Eric Schulman

The History of the Universe in 200 Words or Less

Quantum fluctuation. Inflation. Expansion. Strong nuclear interaction. Particle-antiparticle annihilation. Deuterium and helium production. Density perturbations. Recombination. Blackbody radiation. Local contraction. Cluster formation. Reionization? Violent relaxation. Virialization. Biased galaxy formation? Turbulent fragmentation. Contraction. Ionization. Compression. Opaque hydrogen. Massive star formation. Deuterium ignition. Hydrogen fusion. Hydrogen depletion. Core contraction. Envelope expansion. Helium fusion. Carbon, oxygen, and silicon fusion. Iron production. Implosion. Supernova explosion. Metals injection. Star formation. Supernova explosions. Star formation. Condensation. Planetesimal accretion. Planetary differentiation. Crust solidification. Volatile gas expulsion. Water condensation. Water dissociation. Ozone production. Ultraviolet absorption. Photosynthetic unicellular organisms. Oxidation. Mutation. Natural selection and evolution. Respiration. Cell differentiation. Sexual reproduction. Fossilization. Land exploration. Dinosaur extinction. Mammal expansion. Glaciation. Homo sapiens manifestation. Animal domestication. Food surplus production. Civilization! Innovation. Exploration. Religion. Warring nations. Empire creation and destruction. Exploration. Colonization. Taxation without representation. Revolution. Constitution. Election. Expansion. Industrialization. Rebellion. Emancipation Proclamation. Invention. Mass production. Urbanization. Immigration. World conflagration. League of Nations. Suffrage extension. Depression. World conflagration. Fission explosions. United Nations. Space exploration. Assassinations. Lunar excursions. Resignation. Computerization. World Trade Organization. Terrorism. Internet expansion. Reunification. Dissolution. World-Wide Web creation. Composition. Extrapolation?

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things-
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Niccolo Machiavelli

But when evening comes, I return home and go into my library. At the door I take off my muddy everyday clothes. I dress myself as though I were about to appear before a royal court as a Florentine envoy. Then decently attired I enter the antique courts of the great men of antiquity. They receive me with friendship; from them I derive the nourishment which alone is mine and for which I was born. Without false shame I talk with them and ask them the causes of the actions; and their humanity is so great they answer me. For four long and happy hours I lose myself in them. I forget all my troubles; I am not afraid of poverty or death. I transform myself entirely in their likeness.

Icndrielbe Mnid

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe.

Horatio Nelson

England confides that every man will do his duty.

explanation from Lieutenant John Pasco – signal officer on the Victory

His Lordship came to me on the poop, and after ordering certain signals to be made, about a quarter to noon, he said. “Mr Pasco, I wish to say to the fleet, ENGLAND CONFIDES THAT EVERY MAN WILL DO HIS DUTY:” and he added “You must be quick, for I have one more to make which is for close action.” I replied, “If your Lordship will permit me to substitute the confides for expects the signal will soon be completed, because the word expects is in the vocabulary, and confides must be spelt,” His Lordship replied, in haste, and with seeming satisfaction, “That will do, Pasco, make it directly.” When it had been answered by a few ships in the Van, he ordered me to make the signal for close action, and to keep it up: accordingly, I hoisted No. 16 at the top-gallant mast-head, and there it remained until shot away.

At 11:45 on October 21, 1805 one of the most famous naval signals in British history was sent.

253 – England
269 – expects
863 – that
261 – every
471 – man
958 – will
220 – do
370 – his
4 – d
21- u
19 – t
24 – y

E E Cummings

lady i will touch you
lady, i will touch you with my mind.
touch you and touch and touch
until you give
me suddenly a smile, shyly obscene

(lady i will
touch you with my mind.) Touch
you,that is all,

lightly and you utterly will become
with infinite care

the poem which i do not write.

Fleur Adcock


November ’63: eight months in London.
I pause on the low bridge to watch the pelicans:
they float swanlike, arching their white necks
over only slightly ruffled bundles of wings,
burying awkward beaks in the lake’s water.

I clench cold fists in my Marks and Spencer`s jacket
and secretly test my accent once again:
St James’s Park; St James’s Park; St James’s Park.

G K Chesterton

Man is always something worse or something better than an animal; and a mere argument from animal perfection never touches him at all. Thus, in sex no animal is either chivalrous or obscene. And thus no animal invented anything so bad as drunkenness – or so good as drink.

William Shakespeare

If we shadows have offended,
think but this; and all is mended
that you have but slumbered here
while these visions did appear
and this weak and idle theme
no more yielding but a dream.
Gentles–do not reprehend
if you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck
if we have unearned luck.
Now to scape the serpents tongue.
We will make amends ere long
else the Puck a liar call.
So–goodnight unto you all.
Give me your hands if we be friends.
And Robin shall restore amends.