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February 6th, 2014

deep cold and fun songs in a church

Tuesday and Wednesday walked by on little penguin feet. The weather proved cold, but we stayed just south of what amounts to a near-nationwide burst of snowy weather. As I type this, we are finally predicted to have a bit of snow this morning, though its duration and accumulation are not expected to be a burden. It is 17 degrees F. (-8.3 degrees C.). We have all our taps on drizzle because a weather warning cautions about potential pipe bursts.

I finished reading Connie Willis' short novel "Bellwether", which I enjoyed very much once it got going. It's a good example of how science fiction can center on social science and a useful plot arise from a mundane, sardonic near-modern world. PBS' "Nature" series showed the 2012 "DUCKumentary" last night, which we enjoyed.

Last night I also enjoyed a video of the interview with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhinon on Stephen Colbert's show. These two former members of Pussy Riot displayed a lot of courage and a great sense of humor as they spoke through a Russian translator. I noticed that other members of their arts collective criticized them for appearing with Madonna at a charity concert, on the ground that the concert charged admission and that political activism is not always compatible with an arts collective. Yet even in their mild denunciation, the post is reported to say "We have lost two friends, two ideological teammates, but the world has gained two brave rights activists." [The post on the LiveJournal for the collective is here: Pussy Riot LJ ]. My hope is that we see a world in which a minor trespass in the name of non-violent protest is treated as a paltry offense with an appropriately scaled-back punishment and not as a ground for two years of incarceration. I thought of myself at ages 24 or 25, and marveled at how self-possessed the two women interviewed by Mr. Colbert were at those same ages.