Monthly Archives: December 2012

Definition and Origin of the Phrase “The Whole Nine Yards”

Blaise Pascal once wrote someone the following: “I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” Today we might say that Pascal gave his reader, not the short version of his thought, … Continue reading

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Terence McKenna Tells the Truth

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Coffin Therapy?

I’m down with this. __________ More on coffin therapy here. Carpe diem.

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Dance With Me (In The Interpretation Of Lines From Yeats)

When reading, guessing about an author’s exact state of mind is always tricky. But it’s still fun to play. Take for instance William Butler Yeats’s poem, “Among School Children.” The Yale literary critic Paul de Man once noted that there’s … Continue reading

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Amazing Mars Curiosity Rover Photo

NASA recently released this self-portrait of the Curiosity rover.

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Did God Die In The Holocaust?

In the 1930s and 40s, a great many Jews in Europe would have exercised their free will in the direction of Adolf Hitler’s head by putting a bullet in it, but God (if He exists) did not give a single Jew … Continue reading

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Is Our Universe A Computer Simulation?

In the above image snapped at the Getty Villa in Malibu, poor crocodile is no crocodile at all, but the representation of a crocodile; the simulacrum of a crocodile. Might you be a simulacrum as well?  This post is about … Continue reading

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Christmas Song

Sort of.

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Persuasion Beneath the Radar

I find it interesting that the below video promotes manipulation of people as ethical. At no point is one advised to reason with vulnerability and openness; to provide people with more than one side of an argument; or to rely on … Continue reading

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Have You Lived Today?

If so, I suppose that would mean that you: did something novel as opposed to habitual; slowed down and noticed things; thought; loved; valued; took some risks; and either identified with Dionysus or channeled with discipline your Dionysian energies into … Continue reading

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Amour is “a Masterpiece”

The hard-to-please movie reviewer at The New Republic, David Thomson, calls Amour the best movie of the year. Here’s Thomson: Readers may say, “Well, you don’t like many films,” and they’d be right. I thought Prometheus was a catastrophe, Argo overrated, Anna Karenina risible, The Deep Blue Sea regrettable. … Continue reading

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Narrative is Good for You

That’s the thesis of classicist, philosopher, and legal scholar Martha Nussbaum (b. 1947) in her essay, “The Narrative Imagination” (1997). How is it good for you? On Nussbaum’s account, it expands and trains your noticing, theorizing, and moral capacities. Here’s a … Continue reading

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Camille Paglia Eats Taylor Swift

Our cultural hatred for aging and growing up (20-somethings still rehearsing teenage personas; 60-somethings botoxing) has Camille Paglia (aged 65) seriously annoyed, and in a recent article for the Hollywood Reporter, one of her targets for criticism is Taylor Swift, … Continue reading

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Darwin, Lucretius, and End Times Hysteria

Regarding doomsday today, December 21, 2012, the calamity has already arrived: the comet hit in 1859 when Charles Darwin published his Origin of Species. I’m referring, of course, to the death of God. Since the Italian Renaissance and Anglo-French Enlightenment, … Continue reading

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Before You Do Something Stupid

It’s December 20, 2012, and regarding the Mayan calendar Doomsday date tomorrow, the Los Angeles Times reports the following: NASA says, “the world will not end in 2012.” “Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion … Continue reading

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Look

Really. Look. __________ No method nor discipline can supersede the necessity of being forever on the alert. What is a course of history, or philosophy, or poetry, or the most admirable routine of life, compared with the discipline of looking … Continue reading

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Bill Nye on Climate Change

Clear as a bell. Deserves to go viral.

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2012: The Best Year In All Of Human History?

It sounds like a joke, but that’s the thesis of the lead article in The Spectator’s 2012 Christmas issue: Never has there been less hunger, less disease or more prosperity. The West remains in the economic doldrums, but most developing … Continue reading

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Abjure the Flesh?

In this extraordinary oil on canvas by Egon Schiele (1890-1918) of a cardinal and nun praying together rather intimately, the nun returning our gaze makes abjuring the flesh an open question. Shall the p go in the v? This is … Continue reading

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Conservative Changes Mind on Global Warming

A new documentary on global warming, Chasing Ice, is attracting a lot of positive critical buzz and appears to pack quite a wallop. At least it did for this person: _________ This is going on my “films to see” list. … Continue reading

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