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Wednesday, December 18, 2002
pale blue

One of the most famous images ever taken from space could be considered a lousy photograph even by the least skilled amateur who wrestles with today's unthinkably complicated cameras. That is, if it weren't a picture of our planet. From more than 4 billion miles away. "Scientifically, it didn't teach us a single thing," Van der Woude says of the Pale Blue Dot, snapped by Voyager 1 in 1991. "But historically, it's priceless."

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Monday, December 16, 2002
good book

Economically, think of a religion as an endeavour that relies on the energy and dedication of its believers. Religions rely on huge numbers of volunteers constantly offering their time and money: A congregation of 700 needs only about eight full-time professionals, but needs three dozen deacons (or equivalent), two dozen choristers (or equivalent), and another two dozen miscellaneous youth leaders, pageant organizers, guys to make the sound system work, etc. Most of these are not fun jobs.

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Saturday, December 14, 2002
civil disobedient

I have conflicting feelings about giving Peace Prizes to Holocaust survivors for a couple of reasons. There seems to be this culture of sympathy for the victims that excludes modern-day tragedies because they aren't as epoch-making, aren't as engrained in our cultural psyche like the holocaust is. A survivor does not a hero make. When I studied with Elie Wiesel I would have thoughts like, "there, but for the grace of fascism, goes some random nice guy who writes pretty well." And my sympathy would go also to the his students, like myself, trying to mold ourselves after this great man by taking a class. As if Elie Wiesel or Imre Kertesz went to college and took classes like "How to write like someone who's had a fucked up terrible thing happen to them, 101."

The holocaust is well known and documented. That doesn't mean we can't learn more about it, just that there are plenty of other, perhaps just as important tragedies going on right now that something like the Nobel Prize could help to illuminate and expose.

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Thursday, December 12, 2002
frodo baggins

Wood eagerly bites into a steak fajita just as five teenage girls with long eyelashes and dangling earrings nervously approach him at La Salsa, a fast-food Mexican joint in Santa Monica. Wood's eyes widen. "Helllooo," he chimes happily.

One of the girls thrusts a video camera at him. "Would you mind saying something for the camera?" she asks. Her friends twitter. Wood faces the camera, closes his eyes for a moment, and then says, "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility is being superior to your former self." The girls stop giggling. They thank him and leave the restaurant while Wood repeats the line, which he picked up off a Radiohead website. "Don't you think that's true?" he asks, not noticing the girls now standing outside the window and quickly descending upon another cute boy, who wears a tennis visor and mugs for the camera. "So much time is wasted on trying to be better than others."

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Tuesday, December 10, 2002
bodice

being caught between addiction and powerlessness to feed it is a powerful metaphor. it's a sober moment when you realize you're capapble of almost anything

hey, check out the hasselhoff reviews :D also magnum pi never jumped! (via metafilter and linkmachinego)

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Sunday, December 8, 2002
penice

after "clan of the cave bear" the central conceit of jean m. auel's earth's children series is the enormous size of jondalar's penis and how ayla, having been ravished repeatedly by the neanderthal broud (in CotCB), is the only cro-magnon who can accomodate its size. they're literally the perfect match! altho it takes ayla's sexual explorations with the black ivory carver ranec in "the mammoth hunters" to realize it, and not before setting jondalar aflame in the age of ice

btw, site redesign brought to you by the index of american design, and textiles :D

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