Sunday, August 06, 2017

Kafkaesque diagnosis

God's one and only voice is silence

~Herman Melville, born on this date in 1819

Sunsets are beloved because they vanish.” Ray Bradbury, From the Dust Returned ...  Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance

Our garden has never been as noisy as at this Sunday"s brunch friends sharing experiences with family in Ireland, journeys in France and others heading to Africa - stories filled with safaris tips from Kenya ...

When did disagreeing with someone become akin to oppression? When we conflated our opinions and our identities  

The Cohort: Can we really afford to take time off from work?

    “If one places a stick in the ground and marks the position of the sun every day at the same time, after 365 days, the sun will naturally form a figure 8 onto the ground. This figure 8 is called an ‘analemma’ and is a Greek term which means ‘pedestal of a sundial.’ Our ancestors believed (or better stated, wholly recognized) that the sun is a conscious and intelligent being who was speaking directly to them. But the sun was not speaking to them in English or Aramaic or Latin or Greek, but instead, it was speaking the universal language of number and geometry. Most modern minds would probably consider our ancestral relatives to be downright crazy with such assertions…such thoughts are born from the minds of primitives and superstitious savages! Maybe. But guess how many minutes it takes for the sun’s rays to reach the Earth? 8.” 

    – Claudia Pavonis

    Jonathan Lethem and Rock Criticism

    SINCE I was a teenager, I’ve been fascinated by the lions of music journalism and rock criticism — Greil Marcus, Robert Christgau, Ellen Willis, and others, especially fromthe field’s 1970s heyday. The novelist ... read more

    AJBlog: CultureCrash

    Poet Ocean Vuong On Translation, Success, And Optimism In This Moment

    Vuong says that it’s far more common to be from a poor background than a middle-class one, but the literary world doesn’t seem to know it. “The fact of the matter is that displacement, immigration and war are some of the most common factors of human history, so I always insist with a little mischievousness that I’m writing something very normal, very common. In fact, perhaps the middle class story is the exotic.”
    What do we get from poems and songs? The effects are probably as much a product of what you bring as what you take  

    Quartz: “In order to feel good, humans require interaction with nature. We have a genetically based affiliation with the natural world—a primal desire for the outdoors known as biophilia. This phenomenon describes our urge to connect with other life forms and manifests itself in our love of gardening and camping to owning pets, gifting flowers, and even selecting waterfall wallpapers for our smartphone backgrounds. The link between the environment and the health of the human mind is a growing subfield of psychology, and research shows clear evidence linking the physical world to the health of our mental world. For example, studies have found that exposure to nature helps reduce our stress levelsrestores energy and mental focusprevents depression, and aids healing of physical ailments, while too little exposure fosters anxiety, despair, numbness, and abstract grief. But many people don’t have access to these green, feel-good settings. More than half the world’s population currently lives in cities, where it can be hard to access nature in the quantities needed for optimal physical and psychological wellbeing. By 2050, the UN predicts that 70% of Earth’s population will live in urban areas. And with urbanization often comes more environmental destruction, which will only take us further away from the natural world…”
    BookBub is a free service that helps millions of readers discover great deals on acclaimed ebooks while providing publishers and authors with a way to drive sales and find new fans. Members receive a personalized daily email alerting them to the best free and deeply discounted titles matching their interests as selected by our editorial team. BookBub works with all major ebook retailers and devices, and is the industry’s leading ebook price promotion service. BookBub was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.”

    "I’m not an easy man / I guess I’ll never be / But I was always yours,” Sultan sings on ‘Easier Man’.
    To watch Dan Sultan hold an audience in the palm of his hand is to see a storyteller unafraid to lay it all out there: his troubles, desires and all those tales dragged from his life onto the stage. Ever since Sultan delivered his debut album, Homemade Biscuits, in 2006 at the age of 22, music lovers from all walks of life have found a home in his ability to bare his longings and his wounds, his rich and soulful voice spilling all sorts of guts and glory over memorable rock, roots and blues hooks.

    Paul Shetler: forget high tech fantasies if you can't answer the phones. The former chief executive of the Digital Transformation Agency still thinks was a good idea, cut down by federal bureaucrats who felt it wasn’t exciting and cutting-edge enough.

    Dan Sultan goes in for the kill - The Sydney Morning Herald

    Ondřej Němec - Third festival of the second culture, Hrádeček, 1. 10. 1977, from left Vratislav „Vráťa“ Brabenec, Jiří „Kába“ Kabeš, Ivan M. Jirous and Václav Havel

    Ondřej Němec - Third festival of the second culture, Hrádeček, 1. 10. 1977, from left Vratislav „Vráťa“ Brabenec, Jiří „Kába“ Kabeš, Ivan M. Jirous and Václav Havel

    Ondřej Němec - The funural of professor Jan Patočka at the Břevnov cemetery became an anti-communist manifestation, Pavel Landovský kneeling by the grave, 16. 3. 1977
    Ondřej Němec - The funural of professor Jan Patočka at the Břevnov cemetery became an anti-communist manifestation, Pavel Landovský kneeling by the grave, 16. 3. 1977

    Jaroslav Kukal - Václav Havel and his wife Olga, Hrádeček, 1986
    Jaroslav Kukal - Václav Havel and his wife Olga, Hrádeček, 1986

    2017 marks 10 years since the last financial crash, which wiped out Lehman Brothers, saw the first run on a UK bank - Northern Rock - in 150 years, and led to governments around the world bailing out global banking giants.
    But what changed, and where are we headed now? These are just two questions that the people behind “10 Years After The Crash” are hoping to answer. A new website has been launched, and a number of events are being planned in September to discuss topics related to the global financial crisis. Do check out the website, which already has a number of articles up.