Skip to main content

Photo lifted from Facebook

Photo: I'm completely in love.

This is an adorable photo. Forget, if you can, the individual cuteness of each pup. The composition of the whole is striking.

Look at the fellow second from the right. (Your right, as viewer.) He is probably the smallest and cutest of all of them. His individual toes are well defined, whereas for each of the others we have to take a "paw" as the smallest print-establishing unit. So call the little fellow "Toesy." Further, his toes are held back from the line of each of the other's paws, as if he is the most timid member of the crowd.

Now imagine that Toesy isn't in the photo at all. Photoshop him out, and then shorten the tub so he leaves no empty space. You would then have a remarkably symmetrical arrangement of five Sheltie pups.

The middle pup of those five would be the only one howling. The two that flanked him would be (are) the only two with a lot of black fur. And the two that flanked them (again, without Toesy) would be the only two with their tongues hanging out in classic puppy-panting pose.

When I look at this photo, I see that symmetrical arrangement, with Toesy getting in the way as a sort of symmetry-foiler. He is like a dimple on the right cheek of a face, unaccompanied by any dimple on the left cheek. It just makes ther whole face even more wonderful than would perfect symmetry.


Popular posts from this blog

Cancer Breakthrough

Hopeful news in recent days about an old and dear desideratum: a cure for cancer. Or at least for a cancer, and a nasty one at that.

The news comes about because investors in GlaxoSmithKline are greedy for profits, and has already inspired a bit of deregulation to boot. 

The FDA has paved the road for a speedy review of a new BCMA drug for multiple myeloma, essentially cancer of the bone marrow. This means that the US govt has removed some of the hurdles that would otherwise (by decision of the same govt) face a company trying to proceed with these trials expeditiously. 

This has been done because the Phase I clinical trial results have been very promising. The report I've seen indicates that details of these results will be shared with the world on Dec. 11 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. 

The European Medicines Agency has also given priority treatment to the drug in question. 

GSK's website identifies the drug at issue as "GSK2857916," althou…

A Story About Coleridge

This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…

Hume's Cutlery

David Hume is renowned for two pieces of cutlery, the guillotine and the fork.

Hume's guillotine is the sharp cut he makes between "is" statements and "ought" statements, to make the point that the former never ground the latter.

His "fork" is the division between what later came to be called "analytic" and "synthetic" statements, with the ominous observation that any books containing statements that cannot be assigned to one or the other prong should be burnt.

Actually, I should acknowledge that there is some dispute as to how well or poorly the dichotomy Hume outlines really maps onto the analytic/synthetic dichotomy. Some writers maintain that Hume meant something quite different and has been hijacked. Personally, I've never seen the alleged difference however hard they've worked to point it out to me.

The guillotine makes for a more dramatic graphic than a mere fork, hence the bit of clip art above.

I'm curious whe…