Thursday, December 22, 2005

Playing Tag!

Knownunknowns sent me this 7x7 meme (and I don't even know what a meme is!):

1. Seven things to do before I die: Discover the secret to Eternal Life. Write the Great American Novel. Find the Fountain of Youth. Learn to play Bach's Tocatta and Fugue in G-Minor all the way thru. I've got the beginning and the end, all I need to learn is the middle. See an angel. Understand quantum physics. Visit another planet. Is that seven?

2. Seven things I cannot do: Find time to write. Find time to practice. Fly. Eat balut. Run fast. Speak a second language fluently. Mathematics.

3. Seven things that attract me to -- Okay, my husband: He has the soul of a poet. He loves opera. He's funny (in more ways than one!). He likes to watch PBS. He's the kindest person I know. He fixes me breakfast. He loves me.

4. Seven things I say most often: Stop that! No! Don't do that! I love you! What time is it? Have I ever told you that I can't see to drive at night? I need a hug.

5. Seven books (or series) that I love: Dandelion Wine. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Leaves of Grass. The Unexpected Universe. Small Wonder. For the Time Being. The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life.

6. Seven movies I watch over and over again, (or would if I had time): The Color Purple. Amadeus. Oh Brother Where Art Thou? Empire of the Sun. The Mission. 2001: Space Odyssey. Schindler's List.

7. Seven people I want to join in, too: Kiekay1, alycehoward, lincrafter, kstatler, jojo, Ms Bunyan, and bobkjohnston.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Oh, oh, oh

How about the dyslexic devil-worshipper who sold his soul to Santa?
What's THAT all about???

And for you all you lawyers in the audience, what do you call Santa's helpers? Subordinate Clauses!

An honest politician, a kind lawyer, and Santa were walking down the street and saw a $20 bill. Which one picked it up? Santa, of course. The other two don't exist!

Then what d'you call someone who doesn't believe in Santa? A rebel without a Clause!

And finally: What goes oh, oh, oh? Santa walking backward....

...oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.... *disappears*

Monday, December 12, 2005


"...On earth, Peace, Good Will to men."

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Linus: "Is there anyone who knows the true meaning of Christmas?"

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Hey oh, Galileo

The small red dot in the center is Proxima Centauri, the star closest to our sun, and is visible only through a telescope--but, Omygosh, look at the whole picture!

"Every star is a shining luminescence, yet one star on its own would barely be noticed here on earth. It is only through the combination of the light from millions of stars that a beautiful canopy of points of light appears to us."
--Lazer Gurkow
The Counting Paradox

Hey oh, Galileo, with that telescope up to your eye,
What'd you see up there in the sky?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Died: Alfred Anderson, 109, last surviving participant in the famous Christmas Truce of 1914, during which British and German soldiers emerged from opposing trenches along the Western Front near Ypres, Belgium, to exchange gifts, sing carols, and smoke; in Newtyle, Scotland. The unofficial World War I truce spread to much of the Western Front, lasting for days in some areas. Last year he said of the reprieve, "I remember the eerie sound of silence."

Rest Ye Merry.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

R.I.P. Sam

The World's Ugliest Dog died last week, just short of his 15th birthday.

Goodbye, Sam. It's been fun living on the same earth as you. Go Well!

Light Echo


Sometime back in January of 2002 this star's outer surface suddenly exploded with the result that it became the brightest star in the Milky Way galaxy. A stellar flash like this has never been seen before. What looks like matter being expelled is actually a light echo, a reflection of the flash upon stellar dust around the star.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Rest and be thankful

Rest and be thankful.

Inscription on the stone seat in the
Scottish Highlands, and title of one
of Wordsworth's poems


R.I.P Nadia Anjuman

A 25-year-old Afghhan poet, a woman named Nadia Anjuman was murdered last week by her husband. When she should have been celebrating the success of her first book Gule Dudi (Dark Flower), he apparently beat her to death for "bringing shame" to the family by writing poetry about love and beauty.

