Monday, December 19, 2011

№ 62. Tabang Mindanao: Help Mindanao


Tropical Storm Sendong (international name: Washi) ravaged Mindanao, slamming it with devastating rains and unleashing flash floods and landslides that have left a horrifying trail of destruction. As of 10AM, the death toll has reached 497 (Cagayan De Oro 215, Iligan City 195, Bukidnon 47, Negros Oriental 22, Lanao del Norte 9, Compostela Valley 5, Zamboanga del Norte 3, Surigao del Sur 1). Most of the dead were asleep Friday night when raging floodwaters pounded their homes from rivers and cascaded from mountain slopes following 12 straight hours of heavy rains in Mindanao. The typhoon has affected a total of 5,884 families, with 202 injured and 162 still missing. 2,252 are still sheltered at 23 evacuation centers.

Online Donations to Philippine Red Cross

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

№ 61. Future Tenses

Already wrote about the predictions on artificial intelligence and human consciousness. They may/will happen in the proximate future (Waking Up to Binary Dreams). That means, they're expected to break ground during my lifetime, if the tech seers get it right!

The future paints a landscape taken off the pages of our classic science fiction from Dune, Star Trek or Star Wars.  Maybe it's a world even more bizarre than prveiously imagined. Maybe it's just a mix of the familiar and the twilight zone. Maybe.

Barring or despite all the future laughs we'll have about all the misses, here's another broad peering into the beyond. It's the New York Times's projection of the near future: Imagining 2076: Connect Your Brain to the Internet.

Scotty, it's time to do environmental scanning and look for our niches. I wonder if virtual or Lunar---heck, Martian tourism would prove popular. I'll settle for underwater cities, for now.

free

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

№ 59. Playing With the Odds

So what are my odds?

I don't have the skill sets to check the claim--- how and where did they get the numbers and assumptions?

If there were some intelligent design that willed my existence, then luck would have been irrelevant. Against all the odds, I would have come into the twilight of history. I must be as special as the other 7 Billion humans now alive. Smug. People, let's start a smug wave.

Or really.

Does this debunk our chance existence? Isn't chance simpler to conceive than a Watchmaker who devised the intricacies that defied probability through the millenia?

by visually via

Sunday, November 20, 2011

№ 58. Sunday Lullaby

Empire of the Sun, an old favorite, is being shown in HBO Signature. I saw this first in GMA 7, back when cable meant a written message sent through submarine wires. Late 80s, I think.

Easily recognized is a very young Christian Bale, with his wide-set, glassy eyes. He carried the long film for the most part on the strength of his talent. Impressive!

Spielberg directed this epic and loaded it with imagery and metaphors of the war. Sometimes it felt like a sequence of vintage film slides. I was still awed even though the grand scenes were much diminished by my smallish TV screen.

Some films are meant to be watched on the big screen. This is one of those films. With John Williams's soaring musical scoring, it has to be appreciated with Dolby surround and big bright silver screens.


Huna blentyn ar fy mynwes
Clyd a chynnes ydyw hon;
Breichiau mam sy'n dynn amdanat,
Cariad mam sy dan fy mron;
Ni cha' dim amharu'th gyntun,
Ni wna undyn â thi gam;
Huna'n dawel, annwyl blentyn,
Huna'n fwyn ar fron dy fam.
Huna'n dawel, heno, huna,
Huna'n fwyn, y tlws ei lun;
Pam yr wyt yn awr yn gwenu,
Gwenu'n dirion yn dy hun?
Ai angylion fry sy'n gwenu,
Arnat ti yn gwenu'n llon,
Tithau'n gwenu'n ôl dan huno,
Huno'n dawel ar fy mron?
Paid ag ofni, dim ond deilen
Gura, gura ar y ddôr;
Paid ag ofni, ton fach unig
Sua, sua ar lan y môr;
Huna blentyn, nid oes yma
Ddim i roddi iti fraw;
Gwena'n dawel yn fy mynwes
Ar yr engyl gwynion draw.

