Cyber-Gish | Kiffin's blog
There is something about the masses of people and faces all around that makes one think a little more deeply.
In many ways very similar to the unknowing wad of paper over there spiraling around endlessly because it is caught in the corner by some gust of wind.
The motion never stops and no one ever seems to get to where they are supposed to arrive.
Finally when the day is over and it is time to return, the same motions and masses reconnect and cross-over as if for the very first time.
The old bearded man with the crooked hat plays his accordion like he has never done better before.
Better run more quickly before the train departs for good.
Sorry to tell you this, but you have been conceived in a genetic lottery.
Does that then necessarily reduce the importance of your purpose in life?
I think not.
There you are the whole winter, long and dark and freezing cold. And you are thinking then, well it doesn't matter. Part of nature's way is all. Be patient and wait long enough.
Summer will come and make the long wait well worth it. Bright and sunny and warm.
Now it is the beginning of July, and I am wondering when that day will EVER come. It has been dreary and cold and it has been raining an awful lot. The summer is half way gone already.
Just part of nature's way is all. Something we all have to understand and accept.
No use complaining the rest of your live now is there?
It is a well-known fact that God created everything around you including yourself. After that it is up to you to keep on creating things as you see fit. This must come from your heart and spirit, otherwise it will not work as expected.
Rummage around a 3D human brain to see just where your own body clock sits, gently ticking away.
On the one hand for nerds only, but on the other hand quite informative for those who are curious about human nature (like me).
Here's something fun to try out if and when you are in an adventurous mood to explore.
Take a 3D tour of the planets.
Now that mosquito season is quickly approaching, it has become a mad rush for me to get all of the screens around the house repaired and affixed properly to the appropriate doors, windows and other openings. A number of screens are torn and/or have holes in them, one whole sliding door has fallen completely off of its hinges, and another hangs crookedly producing a gaping space on the right side of the window.
If I am not quick enough, droves of those gregarious creatures will be streaming in and searching out innocent victims and undeserving fools.
This is not one of those activities that you would place near the top of the list of favorite things to do. But it must be done, and when it has been completed, your life experience (sans mosquitoes) is improved immensely.
anthropic principle: We see the universe the way it is because if it were different, we would not be here to observe it. Think about it.
"But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place then for the creator?"
- Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
There are more chickens than people in the world.
Proven fact: a giraffe has the same number of bones in its neck
as a man. Things around you are not always what you expect.
"The sun evaporates 8 thousand billion tonnes of water each year from the surface of the Amazon jungle - the same amount of energy as half a million atomic bombs."
- Science & Nature Newsletter
Now rather than compare such a wonderful phenomenon of nature with the destructive force of nuclear weapons, I would have preferred a more positive and appropriate comparison. Let's say to lighting up all the major cities for ten years, or to sending the whole world population to mars and back ten times, or to providing pollution-free energy for transportation for the next century, or to whatever. Anything is better than a bunch of atomic bombs whose only purpose (and result) would be to destroy the Amazon jungle and the rest of the surrounding world a hundred times over.
Alright so there is this positively charged ball hanging from a string, and the ball weighs 9.2 grams. To the right is a flat metal plate which has a negative charge, causing the ball to be pulled because of the attraction and to hang at a slight angle from perpendicular, e.g. when it is hanging loose without the charged plate there. The vertical distance is 71.7 centimeters and the horizontally displaced distance is 4.3 centimeters. How much force is pulling on the ball?
I assured my son that I could figure this out. Sure. He had been stumped the whole morning, and the fact that he even asked for my help was a sign that it was indeed a tricky problem. I struggled and strained my brain cells, but quickly realized I was not as intrepid nor sharp as I used to be in the good old student days. I got a headache and felt frustrated. Drats.
But I was not about to admit it nor was I going to give up. Never ever.
So I retired to my study, sat down at my desk and drew pictures with arrows and force vectors and so forth. I checked it and double checked it. The answer came to me in about thirty minutes or so. In the past I could have solved this trivial physics problem in no time. With age time slows down. But I had the answer, and it was right.
The answer is: 0.005407 N (= 4.3 cm / 71.7 cm x 0.0092 kg x 9.8 N/kg)
When I saw that smallish object over there spiraling down from the sky I wondered if it really could be true.
Below you will find some clear proof that everything is connected to everything else in one way or another.
Feel free to test this hypothesis by clicking on the individual shapes and dragging them around the area (which represents the whole universe). You and only you are capable of producing the most unbelievably beautiful and intricate shapes within this web we call human experience.
Try it out and see for yourself. See, I told you so...
When you sit in the train and gaze at the distant horizon through all the trees that are flashing by, it is not perfectly clear whether or not those birds over there are actually floating on the water or hovering just above the surface. You see, the movement of the train combined with the perfect stillness of the horizontal line produces an illusion of depth. It is perfectly clear that the distant flatness is there and that the ground next to the window is there as well, however anything inbetween conveys less of such a distinction between this and that. The reflection of the blue sky on the water and the apparent shadows of the birds together make an unusual reorientation of things not that unusual at all. That is why it took my eyes a second or two longer to refocus and try to make sense of this interesting and misleading natural phenomenon.
