Even in absurdity, sacrament. Even in hardship, holiness. Even in doubt, faith. Even in chaos, realization. Even in paradox, blessedness
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"Life expands or shrinks in proportion to one's courage." ~Anain Nin
Boo! It's the Bunny Man!
The legend of Bunny Man Bridge has evolved in Northern Virginia over the past 30 years the way most scary stories do -- kernels of truth transform frightening rumors into macabre tales where the location's ripe for fright.
Extreme Pumpkin Carving We will
We will carve that sumbitch into something ugly and plop it on the front porch. October 31st we will light it brightly enough to give visiting children suntans.
The Mexican tradition of Dia
October's Spooky and Kooky Searches
Keeping in monthly tradition, here's October's spooky search requests:
and the winner...!
Boo: FDA thinks products from
Ha ha: Legal threat over
They say they were duped into kissing, cuddling and holding hands with the woman, Miriam, who is in fact a man.
C'mon boys, you're only upset because you liked it.
"Verse for a Friend"
I've got a stone in my pocket
Fighting 'fire' with fire, and
Fighting 'fire' with fire, and killing animals too:
A scientist funded by the US government has deliberately created an extremely deadly form of mousepox, a relative of the smallpox virus, through genetic engineering.
Let Georgie do the testing on the animals himself if his conscience is so clear about American WMDs. Canada, please invade and help us stop this lunacy. Please.
Tiny Peewee aims for big
A hamster so small he could fit into a match box could well find his way into the Guinness Book of Records.
Soldier faces charcge of 'cowardice'
The soldier said he experienced a “panic attack” after seeing the mangled body of an Iraqi man and told his superior he was heading for a “nervous breakdown.”
Incredible pics from around the
Incredible pics from around the country of the aurorae generated from the solar storm.
Hop on the Blacklist... the
Hop on the Blacklist... the NRA blacklist! Started as an internal NRA document of those opposed to the extremist policies of the NRA, it's now the rage to be blacklisted. Get on!
Hopi dancing in pictures and
Lively discussion on MeFi on
New Zealand ponders the
Mothers against Genetic Engineering, led by one of the former Thompson Twins, Alannah Currie, has produced a dramatic billboard showing a woman with four breasts being milked.
Study says gay adoptions more
Sixty percent of agencies accept applications from lesbians and gay men and 40 percent have placed children with homosexual couples, according to a study by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.
Krugman: A Willful Ignorance Mr.
Krugman: A Willful Ignorance
Mr. Bush's ignorance may reflect his lack of curiosity: "The best way to get the news," he says, "is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff." Two words: emperor, clothes.
This is about the coolest
This is about the coolest thing I've ever seen:
I want one.
This week will end with the increasingly bizarre American custom of dressing children up in costumes inspired from our mass media iconography, to scare the demons away for another year. I wonder if squeezing little Johnny into a plastic cartoon suit has a mythic relationship to the ancient revelers in their deer skin cloaks or costume imitation of saints, devils and angels. When I was five and my father made a foam-rubber robot out of me, I was’nt not feeling an ancient kinship to my Celtic forbears… I was falling all over the place feeling so ridiculous to the point of tears. Of course, my little brain had no context at all for what I was doing, Little did I know that as I stumbled down those Delaware suburban streets looking like a Dr. Who prop, that I was engaged in a ritual meant to clear the way for the parting of the veil between this world and the next, to make way for the spirits of our ancestors come to see us with our earthly pleasures and piles of candy on All Saints Day.
I always wanted to be a ghost. For one thing, it’s easier to identify who you’re “supposed to be” with a white sheet over your head, stalking neighbor’s houses like a black cat and going “boo,” then as a yard-high, bumbling box of foam-rubber. But also because I grew up with unusual happenings in a house nearly three centuries old. The town itself was a ghost, a billowing reflection of the past with crumbling headstones and a haunted churchyard. As a child, the night was full of visitations, creaking floorboards, whispers and faces. I had no clue then and even less idea now who or what was responsible for all the goings on… it may have easily been the back of my own mind inventing shapes and playthings out of the dark.
I was twelve when I walked up to my church one night for confirmation class, and found it was locked tight and dark. As I turned on the worn brick walkway, I saw a man in a tricorner hat, leaning over a grave with a lantern. I shuddered, as if an electric current ran through my brain, and the specter took flight, blowing through me and up into the sky. I nearly peed my pants and ran to my father’s house, lungs rasping in an asthmatic fit, my memory replaying the scene and trying to find the logic in it. There was none. Something happened, and to this day I don’t know what. One night, I was paralyzed in bed, unable to breathe, as the shutters outside banged about as if in a gale, though the trees were still. I have many such stories cobwebbed in my history, and the live without conclusion, and are made of commas and ellipsis…
Last night, I went to my mirror, to see myself in it, to momentarily regain a sense of body and cohesion. As I made eye contact with myself, I heard a low female moan very close by, and despite the rigorous picking over by my analytical mind, I again was at a loss to explain and fell asleep with the light on purposefully, reading Shel Silverstein.
Could ghosts be wandering thoughts that are “made” by belief, a subconscious image waiting to happen, or the footsteps of a parallel dimension, a mere visitor passing through? Was the moan a spectator instead of a specter? How many thoughts have I lost this week?
November 1st, the say the veil parts between the worlds, and the ancestors come to see how we’re doing, and maybe to impart wisdom through the nature we grow oblivious to. The world waits for a cleansed path for those who’ve gone before, and these rituals, no matter how tacky can help rake the illusion from the spirit path and clear the way for memory. As kids carve their Jack-o’-Lanterns and adults apply heavier and darker-than-normal makeup, we somehow manage to spook the lost thoughts out of our minds, chase demons while we’re bedecked as a cartoon, and renew a promise between worlds and all the life that passes through the curtain toward renewal of the mythic and the magic, the unutterable mystery of soul.
All preceded in the guise of children stumbling awkwardly down the streets with swinging baskets and a slight willingness to encounter fear, or giggles from tacky costumes.
NPR's "All Things Considered" had
NPR's "All Things Considered" had a great piece on the anger management industry today and it's increasingly ubiquitous presence in many strata of American society. This is the most well known anger management company in the biz, while programs like this promote less orthodox techniques of trumping stressors.
Bad Mileage: 98 tons of
"Can you imagine loading 40 acres worth of wheat – stalks, roots and all – into the tank of your car or SUV every 20 miles?"
Stop making sense: Bush Says
Stop making sense: Bush Says Attacks Are Reflection of U.S. Gains
Oh, why that's very likely. Irony on a stick. I can't get over the idiocy if this [p]Resident. It's working, so more soldiers die every day. Oh, and those pesky civilians too. While you're at it, Georgie boy, make sure those serach engines don't crawl whitehouse.gov looking for info on Iraq, m'kay?
One of the most powerful
One of the most powerful solar flares in years erupted from giant sunspot 486 this morning at approximately 1110 UT. The blast measured X17 on the Richter scale of solar flares. As a result of the explosion, a strong S3-class solar radiation storm is underway.
Update: this WaPo article.
Stunning: The SDSS 3D Universe
The latest map of the cosmos again indicates that dark matter and dark energy dominate our universe.
An anxious report from California:
An anxious report from California:
The sky is black from the clouds but there is an orange glow from the fires themselves. When I was speaking to my daughter on the phone earlier today I opened the window and it just hits you in the back of the throat.
Television and the Hive Mind
Experiments conducted by researcher Herbert Krugman reveal that, when a person watches television, brain activity switches from the left to the right hemisphere. The left hemisphere is the seat of logical thought. Here, information is broken down into its component parts and critically analyzed. The right brain, however, treats incoming data uncritically, processing information in wholes, leading to emotional, rather than logical, responses. The shift from left to right brain activity also causes the release of endorphins, the body's own natural opiates--thus, it is possible to become physically addicted to watching television, a hypothesis borne out by numerous studies which have shown that very few people are able to kick the television habit.
Startling satellite pic of the
Unexplained tree-top boulders found in
The mystery began a few years ago when a turkey hunter, scouting in a remote area of the 23,000-acre forest, discovered a large boulder in the top of an 80-foot-tall chestnut oak tree. What he saw wedged among its branches was a boulder about 4 feet wide and a foot thick.
Ocean census discovers new fish
Some 300 scientists from 53 countries are creating a record of all known marine life, in a project reminiscent of an aquatic Domesday Book.
