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
(via Edgar Allen Poe)
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
More Fear and Loathing from our man Hunter S:
Armageddon came early for George Bush this year, and he was not ready for it. His long-awaited showdowns with my man John Kerry turned into a series of horrible embarrassments that cracked his nerve and demoralized his closest campaign advisers. They knew he would never recover, no matter how many votes they could steal for him in Florida, where the presidential debates were closely watched and widely celebrated by millions of Kerry supporters who suddenly had reason to feel like winners...
...All we have to do is get out and vote, while it's still legal, and we will wash those crooked warmongers out of the White House.
Summer is at its end and the last harvest is taken in. The cold season returns, all of nature seems to die and the nights become long. It is the beginning of Samon, the dark half of the year. The veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead becomes thinnest, and their souls walk amongst us on this Spirit Night. Just as the Sun God dies at this time to be reborn at Yule, Samhain reaffirms the belief that everything that dies contains new life.
Instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft have sent back the most detailed images ever captured of the surface of Saturn's giant moon, Titan. They've also presented scientists with a major mystery. There's a huge cloud formation over the moon's south pole, spanning 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) at its widest. That's no surprise; scientists expected it to be there. But they also expected it to be made of methane. And it isn't.
"Just a Thought..."
Bush administration lawyers argued in three closely contested states last week that only the Justice Department, and not voters themselves, may sue to enforce the voting rights set out in the Help America Vote Act, which was passed in the aftermath of the disputed 2000 election.
And here's another reminder of how our would-be overlords (anonymous senior Repug strategists) are thinking right now: "anything that makes people nervous about their personal safety helps Bush."
Vile, disgusting intimidation and pap. Get out the vote, peeps.
Revolutionary Minds: A selection of icons and iconoclasts whose radical ideas are inspiring a vivid dialogue that is deepening our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Is the crackhead faking a handful of registrations for Jeffrey Dahmer the same kind of thing as wiping 17,000 voters in Nevada, 23,000 voters in Florida, 30,000 voters in Ohio completely off the rolls? The other part of the ground war that's being waged this weekend is to make you think that they are.
The surprise is on him...
Nice attempt at an October Surprise... Darth Bin Laden rises up from the sea of forget to smite us all! Are we expected to whimper like a helpless Penelope for a Dudley Doright to come and save the day? Please. If anything, this video is proof of Bush's grave ineptitude and will be a reminder of everyone waiting to vote of why they're in line; to vote for a hopeful future.
I've been waiting for their last desperate grasp, the BOO!, and this frankly is a feeble attempt to sway the undecided, whom the extreme wing of our democratic society take to be feeble minds. They shall see the light, my friends, when the truth collapses around them, to the tune of American regieme change. The "fact" that some government officials tried to stop the tapes from being played on al-Jezeera speaks volumes about the embarrassing thud such a hot potato makes when it lands before the [p]Resident's feet.
This will sway the undecided; it will sway them into logic, reason, and to pull the lever for defeating public enemy number one, a sad, jealous puppet who rules with an iron fist up his a**.
Never Forget: Internets Vets for Truth
All the rumors on the internets are here, fit for your consumption. A compendium of the most persuasive web videos related to, well, the political truth of the rise and fall of Dubya.
Scientists examining pictures from the Cassini spacecraft think they may be closer to showing there is liquid hydrocarbon on Saturn's moon Titan. Radar images taken of a strip of the moon revealed dark patches, which could indicate liquid methane or ethane.
Myths are, we might say, endemic to the world, and the stories about the Big Dipper show this. We call it the Big Dipper because its seven brightest stars visually resemble a ladle. A thousand years ago, Britons called it the Wain because they thought it resembled a wagon - at least, so goes the theory. But poking a little past the merely visual, the Big Dipper's scientific name, held over from Latin, is Ursa Major, which means the Great Bear. The constellation covers not only the seven stars of the cup and handle - which are also the bear's body and tail - but about fourteen other stars outlining the head, neck and legs as well.
"Hampaigns, Catpaigns, and General Pains"
I just got back from phone canvassing or the Keever campaign... the first time I've been involved in a campaign since my own back in '91. My own? Yes, that's right, I once ran for mayor of Newark, Delaware, as a clown-wig wearing, bowling ball tossing offering from the "Iron Ham" Party. The fact that I got any votes at all was a miracle, considering I was campaigning on the pledge of serving as the last mayor of Newark. Quasi-Anarchist queer hippie-punks rarely get a chance to deliver on their campaign promises.
One of the last calls I made tonight was to a female reservist just returned from Iraq. She said that she is in prayer daily that a legitimate president is elected who will not lead us into war by lying. I was absolutely touched by her passion, for she has risked her life in one of the world's most dangerous places, and knows well the dangers of continuing this war. She has given me a reason to keep hope alive, and more and more it's looking like the hope is becoming a reality.
You may recall that months ago, my cats had thrown their food dish into the presidential fray by declaring a cute candidacy for the nation's highest office. Well, despite a grandiose blitz of the backyard and a slick no-furball PR campaign, they have kind of forgotten about the whole thing and seem to prefer Kerry. Good for them. I suppose that Twinkleface, the particle of antimatter that served as their manager, has evolved into an ascended master or some channeled god by now, but I have a feeling she/he/it may be back to advise in time for the next great race:
I'm considering a run for Emperor of Woodfin. Why? Why not. I've lived here seven years, it's time. I'll be benevolent and all that. Anyway, since this race is not on the ballot, I can't lose because no one can vote against me. Right? That's about as fair as electoral politics has been lately.
Anyway, and seriously folks, I think that Tuesday night, we'll realize just how much of a crux this is we're collectively balancing on as a society. I really do think that removing the present occupiers of the White House will result in a dramatic realization and reinvigoration of a people-powered process of true democratic principles. I heard enough about hope on the phone tonight, and now it's time for the rewards of that hope to rain down and restore some kind of faith in this crazy nation of ours.
Get out there folks, and do your part to make it happen!
...many Christian fundamentalists feel that concern for the future of our planet is irrelevant, because it has no future. They believe we are living in the End Time, when the son of God will return, the righteous will enter heaven, and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire. They may also believe, along with millions of other Christian fundamentalists, that environmental destruction is not only to be disregarded but actually welcomed -- even hastened -- as a sign of the coming Apocalypse.
