Saturday, 4 July 2009

Why Chicks Cry.

In the Land of Invented Languages.

The Size of the Universe.


About griots, a musician (or bard or minstrel, or praise singer) caste of West Africa.

The Senegalese musician Youssou N'Dour is partly of griot ancestry and the recent film 'Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love' - which is about what makes him tick deal with this :

Griots on YouTube:

The Graphing Calculator Story.

'Pacific Tech's Graphing Calculator has a long history. I began the work in 1985 while in school. That became Milo, and later became part of FrameMaker. Over the last twenty years, many people have contributed to it. Graphing Calculator 1.0, which Apple bundled with the original PowerPC computers, originated under unique circumstances.'

'I used to be a contractor for Apple, working on a secret project. Unfortunately, the computer we were building never saw the light of day. The project was so plagued by politics and ego that when the engineers requested technical oversight, our manager hired a psychologist instead. In August 1993, the project was canceled. A year of my work evaporated, my contract ended, and I was unemployed.'

'I was frustrated by all the wasted effort, so I decided to uncancel my small part of the project. I had been paid to do a job, and I wanted to finish it. My electronic badge still opened Apple's doors, so I just kept showing up.'

The Hands Resist Him, or The Haunted Ebay Painting.

Codex Fejervary Mayer.

'The Codex Fejérváry-Mayer depicts specific aspects of the tonalpohualli the 260-day Mesoamerican augural cycle. The painted manuscript divides the world into five parts. T-shaped trees delineate compass points: east at the top, west on the bottom, north on the left, and south on the right. The four directions are distributed around a sacred center, shown here as Xiuhtecuhlti, the god of fire.'

Museum of Firecracker Label Art.

My Life as a Drunk.

'On 200 mg a day of baclofen, in an important meeting with several associate deans of my college and three new department chairs (I was made chair of my philosophy department just a few weeks before I tried to commit suicide), I fell asleep with my head on the conference room table and, for 40 minutes, everyone was too embarrassed to wake me. Somnolence is the most obvious and inconvenient side effect of baclofen. I reduced my dosage to 100 mg a day, and started taking it only at bedtime. A few days later, a colleague asked if I had changed my medicine. ‘Yes,’ I told her. ‘Why do you ask?’ She is German, an analytic philosopher, and therefore very direct: ‘You are drooling less than you were.'


'Euripides likes to give a twist to an old myth. Jason was a real man, a great hero, who had led the Greeks' greatest overseas adventure (this was long before the Trojan War). He'd married a beautiful and clever princess. But they dont "live happily ever after". Euripides imagines the couple years later, when Jason is beginning to show symptoms of the male menopause. '

The Classics Pages :

Monsterama: Cute Creeps from Pop Culture.

Evian Roller Babies.

Unmistaken Child.

The Bank That Time Forgot.

'The SkyBank building in downtown Youngstown, one of the oldest buildings in the city, was constructed in 1909 and has barely been touched since. I recently had the opportunity to work at this bank, and explore the vast secrets its labyrinthine layout holds. After many adventures, I escaped with my life, and hereby present my findings.'

North Korea's Beer Ad.

Flags of Forgotten Countries.

Herland (1909).

'Gilamn's feminist novel, Herland was one of a flood of utopian books at the turn of the 20th century where sex roles are inverted. Gilman imagined a society where women not only rule, but are the only gender. Reproducing by parthenogenesis, they worship a female deity. This particular book later became a must-read for the second-wave feminists, particularly the 'separatist' wing. '

Phallic Worship (1875).

Manga-style Illustrations by Shohei Otomo.

'Ballpoint pen artist Shohei Otomo mashes up old and new in bold illustrations spiked with heavy doses of manga-style gore and perversion.'

Buddhist Holidays.

Astro Pics.

NGC 4676: When Mice Collide.

Inside the Eagle Nebula.

The North America Nebula.

The Trifid Nebula in Stars and Dust.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'What have you learned through your career, major, or specialization that you wish the general public knew?'

E.g. - 'As a world business traveller, I wish Americans and Brits would learn the concepts of "indoor voices" and "shouting doesn't get your point across, it just makes people hate you".'

'Ridiculous and rad combinations of 2 or 3 flavors. The weirder the better.'

'I crave a great novel that's as addictive as a popcorn movie. Please recommend me some literary page-turners.'

On being sober.

How cheque-cashing scams on Craigslist work.

Someone's Photos of China.

Washington Heights, NYC.

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