Friday, January 26, 2007
He stood there motionless, gazing, gazing through a timeless succession of mounting intensities and ever-profounder significances. Tears filled his eyes and overflowed at last onto his cheeks. He pulled out his handkerchief and wiped them away.
"I can't help it," he apologized.
He couldn't help it because there was no other way in which he could express his thankfulness.
bodies have myriad ways of expressing negative emotions, and these methods are often (or at least can be) emphatic. but positive emotions are much harder to express in extremes. smiling is just so *common*; a smile that truly expresses happiness is of course possible, but it can be hard for an onlooker to gauge the degree emotion being expressed. disgust is easy to display; joy is much more challenging.
the beauty of tears is that it is the one instinctual positive reaction that a human has available to demonstrate positive emotion--the one way that a soul can force the body it inhabits to show joy--and that it is a demonstration of emotion that is almost impossible to feign.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
burning man oO7
vera posted a beautiful story today about why burning man is so special.
I was walking on 24th Street the other day. I was wearing yellow sun glasses, green gloves, a candy-striped scarf and a poofy green prom dress. A woman was walking in front of me, carrying a little girl. The girl was looking at me, and she kept looking. Not taking her eyes off me, she turned towards her mom's face and said "Turn around.." She wanted her mom to look at me.The mom turned around and then immediately whisked the girl away to look at a display in a window. ...
At Burning Man, the woman would have looked at me. She would have listened to her child, and she would have turned around and looked at me. She might even have said something like "Yeah, she is wearing a poofy green dress! Look at that!" She would have been open, and she would have taught her child that it's okay to be open.
that's pretty much it in a nutshell.
[note: stated publicly, to improve accountability, my simplest resolution for the year is as follows: i vow to actually get my version of 'the grinch who stole chrismas' out to the playa this time.]
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
and yes, i know several people in the picture. and yes, i now love them even more than i used to. especially the one who wore pink briefs with his necktie.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
note to self:
some words from aldous huxley's 'island'.
"The medicine takes you to the same place as you get to in meditation."
"So why bother to meditate?"
"You might as well ask, Why bother to eat your dinner?"
"But, according to you, the medicine *is* dinner."
"It's a banquet," she said emphatically. "And that's precisely why there has to be meditation. You can't have banquests every day. They're too rich and they last too long. Besides, banquets are provided by a caterer; *you* don't have any part in the preparation of them. For your everyday diet you have to do your own cooking. The medicine comes as an occasional treat."
"In theological terms," said the other man, "the medicine prepares one for the reception of gratuitous graces--premystical visions or the full-blown mystical experiences. Meditation is one of the ways in which one co-operates with those gratuitous graces."
"By cultivating the state of mind that makes it possible for the dazzling ecstatic insights to become permanent and habitual illuminations."
Thursday, January 11, 2007
ruminations on the sF underground eDm scene
his view primarily encompasses realms of the scene that most of my friends and i don't inhabit too often these days, but we still go to get freaky and we still go to mighty, and i personally still like to go to opel parties once in a while. also, i think a lot of his observations are applicable to all parts of the scene, and at any rate they affect friends of ours around the city.
syd's gotten a lot of shit for some of the stuff he wrote, but imo he was spot-on with a lot of his assessments. a lot of the crews he mentions are a bit outside my sphere, but for the realms that i play in i generally agree with his thoughts.
i think it's important to do assessments like this every so often--both as someone who wants to be a member of a community i can be proud of, and as someone who wants to throw innovative events. in order to stay dynamic and awesome, we need to have foresight and notice change.
and the general observations are intended to be taken by an audience as just that--general. trends and scene-wide movements don't preclude good parties and hard work.
anyways. i find this sort of thing massively intriguing. comments encouraged.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
i could use more words, but it'd be lamer than this posting. so read that instead.
desalination, part the second
Company floats offshore desalination plan
Fleet of conversion vessels would process water while out at sea
by kevin howe
monterey herald, 10.12.06
Water Standard, headed by founder and CEO Andrew Gordon, holds patents for turning seawater into fresh water that provides environmental protection for marine life with the intake of seawater and a system for deterring "plumes" of brine and heated water emissions. They say their approach provides a reliable, safe water source while avoiding many environmental issues that crop up when a land-based desalination plant is proposed. ...
An oceangoing seawater conversion vessel doesn't need intake and outfall lines on the seabed, Gordon said. It draws its water a short distance through a telescoping snorkel that can be set to the optimum depth to avoid damage to sea life and get the best-quality water.
Brine -- water with a concentrated salt content that is left after freshwater is processed -- doesn't get pumped out of an outfall onto the near-shore seabed, he said. The proposed ships would be able to mix the brine with raw seawater and discharge the diluted brine in the deep ocean, where it would be further diffused.
There would be no need to pair the desalination plant with a power plant, as most projects do, Gordon said. The ships would generate their own power with jet turbine engines of the type used on jumbo jets, fueled by clean-burning biodiesel oil or marine gas oil, neither of which produce sulphur emissions. Such engines, he said, have demonstrated their reliability on aircraft, ships and land-based electric power generating plants. With their own power source, Gordon said, the ships would be immune to power failures, could operate at cheaper rates than land-based plants because of fuel costs, and operate over the horizon to avoid visual impact from the shore.
They aren't vulnerable to earthquakes or tsunamis, and can sail away if a heavy storm looms.
The freshwater would be brought ashore in "food-grade" tankers similar to those used for bulk transport of orange juice concentrate or wine, Gordon said, or by modular tug barge tankers. ...
The group is looking to build ships capable of processing 20 million to 200 million gallons of water a day, he said. Such a vessel could be built in two years. Plying the coast of California, a Water Standards seawater conversion ship could provide water to a consortium of companies and relieve pressure on land-based water supplies, Gordon said, such as the Carmel River. If their product isn't needed in one place, it could be delivered to another. ...
Water Standard Co., Gordon said, would be willing to deliver a ship and recruit and train crews, then sell it to the water management district or other public agency if the area wants the water plant under public ownership. ...
Main Entry: 1 myriad [noun]
1 : ten thousand
2 : a great number <a myriad of ideas>
Usage: Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. There is no reason to avoid it.
Main Entry: 2 myriad [adjective]
1 : INNUMERABLE <those myriad problems>; also : both numerous and diverse <myriad topics>
2 : having innumerable aspects or elements <the myriad activity of the new land -- Meridel Le Sueur>
Friday, January 05, 2007
i want to know two things.
1. why did it end up being misused?
2. am i allowed to use the wrong definition in formal writing and speech without fear of being chastised? because i really like the wrong definition.
first, here's an acknowledgment of the situation:
"In standard English nonplussed means ‘surprised and confused’. A new meaning, ‘not disconcerted; unperturbed’, has developed recently in North American English, probably on the assumption that the prefix non- must have a negative meaning; this is not yet accepted as standard usage."
and here's another, more lengthy response that negates the legitimacy of the new meaning.
wikipedia, however, in it's omnicience regarding modern truths, gives an assessment that is imo likely closest to what will end up as 'accepted', if it's not accepted already:
"Nonplussed is a state of confusion or bewilderment. It is also a neologism meaning unimpressed."
so then. the answer to 1. is that there doesn't appear to be any good reason for the misusage. and the answer to 2. seems to be that i probably shouldn't use it for a couple more years, unless i'm willing to spout websites in my defense.