Monthly Archives: August 2013

Excerpt from “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley ~~Passion~~

picture-BraveNewWorld-Huxley‘You think I’m all right.’ Another nod. ‘In every way?’

‘Perfect,’ he said aloud. And inwardly, ‘She thinks of herself that way. She doesn’t mind being meat.’

Lenina smiled triumphantly. But her satisfaction was premature.

‘All the same,’ he went on, after a little pause, ‘I still rather wish it had all ended differently.’

‘Differently?’ Were there other endings?

‘I didn’t want it to end with our going to bed,’ he specified.

Lenina was astonished.

‘Not at once, not the first day.’

‘But then what . . . ?’

He began to talk a lot of incomprehensible and dangerous nonsense. Lenina did her best to stop the ears of her mind; but every now and then a phrase would insist on becoming audible. ‘. . . to try the effect of arresting my impulses,’ she heard him say. The words seemed to touch a spring in her mind.

‘Never put off till to-morrow the fun you can have to-day,’ she said gravely.

‘Two hundred repetitions, twice a week from fourteen to sixteen and a half,’ was all his comment. The mad bad talk rambled on. ‘I want to know what passion is,’ she heard him saying. ‘I want to feel something strongly.’

‘When the individual feels, the community reels,’ Lenina pronounced.

‘Well, why shouldn’t it reel a bit?’


But Bernard remained unabashed.

‘Adults intellectually and during working hours,’ he went on. ‘Infants where feeling and desire are concerned.’

‘Our Ford loved infants.’

Ignoring the interruption, ‘It suddenly struck me the other day,’ continued Bernard, ‘that it might be possible to be an adult all the time.’

‘I don’t understand.’ Lenina’s tone was firm.

‘I know you don’t. And that’s why we went to bed together yesterday – like infants – instead of being adults and waiting.’

‘But it was fun,’ Lenina insisted, ‘Wasn’t it?’

‘Oh, the greatest fun,’ he answered, but in a voice so mournful, with an expression so profoundly miserable, that Lenina felt all her triumph suddenly evaporate. Perhaps he had found her too plump, after all.

‘I told you so,’ was all that Fanny said, when Lenina came and made her confidences. ‘It’s the alcohol they put in his surrogate.’

‘All the same,’ Lenina insisted, ‘I do like him. He has such awfully nice hands. And the way he moves his shoulders – that’s very attractive.’ She sighed. ‘But I wish he weren’t so odd.’


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“If You Can Raed Tihs, You Msut Be Raelly Smrat” published 31 March 2009,

Chances are you’ve seen this in your inbox:

“Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteers be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.”
Chances are you also understand it. It purports that the order of the letters inside a given word doesn’t matter, as long as the first and last letters of each word are in the right place.
You can read the words because the human mind reads words as a whole, and not letter-by-letter.
Well, that’s what it says. But while it’s entertaining and ego-boosting (that is, if you can read it), it ain’t exactly so.
The e-mail, while partially correct in its overall hypohsetis — um, hypothesis — is “very irresponsible in several important ways,” says Denis Pelli, professor of psychology and neural science at New York University.
First of all — oops — there was never a study done at Cambridge University. And therein lies a tale.
The e-mail was originally sent around without mentioning Cambridge; it got added after the Times of London interviewed a Cambridge neuropsychologist for comment.
Matt Davis, a senior research scientist at Cambridge University’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, spent some time tracking down the origin of this letter-transposition story.
He found that it comes from a letter written in 1999 by Graham Rawlinson, a specialist in child development and educational psychology, to New Scientist magazine in response to an article written about the effects of reversing short chucks of speech.
In his letter, Rawlinson — whom could not track down — wrote that the article “reminds me of my Ph.D. at Nottingham University, which showed that randomizing letters in the middle of words had little or no effect on the ability of skilled readers to understand the text.”
Rawlinson later contacted Davis, who has put up a Web site to address the issues behind the often forwarded e-mail, to explain his comment and thesis research.
“Clearly, the first and last letters are not the only thing that you use when reading text,” he wrote. “If this were the case, how would you tell the difference between pairs of words like ‘salt’ and ‘slat’.”
Also to be noted, as one commenter on Davis’s Web site, Clive Tooth, posted, is that one permutation can result in many different words, and, while you can take into consideration the sentence’s context, one still can’t be sure about the author’s true intention of word choice.
For example, the transposed letters of ‘ponits’ could spell out any of five different words – ‘pitons’, ‘points’, ‘pintos’, ‘potins’, and ‘pinots.’
The circulating e-mail itself is also misleading, Rawlinson said, because it seems written to enhance the desired effect to further prove its point.
Rawlinson points out that words with two or three letters don’t change at all, making them totally understandable.
In the e-mail, almost half (31 out of 69) the words are correctly spelled. The words that are unchanged are also often “function words,” — the, you, me, but, and — which help keep the grammar of the sentences basically unchanged.
The e-mail also transposes adjacent letters, which makes the words easier to read. For example, “thing” is written as “tihng,” not “tnihg”; “problem” is written as “porbelm,” not “pbleorm.”
Lastly, Rawlinson says, the phrasing used in the e-mail itself is quite predictable. The sentences are simple and, given the unchanged words, one can deduce their meaning easily.
Another expert in this particular field, Keith Rayner, professor of psychology and director of the Rayner Eyetracking Lab at University of California San Diego, said, “There is some truth to the e-mail in that people can read sentences in which the letters are jumbled. But, there is always a cost (i.e., they never read them as quickly and efficiently as they read normal text).”
Rayner and his colleagues did an experiment in which they asked college students at the University of Durham to read 80 sentences with transposed letters. The letter transposition in the words resulted in lower reading speeds for most participants.
The students read 255 words per minute when the sentences were normal, and 227 words per minute when the letters were transposed, a 12 percent decrease in overall reading speed.
“While it may seem that it is easy to read text with transposed letters,” Rayner wrote, “there is always a cost involved in reading such text in comparison to normal text.”
Davis, who seems sick of the e-mail, especially because of its added use of the Cambridge name, said, “The moral of the story (at least where Cmabrdige is concerned), is that untruths printed are very hard to suppress.”
But he does see a silver lining in the fact that a simple forwarded e-mail has brought light to an issue near and dear to his research interests.
“What’s undoubtedly true is that scientific studies on jumbled letters and letter-order in reading has increased considerably since the e-mail started circulating,” he said.
Now that you know the entire story, you’ll be well armed with the “real” facts when this “fact” comes up during cocktail hour.
Just make sure to answer intelligently.
And remmeber to aviod excesisve drniking.,2933,511177,00.html#content

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Excerpt from “Ulysses” by James Joyce ~~Menton~~

picture-Ulysses-Joyce—Who is that chap behind with Tom Kernan? John Henry Menton asked. I know his face.

Ned Lambert glanced back.

—Bloom, he said, Madame Marion Tweedy that was, is, I mean, the soprano. She’s his wife.

—O, to be sure, John Henry Menton said. I haven’t seen her for some time. She was a finelooking woman. I danced with her, wait, fifteen seventeen golden years ago, at Mat Dillon’s in Roundtown. And a good armful she was.

He looked behind through the others.

—What is he? he asked. What does he do? Wasn’t he in the stationery line? I fell foul of him one evening, I remember, at bowls.

Ned Lambert smiled.

—Yes, he was, he said, in Wisdom Hely’s. A traveller for blottingpaper.

—In God’s name, John Henry Menton said, what did she marry a coon like that for? She had plenty of game in her then.

—Has still, Ned Lambert said. He does some canvassing for ads.

John Henry Menton’s large eyes stared ahead.


Martin Cunningham emerged from a sidepath, talking gravely.

Solicitor, I think. I know his face. Menton, John Henry, solicitor, commissioner for oaths and affidavits. Dignam used to be in his office. Mat Dillon’s long ago. Jolly Mat. Convivial evenings. Cold fowl, cigars, the Tantalus glasses. Heart of gold really. Yes, Menton. Got his rag out that evening on the bowlinggreen because I sailed inside him. Pure fluke of mine: the bias. Why he took such a rooted dislike to me. Hate at first sight. Molly and Floey Dillon linked under the lilactree, laughing. Fellow always like that, mortified if women are by.

