March 2007

abduction of psyche
The Abduction of Psyche by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

I was reminded recently of the story of Psyche and Eros and this famous painting by Bouguereau.

The expression on Psyche’s face is one of utter bliss as her lover, Eros rescues her.

Link to Eros and Psyche – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Speak the Hungarian Rapper

by Limbic on March 19, 2007

Yeeeee, c’mon…one of the most hilarious videos I have seen in years.

It is NOT a joke. Borat eat your heart out…

Link to YouTube – Speak the Hungarian Rapper

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Self-congratulation

by Limbic on March 19, 2007

My friend D piped up on MSN this morning to vent fury after one of his colleagues took down one of their company’s carriers. The incompetent who took it down stayed late to fix his own cock-up, then noted his heroic effort in his shift report thereby earning himself a cash bonus and a congratulatory call from the CEO!

This character had previously been rescued by D pulling a 14 hour day fixing another one of his legendary cock-ups, and even back-timed his report to cover his incompetent colleague’s ass.

His summary (paraphrasing Eddie Izzard)

(11:33:44 AM) D: I’ve always hated those dudes that clap for themselves at the oscars. apparently it works

Wonderful.

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In a brilliant lecture by Michael Crichton called “Fear, Complexity, Environmental Management in the 21st Century” we learn about the perils of doomsaying and fear mongering.

The lecture cover everything from the ice age that never happened to the population bomb that never happened to Y2K chaos hat never happend to the 150 year progression of decarbonizing (meaning ratio of carbon to hydrogen in our fuel has been steadily deceasing for centuries and we can expect a complete to toward pure hydrogen in the future.

It is a must read…

In fact, we need to recognize that this kind of human response is well-documented. Authoritatively telling people they are going to die can in itself be fatal.

You may know that Australian aborigines fear a curse called “pointing the bone.” A shaman shakes a bone at a person, and sings a song, and soon after, the person dies. This is a specific example of a phenomenon generally referred to as “hex death”—a person is cursed by an authority figure, and then dies. According to medical studies, the person generally dies of dehydration, implying they just give up. But the progression is very erratic, and shock symptoms may play a part, suggesting adrenal effects of fright and hopelessness.

Yet this deadly curse is nothing but information. And it can be undone with information.

A friend of mine was an intern at Bellvue Hospital in New York. A 28-year old man from Aruba said he was going to die, because he had been cursed. He was admitted for psychiatric evaluation and found to be normal, but his health steadily declined. My friend was able to rehydrate him, balance his electrolytes, and give him nutrients, but nevertheless the man worsened, insisting that he was cursed and there was nothing that could prevent his death. My friend realized that the patient would, in fact, soon die. The situation was desperate. Finally he told the patient that he, the doctor, was going to invoke his own powerful medicine to undo the curse, and his medicine was more powerful than any other. He got together with the house staff, bought some headdresses and rattles, and danced around the patient in the middle of the night, chanting what they hoped would be effective-sounding phrases. The patient showed no reaction, but next day he began to improve. The man went home a few days later. My friend literally saved his life.

This suggests that the Ukranian invalids are not unique in their response, but by the large numbers of what we might call “information casualties” they represent a particularly egregious example of what can happen from false fears.

He finishes with this slide..
[click to continue…]

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Martin Parr – Photographer

by Limbic on March 18, 2007

martin parr common sense

From Wikipedia:

Martin Parr (born 1952) is a British documentary photographer and photojournalist. His photographic projects take a critical look at modern society, specifically consumerism, foreign travel and tourism, motoring, family and relationships, and food.

Parr is known for his lurid, and sometimes shocking, use of colour in photography. His satirical, witty approach to documentary photography leaves the viewer not sure whether to laugh or cry. His photos are often taken using macro lenses and ring flash as well as high-saturation colour film.

He has had numerous books published, and exhibitions worldwide – including an exhibition in London at the Barbican Arts Centre. Parr is also a member of the Magnum Photos Agency.

Martin Parr’s official site is here.

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Brooklyn Graffiti war rages on…

by Limbic on March 15, 2007

“There’s a local dadaist (anti art) going around destroying local brooklyn and manhattan street art…”

Link to Flickr: STREETART forum

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German Industrial Buildings 1910-1925

by Limbic on March 15, 2007

From Andy Bleck comes a wonderful series of pictures of German Industrial building from the 10’s and 20’s:

These photos are from a small book called ‘Bauten der Arbeit und des Verkehrs’ (buildings of work and transport) 1925, one of ‘Die Blauen B√ºcher’ (the blue books), a series of thin paperback books on art and architecture. Apart from depicting interesting expressionist or mordernist architecture, the pictures also seem to have a great ‘Neue Sachlichkeit’ appeal.

