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April 02, 2011

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And since it's an open thread, a serious one, for you, LJ, on the fall of Japan, Inc., by Tim Shorrock in The Nation.

Thanks for the open thread, Gary! Now, if I could only think of something to say.

Wait.

Still nothing.

Wait...the other night I watched Gray's Anatomy counter to my usual vacating of the room, mostly to see whether they made an utter trainwreck of it (it was the musical episode). As a result, I am now downloading everything I can find by Brandi Carlile.

The Story by Brandi Carlile.
The Story sung live by Dr. Callie (Sara Ramirez, aka Lady of the Lake from Spamalot).

I like both versions. My wife has bought the Sara Ramirez version already, which I like for different reasons (I think she has a technically better voice, but I also like Brandi's quirky emotiveness).

Find Your Dream, sung by Sara Ramirez!

She's got a rare pair of lungs, she 'as.

Profile of a Lonely Galaxy.

It may be dim, but it's lonely! Be friendly to ESO 461-36!

Taniwa, a quilter in Japan, has been sharing her experiences before and after the quake. The latest explains what happens to quilts sent as relief.

tttl1998.blogspot.com/

@ Slarti:

This is my favorite version of The Story.

I agree about the quirky emotiveness, her voice has a lot of feeling in it, especially in that live version.

@Gary

The gender and game design link was interesting, it reminded me of a series on Escapist, Extra Credits.


"One of the creators is an experienced game designer and provides advice about how to conceptualize and create games, discusses the state and future of the gaming industry and how to become a part of it."

From one of the links:

Rome has the most ancient Jewish community in Western Europe, stretching back to 161 BCE.

I don't doubt that Rome has the oldest Jewish community in Western Europe (and what Jewish community in Eastern Europe is older, for that matter?), but isn't 461 BCE impossibly precise?

That there were Jews - lots of them - in Rome before there were any Christians there (or anywhere else) is a sort of interesting little fact.

I don't know if others are as awed by dates in antiquity as I am. The first time I went to Israel I took a tour of the old city of Jerusalem. The thing that has stuck with me is that when David made Jerusalem his capital, 3000 years ago, the city was 2000+ years old. It turns out that being on a hill and having a water supply was a valuable combination of traits for a settlement.

Thanks for the link, Jeff. I tend to give quite a bit of extra weight to excellence outside of the studio, and that was pretty epic.

I don't know if others are as awed by dates in antiquity as I am.
I'm pretty awed by spans of time, be they historic, prehistoric, living, or geologic, and the knowledge that we can touch things, know in many cases reasonably precise dates when they formed or were created or came into a being reasonably resembling their current form, be they redwood trees, sedimentary layers, canyons, human-made artifacts, ancient coins, gates, archeological finds, you name it.

"I touched this" and It Existed Then and This Happened To It is an awesome connection to make. It connects us to the history of all that thing has touched and been connected to.

"Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die."
I like to connect.

Then let the current flow.

A little story:

A couple of decades a go a friend and I were wandering around souther Utah and stumbled upo Calf Creek Recreation Area, a terribly mundae name for one of the most magical places in the magical slickrock and mountain landscape of the Escalante region.

We spent the day hiking by walking up the stream in the water. That is, btw, a lovely and revealing way to hike. Our hike ended with a dramatic surprise: a classically beautiful fall of water hundreds of feet down the face of a cliff, ending in a absolutely clear blue green pool. So of course we went swimming.

I am gettig to the point here. We were not done with our adventure. We could see that that there was a verdant eden in the canyon above the falls and decided to spend the night up there. That meant backtrackig to our truck, organizing our gear into carryable form ( no backpacks) and hunting along the lower canyon until we found a route to scramble up.

It was quite a climb. At one point my friend jumped up and wraped his arms around a tree root and I climbed his body like a ladder to get to the next ledge., Then I dangled my legs down for him to use like a rope ladder. We did manage to get to the canyon top without injury. Oh, to be young again!

The top of the canyon was a fantastical landscape made the more luminous by the glow of settig sun: the miles of slickrock in waves of gold, the dark coniferous mountians in the distance, the pink sand.

Footprints of a cougar.

No water to drink except what we found stagment in depressions in the rock.

A arrowhead.

I have no idea how old it was but when I saw it I got one of those time travel sensations. Suddenly I felt as though the maker of that arrowhead could be just out of sight, just on the other side of a pinyon.

All that raw geography, no sight of modern life but us, that little fragment of human experience from the past.

Farther up the canyon we found some pottery shards which I still have.

It was a awesome experience.

If I might briefly clog up the Open Thread: I have some acquaintances in this community who might be interested in the fact that I've started a new blog: http://noise2sig.nl.

It's mostly an SF&F thing: I'm doing a Babylon 5 rewatch series that started on Making Light but has found a better home there, I have a few other article series planned, and there will be one-off this and thats. I have another blogger who might come join me, too.

I'm not leaving Making Light, but I've been finding myself increasingly interested in having a place of my own as well.

If you're interested, stop by. I'd be pleased to have the company of such smart and interesting people.

I now return you, nearly unharmed, to your (extra)ordinary Obsidian Wings experience.

For me, it's not just the length of time (though I am amazed by that as well), is it a question of subjective distance. While I was in grad school, someone found a wax cylinder recording of Chief Joseph in Nez Perce. There are a small number of elderly fluent speakers, (low 3 figures-upper 2 figures around 20 years ago iirc) and they played this for them and they had no trouble understanding what he said. Logically, it was less than 100 years between the recording and playing it for the elders, and we have recordings of Yeats and Shaw and others speaking, but the subjective distance of time makes it seem like a huge leap.

Here is the canonical list of April 1 news items that were not April Fools jokes, but might have been.

(Via Arthur D. Hlavaty)

Allochthonia: Numen, Faith, Religion, and Lack Thereof; fine stuff, Abi, as I'd expect. Also: I agree!

We'll have to find something else to have a religious war about.

Quakers: insufficiently agressive?

Oh, I know: you have a typo of "Clark" for "Clarke"! This means war!

Blogrolled you, and will try to make time to read as I can. May you find as many readers and commenters as you deserve, and I'm sure you will.

(I'm still pondering if players of the Quake series of computer FPS games who play religiously should be called Quakers.)

Hollywood's allegedly funniest tweets, which include two from Nathan Fillion.

It's again clear why we have writers for actors.

Abi, this is absolutely wonderful, and I intend to, ah, appropriate it, in some, um, appropriate way.

It would only be appropriate to ask your permission, but I believe that you'll give it if I make use of your rule appropriately.

May I have permission to make appropriate use of your rule, with due linkage as best as I remember to, and as seems appropriate?

Gary,

I'm glad you like it. I've certainly found it helpful from time to time.

Go ahead and use it, with attribution and linkage. If it's the appropriate tool for a job you need to do, go for it.

Abi, added links and a comment to Addendum to this post as well as to blogroll.

Unfortunately, adding to the blogroll here has... complications. It's something I've asked my co-bloggers for feedback about, and possibly at some point we'll be able to do something about it.

Meanwhile, I do what I can at Amygdala.

Great stuff by you; count me as one of your fans. I am not chicken to say so, and you don't run around like your head is cut off; opposite. You're up early in the morning, not being evil.

You're up early in the morning, not being evil.

I am merely lulling you into a false sense of security.

And crossing the road.

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