Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, March 11, 2019


Openers:  Gaetano Albini came bustling into his little "blanco" a trifle before ten, nodded a smiling
"Good morning" to his employees, and strode importantly to the rear.

Puffing at his cigar, he unlocked the door to his private office, passed within, and rang for his mail.

This was the routine of Albini's life, and there was nothing, this sun-shiny morning, to indicate that it was to be disturbed.

-- "An Ambushed Terror" by J. U. Giesy, All-Story Cavalier Weekly, June 27, 1914

Oldest Printed Book?:   Forget Gutenberg.  The Diamond Sutra [Vasracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra] is the oldest known surviving printed book, dating back to 868.  The book, probably written between the second and the fifth centuries, was an important work in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and ancient translations have been found throughout Asia.  In the Diamond Sutra, the Buddha lectures the monk Subhuti about the nature of reality, which is hidden by preconceived notions.  These concepts make all reality illusory and the ultimate reality is itself "negative and empty."  Much of the Buddha's teachings appear to be negative and contradictory.  Not having read the texts, it seems to me to be a blend of Socratic argument and Heraclesian logic, but what do I know?

According to the Sutra,

     "All conditioned phenomena
     "Are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow.
     Like dew or a flash of lightening.
     Thus shall we perceive them."

The wood block printed book was on a scroll about five meters long and found in the Mogao Caves in northwest China in 1907.  This note at the end not only gives a dedication, but also the date of printing and an Creative Commons license:  "Reverently made for universal free distribution by Wang Jie on behalf of his two parents on the 15th of the 4th moon of the 9th year of Xiantong." 

In other words, on May 11, 868.  Thus, in two months, we can celebrate the birthday of books!

More on Trump:  What can I say that Randy Rainbow hasn't said (or sung) better?

Origins of Florida Man:  Where (I hear you ask) does Florida Man come from?  Whence originated he?

Not surprisingly, Florida Man was once Florida Boy, like the five-year-old Pompano Beach lad who found himself locked in a 72 quart cooler.  The panicked boy was soon rescued.  Igloo, the cooler manufacturer, says they are now addressing safety concerns with their products, identifying three additional models that have the same automatic locking mechanism, so something good may come out of Florida Boy's folly.

Surprisingly, Not Florida Man:  But he could well pass for Florida Man.   Who?  Tucker Carlson.

A recently unearthed tape, dating from sometime between 2006 and 2011, from the radio show Bubba the Love Sponge has our favorite little Tucker called women "extremely primitive" and that they "just need to be be quiet and kind of do what [they're] told."  Oh, Tucker, Tucker, Tucker...#youtoo?

In the past, our boy TC has called then-Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan "unattractive...She's never going to be an attractive woman."  He's called Britney Spears and Paris Hilton "white whores" and has called Alexa Stewart (Martha's daughter) a "c***," adding that he wants to "give her the spanking she so desperately needs."

Tucker insists that he surely loves women but I'm beginning to have my doubts.

And why the hell isn't he from Florida?

Malaches of Pork (Pork Quiche):  Want to prepare a dish that was popular in 14th century Scotland?  It's simple.

From the HistoryExtra website:

"Hewe pork al to pecys and medle it with ayren & ches igrated.  Do therto powdour fort, safroun & pynes with salt.  Make a crust in a trap; bake it wel therinne, and seure it forth."

Easy peasy.  And yummy!

Today's Poem:  Today is the anniversary of the Great Blizzard of 1888 which paralyzed the East Coast of America and left more than 400 dead.  Here's an extract from a poem by Alice Sayers about the storm:

The storm ne'er ceased for three whole days
The clouds hid all the sun's bright rays
No trains could run, all wires down
No contacts made with any town

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