"I am caged in this corner, full of melancholy and sorrow," she wrote in one ghazal, or lyrical poem. "My wings are closed and I cannot fly."

Nadia was one of a group of courageous women, known as "The Sewing Circles of Herat," who risked their lives to keep the city's literary scene active (sewing was one of the few things women under the Taliban were allowed to do). Had the authorities investigated, they'd have found the sewing students at the Golden Needle Sewing School had never really sewed--they wrote, they studied Shakespeare, and Dostoevsky , and other banned writers from a brave professor from the University of Herat. Under a regime where even teaching a girl to read was a crime, he might have been hanged if he'd been caught.

After the Taliban fell, Nadia went to study literature at the University of Herat--but the old mindset remains, presumably because the continuing powers of the American-backed warlords have repressive views similar to those of the old Taliban.

But the ladies of the Golden Needle Sewing School (and many others) are outraged. Me, too.

R.I.P. Nadia. May "flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Strangeness of Light and Matter

The reality of our universe is that truth has two opposite forms. Light and subatomic parts are both wave and particle. Matter is also energy, so matter is just light in another form...both forms of reality (are) scientifically provable. Truth is two things and not one...There is even more strangeness to the story of light and matter, a strangeness still not understood by scientists...From a scientific point, matter seems to have life, not only because there is a wave/particle duality to nature, but also because subatomic particles have an amazing ability to be interconnected, to communicate with each other, and to act as a unified whole. Because of the way electrons are interconnected they appear to be communicating faster than the speed of light, as if there were no time or space separating them. It is possible for one electron to communicate with a second electron instantly even when they are miles apart. Under certain conditions, a high density of electrons act like one whole, similar to a flock of birds changing directions in flight all at the same time.

One physicist, David Bohm, was so impressed with how electrons act that he remarked that they actually seemed to be alive. Bohm said that "dividing the universe up into living and nonliving things...has no meaning. Animate and inanimate matter are inseparably woven, and life, too, spread throughout the totality of the universe. Even a rock is in some way alive...

The modern physics of light and matter reveal that we are connected in someway with the entire universe. In summarizing the new physics, Gary Zukav wrote, "The philosophical implication of quantum mechanics is that all of the things in our universe (including us) that appear to exist independently are actually parts of one all-encompassing organic pattern, and that no parts of the pattern are ever really separate from it or from each other."

--Grant Bishop

I say, "Waaa-Hoooo! Remember this next time you feel far from home!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Friday, November 11, 2005


I couldn't resist posting these. This fantastic skyscape from the Spitzer Telescope is called The Mountains of Creation. They are about 10 times the size of the analogous Pillars of Creation made famous by the Hubble in 1995. Together they are part of a complex region of space dubbed The Heart and Soul Nebulae.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Lee Smolin, "something of an upstart" who nevertheless received a doctorate in Physics from Harvard, published a book entitled The Life of the Cosmos, proposes a theory of what he calls cosmological natural selection. He asks, "What if all the things we think of as absolute--the speed of light, the tug of gravity, the motions of elementary particles--have also been shaped through the years by the subtle forces of evolution? ...Why shouldn't such phenomena be subject to change, just as forms of life are?...What I am suggesting is that a similar shift must take place in our understanding of physics and cosmology." Smolin notes that the random chances of a universe springing into existence with the grace and intricacy of ours are absurdly small--one in 10 to the 29th power, or 10 followed by 29 zeroes. This leads him to suspect that conditions oin the infant universe were not left to chance, but were finely tuned by the trial and error of evolution, in a process that reaches further back in time than can be measured by cosmic clocks. But how could the universe have evolved from anything else, unless it was not the first? Unless it was at the end of an evolutionary chain that spans many thousands of cosmic generations? Smolin's theory is highly speculative. Still, it's intriguing, and proposes that beyond the horizon of every black hole is the beginning of another universe, and time itself then stops being a linear flow, but "branches like a tree, so that each black hole is a bud that leads to a new universe of moments." In her new book Year of the Comets, Jan Deblieu tells of speaking with a stargazing friend who tells her, "When you look at stars through a telescope, you can taste space." Toward the end of her book, she writes: "Will we ever manage to find the truth about our Universe? Will we recognize it if we happen to glimpse it?

