Among the minor, yet striking characteristics of mathematics, may be mentioned the fleshless and skeletal build of its propositions; the peculiar difficulty, complication, and stress of its reasonings; the perfect exactitude of its results; their broad universality; their practical infallibility.
Charles Sanders Peirce
I'd heard that if you saw a Reaper, you saw what you expected to see, what you thought the agents of Death would look like. Personally, I wanted to see little, fuzzy pink bunnies, but apparently my subconscious visualized tall, scary, and skeletal. My subconscious and I needed to have a long talk.
In bodies, a movement anywhere will send out a wave of response through the structure: the whole body participates, and the better organized it is around the skeletal core, the more clearly it reverberates. A person whose musculature is either slack or bound by excessive tension cannot act either as delicately or as powerfully as one that reverberates more freely.
The night beyond the window was still, mordant white snow, punctuated only by the eerie dark of the trees, gumshoeing their way along the edge of the path outside. Their skeletal fingers clawed up at the stars, held down by an insidious, weightless lacing of snowflakes. I gazed idly at the moon and wondered if it truly had the power to sway the will of men.
he night beyond the window was still, mordant white snow, punctuated only by the eerie dark of the trees, gumshoeing their way along the edge of the path outside. Their skeletal fingers clawed up at the stars, held down by an insidious, weightless lacing of snowflakes. I gazed idly at the moon and wondered if it truly had the power to sway the will of men.
Getting Richard Norris his new face wasn't easy. For starters, doctors needed a donor who wasn't just a favorable blood match but also had the proper skeletal features and skin color - they calculated only a 14 percent chance they'd find one. Then there was the epic surgery that took a team of 150 people.
Jeanne Marie Laskas
I wish I could view the belly that oozes over the top of my pants as a badge of maternal honor. I do try. I make sure that the women whose looks I admire all have sufficient fat reserves to survive a famine, and I make a lot of snide comments about the skeletal likes of Lara Flynn Boyle and Paris Hilton.
Displacement of any part of the skeletal frame may press against nerves, which are the channels of communication, intensifying or decreasing their carrying capacity, creating either too much or not enough functionating, an aberration known as disease. The nature of the affection depends upon the shape of the bone, the amount of pressure, age of patient, character of nerves impinged upon and the individual makeup.
Daniel D. Palmer
Of whatever class or nation, however, all successful participants in the repetitive and unrelenting stress of aerial fighting came eventually to display its characteristic physiognomy: skeletal hands, sharpened noses, tight-drawn cheek bones, the bared teeth of a rictus smile and the fixed, narrowed gaze of men in a state of controlled fear.
The brain sits snugly inside the skull, but it's not a completely flush fit - there is still a layer of fluid between bone and soft tissue that serves as a natural shock absorber. Some shocks, however, can't be absorbed, and when the head gets clobbered too hard, the brain can twist or torque or rattle around inside its skeletal casing.
There is simply no other exercise, and certainly no machine, that produces the level of central nervous system activity, improved balance and coordination, skeletal loading and bone density enhancement, muscular stimulation and growth, connective tissue stress and strength, psychological demand and toughness, and overall systemic conditioning than the correctly performed full squat.
As Ganin looked up at the skeletal roof in the ethereal sky he realized with merciless clarity that his affair with Mary was ended forever. It had lasted no more than four days-four days which were perhaps the happiest days of his life. But now he had exhausted his memories, was sated by them, and the image of Mary, together with that of the old dying poet, now remained in the house of ghosts, which itself was already a memory
I can kill with a single word. I can hurl a ball of fire into the midst of my enemies. I rule a squadron of skeletal warriors, who can destroy by touch alone. I can raise a wall of ice to protect those I serve. The invisible is discernible to my eyes. Ordinary magic spells crumble in my presence... But I bow in the presence of a master. -- Lord Soth to Raistlin Majere
I went into the living room and looked down at my mother's torn body and shook my head. It was surreal. I guess some people in that situation would have crumbled, some would have cried, but I'd emotionally disconnected from life a long time ago. For that, I had to thank the skeletal bitch on the floor, with her greedy rodent soul and her short-tempered ape-mate in the kitchen. If anything, her death was a belated answer to old prayers, with a bit of an unexpected mess.
It [The Gesundheit Institute] also won't separate the healing arts. All of them work together - traditional medicine and surgery with acupuncture, homeopathy, etc. We want to make the hospital a place a person can't wait to come to, whether they are working there or being there as a patient. Because we are interested in promoting wellness, we will integrate medicine with performing arts, arts and crafts, agriculture, recreation, nature, and social service. Those are some skeletal parts.
