25.9.08

This Just In, From the Edge of the Universe

Apparently, the "edge" of the universe is not metaphysical. It's real, and there's a neighboring universe out there next to ours, blobbier and heavier.

This Transaction is 100% Safe

Too good not to share.

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.
I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transaction is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully
Minister of Treasury Paulson

via Wordsend, thanks Vika!

Listology

Lists help. They really do. 

Right now, I have a bunch of projects going: I'm revising my novel, finishing a nonfiction book, finishing three new short stories, planning a short story collection, planning a new novel, blogging for British Airways (more on that later), and volunteering for our local neighborhood organization. I've also got family and household responsibilities, many of which are recurring (e.g., laundry, which happens every week) and more urgent than my official "work" stuff.

In general, I keep two lists at once: a master list of items that need doing, and a daily list of things I need to do today. As I complete tasks on the latter list, I also cross them off the former. The next day's list is made from remaining items on the master list plus whatever new fires need to get put out now.

The daily list also specifies how much time I should devote to each task. Having this structure helps, too.

But the system isn't working as well as it should. Larger tasks with long time horizons tend to linger on the master list. Being less urgent, they are easier to put off. No one needs to make a bathroom backsplash immediately, but Jane needs her gymnastics leotard before her next class.

It helps to break large tasks into chunks that go on the daily list, but this strategy creates new problems. Since the master list can't get too long, where should I keep the sub-list of smaller tasks, and how often should I refer to it? 

19.9.08

The Right Place

In the stats this morning: Someone found this page by searching on "the moomins" and "immanuel kant." Perhaps looking for research paper ideas?

Image:Moomin kuva.JPG

"Moomin Modes of Thought in Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics."
"Was ist Erklaerung? in Moomin Valley."
"Is There A Synthetic a Priori? A Debate Between Too-Ticky and the Hemulen."

Et cetera.

17.9.08

The Original Motion Picture

Brown's breathtaking digitization of an 1860 panorama of the life of Garibaldi gives a sense of what the original experience must have been like. I wonder what Walter Benjamin would make of this example of remediation, which breathes a kind of life into a dead media form ...

Large Hadron Rap



What strange, clever monkeys we are. The known 'verse, indeed.

New visitor to the garden


praying mantis
Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
Amazing to watch this praying mantis hunt for food. Looks just like a leaf -- until it swoops out one of those loooong arms ...