Another Dark Little Corner
Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.
There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought. Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]
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Preditors and Editors
Everything you wanted to know about literary agents
On the getting of agents
(and my Wish List)
The more things change ...
Isn't there an old saying that goes: "The more things change, the more they say the same"? The French have it too.
With the current kerfuffle about problems with the New South Wales rail system, when, searching for some important legal papers, I stumbled across these comments in a collection of old songs, I thought some people might also find them illustrative of Santanya's saying that "those who forget history are condemned to repeat it." Note the date below.
If I can wrench some time and mental energy away from burgeoning "urgent & important" demands I may be able to write about how better public transport is an important part of answers to a large number, perhaps a majority of the problems discussed in "the meeja".
AUSTRALIAN RAILWAY STORY
A Continuing Project: Concerning the Culture Associated with Australian Railways.
Further the collection and documentation of songs, poems and stories that reflect on the contribution railways have made (and continue to make) to the social history of Australia
Railway Voices a CD of Australian railway workers stories with songs and poems
Brian Dunnett electrical fitter, Loco Workshops, Chullora
Undoubtably the 1970 period which led up to the election of the Wran government was the first real occasion that the public actually got itself involved in the debate about public transport. The argument between road and rail lead to the closing down, in the 1960s, of our tramway system, and that appeared to be the way in which rail as a whole was heading. The thing that intervened in that process, and as encouraged people to look again at rail as a system and a more efficient means, both of moving people and certainly bulk goods, was the energy crisis, the environmental questions that arose in the 1970s. People were in fact forced to look at the enormous increase in the usage of diesel and the cost, not only the cost factors involved but, but the energy crisis dominated a lot of the debate. It was stirred on here, I think, by the Green Ban movement in Sydney and elsewhere that it created a basis of interest about well ... what do you do with your cities?
Now what ... what had occurred was the NSW government, Askin, brought to Australia a British expert, so called expert, Phillip Shirley, who had been connected with the British run-down of rail and that government was quite openly speaking about 10,000 jobs. The repercussions of that within the union movement was enormous, very sharp divisions, and it was the railway unions that discovered that they had some unity of interest with the public, that formed the "Save Public Transport Committees". Granville had that effect of bringing home what railway workers had been saying, that if you neglect a system, if you don't spend money on maintenance, if you don't do the right thing, well then you're in for trouble.
TRAIN TRIP TO GUILDFORD
150 Years of Licensing
150 Years of Licensing
I wonder if this Victorian group protesting about licensing laws was marking the sesquicentenary of the Eureka Uprising?
[GET EXPLANATORY LINKS; EUREKA LINKS]
Holy Rarebit, Batman!
Holy Rarebit, Batman!
Apparently the grilled cheese on bread with the image of the BVM has been sold to a casino for $US36,000.
"tragic microfilm accident"
It's possible to 'merchandise' most things:
Pretty Pix, to relax a bit with - Alex Uchoa is a Brazilian photographer.
Cargoweasel helps us chill out
Cargo - at www.livejournal.com/users/cargoweasel
November 8th, 2004
Time: 12:35 pm
Two interesting links of visual beauty today. Enjoy.
Power of Nightmares (BBC Documentary) transcript site
Transcript of The Power of Nightmares
I contacted the BBC through their web site to try and obtain a legitimate DVD of the documentary, and got the following response:Thank you for your question/questions regarding Power of Nightmares.
Post-Election: Major bugs in Diebold vote systems
Major bugs found in Diebold vote systems
Sometime before next Anzac Day I will try to write the piece on Australian War Memorials I have in mind to put some flesh on the casualty figures, but here is an unofficial site about the local memorials. The official site is www.awm.gov.au, which has some excellent resource.
This link commemorates some Voices lost to the world of arts in The War to End Wars
posts on Remembrance Day.)
Mohandas Gandhi & Joe Hill
I have been following (lightly - life gets in the way sometimes) some of the reaction in the US & elsewhere amongst like-minded citizens to the election success of Bush (& Howard).
It's usually agreed that putting as much effort into making sure that electronic voting, voting, ballot security & vote counting in the "First World" is as scrutinised & secure & independently overseen as the system developed for paper ballots in countries with former records of rigging & cheating is worth putting effort into.
