Friday, September 28, 2007

some simple ideas for being human/relational

Found the list of suggested actions in this article very helpful:

Monday: Free attention give away (Open a door for someone)
Tuesday: Free attention give away (Just say HI to people you normally wouldn’t)
Wednesday: Ask a small talk question
Thursday: Count to three (after you ask a question of someone and before you say anything)
Friday: Talk to someone who you haven’t talked to in a while

guess the key is the KISS principal. Works for me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

still confused

U.S. first lady Laura Bush is urging the Burmese military government to show restraint and refrain from further violence against pro-democracy protesters. In an interview with White House correspondent Paula Wolfson, which was broadcast live to Burma over VOA, Mrs. Bush declared solidarity with the Burmese people, amid reports that Burmese soldiers had opened fire on protesters.

and reference this

This young lady embodies the name of this blog

crashed hard drive!

So I am currently out of commission as my hard drive crashed. New one arrives friday. grrrrr. See you next week. School starts today--4 classes: intermediate spanish, clinical psychology, advanced multivariable calculus, and lab in human performance. I'm stoked.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


a different, and perhaps insightful, take on worship H/T Vidi Aquam

This week in Iraq under American occupation

302 dead civilians.


  • Diwaniya: 12-year-old son and elderly father of Mahdi army leader killed during US/Iraqi raid on their house.
  • Baghdad: 2 civilians reported killed during US/Iraqi raid, one of them a 5-year-old boy
  • Baquba: 3 family members shot dead in their car
  • Baquba: 6-year-old boy killed by sniper fire.

Cost to U.S. taxpayers for this seven days of occupation: 1.9 Billion dollars

question: if you are living in the united states, feel relatively safe from active violence, have food to eat, have a place to sleep, use the postal service, the roads, the garbage service, have water to drink, have cash to buy an espresso drink, etc. etc., then what does justice look like in terms of your relationship with the friends and family of the 302 people mentioned above (not to mention those of the other 734,567)?

I have no idea about the answer to this question, but it strikes me that the answer is potentially rather frightening. and Rachel adds this as well

American mercenaries

Blackwater USA

Some Iraqis didn't seem to care which version was correct. For them, the
real problem is that their country is occupied by foreigners — whether soldiers
or civilians.
"Our problem is rooted in the occupation, regardless of
whether it's by security firms or foreign troops," a Baghdad resident, who have
his name only as Abu Ahmed, told Associated Press Television News. "This is one
of the grave consequences of the occupation."

Happy belated birthday to this blog

My first regular post was 9/19/06 (that's 19/9/06 for you Aussies) This is post number 318. It's been a lot of fun so far.

This man says more with less than anyone else I know. Thankyou Martin!

Friday, September 21, 2007

thought this was fun.

h/t byron

also this

blogger play

So today I found out about this kewl new app from blogger which shows photos which are currently (realtime) being uploaded to blogger blogs. How kewl is that? one after the other, just as people upload them. It's called blogger play. check it out.

Monday, September 17, 2007

short update

so recently I have:

*gone to Kindlings Muse with Laurel and Chris, and there heard Jeffery Overstreet being interviewed and got a copy of Auralia's Colors for Megsie

*gone to see B.B. King in concert on his 82nd birthday, as well as Etta James, who is touring with him. I found Etta a bit creepy, as she is 69 years old and has the blatant sexuality of Britney Spears. Just me, I guess. B.B. was fun, however. He talked about what it was like growing up in a segregated society in Mississippi in the 20's and 30's.

*attempted to avoid thinking about grad school applications.

*attempted to avoid wondering just how hard advanced multivariable calculus is going be this quarter.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Coco singing "Nobdoy knows the trouble I've seen"

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I don't know vs. I know.

My friend Russell, who spent several years in France, told me a great story the other night. While he was learning French, one day he asked a friend "What that word you keep saying 'Jepas'"? (as in "Shay PAH"). After something like half an hour, they finally figured out it was "Je ne sais pas", French for "I don't know". But it all got kind of boiled down to "Jepas". And of course we do the same thing with lots of phrases. "I don't know", for instance, gets boiled down to this strange three syllable word which is all vowel, and is practically impossible to spell, but might look something like "uhnuh". This is intriguing, because if you think about it, the opposite declaration, "I know!", is always said quite clearly. Maybe we humans feel kind of negative about not knowing, so we boil having to admit it down to the shortest, mumblyest form possible.

Or "Have you eaten yet?" become "Jeat?"

Got any further examples?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Last night for some reason I had many many strange and vivid dreams. The one that struck me most was this: I was sitting in a libraryish building in a europeanish city, and I was quietly weeping my heart out over my loss of christianity. It actually felt quite cathartic.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

sky view cafe

So Megs and I were sitting in the hot tub last night looking up at the stars, and attempting to identify stars and constellations. I've not done this much at all ever. Megs has done it a bit more than me. But one kewl little web application I learned about back when I did astronomy 101 is called Sky View Cafe. It's kewl cause it will show you current night sky from anywhere on earth, with bright stars, constellations, planets, and lots of other kewl things if you want. So last night we saw Cassiopeiae, which reminded me of my good friend Matt Beasley. He used to raise and race sled dogs, and one litter he had were all named after contellations, including Cassiopeiae. Included in Cassiepeiae is the star Alpha Cassiopeiae, more popularly known as Shedir, which is from the Arabic word for breast. Shedir is 500 times brighter than Sol, although you couldn't tell it by looking at it with the naked eye in the night sky. It's 230 light years away, which means that with current technology there's no way in hell any of us are ever going to see it much closer than we currently can.

Friday, September 07, 2007

An exercise in three parts, Part 2.

Part 1 is here.

2. Now think of 5 things you want to accomplish during the rest of your life. If your first page is too full, redraw the same line on a second sheet of paper, putting the same mark for where you are now. Below the line, take a few minutes to think about and write down 5 things that it is important to you to do between now and the end of your life. Describe each goal in 1-4 sentences. Take about 4-8 minutes to complete this part, but don't stress if it takes you longer or shorter. Also don't stress if you feel like doing 4 or 6 goals. The point is to get you thinking, not to rigidly follow the guidelines. This will really work best if you complete parts 1 and 2 before reading part 3. You'll lose a lot of the utility of the exercise, in my opinion, if you peek at part 3 before finishing parts 1 and 2.

Part 3 is here

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

complete the sentence.

Megs was helping the girls with their workbook, and she misread "Carrot is to rabbit as dog is to __________"

So complete the sentence.

Monday, September 03, 2007

size of english wikipedia, printed out

I thought this was kind of kewl. details here.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

fire of london

On today's date in 1666, the fire of london began in Pudding Lane. It burned for three days, destroying the homes of 70000 of the city's 80000 residents.

I have a question about the fire. It seems that during and after the fire, lots of people were looking for someone to blame. A lot of blame was directed toward the immigrant population of London, and also toward Roman Catholicism.

So over the years, I've learned that American culture, and to some extent western culture in general, is rather more into blaming than other cultures--especially "eastern" cultures. Is this true? And if it is, is it reflected in historical directions of blame? when big disasters happened in "eastern" cultures, was there less blame thrown around?

We certainly are still into the blame thing, aren't we? I mean we certainly went to lengths to find people to blame for 9-11.