors my life with a kind of energy that heightens and sensitizes and strengthens all my experience."
Audre Lorde, The Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power
I’m sure this has been quoted a bajillion times but this is only the second time I’ve read this essay and I forgot how beautiful this part was. (Also, y’know, margarine & orgasms. Kind of hilarious.)
1862, The Saturday Review (US), 8th Feb.
(OED) erotic, adj. and n.
rum and coke in honour of NFT
THE BOY AND HIS ATOM
What you see above is the world’s smallest movie. The following movie is made out of atoms. IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules (two atoms stacked on top of each other). This movie can only be seen when magnified by 100 million times.
The young head nurse, Sr. Catherine Bennett, worked so hard that she frightened her relatives.
From K, Sept. ‘14, visiting Dunham Massey where they are currently celebrating women’s contributions to history & society. K informs me that The widowed Lady Stamford offered her home as a military hospital during the Great War & ran the place from her Summer Parlour.