English Translation:

Sleep my baby, at my breast,
’Tis a mother’s arms round you.
Make yourself a snug, warm nest.
Feel my love forever new.
Harm will not meet you in sleep,
Hurt will always pass you by.
Child beloved, always you’ll keep,
In sleep gentle, mother’s breast nigh.
Sleep in peace tonight, sleep,
O sleep gently, what a sight.
A smile I see in slumber deep,
What visions make your face bright?
Are the angels above smiling,
At you in your peaceful rest?
Are you beaming back while in
Peaceful slumber on mother’s breast?
Do not fear the sound, it’s a breeze
Brushing leaves against the door.
Do not dread the murmuring seas,
Lonely waves washing the shore.
Sleep child mine, there’s nothing here,
While in slumber at my breast,
Angels smiling, have no fear,
Holy angels guard your rest. (Wikipedia)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

№ 56. Advice for the Young-ish at Heart

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends.

You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky - all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”

― Cesare Pavese


Bento Box:

I've traveled back in time. Thanks to gmail and my trove of archival data in the past 10 years. I've been deleting mails, spams and other forwarded wisdom.

There is so much history.

I remember circa 2001, email was the status line for online buddies. And forwarded anything---photos, videos, jokes, spams, chain mails, NSFW centerfolds and other trivia---used to pile up on our office inbox.

How far have we come? So far: snail mails, postcards, texts, emails, ym, Facebook updates and tweets. Same content, different media.

The Baz Luhrman video is one of those I came across in the pile.

Monday, October 31, 2011

№ 55. Strong and Hard: 7 Billion

The human race is now 7 billion strong. But the ants easily outnumber us with a quadrillion (wikianswers) swarm from super colonies and some such megapoli (BBC News). They say that the population climb we are embarking is a steep curve. Alarm bells and Malthusian echoes are again being sounded to temper our fertile imaginations and inclinations. Many claim that the resources which are already stressed and stretched to irresponsible limits can dissipate further with nothing reserved for the future generations.




Yesterday we just visited the dead. After that long litany of titles, saints and honors such as the "Rose of Sharon", "All ye holy Angels and Archangels" and "we beseech Thee hear us", we went for a stroll. 


We noticed that it was a little less crowded, maybe because, this year, our family rituals were advanced by two days---before the November 2 crowds. There were also several vacant niches marked by a red square with a Chinese character for "Fu" or luck. The resting spaces were still empty because the beneficiaries were still living. 

Still, even with millions passing away, the rate of population increase has outpaced the death rate. Is October 31st a happy day to celebrate the 7 billion living before our official days for the dearly departed: All Saints's and All Souls's (7 Billion)?

I hope we're really lucky to be alive. And, with such red hot luck, I also trust that the tides bring us alternative thinking, food supply and energy. There should be enough for everyone. That's an imperative and not just an option. Oh well/hell.

Monday, October 24, 2011

№ 54. Dreadlines

Dreadline
noun

"The most final of deadlines; a critical target date which, when missed, plunges a project deep into a terminal spiral and you in the crapper.

The deadline was last Thursday but I ain’t sweating it. Dreadline’s still next week." (predatorinchief)


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

№ 53. To Remember Is To Suffer

N is for noir, nimbus, nitrogen and nocturnes, from Lettrines

I had read about this film in Gibbs Cadiz's "Forgiveness in the Age of Terror".



A few weeks back, I searched and grabbed a torrent. And when I finally decided to have time, sit down and watch the Cannes Grand Prix winner, the subtitles were missing! I thought, this couldn't be another one of my "French 4: A Nightmare on Kostka" specimens.

Flashback to college.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

№ 52. 99%

The Ninety Nine Percent, the dangling One Percent and the great divide.

99% Fur                        1% Monster
99% Blue                      1% White
99% Funny                    1% Hungry                 
99% Cute                      1% Bitter

from VodkaMom


Thursday, October 13, 2011

№ 51. Star Wars

Back in the early 21st century, Spider-Man 1 was shown in tandem with the much maligned Star Wars Prequels (I, II, III). My friends were surprised why I preferred the Lucas film over the arachnid marvel. Spidey was on many accounts better told and more engaging. The prequels were a disappointment, read: Jar Jar Binks.

Jar Jar

First, I'm a sucker for sweeping strokes and the macro-enterprise. The allusions to the aging Roman Empire on the brink of collapse, the Senate horsetrading and grandstanding, clash of ideals and ideology, the memory of Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (1980s!), hyperdrive and  light saber proved too strong a pull towards the dark side.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

№ 50. Steve Is Risen Interface (SIRI)

Tsk, tsk. Not an iPhone 5, as many were hoping---to douse the dour mood, but a mere 4s. Regardless, the reviews are mostly glowing. Steve Jobs must be mighty smug somewhere at the pearly gates or by the black river.


