THE COMMON OBSERVER UNCOMMON OBSERVATIONS

Archive for "Nov 2013"

What is Life?

I ran across this interesting little “book” a few weeks ago. Based on a series of lectures by Erwin Schrödinger in the 1940’s, What is Life? is a multi-disciplinary look at the physical underpinnings of what it means to be alive.   The book is a curious read, filled with musings on introductory physics and biology […]

Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World

Wade Davis speaks eloquently on why ancient wisdom matters in our modern world and how experiencing a multitude of cultures adds to our understanding of what it means to be human, Our world is only one of many. A chance to live amongst people who have not forgotten the old ways who still feel their […]

Sunday Haiku

the fog is tired it lies against my window panes evening till morning   if tigers sleep through anarchy in the autumn may we dream awake   Egypt is a place where Borges could have written quite the true story Haiku contributed from Nite Rote.

The Use of a Book

Books are useful when you have to hold open a door, when you need to press flowers, or when you just need to prop something up. But does literature always have to be useful? Fiction’s lack of practical usefulness is what gives it its special freedom. When Auden wrote that “poetry makes nothing happen,” he […]

Would you cross the Atlantic on a sailboat?

You always leave for just one reason. To touch land again one day.   “Shouting: Tierra” is a short documentary that investigates the philosophical motivations that push people to sail the seas and to challenge the unknown. It is a film about the Atlantic crossing, but it is also a film about Nature and human […]

Pale Blue Dot

Carl Sagan penned these words while pondering over a photograph of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft when it was 6 billion kilometers from Earth. Out of context these words take on strange meaning, From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again […]

A Manifesto for the Truth

On Sunday Edward Snowden published a piece in Der Spiegel “A Manifesto for the Truth” where he argues that the United States government’s spying programs and subsequent suppression of dissent are against the public’s interest. Reasonable arguments within the public discourse continue to strengthen his position calling for at least some restraint to be shown by the […]

EN PUNTAS

This fragile dancer seems cruelly placed on knife edges, but she is persistent and has a furry. She will accomplish the perfection she desires or perhaps fulfill the perfection of whomever has placed her in such a precarious place. This is the trailer for Javier Pérez’s piece titled, “EN PUNTAS” in which a ballerina dances […]

Dark Matter Eludes

Dark matter continues to be in good form and elusive as ever. Dark matter is the stuff that makes up most of the mass of the universe, but it doesn’t interact much with regular matter, if at all. Earlier this week the LUX experiment posted a paper showing their first results – the strongest constraints […]