Scroll down this article from
Scroll down this article from NYT and, surprise:
...the military had specific intelligence of an imminent attack on the hotel, the Rashid, where senior personnel of the American occupation live and eat, but that no special precautions had been taken.
So, they do nothing. Was the guvmint trying to make a martyr out of Wolfowitz or what?
peacecoup.us: American citizens active for
1. The best strategy for achieving long-term security and prosperity is peace.
Indian Snake Charmer Is an
...activists say that image may soon be a thing of the past as India's fabled snake charmers struggle for survival thanks to a government ban on the possession of many species of snakes.
Vatican: this activity is 'like
Vatican: this activity is 'like Ferrari in 1st gear'
(A nebula came through
(A nebula came through my window this morning, as I lay half-asleep, baffled.
It's a gentle but thorough rain,
Daily, we slog through the hinterlands of grace,
(As each drop falls, there's a little sing-song in the trees:
High school senior came 'out'
Jeffrey said the teacher assured him they were having a confidential conversation, and then asked whether it was true that Jeffrey was a homosexual. "I told him, 'Yes, I am gay,' " Jeffrey says. "I was just being totally honest with him because I don't lie." Two days later, he was expelled.
Note tremendous differences in reporting
Note tremendous differences in reporting style in these two stories on the Baghdad hotel strike from WaPo (objective), Canned News Network (nearly glowing pro-gov bias). Even the Nixonian Fox"News" had a more balanced report.
Clinton brokers landmark Aids deal
Four companies that produce generic Aids drugs have agreed to reduce the cost of the drugs for millions of people in developing countries under a deal brokered by former US President Bill Clinton.
At a crossroads on gay
It is time to say forthrightly that the government's exclusion of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters from civil marriage officially degrades them and their families. It denies them the basic human right to marry the person they love. It denies them numerous legal protections for their families.
Written by John Lewis, "a Democratic congressman from Georgia, was one of the original speakers at the 1963 March on Washington..."
[Hundreds of ] Thousands join
[Hundreds of ] Thousands join US anti-war march
[Hundreds of ] Thousands of protesters have turned out in Washington and San Francisco to demonstrate against the occupation of Iraq by the United States-led coalition.
Bomb alert over 'break-wind' dog
Mr Rogerson, 31, from Thorner, Leeds, was questioned by FBI agents and looked on in amazement as they took a series of swabs from the mechanical toy's rear end.
Utopian Socieites in America. "...a
Utopian Socieites in America.
"...a group of people who are attempting to establish a new social pattern based upon a vision of the ideal society and who have withdrawn themselves from the community at large to embody that vision in experimental form."
Thanks to Plep!
Diwali has begun. This BBC
Diwali has begun. This BBC article point to celebrations in the UK.
"Solar Storm and a Bottle of Wine"
Solar flares flash the sky, they say,
Dean has huge lead in
The Neo-Luddite Manifesto At the
The Neo-Luddite Manifesto
Arctic being 'transformed' by warming
NASA scientists released new evidence this week that the Arctic region is warming up and its sea ice cover is diminishing, with implications for further climate change throughout the globe.
Jesus actor struck by lightning
Actor Jim Caviezel has been struck by lightning while playing Jesus in Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion Of Christ.
Space storm coming to
Scientist say they expect it to be the worst solar flareup to be felt on Earth since a storm in 1859. That storm caused telegraph wires to short out across North America and Europe.
Scalia Ridicules Court's Gay Sex
This headline could be rewritten to say: Caveman curses sky, throws rocks at it. Scalia, a 'darling'* of conservative judicial activists, somehow thinks that sodomy laws have something to do with the constitution. I'd say that he's bugs. There's zip, zero, zilch, nada in the constitution about it, and there were just as many closeted poofs in goverment then as now.
*By darling, I certainly don't imply that Antonin is a little sweetie, though he mave a little sumpin-sumpin on the side that he's covering for.
The Beeb has a decently
The Beeb has a decently fair comparison between pro/con camps in the Biblical argument about homosexuality. The camp my paisley tent is pitched in is quite clear, and as someone who is neither necesserily Christian nor militantly proclaiming his sexual ideantity, this side-by-side is balanced, though brief. With each citation I've found apparently condemning the gay, there's another that espouses universal love and people making their own decisions. Meaning that the Bible is full of anachronistic contradictions, and people looking to it to validate their truth will find what they're looking for, no matter their camp. I find the Sacred Books and spiritual practices of the world great and vital bindings of collective meaning, though ultimately what I do on this goofy planet is arbitrated first and foremost by my conscience and experience, with respect to the body of wisdom that's gone before.
If you were a lab
If you were a lab worm [with some modifications], you could live five times longer than a human. This news will likely be celebrated by folks like these and their ilk, while bioethicists and others cringe. Regardless of right or wrong, the ideas of life extension/biological immoratality pose some mighty difficult questions.
I'm content with an average life span, because it gives me a decent amount of time to achieve what I want and do that which matters most. I'd rather snuff it at 65 with a full life under my belt than shlep along my hundreds with brittle, doped-up bones and a 'seen-it-all-before" malaise. But that's just me.
The flip side is that if humans actually start evolving our tech into sci-fi type terms in the next few hundred years, exploring stars light years away and all that jazz, we'd likely need longer lifespans to make those journeys, or we'd have to have viable cryogenic suspension (rather than glamorized than freezers with Disney's brain wrapped in tinfoil next to the icey pops).
The worm experiement, regardless of what we believe about LE, can certainly teach us alot about the mechanisms of life. And that's all good.
(That was my comment from the MeFi thread).
An astute info purveyor on
An astute info purveyor on MeFi brings us this wonderful arachaic list of Occupations. SLUBBER DOFFERS, unite!
Rumsfeld's leaked memo: Leak it,
Rumsfeld's leaked memo:
"...it will be a long, hard slog."
I know that's the way you like it, Donnie.
Solo flight record attempt Sir
Sir Richard Branson and Steve Fossett are announcing the launch of the first solo-piloted aircraft to fly non-stop round the world without refuelling.
Oh, f***: Expletive deleted
It has been taboo for more than 500 years. But from fcuk to Four Weddings and a Funeral, the f-word has become so commonplace it now seems acceptable in everyday conversation. Is it no longer obscene? And if it isn't, what is?
via f***ing MeFi
A naughty comparison between a
A naughty comparison between a naturally occuring fluid and moisturizer. Possibly NSFW.
Sci-Fi channel may sue NASA
Last year Sci-Fi joined forces with an investigative journalist, a Washington, DC law firm, and former President Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, to gain release of documents relating to an incident it calls "the new Roswell," a UFO sighting in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania in 1965.
Here's a post regarding the
Here's a post regarding the DoS that brought down Hostingmatters.com and legions of bloggers everywhere:
Laughing Wolf says it best: "Heck of a thing to come home to." Damn straight.
Dutch solar car wins
The Nuna II vehicle has won the 2003 World Solar Challenge in Australia for cars that are powered only by sunlight.
Inside Out Productions - Outsider
"My designs show how my mind works," relates artist Joseph. "Colors represent me. Bright things...things that are not dark. Color reminds me of being astonished."
Reclaiming the Ancient Manuscripts of
Since the 12th century, accompanying the camel caravans rode the intrepid scholars of Islamic learning, bringing with them over time hundreds of thousands of manuscripts. These bound texts highlighted the great teachings of Islam during the Middle Ages. These sacred manuscripts covered an array of subjects: astronomy, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, judicial law, government, and Islamic conflict resolution. Islamic study during this period of human history, when the intellectual evolution had stalled in the rest of Europe was growing, evolving, and breaking new ground in the fields of science, mathematics, astronomy, law, and philosophy within the Muslim world.
The stuff of dreams, carbon
The stuff of dreams, carbon nanotubes.
They are stronger than steel and as flexible as plastic, conduct energy better than almost any material ever discovered and can be made from unexotic raw materials such as methane gas.
Boy's Internet research snags him
A 12-year-old kid... researches a paper on the Bay Bridge, and suddenly the FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force shows up in the headmaster's office.
We're back online again. My
We're back online again. My host, Blogomania.com, is a reseller of Hostingmatters.com who has been subjected to frequent DoS attacks, possibly directed against the blog Little Green Footballs. It's been very annoying, but I know they're pulling out their hair in frustration as it's a problem they cannot solve themselves. So, for now, I'm pleased to finally be back online again. Maybe it'll last awhile.
Where my arrow falls... Robin
Where my arrow falls...
