Wednesday, November 11, 2009


NASA has released an image of the Milky Way's center region:

Click the image to view a larger version--you owe it to yourself: technological advancements have saturated us with impressive images from space, diluting the cosmos' ethereal reality; but this image [how silly, using such a "human" word], this infinity is staggering in its beauty.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Digital Archaeology:

Two weeks ago, Yahoo shut down GeoCities: a web hosting service that provided free or inexpensive hosting for over thirty-eight million user-built pages; one might consider this the first digital extinction event. An era ends with a whimper, and the show goes on.

Digital archaeology already exists in a rudimentary form: prior to the shutdown of GeoCities, the Archive Team took to preserving this digital history, retrieving the soon-to-be-lost data from the GeoCities servers; elsewhere, other groups are recovering and archiving graphic artifacts.

Consider the internet: it is a sum of the species; it is the human psyche, cataloged on billions of pages. If archaeology intends to understand humankind, the internet offers an unprecedented amount of information: for better or for worse, we are being digitally preserved for future generations.

And what will future generations think of us--of me? It's a strange [read as, comforting] thought: that this blog may someday be made available to some stranger's eyes. I hope my future archaeologist [hello, by the way] finds these musings interesting--lo! a story idea:

A digital archaeologist stumbles across a decades-old blog, and falls in love with the now-elderly blogger; or rather, the younger writer chronicled in the blog's musings. Could be an interesting story, science fiction-cum-memoir, equal parts nostalgia and narcissism.
Another story idea, another unwritten story; I suppose that's why I feel an affinity for the internet: I am constantly evolving, leaving behind a trail of stillborn ideas as my mind races forward towards... something; and similarly, the internet leaves behind a trail of stillborn blogs and websites covered in digital dust, forever evolving in tandem with the human psyche.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mars, The Big Picture:

Courtesy of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's HiRISE [High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment] camera; click the image for more photographs.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Splash Quite Unnoticed:

Establishing that the self exists--"cogito, ergo sum", though "I am" is sufficient--establishes the dichotomy between the self and the non-self, which subsequently establishes the reality of the self: the self and the non-self, combined; from there, it's a matter of examining that reality via the hypothetico-deductive model. Questioning the self instantiates the self, thereby providing the requisite consequence for the theory that the self exists; that is, instantiation satisfies the hypothetico-deductive model, providing the consequence required by the proposition. In short, a perfect logical system is established.

William Carlos Williams, "Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus"

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling

the edge of the sea
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax

off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning
I turn twenty-one in January; I'd like to begin bottling dandelion wine in the spring. I'm finished with thoughts of any consequence; my notebooks are gone--only the preceding paragraph remains, a splash quite unnoticed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Long Now:

Embryonic debris drifts across my vision--eye floaters, they're called; I try to focus on one, but the attention causes the floater to vanish. When I was little, I thought I was seeing paramecia crawl across my eye.

I should apologize to Sable Salieri: I've imagined your story, but I'm unable to produce it on paper. Countless others have suffered a similar fate [Eli Drake, Briar, et al.], but your nonexistence seems more unfair: you were special; all my other nonexistent writing was supposed to lead to your existence--you were supposed to be my apotheosis.

After nearly a year, I'm still reading
A Confederacy Of Dunces; I'm trying to finish the book, but it's painful to read my own biography [and have my biography be considered a comic fugue]; I am Ignatius J. Reilly--I am, I am, I am. I worry how the book will end, I guess.

"The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock" [a rare exception to poetry's jejuneness] contains the best sentence ever penned:
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
Yes, yes, and why wasn't I? I've dreamed I was in an ancient sea, silent and ethereal; I've dreamed it so lucidly, so why shouldn't I be there? I've been there, so why can't I be there? I can't imagine anything crueler than a dream: I experience a paradise, only to lose it upon waking; I am eternally leaving Eden.

A musing; a reaffirmation--an exclamation! Another musing [an aside].

I spent several summers on the shores of northern lakes: canoeing through morning mist, fishing for northern pike; serenaded by cicadas while watching the aurora borealis; sitting in bucolic, forgotten libraries, reading Kurt Vonnegut. All paradises, all lost.

And I am only twenty years old: only a quarter of my life has been spent, and already memories are too cruel; I remember so many lost paradises, and I can never return to any of them. Sixty years of summer sunsets and winter window shopping--I can't imagine so much time.