Let me glow with anticipation, then. Someone from Greenbelt Apple Store told me it'll probably be available by December this year. Somebody loan me some. Quick!

SIRI, the acronym for 4S's voice command interface (aka robot assistant) has excellent feedback. I see possibilities for SIRI!

I am a kibitzer by avocation. So here's an excerpt of the Wired review, with a liberal helping of my side comments (SIRI Version 2):

№ 49. Voodoo


Meet Iya.

Iya's skin and thick dreadlocks are black from the Tayabas sun. On occasion, she serves mild tea foraged at the lush knees of Mt. Banahaw's greens.

She refuses to read palms on Fridays and Saturdays. That's when she goes to Quiapo to buy buttons from Paulo and sundry from her favorite suki.

Since Paulo doesn't accept money for the buttons, Iya gave him her striped cat, James. She wears a purple heart to remember her favorite pet.

On Sundays, you can see Paulo playing with James near Plaza Miranda. Sometimes, Iya joins them.

PS: Iya used to be a voodoo doll but she has since converted.

James the striped cat @ Mackerel

Monday, October 10, 2011

№ 48. Man/Bird on a Wire

But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee

I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, "You must not ask for so much"
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
She cried to me, "Hey, why not ask for more?"

Oh, like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

---Leonard Cohen's "Bird on a Wire"

№ 47. A Missing Piece of Alexandria

from doctorbulldog:  The great Library of Alexandria,
established by Ptolemy II (circa 280 BC),
has come to symbolize the receptacle of knowledge of Classical civilization.
This great repository was barbarously razed in the Middle Ages.

I bought a hardbound copy of the book, "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers", at Book Sale. For P120, it was a steal!

The narrator spoke of the high adventure of a tightrope artist but with a quiet remembrance of the Twin Towers, at the very end.

As books exist to be told and retold, and to survive the many retelling, our copy was meant to bear battle scars and dog ears. I think I read it for my nephews a number of times.

Then Ondoy belched into our walled urban lives.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

№ 45. iElvis



He was a wizard of the first order.

He had conjured both marketing hypes and niches---which had us enthralled, corrupted and addicted. Only he could produce, with a sleight of hand, consumer technology that is magic. Everyone else is reduced and separated by the Red Sea either as a parishioner drunk with his vision or a philistine mocked with envy.

"'What made Steve Jobs truly great,' U2 singer Bono said Thursday in a statement, 'is that he was only interested in doing truly great things. He was bored by an easy ride or easy profit. In a world littered with dull objects, he brought the beauty of clean lines and clear thought. [He was] one of a very small group of anarchic Americans who through technology literally invented the 21st century. We will all miss the hardware-software Elvis.' (LA Times)

On a related note, iPhone has this neat, sentient (almost?) voice command interface. Why SIRI?! Somebody asked if this stood for "Steve Incarnated Robot Interface."

Until the next iPhone iteration, then. Not 4s but a version 5, please. Maybe this time SIRI will feel, sound and look like Steve Jobs. One more, lace the chips with his DNA?



Bento Box:

Steve Job's DNA in vitro? (LA Times)

№ 44. October Rolling Into Its Dark, Hallow End

Hi there!

You're safe.
Don't worry.

Haha, I don't have Sadako
lurking in my old iPhone.

She's contained
in our old, busted, portable TV.

It's at home---
stored or abandoned somewhere.

Yes, I'm safe.

See?

No snowflakes on screen.
No static noise
or is it silence?

Regardless.

We're safe.

I hope.

I see our windows.
They're silent---
almost feral.

Shhh.

They peer into the woods.

Still, no static.

I hear only quiet sentinels.

See?

We're safe....

red fear @ makbex

Sunday, September 25, 2011

№ 43. A Quickie

Bento Box:

Here's a little bit of flash fiction I stumbled upon.  It's a nice, easy and quick read like a cookie snack. 


Grab, pop and I'm on my way to the hardware store.


