Sunday, January 10, 2010
This review in the New York Times of Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle by Michael Benson has convinced me there would be nothing better to place on my non-existent coffee. To quote the article:
You can sit and look through this book for hours and never be bored by the shapes, colors and textures into which cosmic creation can arrange itself, or you can actually read the accompanying learned essays. Mr. Benson’s prose is up to its visual surroundings, no mean feat.
The NYT has an accompanying image slide show, which I have basically copied below:
The Andromeda Galaxy
This is better than religion - this is the universe we live in.
Posted by marikm22 at 12:04 PM
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Some scientists think that dolphins are so smart, they should qualify as "non-human persons."
According to research, taking a vacation from your local scene can enhance your mind's ability to come up with a solution for your latest problem.
Physicist Dr. Michio Kaku claims science fiction isn't fiction-y as we all think.
Human nature is scientifically found to be good...
You're better off (by 32 times) seeing a therapist than buying the latest gizmogadget.
This is an incredibly interesting article on the science exploring sleep, wakefulness, and the in between.
Rethink the liveliness of plants - their abilities go beyond anything you'd expect.
Facial expressions are more culturally learned than biological.
This crater on the moon could be your new home.
And now for something completely different:
This claims we put too much faith in our Westernized medical sciences - something that should be taken with a grain of salt, but seems to have a fair amount of truth to it.
Monday, January 4, 2010
I have just discovered Cavallini & Co. papers! I was searching for this beautiful calendar that Anthropologie used to sell (you can still buy it on Amazon)....
When I decided to just search for Cavallini itself and see what else I could find. The discovery is, I believe, of epic proportions. They make these beautiful poster sized gift wrap sheets that are of frameable quality and cost around $4.50! They're sold at Kate's Paperie and Touch of Europe, and both sites have a very slight difference in merchandise, so if you have time to kill, you might want to search through them all...
Posted by marikm22 at 12:56 PM
Sunday, January 3, 2010
If you're still having trouble getting up the motivation to come up with your own resolution, the New Year's Resolution Generator will come up with something good for you. My favorite? Change the world. If you don't like those, there's a nice one size fits all list over here.
If your new years resolution is to get organized, the teuxdeux browser app is free, simple, and hella useful. I've been using it for about a week as my home page, and even though I still haven't really gotten much done, at least it's not because I forgot about it.
And I don't know about you but I've been saying "happy two thousand-eleven!" I agree with this that "twenty-eleven" makes more sense, but I feel like a more natural shift might occur in "twenty-twenty."
These 50 practical tips will carry you into the new year without ever finding yourself wearing mismatched socks ("buy ten pairs of black cotton socks and ten woollen; and stick to black for the rest of your life") or laying in bed awake all night ("when tossing and turning in an irrational half-awake state of insomnia, wake yourself up properly, switch on the light, get up and strip and remake your bed, and then go back to bed.")
Solar roadways have the potential to revolutionize our lives as we get one year closer to dreaded "peak oil" and strive to decrease our impact on the world's CO2 emissions. Hello future! Sign me up!
Retrospective decade in review articles are all over the interweb, most fairly negative. But this guy thinks it'll go down as the year the internet revolutionized our world, much like the printing press circa 1440. You can see the impact on the internet in our lives easily thanks to this funny chart "picturing the last ten years."
And finally, continuing with the positivity theme, a changing attitude is emerging from the depths of the recession - one in which people are valuing their experiences more than the latest thing to buy. If we all try to do the same this year, we'll be a much happier group of people.
Posted by marikm22 at 1:03 PM
Friday, January 1, 2010
Three I'm hoping to get my hands on soon.....
1. This interview with author Robert Waggoner sold me completely on his book Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self. I've had my fair amount of lucid dreaming moments, but all I do every time is fly around for 30 seconds and then forget about it and continue my quest of trying to get a stormtrooper to put on a clown suit or whatever. Waggoner claims experienced lucid dreamers might have the capacity to "pursue telepathic and precognitive information," and apparently he can get you on track towards that goal.
2. On a somewhat similar note, I just wasted way too much of my time on the amazing Get High Now website, exploring their audio and visual highs (the holophonic sound might be my favorite). There's an accompanying book called Get High Now (without drugs) that delves into lots more (including meditation, self-hypnotism, and cheese). And for iphone owners, there is (of course) an app for that.
3. Okay, okay, I admit, I'm a huge name nerd. I watch movie credits for interesting names, keep nameberry.com on my bookmarks bar (best website ever), and on one very momentous occasion, upon hearing the name of a friend's potential romantic prospect, remarked "Oh, that's a Hebrew name meaning 'cedar.'" So you can imagine how much I'm lusting to get my hands on a copy of The Secret Universe of Names, by Roy Feinson. There are rave reviews on Amazon, and I know I personally can't get enough of eerily dead on pseudo-science.
...and three personal favs that everyone should read immediately:
1. You might already be familiar with Kim Edward's amazing The Memory Keeper's Daughter, which has actually been adapted for a Lifetime movie. But it's her earlier collection of short stories The Secrets of A Fire King that I keep coming back to. My favorite, "In the Garden," about a young woman who breaks away from the conventional life she's supposed to lead, is one of the most inspirational things I have ever read :
"More than ever, the world seemed full of mysteries she could hardly comprehend, and the visible fell like a veil between herself and something else, something glimpsed at unexpected moments –a white curtain rising from an open window, or leaf shadows playing on the tiled floor of her room images that layered and gathered, inexplicable but powerful. Yet her intuitions could no longer be contained by the structures she had accepted all her life, and this discovery made her feel breathless, as if she stood on the edge of an abyss, even while the world went on much as it always had, knit back together by the ordinary day-to-day."
2. Thich Nhat Hanh's thin, unassuming book Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life is extremely powerful in its simplicity. Through cute anecdotes and the occasional meditative exercise, Thich Nhat Hanh effectively tackles the issue of achieving awareness and mindfulness in the hustle and bustle of 2010. I pick this book up and flip it open to a random page frequently just to remind myself how easy it is to find time to take a few deep breaths (and what a difference it makes).
3. Tom Robbins' Skinny Legs and All is probably not for everyone. It's wacky, raunchy, waxes philosophical on issues like politics, religion, and art, and includes main characters such as Can o' Beans, Dirty Sock, Spoon, Painted Stick, and Conch Shell (which are exactly what you might think they are, though not as inanimate as you would believe). It's hilarious and speeds right along at times, and then other times you have to stop and really think about what you're reading :
Posted by marikm22 at 7:46 PM