Sunday, October 21, 2018

arsenic in the garden

Although Thursday the temperature tickled the underside of 65 degrees, and it was sunny, plenty of wind, this morning Saturday’s snow remains on the ground.

Watching last night’s ballgame, Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, Dodgers at Brewers, Los Angeles v. Milwaukee, and inexplicably rooting for the Brewers. Perhaps it is a Midwestern thing. Perhaps it is the old, bald-headed catcher. Perhaps it is Lorenzo Cain. Perhaps it is the manager’s somewhat unorthodox manner of managing. Perhaps it is admiration for the way the Brewers overcame the Cubs, took the division away from them in a hastily scheduled last game and never looked back. And the way their fans boo that Manny Machado. If L.A. goes forward? OK. And it’s nice to have that option.

Nearing the end of Dr. Granville’s autobiography and another interest and achievement is presented: spas. He toured Germany to explore its mineral baths, their healing powers, and produced a comprehensive work on the subject, a two-volume tome, “The Spas of Germany” (1837). This was followed in 1841 by a three-volume set, “The Spas of England and Sea-bathing Places.” The Wikipedia entry for Bournemouth, England, credits Granville with putting the town on the map, so to speak, by promoting its healthful possibilities. Prior to embarking on his “career as a medical hydrographer,” Granville conducted research at the British Museum.
I looked round the great reading-room of the British Museum, that garden of literature, into which once entered you luxuriously sit before a well-appointed desk, ready to collect and treasure up into your memorandum book whatever knowledge you can gather from the thousands of volumes within your own reach, or from any other which you desire to have brought to you by prompt attendants from the many inner halls of that gigantic library. Here you can pick and choose, transcribe and collect, whatever can help you in the prosecution of any projected work you may happen to be engaged in …
This reminded me of the Internet, or the World Wide Web, if we still call it that—do we? Though I guess without the ads. Unless they were embedded like weeds in the garden or slipped to you surreptitiously by an attendant, a little note along with your book of knowledge saying Eat at Joe’s. Was it really so different back then? Is it really so different now?

Bournemouth. Invalid’s Walk.

Having stuck with Granville all this time and while watching the ballgame and, at the same time, exploring what this desktop field of wildflowers has to offer, I spot and quickly pick “Arsenicated Candles: Report of the Committee of the Westminster Medical Society on Arsenicated Candles,” a report Granville was involved with. I will read it later.

p.s. go dodgers!

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