The Church of Bush
Saving the Whooping Crane: Operation Migration (via J-Walk)
A new generation of Whooping crane chicks is currently being guided from their summer home in central Wisconsin to their new winter habitat in Florida... This will be the 4th year of the ultralight-guided migration reintroduction that in the first 3-years has resulted in 36 Whooping cranes being restored to eastern North America - a portion of their former range before the species was almost wiped out.
"Hobbit" Discovered: Tiny Human Ancestor Found in Asia. Scientists have found fossil skeletons of a hobbit-like species of human that grew no larger than a three-year-old modern child. The tiny humans, who had skulls about the size of grapefruits, lived with pygmy elephants and Komodo dragons on a remote island in Indonesia as recently as 13,000 years ago... Scientists have determined that the first skeleton they found belongs to a species of human completely new to science. Named Homo floresiensis, after the island on which it was found, the tiny human has also been dubbed by dig workers as the "hobbit," after the tiny creatures from the Lord of the Rings books... "To find that as recently as perhaps 13,000 years ago, there was another upright, bipedal—although small-brained—creature walking the planet at the same time as modern humans is as exciting as it was unexpected," said Peter Brown, a paleoanthropologist at the University of New England in New South Wales, Australia.
Postal Experts Hunt for Missing Ballots in Florida, and in NC. Asheville, NC.
Yup. Right here. Mine.
I sent off my absentee ballot certified return receipt requested over a week ago, and no postcard back yet with a signature. I spent $5 for my ballot to *not* be received at the Board of Selections. So, I'm hand delivering a second absentee ballot tomorrow, and whomever I hand it to will have to sign a receipt ackonledging that it will be properly counted.
Mr. Bush, listen up: You've got six days left. You can run but you can't hide.
Tonight there will be a Total Lunar Eclipse visible from most of North America and Europe, peaking here in the east around 11pm. Get out there tonight, take your mind off of the gutwrenching tightrope act which is confounding our national zeitgeist, and be reminded of the wonders of the Universe and the miracles that continually occur whether we notice or not.
Secret plans for the war in Iraq were passed to British Army chiefs by US defence planners five months before the invasion was launched, a court martial heard yesterday.
This poem by one of my most beloved poets is making the rounds, a battle cry for the inevitable shift in national consciousness that will earn us a legitimate, more honorable government. With six (gulp) days left, go John go!
"Let America Be America Again"
Let America be America again.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
(It was never America to me.)
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
(There never has been equality for me,
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
Who said the free? Not me?
O, let, America be America again--
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
Out of the rack of ruin of our gangster death,
On Aug. 9, at 7:30 a.m., he said the houseboat started rocking back and forth fiercely. The rocking woke up the family, who ventured to the top deck to see what was happening. When Casorso reached the deck, he said he was shocked to see something swimming away from the boat. "The only reason we noticed it is because it passed underneath the houseboat," said Casorso. "We could really feel the power and size of what it was." Casorso acted quickly, retrieving his video camera to get footage of the creature. He has a total of approximately 15 minutes of video footage that clearly shows a calm lake, no boat movement and a long, dark hump rising above the water.
America has never had consecutive elections with a disputed outcome. But if voters don't give Bush or Kerry a clear victory, this election could produce competing charges of voter fraud and voter suppression, recounts, multiple lawsuits and even a split between the winner of the popular vote and the winner of the electoral college. Those were the key elements of the postelection warfare in 2000, which ended only when the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount and allowed Bush to squeeze out the nation's second narrowest electoral college majority despite losing the popular vote.
A hip-hop video that made me cry, for real:
"Let us set aside our differences and assemble our own army to disarm this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president for the present, and march for the future of our next generation to speak and be heard."
Once lost, now found: 'Extinct' pine marten in comeback
The pine marten - declared extinct in England a decade ago - is making a comeback in North Yorkshire, wildlife experts believe.
The National Audubon Society has released the first national “The State of the Birds” report documenting the health and abundance of North America’s birds. Appearing in the October issue of Audubon Magazine, “The State of the Birds” paints a disturbing picture: Nearly 30 Percent of North America’s Birds are in Significant Decline
Consumption of fossil fuels such as coal, gas, and oil increased by almost 700 percent between 1961 and 2001, it said. But the planet is unable to move as fast to absorb the resulting carbon-dioxide emissions that degrade the Earth's protective ozone layer. "We are spending nature's capital faster than it can regenerate... We are running up an ecological debt which we won't be able to pay off unless governments restore the balance between our consumption of natural resources and the earth's ability to renew them."
"They use so much water while we barely have enough to cover our basic sanitary needs, let alone water our crops..."
(This is the very last poem to go into the new book. I'm sending off the manuscript in a matter of minutes)
We live in a world of spontaneous monkeys
We live in a world where meaning must materialize
We live in a world where image is everything
I have no answers, thank Gods I’ve never been cursed with those,
I have only words, which one day will trail ‘til story’s end,
We live in a world of sudden delights, rapid defeats, but these don’t matter,
Design has emerged as one of the world's most powerful forces. It has placed us at the beginning of a new, unprecedented period of human possibility, where all economies and ecologies are becoming global, relational, and interconnected. In order to understand these emerging forces, there is an urgent need to articulate precisely what we are doing to ourselves and to our world. This is the ambition of Massive Change.
Tibet is in a state of flux and change that impacts all of its inhabitants and cannot help but catch the notice of the many visitors and tourists that come in increasing numbers to the high plains of this magical land. Tibet's artists are at the cutting edge of this evolution: it is they who are constantly dealing with the contradictions and rapid change of their treasured home. The sense of cultural tension and excitement that is at the heart of life in Lhasa is reflected in the vibrant paintings created by the artists featured in the show. (via plep)
You have come out of the trees so recently, and your kinship with the monkeys and lemurs is still so strong, that you tend toward abstraction without being able to part with the palpable - firsthand experience. Therefore a lecture unsupported by strong sensuality, full of formulas telling more about stone than a stone glimpsed, licked, and fingered will tell you - such a lecture will either bore you and frighten you away, or at the very least leave a certain unsatisfied need familiar even to lofty theoreticians, your highest class of abstractors, as attested by countless examples lifted from scientists' intimate confessions, since the vast majority of them admit that, in the course of constructing abstract proofs, they feel an immense need for the support of things tangible.
