Filtered for hundreds and hundreds

21.33, Monday 21 Feb 2022


Cricket – two teams of eleven take turns to score as many runs as possible. Individual batters come out of the pavilion (traditionally the main building of the cricket ground) and score runs one by one (or 4 or 6 for getting the ball to the boundary) before getting out by being caught, bowled, run out, etc. So a batter scoring a century, 100 runs, is not rare… but it’s not common either.

How do you score 100? There are books about it.

My favourite advice is this:

So too Geoffrey Boycott’s famous Uncle Algy, who said to Boycott as a youngster: ‘Stay in, because you can’t score runs in the pavilion. It’s better your team-mates are watching you bat than you are in the pavilion watching them bat.’

Don’t get out. That’s it.

Cricket is unique because a team in a terrible, losing position can get into a winning position just by… not getting out. Don’t take risks till you’ve got your eye in. Be stubborn. Every position improves with time. It’s hard to think about 100s if you’ve only scored 1 or 2. So show character, that’s what they say. Let the runs grow one by one. Accumulate. First none then 10 then 20 then 30. Stay in.


Tsukumogami (Wikipedia), Japanese object spirits, being any object that has reached its 100th birthday and thus become alive and self-aware.

FOR EXAMPLE: an animated saddle; a possessed futon; an animated gong, and so on.

It’s curious to look around my home and imagine which items might be possessed of a soul. There are a few as it happens.

(I also wrote about this back in 2011. Have a read if you want to learn about self-mummification.)


Let’s say you bury nuclear waste. Then you need to pass a message, somehow, to avoid that site, and that message needs to last 10,000 years. The Sandia National Laboratories report in 1993 put forward some ideas, and the phrasing of the intended message has become famous:

This place is a message… and part of a system of messages… pay attention to it!

Sending this message was important to us. We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.

This place is not a place of honor… no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here… nothing valued is here.

What is here was dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about danger.

And so on.

All of which to say – the author Esther Saxey has translated the Sandia message into Old English a thousand years old, and then re-translated it back into modern English.

The words are… powerful. Haunting. They speak directly to the soul.

Listen! This sepulchre is a message
Within a web of warnings.
We sent this warning,
A baleful, urgent message.
We thought our people
Exceedingly powerful, a great generation.

Here is no honourable deed commemorated,
Nor ancient treasure buried
Nor high seat of honor nor festival ground.
We feared and hated what is here.

Read it: Until a Hundred Generations of People Have Departed by E. Saxey in The Future Fire, issue 2021.58.


It is possible that Saturn’s rings are only 100 million years old (Quanta Magazine).

If they were older, you’d expect the ice to be dirtier, that’s the gist. (And they’ll disappear completely in another 100 million years.)

That means that sharks are older than the rings (420 million years).

Cretaceous dinosaurs would have seen Saturn’s rings, 66 million years ago, when they peered up into the heavens to look at the approaching asteroid, the Chicxulub impactor; Jurassic dinosaurs of the previous period, on the other hand, would not.

Hey so today my blogging streak hits 100 weeks – I’ve been writing at least once a week (mostly three times) every week since March 2020 (here are my personal writing tips). It’s neat to have the pressure of the streak to maintain, and this small audience. Though I know it won’t last forever it’s just enough to keep me going without being overwhelming. Are many people reading? Who knows. Is what I’m writing any good? Also who knows. I find it impossible to tell. BUT I enjoy the act. Writing a post takes me to places I didn’t expect at the top of the page. My fingers can type something that surprises my brain! That fact is astonishing. So thank you for reading. I appreciate your company, and the always insightful thoughts that appear in my inbox from one or another of you from time to time by way of response.

You don’t score runs from the pavilion.

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