The bones of legendary outlaw Robin Hood may have been dug up in the mid-18th Century, according to a history buff.
Man survives Niagara plunge The
The man, whose name has not been released by police, is the first person known to have gone over the famous north American waterfall without any protective device and lived.
I saw my first shooting star when I was about five years old. To say shooting star is even conservative; this was a honker of a fireball that cleaved the night with it’s plasma sparkle. I was this little human, stuffed into a three-piece suit, on my way back from someone’s country club wedding reception in eastern Pennsylvania. I had caught the garter belt, which confused the heck out of me while a gale of drunken laughter hoisted me over champagne-swum heads. As my father drove, my face was pressed against the glass of the car window, and over a farmer’s field this piece of heaven flew by, a shimmering dragon flight that snapped me out of wedding delirium and my father pulled off the road as it chased the horizon. At that moment, the stars and the great vastness ceased being some abstract, adult idea and became tangible, there, happening even here.
The night sky, twenty-five years later, has been remarkably lucid lately. “Could be that there’s no humidity,” the locals have told me. Not that our sky ever isn’t a spectacle, even in the drab winter months, but the stars are so clear they seem fixed right above your head, glistening as you pass under. Over this house, the backbone of the Milky Way (that heaving mother) arcs from North to South. At the end of my upward pointing finger, there’s planets and vortices and distances that would rewrite everything we claim to know about science. To toss a random gaze at any quadrant of the night is to be a peeping tom in a window of greatest secrets. I’ve no less awe now when a meteor falls… that’s the roof of our whimsy-filled home being pelted with cosmic hail, the truth from the abyss.
Despite our volumes of knowledge, we are still scribbling on a cave wall through flickering firelight. In my lifetime times a hundred, our species may have only begun to emerge from that cave. Maybe they will understand more when they look upon the vast firmament, but hopefully not enough to spoil the awe of a bright clear night sky. There’s an alchemical saying that goes “The wise will be led by the heavenly stars.” They’re certainly more consistent than human philosophies, and far more comforting. The Dogon, an African tribe of Mali, base their ceremonial dances on the orbit of Sirius’ companion star, and the Pyramids were built under the glisten of Orion. Castor and Pollux, divine twins, constellate over latitudes fraught with bitterness between brothers. Chinese magpies bring the parted lovers Altair and Vega together once a year. The stars are the foundations of our yore, and possibly will be the behind the the future of human achievement.
We breathe the exhale of starlight, and drink from the compressed gases from celestial nurseries. The hulking quiet just outside of Earth is no different than the stillness of my bedroom at 3 a.m., except for the occasional mockingbird or owl perched in the pine tree out-crooning Billie Holiday. My backbone is a solid rendering of fiery elements. Your kiss hails from nebulae, the wombs of light. When a stone streaks stellar glitter across the sky, it is but one loose diamond from the crown of heaven, falling into your vision as a personal jewel from the Gods. Go ahead, take it, you deserve it.
When that meteor reflected in my wide-open retina at that tender age, it was a moment of purity, of uninterrupted grace… of a wide-open mystery making bending down to touch the soft mind of an aloof boy mystified by Star Wars and Buck Rogers, as his blitzed father made the best of a curvy country road. The Universe is not just laser beams and heroic explosions, little one; it’s a quiet storm of fire and ice, infinity and void, and our planet is flotsam enduring high seas. Galileo, Copernicus, and other knew that our knowledge can only penetrate so far into the deep; we can only say so much about the cosmic eddies that harbor us. Yet the mystics, the madmen, as they danced to their condemnation and rebuke, knew that the stars are here, within, and that love could make us go supernova at any minute. What science does one need in order to laugh away the distinctions that bind us to order and authority? What telemetry can tell us the orbit of the heart?
Looking out my window, I’m greeting by the winking of million year old light, suns blazing in ways I’ll never know. The feeble light of my desk lamp seeps through the glass, and in this dark night lures a sleepless autumn moth to the glass. My neck is craned upwards as the moth begs the glass for entry. Binoculars afford a view I cannot touch, though all I know has descended from that which is amplified in the lens. At some point on the night-immersed crescent of Earth, a child point up and swirls the sky in spirals with her rosy fingers, and gravity induces a shard of time to break the atmosphere and speed into some stargazer’s memory. As above, so below… the galaxies that blanket our darkness are the birthing places of our myths, and the ground is as fertile as ever for the planting of seeds. Somewhere, someone is bent over with effort, working the harvest under the glow of starlight.
Ad astra per aspera, the Latin saying goes… through our endeavors, the stars.
The beautiful and complex culture
The beautiful and complex culture of the Dogon tribe of Mali... they may have had advanced astronomical knowledge long before their European counterparts. Particularly, their tribe has had a long mystical association with Sirius, leading some to speculate that their ideas had phenomenal roots. Regardless of the mystery, the tribe is also well known for it's amazing masks and intricate art.
The Songs of Hafiz -
"I have estimated the influence of Reason upon Love and found that it is like that of a raindrop upon the ocean, which makes one little mark upon the water's face and disappears."
Minimal Porn is presented without
Minimal Porn is presented without further editorial comment, via your good friends at MeFi.
Stonehenge Sensation - Scanning Reveals
Using laser scanning technology to study Europe’s most famous ancient monument, a team of computer experts and archaeologists has discovered carvings of two axe heads on Stonehenge.
Ancient carved 'faces' found A
A keen-eyed archaeologist claims to have found some of the oldest artwork ever - carved faces 200,000 years old.
Dean Greeted Warmly by Arab
An assemblage of politically active Arab Americans gave former Vermont governor Howard Dean repeated ovations Saturday at the windup of a two-day meeting that marked a clear shift of allegiance from President Bush to his Democratic rivals.
Water sparks new power source
A new way to generate electricity from water which could be used to power small electronic devices in the future has been developed by Canadian scientists.
This is the second such
This is the second such reoprt in recent memory, politely buried in the headlines. Ask someone in the queer community and they'll tell you they knew all along...
Sexual identity is wired into the genes, which discounts the concept that homosexuality and transgender sexuality are a choice, California researchers reported on Monday.
Tears as Blaine leaves London
"I have learned more in that little box than I have learned in years. I have learned how important it is to have a sense of humor and laugh at everything because nothing makes any sense anyway. I have learned how strong we all are as human beings. But most importantly I have learned to appreciate the simple things in life -- a smile from a stranger or a loved one, the sunrise and the sunset, everything that God has given us, I love you all so much."
I dispense with a cup
I dispense with a cup of killdeer ...the creature was a baby bird, a chick. If I were a two-inch-tall bird, I thought, scurrying around erratically, contending with pebbles in my path and dips in the asphalt, the last thing I'd want near me is a six-foot giant who lifts his big feet up and down as though he's stomping grapes. So I stood still.
Love and Yearning: mystical and
Love and Yearning: mystical and moral themes in Persian poetry and painting. (Flash req'd)
jaybird found this for you @ 21:54 in | | permalink
Native Americans have gathered in
Native Americans have gathered in Terre Haute, Indiana... in what was called a "Gathering of the People." Its purpose: to celebrate the connection of all the tribes, some from as far away as Montana, Oklahoma, and Kansas, and their connection to the earth and to God.
Excellently written piece.
Human Body Network Gets Fast
Researchers... have demonstrated a 10-megabits-per-second indoor network that uses human bodies as portable ethernet cables.
Human Spontaneous Involuntary Invisibility In
In every case I have heard about or personally researched, the person is physically still present, although unable to be seen or heard. From the point of view of the invisible person, the world looks normal and they have no idea that they cannot be seen or heard by people around them.
The polapola-project began in 1996
The polapola-project began in 1996 in Bretany, France:
On a beach I photographed with a the SX-70 a polaroid showing sand and stones. Again the resulting picture was photographed with the Polaroid-camera. The distances in space and time became greater. The previous polaroid is allways the basis for the next one and so on ...
Out on the town tonight...
Out on the town tonight... it's a beautiful, clear night. Hope you're enjoying it!
Dean: Big deficit suits GOP's
Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean accused Republicans on Thursday of running up the federal budget deficit so they can undermine the fiscal underpinnings of Medicare and Social Security.
High brow feline antics: WELCOME
High brow feline antics:
Bush's 'spirit' cursed with black
Bush's 'spirit' cursed with black magic, tossed into river after being cursed by hundreds of farmers protesting US agriculture policy.