The hermetic tradition has long been concerned with the relationship between the inner world of our consciousness and the outer world of nature, between the microcosm and the macrocosm, the below and the above, the material and the spiritual, the centric and the peripheral. The hermetic world view held by such as Robert Fludd, pictured a great chain of being linking our inner spark of consciousness with all the facets of the Great World. There was a grand platonic metaphysical clockwork, as it were, through which our inner world was linked by means of a hierarchy of beings and planes to the highest unity of the Divine.
Wolf Packs for Truth:
They told us we were shooting a Greenpeace commercial! When the camera crew showed up, we wondered why they were all driving Hummers. Our agent assured us it was a Greenpeace commercial and they paid TWICE our hourly steak rate. Little did we know we were being tricked into this vicious campaign attack ad.
"Being the Media"
We are the future of the media. What Sinclair and corporations like are doing is grasping, struggling to maintain dominance in an evolving cultural paradigm. Thanks to the internet, local collective networks, and other technologies, the media is being dismantled, decentralized, and reconceived via people powered mass-communication. This is our opportunity to grab the bull by the horns and lead it out of the china shop, while there's still some treasures left. It all comes down to each of us to discover the power of our voice, and use it, and become the media, and turn people on to the truth, station by station, channel by channel, kilobyte by kilobyte. The old way of singular voices controlled by multiples of wealth is dying, the new way of multiple voices freed from conrol by wealth is just beginning.
Off to the local Sinclair protest, hope you're all joining in across the country! I'll post pics and such...
Use this website to convince your fence-sitting friends WHY little George must be expelled:
Scientists in the UK are applying for a licence to create human embryos with three genetic parents. The aim is ultimately to prevent children from inheriting genetic diseases caused by mutations in DNA housed by their mitochondria - components of cells which produce energy.
"Judging him on his record, George W. Bush’s spiritual transformation seems to have consisted of little more than staying on the wagon, with Jesus as a sort of talismanic Alcoholics Anonymous counselor... The evidence of Bush's therapeutic approach to Jesus lies in his apparent disinterest in sin. Bush's "steadfast unwillingness to fess up to a single error betrays a strikingly un-Christian lack of attention to the importance of self-criticism, the pervasiveness of sin, and the centrality of humility, repentance, and redemption."
Ah yes, work is sending me off to Loafer's Glory NC and beyond. Happy Friday!
A 121 million-year-old baby arboreal bird, fossilised while still curled in its egg, has been found in China... The fossil is thought to be the most ancient unborn bird ever discovered.
(via Joshua via Ramya)
Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.
With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.
All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance -- now Joe gets it, too.
He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.
In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.
Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.
He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work.
It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.
Joe begins his workday. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards.
Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to form a union.
If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.
Its noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.
Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.
Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards.
He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.
The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.
He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.
Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.
Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."
There’s an old myth that we only use 10 percent of our brains, but researchers at the University of Rochester have found in reality that roughly 80 percent of our cognitive power may be cranking away on tasks completely unknown to us. Curiously, this clandestine activity does not exist in the youngest brains, leading scientists to believe that the mysterious goings-on that absorb the majority of our minds are dedicated to subconsciously reprocessing our initial thoughts and experiences. The research, which has possible profound implications for our very basis of understanding reality, appears in this week’s issue of the journal Nature.
Irony at it's finest: this one goes out to all the would-be Repugs out there just chomping at the bit to steal another one...
A Lakewood Republican stealing campaign signs late one night got nabbed when he ran across a low- hanging driveway chain, fell face first onto a pilfered sign and the concrete and knocked himself unconscious.
Earth's spin warps space around the planet, according to a new study that confirms a key prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity.
How many Bush administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?
None. There’s nothing wrong with that light bulb. There is no need to change anything. We made the right decision and nothing has happened to change our minds. People who criticize this light bulb now, just because it doesn’t work anymore, supported us when we first screwed it in, and when these flip-floppers insist on saying that it is burned out, they are merely giving aid and encouragement to the Forces of Darkness.
-- John Cleese
Dumbya's Big Joke, and the frightening punchline.
This video is heart-wrenching, but it is a glaring example of everything that is wrong with George W. Bush's presidency and the Bush administration's policies. The original video is from an event in March 2004. During Bush's speech, he thought it would be funny to show pictures of himself (e.g., looking under a desk) while he joked about not finding WMDs in Iraq. If Bush had an ounce of compassion or the tiniest bit of empathy, he would understand that his lies are killing people. The victims of his war won't find his jokes very funny. Bush lied to the America people and the American people deserve better.
Thanks for the diversification, pollution: Male Bass in Potomac Producing Eggs
The discovery has made the South Branch the latest example of an emerging national problem: Hormones, drugs and other man-made pollutants appear to be interfering with the chemical signals that make fish grow and reproduce.
At the girl's village in Jharkhand, they have two explanations. Either she is possessed by an evil spirit, or she is an incarnation of a goddess. But for Savitri, the condition is anything but a blessing. Before the stones emerge, she suffers from excruciating pain in her head. Tiny stones emerge from her ears, nose and mouth as well.
3 Line Lover
Bush's own church calls for his repentance, because even the Thunder-God's Chosen One can f*ck up.
So, who's left to do some smiting? Same-sex relationships in the Bible (via MeFi)
"Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."
Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste shares a small dark jail cell with 18 other men in Haiti... There are no formal charges against Fr. Jean-Juste. He has not seen a judge and it is not clear he ever will. No judge will review his case because it is "too political." The police wrote down that he is jailed for "disturbing the peace." The unelected government of Haiti says he was "aiding the uprising" and that they have all the evidence they need to hold him.
After thinking about the future for as long I have, I agree with Bucky Fuller that humanity's fate is locked into one of two possible outcomes - utopia or oblivion. I believe such an outcome comes down to just one thing: Unless humanity trancends hierarchy, we are doomed to oblivion.
X-Prize for world's 'Holy Grails'
Late night entry: Phallomancy, the ancient and esteemed art of grasping one's personality by the wankle (via Reality Carnival).
John Kerry for President
Nothing in this life is remotely perfect by consensus. No system, process, regieme, philosophy or spiritual ideal is so absolutely symmetrical, precise and beautifully logical as as to earn that label by social agreement. Perfection is an internal, subjective and relative ideal, and we operate in the world by choosing the closest approximations to what internally sets each individual's secret standard. From a brand of coffee, to brand of religion, to brand of politics, we make the best choices possible, even if they do not fully overlap with our concepts of the perfect experience.
