|the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.|
|I want a trouble-maker for a lover,|
Blood spiller, blood drinker, a heart of flame,
Who quarrels with the sky and fights with fate,
Who burns like fire on the rushing sea.
From Rumi’s Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi
|Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.|
--W. H. Auden
|Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face|
Do You Realize - we're floating in space
Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face
|The best things in life are not things.|
Colin Campbell over at Polygon wrote a wonderful article this week about all things we love and loathe about our gaming communities.
One small step for IBM Watson, one giant leap for the robot takeover.
Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Lynsey Addario will bring this beautiful story of a photographic journalist capturing the realities of war to life. This may be the film we all want to see next year.
Snark Etiquette 101 starts now. Thicker or thinner skins, whose job is it to adjust?
Don’t forget to stop by to wish Ermek (aka charcoalfeather) a very happy birthday and be sure to take a stroll through his epic gallery of pencil artwork.
Homer is said to have discovered the Higgs Boson particle back in 1998. Could he be a Nobel Prize candidate?
It’s our first communication with another human upon being torn from the serenity of the womb.
Our mother’s hug. If all the hormonal agents are functioning properly, this will be the important few moments of bonding and being loved that will maximize our chances at life-long wellness and happiness. From mother to family to friends to lovers, the number of links, and the strength of those links, in a lifetime chain of hugs is our intuitive formula for keeping our humanity constantly recharged. Check out this gallery, a tribute to human connection and joy. And then make sure you hug someone you love before you go to sleep tonight.
When I come home, my daughter will run to the door and give me a big hug, and everything that’s happened that day just melts away.”
I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words.”
I will not play tug o’ war. I’d rather play hug o’ war. Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.”
Laughing together is as close as you can get to a hug without touching.”
Disclaimer: If you base a significant portion of your everyday decisions on information about your zodiac sign, stop reading, now. This investigation might cause severe repercussions in your world. We don’t want to be responsible for your emotional distress.
Get a star tracking program like Stellarium, which is free to download, and look up the exact date of your birth, down to the year (the time of day is not important). Now, find the sun. What constellation is behind it? Is the constellation your zodiac sign? I thought not. For some of you, it will be, but for the rest of you, what you just learned by way of star charts from the date of your birth, is that you were born under the zodiac sign preceding the one you’ve grown up claiming as your own.
But why is this happening to me, you might well ask. Well, here’s the hard science that’s available to us now.
No such system of observation, hypothesis, and testing existed at the time of the invention of the Horoscope. There is something called axial precession. If you paid attention in school, you know the rotation of our planet happens along a line called the axis. But while earth spins along, the actual axis it rotates along shifts over time, in much the same way that a top starts to wobble as it spins. This effect changes the relative positions of the stars in our sky (known to astronomers as the celestial sphere). The rotation of our axis happens at a glacial pace, completing one rotation every 26,000 years. If you want to see this effect in progress, you can actually use Stellarium to see into the future. If you select the north star and jump a few thousand years ahead, you’ll notice that it begins to move out of the northern part of the sky, away from its fixed point.
Because the zodiac signs were determined thousands of years ago, axial precession has caused the dates during which the sun moves through the various constellations to change. So yeah, you’ve been deceived. It’s disconcerting, right? Even if you don’t put any stock in astrology, it’s no fun finding out that this common part of your identity, silly as it may seem, is a fabrication.
But that’s where it gets complicated. Even though the star signs are a bit of a ruse, there may actually be some truth to the idea that people born during certain times of the year have shared traits. Over the years, studies have found connections between birth month and everything from susceptibility to disease to future career path. Some of these connections are considered spurious, coincidental. But others actually seem to have some causality. One of them is height. A 1998 study by University of Vienna anthropologist Gerhard Weber found that people born during the month of April tend to be the tallest in the general population, whereas people born in October tend to be the shortest. This could have to do with exposure to sunlight in an infant’s prenatal and early postnatal life.
Given that information, the general traits of your star sign may be closer to the truth than you would think, even though the reasoning behind them is flawed.
Of course, horoscopes also rely heavily on what is known as the “Barnum Effect,” which demonstrates that people tend to believe the vague descriptions horoscopes offer because of their own positive bias. This effect was discovered by psychologist Bertram Forer, who gave his students a personality test as an experiment. When the students finished, he gave them their results, explaining that each description was unique and based on their specific answers. In reality, he gave each student the same description, letter for letter. The students were asked to rate the accuracy of the description on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 5 (excellent). On average, his students rated their results at 4.26.
Whether horoscopes derive their accuracy from the world we are born into or from our own willingness to believe them, modern science assures that they don’t have much to do with the alignment of the stars at the time of our births. That doesn’t mean that horoscopes can’t be enjoyable, or that you don’t really possess the traits associated with your sign, but if you’re getting ready to make a major life choice based on something you saw on the back of a pack of Bazooka bubble gum, you might want to give it some deeper thought.
