Thursday, February 26, 2004

Burn Baby, Burn

Two nights in a row, I've been up burning the midnight oil, as it were.

Wondering where this phrase came from (and procrastinatng), I dredged up this part of a poem by Frances Quarles in 1635:

"We spend our midday sweat, our midnight oil; 
We tire the night in thought, the day in toil"

Nice quote. It goes back to the days when instead of flicking on a switch, people squeezed wads of whale blubber into cans and sparked it up. And back in those days, lamp oil didn't come cheap. If you were up all night burning it, you werre either a shameless moneybags or a reckless idiot; the latter of which still applies to yours truly, here in the 21st Century.

But personally, I can't help but think of a fiery Peter Garrett running around in circles. Maybe that's what happened to all his hair?


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