***

"Let X" by Chad Simpson


"Let x equal the moment just after he tells her he’s starting a club for people who know something about computers.

It is summer, 1984, and this is their grade school playground. She is idling on a swing over a patch of scuffed earth. He stands just off to the side, one hand on the chain of the swing next to hers.



***


Let y equal her laughter. Her laughter sounds like a prank phone call at three a.m. It sounds a little evil.

She throws her head back, and even though he is hearing the y of her laughter in the wake of that moment x, he can’t stop staring at her hair. He can’t believe how black, how shiny, how perfect it is.

She stands up out of the swing and asks, “What do you know about computers?”

It is 1984. Nobody at this elementary school—or in Monmouth, Illinois, in general—knows all that much about computers. (Let X)


№ 42. Scents & Songs Without Words

"Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it." ----Vladimir Nabokov





Bento Box:


"Duetto", Song Without Words Opus 38 No. 6, Felix Mendelssohn

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

№ 40. Lux

coloribus


Often, I need to be reminded, usually, with blunt force and trauma. It's necessary to inflict cracks on a thick armor so that light can seep in.

Thanks Bb for the facebook post.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

№ 39. Waking Up to Binary Dreams

"Tanging Ngiti", from Pinto Art Gallery, Antipolo City, Rizal


Two things: faster brains and more sophisticated thought processes. All artificial, all human engineered.

Ergo, hardware + software = awareness? Anytime soon? Maybe. Because of our longer lifespans, maybe even within our lifetime.



Faster Brains

"Computers are getting faster. Everybody knows that. Also, computers are getting faster faster — that is, the rate at which they're getting faster is increasing.

True? True.

So if computers are getting so much faster, so incredibly fast, there might conceivably come a moment when they are capable of something comparable to human intelligence. Artificial intelligence. All that horsepower could be put in the service of emulating whatever it is our brains are doing when they create consciousness — not just doing arithmetic very quickly or composing piano music but also driving cars, writing books, making ethical decisions, appreciating fancy paintings, making witty observations at cocktail parties." (Time)


from Daily Galaxy


By 2045, the article claims, man can become immortal. By hooking up to a computer and downloading his consciousness into its chips and wires a person will have a more durable home. His will and intellect will permanently reside in a less organic and, maybe, less destructible vessel made of ceramics, plastics, silicon and other metals.

They call the event Singularity. It's the transformation of our species into something that is no longer recognizable as such to humanity circa 2011. And I thought the Fringe series is still sci-fi by most standards in circa 2011.

Complex Thinking

"Kevin Kelly, a founder of Wired magazine, has written that there are at least a trillion Web pages in existence, which means the internet's collective brain has more neurons than our actual gray matter that's stuffed between our ears.

'The Web holds about a trillion pages. The human brain holds about 100 billion neurons,' Kelly writes in his 2010 book "What Technology Want".

Each biological neuron sprouts synaptic links to thousands of other neurons, while each Web page on average links to 60 other pages. That adds up to a trillion 'synapses' between the static pages on the Web. The human brain has about 100 times that number of links -- but brains are not doubling in size every few years. The global machine is." (CNN)

Awareness


There is already an interconnection, an infrastructure which is getting more integrated and sophisticated. If somebody can hook up to a machine and then gain access and control of this superhighway.... If people hook up and become linked.... will consciousnesses coalesce into a collective mind?

Will the World Wide Web wake up (W x 5!)?

2045, is it? I wonder what seed of human genius will spark this.

That will make humans the likely ancestors of the Borg. At least, until we actually come in contact with other extraterrestrial civilizations, including Borg-like creatures. Meanwhile, back to earth: I hope cybernetic implants are covered by our senior citizen privileges.




mesagrandeacademy

Saturday, September 17, 2011

№ 38. The Empire Strikes Back


Windows 8. Can't wait.
Will you run on my black Mac?
Or will you just crash and quack?




Bento Box for Borgs and other hyper-sentient entities:

Windows engineering team, Delta Quadrant Unicomplex

Friday, September 16, 2011

№ 37. Plenitude

We miss the unessentials too often:
Like the forehead creases etched by a question;
Like the scent drawn by a naked stare;
Like the wind of a passing afterthought.


from Drawing a Blank

We bother punctuating days with familiar numbers;
But not with the drumming anticipation coiled in folded knuckles;
Not with the dull light illuminating an upturned page;
Not with the warm balm of a waiting, impatient cup.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

№ 34. Missing Pieces, Sue. Missing Pieces.

"Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living"
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)

The book is still fresh. Unfortunately, the background music has to go. Too sappy.




Bento Box:


Again, from Wikipedia. "A Boy Named Sue" is a song written by Shel Silverstein and performed by Johnny Cash. Cash was at the height of his popularity when he recorded the song live at California's San Quentin State Prison at a concert on 24 February 1969.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

№ 33. The Day the Music Died

I remember those lazy Sundays--- no cable TV, no iPhones, no internet and DVDs. Kids, you can say that the world then wasn't wifi-ed and interconnected.

And it was, no doubt, analog!

Our noises, rants and angsts were heard in rich sepia tones. Stereophonics, of course, came with the ambient hisses and pops. 



But no matter. The songs that lulled the afternoon hours away were classics. I think that's how my music ed germinated and took flight. My ears's early steps began with neither Chopin Etudes nor Beethoven sonatas. Nah. I started with the oldies, the pop songs of the 50s, 60s and the 70s. 


RJ Radio filled our tiny apartment with music from the post war, G.I. Joe era; the British Invasion; the flower power and Woodstock. The Platters, Nat King Cole, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles, Timi Yuro, Peter, Paul and Mary, Mamas and Papas, Connie Francis, Doris Day crooned the rounds of our radio playlists.

Here's one of them. 



I didn't realize this was Buddy Holly's version. I thought this was sung by Cliff Richard, also a favorite, when I heard it in the movie, "Have You Heard About the Morgans".




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

№ 32. Subic Beefs

There is proof that Tanduay Ice bends perception and reality. Thanks to a late nighter of that mild drink paired with wild Guesstures™. Throw in a grass skirt, light the mob of six on fire and you're set!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

№ 31. Abakada Typhoons

Hand me my stash. I have an itch to scratch. Will travel, again.

Manila is depressing when soaked and flooded by Abakada typhoons: Falcon, Goring, Hanna, Ineng, Juaning, Kabayan, Lando. 


All in unbroken succession. Who's next? 

You get the drip? (sorry, can't help it).


Saturday, July 30, 2011

№ 30. Animated Saturday

They're art born from relatively new and still evolving media. But the processes, I can imagine, require almost the same mindful creativity, vortex of resources, obsessive reach for perfection and marrow-seeping tedium as the genius behind Sistine Chapel.



Sometimes, just seeing the result, without the necessary but painful process, makes us forget of what it takes to create a gem. Is pain a necessary assumption for genius? Will art be denied its fruition without the fuel of misery? Is it really true that the boost of agony or the burn of acid at the seams of the tortured soul may propel the next breach in the limits of quantum physics? Should creators and their kind be unhappy? Otherwise, no art. Nada.

Well, assuming they already have the gift of genius, why else should they have access to a torrid sex life, right? Or at least a gum-pink healthy love life? What more do they need?

№ 29. My Life in REM Sleep



Today is May 4, 2010, Tuesday. We're in the middle of Manila's concrete bake off. It’s only 11:10 AM and I’m already melting from the heat. 



I’m writing this confession on a black Mac, which has the color of my id.

---


Like the rings of a redwood, sweat is etched in my indexes. They yield tales of the fat years as well as the lean ones. 

I have recently been self-employed---unplugged from the matrix of production.  Technically though, I am just a capitalist in hibernation.

I also just switched from Windows to Mac last year. 


Yes, I’m aware that Mac is a Q Continuum compared to that unenlightened majority of the technological divide. Those protozoans and their clones. Still, my Mac hums on XP. Defilement, you say. Well, my system can’t be purged of all eighteen years of assimilation. Redmond is still fused with my flesh.

---

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

№ 28. Manila Extract



You are dense.
An equation of salty noodles 
steaming in my cup.


You are stained.
A peppered whisper
left by the ketchup on my lips.


You are Manila.
A name seasoned by monsoons
stirring needles in my guts.

Monday, July 25, 2011

№ 27. Monday is Sandwich Day

"A sandwich is more than a food item. A sandwich is the whole world between two slices of bread. The construction of the right sandwich – ingredients balanced, mustards and mayonnaises judiciously administered, flavors harmoniously layered – can make people fall in love."

