The above comic represents the idea of umwelt, and I nearly took it for a late April’s Fool joke. Until a quick wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umwelt) confirmed the existence of he theory that creatures that share the same environment might not perceive that shared environment the same. Randall Munroe does a very neat trick that plays off the idea of umwelt.
The Washington Post recently announced the winners of its sixth annual Peeps Show diorama contest. This year’s finalists were heavy on politics, but over six years, many of the best entries depict scenes from our favorite movies.
Sometimes I think too much, or there is a nagging little thought stuck in my mental craw that I just can’t get loose. These things seem to get me stuck on a question, and I’m usually too shy to bother asking them. Mostly because they seem like such silly questions or they might divide people rather than bring them together, which is the opposite of what I want to do.
So I am deciding to start using this tumblr to ask these questions, to the internet. I feel this is more likely to get a legitimate conversation going than asking “God, the Universe, or just sitting with it” might give me. I seek only a conversation and wisdom, not recriminations and proselytizing, all are equal and equally right. Questions may come sporadically mixed with updates or things found and shared.
Tonight is a night for pondering the stars, for deep breaths, for remembering the miracle that each and everyone of us is, and for taking the time to realize that about each other.
There was a movie called “The Election” released in 1999 (according to IMDb) that held an defeatist line that would rival Eeyore any day. I wanted to share this quote with you because I think it reflects the feeling that many people feel when faced with the certainty of anything.
"You see, you can’t interfere with destiny. That’s why it’s destiny. And if you try to interfere, the same thing’s going to happen anyway, and you’ll just suffer. "
Tracy Flick, narration
I just finished John Green’s most recent novel, “The Fault in Our Stars,” or TFiOS for short. I received it as gift, and I am still struck by how thoroughly I was sucked into this world, and how I willingly suspended my disbelief while reading this book. I was most struck by a line of thought that Hazel, the narrator of this novel, had.
"…The voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again."
Hazel Grace, narration
Why this struck me is that it reminded me so much of something a mentor once tried to tell me. But I was younger then, and completely wrapped up in my blissful ignorance of youth. This makes the sentiment no less truthful, in fact quite the contrary. I feel that since others have shared the same outcome, despite vast differences in time, place, and experience, that there must be some kernel of truth to it.
That is why records are made and broken, why we write, and sing, and dance, why no two koi fish are identical, and why the universe cries out to be noticed. Because if ever nothing existed, or becomes nothingness again, then we see no point in it. It cannot be repeated, reproduced, or done again yet better, if the universe ends.
This is why discoveries that there is no visible edge to the universe, or that there might be hundreds of over planets in the “goldilocks” zone of there solar systems, where life may be happening as we speak, that there are hundreds of people right now loving, writing bad poetry, singing off key, and noticing the universe in this very moment. That you share a connection with someone half way around the planet, with whom you may not share a language or religious belief, of political view, but you both share the ability sing, love, dance, and write bad poetry. This is why we are one race, one people, one species of loving, dancing, singing, writing, and noticing beings.
There are some finalities in this world, like the proverbial death and taxes, and there are many things which are not certain. Like whether the Higgs-Boson does exist, or whether there is life in the liquid oceans of Europa, or if Hank Green will ever get to Mars. I urge you, my fellow members of the human species, to go forth and answer an uncertainty, and notice the universe that is around you. Marvel in the mysteries of magnetism and gravity, allow yourself the wonderment of having an existential crisis before worrying about your low food security. (Vague reverences to TFiOS and Bush policies, anyone?)
With all of the craziness and horrible things going on her on Earth, or Terra as I like to call her, we forget the simple wonderment of our universe. We take for granted the beauty and majesty or our everyday lives, because we become like zombies, working to continue our existence. Tell me, how many little kids want to grow up to become zombies? Oh, I’m sure there are a few people who might’ve said that, or make-believed they were zombies. How many of you wanted to be doctors, or firefighters, olympic medal winners, teachers, and famous people? A great deal more, you wanted to do something.
So go out there and do something, notice the way the sunshine sparkles through a misty rain, listen to the whispered conversations of the trees, marvel at how something so seemingly dead as a deciduous tree winter can be so full of life that it bursts into pink blossom each spring. Go out and let the enchantment of the world take you by surprise again, and remember that it isn’t a fault in your stars, you are here because here wouldn’t be the same place without you.
