I published my original “We Are Stardust” post some time ago, introducing the infographic above, which shows the cosmic origins of the chemical elements that make up our bodies, according to mass. At that time I concluded that Joni Mitchell should actually have sung “We are 90% stardust,” because that’s the proportion of our body … Continue reading We Are Stardust (Supplement)
I’d originally considered entitling this post simply “More Bullshit”, but that of course would be misleading—The Oikofuge attempts to be a bullshit-free zone. I’ve posted on the topic of bullshit before, when I wrote about Pennycook et al.‘s classic paper “On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit“. Now I’d like to share with you … Continue reading More About Bullshit
ˈlæbɪrɪnθ Labyrinth: 1) A structure consisting of a number of intercommunicating passages arranged in bewildering complexity, through which it is difficult or impossible to find one’s way without guidance. 2) A structure consisting of a single passageway winding compactly through a tortuous route between an entrance and a central point. When Minos reached Cretan soil … Continue reading Labyrinth
By the end of my previous post, I’d completed all the necessary revisions to the kit parts to produce an in-flight model of Gidsken Jakobsen‘s ill-fated Junkers F13 floatplane, LN-ABH. (See the previous post for details of its fate.) Unusually, I painted the fuselage and wing parts before complete assembly—because of the boxy nature of … Continue reading Revell 1/72 Junkers F13W: Two Builds – Part 2
Beinn a’ Chuallaich (NN 684617, 892m) 13 kilometres720 metres of ascent The Crow Craigies Climbing Party was again prevented by Covid restrictions from assembling in full force this year, but the founding members managed to get together for a socially distanced day on the hill nevertheless. Our aim this year was to climb Beinn a’ … Continue reading CCCP 2021: Beinn a’ Chuallaich
With Covid lockdown lifted (at least for now) but international travel still looking like a Very Bad Idea for the rest of the year, the Boon Companion and I are back to travelling around Scotland. Our most recent trip was to Kylerhea, at the eastern end of the Isle of Skye. It’s not a particularly … Continue reading Kylerhea, Skye
All in all, my life had changed so much that my days of poverty and insecurity seemed like a thirty-year nightmare. Today I’m well fed, well dressed, and well liked by the right people, and all it’s cost me is what you might expect: my self-respect and the approval of most of my friends. George … Continue reading George Alec Effinger: The Marîd Audran Trilogy
So here I have two slightly different editions of the same kit, because I intend to build models of two distinctly different versions of the same airframe—specifically, Junkers Construction Number 650, which went into service as a float-plane in May 1923. (The “W” in “Junkers F13W” stands for Wasser, which is German for “water”, designating … Continue reading Revell 1/72 Junkers F13W: Two Builds – Part 1
In my previous post about this word, I described how the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba, originated in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European albho-, meaning “white”. In Proto-Celtic, this evolved into another word something like albiyu. This word seems to have meant something like “bright place” or “high place”, and in the later Celtic languages Brittonic and Goidelic (spoken on the islands of Britain and Ireland, respectively) it produced place-names that ended up as Alba, Albion and Albany. Likewise in the Germanic languages, albho- gave rise to a “high place” word that gives us the name of the Alps mountain range.
A few months ago I ran into the periodic table above, detailing the cosmological origins of the chemical elements. And it occurred to me that I could quantify Joni Mitchell’s claim that “we are stardust”. How much of the human body is actually produced by the stars? But before I get to that, I should probably explain a little about the various categories indicated by the colours in the chart above.