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May 12, 2024

F. Scott Fitzgerald Reads John Keats' 'Ode to a Nightingale'

Not long before he died on December 21, 1940, F. Scott Fitzgerald recorded himself reading a version of John Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale."


It's no surprise that this poem was important to Fitzgerald — it was from "Ode to a Nightingale" that Fitzgerald found the title to his fourth novel, "Tender is the Night."

Fitzgerald was in the habit of writing with his copy of Keats close to hand, and occasionally fragments of poems would influence his prose. Compare, for instance, Fitzgerald's line, "He lit Daisy's cigarette from a trembling match, and sat down with her on a couch far across the room, where there was no light save what the gleaming floor bounced in from the hall," to one from Keats: "But there is no light/save from what heaven is with the breezes blown."

When his daughter Frances was in university, Fitzgerald wrote her a long letter extolling the virtues of reading and studying Keats: "For awhile after you quit Keats, all other poetry seems to be only whistling or humming." He called Keat's poetry "unbearably beautiful, with every syllable as inevitable as the notes of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony," going on to say that he couldn't read "Ode to a Nightingale" without tears in his eyes.

Fitzgerald deeply identified with John Keats — a handsome young writer proclaimed a genius early in his career, but who came to an untimely and tragic end. That was the story that ran through all of Fitzgerald's work.

In this recording he seems to be reading from memory, slightly straying from the text in places until the third stanza, where he mixes up the lines and breaks off early. If Fitzgerald's sultry voice leaves you wanting more, continue reading here.

May 12, 2024 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Archie's Parallel Lives and the 'Many-Worlds' Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics


In July of 2010, before many of you were born, Archie Comics premiered two new story lines: "The Married Life: Archie Loves Betty" and "The Married Life: Archie Loves Veronica."

So it would appear that there are those who can have it both ways.

The "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics, published by Hugh Everett III in 1957 in Reviews of Modern Physics, holds that "in addition to the world we are aware of directly, there are many other similar worlds which exist in parallel at the same time."

I wonder how many of those who read and enjoyed these comics in this world paused to reflect on their own doppelgängers, doing the same thing at that moment in a universe so very near and yet so very far, far away.

May 12, 2024 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Drivable Floor Cleaning Car for Kids


What took so long?

Gives a whole new meaning to "Floor it!"


From websites:


Load it up with paper towels and let the kids go wild.


Features and Details:


• Variable speed

• For ages 2-8 years

• Up to 3 hours runtime on a single charge



May 12, 2024 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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