During a slight detour from my nightly reading in my Kindle, which puts me to sleep almost every night, I reverted to a particularly vexing print-book that I started a couple months ago then put aside half-read. I had put it aside because the tiny print-size was a real challenge to my failing eyesight. And even worse was the unnecessary mixed-font along with irritating lapses into whole pages of even tinier 'italics.' It really pissed me off.
But the content of the book was quite interesting. So I bought a cheap pair of high-magnification reading glasses and took the novel up again. And finished it.
The title of the book is Still Life With June and was written by Darren Greer. I am glad that I went to the trouble of making myself able to read it. It's a strange book. It's different. Not the casual reader's cup of tea. Not by a long shot. Just as William Faulkner is not for everyone. Or Kurt Vonnegut.
Anyway, while I was reading the book, I encountered a word I hadn't seen, or even thought about, for a long time.
The word is firmament.
Hmm. Come to think of it, Still Life With June might not have been the book containing that word. It might have been another.
I first remember reading that word firmament during my teen years. It was in the King James bible.
The word is used in the Genesis creation narrative: Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
Hey! I was just a kid. I didn't often look up words back then. Besides, if God called the firmament 'Heaven' who was I to question it?
But I'm not a kid anymore.
According to an online dictionary, here is what a firmament is: it's the vault or expanse of the heavens; the sky.
That didn't satisfy me, so I looked again, and found:
The Jewish Encyclopedia describes the firmament as follows: "The Hebrews regarded the earth as a plain or a hill figured like a hemisphere, swimming on water. Over this is arched the solid vault of heaven. To this vault are fastened the lights, the stars. So slight is this elevation that birds may rise to it and fly along its expanse."
Oh . . . so it's called the firmament because it's the sky, and the sky, being the floor of Heaven, is solid, or firm. It is firm so that God and the Angels above can have a solid or firm floor on which to stand.
Well, Goodness, Gracious, Golly me... that's easy enough for even a child to understand.
Adolf Hitler's mother seriously considered having an abortion but was talked out of it by her doctor.
In his public statement that day, FDR expressed concern for "young people who have come to wonder what would be their lot when they came to old age" as well as those who had employment but no job security.
Although it was initially created to combat unemployment, Social Security now functions primarily as a safety net for retirees and the disabled, and provides death benefits to taxpayer dependents.
The Social Security system has remained relatively unchanged since 1935.
WORD FOR TODAY
fundament [not to be confused with firmament]
- the buttocks
- the anus.
- a base or basic principle; underlying part; foundation.
(born August 14, 1983)
Mila Kunis is an American actress and voice artist. In 1991, at the age of seven, she moved from Ukraine to Los Angeles with her family. She acquired her first significant role prior to her 15th birthday, playing Jackie Burkhart on the television series That '70s Show. A year later, she was cast as the voice of Meg Griffin on the animated series Family Guy. Her breakout film role came in 2008, playing Rachel Jansen in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Subsequent film roles included Mona Sax in Max Payne, Solara in The Book of Eli, Jamie in Friends with Benefits, Lori in the comedy Ted, and Theodora in Oz the Great and Powerful. Her performance as Lily in Black Swan gained her worldwide accolades.
(born August 14, 1945
Steve Martin is an American actor, comedian, musician, author, playwright and producer. Martin came to public notice as a writer for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and later became a frequent guest on The Tonight Show. In the 1970s, Martin performed his offbeat, absurdist comedy routines before packed houses on national tours.
Since the 1980s, having branched away from stand-up comedy, Martin has become a successful actor. He co-wrote and starred in The Jerk, directed by Carl Reiner.This emboldened Martin to try his hand at his first serious film, Pennies from Heaven. The film was a financial failure. Martin was in three more Reiner-directed comedies after The Jerk: Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid in 1982, The Man with Two Brains in 1983 and All of Me in 1984. Martin joined fellow Saturday Night Live veterans Martin Short and Chevy Chase in ¡Three Amigos!,
In 1987, Martin joined comedian John Candy in the John Hughes movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles. That same year, Roxanne, the film adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac which Martin co-wrote, won him a Writers Guild of America, East award. It also garnered recognition from Hollywood and the public that he was more than a comedian. In 1988, he performed in the Frank Oz film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a remake of Bedtime Story, alongside Michael Caine.
(born August 14, 1966)
Halle Berry is an American actress. She won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2002 for her performance in Monster's Ball, becoming the first and, as of 2013, the only woman of African-American descent to win an Oscar for a leading role. She is one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. Her breakthrough film role was in 1992's Boomerang, which led to roles in films such as The Flintstones (1994) and Bulworth (1998). Berry reached a higher level of prominence in the new millennium with roles such as Storm in the X-Men film series (2000–present), Swordfish (2001), and Die Another Day (2002), where she played Bond Girl Jinx, later finding success in the 2010s with movies such as Cloud Atlas (2012) and The Call (2013).
She also won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for Catwoman and accepted the award in person, one of few people to do so.
(born August 14, 1959)
Magic Johnson is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s.
Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
--1 Corinthians 13:11