The game is about the size of a moderately–large photo booth, and it weighs around 1,000 pounds. To enter, you open a small door and take a seat inside the compartment. In front of you rests an almost impossibly large curved screen, as well as the left– and right–hand controls. This is the type of chamber you may enter during daylight hours and exit only to find that it has become night.
The game offers five simulations, all recreations of scenes and battles from the original films — Yavin, Hoth, Endor, The Death Star II — except for one. In the last mission, which is the most difficult, you play as Darth Vader in the wake of the rebel attack on the Death Star. Your object is to prevent the rebels from stealing the Death Star’s super laser, while piloting Vader’s TIE Advanced Fighter. If you’re a good shot, you get to kill Han Solo (George Lucas relented only after long resisting his heroes being killed in Star Wars games). If you’re a good gamer in general, write in and tell us what happens if you complete the mission — this reviewer failed to do so on an embarrassing number of occasions.
The actual controls of the game are intuitive and fun.
You aren’t so much piloting the crafts in the missions as much as piloting the weapons and choosing to go fast or slow. Just for fun, during one flight I alternated sporadically between accelerating and braking and, frankly, couldn’t perceive much of a difference. Odds are you could leave the thrust control alone the entire game and not have a significantly different experience. But otherwise the developers have done a great job of making the game feel like the inside of a cockpit. The immersive nature of the contraption combined with the huge display, vibration, and surround-sound all add to this experience. There is also a wind effect — some sort of fan that blows harder or softer on your face depending, ostensibly, on how fast you’re going. For better or worse, it reminded this reviewer of the built-in fans on modern exercise bikes at the gym.
What the game does not include are any scenarios from Star Wars Episodes I-III, which seems somewhat strange given the platform's potential for podracing levels. The developers have hinted that new levels could be added in the future, but haven’t given any indication of if or when these would be released.
Meanwhile rumors have surfaced recently that the new Star Wars: Battlefront game, which will possibly be released this coming winter, will feature battle sequences from the upcoming film The Force Awakens. Additionally, it seems that some characters from the new film will be playable in the game. Otherwise, it’s being hinted that the vast majority of the game’s levels will be derived from the era of the original film trilogy. A few battles from the prequels will be included as well, but the developers seem to be emphasizing the classic films especially, if the rumors are to be believed.
It is worth noting that both Battle Pod and Battlefront are going light on prequel references.
It’s conceivable that this was a calculated move in anticipation of the upcoming film. While Episodes I, II, and III were not extremely well-received, the original trilogy is what drew multiple generations of Star Wars fans to the franchise to begin with. With that in mind, it stands to reason that developers across platforms would prefer to reignite the flames of fandom for the classics, and avoid referencing the prequels altogether.
Either way, Battle Pod is worth a play for any Star Wars fan, Battlefront looks enticing, and we are on the verge of peeing our pants with excitement for The Force Awakens.
There seem to be quite a lot of discrepancies in determining the actual date of National Pancake Day.
Internet sources list it variously as February 25 or 26 or September 26. For Christians observing Lenten rituals, “Shrove Tuesday” (on February 17 this year) is “Pancake Day,” the day you gorge on before beginning your fast. The IHOP (International House of Pancakes) should be a determining authority, but their advertising can’t decide if it’s February 17 or March 3. But really, who cares? Every morning we should wake up to Pancake Day. Here’s a gallery to make your mouth water.
My absolute favorite meal in Nashville is sweet–potato pancakes at Pancake Pantry.”
As is always the way with pancakes, the first hotcake to come out of the pan will probably be a bit misshapen. Just scoff it, and carry on with the rest.”
When I get the chance to make my favorite breakfast on the weekend, I often choose to make pancakes.”
The laziest man I ever met put popcorn in his pancakes so they would turn over by themselves.”
Current Residence: A Peaceful State|
deviantWEAR sizing preference: L
Print preference: As Big As Possible.
Favourite genre of music: Rock. Jazz(Hard Bop). Blues. 80's Metal. Tribal(Aboriginal thru Electronic). Classical.Troubado
Favourite photographer: Sebastio Salgado. Richard Mapplethorpe. Walker Evans. Weegee.
Favourite style of art: Post-impressionist. Abstract-expressionist. The New Digital Vanguard. Contemporary fantasy.
Operating System: OSX
MP3 player of choice: Shuffle
Shell of choice: Any Conch will do.
Wallpaper of choice: French Louis XIV Rococo Style
Skin of choice: Thick enough to persevere and thin enough to feel.