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
Something Awful presents, in the
Something Awful presents, in the worst taste possible, "Advertisements of the Christ."
"When you have the passion for great shampoo." [pg. 2]
The Do-It-Yourself Deity You are
You are invited to select from the list below the attributes which you believe God must have (or the attributes that a being deserving of the name God must have). Metaphysical engineers will then model this conception of God to check out its plausibility.
"The News on the Job Front is in..."
I just got the news; I have until the end of April in my interim position here. Sure, I'm a bit saddened but feel that this all happens for a reason, which sounds cliché as all get out but, that's life. We live in a clichéd society.
I'm relieved as hell that the wait is over, feel supported by more names than I can mention, and know that one way or another, I will not only survive but thrive. It is spring, after all, not only outside but inside. My soul is sprouting. This is, as I mentioned, a challenge I mentioned last night that I've risen to before. My plan is to rise with gusto and grace into the future and what I've chosen to co-create with the Universe.
Breathing in, breathing out...
"March's Utterly Baffling Search Requests"
It was a rather perverted month... in the name of Good Taste I've omitted the heinous offenders (who should be prostrate with guilt, saith the Lord! ) from the scroll, but as always it's spicy enough. March has continued the upward trend of readership, so thanks again for wasting some of your valuable time here. Anyway, I'm grateful that either my free time, research quandries, or sexual proclivities don't lead me down some of these confusing and puzzling paths that follow:
And this month's "like totally tormented" winner:
The Gross International Happiness Project
The Gross International Happiness Project [via MeFi]
The Gross International Happiness Project (‘GIH’) is based on the insight that conventional development concepts such as GNP and Per Capita Income do not properly reflect the general well being of the inhabitants of a nation. In order to develop real progress and sustainability and to effectively combat trends which compromise the planet’s natural and human ecosystems, GIH aims to develop more appropriate and inclusive indicators which truly measure the quality of life within nations and organizations. GIH is inspired by the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) proposed by the King of Bhutan, which puts the well being of individuals on top of the national development agenda. Rooted in Buddhist philosophy and values, GIH presents a radically different development paradigm, but one that holds a promise for achieving real sustainability. GIH aims to connect the international efforts which are taking place in the field of developing alternative development indicators, human economics and happiness psychology, so that individual efforts can benefit from each other and that collectively these efforts more strongly impact international development agendas.
"No Matter What..."
Still no word on the job situation, but I'm maintaining remarkably well in spite of the pressure of not-knowing what next week, even tomorrow, will hold. Still, I have faith and feel that, no matter what, something good is going to come of this. I've faced greater challenges and am one hell of a tenacious survivor, if I may say.
The depression of last week has not only broken but completely dissolved into the ethers. A good friend is going through the same type of funk that I was in, and the best thing I could think to tell her that worked for me was to break the rhythm, change it up, force the languid blah inside to keep up with a tougher pace. That's partially what got me through the eye of the needle, and what continues to motivate me.
So, if there's been a lesson in this recent experience, it may be this; the rhythm is yours to set... passive/depressive/"at-effect" states of mind are like being stuck on the cul-de-sac and forgetting about the open road not far away. Walk differently, keep your eyes off the ground and your shuffling feet and see the world around you. Notice details outside of the self and it's drama. Find something that's been stagnating and take action, even if it's small- like the dishes. It doesn't take long for control and energy to rise up and call your name again.
Maybe tomorrow, I'll know about the job- and maybe not. Maybe I'll be permanent, and maybe I'll be riding the great unknown for a while. I told another friend that, no matter what, I've got the sun and the moon and the stars at night, one gorgeous spring, and wonderful friends. That is true stability, and the most reliable support, no matter what.
The Singularity and the Fifth
The concept of "The Singularity" is all the buzz amongst certain types of futurists. Mostly it fits in with transhumanist thinking. It is based on the observation that a lot of technological trends are accelerating, even faster and faster. And there are a number of them that in and of themselves have the potential for deeply transforming our collective lives. Take nano-technology, which ultimately might allow us complete control over physical matter, so that we can build any physical object we might desire, at essentially zero cost. Take artificial intelligence. What happens if a computer becomes smarter than you are? What happens if computers are a million times smarter than any of us? What would they do that we wouldn't even be able to comprehend? Or, take genetic engineering. What happens if we're able to understand and design genetics freely?
I can't rave enough about the originating site, FutureHi. Please do visit.
The meanness factor: Gleaning insights
The meanness factor: Gleaning insights from daily tasks [via MeFi]
If the stuff of everyday life makes for ratings-grabbing reality TV, might "reality science" be next? If so, make John Trinkaus the producer. Trinkaus has spent more than a quarter of a century recording the little decisions people make in the course of a day—whether to stop at a stop sign, cut through a parking lot to avoid a traffic light, or bother with bottle-and-can recycling. No April fool, the 78-year-old investigator is an emeritus business professor at Baruch College who believes that his compilation of weird facts and statistics may shed some light on contemporary values—or the lack thereof.
New elements: Physicists Extend the
New elements: Physicists Extend the Periodic Table
Nuclear physicists have long suspected the existence of atoms far heavier than any yet discovered, but they lacked the technology needed to synthesize them. Now, a joint American-Russian team has found two new elements—numbers 113 and 115 on the periodic table—hinting at an impending breakthrough in creating novel forms of matter that will test our understanding of atomic behavior.
Drops of life: a photo
Drops of life: a photo essay on the vitality and scarcity of water in India [via WorldChanging]
"Tuesday Morning Meditation"
A raindrop falling past the flowering tree
Carl Zimmer: Whose life would
Carl Zimmer: Whose life would you save?
Dinner with a philosopher is never just dinner, even when it’s at an obscure Indian restaurant on a quiet side street in Princeton with a 30-year-old post-doctoral researcher. Joshua Greene is a man who spends his days thinking about right and wrong, and how we separate the two. He has a particular fondness for moral paradoxes, which he collects the way some people collect snow globes.
The Brain in Love Dying
Dying of a broken heart is, of course, not adaptive, and neither is forsaking family and fortune to pursue a sweetheart to the ends of the earth. Why then, Fisher asks, has evolution burdened humans with such seemingly irrational passions? Drawing on evidence from living primates, paleontology and diverse cultures, she argues that the evolution of large-brained, helpless hominid infants created a new imperative for mother and father to cooperate in child-rearing. Romantic love, she contests, drove ancestral women and men to come together long enough to conceive, whereas attachment, another complex of feelings with a different chemical basis, kept them together long enough to support a child until weaning (about four years). Evidence indicates that as attachment grows, passion recedes. Thus, the same feelings that bring parents together often force them apart, as one or both fall in love with someone new. In this scenario, broken hearts and self-defeating crimes of passion become the unfortunate by-products of a biological system that usually facilitates reproduction.
