via NYPL: Happy Birthday, Henry James. 1843-1916.
"It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven’t had that, what have you had? …What one loses one loses; make no mistake about that… The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have… Live!”
quote from The Ambassadors, 1903.
A cauldron of hawks
A murder of crows
A convocation of eagles
A wedge, a skein or a plump of geese
A charm of hummingbirds
A scold of jays
A parliament of owls
A knot of sparrows
An affliction of starlings
A gulp of swallows
A lamentation of swans
A rafter of turkeys
A committee of vultures
A herd of wrens
… gathered from here and there. Cool, right? (Sometimes, just, fuck links.)
"They can remember your face."
"All that cawing isn’t just noise; they’re talking to one another, and doing so in a very advanced fashion. Scientists debate whether or not crows actually have what we call a language. But why it’s a debate at all is somewhat baffling: Those same scientists also readily acknowledge that crows have regional dialects, a difficult thing to have without a language."
"… not only do they recognize us as individuals, but they have the means to describe us in detail to one another, even across generations."
"…the bird dropped in stones only until the water was high enough to reach the worm - and went for the larger pebbles too, understanding that they would displace more water."
"If another is watching, the crow will pretend to hide the food in their cache, when in reality, they’re stashing it in their chest feathers …"
"…they also memorize the pattern of traffic lights to optimize the exact moment they drop the nuts, but also to make sure they only retrieve them when the light is red and the crosswalk sign is on, so they don’t get run over. If you’ve ever been out driving, you know the latter is a skill that only about 10 percent of the human population has mastered."
"When scientists attached small cameras to the tails of some New Caledonian crows, they discovered the birds were using sticks to get bugs out of trees. Typical bird stuff, right? Well, they also used stiff leaves and grass to manufacture knives, then used those knives to manufacture other tools. If the crows discovering how to makes shivs somehow doesn’t scare you, surely the fact that they have discovered industry is cause to start rolling out the anti-raven zeppelins, right?"
says cracked.com, and I for one believe them. (Anyway, based on scientific studies.)
— famously defined in “The Ghost Writer” by Zuckerman’s elder literary mentor, E. I. Lonoff:
“Look, I told Hope this morning: Zuckerman has the most compelling voice I’ve encountered in years, certainly for somebody starting out.”
“I don’t mean style”—raising a finger to make the distinction.
“I mean voice: something that begins at around the back of the knees and reaches well above the head….”