An uplifting news item, poem, thought or quotation each day.
Archive of past entries

19 June 2005

Epiphany and Persistence

Its true that the vision of a moment can inspire years of labor for its realization.  Its equally true that years of good works can set the stage for epiphany.  Following our best judgment day after day cultivates fertile habits of mind from which deep experiences and encompassing realizations can blossom in a moment.

- Josh Mitteldorf

18 June 2005

               Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things. 

- Mary Oliver

17 June 2005

What the Future will Bring

  • Tiny robots that cure diabetes. 
  • Reverse engineering of the human brain. 
  • Human-scale solutions of the worlds energy shortage. 
  • Drugs that are designed from first principles of biochemistry.
  • Detailed control of gene expression will slow aging, prevent some cancers and avoid atherosclerosis.
  • Direct interfaces between computers and the brain.

...You heard about it first from Ray Kurzweil.  At a recent commencement address, he told graduates,

"Creating knowledge is what will be most exciting in life. To create knowledge you have to have passion, so find a challenge that you can be passionate about and you can find the ideas to overcome that challenge."

 

16 June 2005

We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.
- Emily Dickinson

When you get to the top of the mountain, keep climbing.
- Zen proverb

15 June 2005

More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs--all this resinous, unretractable earth.

 - Jane Hirshfield

14 June 2005

Even though Japan is already among the most frugal countries in the world, the government recently introduced a national campaign, urging the Japanese to replace their older appliances and buy hybrid vehicles, all part of a patriotic effort to save energy and fight global warming.  And big companies are jumping on the bandwagon, counting on the moves to increase sales of their latest models. 

On the Matsushita appliance showroom floor these days, the numbers scream not the low, low yen prices but the low, low kilowatt-hours.

A vacuum-insulated refrigerator, which comes with a buzzer if the door stays open more than 30 seconds, boasts that it will use 160 kilowatt-hours a year, one-eight of that needed by standard  models a decade ago.  An air conditioner with a robotic dust filter cleaner proclaims it uses 884 kilowatt-hours, less than half what decade-old ones consumed.

-FuturePundit article based on New York Times Saturday Business

13 June 2005

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

-Scott Adams (Dilbert cartoonist)