Sandwich

Sunday, July 24, 2011

№ 26. Invisible Realities

"The Non-Visible Museum is an extravaganza of imagination, a museum that reminds us that we live in two worlds: the physical world of sight and the non-visible world of thought. Composed entirely of ideas, the Non-Visible Museum redefines the concept of what is real. Although the artworks themselves are not visible, the descriptions open our eyes to a parallel world built of images and words. This world is not visible, but it is real, perhaps more real, in many ways, than the world of matter, and it is also for sale."



More in MONA


Bento: It's a new concept I'm still too timid to accept. Treading carefully, or I might get punk'd.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

№ 23. 34 and Hopeful ...

A facebook friend posted this blog by a young mom, 34, who's stricken with stage 3 breast cancer. I'm reposting this, just in case, someone might extend some help. Any help.

"I am a healthy, 34 year-old mother who breastfed my son for the first two years of his life. Despite receiving regular check-ups, my youthful age and presumed preventative measures, I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. I hope that this blog will open the eyes, minds and hearts of young women everywhere and change how they think about breast cancer. Please join me on my journey..." from 34 and Hopeful



Bento Box: 


I need to ask a doctor friend about this. Maybe he has a ready answer. How can regular check-ups miss a Stage 3 breast cancer? How malignant is breast cancer that malignant? I thought mammograms are standard for executive check-ups for women, especially beginning a certain age (I overhear this often in the office water cooler, among women friends, of course, and in the hospitals during my annual executive check-ups).

Just wondering about the mysteries of the known universe.

From wikipedia, "mammography is the process of using low-dose amplitude-X-rays (usually around 0.7 mSv) to examine the human breast and is used as a diagnostic and a screening tool. The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses and/or microcalcifications. Mammography is believed to reduce mortality from breast cancer. Remaining aware of breast changes and physician examination are considered essential parts of regular breast care."



Sunday, June 19, 2011

№ 22. Minding the Gaps

I won't fall because
My steps will mind the pavement,
By peeling off illusions.



Bento Box: "Minding the Gaps" is from the reminder to London commuters, "Please mind the gaps...". When I first heard it spoken in a very English accent, in the tube, in Islington station, I thought COOL. Way cooler than the 7*C spring weather, then. I shall return.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

№ 21. We want Coco! The red-orange variety, please.

"It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It's not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention."

Image from wikipedia


By tradition, college commencement addresses are supposed to be brief, serious, self-important and eminently forgettable because the diplomas are coming real soon. (Quick! Who spoke at your graduation?)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

№ 19. Cine Siesta 2: Midnight in Paris

Paris. Woody Allen. Paris + Woody Allen = Midnight in Paris.


I hope this comes close to the old favorites: The Purple Rose of Cairo, Mighty Aphrodite and Husbands and Wives.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

№ 18. A Weepy on a Rainy Night



And why do we root for the underdogs? Because....



Pain makes the spirit soar.


Thanks  for the Facebook post, EA

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

№ 17. Grave of Fireflies



Every creation myth needs a devil.
Every devil craves an adversary
Who will slay him by the heel of her feet.

Monday, June 6, 2011

№ 16. Wrinkles in Time


J. Paul Getty Museum, August 2006. This guy
(I forget his name, probably a Greek philosopher
or Roman senator) looks like a distinguished
Magneto, without his helmet. 

“I don’t really think about that … I’m 34 but I remember when I first went to Los Angeles. I was 24 – an agent who was going to take me on at the time thought I was 35 … I quite enjoy the lines on my forehead because they show my life. That’s my history and I like to see that in other people. Like this wrinkle is due to some girl who broke my heart. I don’t want to escape it in any way.”--- Michael Fassbender (aka Magneto)


Sunday, June 5, 2011

№ 15. Conversations



Excerpts from the conversation between the angels Damiel and Cassiel in “Wings of Desire”:

Damiel: It's great to live by the spirit, to testify day by day for eternity, only what's spiritual in people's minds. But sometimes I'm fed up with my spiritual existence. Instead of forever hovering above I'd like to feel a weight grow in me to end the infinity and to tie me to earth. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

№ 14. Three Questions. All About Bento Boxes.