At the side of the road he could clearly see the tall grass swaying in the wind, producing these oscillating and masterful waves. It was a wonderful site in which to engage one's thoughts, especially since he knew very well that he was the cause of all this. For a quick second he looked the other way and the swaying motion stopped, only to continue just as before when he re-engaged his thoughts and sights in the original direction. Funny how all those passers-by had absolutely no idea of what was really happening. Yes, he could control it all, well almost all of it, and he was getting better and better. After having practiced now for so many years, the effort of concentration required was much less. Sometimes it just arose without his control, and he wondered then if it was he or some higher power. No he was the soul cause, he was sure, and he would prove it some day. He kind of knew how he would do this convincing show, but first he would have to plan it all out better in his head. That is where it all resided anyway, in his head. Alright, just a little extra gust of wind here, some higher oscillations of grass waving over there and then a complete stop. All of the people kept going on with their lives unrelenting and unappreciative of this artistic work of his. In one way it made him angry, but then again since his emotions were merely thoughts of his thoughts of what was happening and being caused all around him, it really did not matter any more.
The sound of freshly fallen snow when you walk on it issues a gentle and relaxing mood. Although the early morning sky has been darkened somewhat, there is this fluffy carpet wherever you look. You feel thankful that nature has lit up the ground by laying this entrance way at your feet to guide your steps.
Later on the very same day...
The painful feeling of hard sleet slicing across your face as you cycle into town becomes nearly unbearable. Although the wind is not blowing exactly against you, the side-wise bursts of wind feel like whips against the exposed left cheek. You wonder how it is possible that nature can seem so peaceful one moment and in the next transform into a howling beast.
So tell me, what are those big black objects over there drifting across the sky? They appear vague and somewhat blurred, and because it is difficult if not impossible to pinpoint their exact position, I cannot tell whether they are off on the horizon or closer by. Please, wouldn't it be nice if there were some kind of answer? Large objects, small objects, those inbetween. Skimming and dancing as if that were meant to be.
There was this guy again, and he was telling me a bunch of stuff. You see, at first he gave me the impression that he knew what he was talking about, like he was some kind of expert or something. Certainly the gestures he made with his hands combined with the staring look of concentrated determination made me think even more than I normally would. The ironic thing was when later I was told that there are many impressions which when taken out of context at a later moment in time seem more important than they in reality were and are. Makes a lot of sense when you sit down and think about it, like right now.
Sometimes it is exactly this time of the winter season when during the early evening hours the moon merely hangs there. Just dangling beneath the night sky like a low-hanging fruit up for grabs. A circular slice of light being reflected backwards in time. Movement so powerfully slow that the passing arc is seen to change if one stares long enough and imagines it. So close that one can almost touch the sphere's jagged and cratered surface if only humanity could concentrate hard and long enough.
You might not realize it, but you should. Time is in the imagination but it is still passing us by at an amazingly fast rate. If you do not believe me, then have a look for yourself:
Just click on the object above to find out where you are at the exact moment of the here-and-now. Appreciate the peace and quiet for a moment before continuing on in life (by clicking it again). Hopefully you will learn to appreciate things better when you realize this.
By the way, I created this thing all by myself using the latest, fanciest, state-of-the-art version of SWiSHMax, like it?
If like me you also happen to be a proud owner of the most recent version of SWiSHMax, then you can download the SWiSH file and see for yourself how I created this near masterpiece.
Just for the fun of it, I decided to add a new SWiSH category for this blog where I can collect all my creations in one place.
While I was taking a leisurely whizz early this afternoon, I was just minding my own business. I was standing there craning my neck so I could look out of the window above which was slightly ajar. When I heard a slight and quick tap-and-snap on the tiled wall to my left, I awoke ever so slightly from my reverie of whizzing. That quick tap sounded like a small pebble had been thrown in through the open window above me, coming right out of some dream world, and this tiniest object of objects had ricocheted twice before landing in the toilet bowl water right in front of me.
The ripples were spreading outward, and I bent down to look.
Upon closer inspection, I saw that the blackish pebble was not made of stone at all. It was floating. According to the laws of physics, a pebble would sink and disappear. And it hadn't. My mind started working and thinking and figuring things out, slowly but surely. Wait one minute! The thing was moving around slowly. There was a set of six tiny legs flapping around desperately in an attempt to turn the tiny pebble back over again. No it was not a pebble, it was an insect, a beetle kind of thing. A beetle. The little beetle had no hope in hell, and I could have flushed the toilet and put it out of its misery.
The natural thing to do, survival of the fittest, or not?
I decided that it was not the time for survival of the fittest nonsense, for something greater and more historical was in the making. Via this fluke of circumstance, nature had purposely challenged me. React you fool and do something, or else! So that is what I did. I ripped off a small section of toilet paper, reached down into the bowl, and lifted this tiny wonderful creature up and out of the ocean of water that was just about to swallow him up. Swallow him up forever and forever. And no one would have ever noticed. Except me, of course.
Who did this giant being think he was saving an innocent insect-soul for no reason at all? It was the beetle effect, that's what it was, the beetle effect. And it was about to make the biggest difference in the world.
