Excerpt from Planting A Vineyard, Georgics: Book II Arboriculture and Viniculture, Virgil

And don’t let anyone be so wise as to convince you

to turn the solid earth when a North wind’s blowing.

Since winter grips the soil with frost and won’t let a shoot

that’s planted then fix its frozen roots in the ground.

The optimum season for planting vines is when the stork

that enemy of long snakes, arrives, in the first blush of spring,

or in autumn’s first chill before the horses of the swift sun

touch winter, when summer is on the wane.

Spring benefits the leaves of the groves and woods,

in Spring soil swells and demands life-bringing seed.

Then Heaven, the omnipotent father, descends as fertile rain,

into the lap of his joyful consort, and joining his power

to her vast body nourishes all growth.

Then the wild thickets echo to the songs of birds,

and in the settled days the cattle renew their loves:

the kindly earth gives birth, and the fields open their hearts,

in the warm West winds: gentle moisture flows everywhere,

and the grasses safely dare to trust to the new sun.

the vine-shoots don’t fear a rising Southerly,

or rain driven through the sky, by great Northerly gales,

but put out their buds, and unfold all their leaves.

I can believe such days shone at the first dawn

of the nascent world, and took such temperate course.

That was true Spring, the great world passed its Spring,

and the Easterlies spared their wintry gales,

when the first cattle drank in the dawn,

and the iron race of men lifted their heads from the hard ground,

and wild creatures were freed in the woods, and stars in the sky.

And tender things could not endure their labour,

if this respite did not come between the cold and the heat,

and heaven’s gentleness welcome the earth.


Yudkowski new book

I have tended to read anything he puts out since I discovered the OB/LW community back when Stumbleupon was awesome… I think everybody should have some autodidacts in their reading list and Yudkowski is an established good choice imo, and very prolific. I still highly recommend his sequences, which cover many topics such as futurism, ai ethics, bayes, rationality and argument, and game theory. 

This new release though is very interesting! 


Biblical illiteracy

Growing problem of biblical illiteracy @ contradictionsinthebible.com

The scholar in charge of this blog seems to have his head on straight. Dont let the title mislead you, the information isn’t for half-cocked scripture bashing, but is respectful and sincere. Unlike many atheists, I don’t hate or disparage the “book”, and sometimes feel the need to refresh my understanding of it so that my years of study don’t go to waste.

Jeremiah 8:8 “‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?

Botany @ Project Gutenberg


“Erce, Erce, Erce, Mother of Earth!

May the All-Wielder, Ever Lord grant thee 

Acres a-waxing, upwards a-growing 

Pregnant [with corn] and plenteous in strength;

Hosts of [grain] shafts and of glittering plants!Of broad barley the blossoms

And of white wheat ears waxing,

Of the whole earth the harvest!

Let be guarded the grain against all the ills

That are sown o’er the land by the sorcery men,

Nor let cunning women change it nor a crafty man.”

The Old English Herbals by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde

THE Botanical Magazine; OR, Flower-Garden Displayed  by William Curtis describes itself as presenting “The most Ornamental Foreign Plants, cultivated in the Open Ground, the Green-House, and the Stove, are accurately represented in their natural Colours.”  [another Project Gutenberg find]

The Complete Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper has an occult approach to herbalism and discusses cures at length. However one might feel about the possibility of such things, anyone can probably enjoy the beginning, which contains 10 botanical plates like the below.


Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure by William Thomas Fernie doesn’t have any pretty pictures, but it does have some awesome poetry about herbs.

“She wrapped it up, and for its tomb did choose
A garden pot, wherein she laid it by,
And covered it with mould, and o’er it set
Sweet Basil, which her tears kept ever wet.”


 Herbals, Their Origin and Evolution: A Chapter in the History of Botany by Agnes Arber teaches known botany “until the time of the printed press”, an old book, still kinda neat, and has many botanical illustrations including the below.

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Project Gutenburg on Fungus

Was thinking- hey- wonder what Project Gutenberg has on fungi and mycology.


Fungi: Their Nature and Uses by M. C. Cooke looks like a very in depth text. It’s written in a lilted style and looks to be chocked with information and illustrations.

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Fungi: their Nature and Uses 

A beginner-targeted, pop-sci pproach to mycology is promised by Among the Mushrooms: A Guide For Beginners by Burgin and Dallas.

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Führer für Pilzfreunde by Edmund Michael is in german, but it has  39 amazing illustrations of mushrooms, such as the below

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Two books offer a focus on edibility  Student’s Hand-book of Mushrooms of America, Edible and Poisonous by Thomas Taylor and The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise by Miron Elisha Hard.

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 Student’s Hand-book of Mushrooms of America, Edible and Poisonous

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