We are like snails in a salt marsh, crawling up and down stems of grass with only the merest inkling of the size of the world in which we live. We are a small cosmos, born of a black hole in a previous universe ... We are a leaf in a current, or a bubble boiling in a huge pot, bouncing around with others that we can neither hear nor see but whose presence we hold in our minds.

"Oh!" I echo her silently. I imagine the whole of our tiny, perfect world--people, animals, plants--watching the sky together, saying as one, "Oh!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005

Postcard From the Edge

So I began to write on a thin scrap of paper that said: Love's #220 Cheyenne, WY Date 07/25-05 Time 05:23 PM, wishing I had a real piece of paper to write on, but glad for this scrap. I sat at the window of the tenth floor looking down at a city like a jewel in the middle of a desert so ordinary it might be anywhere in the world. Palm trees, birds running on the edge of rooftops of buildings below, not afraid of falling because they are birds, men walking, and taxis in the streets. I have a fear of falling from high places. Even if I had wings I would be afraid. I know the sound the wind makes, rushing past my ears as I fall, falling faster every second. But not today. They say when you fall in a dream you never reach the bottom, because if you do reach the bottom you will die in your sleep. Some night, maybe soon, I will fall in a dream and not wake up. Sometimes I fly in dreams. Maybe on that night I will just fly away, like a bird. I am out of paper. Having a great time! Wish you were here!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Super Size Me--Not

It's not my fault! Blame McDonald's. Fat used to be beautiful, just look at those old renaissance paintings of the Masters! Now, as Tv feeds us a spectacle of pictures of Americans starving on rooftops after Hurricane Katrina, a couple of books have come out with a new take on hunger. Sharman Apt Russell, who comes from New Mexico, has a new book called "HUNGER." Some of her sources include studies of doctors in the Warsaw Ghetto, others mention a notorious 1944 Minnesota Experimant which used Quakers and other conscientious objectors as "volunteers."

Did you know about this? These "cheerful" subjects grew "morose, flat, then bellicose, angry, and just plain miserable." Who wouldn't?

More recently, Magician David Blaine sealed himself in a Lucite box and went without food for 44 days. (Jesus only fasted for 40!) We make "obeisance to the cult of thinness," writes Wiliam Leith in THE HUNGRY YEARS. He writes from his own struggles, saying "Mostly, fat people are fat because they are troubled, and if they lose weight, they become troubled slim people, and then they start overeating again, and become fat people who are even more troubled than they were before." He writes, "Inside the binge you are pure have created a time zone more present than the present. You know you shouldn't do it, know you'll regret it... but none of these things matter." Audiences flocked to see Morgan Spurlock gain 30 pounds in a month for his film, SUPERSIZE ME. Yet he managed to keep himself "aloof from the sin of getting fat because it wasn't really his fault. It was McDonald's."

Or maybe the fault is not in ourselves, but in our stars. Or maybe not in McDonalds, but in ourselves. I'm turning over a new leaf.


Saturday, October 15, 2005


Lab tests showed today that the same deadly H5N1 avain flu virus found in Turkey and Asia has now infected ducks in Romania, confirming that the virus has reached mainland Europe. Also today, Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt said preventing the start of a global flu outbreak is just about impossible, what with the migration of birds and all. It starts with one quarantine in a remote Romanian village, not that people are sick, just ducks, 3 ducks....

Remember Stephen King's pandemic influenza outbreak in THE STAND? sCAREy....

Friday, October 14, 2005


"What do you call six lawyers at the bottom of the sea?"

