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I get the impression that they didn't have the kid who was Uranus roll, though. - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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I get the impression that they didn't have the kid who was Uranus roll, though. [Dec. 7th, 2010|11:22 am]
Marissa Lingen
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Well, the holiday season is truly upon us: yesterday we celebrated Mikulas, and none of us was hauled away or eaten by Krampusz. Whew. Thursday is this year's Cookie Day, only this year we are having Cookie Day and Cookie Day 2: The Re-Cookenating. And this year Mikulas is in the middle of Hanukkah, so I hope that's fortuitous for those few of you who do both, and I hope those of you who only do Hanukkah are having a festive and bright one.

But that's not what I started posting to say.

I started posting to say that in the middle of Richard Holmes's The Age of Wonder he was describing a game that John Keats played when he was a boy at school. And I was reading along and went--!!! Because Keats played Planets too! I have to tell you, I am more along the lines of W.H. Auden than John Keats, but I have never felt so fond of Keats in my life as I did just then.

You know Planets. Someone stands in the middle and turns slowly, and they're the Sun, and other people pick what planets and moons and things they want to be and revolve accordingly around the Sun and each other. And Uranus rolls in the grass and comets run in and out and create havoc and if it's raining you all get very wet, and regardless of whether it's raining you all get very dizzy.

It's an extremely good game, although I think this many years of vertigo would make me into a comet when my temperament had made me more a planet. And I am extremely pleased that it is so old a game that Keats played it too. One thinks of tag that way, or hide-and-go-seek, but I didn't play Planets until I got to be a physics major, so it feels more private, and yet shouldn't be. I want the godkids and the nieces to play Planets. It is so fine. One ought. And Keats did. Really, I feel much better about that urn by proxy, even if he did have the wrong guy smacking into the Pacific in the other one.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: txanne
2010-12-07 06:29 pm (UTC)
I never played Planets! I feel so terribly cheated now! Perhaps my nephews or goddaughters will grow up to be geeks.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-12-07 06:53 pm (UTC)
You can still play. Planets won't mind.
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[User Picture]From: txanne
2010-12-07 06:57 pm (UTC)
By myself it's not as much fun. I suppose I could be the When Worlds Collide planet. Or a Dyson sphere! I contain multitudes!
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[User Picture]From: aedifica
2010-12-07 07:30 pm (UTC)
Maybe sometime when you and I are in the same place we can get up a game of it? wshaffer suggested that Saturn have a hula hoop, and I have some!
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[User Picture]From: ckd
2010-12-07 07:38 pm (UTC)
I think both of you need to come to Boston for a real game of planets, to scale: http://www.mos.org/sln/wtu/css/places.html

(Yes, Pluto's still included.)
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[User Picture]From: aedifica
2010-12-07 07:56 pm (UTC)
Of course it is, it's a planet. (So I say, and so I will continue to say.)
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[User Picture]From: txanne
2010-12-07 07:46 pm (UTC)
I think we should put it on the plan for the next 4th St. Except there isn't enough grass to roll around in. That's a problem, certainly.
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[User Picture]From: timprov
2010-12-07 07:52 pm (UTC)
Wirth Park's not very far away from the hotel.
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[User Picture]From: txanne
2010-12-07 07:57 pm (UTC)
Well there we are!
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[User Picture]From: aedifica
2010-12-07 07:57 pm (UTC)
As timprov notes, there are parks!
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[User Picture]From: wshaffer
2010-12-07 06:44 pm (UTC)
When I played it, I don't think Uranus rolled in the grass, but Saturn got a hula hoop.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-12-07 06:55 pm (UTC)
This is awesome when hula hoops are available.
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[User Picture]From: aedifica
2010-12-07 07:26 pm (UTC)
I never heard of Planets, but I have hula hoops! Hmm....
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[User Picture]From: akirlu
2010-12-07 08:19 pm (UTC)
Initially, I couldn't parse the title correctly, and so I was waiting for the part of the story that had to do with planet sushi, and it never came. I am only mildly disappointed however.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-12-07 10:29 pm (UTC)
I would like planetary sushi rolls! Someone should get right on that.
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[User Picture]From: pameladean
2010-12-07 11:19 pm (UTC)
Does Richard Holmes say how he knows this? Because I want to be sure.

Before I start running around the house whooping, you know.

P.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-12-07 11:32 pm (UTC)
The endnote seems to indicate that he gets it from Andrew Motion's Keats bio, and that it was done at the school at Enfield.
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[User Picture]From: mamculuna
2010-12-08 02:38 am (UTC)
OT, but not much: St. Lucia buns--should they have saffron or cardamom?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-12-08 02:43 am (UTC)
Lussekatter have saffron, but it is perfectly permissible to have cardamom buns for Santa Lucia as well; they are nice.
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[User Picture]From: mamculuna
2010-12-08 03:02 am (UTC)
Thanks!!
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[User Picture]From: zalena
2010-12-08 03:17 am (UTC)
How's the rest of the book? I started it, but was quickly overwhelmed. I figured I'd get back to it if I owned my own copy.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-12-08 04:02 am (UTC)
It's moderately good. It keeps alternating among scientific figures I already know a lot about, explorers (that is to say, the ones that interest me least), and the bits that actually interest me most. But I'm enjoying it and have hopes of the rest having less of the ones I already know a lot about.
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