Words

Life

Ok, so

by Andrea Elizabeth

you need to take flight AA 79 from Heathrow to DFW to see The Disaster Artist, by James Franco. I don’t think they showed it on flight AA 80 the opposite way. There are some parts you need to fast forward because covering them up with a napkin to sheild yourself and those behind you doesn’t work.

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Malukah

by Andrea Elizabeth

I just discovered her yesterday with her original Skyrim composition.

Peter Hollens sings it with her below. I don’t know which I like better, but I’m jarred when he starts talking before the last note is over.

Where do Babies Come From?

by Andrea Elizabeth

Having finished Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, I am not convinced of human evolution. Recent genetic and radiometric testing are not bearing it out. The few primitive bones are all very different from each other and are isolated. I can imagine that these people or apes may have had genetic problems and were excluded from the group. There does seem to be a lot more of a case for a large class of Neanderthal people, but they were similar enough to us to mate and produce offspring. They could have been from an early, isolated migration, or maybe they’re the Nephilim. I trust more what the scientists say about rocks than life. Regarding life, I trust the sequencing, but not the rationale. That’s speculation. Bill Bryson is pretty fair about not speculating too much. He’s best, though, at his descriptions of the scientists who made very interesting discoveries.

Bryson and Democritus

by Andrea Elizabeth

I have about 2 hours to go on Bill Bryson’s Short History of Nearly Everything. I appreciate that he presents this history in a similar format to Hugh Ross’ Improbable Planet, but from more of a biological than physics pov. He’s not yet gotten to how life could have come from non-life, but he’s laid some hints. Right now he’s covering prehistoric man’s fossils. Why are there so drastically few preserved fossils, and so varied from each other compared to dinosaur bones? Sounds like they are anomalies to me, so far.

For Mother’s Day I am delighted to have received Quantum Computing Since Democritus by Scott Aaronson. It’s sort of quirky, relateable, and accessible like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Barely in, I’ll quote,

‘One passage of Democritus that does survive is a dialogue beteen the intellect and the senses. The intellect starts out, saying “By convention there is sweetness, by convention bitterness, by convention color, in reality only atoms and the void.” For me, this single line already puts Democritus shoulder to shoulder with Plato, Aristotle, or any other ancient philosopher you care to name: it would be hard to give a more accurate one-sentence summary of the entire scientific worldview that would develop 2000 years later! But the dialogue doesn’t stop there. The senses respond saying “foolish intellect! Do you seek to overthrow us, while it is from us that you take your evidence!”‘

Yes, but there is a hierarchy in that the intellect can precede the senses in imagination, but perhaps only upon maturity. I don’t know if babies can imagine things they haven’t experienced. And I wonder if this imagination corresponds quantumly in optional realities. But even here decisions trump possibilities, but do not annihilate them. This is why what we think matters. And there are stages of contemplation that make thoughts more and more impactful.

So phonetically reading Slavonic still works. Good

by Andrea Elizabeth

RELFECTION

A monk complained to St. Arsenius that while reading Holy Scripture he does not feel, neither the power of the words read nor gentleness in his heart.

To that the great saint will reply to him: “My child, just read! I heard that the sorcerers of serpents, when they cast a spell upon the serpents, the sorcerers are uttering the words, which they themselves do not understand, but the serpents hearing the spoken words sense their power and become tamed.

An so, with us, when we continually hold in our mouths the words of Holy Scripture, but even though we do not feel the power of the words, evil spirits tremble and flee for they are unable to endure the words of the Holy Spirit.”

My child, just read! The Holy Spirit Who, through inspired men, wrote these divine words, will hear, will understand and will hasten to your assistance; and the demons will understand will sense and will flee from you.

That is: He Whom you invoke for assistance will understand, and those whom you wish to drive away from yourself will understand. And both goals will be achieved.

Prologue of Ochrid

It’s because I’m not (as) mad anymore

by Andrea Elizabeth

When you’re angry, the vengeance and cleansing parts of the Bible are comforting, and the death to self parts are ideal, but not that big a deal. You can put them on the shelf, sort of like putting off a diet. But when it gets to the point where the torch is being put to the tares, stubble, and philistines near and dear to your heart, that you don’t like reading about them getting burned up anymore.

I never could get into the starting-over parts of movies. I didn’t think Timon and Pumba could make up for the loss of Mufasa. Simba started smiling and swaying his head to Hakuna Matata way too easily.

To me, the good things that are still allowed to be enjoyed are more like Lamaze distraction visuals to keep you focused through labor, not complete replacements. They help you calm down your breathing. And I can smile and sway my head through a 3 minute song or a 3 hour hike. But they aren’t a permanent fix.

But Transfiguration!, you say. All that is not gloriously bright and love and God will not matter anymore! I don’t want certain things not to matter anymore. I pray they will be resurrected in the sweet by and by, so I hope in the future, and take comfort that they are ok during the separation, but the current separation still matters, and reading about Biblical purging, which is on just about every page, still hurts. It feels like Bulimia.

This guy knows his way around a song

by Andrea Elizabeth

Kevin Olusola is is usually Pentatonix’s beat boxer.

Retro done right

by Andrea Elizabeth

They’ve got the late 60’s/early 70’s down. It’s about the music, not them.

He Knew He Was Right

by Andrea Elizabeth

Just finished disc 1, which contains the 1st 3 of 6 installments, of the 2004 BBC TV adaptation of the Anthony Trollope novel. I like how Trollope is not as idealistic of good guys and bad guys. His point of view is more like foolish guys vs. wise guys with a Dostoevsky pessimism about human nature. But even Dostoevsky had his Alyosha. In Dostoevsky’s defense, perhaps Alyosha is meant to be seen critically as naive. There’s a difference between innocent ignorance and wise acknowledgment.

Consistencies of character in this first half:

Many fall in love at first sight.

Either a person is pridefully indignant in their judgments and responses to accusations, or they are weak and complicit with them.

I suppose there are two characters who are realistic and employ tough, but merciful love.

Far from the Madding Crowd

by Andrea Elizabeth

“Gabriel was paler now. His eyes were more meditative, and his expression was more sad. He had passed through an ordeal of wretchedness which had given him more than it had taken away. He had sunk from his modest elevation as pastoral king into the very slime-pits of Siddim; but there was left to him a dignified calm he had never before known, and that indifference to fate which, though it often makes a villain of a man, is the basis of his sublimity when it does not. And thus the abasement had been exaltation, and the loss gain.”