Friday, March 16, 2007

Quiet Night at Home

B. went to Miami Beach with some co-workers to see a band (one of the co-workers plays in the band). I would have gone but I have to get up for work tomorrow. Just finished watching "Queer as Folk" on Logo. Now it's quiet.

I read an interesting article by John McPhee in the 3/12 New Yorker titled "Season on the Chalk," about the chalk deposits that extend from southeast England into France and Holland. I've seen the White Cliffs of Dover but I never knew how extensive the chalk deposits were. The grapes that go into the making of champagne grow on vines rooted in chalk, and tunnels burrowed into the chalk hold more than a billion bottles of champagne. "Europe's chalk deposits started to accumulate some hundred million years ago," the article says. "They grew at the rate of about a millimetre per century until they were more than three hundred metres thick."

Over in England, they have carved enormous figures into the chalk mountains ("downs"). The White Horse of Uffington is 374 feet long. The Cerne Abbas Giant (also called the Rude Man) is 184 feet tall, with an erect penis 30 feet long and testicles 10 feet wide. "English couples ascend the hill, lie down on the giant, and couple. Women who wish to conceive spend a night alone on the penis," the article says. The carvings date back centuries. I guess some Puritans disapprove, however, and propose something more modest.*

*Not really. That's just a gag.

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