"indecision may or may not be my problem."
finally got around to making a webpage for my timewarping project from a couple of years ago.
haikus for a newly neutered dog.
First you picked me up
I licked your nose, we were friends
Then you took my balls
from ouspensky's 'in search of the miraculous', i found the following quote striking (he's quoting gurdjieff):
to speak the truth is the most difficult thing in the world; and one must study a great deal and for a long time in order to be able to speak the truth. the wish alone is not enough. to speak the truth one must know what the truth is and what a lie is, and first of all in oneself. and this nobody wants to know.
(italics in the original)
this book, which i'm reading very intermittedly, has a similar odd effect on me as another book i once read equally intermittedly, a book called 'the compass of zen' by seung sahn.
both books - incidentally given to me by others - were pretty much obscure to me, with very little making any sense at all. i read them without understanding much, and disagreeing with the little i did understand, but in both cases i feel a strange calm engulfing me after i lay them down, as if the text, the words themselves, address something in my mind that is beneath or beyond my own understanding.
don't know exactly how i came across it or what exactly it is, but it sort of caught on with me when i first watched episode 05: 'secrets of myspace at the workspace'. giving it the benefit of the doubt of having intentionally awkward characters and dialog, soup of the day is a pretty entertaining homegrown comedy.
when i looked for a real link to their website, however, i found it so annoying, horribly designed, and full of spoilers, that i refuse to link to it. you can google it youself if you want.
as it were, i am repeatedly approached by people who want to make sense of the whole mess between israel and lebanon, and while i'm at it - what the hell is up with gaza, and iran, and all the rest. which is kind of curious because (as i also tell them) my opinions are radically marginal in the israeli political discourse. but in my defense one might say that i guess i can at least place iran, syria, and lebanon on the map which is more than most people who live around me can claim.
this weekend, however, the ny times put up a wonderful map/graph deliniating the various population demographics and hostilities around the middle east, so as a public service, and in blatant violation of copyright, i'm also hosting the image locally.
the graph has a lot of really interesting information on it and describes the various levels of hostility with cute phrases that range between just 'deep suspicion and hostility' to all-out 'war'. i was also surprised to learn that hammas was sunni, which comes to show what kind of expert i am.
a friend also pointed me to the middle east buddy list, a similarly cute attempt to make sense of the mess that's called the middle east. (i would personally label the relationship between israel and the e.u with 'it's complicated' rather than 'friends', but i guess nobody asked me).
and as a final cherry, here's the rude pundit with a message to my (his) american readers, reminding them that they have better things to worry about than israel.
topping off this bloggy day - this is from the nytime's wrapup of the world cup:
What a great tournament the Germans put on. As hosts, they were tremendous, making the Weltmeisterschaft a safe and joyous monthlong party for everyone.
of course. safety first. the first thing they call the world cup after it's over is 'safe'. great.
the dynamic graphics project at the university of toronto developed a new 3d desktop (video) with physics simulation and a number of new document interaction paradigms, such as crumpling documents, stacking them, hanging, and folding them.
still in the genre of 3d file viewers, this one represents the state of the art in style and rendering effects.
and here's the spoof. funny. really funny.
'the rules of attraction', 'i heart huckabees' and 'the three burials of melquiades estrada' have been added to my film list. 'a scanner darkly' has most definitely not been added.
as with these three, it continues to appear that most american movies i love - especially in recent years - turn out to be american / foreign coproductions.
update: added 'match point', too. also a coproduction it turns out.
i've passed 'om', the tibetan-themed, l.a.-styled resto-lounge near harvard many times and mostly felt appalled by the hyper-chique eyesore that it presented, completely misfit to its environment, and by the disgustingly loud nouveaux riches rudely talking to waitresses on their streetside lounge sofas.
but last night i ended up there, and i have to admit that i was presented with a culinary experience that i haven't had in many years.
once in a while i encounter a meal that is prepared with incredible originiality, yet manages to steer away from gratuitous cleverness; food that is both complex in its progression of tastes (i love 'time-based food') and still hitting a certain note of simplicity, emphasizing the individual elements no less than their interaction. last night was such a time, when dinner was an intellectual, emotional, and physical experience all at once. if you want to spend some good money on serious food in the boston area, 'om' in harvard square is a pretty good place to find it.
still not a big fan of its self-congratulating and cross-breeding interior design, i was nonetheless happy to hear that the owner's father himself, apparently of a long line of tibetan painters, created all the paintings in the place himself.
so i guess i ended up with mixed feelings - but the food was the most brilliant i had in a long time.
at the very end, however, my (excellent) dessert contained some real gold, which i found pretty damn wrong, and it snapped me out of my cocktail-induced haze and put me back in some place of humility, not least due to this bit by david cross. he's right - eating gold is the ultimate 'fuck you' to poor people.
and speaking of rich and famous, i heard this bill murray quote yesterday:
I always want to say to people who want to be rich and famous: try being rich first. See if that doesn't cover most of it. There's not much downside to being rich, other than paying taxes and having your relatives ask you for money. But when you become famous, you end up with a 24-hour job.
ok, bill. i'll try.
the things you learn getting coffee at the media lab. did you know that volkswagen produced a concept car as far back as 2002 that runs on 1 litre of fuel for 100km. that's 235 mpg for the american reader.
vw is an old favorite of mine. a 1975 beetle was the only car i ever owned (and sold at a profit!), and if i ever get rich and famous, i'll get myself a karmann ghia as a midlife crisis present.
enough has been written about the actual world cup final, so i feel no need to add anything of my own to the recount of the insult that is italy's victory. allow me however to offer as a dessert to this summer's celebration of skills the following gem from goal-scoring and head-butt-receiving italian actor marco materazzi:
Materazzi himself has not spoken publicly about the incident except to deny a claim by Paris-based anti-racism group SOS Racism, made on Monday, that he had called Zidane "a dirty terrorist".
"It is absolutely not true, I did not call him a terrorist. I'm ignorant. I don't even know what the word means," the Italian news agency Ansa quoted Materazzi as saying after the Italian team returned to Rome.
from bbc sport.
interestingly, zidane ended up winning the golden ball award (a journalist's pick of the tournament's best player). this is much due to the fact that the votes for the award were cast mostly before half-time of the final game.
this may remind the observant reader of oliver kahn's golden ball award in 2002, which might have been taken away from him and given to ronaldo, had the voters had a chance to see him fumble all the way to brazil's victory in the second half of the final game in japan.
maybe it's time to wait with the votes until after the game. electronic technology should make that possible these days. and while we're at it, i think it's time to allow the coaches to challenge calls with instant replays, if fifa cares about the future of this game.
and finally, for materazzi's agent claudio vigorelli, who is quoted in the same bbc article to say "I've known Marco for a long time and I don't think he is capable of provoking a player. He is a good boy.", i suggest watching this little collection of clips.
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content here by guy hoffman .. as seen times since march 2004