It's neat-o, realtime randomness: WebCollage
It's neat-o, realtime randomness: WebCollage [via Monkeyfilter]
Volcanoes or vociferous microbes? Methane
The detection of methane has been the holy grail of scientists studying the Martian atmosphere, as its presence could provide unequivocal proof that there is life beyond Earth.
Just what would that do to our antiquated cosmology? If life is confirmed, what would happen to mainline Christian theology? It would either be forced to stretch or revert backwards. Luckily, many other theologies make room for this possibility. Perhaps, life conformed beyond Earth could cause a revolution in theology, and we may even see brand new spiritual ideas about our Universe.
The psychology of meaning: Eudaomonia,
The psychology of meaning: Eudaomonia, the good life
The third form of happiness, which is meaning, is again knowing what your highest strengths are and deploying those in the service of something you believe is larger than you are. There's no shortcut to that. That's what life is about. There will likely be a pharmacology of pleasure, and there may be a pharmacology of positive emotion generally, but it's unlikely there'll be an interesting pharmacology of flow. And it's impossible that there'll be a pharmacology of meaning.
"Tofu in a Meat Market"
Do you ever feel that way? All the cheeseburgers are in Paradise and you're a falafel in Schenectady? It's that sense of separateness, and that boundary between you and what you so desire is some unfair, arbitrary and artificial stricture. You're filled with healthy, bountiful goodness to impart but alas, there's no line at the lemonade stand of your heart but the MegaMart is packed. It makes you want to take down your sign, go home, and suck on a lemon. I'm learning (the hard way, as always) that it doesn't always have to be that way.
I'm presently faced with a vast expanse of teeter-totter gray area. I'd like to think that they're called gray areas for a reason; instability and vacuous lack of definitive answers make us use more gray matter than any pondering of the absolute. It's the lack of surety that ultimately drives us to make peace by reconciling our lives with the unknown. Each day is a little reconciliation with chaos. Some days we're browbeaten by that whirlwind, others we've sliced through and used it's force to make our own graceful loops and whirls, like a kite. Looking out into the week ahead, where I could remain in my job, lose it, or gain permanency (I'll probably know for sure tomorrow), I can't help but to feel a bit awkward. I'm temporarily separated from what I desire, resolution, by an arbitrary barrier. Until I know for sure, and perhaps after, I'm a square peg walking in a round hole world. My place is not yet secure.
Alan Watts wrote in his wonderful book, The Wisdom of Insecurity: "We can hardly begin to consider this problem unless it is clear that the craving for security is itself a pain and a contradiction, and that the more we pursue it, the more painful it becomes. This is true in whatever form security may be conceived." This is the kernel at the center of the hard way of learning. I've been bleeding for knowledge and understanding of my position, not just in terms of employment, but in life terms. This madcap and hellbent lust for understanding has made the process painful, depressive, and confusing. In this life at crazy times, I've longed secretly to be meat in the meatmarket, rather than the tofu that I AM. Not that I craved conformity, I craved an equal chance to be who I am, despite or inspite of qualitative differences. I screamed into am empty night "where is my place in this world?!" and what responded was just wind through the branches and a truck barreling down the highway. At some point in the past few days, I've stopped screaming, and rather affirmed that this is my place in the world with the wind through the branches and a truck barreling down the highway. The further afield we consider our lives, the less secure it becomes. Reduce it to this one point in the expanse of gray area, where I don't yet know about this or that, what ultimately matters the most becomes more apparent than any job or romance or sale at MegaMart. It's the wind. It's the night. It's the tofu. Consider H.L. Mencken: "We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine."
Consider, too, the vagaries of chance. Perhaps it is best that I am tofu in a meatmarket. Someone may just be wandering the aisles with that bloated feeling, and amid the prime rib and chitterlings, and happens upon something a little lighter. "A-ha, this might just do the trick," the shopper says, and takes me home in a state of surprise and relief. The wildly extended family of humans I love are all rather motley gaggles of sore thumbs, square pegs, pink ducks and odd birds. We're all struggling, even those of us that look polished and preened. But, often in the fulcrum of that struggle, we forget that we aren't the only bozo on the bus. My recent depression was quite severe, and one of the paralyzing factors of depression is that you cannot see out of the murky fishbowl your life has become for that moment. Depression, like any other disease, will either run it's course or kill you. Thankfully, the latter is extremely rare. As the murk clears, you see that yes, you are indeed in a fishbowl, but you're on a shelf with a thousand others in the same predicament. Yet none of us in exactly the same state as you. That's the nature of consciousness; we share it at times but it's also uniquely our own to experience. So, you may as well have fun in your fishbowl while you're there, for it won't be long until a net comes to swoop you off into mystery. Or vying for a window seat on the bus. Or tossed into a wok with teriyaki and snap peas. Or whatever metaphor you like.
We are singular beings living in a multidimensional, hyper-faceted complex array of variable states. Or, we contain Whitman's multitudes living in a singular world gone bonkers trying to interpret itself. Or we can simply be who we are in whatever this is. The modalities of existence are as endless as the imagination. What we desire will can prod us into suffering if we believe we are separated from it, rather than actively nursing its seed, its potentiality, within us. Further, if we find enjoyment out of self-kicking in the ass for being tofu in the meatmarket, we need a new hobby. Our individuality, for better or worse, is the primary defining quality of our soul. We'd better get used to it. For as trying as it can be to be at the mercy of gray areas and not knowing, we are more keen to manufacture isolation rather than utilization. There's a trend worth reversing. Utilization and proactive acceptance are absolutely key. For, in the wisdom of the Moody Blues: "There you go, man... keep as cool as you can... Face piles of trials with smiles. It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave... And keep on thinking free."
Chick peas and Schenectady ain't all that bad, really. Love your lemons and don't buy into the MegaMart psyche out of fear or want. Ride the bus into the gray area, just keep the headlights on for safety. Make a square hole for yourself. Dare to find bliss in the fishbowl. The night is what it is and you have the stars to guide you. You live in and are the product of mystery; be the tofu.
Massachusetts prepares for gays to
Massachusetts prepares for gays to marry:
The government in Massachusetts this week showed the first clear signs of getting ready to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples in May, but the threat of a possible court order to block the action still looms.
"A Litany of Firsts"
The first time is today that I refuse to be haunted by a nightmare
It's a stellar day. Green,
It's a stellar day. Green, fresh and new, is bursting with the vivacity of the morning songbirds. It's a day when it's hard to be inside.