Confused and wet and shaking all over, this beetle recovered very quickly indeed. Like nothing had ever happened in the first place. What had I done? The beetle was ready to jump off this throne of tissue right back into the ocean I had saved him from, but I wadded my fist shut to save him (again). I raised my hand to reach the window opening, shook the piece of tissue outside the window, opened my hand. Off he went, that little wonderful crazy beetle, the insect-soul.
I had saved his life, and the beetle would continue to do something. Something that he would have never been able to do had I not been awakened by nature's calling, challenging me to do something out of the ordinary. This might seem crazy, but it was not. That something the beetle was about to do would lead to something else and then to something else, on and on for who knows how long. The beetle effect, all over again. While not the first, I had made my mark within that sliver of time, and I had changed fate, all my own. Some day that new current of time would glance off of another glint of time and would come back to thank me with even more goodness.
Something small had changed and it would lead to something big, bigger and bigger.
[Note: The "Butterfly Effect" is the propensity of a system to be sensitive to initial conditions. Such systems over time become unpredictable, this idea gave rise to the notion of a butterfly flapping it's wings in one area of the world, causing a tornado or some such weather event to occur in another remote area of the world.]
The inner and the outer are complimentary aspects of the very same thing which exist in order to keep each other in balance.
According to Jung, each of us entertains essentially two personalities. The first and most obvious is the persona which is the commonly known personality that we project outwards and by which everyone knows us. The second and less known (and even less obvious) is the anima (for a man) and animus (for a woman). The inner and the outer personalities are complimentary. Men entertain an aggressive, macho, daring attitude which is balanced by the softer more emotional feminine attitude. Woman seem to be softer and effeminate on the outside, but more often than not they are solid and perseverance attitudes which keep them going in an insane world. Men like to act tough but cry on the inside, and women seem to get all emotional and teary while becoming stronger on the inside because of their ability to release inner tensions.
[Soul as anima]
"As to the character of the anima, my experience confirms the rule that is is, by and large, complementary to the character of the persona. The anima usually contains all those common human qualities which the conscious attitude lacks."
-- Carl Jung.
You might find it a strange concept to contemplate. Recent research has indicated that water can remember things. So perhaps homeopathy has some substance of truth afterall, e.g. the idea that solutions diluted millions of times to leave just one last molecule in place might not be that crazy an idea at all.
The New Scientist magazine article called Icy claim that water has memory gives more details for those interested to learn more.
Exactly fifty years ago to this very day, this is what large parts of south-west Holland looked like:
For those fine folks out there who are more interested in exploring the historical background to this terrible event, the following links will provide you with more information:
There is this thin layer of crisp dry snow on the ground this early morning. The cool sub-freezing air bites ever so slightly as you breathe it into your lungs. Giving one strength with each inhalation. When you place those gentle footsteps on the snow, the feeling is like walking on snippets of egg shell where crackling and sliding sounds cause you almost to slip but not quite.
As the temperature rises, the ice thins. And as the ice gets thinner and thinner, skating for me seems to be more and more out of the question again. Too bad, like I was really looking forward to making a fool of myself. As I sit here in the early morning, there is this regular crack, crackle and then a loud explosion. Blocks and thick slabs of ice loosen, slip and then fall off from the house. The sides, the windows and the roof. Sometimes these frozen pieces fall to the concrete patio steps. They crash like some giant expensive vase which has fallen off of the roof and shattered into a million pieces. Like shards of glass. Other slabs fall off to the side onto the softer dirt with this thud that sound like a unconscious human body pounding the ground with intensity. I look out the window, and by the end of the morning I can see a whole array of differing shapes of ice which have scattered all over the place. This is a weird but amazing site to see. A miracle you might say. As if nature is coming alive and spitting out shimmering crystals it cannot digest. Motion in an otherwise cold and motionless world. Crack and kaboom! There goes another one. Each time it happens, the sudden noise scares me out of my wits. Even though it has been happening all morning, and I should be getting used to it by now. It is just the cascading vibrations and the bizarre cacophony of sound that trigger some hidden demon inside of me. Whose purpose is to shake me awake so that I will not forget. Never forget or else. Will I be saved from the frightening prospect of having to skate or not?
As the temperature drops, the ice thickens. And as the ice gets thicker and thicker, I am put closer and closer to my promise. It seemed at the time a safe enough statement to make, but in the long run you cannot postpone the inevitable forever. Eventually nature will catch up, and now it nearly has. Just nearly. Should I have made the promise at all? The weather man says that tomorrow the ice will be thick enough in most places to be able to go ice-skating pretty safely. I had bragged one evening last week to the kids while at the dinner table that when and if there would be enough ice, I would take up skating for the first time in my life. "Not much different from inline skating," I had bragged to the kids at the dinner table, "there's nothing to it!" I hate it when my toes, fingers and tip of my nose freeze, but a promise is a promise. Despite the warnings from the weatherman to wait until tomorrow, there are already many neighbors skating outside. Parents and kids and old folks etc. I can see them from my spot here in the new room, and it looks like they are having alot of fun. They can skate pretty well, and so far no one seems to be falling that much. I wonder how well I will fare when that fateful first step is made. Tomorrow is the big day. I hope I survive with only a few scratches and bruises.