Got a dinge in the side of his hat. Carriage probably.

—Excuse me, sir, Mr Bloom said beside them.

They stopped.

—Your hat is a little crushed, Mr Bloom said pointing.

John Henry Menton stared at him for an instant without moving.

—There, Martin Cunningham helped, pointing also. John Henry Menton took off his hat, bulged out the dinge and smoothed the nap with care on his coatsleeve. He clapped the hat on his head again.

—It’s all right now, Martin Cunningham said.

John Henry Menton jerked his head down in acknowledgment.

—Thank you, he said shortly.

They walked on towards the gates. Mr Bloom, chapfallen, drew behind a few paces so as not to overhear. Martin laying down the law. Martin could wind a sappyhead like that round his little finger, without his seeing it.

Oyster eyes. Never mind. Be sorry after perhaps when it dawns on him. Get the pull over him that way.

Thank you. How grand we are this morning!

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Excerpt from “Dune” by Frank Herbert ~~Assassin~~

picture-Dune-HerbertNames and pictures, names and pictures from man’s terranic past – and many to be found now nowhere else in the universe except here on Arrakis.

So many new things to learn about – the spice.

And the sandworms.

A door closed in the other room. Paul heard his mother’s footsteps retreating down the hall. Dr Yueh, he knew, would find something to read and remain in the other room.

Now was the moment to go exploring.

Paul slipped out of the bed, headed for the bookcase door that opened into the closet. He stopped at a sound behind him, turned. The carved headboard of the bed was folding down onto the spot where he had been sleeping. Paul froze, and immobility saved his life.

From behind the headboard slipped a tiny hunter-seeker no more than five centimetres long. Paul recognised it at once – a common assassination weapon that every child of royal blood learned about at an early age. It was a ravening sliver of metal guided by some near-by hand and eye. It could burrow into moving flesh and chew its way up nerve channels to the nearest vital organ.

The seeker lifted, swung sideways across the room and back.

Through Paul’s mind flashed the related knowledge, the hunter-seeker’s limitations: Its compressed suspensor field distorted the vision of its transmitter eye. With nothing but the dim light of the room to reflect his target, the operator would be relying on motion – anything that moved. A shield could slow a hunter, give time to destroy it, but Paul had put aside his shield on the bed. Lasguns would knock them down, but lasguns were expensive and notoriously cranky of maintenance – and there was always the peril of explosive pyrotechnics if the laser beam intersected a hot shield. The Atreides relied on their body shields and their wits.

Now, Paul held himself in near catatonic immobility, knowing he had only his wits to meet this threat.

The hunter-seeker lifted another half metre. It rippled through the slatted light from the window blinds, back and forth, quartering the room.

I must try to grab it, he thought. The suspensor field will make it slippery on the bottom. I must grip tightly.

The thing dropped half a metre, quartered to the left, circled back around the bed. A faint humming could be heard from it.

Who is operating that thing? Paul wondered. It has to be someone near. I could shout for Yueh, but it would take him the instant the door opened.

The hall door behind Paul creaked. A rap sounded there. The door opened.

The hunter-seeker arrowed past his head toward the motion.

Paul’s right hand shot out and down, gripping the deadly thing. It hummed and twisted in his hand, but his muscles were locked on it in desperation. With a violent turn and thrust, he slammed the thing’s nose against the metal doorplate. He felt the crunch of it as the nose eye smashed and the seeker went dead in his hand.

Still, he held it – to be certain.


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“Hair” released by The Cowsills

She asks me why
I’m just a hairy guy
I’m hairy noon and night
Hair that’s a fright
I’m hairy high and low
Don’t ask me why
Don’t know
It’s not for lack of bread
Like the Grateful Dead

Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for bees
A nest for birds
There ain’t no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Of my…

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

Oh say can you see
My eyes if you can
Then my hair’s too short

Down to here
Down to there
Down to where
It stops by itself

They’ll be ga ga at the go go
When they see me in my toga
My toga made of blond
Biblical hair

My hair like Jesus wore it
Hallelujah I adore it
Hallelujah Mary loved her son
Why don’t my mother love me?