Alas, I've got a little performance tonight at the Southern Appalachian Repetory Theater, and it'll be time to get ready soon. I'll be narrarating the Ezra Pound story. Crazy Stuff, indeed.
Dream Yoga via MonkeyFilter. According
Dream Yoga via MonkeyFilter.
According to Hindu mythology, this world is the dream of Vishnu. Thus the world itself can be seen as a dream and dreams as just another manifestation of Maya. Perhaps because of this, the Indian texts I read didn't seem to provide special techniques for dream work. A typical sentiment, as expressed in the Bhagavata Purana, for example, says, "Even though apparently awake, one is still asleep if one sees multiplicity. Wake up from the dream of ignorance and see the one Self. The Self alone is real." The Yogavasistha describes dreaming sleep as an opportunity for human beings to create as the gods create, by sending forth images. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says of the dream world: "In that land there are no lakes, no lotus-ponds, nor streams; but [the Spirit of man] creates his own lakes, his lotus-ponds, and streams. For the Spirit of man is Creator."
The Hunger Banquet went off
The Hunger Banquet went off without a hitch... the 'third world' kept rioting, but it was fun and delightfully educational for all. Time for bed... I'm shot.
What follows are the invocation and benediction I'll be giving at tonight's 3rd Annual Western North Carolina's Hunger Banquet. It's my second year emceeing the event. I'm off, with a nervous yipee!
This land is as wide as the eye can dare to see,
Oh sweet song of life,
War Rationale: Version 10.0 In
In the year since the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration has repeatedly shifted its justification for going to war and constantly changed its story on intelligence, the United Nations, reconstruction, political transition and the cost to the American taxpayer. More than anything, the administration's war in Iraq resembles a software program that, at first, works brilliantly, but then catches the user in a cycle of "fatal error" messages.
Four 9/11 moms watch Rumsfeld
Plan to melt through Europa's
Researchers are testing technology that could allow a lander to melt through the ice crust of Jupiter's moon Europa to reach the water ocean beneath.
Bush Introduces Homo Alert System
President Bush on Thursday announced the creation of a new alert system that will allow the country to know current risk levels of homosexuality at any given time. The system will coordinate risk factors with current US intelligence to determine the level of risk homosexuals pose to modern civilization as we know it.
Images from Madagascar via Plep.
Images from Madagascar via Plep.
Gene Mutation Said Linked to
Holy Kaon: Theory of matter
Holy Kaon: Theory of matter may need rethink
Particle physicists have seen a rare happening that may force a rethink of current theories of sub-atomic matter. After watching more than seven trillion disintegrations of the kaon particle they have seen three peculiar events when they expected to see just one.
Gay congressman speaks out against same-sex
Speaking in highly personal terms, a gay member of Congress on Tuesday challenged supporters of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages, asking "who are we hurting" when homosexuals want to express the same emotional commitment as other Americans.
Scandal after scandal after scandal:
...with yesterday's news that the White House supports an investigation into the higher-than-advertised cost of Bush's Medicare plan, I started realizing that there have been an amazing number of investigations of Republicans since Bush took office, some of which directly involve the White House. So much for restoring "honor and dignity" to the Oval Office.
Meanwhile, let's read up on how the RNC's Shrubbies lie and cheat with numbers.
Hilarious: Oregon county bans all
Hilarious: Oregon county bans all marriage
In a new twist in the battle over same-sex marriage roiling the United States, a county in Oregon has banned all marriages -- gay and heterosexual -- until the state decides who can and who cannot wed.
Penguin-cam snaps amazing images Scientists
Scientists have obtained amazing images of penguins interacting with each other underwater by strapping miniature cameras to the flightless birds' backs.
A Muslim calls for reform
A Muslim calls for reform -- and she's a lesbian:
It's not hard to see why people react strongly to Irshad Manji. At 35, she's become a ubiquitous fixture on Canadian television, the smartest, hippest, most eloquent lesbian feminist Muslim you could ever hope to meet.
Panpsychism: the thesis that physical
Panpsychism: the thesis that physical nature is composed of individuals each of which is to some degree sentient. It is somewhat akin to hylozoism, but in place of the thesis of the pervasiveness of life in nature substitutes the pervasiveness of sentience, experience or, in a broad sense, consciousness. There are two distinct grounds on which panpsychism has been based. Some see it as the best explanation of the emergence of consciousness in the universe to say that it is, in fact, universally present, and that the high-level consciousness of humans and animals is the product of special patterns of that low-level consciousness or feeling which is universally present. The other ground on which panpsychism is argued for is that ordinary knowledge of the physical world is only of its structure and sensory effects on us, and that the most likely inner content which fills out this structure and produces these experiences is a system of patterns of sentient experience of a low level.
Is George W. Bush's the
Is George W. Bush's the most anti-science administration in modern times? The New Science Wars [via MeFi]
When a leading psychologist like Harvard's Howard Gardner calls the president's science adviser a "prostitute," it's a safe bet that all is not well in the realm of government science policy. Indeed, in the past month, the United States has been engulfed by a kind of "science war," one pitting much of the nation's scientific community against the current administration. Led by twenty Nobel laureates, the scientists say Bush's government has systematically distorted and undermined scientific information in pursuit of political objectives. Examples include the suppression and censorship of reports on subjects like climate change and mercury pollution, the stacking of scientific advisory panels, and the suspicious removal of scientific information from government Web sites.
Max Headroom predicted the future:
Max Headroom predicted the future:
The series featured computers and a frightening, high-tech, TV-centric culture "20 minutes into the future," as each episode would begin. Long before there was an Internet, a World Wide Web, e-mail, and cyberculture, this TV series displayed it all in amazingly accurate ways...
Detailed picture of comet's
The highest resolution image obtained by the Stardust spacecraft as it flew by Comet Wild 2 in January has just been released... the image shows a pockmarked "flying mountain" strewn with jets of gas and dust that billow in the solar wind.
Funny: Emo Philips makes cole
Funny: Emo Philips makes cole slaw.
Last night I came to a rather sad conclusion; my new computer is infected with a rather nasty virus. Norton hasn't figured it out yet, but it's made my Outlook and MSN Messenger unusable. I think it's the Netsky worm... I'm getting all these emails saying that an email I tried to send to whatever vegetable merchant in Romania is infected and had to be destroyed... blasted spam worms!
The interesting and fun part of it was an outsourced tech support call to India. I talked with the Delhi Dell support staff about famous Bollywood singer Asha Bhosle, the joy of Raga, what she thought of Bhangra (the new urban sound of India), and how to make the best popadums. She said that it's not normal for a caller from the States, let alone a male, call and enthusiastically engage her in cross cultural dialogue.
