Life extraordinaire

Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

First, foremost
spread love
Annihilate hate
Don’t ever ever
wait for fate
helping others
should never cease
in tough times
death, disease
Trust in Divine’s
abound affection
patience, contentment
serene satisfaction
kiss disenfranchised
make them fly
even if you
had to lie
all this before
you gracefully die
moments are slow
life goes fast
every day
it is your last


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Mysteries of the Universe, Still Out of Our Reach


Cosmology’s hot streak has stalled. Cosmologists have looked deep into time, almost all the way back to the Big Bang itself, but they don’t know what came before it. They don’t know whether the Big Bang was the beginning, or merely one of many beginnings. Something entirely unimaginable might have preceded it. Cosmologists don’t know if the world we see around us is spatially infinite, or if there are other kinds of worlds beyond our horizon, or in other dimensions. And then the big mystery, the one that keeps the priests and the physicists up at night: no cosmologist has a clue why there is something rather than nothing.

To solve these mysteries, cosmologists must make guesses about events that are absurdly remote from us. Guth’s theory of inflation is one such guess. It tells us that our Universe expanded, exponentially, a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of…

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The Tell-Tale Hairs of Edgar Allan Poe



A reporter for the Baltimore American was there when the coffin was first re-opened, where it was inspected by a small gaggle of curious onlookers. According to him, the skeleton was “almost in perfect condition, and lying with the long bony hands reposing one upon the other,” while the skull had “some little hair…still clinging near the forehead.”

– In the 19th century, hair from loved ones was clipped as a sort of “memento mori,” a secular relic. Around the country, Edgar Allan Poe’s hair has turned up in attics and libraries. Is it all legitimate? Elon Green writes about it at Atlas Obscura.

Read the story

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Slaves of New York

NASA ‏@NASA · 4h4 hours ago


Eric Foner | Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad | W. W. Norton & Company | January 2015 | 31 minutes (8,362 words)

Below is an excerpt from the book Gateway to Freedom, by Eric Foner, as recommended by Longreads contributing editor Dana Snitzky.

* * *

The history of slavery, and of fugitive slaves, in New York City begins in the earliest days of colonial settlement. Under Dutch rule, from 1624 to 1664, the town of New Amsterdam was a tiny outpost of a seaborne empire that stretched across the globe. The Dutch dominated the Atlantic slave trade in the early seventeenth century, and they introduced slaves into their North American colony, New Netherland, as a matter of course. The numbers remained small, but in 1650 New Netherland’s 500 slaves outnumbered those in Virginia and Maryland. The Dutch West India Company, which governed the colony, used…

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semper aliquid novi africam adferre

Etienne van Heerden (1954) is a South African writer. He was raised in a family where the Afrikaner  language was the linguaga franca. His mother was a teacher in mathematics and his father raised sheep.

I do not know if this life near a sheepfarmer has inspired him or influenced him in writing this book “Die stoetmeester”. The protagonist of this novel is Seamus Butler, who farms on his ‘Fata Morgana’. The Butlers breed ‘caper timidus’, a special breed (by accident) that faints with imminent danger. Due to this talent these animals are desired by animals farmers all over the world who need to protect their animals from wild animals. Sean Butler is the Stoetmeester, the breeder.

Seamus is from a long line of British settlers and he is proud of it. His is married to Sarah, from a Boer ancestry. Her brother Siener Wehmeijer is still unmarried…

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The Importance of Philadelphia to the Work of David Lynch


Philadelphia looms large in the personal mythology of David Lynch as a place that both terrorized him and changed the course of his life, his Gomorrah and his Rubicon in one. A product of small-town America, Lynch credits this onetime epicenter of urban blight with instilling in him a fear and disgust so extreme it opened a mental pathway to “another world.” He transfigured the city’s postindustrial dereliction into the infernal wasteland of his first feature film, Eraserhead (1977), and the dying gasps of its manufacturing age—clanking gears, droning machines, venting steam—indelibly shaped his aesthetic vocabulary. It was art school that brought Lynch to Philly in 1966, and it was in his studio at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where he experienced an epiphany that, in the familiar telling, moved him away from painting. The story appears in his memoir-cum-self-help-guide, Catching the Big Fish (2006). He…

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