Feb. 21st, 2017

incandescens: (Kanzeon Bosatsu)
Definitely positively a cold. (coughs)

Had eye checkup today, and it was one of those "well, you don't quite need new lenses, but..." And as a result I now have a new pair of glasses. Or will next week, when I pick them up. I suppose that since the current pair have been going strong for at least four years now, they weren't doing that badly.

On the other (though also sadly expensive) hand, acquired a new iPad (iPad Pro 12 inch, 256GB, for the curious) and am currently gloating over it. It is big and has high definition, and currently has lots and lots of space.

Also feeling virtuous and smug because I managed to replace the battery in my smoke alarm and it isn't chirping at me any more. I know this seems incredibly petty, but a victory is a victory, and I'm always nervous when going up on stepladders and trying to detach household appliances and pry the battery compartment open. And got halfway through pinning a new quilt for quilting. (It's a big one. It'll take a while.)

Incidentally, if anyone out there likes audiobooks, they're currently doing a sale on Audible.com - http://www.audible.com/mt/First-in-a-Series-17_Fan?page=2 - it's a "first-in-a-series" sale and covers a lot of genres. (And yes, The Invisible Library is one of the books in it.)

---

On the Etymology of the Term Diwan (Scribal Bureau), the Reason It Was So Called, and the Person Who Named It Such

There are two theories about the origin of the word diwan (scribal bureau). One says that Chosroes looked in on his scribes one day and saw that they were gathered together, calculating numbers. So he said, "Divaneh," which means "crazy," and the place they were sitting came to be called by that name.

The second theory is that the word divan in Persian means "devils," and the scribes were so called because of their great cleverness, their inquiry into matters clear and obscure, their consensus on topics that elude and divide others, and their acquaintance with things that are near and far. Eventually, the place where they gathered was named after them, and called diwan. According to al-Mawardi's Ordinances of Governance, this is what has been said about the origins of the name, and God knows best.

-- The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition, by Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri, translated by Elias Muhanna

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