On rare occasions which usually seem to occur during the coldest nights of winter, the stars above appear sharp and magnificent and very very close that you get the feeling that you can almost touch them if you reach up high enough. As habit dictates, this evening while I was bringing out the trash, I was looking for my favorite constellation called Orion. Something else to the side happened to catch my attention instead. I had never seen them so clearly before in my life! This was truly amazing. The Pleiades is a white star cluster also known as the Seven Sisters. According to ancient Greek mythology, these were originally a group of innocent nymphs who for seven long years were chased by Orion, a greedy hunter who fancied them so much that he decided to pursue them all over the place. Seven years is a pretty long time. Poor Orion must have been pretty sexually frustrated by then, such a long wait with no results. So you can imagine how unbearable this constant chase had become for these virgins of the woods. So good and true and yet big bad Orion ruined it all with his lecherous chase for sex. Zeus decided to give the seven sisters a break by turning them into a flock of doves. That way they could fly away from this earthly misery. The only drawback was that they had to spend the rest of eternity up there in the night sky. Five hundred light-years from the Earth is pretty far away if you think about it. Nice view though. You can imagine how let down they must have felt years later when Orion died. In order to honor him and his infamous chase properly, good old Zeus decided to put him up there next to the seven sisters! Their escape had only been temporary. If you look closely you can only see six of the seven sisters with your bare eyes. The so-called lost Pleiade was really Electra who hid her face when Troy was burned down to the ground. I think she fled due to some shame and guilt feelings caused by this disregard for earthly suffering. There are various other so-called scientific theories about the cluster and the star that we cannot see, but they make little sense when compared to the more viable other mythological explanations across different cultures. At least that is my honest opinion. It is all in the mind anyway, part of the collective consciousness which is based on ancient myth. All in the mind. From the very beginning.
Sometimes it is better to look at things as if they were inside-out. Sometimes it is better to believe that things should have turned out the other way around but they did not. And other times it is better to stand motionless in awe of the becoming and the changes and the events which swing on by at the speed of light leaving you back there in the dust to figure it all out. Most of the time it really does not matter, because your perception of things and wishful thinking does not matter at all. Some of the so-called wise folks out there claim that it is better to forget about the past and to live in the now. I say that it is the next day that counts, and the next and the next and the next after that, the whole process of preparation means you cannot stand still in the now and remain worthy of your true purpose. Inside-out that is.
Here are a three things to think about and consider seriously at least once a day:
After the now famous and deadly storm had briskly left our area as quickly as it had invaded it, the time had come to venture outdoors and assess the damage. Since our house is located on the street corner, the shape of the driveway combined with the hedgerow on the right creates a kind of one-way funnel which collects and keeps any loose items which tend to fly around and near it. Now after the storm which had blown everything every which way, our driveway was filled with these mountains of leaves and sticks and twigs and mulch, millions if not tens of millions of leaves had collected into mounds, some of which were easily two feet in height. This was indeed a miracle of Nature, random sculptures molded by the shaping winds. Much like an expansive desert where the winds rush along the surface to produce the moving dunes and other shapes. Except that this was at my doorstep blocking the entrance and oozing its way indoors between my feet. And all of this for our amusement and awe. Well, these mounds were all fine and dandy to look at, and in a certain way I was also in awe. Unbelievable awe to say the least. What intricate mathematical laws of fluid dynamics had combined to create these natural wonders? Surely, my old friend Johann Bernoulli would have known how to figure it out if he were alive today. Just like that. Inside the house on the kitchen table Thea had left me a short note. On it she had hastily penned a friendly request to sweep up all the leaves and get rid of the mess. Let me repeat: mess. Was it a mess or was it a beautiful sculpture not to be touched, to be glorified, to be contemplated for its extreme magnificence? If Nature were truly random, then the millions of leaves would have formed a mess of constant height evenly distributed over the surface of the driveway. So this could be seen as a kind of proof that Nature was not random in its ways. If I were still familiar with his formulae of fluid mechanics, I would be able to create a neural simulation in my mind.
What a storm, what an amazing storm, what a beautiful storm it has become. Wind force 11 and gusts blowing at 130 kilometers an hour. Jeez, I am in awe but kind of afraid at the same time. All this uncontrolled force from the mighty gods up there getting back at us. Sorry about that. The house is creaking on every side, leaves and twigs and other cardboard-like items are flying around in pure panic beating against the outer walls and windows almost breaking them. Outside the trees are bending about as far as they can without snapping, and the sky is getting pretty dark, thicker than thick until pitch black.
The experts claim that it is the heaviest storm in twelve years. Already two unfortunate souls have had their lives swept away in an instant. Because some falling debris happened to intersect their paths at the wrong place at the wrong time. Watch out (oops too late). The flames in the fireplace sputter, snap and crackle as if worried they might be extinguished by that the storm who is trying to enter through the chimney. The television goes on, spitting streaks and lines across the screen, and often going out altogether to reveal a darkish blue nothingness, fading pinpoint of light in the middle, smaller and smaller and then all gone. There, did you hear that? I wonder what that loud noise was, perhaps something falling. Another poor soul dying?