A photograph of the US leader was sealed inside a pot amid black magic mantra chants, then tossed into the Ping River on Friday by demonstrators after they rallied at the US consulate in Chiang Mai, a farm group leader said.
We Are All Africans "These
"These samples showed really deep, old lineages with lots of genetic diversity," Tishkoff says. "They are the oldest lineages identified to date. And that fact makes it highly likely that 'Eve' was an East or Northeast African. My guess is that the region of Ethiopia or the Sudan is where modern humans originated."
No bueno: South American glaciers'
The Patagonia glaciers of Chile and Argentina are melting so fast they are making a significant contribution to sea-level rise, say scientists.
"JBJ is XC"
My grandmother, the matriarch and sane one of my family, turns 90 today. Congrats, Nonnie, and don't overdo it!
The Druze community reside in
The Druze community reside in Israel, Lebanon and Syria who've been rather overlooked as the middle-east situation complexifies. Discover (scroll halfway down) an ancient culture and it's faith that have had to adapt to an increasingly unstable climate.
Everyone around here is saying
Everyone around here is saying that this winter will be the uber-humdinger to end all uber-humdingers. Apparently, the black and brown woolly caterpillars I've seen lately are the first to warm of the upcoming deluge. I've had my doubts, thinking that never a winter goes by that's not prognosticated to be the 'worst ever.' The following article is good medicine in this regard:
Don't be surprised if the upcoming winter is just like last year's: colder and snowier than normal in the Northeast. Then again, don't be surprised if it's the exact opposite of last year: warmer and drier. What if it's somewhere in between, with normal temperatures and normal precipitation?
Kids Play the video games
Kids Play the video games I grew up with. Sigh... I don't play video games now, but it does make one feel rather old.
"I'm sure the people who made this game are all dead by now." In reference to Space Invaders.
Dinner and Drinks Come In
Blue cheese, cucumbers and pieces of ham are showing up in cocktail glasses. Chili peppers, avocados, figs, truffles, cream cheese, graham crackers, fish, gelatins, foams and flowers all are swimming in gin or cognac or champagne.
Senior Federal Prosecutors and F.B.I.
The criticism reflects the first sign of dissension in the department and the F.B.I. as the inquiry nears a critical phase. The attorney general must decide whether to convene a grand jury, which could compel White House officials to testify.
How very likely, indeed.
The Empire Strikes Out The
The real-world situation that's spontaneously combusting today is a perfect storm of extreme environmental degradation and rolling infrastructure collapse. It's by no means the first time this has happened. Previous civilizations bought the farm because of self-induced environmental catastrophe, but in the past the damage was localized.
Whoo boy. After a few glasses of merlot with Joshua, I turned in late and had the most bizarre dreams. One of which involved the mafia stealing and stripping my '94 Geo Metro while a very friendly police officer, who'd been working on netting the group in a sting operation, set a trap. Yet another had to do with a flying moving van that I'd been watching in the sky as I unloaded groceries. It wobbled and crashed with much special effects into Beaver Lake, sending up a huge plume of water and a thunderous shockwave. We all ran for cover in slow mo from the oncoming wave, and we would up in an all glass church with a large TV on the alter. The blast only shook the windows. The final one I can remember is that I'd accidentally packed two bottles of beer in my lunch, and for some reason we all had to eat in the classroom. So, I had to be very subtle in drinking the beers and disposing of the evidence, lest the kids or the draconian teacher I work with discovered my indiscretion. Somehow, I managed to avoid detection.
Tonight, friends are coming over for a cocktail party, and it's bound to be a hoot. Perhaps I'll post pics from the debauchery... ?
Dubya is losing his grip.
[P]resident Bush - living up to his recent declaration that he is in charge - told his top officials to "stop the leaks" to the media, or else. News of Bush's order leaked almost immediately.
RU Sirius, the transhumanist cyberculture
RU Sirius, the transhumanist cyberculture gadfly, launches a new website about nanotech and human evolution.
Sinister Dexterity cites a great
Sinister Dexterity cites a great letter to "Dr. Laura" regarding God's Law:
1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for The Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
The Widening Crusade by Sydney
If some wishful Americans are still hoping President Bush will acknowledge that his imperial foreign policy has stumbled in Iraq and needs fixing or reining in, they should put aside those reveries. He's going all the way—and taking us with him.
Old purple frog danced
The seven-centimeter long amphibian hopped around the feet of dinosaurs. Researchers say the small-headed critter belongs to a new family of frogs thought to have disappeared millions of years ago.
Top terrorist hunter's divisive views
A highly decorated general who is one of the leaders of a secretive new Pentagon unit formed to coordinate intelligence on terrorists and help hunt down Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and other high-profile targets has a history of outspoken and divisive views on religion — Islam in particular.
A British evaluation of our
A British evaluation of our current electoral woes:
All the President's votes?
Another [yawn] stunning revelation: Powell
Another [yawn] stunning revelation:
The person responsible for analyzing the Iraqi weapons threat for Colin Powell says the Secretary of State misinformed Americans during his speech at the U.N. last winter.
Life's lucky 'kick start' The
The Cambrian Explosion - when life suddenly and rapidly flourished some 550 million years ago - may have an explanation in the reaction of primitive life to some big event.
Police Nab Vicious Crow
Nevermore? I know it's not a raven but I just had to say it.
"Watching the Wind"
One of the children I work with loves to ‘watch the wind.’ Those are his words. He’d rather watch the wind than be at school. For a tiny speck of an underprivileged eight year old with post-traumatic stress disorder, who can blame him? I’ll watch the wind with him, and with his bottomless eyes, he’ll scan branches, leaves, flagpoles, sky-bound plastic bags and tossed hair. He says the wind is God. He’ll point to a leaf, saying that he’d like to be that leaf, just to blown around. “That’d be fun,” he says.
Tonight, the radio is calling for gusts of up to 60 miles per hour. We should tie down what we must, and beware of falling power lines. The temperature will drop thirty degrees in the space of several hours, and the roads will be strewn with all kinds of debris while the rushing air gets a speeding ticket. It stirs up what’s been festering all year long into great flocks of jetsam and scatters what it will, where it will. It blows through me, scattering what I claim to know to the four corners of perception. My throat is dry and I haven’t said a word, the wind is speaking.
To be a leaf blown by God would be fun, kid. It could be, it is. If the wind is fate, then we are all tossed. If the wind is fortune, it comes and goes, in light breezes and gales. Think of the seeds and spores tonight that are traveling great distances because of two kissing pressure systems. It’s chance. It’s whim. And yet, that little seed goes no matter what or why. Our lives are at the whims of the interplay of storms unseen, and amid the bluster, we mostly thrive. One storm will one day part us from the twig we call home, and when we hit the ground, we’ll nurture it, just as a leaf brings energy to a tree. It’s cyclical, it’s miraculous, and yes, kid, it’s even fun.
The house is full of the creaks from atmospheric tumult, and the cats watch the windows with vigilant care. They’re watching what the wind is doing to us. Somewhere, a tornado snatches up a tool shed while a warm flowered breeze impassions two sweet fools to make love on the spot. We’ve wind in our lungs, hurricanes on our lips, and we have to ask just what are we putting to the sky with the weather of our words.
Past the edge of the solar system is a little seed called “Voyager” that we blew with a mighty gust, and tonight there’s a Chinese astronaut watching wind and vacuum from the same window. I’m thankful for this breath, and this one and this one, and think of something meaningful to say on the exhale, to send forth at least some pretty jetsam on that tide of God that raises my lungs and bend hundred year pines. I cannot count my love, so it leaves with my yawn, out to join typhoons and the twitter of chimney swifts.
“I don’t know,” he replied, “but you wouldn’t be sad no more ‘cause you could see the whole playground from where you was, and if you’re flying around, you get to see everything in the world before you come back down on the ground.”
How right you are, kid. As a million leaves fly past my window faster than I can run just before midnight, may we be so lucky to be a leaf blown by that infinitely defined wind called God, and may we se the whole playground while we’re up here.
China Launches Manned Space Mission
While I'm not at ease with China's government, I applaud their efforts and wish their space program the best of luck. May all nations use space technology in peace.
Ay, yay yay... busy night ahead. A meeting for the new play "greetings" we're putting up in December, laundry, putting dirt cheap but healthy things into an otherwise emply fridge. Updates whenever the whirlwind subsides (forecast is for gusts tonight up to 60 mph!).
The Inconstant Moon is a
The Inconstant Moon is a website entirely dedicated to demystifying the moon...
Occupation and reconstruction, or reprisal?