That said, today I waited in line at my post office to send in my absentee ballot certified-return receipt requested, my level of guarantee that my singular vote is counted, and hopefully, counted toward creating a change which is far from perfect in a system that is far from perfect. I might not have to go to that level of inconvenience, the wait, the high postage to send a letter with such a guarantee of delivery, but the questionable execution of our democratic principles forces me to be damn sure that my opinion is legally registered. It's sad that I or anyone needs to go that far. America is seriously wounded on the battlefield, and the war is one of conscience, and it was launched by a stolen presidency upon the values that framed this nation. Voting now means more than ever before, even if that vote may get 'lost,' shredded, not counted or ignored, for it's one of the last few legal voices endowed to the citizenry that has not been overruled by higher interests in the food chain of modern polemics. Perfection here isn't even under consideration, we've long passed that point and now are forced to settle for varying degrees of croneyism. Some croneys are villains, some are hacks, and some are well intentioned folks who are yet products of the system. Few politicians are immune from hucksterism, and many are infected beyond repair, and the systems falls further into disrepair as a result of that. Some, a rare breed, do attempt to represent their people with ethics, morals, and justice at heart, even if they do not meet the high standard of great leaders.
George W. Bush and his draconian administration of stooges and criminals represents the most corrosive and toxic of threatening elements to the Constitution of the United States. He must be stopped with the best of our institutions, that of our status as a republic, and the vote must be the sentence which indicts and dethrones one of the most tyrannous presidencies of American history. While casting my vote for a candidate whose ideals do not reflect my personal embodiment of political and philosophical values, and for a party that has often sold its soul and pandered for favor in the most embarrassing ways, it is essential that George W. Bush be defeated (again) and that we settle on the best possible constellation of thoughts and ideas which could regenerate democracy in this country. John F. Kerry and the Democratic Party may not be prefect, and I may grit my teeth on some positions, but today I gladly sent my ballot on its way to history, one potential history which I'm urging my readers to help make real on January 20th, 2005:
THE 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, JOHN FORBES KERRY
This is not an easy endorsement to make. I am not fond of the Senator's positions on guns, marriage, militarism and the private sector. I am concerned about his voting record. Yet he has the best chance to reverse some very severe damage, and create a little hope for the disenfranchised many in this nation. There are many things I like about the Senator, though; his statesmanship, his eloquence, his intelligence, and his deep understanding of the value of diplomacy. While the Democrats are one-half of a sick partisan dualism in this country, Senator Kerry I believe would at least listen to the marginalized that so-called third parties represent. Bush came into the pirated office claiming he will unite, not divide, and the exact opposite has happened. We can only grow, and I believe the Senator has the capacity and erudition to uphold the best of America, which will call us to join with each other to renew and rebuild the shattered alliance of our suppressed diversity.
We should not fear the squandering of our votes. We should not fear the squandering of our rights. We should not fear that the government will grossly misrepresent and lie to drag us into an unwinable war. I believe that if we vote our conscience, and the true will of the people prevails, we can begin to fear three less things, and hopefully, expect more out of our less than perfect Union, which is still our home, still a democracy, still a land of opportunity.
A British performance artist has been living like an earthworm for more than week as part of a contemporary art event in England... Paul Hurley has been in plastic wrap slithering through muddy holes in Devon, United Kingdom, as part of the event. His series of performances, "Becomings Invertebrate" investigates humanity in the natural world.
Severely disturbing: Teachers' T-Shirts Bring Bush Speech Ouster
Three Medford school teachers were threatened with arrest and thrown out of the President Bush rally at the Jackson County Fairgrounds Thursday night, after they showed up wearing T-shirts with the slogan "Protect our civil liberties."
The women got past the first and second checkpoints and were allowed into the Jackson County fairgrounds, but were asked to leave and then escorted out of the event by campaign officials who allegedly told them their T-shirts were "obscene." WTF???
From the highway the 50-foot-high Forevertron is barely visible, with just the top of the antigravity, catapult-me-straight-to-God machine poking up above the roadside foliage. It's housed in what appears at first to be an enormous junkyard surrounded by a forest. But look carefully at the piles of rusted machinery and metal, and you'll slowly begin to see dozens of fantastic constructions built from bits and pieces of old machines, peeking out from odd corners and cavorting in the forest clearings.
...alchemy challenged the boundary between art and nature most spectacularly with the idea of the homunculus, a "little man" generated artificially in a glass vessel by the knowing alchemist. Newman shows that related stories date from late antiquity and came into the Latin West via Arabic sources. But it was the German physician and mystic Paracelsus who in the 16th century definitively created the idea of the homunculus as a feature of species-creating alchemy, which now transcended the making of gold.
"A Rhapsody in Blue"
As the plane circled to altitude, I had no choice but to obscure the quibbling fear that scampered through the mind. There was little time to score a compromise between logic and magic, for the door at the back of the plane was beginning to open, my straps were being tightened and the goggles affixed snug over my eyes, fogging at first. All there was left to do was to surrender, to abscond with my senses and fall through the door and into the clouds below. I stilled my thoughts, even those synaptic flashes that proclaimed deep metaphor, and fixed my attention and intention on simple, foolish faith and trust. It's a foolish thing to do, really, to jump out of airplane almost three miles high and to fall toward terminal velocity. It proves something, yes, but nothing you didn't know already, rather, such a foolish thing amplifies what you know to a point of brilliant intensity. There was nothing left for a fool to do, but to trust. And as the jump light came on, that's what I did, assuming a posture of surrender, I held tight to trust and leapt into the azure October winds.
The underside of the plane rapidly withdrew away in the first, utterly silent moments of freefall. I was slipping away from the bright blue and slowly flipping toward the clouds several thousand feet below. The silence was replaced by the scream of wind, and the exhilaration of being so suddenly in mercy to destiny. The dial on the altimeter strapped to my hand began to clock the descent without hesitation, I was owned by gravity now, but yet part of the sky. I tried to mouth "beautiful" and could not speak as the air met this man falling for the holy sake of it. I never knew that the sun produced a perfect circle of rainbow as it kissed the clouds, and toward that secret portal I spun, observing for the first time the world in totally pure, unscreened context. Time could no longer be referenced by the mind, for it was quietly, almost routinely, calculating maneuvers and the distance until the ripcord was to be entrusted with my very life. The body slowly awakened to the notion that there was nothing holding it up, nothing bracing it, it was keenly interested in this strange freedom, an embryo in the amniotic fluid of atmosphere. The soul, however, was streaking across the Universe, remembering something familiar in the sensation, laughing in accelerating bliss, in this visitation in this, the heavenly dominion of feather and stars.