We met again tomorrow night after I back up my sweet snookie's data and wipe the malignant pestulence off the face of my beloved silicon sister's hard drive. So much for Norton's live update, but it's worth it in a very human way to talk to someone a world away and share a moment of commonality.
Do we really use only
Why would a neuroscientist immediately doubt that 90 percent of the average brain lies perpetually fallow? First of all, it is obvious that the brain, like all our other organs, has been shaped by natural selection. Brain tissue is metabolically expensive both to grow and to run, and it strains credulity to think that evolution would have permitted squandering of resources on a scale necessary to build and maintain such a massively underutilized organ.
Part satire, part fact: A
Part satire, part fact: A Consitiutional Amendment to codify marriage as based on Biblical principles
B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in
I just interviewed for a
I just interviewed for a permanent position here in the office. It's a huge relief to be done with it, back to normal breathing...
UPDATE: That was rather vague. My position here has been an interim supervisor since January (I work in the child mental health field). Due to state pressure to reorganize the office, I've had to interview for the job I've been doing, as well as for an additional position as an employee recruiter. It's been a nerve-wracking past few weeks, dangling into the gray area of how long I will remain here. Obviously, I have a need to know so I can know whether and when income will trickle in. This lack of knowing may have played a strong role in this recent funk.
To see a picture of the typically casual Jaybird in a suit and tie in his windowless low-light office (rather looking like an English professor going to a funeral) click here.
Cool! Philosophy as therapy: The
Cool! Philosophy as therapy: The Socratic Shrink
Americans are tired of psychologists dwelling on our every painful feeling, we're sick of psychiatrists prescribing a new drug every time we feel confused and many of our most pressing problems aren't even emotional or chemical to begin with -- they're philosophical. To wit: You don't have to be clinically depressed or burdened by childhood guilt to want help with the timeless questions of the human condition -- the persistence of suffering and the inevitability of death, the need for a reliable ethics.
This grappling with the terms
This grappling with the terms of my apparent depression continues... I'm so tired, I wish I could write more about it. Nonetheless, thanks to those who've been so supportive.
See Astrophysicists in Captivity On
On a platform before a crowd of curious onlookers, the scientists eagerly ripped open a box of CDs containing data from a newly released million-second-long exposure taken by two cameras onboard the Hubble telescope, and struggled to transfer the data to nearby computers as they answered a multitude of questions shouted out by reporters and middle-school students. So began Science Live: The Race to Decode the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. There, teams of researchers from Columbia University, Stony Brook University and the American Museum of Natural History will compute, ponder and dispute the new Hubble data around the clock for six days and nights, in full view of museum visitors.
Freaks, geeks, and hoochie shows
Memoires of a roadie show: We are now halfway to the town. Every barn we have passed is covered with flaming posters, and dates telling the people when the big show will visit them. Market men are making quick time to reach the town in advance of their competitors, and the result is a perfect cloud of dust kicked up by their big-feet "mules." Young women gaily dressed, and old women hanging on to the stakes of a lumber-wagon, "stare their eyes out" at our mirror-sided bill-wagon, and wonder what the plumes in our horses' head-gear mean. They don't get by us quite so easily as they imagined they would; for Bill has chirruped to "Jim," who starts the whole team in motion, and away we go, leaving the "haybinders" to swallow some of that dust they had circulated for our benefit.
Carbon Dioxide Reported at Record
That year-to-year increase of about 3 parts per million is considerably higher than the average annual increase of 1.8 parts per million over the past decade, and markedly more accelerated than the 1-part-per-million annual increase recorded a half-century ago, when observations were first made here.
"Song of Survival"
Some stand on mounds of gold
I'll rest my head on your shoulder in revival
The rally drew about 800
The rally drew about 800 people. I stayed for a while, immersed in the six degrees of separation with all thoe people there that I sort of knew, signed some petitions, and went off in search of a stainless steel trough to use as an outdoor bathtub. Pics later stil...
Going downtown to the peace
Going downtown to the peace rally... pix later...
Mass Extinction Not Inevitable Two
Two new studies published this week in Science that show steep declines in bird, butterfly and plant populations across Great Britain provide the strongest proof yet that we are in the midst of the sixth great extinction of life. The British analyzed six surveys covering virtually all of their native species populations over the last 40 years. They discovered birds and native plants had declined 54 percent and 28 percent respectively while butterflies experienced a shocking 71 percent decrease.
Peace through music: The Cellist
Peace through music: The Cellist of Sarajevo
On May 27th, 1992, a bakery in Sarajevo which happened to have a supply of flour was making bread and distributing it to the starving, war-shattered people. At 4 p.m., a long line stretched into the street. Suddenly, a shell fell directly into the middle of the line, killing 22 people outright and splattering blood and gore over the entire area. A hundred yards away lived a 37-year-old man named Vedran Smailovic. Before the war he had been the principal cellist of the Sarajevo Opera Company--a distinguished and civilized job, no doubt. When he saw the massacre outside his window, he was pushed beyond his capacity to endure anymore. Driven by his anguish, he decided he had to take action, and so he did the only thing he could do. He made music. Every day there after, at 4 p.m. precisely, Mr. Smailovic would put on his full formal concert attire, and walk out of his apartment into the midst of the battle raging around him. He would place a little camp stool in the middle of the bomb-craters, and play a concert to the abandoned streets, while bombs dropped and bullets flew all around him. Day after day he made his unimaginably courageous stand for human dignity, for civilization, for compassion, and for peace. As though protected by a divine shield, he was never hurt, though his darkest hour came when, taking a little walk to stretch his legs, his cello was shelled and destroyed where he had been sitting.
Ancient Indians made 'rock music'
Archaeologists have rediscovered a huge rock art site in southern India where ancient people used boulders to make musical sounds in rituals.
Thoughts on Voluntary Simplicity [via
Thoughts on Voluntary Simplicity [via MonkeyFilter]
Many simplicity gurus urge us to become "tightwads" as the true path to a simple life. But voluntary simplicity and frugality are not really the same thing. To be sure, frugality is a vehicle for achieving simplicity, but the driving force is a vision, a philosophy, a world view.
Climate risk 'to million species'
Climate change could drive a million of the world's species to extinction as soon as 2050
"A Flock of Prayers"
Some of you may have noticed a lack of my usual essays, poetry and more creative posting here in the past month or so. At first, I thought I was just going through a writer's block, or at least that's what I wanted it to be. The fact is, that I've been going though a major depression that I've hidden from nearly everyone, including and especially myself.