Occupation and reconstruction, or reprisal?
US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.
'My life with an
When people imagine an "iron lung", it is always in black and white.
Grouphug is an online anonymous
Grouphug is an online anonymous confessional: let it all out.
i have been selfish, careless, and cockey and i believe i may have driven away my favorite person in the whole world. i didn't even tell her how i really felt about her until it was too late.
Today above the school's baseball diamond, I saw two amazing sundogs. What was particularly amazing about these was that rather than being a perfect circle, it appeared to be more of a vesica pisces shape, with the sun in the center. Not all of the curves were connected, but several portions were glowing rainbow-like with the full spectrum while others were bright opaque arcs. I've seen a full sundog before, while hiking Mt. Shasta in 1996, but never have I seen one that appeared to be two circles, though somewhat incomplete, overlapping.
I was stunned. My eyes watered from looking upward at the blaze of sun and the mandala of scattered ice crystals. Naturally, it was the children who saw it first, pointing up in wonder.
Mother of the avant-garde: Maya
Mother of the avant-garde: Maya Deren was a passionate 'visual poet,' student of voudoun, and a revolutionary in experimental film who was fascinated by modern dance and Shaolin martial arts... prodigious work for a Ukrainian immigrant in 1940's America.
Crossposted to MeFi
Is 'parroting' a learned behavior
Is 'parroting' a learned behavior or true cognition?
For the past 26 years I've been studying the cognitive and communicative abilities of Grey parrots.
Ut quatiant illas clunes sanas!
Quisblet has translated a famous tune of our culture into Latin:
Magnae clunes mihi placent, nec possum de hac re mentiri!
Just guess before you click the link.
Listless as the other side of the glass reverts to fog
The mind does best when empty, like a begging bowl,
As I sleep I'll list not accomplishments nor the unfulfilled,
Monkey Shakespeare Simulator Become part
Become part of the largest ever experiment to see if this is true! Every time you display this page, you are automatically participating in the Monkey Shakespeare project. Your computer is put to work to simulate a number of monkeys typing randomly on typewriters, and each page typed is checked against every play Shakespeare ever wrote!
Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj In
In al-Hallaj's case the Secret of the Love seized and intoxicated his
Which Rat Pack Member Are
I'm Joey Bishop. I knew I'd be Joey Bishop (I wanted to be Sammy). Meanwhile, here's a great read: Frank Sinatra has a Cold, recently dubbed the best Esquire story, ever.
More policy gibberish ("Bushit") that
More policy gibberish ("Bushit") that makes absoluty no sense:
From the article: Giving Americans access to endangered animals, officials said, would feed the gigantic U.S. demand for live animals, skins, parts and trophies, and generate profits that would allow poor nations to pay for conservation of the remaining animals and their habitat.
Of course not. Let's let this miserable policy destroy the resources of other countries where auditing and accountability would be much more difficult... it would be a public policy disaster if he did that here. Hard to get [re]elected if you're going to be greasing up the meatgrinder for bald eagles, huh George? This makes me so mad, Mr. [p]Resident, that I'm going to call you a BAD WORD. That's right, George, you are an "asshat."
There, I did it. Getting a bit potty mouthed here on the moon, aren't i? Anyway...
Chop down forests to prevent wildfires... kill endangered species to stop them from being endangered... decimate the Bill of Rights to assure terrorists don't deprive us of our Constitutional rights...
Irony has a new standard.
Siberia find revives yeti legends
Siberian scientists say they have a discovery on their hands which raises the possibility that the local legend of the yeti - the abominable snowman - is more than mere fiction.
Goodbye cruel world Lion numbers
Lion numbers have dropped by 90% in 20 years. The other big cats are going fast. How long before all the Earth's 'mega species' disappear from the wild?
Free Beer for Pub's Most
A 90-year-old war veteran has drunk in the same pub for the last 72 years, his landlord confirmed today. Tommy Spurr has supped an estimated 52,000 pints of beer and the same number of glasses of whisky over eight decades – popping in almost daily for his never changing order, two pints of bitter and two glasses of whiskey.
Today is: National Coming Out
I came out about 12 years ago, and it's amazing how much things have changed for us... the victories and the ongoing work ahead. If you're not out yet, go ahead, come out: closets are for clothes, and it feels so incredible to acknowledge an identity openly that has festereded as a burning secret. Ultimately, sexuality needn't be all that you are, for me it's just a component, an aspect that's crucial to the whole but not paramount. Anyway, COME OUT!
A search for the spiritual
Pablo Picasso admired him, as did Henri Matisse. Jackson Pollock considered him one of his favorite artists. But it wasn't always that way. When Domenikos Theotokopoulos, better known as El Greco, was creating his vibrant, brilliantly hued religious paintings in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, his work was seen as extravagant, far from the more realistic style then in vogue.
I've been to El Greco's home in Spain, and remember how he must have gotten so much inspiration from the villagers... their strong faces and deep soulful eyes.
Armand Hammer: loved, hated and
Crossposted to MeFi
Utterly ridiculous... this kid might
Utterly ridiculous... this kid might see drug charges for this. Maybe the judge will try him as a terrorist...
A teenager was disciplined for sharing medication used to treat asthma, but he said it saved his girlfriend's life.
I'm posting this just so
I'm posting this just so I can say 'harrowing ordeal:'
After falling overboard Tuesday from the shrimp boat where she worked, Lopez swam and floated until she reached safety at an oil platform, spray-painted a distress signal and managed to activate an alarm system to summon help.
Weird Fortune Collection I
I collect fortunes, and the one that stays in my wallet is "Trust your intuition. The Universe is guiding your life." Not weird or funny, but when I received it I was working on manifestation stuff..
The Nobel Prize for Peace
The Nobel Prize for Peace has been announced, MeFi is reporting:
Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi has won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2003. Ebadi is Iran's first female judge and a leading figure in the struggle for women's and children's rights in Iran. She is known for representing the interests of persecuted individuals and has braved reprisals for her beliefs.
In the market for sky
Crossposted to MeFi
It has only been recently that I’ve really considered the blood that flows beneath my skin as a transmission from the past, a ruddy sea of names and faces, graces and infamies that exist as shadows within nucleotides and tracings on yellowed, dog eared family records. We all contain within our mere bones memories of whole villages, kingdoms, islands and prisons whose stories somehow remarkably lead up to this very moment. From this moment, what shall flow from us? We tread daily across the backbone of the ancestors, and breathe thoughtlessly the wind of our successors.
As a child growing up on the banks of the Delaware River, I began to uncover my own peculiar place in this flux. I would toss out driftwood, pretending it was a sailboat, pretending it was a wish. I’d watch it disappear into the muddy currents and toss another… maybe some other kid would pick up the same gnarled, wave-tempered branch and christen it with yet more hope. On the beach, softened glass; blue, pink, green… as smooth as gull flight, shattered a forever ago against the rocks, to be perfected, a boy’s jewel. In the pocket. Pieces of china, blue and white faded and crackled, but occasionally you’d find a familiar shape; a leaf, a flower, lines of colonial ink frozen into a tiny shard, speaking for a former whole, like the remnant of an archaic word. This was a slight history lesson in a boy’s hand, of people that had gone before, built the town, and dashing their plates on the rocky shore. The rocks themselves, ancestors of us all… the exhale of volcanoes and extinct seas, collected by little hands, scoured for uniqueness, pocketed for remembrance. I’d skip rocks into a future filled with wonder, and trembling. Then my father would call from the house for dinner. During the whole meal, there with one half of what made my body, I’d be silent, thinking of the river, the reeds, and wishes downstream to the bay, the ocean.
Sundays we’d make the journey to visit my grandmother. Her house was a museum of who’d gone before; my late grandfather’s upper-crust honky-tonk in the basement was perfectly preserved, untouched except for my little fingers, looking through dim bottles, imagining a hubbub of grown-ups, laughing, clinking glasses, doing incomprehensible things. There were photos of my great-grands, and great-great-grands, facing the camera with stoic, firm jaws and piercing eyes. Calendars frozen in time, this was a wonderland. I may have easily slipped down the rabbit hole, fascinated by what may family had at one point done with such style and abandoned in such haste. I didn’t know them as a child, and their past was only spoken of in whimsy and passing. The house, the epicenter of the family, where we all gathered, yielded few answers. Perhaps that’s why I still dream of it… it was the encasing of many generation’s history, and little was ever spoken of it.