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

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Dialogue from Film – “Dogma” ~~Train~~


When do you think you lost your faith?


I remember the exact moment. I was on the phone with my mother, and she was trying to counsel me through what was happening to me and my marriage. And she said something like “There’s always a plan.” And I… just got so angry. I mean, I know she was talking about God, right – God had a plan. But I was like “What about my plans?” You know? Like, don’t they count for anything? I had planned to grow old with my husband and have a family – wasn’t that plan good enough for God?


Apparently not.

(swigs her drink)

How about you? When did you lose your faith?


Me? Years ago. One day, God just stopped listening. I kept talking, but I got the distinct impression that He wasn’t listening anymore.


She. And how do you know She was listening in the first place?



I guess I don’t.


I hate thoughts like that. But they occur to you with age. When you’re a kid, you never question the whole faith thing – God’s in Heaven, and He’s… She’s always got her eye on you. I’d give anything to feel that way again. Which is why I guess I let myself get talked into this pilgrimage. I needed proof. And the opportunity presented itself to find out if it is like they told us in Catholic school. And I gotta tell you – the last few days, I’ve come across some interesting people that lend toward convincing me.


Where’s this pilgrimage to?


You’d never believe me if I told you.


Try me.


Alright. But I warned you. Okay – I’m going to this church in New Jersey.




Rufus heads toward the back of the car. He opens the door between the cars and exits.


Bethany and Bartleby talk further. Bartleby’s intrigued.


I was told that I’m supposed to stop a couple of angels from entering the church. They’re trying…


This sounds so stupid… They’re trying to get back into Heaven.


Rufus passes through another car and opens the door at the end.


Bartleby grows very tense. Bethany rattles on, half-toasted.


See, they got tossed out of Heaven years ago, right? And if they get back in, it proves God wrong. And since God is infallible, to prove Her wrong would…

(laughing hard)

..would unmake existence! I feel so stupid just saying it.

Bartleby’s eyes are wide. He looks scared. Then, a calm falls over him.



But the thing I don’t get… is how do I stop an angel? Two, even! I guess I’m supposed to talk them out of it or something.

Bartleby surreptitiously slides a knife off the table.


Maybe you’re supposed to kill them?

Bethany breaks into hysterics.


Rufus pulls open another door and exits.


Bethany’s still cracking up, oblivious to the on-the-defensive Bartleby.


Oh yeah! Kill them! Even if that was the case… I mean. how do you kill an angel?


I don’t imagine it’s much different…

(slowly lifts the knife)

…from killing a human…

The door behind them slides open. Rufus steps in.


Where the hell is everybody? I wake up, and…

He sees Bartleby. They both freeze.


The Apostle!


Holy shit!



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“American Skin” released by Bruce Springsteen

41 shots
41 shots
41 shots
41 shots
41 shots
41 shots
41 shots
41 shots….
and we’ll take that ride
‘cross this bloody river
to the other side
41 shots… cut through the night
You’re kneeling over his body in the vestibule
Praying for his life

Is it a gun, is it a knife
Is it a wallet, this is your life
It ain’t no secret
It ain’t no secret
No secret my friend
You can get killed just for living
In your American skin

41 shots
Lena gets her son ready for school
She says “on these streets, Charles
You’ve got to understand the rules
If an officer stops you
Promise you’ll always be polite,
that you’ll never ever run away
Promise Mama you’ll keep your hands in sight”

Is it a gun, is it a knife
Is it a wallet, this is your life
It ain’t no secret
It ain’t no secret
No secret my friend
You can get killed just for living
In your American skin

Is it a gun, is it a knife
Is it in your heart, is it in your eyes
It ain’t no secret

41 shots… and we’ll take that ride
‘Cross this bloody river
To the other side
41 shots… got my boots caked in this mud
We’re baptized in these waters and in each other’s blood

Is it a gun, is it a knife
Is it a wallet, this is your life
It ain’t no secret
It ain’t no secret
No secret my friend
You can get killed just for living
In your American skin



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