Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sunday morning This and That

Just a couple of things that, from the Meridian's perspective, seem worthy of note:

First, a note: this post is sponsored in part by Christopher Bean's Jamaica Blue Mountain Rastafari Blend, which Mrs. Meridian found on sale at the store and brought home a couple of days ago. This is, of course, not the pure stuff, of which David Boles of Urban Semiotic so eloquently waxed recently. One day, when I'm feeling especially special, I will buy a bag of that and drift off jitteringly into a caffeinated Nirvana and come back to tell you all. But back to this blend. Neither the ad copy nor the packaging will divulge the actual percentage of Blue Mountain that is in this blend, so I don't know if what I'm tasting is indeed what THE stuff tastes like. But this is pretty good: it's similar in taste to Starbucks' House Blend but is not as dark a roast and is sweeter besides. As I was just telling Mrs. Meridian, it actually makes me want to drink more of it, something our usual coffee, the cheap but good Eight O'Clock Coffee 100% Colombian Whole Bean, does not. That is, the Rasta blend seems to have in it something that creates an actual craving for more. Perhaps it is its long, sweet, not-quite-syrupy finish that does it?

Anyway. Now you know what is fueling this post: 2 cups of this stuff and the desire for yet more. Onward now to some more Thises and some Thats.

Via domeheid, this fascinating article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the origins of the oft-noted odor(s?) emanating from T. E. Lawrence's personal copy of Ulysses. It's not often something I think of, but it certainly seems right that a book's smell can connect it to its owners/readers every bit as much as its marginalia--perhaps even more so.

Some links to things/people you might find as intriguing as I have:

Buzztracker (see the map on my page, immediately below the News and Meta-News links) is a graphic representation of the origins of and interrelationships between/among news stories as tracked by Google News (English-language sources). Click on the map and you'll be taken to a larger map; click on a red circle or dot, and you'll instantly get the headlines for the stories from that place, with links to the full stories. Very cool. One quick note, though: on today's map the search engine or whatever it is that produces the map is not making the distinction between San Salvador (in El Salvador, where a volcano is erupting) and Salvador (in Brazil). So, it's not perfect. But it mostly DOES work.

The Notable Names Data Base is, on its surface, just what it says it is. But it also tracks the connections between and among people, which can also be enlightening.

Essential Vermeer. How much (more) do you want to know about the Delft master painter? Go and have a look.

Some notable blogs now . . .

The inimitably-titled Chase Me, Ladies, I'm in the Cavalry is good, quirky fun. Like The Onion, but served with fish and chips, and all by one guy besides.

Chris's Invincible Super-Blog. Cross McSweeny's-style quirkiness with comicbook shop-associated hijinks, and you'll have the general idea. The writer clearly loves his subject but does not take it, or himself, too seriously.

The above-mentioned domeheid. Attentive, never-stuffy reviews of films and discussions of and links to other artsy things. A blog that deserves far more traffic than it gets.

Veach Glines' site, S N A P P E R H E A D (the spacing is his). The site's deceptively simple-looking design (the template is close in appearance to a Blogger default template) belies Glines' very close attention to detail. Beautiful abstract digital images, equally-beautiful writing; click on the right links, and you'll find elaborate explanations concerning his criteria for blogs in the categories he's placed them in (full disclosure: I'm very flattered that good old Blog Meridian has been deemed link-worthy at this site). It's designed to encourage the visitor to linger and so isn't for everyone. But those who do linger are richly rewarded.

Well. Coffee's gone, and laundry calls.

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Ariel said...

" actually makes me want to drink more of it, something our usual coffee, the cheap but good Eight O'Clock Coffee 100% Colombian Whole Bean, does not."

I think you've stumbled onto a crucial aspect of the coffee experience, one that should really never be lacking.

We have some Eight O'Clock beans in the freezer that have resided there for several months. Now that I've converted to my local genuis roaster, the Eight O' beans will probably remain in deep freeze.

veach st. glines said...

Thank you.

John B. said...

A belated thanks to both of you for visiting and commenting.
Ariel: I see that Roasterie is in good old KC. I shall have to order something from them; it might still be warm when it arrives in Wichita.
Veach: Thank YOU for visiting, and for such a marvelous blog.