Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

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.

Your ABC

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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
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Cats, Butterfly weight, Haiku Earrings, Schiavo subtext, etc  
How not to get a good nights sleep
New rule: before strapping on the CPAP mask, check to make sure that no cat has thrown up in it.

Sleeping Cats
... was experimenting with sleeping next to me last night, so I didn't get much sleep ...

Having seen RESIDENT EVIL 2
... It's not a horror film. It's a video game film. You can always hit replay on a video game so there's no element of tension, no possibility of permanent loss.
I've proposed what I call "Less Virtual Than It Looks Reality" games (in which the dangers to the character in the game are translated into real danger to the player) to various companies but they all lacked my visionary nature. They call it "negligent homicide" but I call it "artistic vision."

In breaking news: Fox announces PONTIFF!
CNN is reporting that Fox has signed a deal with the Vatican for the next big reality show, PONTIFF!. This will use the format of shows like SURVIVOR and THE APPRENTICE, mapped onto the selection process for the next Pope.
April 11, 2005
Andrea Dworkin Has Died
Vanessa cardui
I watch the painted ladies flying north.
Hundreds of the butterflies pass me in any five-minute period. They’ve been headed north for some weeks, nourished by a spectacular
growth of annual flowers in the Mojave and deserts south ... It's really rather impressive. This blizzard of orange and black crepe crossing mountains, desert valleys, going from country to country, no luggage nor passport, orange and black wings thinner than crepe and fueled by tiny sips of flower, and they're moving faster than I can run. Each is just slightly more substantial than a thought, maybe a tenth of a gram of chitin and water and light. But probably ten thousand butterflies will pass me on my hike, a kilogram of flying stained glass shards. My hike covers five and a half miles. Extrapolate from there: many tons of butterflies are moving north in California today.
Butterflies hate cameras, I find. With the lens stowed safely in my pack the painted ladies linger in my gaze ...
When stealth and slyness fail, a cheating hunter uses bait. I park myself near a black sage in flower ...

Philadelphia Flower Show, 2005. Photos - very large.

Haiku Earrings
The concom got Elise Matthesen to come out and sell her jewelry. On Sunday she did haiku earrings. This is the process:

Elise lays out a bunch of small earrings on her table.
You pick out one or a pair and bring it to her.
She gives you a title.
You write the haiku that has that as the title.
You put the haiku where the earrings were.
Now you own the earrings.
Optionally you grant her the right to reproduce your haiku in a chapbook and/or a card to be strung on a necklace.

My earrings had two beads: the upper was an oval with pointed ends, a shiny yellow, with a picture of an oval-shaped leaf, strung through one
end; the lower a clear blue faceted ball.

I took them to Elise. She asked me, "Silly or serious?" (I found out later that she had asked someone else, "Ancient or modern?".) I chose serious, and received 'The Price of Immortality'.

The Price of Immortality

Yellow leaves in blue
Water are carried away
And never touch me.

I read this to Elise. She smiled. "Yes," she said. "That's the haiku that goes in that place."

Farthing, Jo Walton -- A beta read, gloat gloat. This is supposed to be out sometime this year from Tor Forge, but I haven't seen it on their
schedule yet. A mystery novel set in an alternate timeline where Rudolf Hess actually managed to make peace between Nazi Germany and the UK. Very powerfully written, one of the best books I read all year.

David Scott Marley

Debbie N.
10:28 am - The New Yorker killed Terri Schiavo
Apparently, I'm not allowed News/2005/04/04/981625-sun.html to make public entries about the thing I really want to be talking about today (is blogging journalism? is a livejournal a blog? my head hurts.), so I'll take on the New Yorker instead. One of the things that's struck me about all of the verbiage devoted to the Terri Schiavo case is that there's been very little mention of how she was reduced to a permanent vegetative state in the first place. Amidst the discussions from both left and right about whether a brain cavity filled with spinal fluid actually qualified as "life," why is "look, bulimia can kill you!" not being shouted from every rooftop? As one of the few publications that actually mentions the disease in conjunction with Schiavo, the esteemed New Yorker might have an answer for us. Hendrik Hertzberg writes, in the column "The Talk of the Town" for the April 4th issue (emphasis mine):
Terri Schiavo was born on December 3, 1963, near Philadelphia, the first of three children of Robert and Mary Schindler.
As a teenager, she was obese -- at eighteen, she weighed two hundred and fifty pounds -- but with diligence she lost a hundred pounds, and by the time she married Michael Schiavo, in 1984, she was an attractive and vivacious young woman. By the end of the decade, she had moved with her husband to Florida, was undergoing fertility treatments, and had slimmed down further, to a hundred and ten pounds. On February 25, 1990, Terri suffered cardiac arrest, leading to severe brain damage. The cause was a drastically reduced level of potassium in her bloodstream, a condition frequently associated with bulimia.
Do I really even have to subject this to an analysis? Perhaps I do. All right, then. The above paragraph implies not only that a young woman who weighs two hundred and fifty pounds can be neither "attractive" nor "vivacious," but also the inverse, i.e., that losing a hundred of that two hundred and fifty pounds will automatically make you both of these things, even if you lose that weight through bulimia. Even worse, it reduces bulimia -- a disease in which people starve themselves by self-induced vomiting or abuse of laxatives -- to "diligence," and praises a dead woman for having the disease that killed her. A disease which it goes on to mention in the *very same paragraph*. Never mind that many healthy young women exist who are attractive, vivacious, *and* fat. Never mind that a young woman with bulimia, a disease which, among other things, causes feelings of ill health, is most likely anything but "vivacious." Never mind that one of the U.S.'s foremost magazines turned an opportunity to educate people about bulimia into a subtle propagation of the demonstrably false ideology that arguably killed the very person they were writing about. Never mind that the truth about what science has learned about fitness and fatness -- that there is no provable relationship between so-called obesity and poor health -- is out there for anyone who wants to read about it:
Dutch language blog about my daily life and my cats

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