"...op dit moment is er zelfs overal boven land sprake van storm (windkracht 9) en dat is uitzonderlijk. Op zee is nu sprake van windkracht 11. Aan de kust zijn windstoten gemeten van 130 kilometer per uur. Boven land zijn die windstoten iets minder maar ook daar kunnen die snelheden bereiken van 120 kilometer per uur. De wind wakkert nog steeds aan. Pas als de luchtdruk boven land daalt, en dat is nog niet het geval, komt de storm op z'n hoogtepunt, aldus een woordvoerder van Meteo Consult."
I think I will stay indoors today and let my house bear the brunt of mother nature trying to punish us for all the sins mankind has committed in the past. It is just as much my fault as anyone elses.
There were thousands if not millions of them all over the place. This morning when I took my walk around the Reeuwijkse Plassen (The Lakes), after several days of heavy rainfall which caused a good portion of moisture and muddiness, all those slugs were making their way from one side of the asphalt path to the other. The very same path upon which I was attempting to pursue my walk of meditative glory lost in revelry. Now these slugs are not your everyday type of "average" species found in most household gardens. These are the big fat juicy kinds which grow to be four inches long. Zig-zagging patterns of mucous drying up in the sun and barely discernible movement. Almost squished a few of them while lost in thought, but at the last downward moment of my right or left foot was instinctively able to jerk my shoe just in time to miss the slimy creature. Sorry, excuse me. Oops, pardon me again please. My gosh, where were they all coming from? Much to my despair, many of them had already been flattened by a passing hiker, skater, bicycle and/or motorcycle. Messy, but they should have been aware of the oncoming disaster. For all I know, these advanced creatures were more than likely aware of the impending doom, just before impact. But because of their inherent slowness, these poor souls were not able to get out of the way in time. Nature in all its glory. There were also other slimy creatures smashed in various poses of last second demise. Little frogs and big frogs, long thick worms, a dragonfly, and even an unhatched baby bird with fragments of shell and all. But still, not a fraction of the uncountable number of slugs dead and alive, a veritable multitude of mis-formed cytoplasm. Nature can be brutal, and it continues no matter what. Perhaps I am just as insignificant as all these other beings of lesser size. If I do not watch out, I too may be smashed. Will I be able to jump out of the way in time despite my inherent slowness? I think so, but you never know.
Today was the first official tropical summer day here. That means that the temperature shot up above thirty degrees centigrade and stayed there the whole darn day. For you folks unfamiliar with centigrade, that is about eighty-six degrees Fahrenheit. Not only was it very hot today, the humidity was fairly unbearable. Nonetheless, the human body does its best to retain homeostasis despite the increased temperature and humidity of the surroundings. An amazing living mechanism whose job is to survive changes by maintaining a relatively constant internal environment. The internal temperature must remain the same. The blood vessels near the surface of the skin dilate to release heat. Excess heat is released from the evaporation of saliva or perspiration. Just sitting behind my desk made me sweat profusely and I had beads of sweat appearing on my forehead and sliding down into my eyes. My glasses did not hold well and kept slipping down the bridge of my nose which was lubricated. The spot on the underside of my right forehand where it touched the surface of my desk was clammy and made moving the mouse difficult. So we can sit around and complain about all of this discomfort, but thanks to this natural mechanism we are still alive at the end of the day. Thanks alot sweat.
Check out the weather in Holland by clicking here.
The human organism is a complex collection of interactions which is submerged in a universe of variegated implications. This can lead to that and that can lead to this, and all of this put together cannot be put together again. Bundles of fibers twisted tightly together. From the tip of the toes through the center of the body and all the way up to the base of the medulla. Onwards and upwards into the place where our awareness resides. Tells us where to go. Where not to go. Submerged entities further submerged in the ocean of the universe. Now I will tumble backwards and do somersaults as the waves come down and crash on me. My very own twisted fibers further twisted in the vortex of a powerful sea.
I was standing on the platform of the train station waiting for my mode of transportation to slide by, slow down to a stop, and pick me up. That is when I noticed the tree over there. See it, the one over there? Across the rails, across the parking lot and then across the road, there was this tall and majestic tree swaying ever so slightly in the wind. Between two tall apartment buildings gray and plain. This is an interesting contrast, I thought. Nature stuck between two huge slabs of concrete. Birds and insects and other animals connected to the tall swaying tree, in a good mood, and similar activity occuring within the bowels of the two concrete constructions where people moved and roamed and did their daily chores, bored stiff. Survival on two levels, not with one above the other, but next to each other. The tree could have come first and then the two buildings, or the town council had decided to raise the appartments and afterwards decorate the space inbetween with the tree. Something was missing and had to be added. Whichever way it had really gone is not important. What is important is the combination and the intertwining of the two elements (three elements if you count the buildings as two). There is lots and lots of concrete, but the glue holding it all together is the green of nature, the trees. Like the one I saw before me while waiting for the train. When with a creak-crack-clack the train screeched to a halt, my view was obscurred by the yellow front. I completely forgot what I was thinking about, and like an automated thing stepped in and sat down. Hard plastic and mobs of commuters, some sweating. As I was swept away to the west of the land, I caught the tree again in the corner of my eye. For a quick instant I remembered what I had been thinking about, before I forgot again.