Now, a lifetime has passed since those days when I was a short, towheaded and impulsive child. Now I can say, somewhat, that this is where I came from. I wish I could speak of more, of lines further back, exact places and dates. I cannot. My mother’s family is kept behind a heavy, creaky-hinged door inside her heart. When she speaks with lips so like my own, it’s of pain and disdain for what they put her through. I can easily be walking on her forefather’s footpaths and be oblivious. The ground beneath me now is mixed with the lives of Cherokee, Scots, Germans and the mournful dust of slaves. When I drink apple cider from the produce stand, the water is someone’s ancient mother. I live on land where I was not born; I’ve had to nurture a connection, find stories, and weave them into the place in the soul reserved for our own kinships. I have a name, but I know little of what made it. So I must accept all ancestors as my ancestors, that this shelter is built upon an earth that budded an aspect of my beingness, somewhere. It doesn’t matter. We’re all gifted with a temporal entitlement to cast a shadow and make light, and our brevity is shared by every twist and turn of the branch of humanity, ultimately originating from one thick trunk, roots embedded deeper than imagination. My mother, so far away, is in these mountains. My family is as close as the dewy October grass that I run my fingers through, just to say hello.
When I’ve crossed boundaries and time zones to cast myself into the willed alienation of being far beyond my cultural context, I find myself at home. In Hungary, in the gypsy settlements and the Turkish bathhouses, certain faces would poke through my fascination and seem to remind me of those old photographs and well-worn photo albums that bind legacies in camera smiles. Familiarity, connection, relation, suddenly and oddly shining clear as I clutch my passport and straighten my backpack straps. In Prague, the cobblestone arc of the St. Charles Bridge seemed to belong to some part of my soul that knew it, some blood cell that was jumping up and down and hollering in recognition, for indeed my genes carried a memory of walking across the Karlovy Most, even if my mind didn’t… the flux of time bridged over the Moldau. I remember thinking, walking that moonlit, violin-strung span, that ancestry, and place, are mutable, and depending simply on how much I’d want to relate. On a train just outside of Auschwitz, my eyes welled up for the heavy air still screaming over that Polish plain where some of my own life must have been heaped in piles of ghost’s shoes.
In Haiti, a land of people whose skin contrasts from mine but whose composite soul drums in the place where I go to dream, I felt instantly at home, utterly surrounded by family, by great-grands and great-great-grands whose portraits do not adorn the walls in my grandmother’s house. The bare mountains, the steep hillsides cultivated almost vertically, the sound of the conch whistle and cacophonic roosters were as much a homeland as Delaware or western North Carolina, if not oddly more. The ground there still swells with blood of runaway slaves and the colonial oppressors they overturned, so far removed from my youth of manners and contrition, yet it swallowed me as easily as it swallowed the sun on my first day there, tossing up iridescent reds against a sky scented with wood fires. In the presence of some original soul, some ancient predecessor of what now moves me, I wept under blazing moonlight from the roof of an orphanage as I watched a procession of candles, drum and song disappear into the night. Somehow, some way, we are kin; an ancient lineage was intoned as distant chanting filled the air. The soul knows this even if the body doesn't.
The legacy that flows within you exists for the sake of the continuation of love, and the same could be said of this sweet Earth we are graced to experience, for all it’s trials and struggles. All of my ancestors, whoever they were and whatever they did, came into being through the same sensual passage, and made do with the land and time they were allotted by fate to harvest. One day I shall lay in the same dewy grass and become it, and people will walk or run upon it and suddenly see themselves bubbling up from the green, running their fingers through it. Or they may simply keep walking, whistling whatever tune that’s fit for that eventual sunny day. You are soil and dandelions, on the verge of becoming, in cosmic time. You yourself are an immortal, an ancestor, and the stuff that makes your own brave brow may one day become the ploughs and troughs of a new and unreckonable culture.Where you are now shall be a homeland staked by countless names, now waiting inside the pulsing of cells.
Every place is the dwelling of ancestors. Any time, they can emerge from the ephemera and viscera of the everyday and surprise us with elder wisdom. Even today, at the elementary school where I work, an African ballet performed for the children, and amid the twitter of giggles at the funny costumes, many little heads of every shape bobbed in time to the drum and dance, the stage became holy ground of venerable names, and perhaps, who was then speaking through the rhythm every one of us could call grand, and great-grand, and great-great-grand… here before us, that we may continue the legacy to savor the present.
Forbes, of all rags, asks
Forbes, of all rags, asks this
Fans of abstinence had better be sitting down. "Saving yourself" before the big game, the big business deal, the big hoedown or the big bakeoff may indeed confer some moral benefit. But corporeally it does absolutely zip. There's no evidence it sharpens your competitive edge. The best that modern science can say for sexual abstinence is that it's harmless when practiced in moderation. Having regular and enthusiastic sex, by contrast, confers a host of measurable physiological advantages, be you male or female.
Oh, great. Moralistic grandstanding versus
Oh, great. Moralistic grandstanding versus virulent epidemic... who will win?
The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by Aids not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which the HIV virus can pass - potentially exposing thousands of people to risk... The WHO has condemned the Vatican's views, saying: "These incorrect statements about condoms and HIV are dangerous when we are facing a global pandemic which has already killed more than 20 million people, and currently affects at least 42 million."
Cosmos is 'shaped like
More precisely, we may inhabit a dodecahedral cosmos. It is, according to the scientists, the best way to account for the latest satellite observations.
Sonar 'may cause whale deaths'
Many unexplained strandings and deaths of marine mammals could be caused by soundwaves from underwater military sonar equipment, zoologists believe.
Rain spells sleep as it drips through the overhead limbs
Here's a mainstream article on
Here's a mainstream article on firewalking. I did it last year, and can say that we don't wet our feet before we go on the coals, and simply walk with purpose. It feels like you're walking on popcorn (made of stars).
An A.D.D. Huck Finn: Boy's
An A.D.D. Huck Finn: Boy's adventure ends safely After two nights away from home, Ryan McAniff was wet, cold, and hungry, surviving on cheese slices and Capri Sun drink packets from his new residence inside someone else's $100,000 boat.
Go Terry go! On an
Go Terry go! On an unforgettable Fresh Air today, Terry Gross interviewed, rather, attempted to interview, the UltraCon windbag Bill "Shut-up!" O'Reilly, with hysterical consequences (WM format. FF to about 3 minutes toward the end). Metafilter's thread on the subject is exquisite and about as funny as the
Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica via Mysterium
Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica via Mysterium
My friend Leigh has launched
My friend Leigh has launched a portfolio of her writing... great stuff!
the Degree Confluence Project aims
the Degree Confluence Project aims to "visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location." Includes stories from each documented point.
Ancient pilgrim prepares for Hajj
Ancient pilgrim prepares for Hajj
Gorbachev calls Bush decision to
Gorbachev calls Bush decision to invade Iraq `mistake'
Fantastic database of fantastic images...
Fantastic database of fantastic images... engravings and lithos from surreal literature.
I think I'm coming down
I think I'm coming down (one rarely 'goes up') with the seemingly inevitable fall bug. My voice is hoarse and I'm a bit cranky. I work until forvever today so no updates until ???
China details space plans More
China details space plans More details have been emerging about China's ambitious space programme, just days before the country is expected to launch its first manned space flight.
Pardon my lack of better
Pardon my lack of better words, but motherfucker!: The [p]Resident signs a proclamation of Marriage Protection Week. On MeFi, fellow member XQUZYPHYR points out: October 12 is also the anniversary of the murder of [Matthew] Shepard. Just as President Bush gave a speech condemning Affirmative Action on Martin Luther King Day and declared the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision "National Sanctity of Life Day," this is, of course, a complete coincidence. Here's the thread.
Extract: Dude, Where's My Country?
Extract: Dude, Where's My Country? by Michael Moore The media didn't bother to run (over and over again) the footage from when Saddam was presented with a key to the city of Detroit, or the film from the early 1980s of Donald Rumsfeld visiting Saddam in Baghdad to discuss the progress of the Iran-Iraq war.
Jump in and cast your
Biological basis for creativity linked
Biological basis for creativity linked to mental illness The study in the September issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology says the brains of creative people appear to be more open to incoming stimuli from the surrounding environment. Other people's brains might shut out this same information through a process called "latent inhibition" - defined as an animal's unconscious capacity to ignore stimuli that experience has shown are irrelevant to its needs.
Guess the weasel* who's taken
Guess the weasel* who's taken to
Roses are red/Violets are blue/Oh my, lump in the bed/How I've missed you...