Today I saw my shadow. I realized exactly why I've been feeling so numb, inattentive, distracted and distant- these, of course, all have a bearing on creative output. For some, this will come as a surprise. I may have seemed jovial, happy, excited about things... my usual vibrant and goofy self. But, that's the acting there folks. I'm not a big fan of pissing in the cornflakes or raining on parades, and by putting on a happy face I'm not being dishonest intentionally. It's just showbiz, wanting to go with the flow, not drawing attention to the real storm underneath.
I don't know where to go from here. Therapy... sure. Meds... I'd rather stick to St. John's Wort. Maybe this little blurb in the night will be enough letting go to trigger more and more and more. It's been very difficult not feeling any real sense of enjoyment out of things that normally thrill and inspire me. The only emotion I've been feeling with any regularity is ennui and I'm sick of it. Sick from it. I need something more tangible to hold onto than abstract ideas and variable social constellations. Dizzy and desperate, I just can't see where to turn.
If you've indeed read to the end of this, thank you for hearing me out and thus alleviating a smidgen of my burden of silence. This isn't a plea; it's an exercise in honesty which is medicine unto itself. I ask for nothing other than support, known and unknown, as I navigate turbulence and instability in vital areas of my life, hopefully on my way to a brighter and more resolute vista.
The troubled story of King
The troubled story of King & King: The parents of an elementary school pupil are fuming over the book their daughter brought home from the school library: a children's story about a prince whose true love turns out to be another prince.
Here's the Book [via MeFi]
jaybird found this for you @ 17:45 in | | permalink
UFO streaks through Martian sky
Astronomers say it could be the first meteor seen from the surface of another world, or a redundant orbiting spacecraft sent to Mars 30 years ago.
Is Humanity Being Hacked? Sometimes
Sometimes when I am in deep meditation I get the strong feeling of a higher intelligence speaking through me, through human culture, as if we are being hacked, used, programmed by something else.
"Thursday Through the Window"
The hours, thick cords on a steel guitar
Spooky... had a dream about
Spooky... had a dream about this very sort of thing last night: Recently Discovered Near-Earth Asteroid Makes Record-breaking Approach to Earth
A small near-Earth asteroid (NEA), discovered Monday night by the NASA-funded LINEAR asteroid survey, will make the closest approach to Earth ever recorded. There is no danger of a collision with the Earth during this encounter.
Opinion from the Little Haiti
Opinion from the Little Haiti community in Miami: 'There, it's a fight just to live'
"We just want the best for Haiti. Everyone has their own view on what Bush has done and I'm not for or against him or Aristide. We want it to get better. That's it," says Celeste. Ordinarily, the domestic political consequences of US policy towards Haiti are negligible. But this is an election year and there are thousands of Haitian votes at stake in Florida - the 50/50 state - where any one of the diverse tribes that constitute Miami-Dade County could make a real difference to the outcome.
Mr-President bids for re-election: it's
Erinn Go Brach! Extensive index
Erinn Go Brach! Extensive index on Irish lirerature, folklore, myth and drama
Booze flash! Tests confirm that
It wasn't exactly one of the great mysteries of the universe, but it was a source of countless bar bets: When beer is poured into a glass, do the bubbles rise or fall? Barflies know all too well that the bubbles fall, seemingly defying the laws of physics.
"32nd Conception Day"
Wow-wee: today is my 32nd "Conception Day." That's right, I know the actual day, time and place where my parents rather inconceivably begat me. Now, should you read on, you will too...
My father was had made the signage for a new health club that was having it's grand opening party on St. Pat's Day, and he and his lovely wife (for another four years, anyway) were invited. Now, my father can put down some alcohol, but my mother doesn't drink at all... but she did that night. So, she's drunk enough to get raunchy with my father in a sauna they locked themselves in. Things happened, cells divided, and ta-da, 32 years later here I am writing about it.
I'm not going to wade into the whole "life begins at conception" argument, but today gives me an additional reason to party. It being St. Pat's, I will wear green, but not in honor of the 'Saint.' I abhor the shite about driving the snakes out of Ireland, the snakes being the pagan-matriarchal-shamanic-earth based practices that were the foundation of a beautiful and simple culture. Rather, I'll wear green to remember those people and the vestiges of their customs, and also for the modern eight grade tradition of wearing green means you're horny.
Because as squeamishly as it is recalled, without that particularly fun but frustrating state of being, I wouldn't be here. Go out and conceive something today!
An Anthropologist from Mars: This
An Anthropologist from Mars: This site makes the brave distinction that gender is a social meme while sex is a biological state. Another detailed examination (from an androgyonus perspective) here.
Excitement abounds! It's not scheduled
Excitement abounds! It's not scheduled yet, but sometime after the 29th, I'll have an audition for my dream gig; doing cartoon voices... specifically for Japanese Anime.
I've been wanting to do this since I was a kid watching cartoons...
Social Theorists meet Lego: Butler,
Social Theorists meet Lego: Butler, Giddens, McRobbie & Foucault turn to plastic.
The Scientist and the Poet
...the scientist and the poet seem to us to be perpetually at odds. To the poet, the scientist seems unimaginative and literal-minded—with his head buried in the ground of facts, incapable of comprehending the larger significance of what he does. To the scientist, the poet seems to have his head up in the clouds, indulging in fantastic visions of what might be and losing sight of the way things really are. It is difficult for us to imagine a successful conversation between a scientist and a poet—they seem almost to speak different languages.
Wonderful images of old, rusty
Wonderful images of old, rusty 'sugar boats' in Canada. The colors are sweet: Sugar, by Marshall Sokoloff [via MonkeyFilter]
"I Celebrate Mylsef" Queer and
"I Celebrate Mylsef"
Queer and poz musician Fred Hersch has created beautful compositions based on Walt Whitman's frequently homoerotic "Leaves of Grass." Link goes to audio of the story heard this morning on NPR's Morning Edition, selections from Whitman's 'Calamus Cluster,' and streams of two songs by Hersch inspired by the ahead-of-his-time poet.
Also posted on QueerMeta.
Book Review: Too many choices,
Book Review: Too many choices, too few, and choicelessness [via MeFi]
A few decades of research has made it clear that most people are terrible choosers—they don’t know what they want, and the prospect of deciding often causes not just jitters but something like anguish... The phenomenon isn’t new. “The ordinary man believes he is free when he is permitted to act arbitrarily, but in this very arbitrariness lies the fact that he is unfree,” Hegel wrote. “Negative infinity” was his term for how the man without a well-anchored sense of self would perceive the marketplace. There can even be common ground between those who recoil from choice and those who have no choice at all...