Boxes in Tsukiji Market, Tokyo. Not bento. 

1st: What’s a bento box?

The trusty Wikipedia says that “Bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container.”

It is a lunch box. A lunch box that inspired IBM’s Thinkpad!

I love bentos because everything is carefully prepared and neatly arranged in err, a box. A friend tells me that the Japanese have rules for preparing bento. So she spent considerable time learning from her Japanese mother-in-law. I can only imagine how it went: Iie, not like that. Hai, cut that way.

Unlike the usual turu-turo (nothing wrong with turu-turo, of course), it simplifies one’s choices. It’s a convenience for those on the go. Turu-turo is our point and shoot style of ordering. It has its own merits worth writing in the future. But for now, bento.

The protein comes paired with the right vegetables, carbs, fruits and, sometimes, even soup. One doesn’t have to bother with both the choices and the proximity of the viands, etc. anymore. No more, “Ketchup please, Louise.” A balanced meal has been prepared. One just has to dig in.

In short, for a reformed OC, the structure and convenience entice. Wiping the drool now, Dr. Pavlov. Woof!




2nd: Is there method to the marvel in the box?
To sew order from chaos, that’s our sacred duty---all magnitudes of disasters, notwithstanding.

“This is bento lunch’s great strength: the thought and attention given to creating it. Making and presenting food with care is an act of love, whether it means a judicious balance of food ingredients (for taste, color, texture), or making the contents fun for a child, using imaginative cut-out shapes.” (Denis Dutton, from the New York Times article “Beauty and the Bento”)

Here’s an attempt to tame the universe in the box. 10 rules.


Thai version. This was our snack on a clean bus from 
Bangkok to Cambodia. Strictly speaking, not bento.



3rd: What’s bento got to do with this post?
I just happen to like food and metaphors. So I’m using what’s accessible and pleasant to my senses as a tool to explain a concept.

The bento box, under my posts here, is actually a meal for information omnivores like me. It’s a listing of links, resources, trivia and other marvels of the internet. I appreciate them, like footnotes, with gusto. They are marvels, for example, like the fried baby octopus dipped in soy sauce or the pink radish pickle that comes inside my favorite bento.

But for those who don’t care much for Japanese food, or right brain-imposed structure, or just boxes in general, nothing much really.

I’ll try to reign in on any excess. That’s rule No. 2 for me (2nd Question, above). There is no Babbette’s Feast here. I won’t attempt to rival Wikipedia. Not even a thought.

Bento in a Bento:

Neat discussion on the aesthetics of my favorite bento in Beauty and Bento.

---oΘo---

Sunday, May 29, 2011

№ 13. Cycling in my mind


Green Bicycle from mrfears on Vimeo.


You know how one is supposed to count heads of sheep, things and just about anything to sleep. They say it helps the mind sleep by focusing it on something other than sleep. Something that requires monotonous occupation or lulling repetition.

Daydream or imagination of things push me to the edge of sleep. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it saves me the stress of turning and tossing. TV does not work.

The video may be fodder for future forays (F, that’s the letter today folks!) into the science of sleep. It’s interesting enough to require attention. But it does not require as much brain wattage like quadratic functions.

Six hours till the alarm.

Hello Monday!

Friday, May 27, 2011

№ 11. Rilke at the Delta Quadrant


I stumbled upon this poem while, again, conducting a space exploration deep in the Delta Quadrant.

Thankfully, I skipped the Borg corridor. I didn’t want to be assimilated and forced another round of Talaxian beer and who knows what other nano ales.





Rainer Maria Rilke translated by Annemarie S. Kidder
I am so afraid of people's words.
They describe so distinctly everything:
And this they call dog and that they call house,
here the start and there the end.

I worry about their mockery with words,
they know everything, what will be, what was;
no mountain is still miraculous;
and their house and yard lead right up to God.

I want to warn and object: Let the things be!
I enjoy listening to the sound they are making.
But you always touch: and they hush and stand still.
That's how you kill.






Bento Box:

"René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a BohemianAustrian poet. He is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language. His haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety: themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets.

He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose. Among English-language readers, his best-known work is the Duino Elegies; his two most famous prose works are the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographicalThe Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. He also wrote more than 400 poems in French, dedicated to his homeland of choice, the canton of Valais in Switzerland."