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05 December 2009 @ 12:58 am
This week: The shard-strewn path from bitter rage to healing.


Once there was a fine warren on the edge of a wood, overlooking the meadows of a farm. It was big, full of rabbits... One day the farmer thought, 'I could increase those rabbits: make them part of my farm - their meat, their skins. Why should I bother to keep rabbits in hutches? They'll do very well where they are.'

...So they lived as he wanted them to live and all the time there were a few who disappeared. The rabbits became strange in many ways, different from other rabbits. They knew well enough what was happening. But even to themselves they pretended that all was well, for the food was good, they were protected, they had nothing to fear but the one fear; and that struck here and there, never enough at a time to drive them away. They forgot the ways of wild rabbits. They forgot El-ahrairah, for what use had they for tricks and cunning, living in the enemy's warren and paying his price?

-Fiver in Watership Down by Richard Adams

Mass of quotes beneath the cutCollapse )
Current Location: Against the wire
Current Mood: exhausted
Current Music: 30 Seconds to Mars - Kings and Queens
30 November 2009 @ 11:01 pm
Interesting couple of weeks. Some laughs, some darkness, a couple of practical exams and lessons learned both harsh and enlightening.


The Seattle Sobriety Test

In Seattle, when you get pulled over because they suspect you've been drinking, the cops take you around to the back of their car and show you five bins of different sizes and colors, one of which is segmented into three sections with moveable partitions, two of which are lined with plastic bags. The officer hands you a box. If you can successfully sort all of the trash in the box into the compostables, landfill, glass bottles (separating dark colors, bright colors, and clear), paper, and plastic, then you're free to go.

-Elf Sternberg

Link to source

My parents never controlled what I read, watched, or played. I was always an advanced reader, and would read nearly anything I could get my hands on– including [comic] books with naughty material. What kind of degenerate life am I leading now at 22?

I’m in law school. Those damn comic books.


Link to source

... So, basically, saying that this game [FATAL] should be burned is an insult to fire.

The worst part of reviewing this shit is that I actually have to think about it. I actually have to read this shit, then comprehend it - and this is the hardest part - then try to explain it to you, then I have to spend half an hour with a pencil up my nose trying to fish out the piece of brain that died the minute that I tried to use it to understand FATAL.

-Darren MacLennan

Link to source

"Spell your name with the realism!"

It's "I was just going to kill you, but now I'm going to pull your spine out through your anus and play you like an accordion."


Link to source

Too needy, too unable to face reality, too frightened of our own shadows, and of the shadow of death, we are, it's clear, a pathetic species. Capable of so much, individuals having created transcendentally beautiful art, invented amazing things, taken flight, peeled back layer upon layer of ignorance, collectively we are inexplicably easily manipulated, distracted, lied to, compelled to act against our own interest, to fall upon one another in hatred.

-Sid Schwab

Link to source

"As president, I believe that robotics can inspire young people to pursue science and engineering. And I also want to keep an eye on those robots in case they try anything."

--Barack Obama, speaking to Washington D.C. schoolkids on Monday as part of his science education initiative. 25Nov09

I'm not sure if there's an afterlife, but if there is I hope my grandad has got enough clothes with him and I hope he's not hungry.


Link to source

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself--and you are the easiest person to fool."

-Richard Feynman

"Follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing."

-T.H. Huxley
Current Location: On the penumbra
Current Mood: intimidated
Current Music: Breaking Benjamin - Breath
16 November 2009 @ 10:25 pm
...It's been far too long, but waiting for the perfect time just ensures it will never arrive. So this is as good a place as any to post the quotes I keep wanting to post.

Quotes I've found this week:

I don't write because I know so much--I write because it gives me an opportunity to learn.

-Arthur Goldwag

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.

~ Thornton Wilder

You must know how to make the most out of all your talents. That means if you're brilliant, lead with your brains. If you're savvy, go with your gut. And if you are luckier than me and are born beautiful, at least make sure you wash your hair regularly and wear a clean blouse.

-Mika Brzezinski

Link to source

My country is very good at giving people a national soapbox and even electing them to office when we really ought to be forcing them to repeat junior high.

-Blake Stacey

Link to source
Current Location: Crossing the penumbra
Current Mood: hopeful
Current Music: Loreena McKennit - The Highwayman
13 April 2009 @ 06:25 pm
Little cardboard robots with flags stating their destinations, released as a street art project in New York City. The artist made them disposable, expecting that most of them would die in the wild; but over the months, random strangers came through time and again, rescuing the bots and guiding them to their destinations. She states, "Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged."


