Saturday, August 28, 2010

"An honest to God Elizabethan psycho" and a fascinating reading list about literacy

So far this weekend two especially noteworthy posts have come to me via Google Reader.

Thanks to Dr. Beachcombing, I got to read about said Elizabethan psycho, Sir Richard Grenville, who
... was of so hard a complexion that, as he continued among the Spanish Captains, while they were at dinner or supper with him, he would carouse three or four glasses of wine; and, in a bravery, take the glasses between his teeth, and crush them in pieces, and swallow them down, so that oftentimes the blood ran out of his mouth, without any harm at all to him: and this was told me, by diverse credible persons that, many times, stood and beheld him.
To see what kind of excesses eating wineglasses can lead to, I refer you to this post.

If, however, you are in a less excitable mood, Stephen Christomalis provides the world with his reading list for a grad course on writing systems and literacy. Now if I could just pull myself away from this screen, I could indulge myself in such treats as

John Defrancis, The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy.
While the title suggests that it is more generally on language, the core of the book is on the nature and social context of the Chinese characters, ranging from basic semiotic issues to modern romanization efforts, and the gross misunderstandings most Westerners have of the script.
Enough to make your mouth water, isn't it? Beats reading debates on the fragile economy.

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