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Showing posts from December, 2009

Janus Proceeds

Janus paused at the garden gate, his hand on the latch.
"Might we rest a while," he asked from the back of his head, "Must we hasten already to the next path?"

"every year," his front face grumbled. The great figure withdrew his hand from the gate and sighed. Resigned, he slumped onto the marble bench next to the path. Almost immediately, the uncleared snow began to melt and seep into his toga uncomfortably. He fidgeted in silence, looking simultaneously at the frozen garden around him and at the path beyond the gate.

At last, one face spoke, "I think you increase the pace every year, my fellow. We travel so fast, I fear we have not seen all there is to see. What wonders we may have missed! Perhaps, we should return?"

"Dude, we're a god. We saw it all."

Janus shrugged and gazed longingly backwards at the sandal tracks through the snow. It seemed so recent that they had crossed into this garden from the one before it. He recall…

Practical Positivity

The human mind has a way of finding what it seeks. Studies of the brain have revealed that most of the time, we don't really see all of what we see. Rather, our senses only catch glimpses of the world around us and allow our minds to fill in the gaps with guesses based on experience. There are hundreds of optical illusions and other mind tricks to prove this phenomenon, and the art of prestidigitation counts on it. So uncomfortable are we with the missing things in our perception, that our amazing brains construct something familiar to see us through. As a result, each of us lives in a world largely of our own making.
This very personal relationship to our environment can lead to some interesting perceptions. Nearly everyone has a funny story about a misheard song and how the comical lyric seemed to make sense in its own odd way. Faced with random patterns, we unconsciously seek pictures, often finding faces staring back at us. It can be unnerving for some, miraculous for o…

Silent Night

As Christmas approaches, here in the USA, we can expect to hear a number of familiar sounds. There are carols we know by heart, the ones we've sung since we were old enough to copy the phrases. Instantly, they carry us back to grade school performances, standing up in our stiff and scratchy finery before a sea of parents' proud faces. We hear new renditions of old favourites and songs we may not know that carry the unmistakable tone of Christmas just the same. Add to this the sound of bells. The full and resonant clangs of the charity collector's bell accompanied by seasonal greetings and thanks are a signal that the holiday is near. If you're lucky, a bell choir or the bright jingle of sleigh bells will tickle your ears and put you in a holiday mood. Crunching footfalls in the snow, children's laughter, and cheery "Merry Christmas" wishes will conjure Christmas in nearly any American's heart.
Unfortunately, grumbling has been added to the list …