Outrageous, insidious, stupid: N.Y. Ministers
Outrageous, insidious, stupid: N.Y. Ministers Charged for Marrying Gays
Two ministers were charged with criminal offenses Monday for marrying 13 gay couples in what is believed to be the first time in the United States that clergy members have been prosecuted for performing same-sex ceremonies.
Oh no mister, I know
Oh no mister, I know nothing about computers. The internet? Never heard of it: Agency initiates steps for selective draft
The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages.
What? Bush fabricating journalists? Quelle
What? Bush fabricating journalists? Quelle Surprise!U.S. Videos, for TV News, Come Under Scrutiny
Federal investigators are scrutinizing television segments in which the Bush administration paid people to pose as journalists praising the benefits of the new Medicare law, which would be offered to help elderly Americans with the costs of their prescription medicines.
This is bad/sad/hysterical: SoCal city
This is bad/sad/hysterical: SoCal city falls victim to Internet hoax, considers banning items made with water
City officials were so concerned about the potentially dangerous properties of dihydrogen monoxide that they considered banning foam cups after they learned the chemical was used in their production. Then they learned that dihydrogen monoxide - H2O for short - is the scientific term for water.
"The world will end if
"The world will end if you don't act."
"I don't think there's ever been a community struggling as hard as the [gay community] was at the moment the epidemic first appeared, while also having to deal with devastation and grief on that scale. The world expected us to curl up and die, but what we did was say, "No, this can become part of our struggle, and we'll take care of the people amongst us who need to be taken care of."
Posted to QueerMeta
It's another world ... but
Scientists have found a new world orbiting the solar system – more than 3 billion kilometres further away from the Sun than Pluto and 40 years away from Earth in a space shuttle. NASA is expected to announce today the discovery of the space object, which some experts believe could be a new planet. It is provisionally known as Sedna, after the Inuit goddess of the sea.
I'm at the theater right now, taking a break from nothing in particular. House manager is the easiest, if most tedious, task in theater.
I slept all of 3 hours last night. There's entirely too much going through a head (mine) to be able to effectively process on so little snooze-time. I feel good, but in that tentative, cautious way. I'm too busy to make sense out of all of the stimuli of the last 24 hours, not least of which, my own.
Not trying to be cryptic or anything, but it's all rather cryptic right now, so this is the best I can scribble right now. More specific symbols will inevtiably follow.
Nag Hammadi Library The Nag
The Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient codices containing over fifty texts, was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945. This immensely important discovery includes a large number of primary Gnostic scriptures -- texts once thought to have been entirely destroyed during the early Christian struggle to define "orthodoxy" -- scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth.
History reveals our debt to
Our history and Haiti's are intertwined, and our fates could easily have been different. A turn down one path, and Haiti might have become a thriving democracy. A turn down another path, and the United States might have been just a small neighbor of the French Empire.
"Illogical Pawprints of Desire"
Holiness is found in the incalculable
One man's testimony to the
One man's testimony to the loss of his wife in the Madrid blasts: 'The day my wife was snatched away'
When you bury a person, the pain is that it is the last moment when you have that person next to you and when the ceremony ends you hand that person over to God. You don't lose them, but you stop having them at your side through everything.
Have a little perspective to
"Saturday Morning: 23 Lines"
Awaken: the morning begins with a cardinal's song
Breakfast: hope came in little packets
Naked: the water's running, the steam loses the body
Leaving: funny, it didn't seem this cold, it's made up for in brightness...
"Top of the morning to ya."
"Beauitful out here, isn't it?"
"Yeah, like a dream."
Step by Step: Heartache in
Step by Step: Heartache in San Francisco [via across, beoynd, through]
The crash of energy and emotion in City Hall was just devastating. Our two members were in line just behind the couple who were stopped in the middle of filling out their license forms. It was almost surreal... for all that we knew that this act of liberation and demand for civil rights could be interrupted at a moment's notice, none of us really believed that it would happen in the midst of a very human moment - and crash down upon very real, very beloved families who had traveled a long way.
Second Thoughts: We're going for
We're going for a walk with Brian Greene, the physicist, at 5 in the afternoon, but this is a rough approximation, since spacetime has no absolutes, and even the familiar notion of "right now" has no meaning in a strict scientific sense. Also neither one of us has a watch.
Two Steps Back: California and
Two Steps Back: California and Massachusetts both dealt blows to non-discriminatory marriage on Thursday. An immediate halt was ordered to stop the SanFran weddings and the legislature in Boston gave initial backing to a state constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriages but allows civil unions.
Also posted to QueerMeta
Guantanamo Briton 'was tortured' "They
"They actually said: 'You have no rights here'. After a while, we stopped asking for human rights - we wanted animal rights."
Ethics a-go-go: Whose life would
Ethics a-go-go: Whose life would you save?
Dinner with a philosopher is never just dinner, even when it’s at an obscure Indian restaurant on a quiet side street in Princeton with a 30-year-old post-doctoral researcher. Joshua Greene is a man who spends his days thinking about right and wrong, and how we separate the two. He has a particular fondness for moral paradoxes, which he collects the way some people collect snow globes.
“Let’s say you’re walking by a pond and there’s a drowning baby, ” Greene says, over chicken tikka masala. “If you said, ‘I’ve just paid $200 for these shoes and the water would ruin them, so I won’t save the baby,’ you’d be an awful, horrible person. But there are millions of children around the world in the same situation, where just a little money for medicine or food could save their life. And yet we don’t consider ourselves monsters for having this dinner rather than giving the money to Oxfam. Why is that?”
Here's a dainty can of
Here's a dainty can of pastel worms: The Democracy Now! show on Pacifica Radio is asking this question: "Was Martha Stewart Targeted Because She is a Major Democratic Contributor and a Woman? Where is Ken Lay?"
Is it still a good thing?
Beautiful, sultry, earthy: Earth Erotica
Beautiful, sultry, earthy: Earth Erotica via MeFi
Odds on that God exists,
Dr Stephen Unwin has used a 200-year-old formula to calculate the probability of the existence of an omnipotent being. Bayes' Theory is usually used to work out the likelihood of events, such as nuclear power failure, by balancing the various factors that could affect a situation.
Aw, shit: Excrement energy boost
Aw, shit: Excrement energy boost for future
Researchers have developed a device which generates electricity from sewage and think it could become a green energy source of the future.
My new purple and pastel-ish
My new purple and pastel-ish pet project, QueerMeta, got a nod from Metafilter today, and membership has skyrocketed in the past two hours or so. I'm really excited about this, and I sense from some of the users that I recognize from Metafilter and Monkeyfilter that we have a strong foundation for a warm and dynamic web community. I'm thinking of creating one more 'filter' site for spirituality/consciousness/mythology once this one is up and running steadily.