Roses are redder/Bluer am I/Seeing you kissed by that charming French guy
The dogs and the cat, they missed you too/Barney's still mad you dropped him, he ate your shoe/The distance, my dear, has been such a barrier/Next time you want an adventure, just land on a carrier
*no offense intended to Mustela nivalis
Uber-spooky with implications a-go-go: Spying
Uber-spooky with implications a-go-go: Spying on your teens via satellite for $600
I went for a walk in the woods today... so utterly still save for the scurry of chipmunk and squirrel in their gathering duties. I kept going until it was completely dark, and was met on the trail by a large rabbit, and something that might have been a bear cub. There was a mushroom nearly a foot high (no kidding), and some stunning colors in prelude to the inevitable swoosh of reds and yellows from the treetops. There was much wonder and awe.
Yet it's so easy to contain wonder and awe in a walk in the woods but not a walk down the produce aisle. What is it that aggregates reality into mundane and mystical parts, dividing our experience into neat little packets of expectation and surprise? I wonder if we cheat ourselves out of countless wonders and awesome happenings because they aren't occurring within our expectational systems. While skipping over serpentine roots, I cataloged a few events that just happened today where I responded with neutral affect, while the interchange itself was quite remarkable, and worthy of eliciting more feeling.
Then there's this little trick; there are all these feelings to be had, which could steer our actions wildly as we base our decisions on emotional response, for better or worse. Conversely, going through the day with stillness inside, a creative emptiness of emotion, could guide me toward making more rational, effective choices. It seems, rather than abiding by one side of this hypothetical coin, that both means of traversing reality are useful for differing reasons. While the 'single mode' of attitude I was looking for seemed unlikely because of this necessary duality, both can be contained in worldview system. How can they? Simply because I create the system, tailored even of inconsistency.
Perhaps further back in time, we were obliged to accept exterior philosophies and cosmologies in order to survive. But in this increasingly complex torrent of ideas that we call civilization, it seems as if we're left to make up, quite literally, our own minds. Choose a religion and political party, or just d.i.y., jump on destiny's back and experience what you will. Virtually everyone here in town I know is a patchwork of diverse ideas, and through their process of acquiring knowledge, have found the same degree of meaning in life as any devout whatever. At peace in pieces, at one with the many, wholeness from the composite parts.
How about this... reality, real reality, is simply energy, and the forms around us are the coalescing of that energy, each form singular and unique from the randomness of the moment in which it was made, each form active, a process. Those huge pinecones along the path today are temporary materializations, as well as I. We are both bound to be dissolved, but while resolved in this reality we exist in unique proportion to the Universe. Yet there is a tendency toward synergistic/symbiotic patters of relationship. While the sappy pinecone is just slightly different than any other, ever, it will likely do it's biological duty more or less according to plan, unless I were to say intervene and throw it in a fire. Likewise, I, a gay white spiritual male American fellow, despite all the strings of affinity that link me to a cultural identity, am not identical to anyone in those groups, or anywhere. All of these elements came together to make my body, which may bear a striking resemblance to so-and-so, but my mind, my primal and essential intangible being, is a unique concentration of dynamic forces and infinite nuances, and so is everyone. The good news is that we can relate, we can fall in love, make whoopee and we can gravitate toward those patterns even in our solo weirdnesses.
On the trail there were trees that magnificently twisted to the sky with armloads of multicolored flutter. There were moss covered boulders, and plays of sunlight through murmuring pine needles. Uphill, downhill, around the bend and through gateways of fallen limbs, I was grateful for this easy, basic act of walking through the woods. Wonder, awe, creative emptiness, raw passion and motionlessness all moved me, at different times, along the winding trail, as my mind spun about models of reality, and the attainment of meaning. Perhaps, contrary to the spinning thoughts, no model of self or reality will ever be sufficient, that mere experience will just have to do. To be bold, smiling, endeavoring toward goodness, hands clasped in thanks, just being, might just do as well along the path as my quest for an optomistic scheme of manifestation. There are inevitabilities; life, death, surprise, magic, love, and meaning will appear where they will no matter how they're thought of.Just being.
The trees seem to have prospered after all these years.
Another [yawn] shocking surprise: Former
Another [yawn] shocking surprise: Former Foreign Minister Robin Cook Says Blair Knew Iraq Had No Banned Arms
"Minute Before Midnight"
A million colored lights flash all at once
His face appears out of the mosaic of fantasy;
I am already joined with you, know it or not;
Oh mad starlight, how you dazzle...
Walt Whitman: When Science
Walt Whitman: When Science and Mysticism Collide While science was a useful antidote to superstition, it was hampered by a sublunary narrowness of vision. Scientific facts, Whitman believed, had esoteric ramifications best elucidated by sages, seers and philosopher-poets—in other words, someone like him...
Gay In The Blink Of
Gay In The Blink Of An Eye
Need a hobby? Try collecting
Folks like Dr. John Dee,
eBay item 2560827952 (Ends 05-Oct-03
eBay item 2560827952 (Ends 05-Oct-03 18:41:40 BST ) - AIR GUITAR NON ELECTRIC MODEL THIS AIR GUITAR WAS ONCE NOT PLAYED BY THE LEGENDARY ERIC CLAPTON IN HIS MOST RECENT WORLD TOUR
Closest asteroid yet flies past
Closest asteroid yet flies past Earth
I'm utterly exhausted. It's been
I'm utterly exhausted. It's been the longest day, and the longest week. My dreams last night were so awesome that I'm quite interested to see what else is going on up there.
"I'm on the raod to find out." ~Cat Stevens
What other environmental events are
What other environmental events are recorded? Volcanic blast recorded in DNA The tortoises on the slopes of Alcedo Volcano in the Galapagos Islands have the signature of an ancient eruption written in their DNA, scientists say
PM to go 420: Canadian
PM to go 420: Canadian PM Mulls Smoking Marijuana When He Retires "I don't know what is marijuana. Perhaps I will try it when it will no longer be criminal. I will have my money for my fine and a joint in the other hand..."
The Deteriorata Go placidly amid
The Deteriorata Go placidly amid the noise & waste, & remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof. Avoid quiet & passive persons unless you are in need of sleep. Rotate your tires.
The Random Acts of Kindness
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation story page...
Rain of frogs in Connecticut.
Rain of frogs in Connecticut.
The court jester in
The same, but different... my
The same, but different... my job as it would be in the UK: Inner-city mentors 'tackling truancy' Counsellors brought in to deal with problems suffered by inner-city schools have been effective, an official report suggests.
The Pitch That Works for
The Pitch That Works for Dean He talks about the voters. He tells them they're okay. Instead of trying to get them to love him, he tells them to love themselves. A doctor by training, he injects psychology into politics.
Schoolboy's photo amazes Nasa
Schoolboy's photo amazes Nasa "By diverting his camera, he was able to document this rare sky event and capture one of the more spectacular meteor images yet recorded. Roughly one minute later, he took another picture of the dispersing meteor trial."
Driving dangerously with the Patriot
Driving dangerously with the Patriot Act Attorney General John Ashcroft is running a dead heat with A. Mitchell Palmer, attorney general in the Wilson administration, for the distinction of being the worst in that job in the history of the United States.
The buzz of molecules has slowed, you can feel it. While we are not racing headlong toward absolute zero, our sphere arcs ever further from direct solar rays, and a harbinger frost clings to the darkest hour of night like crystalline sleep. Our instincts race to the surface; forage for food and eat it, gather more layers about you, in the waning light remember fire. The stars mingle with our little clouds of breath, and as windows are shut tight we become increasingly sheltered by silence.
It is too cold for this time of year, but the forecast seems to scry that there's no turning back, at least for this chilly now. There hasn't been a transition between seasons, a switch flipped accidentally and the leaves are rushing to complete the change. In symbiotic solidarity, I am too. I am scurrying to gather my provisions and wits about me, and as the trees retreat to an introverted slumber, I am ungathering the spangles and frills of summer to make way for autumnal necessities; simpler thought, concise language, in-the-moment living.
Autumn makes way for us to see things as they are; naked and essential. Trees de-leafed to reveal fractal skeletons, skies flushed of haze, humans shivering with vulnerability. Our weakness, as the months bear down and buckle into winter, is the exposure of skin, itself ironic. I huddle now as I dowse these words from the cooling earth; we journey deep into self for refuge... not oblivious to the world, but doing merely what it does. Formations of geese racing the clouds awaken some deep gene that sings an ancient migration song in our blood, and even in the midst of social formality and our obligatory appointments, we are journeying into that deep homeland from which myths spring out in dreams. In the darkness and hush, we pick through the masks left by our ancestors, fumbling for mirrors.
