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Showing posts from 2008


According to a tale in the Talmud, the prophet Elijah said that there will be reward in the next world for those who bring laughter to others in this one.

- Humor in the Holocaust: Its Critical, Cohesive, and Coping Functions by John Morreall, Ph.D.

But the ancient Greeks, Shakespeare, and other dramatists took their comedy more seriously than that. They realized that comedy is not "time out" from the real world; rather it provides another perspective on that world. And that other perspective is no less valuable than the tragic perspective. As Conrad Hyers has suggested, comedy expresses a "stubborn refusal to give tragedy . . . the final say."

- Humor in the Holocaust:Its Critical, Cohesive, and Coping Functions by John Morreall, Ph.D.

Routine thinking, such as deductive logic, occurs within a single field of association; but creative thinking, such as the formulation of a joke, involves two or more planes of thought.
– Steven H. Kim, Essence of Creativity

Writers throu…

Winter Storm: Death Metaphor or Day-Off Blessing?

At about eight in the morning (Sunday), low hanging, heavy and almost tangible gray clouds start, like malevolent peppermills, grinding out hard flakes.

Squat dirty buildings cluster around the Morrison Bridge on-ramps as if to seek shelter with the rest of the unloved.

…meanwhile, Sunday drivers discover that... ice is slippery.

When you need flares, you can’t get them.

A portion of the Eastbank Esplanade appears through drawn snow curtains.

Evidence mounts that running is a kind of mental disorder.

Even mannequins rush to the window to see the snow fall.

The winter storm nearly succeeds in creating a cold, monochromatic world that demonstrates how little regard nature has for our dreams and desires, but one individual fights back with a bold red umbrella reserved for indomitable-spirit-of-mankind-metaphor-enactments.

As dusk approaches, the stars come out on Broadway.

Here and there, a warm oasis
…or evidence of renewal
Streetlights blink on to endure the night.


“…and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.”

Wilson River (Click on image for slightly larger version) Feb. 2008

At a bend in the Wilson River, under the footbridge trailhead, quick flowing water bottlenecks into a narrow rock gorge. The river’s character, once loud and boisterous immediately becomes subdued and sullen. Though popular proverbs suggest that deep waters run quiet, turbulence and turmoil are reflected in the river’s tortured face.

In their Case Study: Water and Ice, Timothy A. Isgro, Marcos Sotomayor, and Eduardo Cruz-Chu admit that …the microscopic structure of liquid water is unknown…

Figure 3: Views of the crystal structure of ice (a-c) and a view of liquid water (d). a) Along the c-axis of the lattice (showing the basal plane) with all 3 equivalent a-axes in the plane of the page and the c-axis coming out of the page, b) With an a-axis running left to right (showing the primary prism plane), c) Along an a…