Sunday, January 04, 2009

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Plato:                For the greater good.

Karl Marx: It was a historical inevitability.

Machiavelli: So that its subjects will view it with admiration,
as a chicken which has the daring and courage to
boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom
among them has the strength to contend with such a
paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the
princely chicken's dominion maintained.

Hippocrates: Because of an excess of light pink gooey stuff in its

Jacques Derrida: Any number of contending discourses may be discovered
within the act of the chicken crossing the road, and
each interpretation is equally valid as the authorial
intent can never be discerned, because structuralism

Thomas de Torquemada: Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.

Timothy Leary: Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment
would let it take.

Douglas Adams: Forty-two.

Nietzsche: Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road
gazes also across you.

Oliver North: National Security was at stake.

B.F. Skinner: Because the external influences which had pervaded its
sensorium from birth had caused it to develop in such a
fashion that it would tend to cross roads, even while
believing these actions to be of its own free will.

Carl Jung: The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt
necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at
this historical juncture, and therefore
synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.

Jean-Paul Sartre: In order to act in good faith and be true to itself,
the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the
objects "chicken" and "road", and circumstances came
into being which caused the actualization of this
potential occurrence.

Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed
the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.

Aristotle: To actualize its potential.

Buddha: If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-

Howard Cosell: It may very well have been one of the most astonishing
events to grace the annals of history. An historic,
unprecedented avian biped with the temerity to attempt
such an herculean achievement formerly relegated to
homo sapien pedestrians is truly a remarkable occurence.

Salvador Dali: The Fish.

Darwin: It was the logical next step after coming down from
the trees.

Emily Dickinson: Because it could not stop for death.

Epicurus: For fun.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: It didn't cross the road; it transcended it.

Johann von Goethe: The eternal hen-principle made it do it.

Ernest Hemingway: To die. In the rain.

Werner Heisenberg: We are not sure which side of the road the chicken
was on, but it was moving very fast.

David Hume: Out of custom and habit.

Jack Nicholson: 'Cause it (censored) wanted to. That's the (censored)

Pyrrho the Skeptic: What road?

Ronald Reagan: I forget.

John Sununu: The Air Force was only too happy to provide the
transportation, so quite understandably the chicken
availed himself of the opportunity.

The Sphinx: You tell me.

Mr. T: If you saw me coming you'd cross the road too!

Henry David Thoreau: To live deliberately ... and suck all the marrow
out of life.

Mark Twain: The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.

Molly Yard: It was a hen!

Zeno of Elea: To prove it could never reach the other side.

Chaucer: So priketh hem nature in hir corages.

Wordsworth: To wander lonely as a cloud.

The Godfather: I didn't want its mother to see it like that.

Keats: Philosophy will clip a chicken's wings.

Blake: To see heaven in a wild fowl.

Othello: Jealousy.

Dr Johnson: Sir, had you known the Chicken for as long as I have,
you would not so readily enquire, but feel rather the
Need to resist such a public Display of your own
lamentable and incorrigible Ignorance.

Mrs Thatcher: This chicken's not for turning.

Supreme Soviet: There has never been a chicken in this photograph.

Oscar Wilde: Why, indeed? One's social engagements whilst in
town ought never expose one to such barbarous
inconvenience - although, perhaps, if one must cross a
road, one may do far worse than to cross it as the
chicken in question.

Kafka: Hardly the most urgent enquiry to make of a low-grade
insurance clerk who woke up that morning as a hen.

Swift: It is, of course, inevitable that such a loathsome,
filth-ridden and degraded creature as Man should assume
to question the actions of one in all respects his

Macbeth: To have turned back were as tedious as to go o'er.

Whitehead: Clearly, having fallen victim to the fallacy of
misplaced concreteness.

Freud: An die andere Seite zu kommen. (Much laughter)

Hamlet: That is not the question.

Donne: It crosseth for thee.

Pope: It was mimicking my Lord Hervey.

Constable: To get a better view.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Timed Table/Tabled Time

Monday, September 01, 2008

Carmina Burana

Carmina Burana, also known as the Burana Codex, is a manuscript collection, found in 1803 in the Bavarian monastery of Benediktbeuern, and now housed in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. The 119 leaves of the original collection contain 228 poems compiled by three different scribes, a collection of love and vagabond songs. Between 1935 and 1936 German composer Carl Orff set 24 of the poems to new music, also called Carmina Burana. The most famous movement is "Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi (O Fortuna)"

Sors immanis
Et inanis,
Rota tu volubilis
Status malus,
Vana salus
Semper dissolubilis,
Et velata
Michi quoque niteris;
Nunc per ludum
Dorsum nudum
Fero tui sceleris.

