New partners in the dance of life

Exploration of the word

archaeoastronomy self explanatory but rather fine

boondoggle, its etymology variously given as unknown, or coming from the boy scouts meaning product of simple manual labour but it has also come to denote an unnecessary wasteful or fraudulent project which continues to exist for political or extraneous reasons Also supposedly coined in the mid -1920s by Robert H. Link of Rochester, New York as a nickname for his infant son. Unclear how it made its way to the modern meaning, hopefully Robert H. Link wasn’t using it in that sense.

I’d heard this word before but swept past it.

caviste – a French word but it does exist in English in  the appropriate environments (where folk have access to professionally run wine cellars).

vintner someone who sells or makes wine.

jacked  (slang) well developed muscles. I am definitely unjacked and like it this way.

listicle a piece of writing presented wholly or partly as a list. I don’t feel attracted by this word.

nocebo effect

placebo is better known when a patient feels better despite the medicine applied having no established scientific effects.

nocebo is the opposite when someone feels worse from, for example, replacing a brand medicine with a generic medicine, despite it not being possible to identify any medical reason for this.


evasion of action or a clear-cut statement, desertion of a cause, position, party or faith

(source: Merriam Webster dictionary site). I was vaguely aware of the word.

From the Latin verb tergiversari meaning “to show reluctance” and coming from a combination of tergum meaning back and versare meaning to turn.

theodicy vindication of divine provenance in view of the existence of evil.

This sounds shaky to me and when I answer St Peter’s questionnaire in life’s quality follow-up (or the other department, mutatis mutandis), I shall state that it is highly unlikely that I recommend life to a friend.

toerag according to Collins dictionary, a despicable or contemptible person. I’d just about guessed this from the context I saw it used in.

toposcope, also known as topograph: the explanatory table or illustration at, for example, viewing points. I’m very glad to make its acquaintance and think I will use it (rather than toerag, which feels out of character)

Exploration of the world


I knew vaguely where it was and it is vaguely between Oxford St and Euston Rd on the S and N and Tottenham Court Rd and Great Portland St in the East and West. Viewed as a desirable area to live in and I wouldn’t mind at all if a flat here fell into my lap. I now also know that Rimbaud and G.B.Shaw lived there but doubt whether they met in a local tavern to play dominoes.

Travertine often referred to as Travertine marble but in fact a type of limestone. Burghausen castle in Bavaria, said to be the longest castle in the world, is made from it. If this feels over the top for a study visit, it can also be seen at the old London Transport headquarters in St James Park. Travertine also has the advantage of being porous so that if you wish to weep copiously at the sad saga of TFL vacating its traditional home for Far Eastern Stratford, it shouldn’t leave a stain on the floor.

Trespa cladding

A brand name. From the net “Everything you need to know about HPL Trespa:

The HPL panels consist of a wood fibre core that is compressed under high pressure giving the core the same properties as hardwood. The outer sides of an HPL sheet are finished with a  phenolic resin top layer, which is rock hard and virtually unbreakable”.

What these scientists get up to…..

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