Saturday, April 10, 2004

Good Start

Good Start is apparent what Ágætis Byrjun means. This is the Icelandic group Sigur Rós' second album. What a wierd cover!:
1. Intro - 1:36
2. Svefn-G-Englar - 10:04
3. Starálfur - 6:46
4. Flugufrelsarinn - 7:48
5. Ný Batterí - 8:10
6. Hjartaõ Hamast (Bamm Bamm Bamm) - 7:10
7. Viõrar Vel Til Loftárasa - 10:17
8. Olsen Olsen - 8:03
9. Ágaetis Byrjun - 7:55
10. Avalon - 4:02
It is one of several artists that closeyoureyes recommended in the category of soft music. Indeed, it is soft and soothing.

She said her favorite is the nineth song, Ágætis Byrjun. It's mine too. Good thing I don't have to speak the names of any of the songs, except for Olsen Olsen, as I haven't a clue.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Gottes Freitag

Good Friday really should be changed to either God's Friday, or Holy Friday. As AmyW said, "There was nothing good about that Friday ...".

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
Definition and etymology. Good Friday, called Feria VI in Parasceve in the Roman Missal, he hagia kai megale paraskeue (the Holy and Great Friday) in the Greek Liturgy, Holy Friday in Romance Languages, Charfreitag (Sorrowful Friday) in German, is the English designation of Friday in Holy Week -- that is, the Friday on which the Church keeps the anniversary of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Parasceve, the Latin equivalent of paraskeue, preparation (i.e. the preparation that was made on the sixth day for the Sabbath; see Mark, xv, 42), came by metonymy to signify the day on which the preparation was made; but while the Greeks retained this use of the word as applied to every Friday, the Latins confined its application to one Friday. Irenaeus and Tertullian speak of Good Friday as the day of the Pasch; but later writers distinguish between the Pascha staurosimon (the passage to death), and the Pascha anastasimon (the passage to life, i.e. the Resurrection). At present the word Pasch is used exclusively in the latter sense. The two Paschs are the oldest feasts in the calendar.

From the earliest times the Christians kept every Friday as a feast day; and the obvious reasons for those usages explain why Easter is the Sunday par excellence, and why the Friday which marks the anniversary of Christ's death came to be called the Great or the Holy or the Good Friday. The origin of the term Good is not clear. Some say it is from "God's Friday" (Gottes Freitag); others maintain that it is from the German Gute Freitag, and not specially English. Sometimes, too, the day was called Long Friday by the Anglo-Saxons; ...

The God of Jews, Christians, and Muslims

I had a discussion with Blissless recently on the subject of religion. This is something I usually don't do with religious people. But I made an exception with her. Along the way, I remarked it's ironic that the believers of the same God, i.e., Jews, Christians, and Muslims generally don't get along.

I suspected that she didn't know the story about Jews and Muslims. So, here an account from page 194 of The Religions of Man, by Huston Smith, later renamed The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions:
Central in this Arab rise to greatness was their religion, Islam. If we ask how this religion came into being, an external answer would begin by noting the economic and political currents playing over Arabia in the sixth and seventh centuries A.D. when Muhammed lived, and would then develop a picture of the environmental factors that brought this outlook into being. Viewed through Muslim eyes the question assumes a different cast. From the Muslim point of view the story of Islam begins not with Muhammed in sixth century Arabia but with God. “In the beginning God ...“ opens the book of Genesis. The Koran agrees. It differs only in using the word Allah. Allah is formed by joining the definite article al (meaning “the”) with Illah (God). Literally, Allah means “the God.” Not a God for there is only one. The God.

Allah then created the world, and after it man. The name of this first man? Adam. The descendants of Adam lead to Noah who has a son named Shem. This is where the word Semite comes from; a Semite, literally, is a descendant of Shem. Like the Jews the Arabs regard themselves as a Semitic people. The descendants of Shem are traced to Abraham and still we are within a common tradition. Indeed, it was the submission of Abraham in the supreme test, the attempted sacrifice of his son described in the Koran by the verb aslama, that appears to have provided Islam with its name. Abraham marries Sarah. Sarah has no son and Abraham, wanting to continue his line, takes Hagar for his wife as well. Hagar bears him a son, Ishmael, whereupon Sarah also has a son named Isaac. Sarah then demands that Abraham banish Ishmael and Hagar from the tribe. Here we come to the first divergence between the Koranic and Biblical accounts. According to the Koran, Ishmael goes to Mecca. His descendants, growing up in Arabia, are Muslims whereas those of Isaac, who remains in Palestine, are Jews.

The Seal of the PROPHETS

Following the line from Ishmael in Arabia we come eventually in the latter half of the sixth century A.D. to Muhammed, the prophet through whom Islam emerged, orthodox Muslims would say, in its full and final focus. There had been true prophets of God before him but he was their culmination; hence he is called ‘The Seal of the Prophets”—there will be no more after him.
So, I always chuckle when I read about Arabs being anti-semitic.

This has got to be a mistake

Master!
You are a MASTER of the English language!


While your English is not exactly perfect,
you are still more grammatically correct than
just about every American. Still, there is
always room for improvement...


