June 17th, 2008

Tiger monkey

I am a love monkey as, perhaps, are we all

Like us, chimps calm each other with hugs, kisses

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID — For most folks, a nice hug and some sympathy can help a bit after we get pushed around. Turns out, chimpanzees use hugs and kisses the same way.

And it works. Researchers studying people's closest genetic relatives found that stress was reduced in chimps that were victims of aggression if a third chimp stepped in to offer consolation.

(Full article here.)
Proust book

Pushing through The Fugitive: upcoming visit to Paris

I somehow forgot in my discussions of work and what I'm doing this week that I can't make plans for Thursday - I'll be gone! No lunch with spikeylady, no making up for slovenly gym habits by going on Friday - no, I'll be in Paris, soaking up the Proustian feeling and rejoicing in being of a certain age. I'm going to do rather a lot of my trip planning according to this site, which recounts the actual location of many of the places renamed in In Search of Lost Time. I will definitely make the Bois du Boulogne this time (I am expecting I'll go to the zoo, too), and might take a side trip to Illiers-Combray and maybe see Chartres on the Saturday. Wouldn't that be fun? (Okay, for a Proust geek, but still.)

It turns out if I was still at home I could have joined the Proust reading group at the Hugo House. Their blog has got some pretty interesting stuff on it - good thoughts for me to process about The Work. They appear to be a full novel and a half behind me, so I should be able to dip in freely without any spoilers. I'm just now at page 501, and I'd say the feeling is still "she's still dead." I've got about another hundred and fifty before the end of the book, but I'm already scouting around for Time Regained (or Finding Time Again, ISBN 0713996099, possibly available here?) in hardback. I would really like to get through this by the end of the year!

Hmm - perhaps I want to do a beach vacation at Cabourg? Though after seeing Belle-Île en Mer and Quiberon, I wonder if that would be a better idea ...