The shed of leaves became a cascade of red and gold and after a time the trees stood skeletal against a sky of weathered tin. The land lay bled of its colors. The nights lengthened, went darker, brightened in their clustered stars. The chilled air smelled of wood smoke, of distances and passing time. Frost glimmered on the morning fields. Crows called across the pewter afternoons.
James Carlos Blake
When the climbers in 1953 planted their flags on the highest mountain, they set them in snow over the skeletons of creatures that had lived in the warm clear ocean that India, moving north, blanked out. Possibly as much as twenty thousand feet below the seafloor, the skeletal remains had turned into rock. This one fact is a treatise in itself on the movements of the surface of the earth. If by some fiat I had to restrict all this writing to one sentence, this is the one I would choose: The summit of Mt. Everest is marine limestone.
A prickle of awareness made the hairs at the back of his neck stand. A deep chill sank into his flesh to settle around his heart, squeezing it. Skeletal fingers scraped along his spine and he wanted to look back over his shoulder, but couldn't. No, he didn't dare. If he saw what caused the sound it might be more than he could handle. Rooted to the ground, he couldn't twitch a finger or twist his head around. His lips glued together, so he couldn't speak.
Pamela K. Kinney
And I think I decided not to love Charlie because I thought I had to be rescued. For practical reasons but also as a proof of love. It's better that Charlie and I didn't make an automatic transaction, love exchanged for rescue. All you can do after that is put the love and the rescue up on the shelf, moving them farther and farther back as you make room for all the other items you acquire over the years. This way a ragged stem still grows between us, almost pretty. Though really we should crush it now, before the buds bloom skeletal.
She turned and walked down the musty, dimly-lighted corridor, along a strip of carpeting that still clung together only out of sheer stubbornness of skeletal weave. Doors, dark, oblivious, inscrutable, sidling by; enough to give you the creeps just to look at them. All hope gone from them, and from those who passed in and out through them. Just one more row of stopped-up orifices in this giant honeycomb that was the city. Human beings shouldn't have to enter such doors, shouldn't have to stay behind them. No moon ever entered there, no stars, no anything at all. They were worse than the grave, for in the grave is absence of consciousness. And God, she reflected, ordered the grave, for all of us; but God didn't order such burrows in a third-class New York City hotel.
Some days I spent up to three hours in the arcade after school, dimly aware that we were the first people, ever, to be doing these things. We were feeling something they never had - a physical link into the world of the fictional - through the skeletal muscles of the arm to the joystick to the tiny person on the screen, a person in an imagined world. It was crude but real. We'd fashioned an outpost in the hostile, inaccessible world of the imagination, like dangling a bathysphere into the crushing dark of the deep ocean, a realm hitherto inaccessible to humankind. This is what games had become. Computers had their origin in military cryptography - in a sense, every computer game represents the commandeering of a military code-breaking apparatus for purposes of human expression. We'd done that, taken that idea and turned it into a thing its creators never imagined, our own incandescent mythology.
The moon grew plump and pale as a peeled apple, waned into the passing nights, then showed itself again as a thin silver crescent in the twilit western sky. The shed of leaves became a cascade of red and gold and after a time the trees stood skeletal against a sky of weathered tin. The land lay bled of its colors. The nights lengthened, went darker, brightened in their clustered stars. The chilled air smelled of woodsmoke, of distances and passing time. Frost glimmered on the morning fields. Crows called across the pewter afternoons. The first hard freeze cast the countryside in ice and trees split open with sounds like whipcracks. Came a snow flurry one night and then a heavy falling the next day, and that evening the land lay white and still under a high ivory moon.
James Carlos Blake
The Himalayas are the crowning achievement of the Indo-Australian plate. India in the Oligocene crashed head on into Tibet, hit so hard that it not only folded and buckled the plate boundaries but also plowed into the newly created Tibetan plateau and drove the Himalayas five and a half miles into the sky. The mountains are in some trouble. India has not stopped pushing them, and they are still going up. Their height and volume are already so great they are beginning to melt in their own self-generated radioactive heat. When the climbers in 1953 planted their flags on the highest mountain, they set them in snow over the skeletons of creatures that had lived in a warm clear ocean that India, moving north, blanked out. Possibly as much as 20,000 feet below the sea floor, the skeletal remains had turned into rock. This one fact is a treatise in itself on the movements of the surface of the earth. If by some fiat, I had to restrict all this writing to one sentence; this is the one I would choose: the summit of Mount Everest is marine limestone.