But many are also looking at examples like, say, Gandhi, where he said, more or less: "We can't fight them with force, both because that's the wrong way to achieve our aims anyway, and also because they're better at it & we won't win.
We can try, in some circumstances defying & working against them directly, but that must only be where there is no alternative - and it might serve our cause rather than harm it.
What we should try to do is ignore them. Work around them. Do our own thing our own way rather than fall in with their system. Show that we can do things our way, with our systems, and with better results. Show the people they needn't be dependent on the ones who say 'bend down and serve us, let us make you suffer, because you will suffer even more without us', then their support will crumble from within."
Or as Joe Hill put it more succinctly: "Organize!"
C.S. Lewis on Theocracy, 1946
Why I am a Democrat (C.S. Lewis)
I am a democrat because I believe that no man or group of men is good enough to be trusted with uncontrolled power over others. And the higher the pretensions of such power, the more dangerous I think it both the rulers and to the subjects. Hence Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant a robber baron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely because he torments us with the approval of his conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations.
"A Reply to Professor Haldane" in "Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories"
Danny's Blog Cabin
May 26, 2004
Church and State: Keep Them Separated
(article written for June 2004 church newsletter) quoted & explained part of this. It's also a good current-day explanation from the Christian side of the dangers of confusing religion & politics too much, as Lewis' was a half-century ago.
I may later add in something about CS Lewis & his works & relationship with JRR Tolkein & others in their group. Or you can go & look that up yersel :)
News Just Through: Arafat's Death Announced
News of Arafat's death has just come through.
Is this a turning point? Which way?
We are all rowing forward into the future, only able to see where we've been in the past.
A Poem After War
They ask me where I've been,
Wilfred Gibson (1878-1962)
Early Remembrance (1); pre-dawn 11/11/2004
Extracts from a small thing for Armistice/Remembrance Day, which I thought had a few aspects people may find good to think upon.
A life in three centuries November 11, 2004, by Jonathon King
Age shall not weary Peter Casserly. And, rather than being condemned by the years, time has made him a record breaker. He is Australia's oldest known man for one. Next, of the 331,000 Australians who fought overseas in World War I he is the sole surviving serviceman from the Western Front. For good measure, he appears to have notched up the country's longest running marriage - lasting 80 years and 10 months before his wife Monica died at 102 in August ...
Early Remembrance (2); pre-dawn 11/11/2004
Some poems of two wars
World War One Poets on the Battlefields: Blunden; Brooke; Owen; Sassoon; St Quentin; Ypres
"Damn all war mongers who lie to the young so they volunteer to kill + to be killed"
http://www.1914-18.co.uk/owen/ (Wilfred Owen Association)
Early Remembrance (3); pre-dawn 11/11/2004
Some non-poetry of two wars: Article (for members); Article (for members)
(Casualty figures 1914-1918; 1939-1945)
Until I can work out something grand & good -- this puts it into millenial vistas -- it looks like the only way you can look at these latter two is to download them. Any suggestions for simple conversions of complex Excel spreadsheets to, say, HTML tables?
I will try to write the piece on War Memorials I have in mind to put some flesh on the figures. This link commemorates some Voices lost to the world of arts in The War to End Wars.
I know, it's easy to snipe as I sit here in Canada, as immune to unpleasant affairs abroad as a Belgian in 1933 but I'd like to issue a very special Adrej Waidja Stakhanovite* Award to the Republican voters of Gahanna District in Franklin County, Ohio, where 4,258 of the 638 people who voted voted for Bush. I think the old Soviets only ever managed to get turnouts 99% in favour the chosen candidate. Exceeding the actual number of voters has to count as something extraordinary.
*Or possibly Aleksei Grigorievich Stakhanov (Алексей Григорьевич Стаханов) - from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksei_Grigorievich_Stakhanov, see also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stakhanovite about the "model Soviet worker" (or shock-worker) movement.