Through the rainbow and into the cloud, that opaque abyss which on the ground is every shape in a sky-gazing child's eyes. A darkening, a muffling, a solitude... a strain of music seeped in somewhere and began to play. Five thousand feet, free falling for a whole minute, the border crossing into survival. I reach to my right to pull the ripcord, this action which suspends me momentarily with a question of death, and hear a faint flapping, then a jolt. Upright within seconds, under the shelter of canopy in this mist of imagination. The rush toward the Earth was over, now, a slow, improbable glide. I laughed deeply, for the song that was brewing within became oddly apparent: "I'm in heaven, I'm in heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak, and it seems I've found the happiness I seek, when we're out together dancing cheek to cheek..." Thankfully, novice skydivers must be secured to a professional on their first ten dives, and when Range (for that's his name) heard me laugh, he asked about its source. The source, in fact, is eternally complex to qualify with language, so all I could say was "There's the most beautiful music moving through my soul right now." In a heartbeat, cloud gave way to the Earth below, to towns and cities, to the minute scale that perspective gives you, and the droll landscapes that are made fanciful when flying freely above them.
To soar, silently, to see with your own hard-won vision the Earth you thought you knew, unfettered. "I'm in heaven...," the song continued. We circled, we made brazen carefree turns far above the the routines we left on the ground. All the meanings in my life came to immediate clarity, the abstract solidified and the unknown remained that way, but ambled closer with light figurative conversation. The self that clung to the canopy and wide-eyed reveled in awe became aware, finally, of itself, and the quantum observer peeked through the layers of memories and stimuli to make Itself known, for once and fleetingly. Below us, a red-tailed hawk effortlessly made its day on a thermal updraft, and we angled sharply to get in closer. The music turned to "Rhapsody in Blue" by Gershwin, or something like it, and the pun of that title didn't spring up until today, almost a week since I touched the ground for the first time, landing smoother than butter on bread. Crescendo, the Earth and sky unite as I stand on green grass again, looking up to the sky and beyond where I had, for mere minutes, become something far more than this body was ever intended for. I watched as my father and his friends landed in succession, I gratefully embraced Range, and walked into the hangar and toward a nine-hour drive back to the mountains, punctuated with burst of tears and giggles of cloud and halo, or blue wind and the flightpaths of raptors and teeming starlings and geese in migration. I have always wanted to know the sky, from my first game of pretend onward, to cleave the void from the worn passages of customary transit, and be free, if only for so many winks and breaths. What an odd blessing, to tumble through the impossible, and right into You. It actually happened, I have to keep reminding myself, and yet to this boy's soul, there's a sky-full memories waiting to be remembered, in this perilous and sacred dive into being.
Running Backward Into The Future: Some Considerations About the Nature of Time and Memory (via abuddha's memes)
. . . each age has described consciousness in terms of its own theme and concerns. In the golden age of Greece, when men traveled about in freedom while slaves did the work, consciousness was as free as that. ... A millennium later, Augustine among the caverned hills of Carthage was astonished at the "mountains and hills of my high imaginations", "the plains and caves and caverns of my memory" with its recesses of "manifold and spacious chambers..." Note how the metaphors of mind are the world it perceives.
Ah, yes. A night on the town after a day of sacred laziness. It's looking like an absolutely beautiful and crisp night.
Enjoy it yourselves...
Frightening Neuromarketing: Coke versus Pepsi: It's all in the head
The preference for Coke versus Pepsi is not only a matter for the tongue to decide, Samuel McClure and his colleagues have found. Brain scans of people tasting the soft drinks reveal that knowing which drink they're tasting affects their preference and activates memory-related brain regions that recall cultural influences. Thus, say the researchers, they have shown neurologically how a culturally based brand image influences a behavioral choice.
This is absolutely brilliant, you must see it: Pirates & Emperors
Krugman: Block the Vote
The important point to realize is that these abuses aren't aberrations. They're the inevitable result of a Republican Party culture in which dirty tricks that distort the vote are rewarded, not punished. It's a culture that will persist until voters - whose will still does count, if expressed strongly enough - hold that party accountable.
1,049 federal rights depend on marital status, which is nice, unless you're gay...
Now it seems the future has become even more uncertain. Climate scientists say they have identified a dozen weak links around the world, regions where global warming could bring about the sudden, catastrophic collapse of vital ecosystems. The consequences will be felt far and wide.
Kurzweil: The technology of universal intelligence
Levels of intelligence far greater than our own are going to evolve within this century. We will ultimately saturate all of the matter and energy in our area of the universe with our intelligence.
Obviously, the guv'mint isn't that worried about this. But we should be; after all, where they fail in accountability is our responsibility.
A pill-sized brain chip has allowed a quadriplegic man to check e-mail and play computer games using his thoughts. The device can tap into a hundred neurons at a time, and is the most sophisticated such implant tested in humans so far.
Umberto Eco: Notions of beauty
For their part, the mass media no longer present any unified model, any single ideal of beauty. They can retrieve - even for an advertising campaign destined to last only a week - all the experimental work of the avant garde, and at the same time offer models from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, even in the outmoded forms of automobiles from the mid-century. The media continue to serve up warmed-over versions of 19th-century iconography - the Junoesque opulence of Mae West and the anorexic charms of the latest fashion models; the dusky beauty of Naomi Campbell and the Nordic beauty of Claudia Schiffer; the grace of traditional tap dancing in A Chorus Line and the chilling futuristic architectures of Blade Runner; the femme fatale of dozens of television shows or advertising campaigns and squeaky clean girls-next-door such as Julia Roberts or Cameron Diaz; Rambo and RuPaul; George Clooney with his short hair and neocyborgs who paint their faces in metallic shades and transform their hair into forests of coloured spikes, or shave their heads.
A protein deep in the ear is a key factor for normal hearing and could be used to help develop treatments for deafness, US researchers believe. For decades scientists have been trying to figure out what translates sound into the nerve impulses which are interpreted by the brain.
The Internet is buzzing (at least the Internet I am familiar with – who knows what is being said on the other internets Bush mentioned during the second debate) with speculation about the odd bulges in the back of Bush’s suit jacket in all three debates. The White House has denied that Bush is wearing a radio receiver, but they don’t have a lot of credibility these days, and the video captures are suspicious at best.
