Monday, September 07, 2009

Harbingers of doom

Two unmistakable signs today of the imminent beginning of term. First, the names are going up on the room lists at the bottom of each staircase. Some sensible colleges still have them painted on in a nice calligraphic style. (See pictured here the board for Clare's L staircase where I had room L2 in 1992-3; it was very nice but very cold.) Here at Corpus we have moved to the printing of sticky labels. Still, the college will soon be populated again and that is probably a good thing; it seems a bit lifeless during the vacation.

Second, the Cambridge Pocket Diary for 2009-10 has arrived. This is very important because it tells you at a glance such essential information as when the Lent term 'divides' (13 Feb 2010, by the way) and when the Philological Society will be meeting. But... This year it has changed colour, from a nice friendly maroon to a bold black. It's probably something to do with the 800th anniversary thing but it is a change, nevertheless, and therefore probably something bad. (These diaries have been going for some time and are often themselves important relics. See pictured here Wittgenstein's diary showing some important appointments for Lent term 1930 taken from the pages at the Wittgenstein archive). Still, I shall spend some of the afternoon transferring all the bits and pieces I have written in the back of my old diary and filling up the appointments already made for the new term.

In other news, it is now possible (hooray!) to read the story of Betrand Russell's early life and philosophical career in comic book form. (See the Amazon link below.) Thrill as 'through love and hate, peace and war', Bertie 'persists in the dogged mission that threatens to claim both his career and his happiness, finally driving him to the brink of insanity' (as the blurb puts it). Holy set-theory-paradox, Batman! Kapoow!

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