Boy did I sleep really lousy last night. Compounded with the continuous attacks by the blood-thirsty mosquitos was the fact that I kept having realistic vivid dream sequences about wires and more wires. You see, I had spent a large amount of time yesterday afternoon trying to redo all the wires behind the computers, no less than a veritable spaghetti of network, power lines and other dangling cables all over the place. First I tried to rewind the mess and extract the knots in order to have a better overview of where what went. Then I could tie together the wires that belonged together and tuck the combined fibers underneath the back of the table top where I had affixed a metal tray to hide the wires better. A big improvement over the mass of wires tangled in messy patterns on the carpet floor. Wires and wires and more wires. Tucked away at last. The whole process of wires and more wires kept on repeating itself in my dreams, and it became a hot and humid jungle of strands as the insects with long pointed beaks kept dive-bombing me. Jabbing sensations bringing me out of the much-desired dream state. This morning when the alarm went off at seven I saw a big fat mosquito above the doorway. With so much pleasure (combined with an irate and evil sense of murderous revenge which surprised even me, normally such a really nice guy) I smashed it flat, the drop of blood being squeezed out and splattered on the wall. Disgusting these creatures, but the wires kept on winding around inside my head. Like when you get off a roller-coaster and can still feel the centrifugal forces shifting you back and forth, like body-surfing the whole day on the ocean and still mentally bobbing up-and-down in the waves, like the train coming to a halt after a long ride but the mind's eye still making it look like the platform is moving. Dizzy spells and even more. Get rid of all those wires and mosquitos and get on with life for now.
I am now approaching the age that more and more people seem to be dying all over the place. Relatives, family of folks I know, neighbors, people with whom I work, all the human beings which I pass daily on the sidewalk, on the highway, in the woods, over the Internet. Lots and lots of perfectly normal people out there are going away, forever. Not only have I lost a father a couple years back, but most of the neighbor friends have lost one or two parents within the last year or so. Who will be next? The hard facts of life keep coming back and hitting us even though we try to forget about them all of the time. Reminders of the way nature has always meant it for us to be. Get born, grow up, (optionally) have offspring, get old and older, then go off into never never land. Just before you thought you had finally figured it all out. Get reabsorbed into the reality we chose to leave when we went out and got born, a bubble of awareness, and then good-bye.
You are not going to believe this when I tell you, but it really happened. You can take my word for it or just walk away empty-handed if you wish. Okay then, please allow me to explain myself. This is what happened. On my way home this evening, I was driving along the lake on my left taking a shortcut back home. As habit dictates, I regularly check my rear-view mirror and continue on. But this time when I looked, an amazing site caught my attention. It was a miracle. Off in the distance there was the church steeple pointing upwards. Directly in front of it was a pointed tree also pointing upwards, the trunk from the base to the very top of the tree perfectly aligned with the silhouette of the church steeple. In front of this perfectly aligned pair was a street lamp, and yes its length was also perfectly in line with the other objects behind it. A razor sharp edge was obviously splitting my view exactly in two, and I could not help noticing this dichotomy. Now for most people this would be enough of a miracle, but here comes even more. The left side of the rear-view mirror, the object which first directed my attention to these coincidental alignments, this flat edge was also in perfect alignment with the street light and then the tree and then the church. I wondered what the odds are that this can happen even once in one's lifetime, and before I could seriously contemplate the impact this would have on the rest of my life, it was gone. Gone forever and forever. One wonders how many of these perfections pass us by on a daily basis without us ever knowing about them. Here are some other dimensions to think about. You see, yet another miracle has happened to me today.
I think that spring is coming up quickly, and that makes me feel alot better. How do I know that? Well, for the very first time this year, the climate control in my car kicked on the air-conditioning. Just like that. Each year when I hear this long awaited for click followed by a gust of cool wind inside of the car, my mouth turns up its grin and I am reminded again. Reminded of the good old warm weather that I grew up to appreciate. Heat waves in the San Joaquin Valley, felt so good, a number of decennia ago. Turlock wherever that may be, that is where it was. Seasons are all right and I can logically accept the fact that these are necessary natural changes in climate, depending on where on the Earth you are currently residing, walking and breathing and getting by. I have never been a fan of coldness, shivering hands and frozen toes, and though I can appreciate the first snow and that crunching sound beneath my boots, no thanks. No thanks again, see you later, I rolled down all the windows of my car and drove around soaking it all in. The radio was loud, not cranked up but loud enough. I took my bike into town and felt the sunlight on my face. There were these strikingly whitish rays with a subtle sharpness to them that soothed my forehead and cheeks, lips and all. Warm, warmer, almost hot. It all felt so good. I remain a hardcore Californian beachcomber at heart and can still really get into the sun goddess. With open arms I greet the coming change of climate. Soak it up, soak me up.
Parallel universes do exist. At each infinitesimal fraction of a second, the current universe splinters into an infinite number of new universes. And then at the next infinitesimal fraction of a second each of these universe pathways split off again into an infinite number of new branches of existence. These branches continue to spread out forever and forever until every single dimension imaginable has almost been covered.