Live-ish debate play-by-play with Robin, Joshua, Spiced Green Onion Dip, the Puss Party's Nominee for President and Vice-President Ursula and Avatar the Cats, and Jaybird, your humble scribe...
(Before the debate)
Spiced Green Onion Dip: Mmmm, I'm good. I think I'm better than the current major party candidates for president. Eat me, please.
Ursula: I need to lick my paw right now.
Jaybird: Where the hell are Joshua and Robin?
Jaybird: Fuck, I lost the beer!
Joshua: I'll go get it.
(making the hot cider, first minutes of debate)
Robin: Just looking at this makes me mad.
Jaybird: Red spotty ties, Bush has the advantage in lighting and zoom.
Robin: Don't type everything I say!
Robin: We can't get meds from Canada, but we can get flu shots?
Jaybird: What's with the slanty mouth?
Joshua: (did not see case of smashed beer along the road)
Joshua: Look at the dumb ass!
Joshua: Ursula, you fill the tax gap.
Robin: They wouldn't have to back to school if their job didn't go overseas.
Spiced Green Onion Dip: No one's eating me.
Jaybird: (Bush) just got shorter!
Joshua: (Bush) is talking about taxes, what about jobs?
Jaybird: (To Bush) You're doing a real good job of promo sting tolerance...
Jaybird: The action of one state to another, THAT'S HOT.
Robin: There's a separation of church and state, this doesn't matter...
Robin: It's going to be a real ideal when people are back using coathangers...
Robin: What the hell is a maternity group home?
Jaybird: They don't use the information technology? WTF?
Joshua: (Bush: In 2006, senior citizens will get prescription coverage with Medicare) But no food!
Robin: Why hasn't he done anything (about Social Security) in the past four years?
Ursula: Lick self.
Spiced Green Onion Dip: Yay! I'm being eaten!
Jaybird: He talked about immigrant amnesty before 9/11! How can he attack Kerry on what heproposed???
Joshua: He didn't say he would secure the borders?
Joshua: Minimum wage is 25 minutes worth of work to get a loaf of bread.
Joshua: Just because you raise the standards doesn't mean that those jobs will be available...
Robin: Education doesn't fucking do anything in terms of pay.
Spiced Green Onion Dip: See, I'm good! Go dip, it's your birthday!
Jaybird: How can he say that Iraqis are protecting their country! Look at the last week of car bombings, Dead children in the street. Yeah, they're doing a great job. We're just there to run the street sweeper.
Jaybird: (Bush's) top spiritual adviser called Islam a 'wicked' religion. You obviously have problem equivocating that.
Robin: In case the faith fails, at least you'll have an assault weapon.
Robin: Remember when Bush had the recovery workers stop digging (at Ground Zero) so he could make his speech?
Jaybird: Bush is the greatest divider in American history.
Joshua: Why does he keep harping on Senator Kennedy?
Joshua: (Moderator: We're all married to strong women) ...so you wan to get together sometime?
All: (worried about Kerry not having the last word)
Robin: Even though I love that painting, I've cut the funding to the arts and everything creative.
Avatar: Ahahahahaha, it was I, the prissy one, who had the beer all along! Ahahahahaha, never underestimate the power of the vice presidency!
(now, we'll leave it the 'hack' pundits)
Six days later, I was finally back home. The first thing I wanted to do was to change clothes and take a shower. But when I took off my sweater, to my amazement, I could see something sticking out of my belly button! I couldn’t believe it: something was growing in there!
Stay tuned for live debate analysis with arch-pundits Robin, Joshua, and the spiced green onion dip...!
Found the following links which all seem to point to the same company that is suspected of tearing up Democratic voter registration forms in Las Vegas. It has set up registration drives in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Florida and Nevada and is accused of the same things in most if not all of these states. Sproul & Associates is a Republican consulting firm run by Nathan Sproul, former head of the Arizona Republican party and Arizona Christian Coalition.
'Cultural institutions like universities and galleries no longer challenge us or encourage us to question what we know. Instead they flatter us. But flattery will get us nowhere.'
Hmmm, somehow I don't think it's that easy, but... Scientists say they have shown how male homosexuality could be passed from generation to generation.
"It is clear that our findings, if confirmed by further research, are only one piece in a much larger puzzle on the nature of human sexuality," they said.
Amateur Revolution (via Ming TV)
...far-flung developments have all been driven by Pro-Ams -- committed, networked amateurs working to professional standards. Pro-Am workers, their networks and movements, will help reshape society in the next two decades.
A new mathematical formula has proved Murphy's Law really does strike at the worst possible time. Ordinary people have long known that computers crash on deadline and cars break down in emergencies, while previous studies have shown the law, also called Sod's Law, is not a myth and toast really does fall buttered side down. But now a panel of experts has provided the statistical rule for predicting the law of "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" - or ((U+C+I) x (10-S))/20 x A x 1/(1-sin(F/10)).
"The Domain of Birds"
Odd, there was no fear when the time came-
Sundown on a very full day
*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.
Still reeliog from hurling 13500 feet
*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.
I just fell to Earth, and i am more alive than ever.
*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.
The theory that claims to solve cosmology’s major mysteries by proposing that empty space is filled with a fluid of ghostly particles may, literally, be going down the cosmic drain. According to the latest calculations, the universe’s black holes would be slurping up any such fluid.
Not much time to post today. I'm not nervous about the skydive tomorrow, but there's a certain kernel of electric giddiness that's becoming everpresent. I'll find a way to somehow get a post out to describe the experience.
Right now I'm grappling with many examples of perfectly good people who've become more neurotic as time has gone by, which is saddening and perplexing on many levels.
I'm hoping that the rush of the wind and the unfettered view of the Earth tomorrow will loosen some of the frustration and confusion that always comes with trips like this.
A rushing glimpse of freedom in the most unusual of circumstances...
The animals, with characteristics of both gorillas and chimpanzees, have been sighted in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We have to look at the ways that we use language and classifications to create avoidance mechanisms and barriers around the reality of individual experience. To say that psychedelics are a dusty "1960s" thing is to ignore the fact that when you take them it is your consciousness that is transformed, radically, in the present moment. There are different levels of value in undergoing this type of ontological shock. First of all, one may get a radical deconditioning from one¹s social programming a sudden awareness of how society is a fictive construct of language games, power trips, and manipulative strategies. Secondly, one can - not in one trip perhaps, but over time - discover that there is something profound and true about the shamanic vision of a multidimensional cosmos. Taken seriously, the psychedelic experience still does exactly what it did in the 1960s: It calls into question the entire structure and validity of our current "suicide system." It gives the perspective of an "Other," whether botanical mind or alien consciousness or "Higher Self", on our current sad situation.