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Outsourcing to you

by Limbic on March 14, 2007

 Here is a rundown of servcies where a consultant or expert might sell their services online as a freelance.

BitWine – Uses skype to connect specilaits advisors and consultants (like you) to paying customers

Elance.com – Outsourcing to Freelance Programmers, Web & Logo Designers, Writers, Illustrators and Business Consultants.

iFreelance –  Sell your professional services to needy buyers

Skype Prime (new) – Essentially paid Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls. You can charge other people for calling you either a one-off fee or by the minute. Conversely, if you are the caller, you can call experts who charge for their services, and you can then pay the fee and access the expertise that the other call party provides.

Guru.com – The granddaddy of them all, billed as “the world’s largest online marketplace for freelance talent.”

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Enigmas by Pablo Neruda

by Limbic on March 13, 2007

You’ve asked me what the lobster is weaving there with
        his golden feet?
I reply, the ocean knows this.
You say, what is the ascidia waiting for in its transparent
        bell? What is it waiting for?
I tell you it is waiting for time, like you.
You ask me whom the Macrocystis alga hugs in its arms?
Study, study it, at a certain hour, in a certain sea I know.
You question me about the wicked tusk of the narwhal,
        and I reply by describing
how the sea unicorn with the harpoon in it dies.
You enquire about the kingfisher’s feathers,
which tremble in the pure springs of the southern tides?
Or you’ve found in the cards a new question touching on
        the crystal architecture
of the sea anemone, and you’ll deal that to me now?
You want to understand the electric nature of the ocean
        spines?
    The armored stalactite that breaks as it walks?
    The hook of the angler fish, the music stretched out
    in the deep places like a thread in the water?
    I want to tell you the ocean knows this, that life in its
        jewel boxes
    is endless as the sand, impossible to count, pure,
    and among the blood-colored grapes time has made the
        petal
    hard and shiny, made the jellyfish full of light
    and untied its knot, letting its musical threads fall
    from a horn of plenty made of infinite mother-of-pearl.
    I am nothing but the empty net which has gone on ahead
    of human eyes, dead in those darknesses,
    of fingers accustomed to the triangle, longitudes
    on the timid globe of an orange.
    I walked around as you do, investigating
    the endless star,
    and in my net, during the night, I woke up naked,
    the only thing caught, a fish trapped inside the wind.

Source: Enigmas by Pablo Neruda at Old Poetry

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Philosophical Films

by Limbic on March 13, 2007

Philosophical Films is a non-profit resource for philosophy teachers who want to incorporate films into their classes.”

Films analysed include:

  • Artificial Intelligence (2001)
  • Baraka (1992)
  • Being John Malkovich (1999)
  • Blade Runner (1982)
  • The Body (2001)
  • The Book of Life (1998)
  • Bowling For Columbine (2002)
  • A Brief History of Time (1992)
  • Children Underground (2001)
  • City of Joy (1992)
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  • The Corporation (2004)
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
  • Devil’s Playground (2002)
  • Dogville (2003)
  • The Emperor’s Club (2002)
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  • Fast, Cheap and Out of Control (1997)
  • Gattaca (1997)
  • Groundhog Day (1993)
  • Hilary and Jackie (1998)
  • I Shot Andy Warhol (1996)
  • Kadosh (1999)
  • Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
  • The Matrix (1999)
  • Memento (2001)
  • Mindwalk (1991)
  • Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter Jr. (2000)
  • My Dinner with Andre (1981)
  • Pi: Faith in Chaos (1998)
  • Powder (1995)
  • The Quarrel (1991)
  • A Question of Faith (2001)
  • The Rapture (1991)
  • The Razor‚Äôs Edge (1946, 1984)
  • The Seventh Seal (1957)
  • SLC Punk (1999)
  • Solaris (1972 Russian; 2002 English)
  • The Swimmer (1968)
  • The Thin Blue Line (1988)
  • The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
  • Total Recall (1990)
  • The Trial (1963)
  • The Truman Show (1998)
  • Waking Life (2001)
  • Link to Philosophical Films

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