Just at the moment when the very last dimensional line of existence is approached, it too cracks open and splinters off into a new countless number of fissures that spin away into nothingness. This starts the whole process all over again and the endless cycle continues.
So which path am I following? How many of me is out there splitting off? Who is the real me? Will I ever accidentally cross paths with another me out there somewhere and sometime?
There is an energy coming together because it is flying apart. It will never end. Millions and millions and millions of me crisscrossing back and forth and everywhere. I am here and everywhere at the same time.
Not so very long ago Albert Einstein said:
"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
The ironic thing is that we are quite unwilling and unable to do this, as if we do not really want to solve the problems in the first place. Hanging on to old traditions, resisting change, learning to coexist with problems we have created seem to be fundamental aspects of human nature. A small change here or a slight bending over there never seem to save us from this dilemma. Unless it leads to a major upheavel in the way we think.
When will the next quantum leap come?
This is why I am here. Through the world, and therefore ultimately through me, the "unmanifested" will be able to know itself. I am here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. Sounds pretty heavy, but it is true. Not that I am any better than the rest, because this rule of the universe applies equally well to everyone. To every living organism. To every single object. Rocks and stones and bones and all kinds of other seemingly dead matter from here to there, all ends of the universe. Each one of us is important in a very special way. Very important. More important than you can ever fathom or conceive.
This is more serious than one may realize and should not be taken lightly. So this is my wise saying for today: "Never, ever, ever take this lightly, ever. Never."
So here I am again getting all choked up in spiritual stuff again. How come?
"The giant red star Betelguese - the red star in the shoulder of the constellation Orion - is 700 million miles across, about 800 times larger than the Sun. Light takes 1 hour to travel from one side of the giant star to the other. The name of this star means "The Armpit of the Central One" in Arabic, which shows that like many other constellations, Orion was recognized across many cultures."
My favorite constellation is Orion, by the way. It has always fascinated me for some reason, and I have gazed up at it many many times wondering and wondering.
Ever wondered how to pronounce it? This is how: Be?tel?geuse (btl-jz, btl-jz).
"A star's primary source of energy, during its lifetime, is the fusion of hydrogen occurring in its core. As the hydrogen is used up, the helium which is produced fills up the core. But the temperature is not high enough for helium fusion to occur, so core energy production slows down, its outward pressure decreases, and the gravitational forces cause the core to contract. As the core contracts the atoms bunch closer together causing an increase in density and temperature. When the core temperature is high enough, helium fusion begins. At the same time as the helium core is contracting and heating up, an outer hydrogen shell expands and begins fusing to form more helium. It is this expansion and fusion reaction in the hydrogen shell which pushes the star's envelope out into space. The surface of the now giant star is so far away from the hot core that it cools down and turns red (hence the name red giant)."
Betelgeuse is also known as:
Other scientific data about Betelgeuse:
Betelgeuse is the 12th brightest star in the sky. It is called Alpha Orionis even though it is fainter than Beta Orionis (Rigel). This is because Betelgeuse, a variable star, was misclassified.
Sit down and relax. I am about to recount an absolutely amazing story to you. Are you ready?
"There once lived this naive yet sweetly innocent young boy. At the telling of this story he is sitting casually in the bathtub, the water up to his belly button, just about. In front of him at eye-level is the faucet, chrome and shiny. So that he can see his face reflected in it, though due to the distortion of the reflection his eyes are tightly squeezed together and his chin explodes downwards like an uneven trapezoid with sharp corners. Okay. The faucet is dripping, very slowly. Each drop is a slow motion ballet as the adhesion properties of water keep it stuck to the rim of metal. The drop of water grows and grows and then dips down with the gentle tug of gravity. Dips down, the drip. Gravity pulling against the adhesion properties of water molecules. Two types of attraction defined by nature. Working together, working against one another.
Okay, so this little boy is watching all of this happening in pure wonderment. The drop of water becomes a distorted bulb of liquid, a heavy water balloon, breaks off the rim of metal and falls. Like a sea bird diving, an arrow wiggling and turning and twisting. Splash, an inward motion, then as the elastic surface of the water in the bathtub pulls everything back in place, it inadvertently hurls back a similar blob into the air, a beautiful arch into the air and then back down again. Splash, little-splash, tiny-splash, one two three. This is truly amazing, and the naive innocent child realizes this. Hmmm. It hits him that while this is an amazing site, because of its triviality and its absolute nothingness compared to the rest of the universe the boy will never remember this ever again. Never ever. How many things in life, which to the trained eye are miracles of nature, go unnoticed and forgotten. Probably about nine-nine point nine-nine-nine percent."
That is the story and it really happened.
As you can see, the little boy has never ever forgotten this. Ironic. The fact that he thought he would never ever remember that site again caused the little boy never ever to forget it. Some day when he grew up he would even record it in his Blog. Whatever that would be. I have wanted to write this down for about thirty-eight years now but have never found the proper opportunity. And here it is.