I snuck in a little more net time, squandered, alas. I think Delaware is closing now. This is probably a good thing. I'm closing now too.
The Asclepion is devoted to the study of ancient medicine. (via Plep)
That's probably all my posting for today, happy Saturday peeps.
Kenyan environmentalist and human rights campaigner Wangari Maathai has won the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the first African woman to be awarded the peace prize since it was created in 1901.
We've just been informed that this is such good quality wood that it will actually PROTECT you from the terrorists and various other enemies of the United States! This is truly an excellent buy!
I burst out laughing in this quiet cafe upon stumling across this strange debate reference.
Well, that was interesting. The curse is that it continues to be interesting.
Yesterday was my father's 60th birthday party, complete with bellydancers and all kinds of drunken inanity. I spent a lot of time leaving the party, walking around town, and walking around my memories. At corner of the bar, the debate was on, and for a while, that was an odd refuge from watching my father get progressively drunker. A gentleman came up who had previously identified himself as a conservative activist, and kept trying to goad me into a debate. I politely declined, until at one point pressured to give him one good reason why I as an individual cannot support the [p]resident.
"Because he is supporting a constitutional amendment that will write legal discrimination against a large minority of people into our most treasured nationally binding document. I will not support legal discrimination."
"Well I see," he said, his double chins a'flappin' against eachother to punctuate is vehemence, "you're supporting a Marxist ideology that seeks to undermine the most sacred pillars of our society, you're not an American and thinking like that will only destroy America..."
At which point I turned to him, said that he doesn't know me and how dare he judge me unfit to be an American, that the conversation was over, and turned back to finish off my German beer and watch the debate in peace on a Japanese TV. He grumbled away and proceeded to dance to the rockin' rhythms of a Beach Boys cover, and I told my father that his buddy was an asshole and my time in the bar was growing nigh. He said his friend was a "good Republican" and he's a nice man. Heh.
Delaware, as it always has, is beginning to drain my psychic batteries and erode my spirit. Usually, it does so until there's nothing left, a Zen-like void, to be filled be the cathartic tide of realization and illuminations that come with sighting my mountains again when it's all over. But there's Monday to consider this time. Monday, I jump out of an airplane, and will for a brief moment, experience free fall, the illusion of flight as gravity seeks to draw me back to Earth. I have a feeling that the atmosphere screaming by will illumine and realize my soul in ways I've never considered.
I'm tingling with anticipation.
That's about all the posting I can get done today. Delaware, Goddess bless it, is decrepit; no free wi-fi hotspots that I can find. Alas. Google says there are a few but do I really want to be absorbed into a Dunkin Donuts reality? Maybe, if I get desparate enough.
Today is my dad's 60th birthday, which hopefully will be kept relatively free of drunken mindlessness. We'll see, fingers crossed. This place has been so overdeveloped that it's amazing that I can find my way anymore, it's frightening.
I'll be back on sometime tomorrow, y'all play nice out there. Oh, and watch Bush get his ass saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacked at the debate tonight, and watch big John suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurge. He's doing very well in the latest electoral projections, and I'll get a new one up by weekend. I heard a report that over 500k newly registered voters in NC are swamping the system. 500k! That's amazing, and just might be a secret weapon of mass democracy in Nov. 2.
The Flying Man (via Reality Carnival)
Foreign-born children are healthier when they arrive in the United States than those of the same age who were born in the country, a study shows.
The geese making alphabets over
*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.
Supercar hits 100k
*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.
Leaving the sweet Carolina mountains til Tuesday
*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.
I'm leaving in a few minutes to wrap up a few things here and head northward. I'll post updates from the road...
I'm leaving in the morning (wait, it is the morning) for Delaware. The plan: to rendezvous with friends (in a variety of fashions), aid in marking my father's 60th birthday (and in aiding him to mark it as soberly as possible), and on Monday the 11th to fall out of an airplane (with a parachute). As you can see, this adventure is largely parenthetical. Read in what thou wilt.
Friends: Guest blogging is enabled. Email me for the deets.
I'm hoping to at least post daily from WiFi hotspots, moblog with the camera phone, and to attempt relaxation. Ha! Like that's ever possible in the Devil's Armpit. Regardless, good people and family live there, it was my homeland, and going back always delivers a wallop of introspection C.O.D.. It distorts and dizzies my all-important sense of place, and tugs uncomfortably on the tenuous identity I'm trying to manifest. Yet, it's all food for the journey...
More to follow, inevitably (it always does (metaphorical pun intended)).
The deafening sound of the
The world's oceans are now so saturated with noise that whales and other marine mammals are dying, biologists say. The UK's Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society is launching a campaign, Oceans of Noise, to tackle what it says is the increasing problem of noise pollution.
Thousands of Fla. Voters May
Thousands of Floridians who think they're registered to vote could be turned away at the polls Nov. 2 because their voter registration forms weren't completely filled out, officials said Friday. Secretary of State Glenda Hood said some groups registering voters are turning in application forms with information missing, such as unchecked boxes asking whether applicants are citizens, mentally incompetent or felons.
The zoomquilt (flash) is a
The zoomquilt (flash) is a wonderful thing.
US surfer's wave turns into
"I'm looking down, and there's just swirling water and I see barnacles on the back of the whale..."
I'm going to be busy
I'm going to be busy moving to a new office today, so I'm offering a smattering of linkies for your pleasure, curiosity, and your action:
Child art prodigy wows New
This is a moblog* post:
I am, as has become all too common, stuck at home as alleged techiacians are supposedly en route to fix the 'net service again. çª¶ï½©Do you sense bitterness?
*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.
Only a genuine division of
Only a genuine division of power in multicultural Sudan can put an end to the country's bitter sibling rivalries...
Sudan is sometimes described as "Egypt's little brother". The phrase is meant to give a sense of the kinship between the two nations, but "little brother" also seems an apt personification of the country: if Sudan were a single human being, it might well be someone's troubled younger sibling - an overgrown teenage boy with floppy, uncontrollable limbs and a violent identity crisis.