Another discovery by the folks at boingboing.
Current Location: In the moment
Current Mood: contemplative
Current Music: Le Festin (end of Ratatouille)
08 January 2009 @ 11:31 pm
We've always dreamed of flight, we humans. Hang gliding was cool, sure; parasailing is cool, base-jumping is very cool. These guys, using wingsuits to skim down cliff faces in Norway, make all of them look as clumsy as kids paddling in water wings.

Humans aren't much as vertebrates go; not big nor strong nor fast nor particularly well-armed by nature. What we mainly are is crafty. Humans imagine things never seen or used before and have the hands to bring them about, and the language to show their dreams to each other. We're the tool-usingest species there ever has been. Our minds reshape themselves to make use of our tools, creating alternate body maps that reach beyond where our flesh and fingers end. Every time a person learns to wield a paintbrush, a scalpel, a hammer, a sword, a computer mouse or the bow of a violin, that object becomes an extension of ourselves as mapped by the motor regions of our brains. We hold many such maps, switching between them at will without a second thought, or even a first thought. The pencil is simply there, part of the hand that holds it. Something similar happens with the tools that move us; the car or canoe or bicycle that we steer as deftly as we walk. It's not just a figure of speech when a driver says "That jerk just cut me off" or "cracked my windshield". The moving vehicle, the animated tool, is a person in a two-thousand-pound skin.

So the wingsuit, a relatively simple construct, combined with a great deal of parachuting and base-jumping experience, enables a handful of humans to learn the skills of frigates. Balancing their bodies on the rush of air to steer and tumble, skimming a few body-lengths from the cliffs. Humans were always able to fly, given the right set of tools.
Current Location: Walking away from Omelas
Current Mood: awed
Current Music: That classical bit from the Blue Angels in To Fly
10 December 2008 @ 11:03 pm
Today's addition to the Net-savvy wanderer's meme vocabulary: Kitteh Figleaf.

On the December 4 episode of BBTV, BB Gadgets reviewer Joel Johnson did his first (official) naked shower scene while reviewing the Soundwave waterproof mp3 player. While the video is totally worksafe, commenters did enjoy watching his goofy dancing in the buff.

Joel the Naked Gadget Reviewer on BBTV: (Link to BB page)

Then, on yesterday's episode, Joel reviewed the Norelco Bodygroom electric shaver. He tried it on various areas, uploaded his video to the site, and only then discovered that his "footage" was shot a bit low. The error was quickly rectified by the application of a soft fluffy kitten picture in the appropriate area.

Joel the Half-Naked Gadget Reviewer on BBTV, Pettable Edition: (Link to BB page)

Attributed to Xeni Jardin, editor-contributor to the BoingBoing blog. Previously incarnated as the Blockatiel.
Current Location: Laughing under my chair
Current Mood: ^OxO^
Current Music: SomaFM Xmas stream
17 November 2008 @ 04:43 pm
Airports aren't fun places these days, which makes for excellent random brightening. Twenty "Agents" of Improv Everywhere spent a few hours at JFK Airport greeting strangers with flowers and personalized Welcome Home signs. Their event writeup explains in detail how it was done, how people reacted, and showcases some fine wide-eyed expressions.

Greeting mob for Lori

Improv Everywhere's writeup here:

Welcome Back Mission

Photo is from crnphoto.com 's Flickr stream. The rest of the set is here:

Welcome Back photos

Via that repository of fascinatingness, BoingBoing.
Current Mood: Restored
Current Music: Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
14 November 2008 @ 04:58 pm
From TVTropes' "Crowning Moment of Real Life" page:

"When acclaimed rapper Nas pulled out of a performance on Later With Jools Holland, a little-known Scottish woman was invited on - with 24 hours to prepare. Armed with only a guitar and a loop pedal, she proceeded to comprehensively upstage every other act on the show with a stunning performance of sheer, utter balls. Yep, it's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" by KT Tunstall."

TVTropes: CMRL

In case of embedding failure:
Youtube link.
Current Mood: wide-eyed
Current Music: KT Tunstall - "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree"
21 September 2008 @ 02:25 pm
For anyone who might be thinking that rolling handouts are a bad idea... here's some background info. This might be a good time to make those phone calls, yah.

[More below the cut...Collapse )
Current Location: On dial-up
Current Mood: cranky
Current Music: Disturbed - The Game
01 July 2008 @ 11:59 pm
As I write this, I'm watching (for the fourth time now) an episode of Deadliest Catch, the documentary-drama about Alaskan crab fishermen working the hazardous Bering Sea in winter. Like many fans, I've been watching religiously for years and feel I know these folks.

Essay continued below the cutCollapse )
Current Location: Standing in the storm drain
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: Bon Jovi "Dead or Alive"