The produce stands are selling cider, pumpkins, gourds. Little squirrels scamper about with cheeks filled with nuts. Windows are weatherstripped and kids at the bus stop bury their face in the jacket... rituals borne of need. I sleep more. Despite the chill, this is all goodness. It is a collective bottom-lining of life, a note posted on the soul that says "while there is still time, savor even this." I examine this note, and it might be a flock of starlings chirping southward, a cup of hot chocolate, in the arms of a warm body. Even as the brisk ice-blessed air cheapens my lungs and wheezes my throat, the colors around here are enough to seduce any fool into love.
This cold snap may break and there may be warmer offerings from the sun yet. Winter itself it months away, though this year they say snaps like this are the talent scouts for up and coming leagues of bluster and frigidity. There is much summer burrowed away this year, memories to last me well into forever. The transition from this to that should be routine, but we all marvel at the flourishes and death-dances that are as sure as the eventuality of our own final season.
"While there is still time, savor even this."
This snap and whatever follow it remind that there are indeed sensations offered us; we can sense the slowing of atoms. We can discern sensually from all this energy, all this stuff and void coexisting, minute distinctions... we can shiver and sweat, be still or jiggle, plunge into goosebump breath or make love in full blaze of bright yellow star. There is no way to say who else or what else can share our unique qualifications to survive in the universe in our peculiarly adaptive ways. There is no one other than you to appreciate a falling curl of red leaf, and the seemingly useless chattering of your teeth in the early hours. Experience the cold snap, let it numb your bones, brave it beyond your comfort with the knowledge that there is a perpetually rising sun that permeates even you. Silly as it may seem, simple science is on your side...
Even at the heart of the atom, even as it stills, there is a little fire inside that makes it what it is.
Schrödinger's famous theoretical kitty is
It's on MeFi.
Antimatter, tachyons, superstrings and multiverses...
Reality in the melting pot
Reality in the melting pot According to 'multiverse' theorists, life as we know it could be nothing but a Matrix-style simulation
Rainbow City man rules as
Rainbow City man rules as hobo king ...being considered a hobo, or a rail-rider, isn't something Charles Gill of Rainbow City tries to hide, at least if the person asking doesn't work for a railroad company.
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are Copyright 2005 by theodore "jay" joslin and joyous jostling studios. Thank you, Wanderer, for All.
i am jay joslin: a spirit-fed mountain hopping lover of everything, an ordained lefty-veggie-homo, and bon-vivant go-go dancing with all the messenger mockingbirds of morning.
Progressive Voice of the Mountains
Free Radio Asheville
Eclectic Music for Mountain Folks
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Keep it even,
"Not all who wander
You contain everything
Everything contains you
If you desire the Infinite,
look no further than the window.
Ten Considerations for Being Well n this Goofy Universe
0. If you find yourself
wonderstruck, don’t forget to return the favor. 1. Always be of service to
the whole and the Holy. You’ll find that the Holy will reciprocate by being
of service to your becoming Whole. 2. You will be called upon
to use your mind and your vision in ways I cannot possibly glimpse. Never
turn down an offer to shine that light so uniquely yours to help others in
their darkness, and you’ll find that when it’s your turn to be in the night
that there’ll be someone along the way who happens to have a little glow to
share . 3. The rewards of being
true to yourself are infinite, even when outwardly your efforts are met
with nothing. 4. You’ll also see that
knowledge and wisdom will come from within yourself through your own
struggle and curiosity... your loved ones may guide you to insight, but
yours is the power to choose it. 5. You’ll find that some of
your choices could’ve been better, or at times were downright stupid. That’s
okay... I have a closet full of reckless decisions, but without making them
I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what a good one might feel like if I
tried it on. 6. Your growth will be a
mysterious, comic, ecstatic and sometimes scary ride, and I pray that you
strive to savor each minute of it, even the most difficult or embarrassing
minutes. Don’t count on second chances. 7. In those times when
everything collapses around you, and what’s left won’t go right, don’t
forget your chances of being alive in this solar system, in this galaxy, are
a little on the slim side. So slim in fact that it could be called a miracle
to breathe this air, drink this water, and have whet ever predicament you’re
having no matter how you shake, rattle and roll it. So go with the cosmic
flow and always choose something over nothing, while remembering that
there’s a little of each one hidden in both. 8. Respond as best as you
can with love to adversity rather than reacting with fear... Love, in any
situation and being the primordial source and essence of ALL THIS STUFF,
leaves / enters us with the most possible ways out / in. 9. Whatever you’re doing,
celebrate the process of doing as much, if not more, than what you’ve got
when you’re done. Magic lives in the action. 9 ½ . All matter is energy.
All energy is infinite. We are but raindrops falling to the ocean, a short
time in this shape until we’re reunited with the expanse from which we came.
Your delicate yet sturdy, resilient body is a temporary shelter of energy
that has swam the universe eternally and will continue eternally. You are a
sudden crystallization of the infinite. One must ask themself, therefore,
why be bored? 9 3/4 . Choosing to live in
the moment is courageous but becomes effortless once you begin...feeling
obligated to survive in the past or future is dangerous and is difficult to
continue. It’s one of the few risks I’d recommend not taking, right up there
with trusting icons and shrugging off coincidences. 10. The Universe itself it
not confusing, we humans just like it that way. Do frogs seem bewildered ,
butterflies befuddled and amoebas addled? Nope, just us, my child. So,
whenever things just don’t make sense, just take a deep breath and laugh as
best you can, because that’s what you get for choosing this goofy,
unpredictable place called Earth to embody yourself upon.
0. If you find yourself wonderstruck, don’t forget to return the favor.
1. Always be of service to the whole and the Holy. You’ll find that the Holy will reciprocate by being of service to your becoming Whole.
2. You will be called upon to use your mind and your vision in ways I cannot possibly glimpse. Never turn down an offer to shine that light so uniquely yours to help others in their darkness, and you’ll find that when it’s your turn to be in the night that there’ll be someone along the way who happens to have a little glow to share .
3. The rewards of being true to yourself are infinite, even when outwardly your efforts are met with nothing.
4. You’ll also see that knowledge and wisdom will come from within yourself through your own struggle and curiosity... your loved ones may guide you to insight, but yours is the power to choose it.
5. You’ll find that some of your choices could’ve been better, or at times were downright stupid. That’s okay... I have a closet full of reckless decisions, but without making them I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what a good one might feel like if I tried it on.
6. Your growth will be a mysterious, comic, ecstatic and sometimes scary ride, and I pray that you strive to savor each minute of it, even the most difficult or embarrassing minutes. Don’t count on second chances.
7. In those times when everything collapses around you, and what’s left won’t go right, don’t forget your chances of being alive in this solar system, in this galaxy, are a little on the slim side. So slim in fact that it could be called a miracle to breathe this air, drink this water, and have whet ever predicament you’re having no matter how you shake, rattle and roll it. So go with the cosmic flow and always choose something over nothing, while remembering that there’s a little of each one hidden in both.
8. Respond as best as you can with love to adversity rather than reacting with fear... Love, in any situation and being the primordial source and essence of ALL THIS STUFF, leaves / enters us with the most possible ways out / in.
9. Whatever you’re doing, celebrate the process of doing as much, if not more, than what you’ve got when you’re done. Magic lives in the action.
9 ½ . All matter is energy. All energy is infinite. We are but raindrops falling to the ocean, a short time in this shape until we’re reunited with the expanse from which we came. Your delicate yet sturdy, resilient body is a temporary shelter of energy that has swam the universe eternally and will continue eternally. You are a sudden crystallization of the infinite. One must ask themself, therefore, why be bored?
9 3/4 . Choosing to live in the moment is courageous but becomes effortless once you begin...feeling obligated to survive in the past or future is dangerous and is difficult to continue. It’s one of the few risks I’d recommend not taking, right up there with trusting icons and shrugging off coincidences.
10. The Universe itself it not confusing, we humans just like it that way. Do frogs seem bewildered , butterflies befuddled and amoebas addled? Nope, just us, my child. So, whenever things just don’t make sense, just take a deep breath and laugh as best you can, because that’s what you get for choosing this goofy, unpredictable place called Earth to embody yourself upon.