"Not all anti-lawyer jokes are fairly earned -- many of them are recyclings of jests told at the expense of politicians, traveling salesmen, Jews ... Lawyers are in no way a protected species and cannot shelter behind the rules of political correctness. Seen as 'agressive' and 'domineering' they attract the insults once lavished on doctors and priests. Being sought out as a joke target is a tribute to high status and has the ultimate effect of boosting rather than lowering reputation. 'We have so much status,' says Wisconsin-Madison Law School emeritus professor Marc Galanter, author of Lowering the Bar, Lawyer jokes and legal culture, we can enjoy a firestorm of jokes."

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Dead and Gone???

Is Osama Bin Laden dead? Rumors are being circulated that Osama was in earthquake stricken Pakistan Kashmir when the quake hit. The India Daily newspaper reported Tuesday that International Intelligence Agencies estimated that he is a goner. What are the chances? I say a fat chance is better than none! (I think "estimated" is the telling word here.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wish List

"Theodore Roosevelt Heller

Theodore Roosevelt Heller, 88, loving father of Charles (Joann) Heller, dear brother of the late Sonja (the late Jack) Steinberg. Ted was discharged from the US Army during WWII due to service related injuries, and then forced his way back into the Illinois National Guard insisting no one tells him when to serve his country. Graveside services Tuesday 11 am at Waldheim Jewish Cemetery (Zidilshover Section), 1700 S. Harlem Ave., Chicago. In lieu of flowers, please send acerbic letters to Republicans."

--Chicago Tribune, 10/10/2005


Calvin and Hobbes has been gone for ten years now! It has been that long since a boy and his tiger pushed their sled for the last time on a downhill race into history. I loved them. I've missed them. But now, a 1,456 page, three-volume set, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, an epic of every panel ever published can be had for a mere $150. In his intro to the book, Bill Watterson says: "Hobbes got all my better qualities (with a few quirks from our cats), and Calvin got all my ranting, escapist side. Together they're pretty much a transcript of my mental diary ... I meant to disguise them better."

Friday, October 07, 2005


... A pleasant soul
Herself, they agreed: her plump features
Vacant of malice ...

They were soon fetching out their soft hearts
To compare, calling to mind
... the mountain winter,
Her solitude, her sore feet,
Haling her down with all but music,
Finally, to the valley,
To stand with bared gums, to be embraced,
To be fussed over, dressed up
In their presents, and with kind people
Be settled in a good house,
To turn chatty, to be astonished
At nothing, to sit for hours
At her window facing the mountain,
Troubled by recollections
No more than its own loosening stream
Cracking like church pews, in spring,
Or the hawks, in fall, sailing over
To their own rewards.

--W.S. Merwin
(National Poetry Day, UK) also National Poetry Week in Utah Oct 9-Oct 15

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Ritual Cat

When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them, so the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery to be tied up. Centuries lster, learned descendants of the spiritual leader wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

--Insights of the pixelbuddha

Saturday, October 01, 2005


"If you were suddenly plucked from Earth and carried quickly into space, our planet would appear briefly as a gorgeous blue globe before being lost in a melee of stars. As you sped outward, you'd be able to see the whole of the Milky Way, a starry disk with curling arms, and then the Local Group, the clump of galaxies to which the Milky Way belongs, and then the Virgo supercluster. Stars and distant smudges of galaxies would be everywhere you looked. Passing through a nebula, you might be immersed in clouds of glowing copper gases, where tear-shaped cocoons swaddle embryos of stars. Pulled farther out, you'd see the Universe on a grander and grander scale, until the galaxies arranged themselves in trailing lines.
The stars are where God lives, I thought, on them, between them. Space is not an empty void; it's a vessel filled with dark, divine water, silky to the skin. How wonderful it would be to swim through it, darting among the stars, seeing colored gases and the explosions of supernovas.
If you think life is a circuitous journey, if you're ever tempted to place too much importance on a single day's events, try envisioning your existence on a cosmological scale.
Everywhere (Margaret Geller and James Huchra) looked they found starry bubbles, each one a lighted circle, or a partial circle, surrounding a pool of blackness. They also detected a region where untold unmbers of galaxies were gathered, lighting space in a band that stretched beyond the edges of their maps. This Great Wall, as Geller and Huchra named it, is now known to be a billion light-years long and tens of millions of light years thick.
So once again, we step back from our studies and shake our heads in disbelief. Space is not simply smeared with light, but honeycombed with it, and in places, steeped in it."