The First 9/11 - Broken Glass & Ashes
(In Australia 9/11 is November 9th)
Remember Kristallnacht - 9/11/38Two sites of many
what disturbed the German populace was less the sight of synagogues burning (fires take place all the time, after all -- it depends on the scale) than of the savage and wasteful vandalism that confronted bystanders everywhere, disrupting the clean and orderly streets (to say nothing of consumer convenience). What was indeed memorable was the sheer quantity of broken glass. A third point was the economic outcome of this massive breakage. Germany didn't produce enough plate glass to repair the damages (synagogues did not have to be replaced -- quite the contrary). The result was twofold: the need to import glass from Belgium (for sorely needed cash) and the outrage of indemnifying the Jewish community to pay for the damages.
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
by Barbara Ehrenreich
(UK Edition) Nickel and Dimed: Undercover in Low-wage America
The Working Poor : Invisible in America by DAVID K. SHIPLER
Features > May 10, 2004
By Kurt Vonnegut
Many years ago, I was so innocent I still considered it possible that we could become the humane and reasonable America so many members of my generation used to dream of ...
Deep & Meaningful (and other barriers)
From a discussion on a subject like unto one my friends & I have discussed
Graydon ::: September 10, 2004, 09:54 PM
Prosperity and civilization *do* manage to obscure some basic truths, the learning of a hard life.
The comment under
Randolph Fritz ::: September 10, 2004, 08:03 PM
also reflects something mentioned previously
no investment--not equities (stocks), debt securities (bonds), not cash, not gemstones, not precious metal--is certain. Your IRAs and 401(k) may turn into so much worthless paper. And they all depend on policy to maintain their values. When the SEC stopped doing its job, fraud in the securities markets (Enron!) made many stocks into so much worthless paper. Debt securities depend on the rate of inflation--the inflation that is likely if W. Bush is reelected will devalue them dramatically. Investments in any currency depend on international trade policies; it is likely that the dollar will not be the world standard of value in 20 years and there will be many losers in the resultant capital shifts. Metal and gemstones are only valuable as long as most people hold them; in hard times, many people will try to sell and the value will drop.
and you'll probably notice that
PiscusFiche ::: September 11, 2004, 11:25
puts an example that follows my argument -- concluding "Times are changing, and the more we cooperate, the more able we are to weather it."
September 12, 2004 The Worst Part Is I Don't Want Help
"Sometimes I avoid friends or family obligations in order to read novels."
"I have neglected personal hygiene or household chores until I had finished a novel."
"I have spent money meant for necessities on books instead."
"I have wept, become angry or irrational because of something I read."
"If you answered 'yes' to three or more of these questions, you may be a literature abuser
Affirmative responses to five or more indicates a serious problem."
Large Killer Tracheophytes
Silent Killers: The True Story Of Deadly Trees
By Gene Weingarten Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 7, 1998; Page C01
America was stunned this week by the tragic deaths of Michael Kennedy and Sonny Bono, who lost their lives to a silent killer.
[also see (Hughes, Sylvia; "Antelope Activate the Acacia's Alarm System," New Scientist, p. 19, September 29, 1990.) summarised at . This is only a "killer" because the antelope are artificially confined by humans.]
Flagging & Surveying Tape
Used for surveying, mapping, forestry, tagging, roping off an area, or any other marking application. Also available in biodegradeable & printed versions; Pre-Made Aerial Targets
SKULL AND CROSSBONES (ONLY) (Glo Orange)
DANGER DANGER (Glo Orange)
PROPERTY LINE (Glo Pink)
WETLAND DELINEATION (Glo Pink)
PEST MANAGEMENT (Glo Pink)
Spot fire (Glo Orange)
WETLAND BOUNDARY (Glo Orange or Glo Pink)
TIMBER HARVEST BOUNDARY (Glo Pink)
RIPARIAN MANAGEMENT ZONE (Glo Pink)
STREAMSIDE MANAGEMENT ZONE (Glo Pink)
Photo-luminescent Tapes (Glow-in-the-Dark)
Chart & Map Tape
Color Coding Tape
Plastic Vinyl Tapes
Safety Reflective Tapes
Symbols & Stripes
[WARNING!] Review: Night Travels of the Elven Vampire
(After reading 98 3/4 pages of complete and utter badness) ... This is my favorite half paragraph in the book.Glowing red eyes looked at her, and she turned her eyes away from the sight of the glowing orbs. Each one stood at least seven feet in height, and must have weighed around six hundred pounds. They were covered in fur, had pointed ears, a snout and large sharp teeth. They stood on legs the size of tree trunks.
