A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Well, we've said good riddance to January. The days are getting longer, and Blue Monday is behind us. Tomorrow the groundhog will tell us exactly how much winter we've got left. In any case, seven more weeks and it will officially be spring.

Dr. Cliff Arnall has generated so much ill will with his bogus pseudo-science that I won't go into much of it here. I'll just say he was paid handsomely by a travel company to generate equations for calculating the most depressing day of the year. For 2008, he arrived at January 25, based on a combination of factors. He concluded:

Where T equals time since Christmas, D equals debt, W is weather, d is money due in January pay, Q time since failed quit attempt, M general motivational levels and NA is the need to take action: 1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA.

Science writers all around the world are up in arms at this "nonsense" which "caricatures and undermines" real science. And they're right. Anyway, it doesn't take an official-looking mathematical formula to tell you that it's cold and dark, the holidays are over, and you're broke, overweight and undermotivated. Just a glance at your sink or that pile on your desk.

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