Diagonals. The world around us is not what it seems. Every fraction of a second, an amazing amount of information is being perceived by the five senses, passed on up through the nervous system, and simultaneously collated by the human brain. Electrical impulses from every which way. Absorbing nearly an "infinite" amount of data is no easy task, in fact it is pretty much impossible. The human brain is a complicated piece of living intelligence, but it has its limitations in size as well as processing speed. In order to get over this obstacle called infinity, in order to be able to survive in a constantly changing and unpredictable environment, the brain filters out what is necessary and interpolates in order to fill in the gaps. Just like an unfinished drawing from a coloring book in which the lines are evident. Must scribble in the interior afterwards with various colored crayons in order to make sense of it all. Not to mention the subconscious we all entertain to extrapolate, extrapolate.
Therefore. We perceive the outlines of reality. Nothing more, and alot less. And yes, this filtering process may break down at times, completely fail for the sake of clarity and swiftness of operation. Our thoughts create movement and/or objects that are not really there, partly there, partly not. Appear and disappear, tangle together and interweave. Have a look at the diagram at the beginning of this entry. They are diagonal lines which are parallel. Or are they? What is wrong? With me.
Conclusion. Most of what we see is filled in and non-existent. There is no reality except for the outlines. The shadows reflected on the walls of the cave as the real forms walk outside on the other side of the campfire to which our backs are turned. Real tables, Plato, real people, real sky, real trees, real ocean, real moon, real sun, real starry, starry night.
"I would like to meet Richard Feynman because of his unique ability to fascinate audiences of all ages and backgrounds. His way of thinking was based not so much on science and hard fact as it was on intuition and feeling from the heart. His theories were considered quite bizarre and inappropriate at the time. In the long run however these very theories have proven some of nature's phenomena which have avoided the finest scientists for centuries. I refer to his Feynmann diagrams and theory of quantum thermodynamics. However, while Richard Feynman had an absolutely brilliant scientific mind, he was also a down-to-earth lovable type of person. He provided a model father figure for young physicists like myself by radiating warmth and goodwill, always laughing at difficult problems in order to overcome them. He liked to fool around and act spontaneously, playing his bongo-drums for instance. He never smoked nor drank. He helped develop the first atomic bomb and was able to forgive himself. It was this unique balance between living and enjoying the now together with a serious from-the-heart attitude that allowed him to accomplish so very much. He died at a much too early age which is too bad, but during his shorter than average life he achieved what takes many lifetimes for the masses. That is why I would like to meet this happy-go-lucky genius."
This is the essay I wrote and sent via email for the BBC Online - Play Space contest, called "Space Heroes." I thought I was being real clever, taking so much time and composing this fine piece of prose, tears in my eyes late into the night. Little did I know that down there below in the small print it stated that I had to be a resident of the United Kingdom. What a fool I was! Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. If you are interested in space then I can still recommend highly the BBC Space site. I would of REALLY liked to win the Space DVD they were offering as first prize!
The end of the Universe.
Where we came from...
Alright, I guess I will have to give up and admit that winter is coming. Okay, it is finally time for me to fold up my summer attire and put it in storage until next year. This is very hard for me to admit, and each year it results in my own personal struggle against nature. Nature always wins, but not easily. I dislike winter but accept that it is inevitable. Not until the end though, and I try as long as possible to wear my summer clothes and short-sleeved shirts. If possible with the top three buttons of my shirt unbuttoned to expose the uppermost chest hairs to wave freely in the wind. Even during the summer months when the temperature dips to an uncomfortable low, or it is rainy, wet and cold, frost on the ground, I refuse to wrap myself in layers of cloth. Something inside of me that resists being bundled up. Must be the way I grew up, in the sweltering California sunshine, running around half-naked in the desert climate of the San Joaquin Valley. In my blood, even after all these years. My fingertips are tingling and I am shivering too much now. Besides, it is November already and winter is officially coming quickly. Thanks alot nature for reinvigorating me each year with your cycles and rites of repetition and rebirth. I look forward to spring again, but will enjoy the winter as it was meant to be enjoyed by all human beings including me.
It's kind of funny how time passes by without any concern for what is happening nor what we as humans are experiencing. One second follows another, a minute, day, month, year, ad infinitum. The flow of time is not something we can influence at all, despite all of the scientific theories which have been developed recently and attest to the contrary. The worst tragedies and disasters can take place, buildings falling down and killing thousands of innocent human beings, while half way around the world another tragedy of different proportions takes place without a single human being even knowing about it. A butterfly caught in a spider web, a shark attack on a dolphin, single-celled organisms disappearing altogether, a million light-years away a collapsing star ready to gasp into silence and the void. Why is all of this happening and what are we expected to do? In desperation we search for answers, but perhaps we should give more effort and attention to acceptance, pure acceptance with the way things are. Without using the intellect nor reacting logically to certain triggers, thinking that these are the consequences over which we have little control. Let it be.
"Once upon a time, on the edge of a distant galaxy, was a planet called Earth. On this planet lived an exceptionally gifted species: Man." "Quel sera votre message?" The KEO satellite was initially to be launched in 2001. KEO's calling is to carry along individual messages representative of today entire manking. To date, although KEO has received messages from more than 120 countries in 56 languages, the wide variety of peoples of our planet is not yet duly represented. If you are interested in making yourself in one small way known to other life forms or whatever, check out: Keo adventure. Originally a French project, one can also choose for an English version.