Sors salutis
Et virtutis
Michi nunc contraria
Est affectus
Et defectus
Semper in angaria.
Hac in hora
Sine mora
Cordum pulsum tangite;
Quod per sortem
Sternit fortem,
Mecum omnes plangite!
Ó Fortuna,
És como a Lua
Sempre aumentas
Ou diminuis;
A detestável vida
Ora oprime
E ora cura
Para brincar com a mente;
Ela os funde como gelo.

Sorte imensa
E vazia,
Tu, roda volúvel
És má,
Vã é a felicidade
Sempre dissolúvel,
E velada
Também a mim contagias;
Agora por brincadeira
O dorso nu
Entrego à tua perversidade.

A sorte na saúde
E virtude
Agora me é contrária.

E tira
Mantendo sempre escravizado
Nesta hora
Sem demora
Tange a corda vibrante;
Porque a sorte
Abate o forte,
Chorai todos comigo!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich Manuscript is considered to be 'The Most Mysterious Manuscript in the World'. To this day this medieval artifact resists all efforts at translation.

It is either an ingenious hoax or an unbreakable cipher.

The manuscript is named after its discoverer, the American antique book dealer and collector, Wilfrid M. Voynich, who discovered it in 1912, amongst a collection of ancient manuscripts kept in villa Mondragone in Frascati, near Rome, which had been by then turned into a Jesuit College (closed in 1953).

Based on the evidence of the calligraphy, the drawings, the vellum, and the pigments, Wilfrid Voynich estimated that the Manuscript was created in the late 13th century. The manuscript is small, seven by ten inches, but thick, nearly 235 pages. It is written in an unknown script of which there is no known other instance in the world. It is abundantly illustrated with awkward coloured drawings of:

  • unidentified plants;
  • what seems to be herbal recipes;
  • tiny naked women frolicking in bathtubs connected by intricate plumbing looking more like anatomical parts than hydraulic contraptions;
  • mysterious charts in which some astronomical objects are seen through a telescope, some live cells seen through a microscope;
  • charts into which you may see a strange calendar of zodiacal signs, populated by tiny naked people in rubbish bins.

No one really knows the origins of the manuscript. The experts believe it is European They believe it was written between the 15th and 17th centuries.

The manuscript is currently at the Beinecke library, of Yale university. Follow the link to see images of the full manuscript:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wireless San Fran

"Google has won the contract to operate San Francisco's municipal wireless network, in conjunction with Earthlink. San Francisco's mayor Gavin Newsom has described Wi-Fi as "a basic human right" - sort of like gay marriage, but for nerds. "
-Andrew Orlowski

Google offers S.F. Wi-Fi -- for free - San Francisco Chronical artical:

The Phantom Tollbooth

I recently got a whiff of a memory of a doudecahedron faced character and I had no idea where it came from, it annoyed me for around a month untill being friends with my Ms Blanchard on facebook (facepoop) brought it all back to me. From of Tocks' moves to the next it was all there. An amazing book, along the lines of alice in wonderland, dr seus, wizard of Oz etc. Written by Norten Juster an architect and author. Must read it again*. Rules.

"Well, if you can't laugh or think, what can you do?" asked Milo.
"Anything as long as it's nothing, and everything as long as it isn't anything," explained another. "There's lots to do; we have a very busy schedule-
"At 8 o'clock we get up, and then we spend
"From 8 to 9 daydreaming.
"From 9 to 9:30 we take our early midmorning nap.
"From 9:30 to 10:30 we dawdle and delay.
"From 10:30 to 11:30 we take our late early morning nap.
"From ll:00 to 12:00 we bide our time and then eat lunch.
"From l:00 to 2:00 we linger and loiter.
"From 2:00 to 2:30 we take our early afternoon nap.
"From 2:30 to 3:30 we put off for tomorrow what we could have done today.
"From 3:30 to 4:00 we take our early late afternoon nap.
"From 4:00 to 5:00 we loaf and lounge until dinner.
"From 6:00 to 7:00 we dillydally.
"From 7:00 to 8:00 we take our early evening nap, and then for an hour before we go to bed at 9:00 we waste time.
"As you can see, that leaves almost no time for brooding, lagging, plodding, or procrastinating, and if we stopped to think or laugh, we'd never get nothing done."
"You mean you'd never get anything done," corrected Milo.
"We don't want to get anything done," snapped another angrily; "we want to get nothing done, and we can do that without your help."
"You see," continued another in a more conciliatory tone, "it's really quite strenuous doing nothing all day, so once a week we take a holiday and go nowhere, which was just where we were going when you came along. Would you care to join us?"
"I might as well," thought Milo; "that's where I seem to be going anyway."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Memórias de Um Átomo