From a book I am currently reading, "Year of the Comets" by Jan Deblieu, who also wrote one called "Wind," which the Los Angeles Times called "A stunning view of the Earth."

Friday, September 02, 2005


At last!!Somebody"s finally in charge. "Thousands of National Guardsmen with food, water, and weapons streamed into Louisiana to bring relief ...and to put down the looting and violence." I thought it was about to become another Uganda. I guess William Golding was right.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Anyone out there see CNN's "Dead Wrong?" If so, tell me what you thought!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Horse and Buggy

There's a bet going on from NYC to LA that gas will cost us $3.00 a gallon before the end of the year. Maybe we should all go back to the horse and buggy. Picture it: 5 million horses galloping from hither to yon. It may take a lot longer to get to work or visit loved ones. but think of the loving bonds of friendship will build with our new companions along the way. We'll just have to remember to carry a lot of lumps of sugar in our pockets. What do you think? Will you be visiting grandma on horseback?

Friday, August 05, 2005

On Vacation

So, President Bush is on vacation for the whole month of August! We ought to hurry and "uninstall" him while he's gone.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Say What???

An 11-year-old girl who was arrested on a deadly weapons charge after throwing a rock during a water-balloon fight, goes on trial today in Fresno, California.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Blessings on my grandson Keenan, who had his surgery last week at Denver Children's Hospital. Everything went great! Anyone wanting to know more about craniosystenosis look on


The day after the tsunami hit South Asia, taking nearly 30,000 lives and causing incalculable destruction, Elder Subandriyo called Bertha Suranto to take leave of her job and travel to the city of Medan in northern Sumatra. As a volunteer for her church, she began purchasing building materials, tents, food, clothing, cooking stoves, and materials for thousands of hygiene kits. As each truck was filled, Sister Sutanto phoned ahead to her husband who was helping out in Banda Aceh, and he helped distribute the items among those in need--99 % of whom were Muslim. Everywhere they went, townspeople ran out to greet and welcome them. "We felt as though we were movie stars," Sister Suranto said. One village chief said more than anything else, his village needed copies of the Koran, as theirs had been swept away in the tsunami. A few days later, the LDS Church presented the village with 700 copies.

I say, Good for them. My question: if the shoe was on the other foot, would the Muslims have done the same with copies of the Book of Mormon?

Bush installs Bolton

Isn't anyone else bothered that Bush installed Bolton by "bypassing" the Senate over the protests that this would "hurt U.S. credibility." My question is: What CREDIBILITY????? It's already DEAD, dudes. And gone.


BC this morning: (Wiley's dictionary's defines AGNOSTIC) "A guy who, when you sneeze, shrugs and says, 'Whatever.'"

Friday, July 29, 2005

Canaries in the kitchen

Are we at risk? Teflon is bad stuff! Read this!

If Teflon can kill a bird in minutes, what is it doing to us?

The Poet of the Pulps

The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury by Jonathan Kirsch

On an "evening in 1931, he was summoned to the stage of the Genessee Theatre to assist Blackstone the Magician in a showy illusion, and the day in 1932, a carnival performer called Mr. Electrico singled out the boy in the front row, knighting him with a sword, and uttered a benediction: 'Live forever'."

"I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard," Bradbury told his biographer. "Just weeks after he said this to me, I started writing every day. I never stopped." Review.

I have been a great fan of Bradbury since I was ten years old. I, for one, am not going to miss this!

Eat What You Want!

I was glad to see this! Check out her other articles!

Beethoven beats Bono

What d'you make of this, fans?

Thursday, July 21, 2005