This is one of my favorite poems I’ve ever read.
“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion;
respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
even a stranger, when in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people and grovel to none.
When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled
with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep
and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”
Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak was far and away one of my favorite books of all time. What’s better than that is the pairing of the story with one of my favorite directors, Spike Jonze. His visual style always had a nice blend of curiosity and imagination. This movie looks like it could be something fantastic! Wow!!
Ogden Nash said it best in this brief and humorous poem:
My friends all know that I am shy,
But the chipmunk is twice and shy and I.
He moves with flickering indecision
Like stripes across the television.
He’s like the shadow of a cloud,
Or Emily Dickinson read aloud.
I’m really excited to see The Watchmen this weekend. It’s one of my favorite comic series by far, delving deep into the social and moral underpinnings of a world inhabited by heroes. In many ways it set the bar of character development and comic book writing for generations to come. Although I am a bit apprehensive about the condensation of complexities native to the landscape of Alan Moore‘s writing, it should be exciting to see what is presented in abridged format.
Another thing that really stokes my nerdar about this movie is the science and logic behind the evolution of certain characters. Below is an interview with a physics professor who was tapped as a consultant on the film, most notably on the abilities of Dr. Manhattan.
University of Minnesota physics professor James Kakalios discusses how he was tapped to add a physics perspective to the upcoming Warner Brothers movie, Watchmen. Kakalios discusses how quantum mechanics can explain Dr. Manhattan’s super human powers in the film, and how he came to become an expert on the topic of the physics of superheroes. Check out Kakalios book at www.physicsofsuperheroes.com
I was listening to an interview with Michael Gazzaniga, the author of the book Human while drawing at work. The discussion first dealt with the uniqueness and similarities between other living creatures, then moved on to how that applies as a logical overlay in bioethics and observational similarities that seem hard-wired into our genome objective to culture or background. The most entertaining thing about the segment was how easily the author condensed complex ideas into simple and relevant terms. He likes to laugh alot too. Haha. Here’s a short description of the book from the publisher’s website:
One of the world’s leading neuroscientists explores how best to understand the human condition by examining the biological, psychological, and highly social nature of our species within the social context of our lives.
What happened along the evolutionary trail that made humans so unique? In his widely accessible style, Michael Gazzaniga looks to a broad range of studies to pinpoint the change that made us thinking, sentient humans, different from our predecessors.
Neuroscience has been fixated on the life of the psychological self for the past fifty years, focusing on the brain systems underlying language, memory, emotion, and perception. What it has not done is consider the stark reality that most of the time we humans are thinking about social processes, comparing ourselves to and estimating the intentions of others. In Human, Gazzaniga explores a number of related issues, including what makes human brains unique, the importance of language and art in defining the human condition, the nature of human consciousness, and even artificial intelligence.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
I am curious about the controversy surrounding knowledge of ancient cultures such as the Dogon Tribe, some of which is said to measure equal to astrophysics and super string theory. In addition, how did the Dogon have knowledge of far away star systems that we have only discovered recently with our technology? Was it true or a distorted account of history?
Here we have the story of a curious programmer, Laird Scranton, who dissects the language and symbology of the Dogon, and reveals startling logic and conclusions. The construction of electrons in an atom, phases of civilization, and the diagrammed groupings of quantum particles, are only a few examples of the what is sure to raise eyebrows with those not familiar with this interesting culture.
In this five part video, John Anthony West interviews Laird Scranton about his book: “Hidden Meanings“. Scranton explains how the Dogon tribe in West Africa originated Egyptian symbolism, philosophy, physics and even modern science.
In search for real answers, Chris assumes the identity of Alexander Supertramp and embarks on a great adventure across the country. While facing the elements alone and making good friends along the way, Chris ultimately journeys within to make sense of life on his own terms. The expression ‘into the wild’ describes Chris’s goal of finding his way to Alaska, which he deems as “absolute freedom”.
The movie is an adaption of the original novel by John Krakauer and was released last year in theaters, directed by Sean Penn. It has been referred to frequently as a contemporary rite of passage. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Eddie Vedder composed the soundtrack for the film.
“There is pleasure in the pathless woods
There is rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep sea and the music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but Nature more.”
Below is an interview with both Sean Penn and Eddie Vedder on Charlie Rose.
I’m reading a book right now, “The Total Money Makeover”, written by Dave Ramsey. It’s an extremely good, straight-forward text which gives advice on how to manage yourself financially, more importantly, how to manage your mindset and outlook on reality. We are creatures of habit, and it’s those habits that we’ve conditioned ourselves to in the long term that guide us to our destinations in life.
There is example he uses that stuck with me in particular, it was an experiment as told by John Maxwell. Often, experiments and long-term studies done on primates yield interesting parallels between our own follies and logic as humans.
A group of monkeys were locked in a room with a pole at the center. Some luscious, ripe bananas were place on top of the pole. When a monkey would begin to climb the pole, the experimenters would knock him off with a blast of water from a fire hose. Each time a monkey would climb, off he would go, until all the monkeys had been knocked off repeatedly, thus learning that the climb was hopeless. The experimenters then observed that the other primates would pull down any monkey trying to climb. They replaced a single monkey with one who didn’t know the system. As soon as the new guy tried to climb, the others would pull him down and punish him for trying. One by one, each monkey was replaced and the scene repeated until there were no monkeys left in the room that had experience the fire hose. Still, none of the new guys were allowed to climb. The other monkeys pulled them down. Not one monkey in the room knew why, but none were allowed to get the bananas.
I am reading this book now called Tuesdays With Morrie. Without getting into much detail in the plot, someone explained it to me in one of our many random conversations about life. After doing further research on the book and reading a selected excerpt, I plan on making it my next quick read. Here’s a brief synopsis, which only tells what it needs to without giving away any crucial details. I can credit many people like Morrie for being an immense inspiration while growing up. Without those people in my life, there is absolutely no way I would be where I am now.
“Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.
For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.
Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?
Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final “class”: lessons in how to live.”