Sudan is Africa's biggest country. It stretches from the Red Sea in the east and the border of Egypt in the north down to lush, tropical jungles in the south, encompassing hundreds of tribes who speak more than 100 languages.
Engineering God in a Petri
On a steep, narrow street above Chinatown works Jonathon Keats, a tweed-suited, bow-tied 32-year-old who, with assistance from a phalanx of scientists, is genetically engineering God in his apartment.
Advisers to Keats' organization, the International Association for Divine Taxonomy, include biochemists, biophysicists, ecologists, geneticists and zoologists from the University of California at Berkeley, the Smithsonian and other institutions of scientific repute. The mission: to determine where on the phylogenetic map -- the scientific tree of life -- to put God.
A Journey Into Shamanism Psychologist
Psychologist Alberto Villoldo traveled to Peru to research the effects of the jungle plant Ayahuasca. Known by natives as "the Vine of Death," the plant was used by shamans to lead them to a place of power and ancient knowledge. Through ritual, ceremony, and the use of mind-wrenching potions, a renowned Incan shaman known to the Indians as Don Jicaram ushered the psychologist into a dangerous and fantastic realm of mind and body.
Four Sunday Leaves, Blowing
On the way there, I saw a book torn across the road
The paths are strewn with leaves and couples
We are in the inevitable hands of change
The Household Cyclopedia (ca. 1881,
The Household Cyclopedia (ca. 1881, via MeFi)
When a person is wet he ought never to stand, but to continue in motion till he arrives at a place where he may be suitably accommodated. Here he should strip off his wet clothes, to be changed for such as are dry, and have those parts of his body which have been wetted, well rubbed with a dry cloth. The legs, shoulders, and arms, are generally the parts most exposed to wet; they should, therefore, be particularly attended to. It is almost incredible how many diseases may be prevented by adopting this course. Catarrhs, inflammations, rheumatisms, diarrhoeas, fevers, and consumptions, are the foremost among the train which frequently follow an accident of this kind.
You'll notice in the yellow table at the top of this page to a purportedly "highly scientific" electoral vote prognostication system. You'll just have to trust me here, but I've been doing my research... heh heh. Each week or as changing conditions merit, I'll post a new prediction, and virtually flip 538 coins just for fun's sake. This week, Puppet and Puppetmaster are ahead by 1-2 EVs, but there are many facotrs that could chage that.
The most important factor is YOU! Get out there and register, the deadline is Oct. 8th. Then, on Nov. 2nd, please for the love of All Creation, vote and vote wisely.
On The Order of Things
"The 'idea' of justice is not identical with anything that is just: it is something other than particular things, which particular things partake of. Not being particular, it cannot itself exist in the world of sense: it is eternally itself, immutable and indestructible."
I've been invited to a
I've been invited to a party and am woefully undecided at this point if I'm up to such an endeavour. The gay club is also an appealing destination in theory, but what especially complicates these is an extremely large zit on my nose that threatens to distract potential viewers. It's been a very peopled week and I'm enjoying this solitude enough at it may lure me into the comfort of home and the routines of domestic leisure.
I will likely decide the conundrum using this device... (two out of three wins)
jaybird found this for you @ 21:53 in | | permalink
The meaning of life just
The meaning of life just might be a website, which addresses big, cosmic questions (Is the universe imbued with purpose? Does life have meaning even if the universe isn’t imbued with purpose?) as well as some littler, but still significant questions (How do you keep from going crazy in the modern world?). I’ve gone around asking scientists, social scientists, philosophers, and theologians such questions, and the results are here for you to see.
In other site news, I did my monthly cleaning of the template, and I'd like to draw your attention to the new kindred spirits on the side bar marked with an *. Please welcome them to this lunar aviary by visiting them... many of the sites I link to are generally lower traffic and "B" list bloggers, because you can find the "A" listers anywhere. I for one am proud to be a "B" lister, and while it means I don't receive hundreds of comments per day, I can relax and feel less restricted by millions of visitors streaming in.
In the past year, however, I'm delighted to say that 930,000 humans and their companion beings have visited .:bird on the moon:. which is actually quite amazing and wonderful, and since our inception in Feb. '03, over 1.3 million peeps from 174 countries.
Trawling for Sepetember's Weirdest
I was presently surprised this minth: less people found this website by searching for fairly relevant things, but as always, my referer logs were still laden with strange catches. Without further adieu, I humbly present Sepember's premier bizarre search requests linked to a suitably amusing corresponding graphic...
unexpected those that bring you far from
And this month's crème de la crème oddity:
On The Epistemological and Metaphysical
Henri Bergson (1859-1941) was a distinguished French philosopher of the twentieth century. He held one of the leading academic positions in France, the chair of modern philosophy at the College de France, and also won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1927. Bergson developed an account that emphasized the subjective experience of time as the ground for human freedom and argued that thought, creativity, motion, and evolution are all products of a creative impulse that emerges in opposition to material entropy. In the following excerpt, taken from his work An Introduction to Metaphysics, Bergson asserts that we can either know a thing from an outside perspective, by analysis, or from the inside, by intuition. Knowledge from the outside is merely relative and fails to capture the inner dynamic and unity of the real. Once analysis breaks things up, it cannot put the pieces back together again. What is left is a distorted set of static perspectives, not a real dynamic thing. Intuitive knowledge, like the kind we have of our own consciousness, grasps all of the complex and changing parts of a thing from the inside as a unified whole. This intuitive knowledge is true metaphysical knowledge, which cannot even be comprehended or communicated using the concepts of analysis, which are too rigid to capture the dynamic flow of things.
Quickly, quickly, young soul,
"I walked right on up
"I walked right on up to that bear, 'cause I was God's Own Drunk and I loved everything in this world."
Xanadu Xero: Do you have
Duh, yo. Doesn’t everyone?
Why does Phi appear in
Why does Phi appear in nature?
Escher for Real The work
Escher for Real
The work of M.C. Escher needs no introduction. We have all learned to appreciate the impossibilities that this master of illusion's artwork presents to the layman's eye. Nevertheless, it may come as a surprise for some, but many of the so-called 'impossible' drawings of M. C. Escher can be realized as actual physical objects. These objects will resemble the Escher's drawing, of the same name, from a certain viewing direction. This work below presents some of these three-dimensional models that were designed and built using geometric modeling and computer graphics tools.
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.