25 June 2005
But silent musings urge the mind to seek
Something, too high for syllables to speak;
Till the free soul to a composedness charmed,
Finding the elements of rage disarmed,
O'er all below a solemn quiet grown,
Joys in th' inferior world, and thinks it like her own:
In such a night let me abroad remain,
Till morning breaks, and all's confused again;
Our cares, our toils, our clamors are renewed,
Or pleasures, seldom reached, again pursued.
Nocturnal Reverie, by Anne Finch
24 June 2005
eternal quest of
the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness."
who develop the habit of thinking of themselves as world
citizens are fulfilling the first requirement of sanity in our time"
an individual is measured by his or her largest concerns."
The lifelong concerns of Norman Cousins—writer, editor, citizen diplomat, promoter of holistic healing, and unflagging optimist—were large indeed: world peace, world governance, justice, human freedom, the human impact on the environment, and health and wholeness.
Born this day in 1912, Cousins edited the Saturday
Review, served as
president of the World
Federalist Association, and wrote about his own experience conquering
cancer with laughter.
"Laughter is a form of
internal jogging. It moves your internal organs around. It enhances
respiration. It is an igniter of great expectations."
...and a gesture of humility:
"No one really knows enough to be a pessimist."
23 June 2005
A Failure of
In developing Relativity
theory, Einstein took it as fundamental that travel backward in time is
impossible. His logic was that circular chains of causality permit
contradictions. For a shorthand, we speak of the Grandmother Paradox:
What if you went back in time and murdered your own grandmother in the crib?
So great is physicists'
reverence for Einstein that it has taken 100 years to question his
judgment. But in an article published this week, two dissenters have credibly questioned the
logic that forbids time travel. "It
seems to us that time travel is very much in the spirit of quantum
mechanics, and in fact, it seems quite arbitrary and outside the spirit of
the subject to forbid it."
key to avoiding the paradox is the logical possibility that the present 'already' contains the influence of the future on the past.
Indeed, time travel is pre-ordained.
to our model, if you travel into the past quantum mechanically, you would
only see those alternatives consistent with the world you left behind you.
In other words, while you are aware of the past, you cannot change it. No
matter how unlikely the events are that could have led to your present
circumstances, once they have actually occurred, they cannot be
also has enormous consequences on the paradoxes of free will. It shows that
it is perfectly logical to assume that one has many choices and that one is
free to take any one of them. Until a choice is taken, the future is not
determined. However, once a choice is taken, and it leads to a particular
future, it was inevitable. It could not have been otherwise. The boundary
conditions that the future events happen as they already have, guarantees
that they must have been prepared for in the past. So, looking backwards,
the world is deterministic. However, looking forwards, the future is
probabilistic. This completely explains the classical paradox."
by Daniel Greenberger and Karl Szovil.
New Scientist summary
22 June 2005
it is not that those who cultivate wholeness and virtue in themselves do not encounter difficulties in life.
It is that they understand that difficulties are the very road to immortality: by meeting them calmly and openly,
however they unfold, and joyfully developing themselves in response to them, they become as natural, as complete,
and as eternal as the Tao itself."
Lao Tse, Hua Hu Jing
translation by Brian Walker
cannot be polished without friction, nor man
perfected without trials."
Annaeus Seneca (4 BC - 65 AD)
21 June 2005
Between forest and field, a
like stepping from a cathedral into the street—
the quality of air alters, an eclipse lifts,
boundlessness opens, earth itself retextured
into weeds where woods once were.
Even planes of motion shift from vertical
navigation to horizontal quiescence:
there’s a standing invitation to lie back
as sky’s unpredictable theater proceeds.
Suspended in this ephemeral moment
after leaving a forest, before entering
a field, the nature of reality is revealed.
- Ravi Shankar
(not the musician)
20 June 2005
In experiments with mice, a
new drug delivery technique targets cancer cells with chemotherapy agents
while sparing the body’s normal cells from their toxic effects. All cells
display molecular receptors on their cell walls that pick and choose which
molecules to allow inside. The new technique pairs molecules that cancer
cells especially like with chemotherapy poisons in a structure called a dendritic
polymer. The cancer cells are fooled into drawing the entire
structure inside, where it releases its payload.
Chemotherapy agents are the
best treatments we have for cancer to date. They are more toxic to the
cancer than to the rest of the body. For many patients, they are a form of
life-saving torture. Their effectiveness is limited by the fact that doctors
must prescribe a dose that’s large enough to kill the cancer without being
large enough to kill the patient. The new technique has the potential to
transform the terms of this compromise, so that much more toxin is delivered
to the cancer with much less side-effect for the patient.
Baker, the University of Michigan professor who directed the study, explains: “This targeted binding gave us a million-fold improvement on drug uptake for cancer cells...It will probably allow us to detoxify cancer therapy, so that instead of being a killer, cancer will become a chronic illness like diabetes -
tumors will be reduced or killed off completely after large doses of this targeted
article. Cancer research