'God particle' may have
The Higgs boson explains why all other particles have mass and is fundamental to a complete understanding of matter.
The little picture we're all
The little picture we're all gaga over: Hubble's Deepest View Ever of the Universe Unveils Earliest Galaxies
Study: Obesity an Epidemic in
Americans are sitting around and eating themselves to death, with obesity closing in on tobacco as the nation's No. 1 underlying preventable killer.
Busking around the world in
It seems like it's been a long, long time since I've written anything about what's going on with me. What has been splayed across these pages of light has been cryptic, nebulous, a string of symbols under a skin of poetry, for I or some passing alchemist to decipher. It's the bottom of winter, where flowers one day are teased by a death frost the next, where our subservience to the sky and craving for comfort dangles like a set of joyride keys in the blind hand of a weather god. It's a time of grappling, of deciding, of cutting through the ice with a verve and longing. It is a time to say what really is on, within and through the mind, because it's taken this long for it to become solid.
I've had some heath scares, now mostly past. I've wrestled, like Jacob, with inertia and have finally pinned that dull angel. With great effort I scaled the precipice of meaningless, lifeless gloom, and have planted a happy-face flag atop it's whithered summit. All defenses have been tested by the brute force of fate, and somehow, I find it on this chill night that I've made it, survived scathed but unbroken. I lost all my words in a storm of void, a pall over the ability to create, and as those clouds recede nature conspired to shine light through and make a rainbow over the fallen branches of once noble thoughts. As the wind warms, new branches shall spring through the shattered orbits of old, and the view will again be startlingly fresh.
There has been much ferment, and the sour has taken on an intoxicating quality, the celebrated sip of transmutation. Why bother with the details, that's where the devil lives. I'll outwit the evil by beating around the bush, rubbing it's fallen sticks together, and starting a fire for letting go. I seem to live in metaphor, and rather than distracting me from reality, it brings me closer. If a leaf is a holy garment, it becomes all the more interesting. If a panic about being gainfully employed uproots my sense of security, it's the mythic urge to plough ahead into the abyss of not-knowing that inspires more than tying nows and thens into knots of worry.
If you were here, now, I'd pour you a glass of wine and listen to your story. I find that much more interesting than this recovery from slumber. Our lives need listeners... we've not yet grown out of the oral tradition, of the storyteller, who keeps alive the culture of the people. Some things are better left to living words, and spilling out a heavy heart in text loses the immediacy of meeting face-to-face. I've met many faces lately, strong bold human faces that belong to survivors. Some have faced with stoic bravery challenges that dwarf my late winter kerfuffles by miles. Some have won me over and caught my heart's attention and eased it's deficit. I'm carrying their stories now, and in my own way will keep them alive, keep them in the culture.
There, I've dropped the crutches to the side. I can walk again. The words have come back. This may be a simple, if enigmatic, journal entry on the surface but the scribble that underlies it is a many inked ecstatic whirl of freedom. My words are released, they kiss the ground and walk down Thunder Road. My situations are released from their halfway house, rectified, salient amidst the din. My emotions, freed through the ashes, set free by the bonfire of desire. Who is responsible? I cannot always say it is the self since the Universe is capable of who-knows-what intrusions into itself. But, there are choices to be made, and I've made them with gusto. Many, many loving hands have reached out, and I grabbed hold. I'm overcome with gratitiude.
Cornball as it sounds, you'll be hearing more from me; which is good... I've been waiting to hear myself say that for too long now.
The Grittiest Job: Images and
The Grittiest Job: Images and context of America's coal miners. Especially worth visitng and moving are the images of the 'breaker boys' and other children who worked in the mines. A follow up to the earlier post.
Is Military Creeping Into Domestic
Several recent incidents involving the military have raised concern among student and civil-rights groups. One was a visit last month by an Army intelligence agent to an official at the University of Texas law school in Austin. The agent demanded a videotape of a recent academic conference at the school so that he could identify what he described as "three Middle Eastern men" who had made "suspicious" remarks to Army lawyers at the seminar...
Working in the coal mine:
Working in the coal mine: Descent into darkness
MonkeyFilter has a thread I'm
MonkeyFilter has a thread I'm quite proud of: Tipping the Lavender in which QueerMeta is announced and all rejoice and banter in MoFi's delightful non-snarky way. Membership shot up overnight and I'm just giddy with queer joy.
Spiritual neurology In the first
In the first of what he hopes will be a series of experiments, Dr Beauregard and his doctoral student Vincent Paquette are recording electrical activity in the brains of seven Carmelite nuns through electrodes attached to their scalps. Their aim is to identify the brain processes underlying the Unio Mystica—the Christian notion of mystical union with God. The nuns (the researchers hope to recruit 15 in all) will also have their brains scanned using positron-emission tomography and functional magnetic-resonance imaging, the most powerful brain-imaging tools available.
Super Cool: Aurora borealis web
Super Cool: Aurora borealis web cam
How Will the Universe End?
Until recently, the ultimate destiny of the universe looked a little more hopeful—or remote. Back around the middle of the last century, cosmologists figured out that there were two possible fates for the universe. Either it would continue to expand forever, getting very cold and very dark as the stars winked out one by one, the black holes evaporated, and all material structures disintegrated into an increasingly dilute sea of elementary particles: the Big Chill. Or it would eventually stop expanding and collapse back upon itself in a fiery, all-annihilating implosion: the Big Crunch.
Scientist 'gagged' after warning UK
Downing Street tried to muzzle the Government's top scientific adviser after he warned that global warming was a more serious threat than international terrorism.
"Feather Churned Air"
In the gardens revived by an unseasonal warm wind
The Exorcist in 30 seconds
When marriage between gays was
When marriage between gays was by rite [via Gayfilter]
While the pairing of saints, particularly in the early Church, was not unusual, the association of these two men was regarded as particularly close. Severus of Antioch in the sixth century explained that "we should not separate in speech [Serge and Bacchus] who were joined in life". More bluntly, in the definitive 10th century Greek account of their lives, St Serge is openly described as the "sweet companion and lover" of St Bacchus.
“Sit beside the breakfast table
Harry Nilsson, “Think About your Troubles,” from the film “The Point.”
In the shadow of red jazz light twirling
"Pact with the River"
Making a pact with the river
WOO-HOO! My new site for
WOO-HOO! My new site for the discussion of worldwide queer issues is open for business. It's based on the Metafilter model using the Drupal operating system. Do check it out, sign up, and post away:
The lives of the Sadhus
Ghosts leak in through the
3-Headed Frog Found
Where Is My Gay Apocalypse?