Do you support webcomics? Take this one question survey:
1. Do you take the RSS feed of over 90 webcomics, rip the images, put them in your Android app, and then put your own advertisements next to them in order to make money?
Congratulations: If you said “Yes”, then NO, YOU DO NOT SUPPORT WEBCOMICS.
There’s a thief- and he is a thief, let’s not be wimpy on that point- that has done exactly that, releasing his app in “Pro” and “Free” versions (wow, what a nice guy!) for people to read their favorite webcomics and earn him money. Somehow, this is not only okay, but apparently “supporting publishers for their efforts”. In other news, robbing a bank is “helping them gain exposure”.
The name of the app is DailyComix. I won’t be linking the app - no chance in hell - but if you are a fan of one of the below listed webcomics, please contact the creators and let them know that they are being stolen from and that a software dev has made the decision for them how their content is viewed. The developer has posted that they are honoring all requests to have strips removed (again, what a SWELL GUY!), and it’s my hope that the only webcomic left when we’re done getting the word around is his own.
The current list of comics “supported” by the app:
“Creating things because you think they’re awesome is always a good thing to do for your future. That is undeniable, because if you think they’re awesome then other people are going to think they’re awesome too… There’s nothing wrong with doing stuff just because it’s awesome. In fact, there’s everything right with doing stuff just because it’s awesome.”—
So it’s 3 am and I figure it’s a safe time for me to use the bathroom, I thought all of my room mates had gone to bed/sleep for the night. Not so, it seems that now I’ve got to wait for one of the other 5 people I share a bathroom with at the moment to finish their business, and then wait for the hot water heater. In short, I’ll be up until sunrise, just to get a shower. F*ck My Life, I am getting so tired of paying one fourth of everything, and not getting an equal fourth in return. Just because I don’t work, (I’m a full-time student on financial aid) doesn’t mean I’m not paying my share of the bills.
My financial aid is meant to cover my “cost of attendance” which includes room and board. So I pay my rent and my utilities, to the tune of $360/month which is a lot for just rent, electric, and internet. I also am buying my own food, which even if I only ate ramen and dollar store canned goods, would be $30/month. I receive financial aid at the cart of each quarter, it first covers my tuition, then I buy my books (this is nearly as expensive as a couple of month’s rent), then I pay rent and utilities for the next three months.
I’m gonna run through the numbers, after taking my tuition out, I receive approximately $1500 to purchase books and pay my bills with. I have stated that my bills (rent, elec., & internet) equal $360/month, that’s 1080(360*3) for the quarter. Leaving me with $420 to buy books and food for the next three months. Books cost just around $300 on average (I’ve spent $536 on required books and materials for one quarter) which means I have just enough to eat ramen and dollar store canned food for 3 months, leaving me with only a single 20 dollar bill to buy gas for the whole quarter.
At the best I am able to spend $120 on books, because of students selling them, and I start the quarter with some money because of lower electric or selling back my books. Not many places are hiring college students with “spotty” works history, and the longer you are unemployed, the less likely they are to hire you. So for me, other than a summer spent doing some volunteer work, I haven’t been gainfully employed since August 2009, nearly three years.
All this adds up, to my point. That college life sucks, and unless your parents are far kinder than mine, you’ll probably end up in a similar situation. Unless you are more proactive, get grants, scholarships to help ease the pain of eating ramen morning, noon, and night.
Anyways, it’s late, I need a shower, and the bathroom is finally free. T.T.F.N. D.F.T.B.A.
So I’ve been hearing strange and wonderful things about this Tumblr business. I resisted the temptation to join, not wanting to repeat my “myspace” fiasco. *Face-palm* So I’m now trying to figure out what I want to do with this, my new space on the internet. I’m pretty inconsistent and vague. I’d be a terrible writer, not at all like the guy at fishingboatproceeds. It’s only half past ten here, so I feel that an inspirational quote is in order for this morning.
"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere."
From Carl Sagan
-Brightest Blessings and Don’t Forget to be Awesome.
I think the earliest memory I have is when I was no more than 3. My parents were taking me to a ski resort on Crystal Mountain. I don’t remember the snow, but I remember being in the car, and watching the mountain get bigger as we drew near.