About wind direction. Something about wind direction. About circulation studies. Something about circulation studies.
No, none of that. Using aggregate wind direction data, wind map projects national billows, any given moment’s breeze pathways. It offers a kind of air-truthing, a geography of the felt-unseen, forces I notice when the windows creak from gusts at night or when I lumber out for a few slow miles north by northwest near the horse stables, upwind from the horse stables.
A couple of CCCC talks about big-T turns started me thinking again about “worm turns,” a phrase I read just before the Atlanta trip in Randy A. Harris’s introduction to Landmark Essays in the Rhetoric of Science. I understood worm turns at first to mean something like “micro turns,” or smaller-scale zig-zag patterns. But, no. Worm turns–so the commonplace goes–name something of an unexpected shift in momentum, as when a downtrodden underdog (e.g., Rockworm Balboa) bounds back into a position of strength. Worm turns: the weak worm, resurgent.
I didn’t know this until earlier today, but Chemist Mickey Mouse was once in a cartoon called “The Worm Turns” (1937), in which he activated more powerful physical profiles for worm, mouse, cat, and dog.
Ancient formulae: Courage builder: The weak made strong.
And another turn overleafed this morning on researchers who dig for non-public worms, worms whose windings suggest a facility for laying low, feeling their ways through the dig-it-all underlife:
But earthworm taxonomists don’t have it so easy. One has to dig for earthworms, and even though they are blind and deaf, worms are remarkably good at evading the probes and shovels of nosy scientists. There’s also the problem of knowing where to dig. An ornithologist can simply meander through a forest and look up; an oligochaetologist must keep an ear to the ground, so to speak, and try to divine the ideal earthworm habitat.
The oligachaetologist with an ear to the ground, listening for ideal conditions. The earthworms are scarce-abundant and a taxonomist’s nightmare.
Earthworms, although numbering only about 30 species in Illinois, play an important role in the decomposition of organic matter, mineral cycling, and the aeration, drainage, and root penetration of the soil; through this activity, they also provide suitable habitat for smaller soil fauna, particularly micro-organisms. It has been estimated that earthworms can ‘move’ up to 18 tons of soil per acre each year. Abundance estimates of earthworms have been as high as three million per acre.
“Comin’ Home Baby” because it’s EMU’s Homecoming today. The Eagles football team enters the noontime kickoff (underway!) versus Ohio U. on a 15-game losing skid. Something tells me EMU has a good enough chance this homecoming of breaking the minor blues pattern that has become known as “the streak,” a bad luck stretch of albatrossian proportions. For my part, I will not be attending the game; I will remain warmly ensconced in front of my computer, responding to a series of inquiry memos from 326ers and then preparing for the first of two observed class sessions on the calendar in the week ahead.
John. "New Methods for Humanities Research." The 2005 Lyman
Award Lecture. National Humanities Center. Research Triangle Park, NC.
11 Nov. 2005. <http://www3.isrl.uiuc.edu/ ~unsworth/lyman.htm>.