How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Satan as the most loyal lover of God

I learned about this during The Hero's Adventure episode on the PBS series, The Power of Myth. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the reference in the book. I guess the quote from Joseph Campbell's other book Myths to Live By will have to do:
One of the most amazing images of love I know is Persian -- a mystical Persian representation of Satan as the most loyal lover of God. You will have heard the old legend of how, when God created the angels, he commanded them to pay worship to no-one but himself; but then, creating man, he commanded them to bow in reverence to this most noble of his works, and Lucifer refused... according to the Muslim reading of his case, it was... because he loved and adored God so deeply and intensely that he could not bring himself to bow before anything else.... Persian poets have asked, "By what power is Satan sustained?" And the answer they have found is this: "By his memory of the sound of God's voice when he said, 'Be Gone!'
Of course, this is the Islamic account. Nevertheless, after reading this, don't you have sympathy for the Devil?

Maps

That's great. I also discover this at AmyW's journal at her entry This is so cool!. Mine is at This is really cool!. But i think something is wrong with the world picture. Those aren't the countries. The ones are Canada, Mexico, Austria, and Germany. I'll have to fix that later.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Solaris

A grieving psychologist encounters his late wife aboard a space staton where two astronauts died.

http://solaristhemovie.com/

Steven Soderbergh, whose eclectic resume includes the Academy Award(R)-winning drama "Traffic" as well as last year's ensemble caper "Ocean's Eleven," now brings his unique vision to SOLARIS, a story of love, redemption, second chances and a space mission gone terribly wrong.

SOLARIS is a love story rich with emotion and mystery, set within a science fiction framework. The story, which takes place sometime in the future, opens as Dr. Chris Kelvin is asked to investigate the unexplained behavior of a small group of scientists aboard the space station Prometheus, who have cut off all communication with Earth.

Kelvin undertakes the journey after watching a communique from his close friend Gibarian, the mission's commander, who seeks Kelvin's help aboard the Prometheus for reasons Gibarian is unwilling - or unable - to explain. Keenly aware that his opinion will decide the fate of the orbital station, Kelvin is shocked by what he finds upon his arrival: Gibarian has committed suicide and the two remaining scientists are exhibiting signs of extreme stress and paranoia, seemingly caused by the results of their examination of the planet Solaris.

Kelvin, too, becomes entrapped in the unique world's mysteries. Solaris, somehow, presents him with a second chance at love - to change the course of a past relationship that has caused him overwhelming guilt and remorse. But can he really revisit and alter the past? Or is he fated to repeat its mistakes?



And Death Shall Have No Dominion - A poem written by Dylan Thomas
From 25 Poems. Published in 1936. Read 54 times on PoetryConnection.net.
http://www.poetryconnection.net/search/death_has_no_dominion

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

by Dylan Thomas
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead mean naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Through they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Blossoms on the brain

As a fan of Emily Dickinson, glontoe should enjoy this:
Blossoms on the brain
By Joshua Glenn, Globe Staff, 4/4/2004

THE FIRST EDITION of Emily Dickinson's "Poems," published posthumously in 1890, was adorned with a painting of an Indian pipe, a flower known for growing in hidden places. This was a reference to the Amherst-based author's reputation as both an avid gardener and a virtual recluse, a shrinking violet. No longer regarded primarily as a botanical poet, today Dickinson's verse is mostly hailed for its aphoristic style, cosmopolitan wit, and intellectuality. That's our loss, writes Judith Farr, whose "The Gardens of Emily Dickinson" (Harvard) hits bookstores this month. Not only did the poet's garden serve as refuge and studio, but the key to unlocking Dickinson is often one's knowledge of horticulture.

Dickinson called her poems "blossoms of the brain," and in them, as we know, flowers can symbolize everything from intellectual and artistic accomplishment to sexual experience and humanity's woes. But unless we bone up on the Victorian language of flowers -- set forth in popular gardening manuals of the time -- it can be impossible, Farr argues, to decipher Dickinson's more enigmatic imagery, especially the allusions to people in her life. Lavinia Dickinson, for example, who discovered sister Emily's unpublished poems after the poet's death in 1886, is associated with the cheerful, truthful chrysanthemum; Emily's ambitious sister-in-law Susan, on the other hand, becomes a bold, stately Crown Imperial.

And Dickinson's image of herself? She toyed with the rose, Farr writes, but because it represented romantic love and matrimony, finally rejected it. An 1847 daguerreotype, in which a 17-year-old Emily holds a small bouquet of "heartsease" -- woodland violets -- may provide a better answer. Violets, Farr writes, though appealing and richly colored, grow close to the ground -- and "like the poet who celebrated the superiority of solitary endeavor, they are able . . . to cultivate themselves," struggling to survive in a cold world until it is their season to bloom.


Sunday, April 04, 2004

What time is it when the Indiana capital is noon?

Apparently three states don't observe Daylight Saving Time. They are Arizona, Hawaii, and parts of Indiana. Hawaii is of no concern, as how often would you travel interstate. Even if you do, you'll have plenty of time to adjust your watch. Arizona? Well, maybe a bit more. But what do they mean parts of Indiana? Well, if you want to know what time is it when the Indiana capital is noon, you better print that section out and take it with you when you go.

The question is, why don't these states go along with the rest of the country?

BTW, the term is "Daylight Saving Time", not "Daylight Savings Time". But who cares. Really!