In the distance, steel-blue mountains loomed heavy on the horizon, their shoulders burdened with the same accursed snow the gods were currently depositing upon the lowlands. Between us and the mountains, the vast expanse of one of the innumerable caravan sites littering the Welsh shores was dimly visible, and at the far edges of the sands, grey waves tipped a mulch of brown foam up on to the beach, a sudden deposition of wishy-washy creatures that seemed to spider-leg over each other in their haste to reach the shore and see what all the fuss was about. But even these creatures comprised of sea-foam were freaked out by the death-stare, for the little critters swiftly dissipated under the force of a skeletal glower. A skull lay in the sand, its empty sockets staring down the beach at the retreating surge. Their fear wouldn't last long. Soon they'd realise the skeleton had not engaged in pursuit, their confidence would grow, and they'd encroach, further and further up the bank. Eventually, they'd be close enough to see it was completely inert, and would overrun our position, victoriously sweeping up their fallen foe and dragging it back out with them into the dreary waves.
There was just enough room for the tonga to get through among the bullock-carts, rickshaws, cycles and pedestrians who thronged both the road and the pavement-which they shared with barbers plying their trade out of doors, fortune-tellers, flimsy tea-stalls, vegetable-stands, monkey-trainers, ear-cleaners, pickpockets, stray cattle, the odd sleepy policeman sauntering along in faded khaki, sweat-soaked men carrying impossible loads of copper, steel rods, glass or scrap paper on their backs as they yelled 'Look out! Look out!' in voices that somehow pierced though the din, shops of brassware and cloth (the owners attempting with shouts and gestures to entice uncertain shoppers in), the small carved stone entrance of the Tinny Tots (English Medium) School which opened out onto the courtyard of the reconverted haveli of a bankrupt aristocrat, and beggars-young and old, aggressive and meek, leprous, maimed or blinded-who would quietly invade Nabiganj as evening fell, attempting to avoid the police as they worked the queues in front of the cinema-halls. Crows cawed, small boys in rags rushed around on errands (one balancing six small dirty glasses of tea on a cheap tin tray as he weaved through the crowd) monkeys chattered in and bounded about a great shivering-leafed pipal tree and tried to raid unwary customers as they left the well-guarded fruit-stand, women shuffled along in anonymous burqas or bright saris, with or without their menfolk, a few students from the university lounging around a chaat-stand shouted at each other from a foot away either out of habit or in order to be heard, mangy dogs snapped and were kicked, skeletal cats mewed and were stoned, and flies settled everywhere: on heaps of foetid, rotting rubbish, on the uncovered sweets at the sweetseller's in whose huge curved pans of ghee sizzled delicioius jalebis, on the faces of the sari-clad but not the burqa-clad women, and on the horse's nostrils as he shook his blinkered head and tried to forge his way through Old Brahmpur in the direction of the Barsaat Mahal.
After his initial homecoming week, after he'd been taken to a bunch of sights by his cousins, after he'd gotten somewhat used to the scorching weather and the surprise of waking up to the roosters and being called Huascar by everybody (that was his Dominican name, something else he'd forgotten), after he refused to succumb to that whisper that all long-term immigrants carry inside themselves, the whisper that says You do not belong, after he'd gone to about fifty clubs and because he couldn't dance salsa, merengue, or bachata had sat and drunk Presidentes while Lola and his cousins burned holes in the floor, after he'd explained to people a hundred times that he'd been separated from his sister at birth, after he spent a couple of quiet mornings on his own, writing, after he'd given out all his taxi money to beggars and had to call his cousin Pedro Pablo to pick him up, after he'd watched shirtless shoeless seven-year-olds fighting each other for the scraps he'd left on his plate at an outdoor cafe, after his mother took them all to dinner in the Zona Colonial and the waiters kept looking at their party askance (Watch out, Mom, Lola said, they probably think you're Haitian - La unica haitiana aqui eres tu, mi amor, she retorted), after a skeletal vieja grabbed both his hands and begged him for a penny, after his sister had said, You think that's bad, you should see the bateys, after he'd spent a day in Bani (the camp where La Inca had been raised) and he'd taken a dump in a latrine and wiped his ass with a corn cob - now that's entertainment, he wrote in his journal - after he'd gotten somewhat used to the surreal whirligig that was life in La Capital - the guaguas, the cops, the mind-boggling poverty, the Dunkin' Donuts, the beggars, the Haitians selling roasted peanuts at the intersections, the mind-boggling poverty, the asshole tourists hogging up all the beaches, the Xica de Silva novelas where homegirl got naked every five seconds that Lola and his female cousins were cracked on, the afternoon walks on the Conde, the mind-boggling poverty, the snarl of streets and rusting zinc shacks that were the barrios populares, the masses of niggers he waded through every day who ran him over if he stood still, the skinny watchmen standing in front of stores with their brokedown shotguns, the music, the raunchy jokes heard on the streets, the mind-boggling poverty, being piledrived into the corner of a concho by the combined weight of four other customers, the music, the new tunnels driving down into the bauxite earth [... ]