Now, that might make this somewhat more understandable? Or not?
The Rapture Index
The Rapture Index has two functions: one is to factor together a number of related end time components into a cohesive indicator, and the other is to standardize those components to eliminate the wide variance that currently exists with prophecy reporting.
Antichrist Photo Gallery
Ummm ... www.ericawebb.com/091601
After the Ball is over ...
Saudi Arabia sees Bush victory as lesser of two evils
By Ed O'Loughlin, Herald Correspondent in Riyadh
October 29, 2004
Whatever the realpolitik calculations, on the emotional level relations between the US and its Saudi guarantors of cheap petrol - always unsentimental - have never been worse.
While Muslim fundamentalists continue to preach against the Great Satan, America's natural constituency among liberal and reform-minded educated Saudis has been alienated by what it sees as hostility towards Arabs since the September 11 attacks.
Over the past three years tens of thousands of young Saudis have returned home from US universities to escape official or unofficial harassment or because of difficulties in renewing study visas.
"After 9/11 they say that all Arabs and Muslims are terrorists," said the editor of Arab News, Khalid al-Maeena, whose son recently returned from a US university without graduating. "This has made young Arabs turn against the West. They like to listen to Ricky Martin and Mark Anthony and have coffee at Starbucks, and yet their sentiments are increasingly anti-American."
"Saudis love the West and they hate it," said Mansour al-Nogaidan, once a leading Islamic hardliner and now a liberal dissident. "They love Western civilisation but they hate it because they feel inferior. They hate the thought that it is stronger than we are, that it is up while we are a long way down."
Man tries to convert lions to Jesus, gets bitten
46-year-old leaps into den at Taipei Zoo, calls beasts to Christianity
[There is video of this - watch TV news.]
Updated: 5:51 a.m. ET Nov. 3, 2004
TAIPEI, Taiwan - A man leaped into a lion’s den at the Taipei Zoo on Wednesday to try to convert the king of beasts to Christianity, but was bitten in the leg for his efforts.
“Jesus will save you!” shouted the 46-year-old man at two African lions lounging under a tree a few metres away.
“Come bite me!” he said with both hands raised, television footage showed.
One of the lions, a large male with a shaggy mane, bit the man in his right leg before zoo workers drove it off with water hoses and tranquilizer guns.
Newspapers said that the lions had been fed earlier in the day, otherwise the man might have been more seriously hurt ... or worse.
Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Many good useful & hopeful things (as well as rage, despair, &c.) on the "Bad morning" thread at Making Light -- http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/005687.html
I really thought that today would be the beginning of our recovery from the current low point. But I guess we have lower to sink. Doesn't mean we won't rise again eventually.
And in my right hand I hold my sorrow
And with my left hand I reach for joy
We all are soldiers whether we fight or fall
No one can run from the scorns of time
"Scorns of Time", on the Simple Path album, by Irene Kelley and Claire Lynch
Alison ::: November 03, 2004, 04:39 PM
( http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/005687.html )
What I resent most about this election is that 80% of the people who based their decision on "moral values" voted for Bush. Since when did the Republican Party become the last bastion of morality? Well, because they say they are and Democrats are resistent to portraying themselves that way.
These people who voted for moral values believe that abortion is murder and that homosexuals are out to wreck their marriages, but not that every child should be adequately educated or that the elderly should not have to choose between their prescription drugs and their food for the month. The reason they focus on abortion and homosexual marriage is that someone told them who was to fear and what was to blame for their problems in life ...
What I keep coming back to is an article I read last year about how conservatives use language to dominate politics. The link:
There must be a way to make people see that bombing terrorists only breeds more terrorists, that depriving children of education creates crime and that allowing everyone the same rights does not somehow dilute or diminish those rights. In other words, have to talk to the other side. Unfortunately, we first have to figure out how to use words they can hear.