Over 3,500 gay marriages and, what, no hellfire? I was promised hellfire. And riots. What gives?
Another Branch of Human Ancestors
Another species has been added to the family tree of early human ancestors — and to controversies over how straight or tangled were the branches of that tree.
Beautiful images: Space Phenomenon Imitates
Beautiful images: Space Phenomenon Imitates Art in Universe's Version of van Gogh Painting
Birds 'heed monkey warnings' Birds
Birds are capable of recognising warning calls from other species, according to scientists.
Wild idea: radio vox populi
Wild idea: radio vox populi
Mysterious virus may thwart HIV
Up to six years after their initial HIV-infection, men whose blood contained the second virus - known simply as GB virus C (GBV-C) - were nearly three times less likely to die than HIV-positive men who did not have the secondary infection.
Another update forwarded to me from Renee, an American working in Haiti with disabled and homeless children.
Well, things see to be getting back to, somewhat, normal here. Michael was
It's been a few days since I wrote you, so let me fill you in on has been
The most visible, or maybe I should say audible, event on Sunday and Monday
There was at least one killing in the area on Sunday. The killing wasn't
We had heard that the ports were looted over the weekend which made us a
Apparently there were reports in the U.S. media that a lot of orphanages
The country is without cable television now because TeleHaiti was broken
So far I haven't seen any American troops. I think they are staying
Word is that American Airlines will start flying again on Friday. I hope
You will be getting another email from me today or tomorrow that is an
Thanks for all your prayers, support and friendship.
Digital Utopia and its Flaws
Digital Utopia and its Flaws
Experts Say New Desktop Fusion
Scientists are again claiming they have made a Sun in a jar, offering perhaps a revolutionary energy source, and this time even some skeptics find the evidence intriguing enough to call for a closer look.Using ultrasonic vibrations to shake a jar of liquid solvent the size of a large drink cup, the scientists say, they squeezed tiny gas bubbles in the liquid so quickly and violently that temperatures reached millions of degrees and some of the hydrogen atoms in the solvent molecules fused, producing a flash of light and energy.
Tidal wave of love continues:Queer
Tidal wave of love continues:Queer couples tying the knot in Portland, Oregon!
The line outside the county building snaked around the block, with hundreds of people waiting for their turn, some all night. Still others were on hand to show their support.
The Passion of the Christ:
Assorted Jews: Crucify him!
Pontius Pilate: I am innocent of the blood of this just – [knocks over bowl of water, which spills down steps] oh, [bleep].
Jesus Christ: [smiling] Good one, Hristo.
Pilate: Nice crown, Jim.
How to tell if you're
The following is a first crack at an ostensive definition of 'American culture'-- things shared by the vast majority (let's say 90%) of native-born Americans. Many of these won't sound 'cultural' at all to Americans; they'll sound like just descriptions of the way things are. But each one of them would be contested in one or more non-American cultures.
I kept putting off posting
I kept putting off posting this: Procrastination and Reality Creation
Ultimately, in my opinion, all procrastination comes down to a lack of commitment. For whatever reason, we are reluctant to say to the Universe, "This is what I want and I intend to have it." Bold statement, isn't it? Perhaps it isn't nice, generous or politically correct. Maybe it will hurt someone's feelings, take away from what another may need or make us seem too aggressive. We could worry and wring our hands for quite awhile with this.
Even this won't stop the
Even this won't stop the beat: Mayor faces charges for marrying gays
Four days after presiding over a slew of same-sex marriages in his quaint Hudson Valley village, the mayor of New Paltz was charged Tuesday with 19 criminal violations and faces a court hearing Wednesday night, injecting the state's debate over gay marriages with increasing drama and urgency.
Whatever came over this night
Words are not kind nor are they vicious
Here, on the subsiding edge of a dream,
UPDATE: As any regular reader might have probably guessed, I'm in a writer's slump. It's been a bit distressing, and this late night scrawl was an attempt to yell about it in a controlled, poetic way.
The Individual Sphere: A Transhumanist
The Individual Sphere: A Transhumanist approach to self transformation.
Sounds quite a bit like
Sounds quite a bit like me: Caring for Your Introvert [via MonkeyFilter]
Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate?... If so, do you tell this person he is "too serious," or ask if he is okay? Regard him as aloof, arrogant, rude? Redouble your efforts to draw him out?
If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands—and that you aren't caring for him properly. Science has learned a good deal in recent years about the habits and requirements of introverts. It has even learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people (I am not making this up). If you are behind the curve on this important matter, be reassured that you are not alone. Introverts may be common, but they are also among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world.
The Major Unsolved Problem in
Such wondering, and meta-wondering, takes us to the heart of what geneticist-cum-neuroscientist Francis Crick (who would know) calls "the major unsolved problem in biology"--explaining how billions of neurons swapping chemicals give rise to such subjective experiences as consciousness, self-awareness, and awareness that others are conscious and self-aware.
Satellite tags to save dolphins
New Zealand is aiming to use satellite tagging to try to save Maui's dolphins, the world's most endangered marine mammal.
NASA to Announce 'Significant Findings'
"It's going to be the most significant science results that we've had from the rovers, and it's bearing on their primary mission," NASA spokesperson Don Savage told SPACE.com . That mission is to find signs of water that might support life.
Kidnap Diplomacy:'Tell the world it
Kidnap Diplomacy:'Tell the world it is a coup.'
Multiple sources that just spoke with Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide told Democracy Now! that Aristide says he was "kidnapped" and taken by force to the Central African Republic. Congressmember Maxine Waters said she received a call from Aristide at 9am EST. "He's surrounded by military. It's like he is in jail, he said. He says he was kidnapped," said Waters. She said he had been threatened by what he called US diplomats. According to Waters, the diplomats reportedly told the Haitian president that if he did not leave Haiti, paramilitary leader Guy Philippe would storm the palace and Aristide would be killed. According to Waters, Aristide was told by the US that they were withdrawing Aristide's US security.
Things at work today are
Things at work today are horrific. Color commentary/ranting will follow.
Now! No, now! Shortest time
Now! No, now! Shortest time interval measured
Researchers used short pulses of laser light to produce images of electrons leaving atoms and recorded what happened to within 100 attoseconds. To imagine how long this is, if 100 attoseconds is stretched so that it lasts one second, one second would last 300 million years on the same scale.
"February's Weird Searches"
The tradition moves into it's first full calendar year with some really ripe entries. Enjoy, rinse, repeat.
And this month's winner is...
Anything goes in Rio
It is 2.30 in the morning. On Brazilian television a man in a silly hat is measuring a woman's breasts.
contained within this website, excluding external links and items listed
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
(see rights notice at bottom)
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.