Engrandecer o átomo á totalidade da existência,
Cada fragmento contendo em si uma eternidade,
Poção dourada com reflexos do tempo que não o agastam,
Percorrendo-o vivo e cintilante iluminando e projectando todo o seu ser,
É levado a galope sonolento pelas horas e pelos milénios,
Alimentando-se do conhecimento,
Átomo de essência divina inteiramente terrestre,
Mítico mas real contendo tanto bem como mal,
Matrimónio fiel entre o céu e o inferno,
Flúi nos impulsos dos instintos animais,
Vibra no estrondo da trovoada,
Voa nas areias dos desertos,
Alimenta a violenta natureza humana,
Salpicando no mar de sangue perdido de guerras em vão,
Veia latejante do pescoço dum tirano,
Enche a semente e a criança de potenciais descomunais,
Dança nas criações das maiores mentes,
E descansa na continuidade do despertar de novas ideias,
Fere imenso pelo mal necessário do ser humano,
É a espuma das ondas que se atiram a terra indiferentes ao século,
Á beleza ao desespero, á alegria e á morte,
Canta dos quatro cantos desta esfera,
Acorde final da musica celestial,
Raio do sol nascente de cada nova era da humanidade,
Pai e fruto da nossa esmagadora evolução,
Formula lírica, incandescente e sóbria de todo,
Resumindo-se também a um só ser que o descreve,
Eu, que são tudo mas nada,
Inevitavelmente finito mas de espírito e constituição infinita.
Pretendo tentar honrar, dentro dos limites angustiantes da língua e da palavra,
Tendo em conta a minha tremenda insignificância,
Venerando a importância dos nossos feitos e do que conseguiram os nossos antepassados,
A beleza imensa que nos rodeia, cria, envolve e consome, que me enche e me deixa pálido de delírio e gratidão em eterna devoção,
Louvo a existência.

The Worlds Best Known Atheist

Oxford professor Richard Dawkins has helped steer evolutionary science into the 21st century, and his concept of the "meme" contextualized the spread of ideas in the information age. In recent years, his devastating critique of religion has made him a leading figure in the New Atheism.
In recent years, Dawkins has become outspoken in his atheism, coining the word "bright" (as an alternate to atheist), and encouraging fellow non-believers to stand up and be identified. His controversial, confrontational 2002 TED talk was a seminal moment for the New Atheism, as was the publication of his 2006 book, The God Delusion, a bestselling critique of religion that championed atheism and promoted scientific principles over creationism and intelligent design.
"Dawkins ... is a master of scientific exposition and synthesis. When it comes to his own specialty, evolutionary biology, there is none better." -Jim Holt, The New York Times

Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Memórias De Um Átomo

O Livro do Ega! Fora em Coimbra, nos dois últimos anos, que ele começara a falar do seu livro, contando o plano, soltando títulos de capítulos, citando pelos cafés frases de grande sonoridade. E entre os amigos do Ega discutia-se já o livro do Ega como devendo iniciar, pela forma e pela ideia, uma evolução literária. Em Lisboa (onde ele vinha passar as ferias e dava ceias no Silva) o livro fora anunciado como um acontecimento. Bacharéis, contemporâneos ou seus condiscípulos, tinham levado de Coimbra, espalhado pelas províncias e pelas ilhas a fama do livro do Ega. Já de qualquer modo essa noticia chegara ao Brasil... E sentindo esta ansiosa expectativa em torno do seu livro - o Ega decidira-se enfim a escrevê-lo.

Devia ser uma epopeia em prosa, como ele dizia, dando, sob episódios simbólicos, a história das grandes fases do Universo e da Humanidade. Intitulava-se Memórias dum Átomo, e tinha a forma duma autobiografia. Este átomo (o átomo do Ega, como se lhe chamava a sério em Coimbra) aparecia no primeiro capítulo, rolando ainda no vago das Nebulosas primitivas: depois vinha embrulhado, faisca candente, na massa de fogo que devia ser mais tarde a Terra: enfim, fazia parte da primeira folha de planta que surgiu da crosta ainda mole do globo. Desde então, viajando nas incessantes transformações da substância, o átomo do Ega entrava na rude estrutura do Orango, pai da humanidade - e mais tarde vivia nos lábios de Platão. Negrejava no burel dos santos, refulgia na espada dos heróis, palpitava no coração dos poetas. Gota de água nos lagos de Galileia, ouvira o falar de Jesus, aos fins da tarde, quando os apóstolos recolhiam as redes; nó de madeira na tribuna da Convenção, sentira o frio da mão de Robespierre. Errara nos vastos anéis de Saturno; e as madrugadas da terra tinham-no orvalhado, pétala resplandecente de um dormente e lânguido lírio. Fora omnipresente, era omnisciente. Achando-se finalmente no bico da pena do Ega, e cansado desta jornada através do Ser, repousava - escrevendo as suas Memórias... Tal era este formidável trabalho - de que os admiradores do Ega, em Coimbra, diziam, pensativos e como esmagados de respeito:

- É uma Bíblia!