Life as an Extreme Sport

You’ve Got Potential…

Here’s where you tell me it’s ridiculous to talk about my potential when I’ve never made an effort to use it. If I had an ounce of real potential, I’d get off my dumdum and do something. Go to school…buy an apprenticeship…or just start incanting on my own. Something. Instead, I’m squnadering my existence. On parties and fine food and umty-tiddly, as Zunctweed says. Doing nothing, day by day. Do you know what it’s like to have dropped out of life? To have had a hundred chances to be special, but you avoided them all? Or just botched them up because you were a horrid coward, afraid of letting yourself change. You clutch your comfortable excuses, saying, Someday I’ll be brave, it won’t take a lot, just give me one more chance and this time I’ll grab it. But chances come and go. It would be easy to do something,

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Shay Saves the Day

I took Shay’s advice, after pounding my head against my thesis so long I swear I’ve a large purple bruise on my forhead. I collected together all my writing in one document, in roughly the order I thought it should all go in. I then expanded around each section, explaining what else I thought needed to go in around these fuller paragraphs. Suddenly, I have 20 pages of thesis. Which is between 1/3-1/5th of the way done with the project, and 20 pages more than I had yesterday. More importantly, by far more importantly, I actually feel, now, like this is something I can do.

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The Genealogy of Pinball Effects

Last night, I looked around my recently de-clothed living room, at books scattered here and there, stacked and toppled, mixed within camera and art supplies, and thought “ananda help me, I don’t want to read any of this!” I wandered between bookshelves (and yes, although I live in a studio apartment, I currently have three standing bookshelves, and two that mimic built-ins, thanks to Kevin’s help) looking for something to read, briefly considered going back to reading about the history of collecting and museums, and finally my eyes landed on James Burke’s The Pinball Effect. The perfect mix of academic and popular writing to curl up with before sleep, tempered with fond memories of a television show I’d rearrange my schedule to watchBurke’s show “Connections”, which ran through several iterations on the BBC, and was brought over here by the Discovery Channel in the mid 1990s. I opened the book,

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Friday Five

The Friday Five is a LJ question list. Every Friday, five new questions are asked, generally on a related theme, and you answer them in your own journal. The ones for this Friday got me thinking, a bit, as they were about teachers. Things like who were your favourite teachers, what they taught, your best memories… Mr. Wright was my 6th grade CORE teacher; CORE was basically your English and History class, taught by the same teacher. Math, PE, etc – taught by different teachers, so you rotated classes every 50 minutes or so. (On top of that we rotated schedule daily, too – if class was ABCDEF one day, the next it was BCDEFA the next, and so on – but I digress). CORE was an attempt to keep up around one person a little longer, and make sure there was someone to help with our basic writing skills,

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Grieving Baboons Comforted By Friends

Female baboons that suffer the loss of a close friend or relative turn to other baboons for comfort and support, according to a new study that encompassed 14 years of observing over 80 free-ranging baboons in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. The study provides the first direct evidence that certain animals mourn the loss of individuals, even when the rest of their social group remains intact. The findings also suggest that friendship may be just as important to some primates as it is for humans. Researchers particularly were struck by the behavior of one female chacma baboon (Papio hamadryas ursinus) named Sylvia, who was described as “the queen of mean” and disdainful of other baboons until she lost her daughter, Sierra, to a lion kill. “In the week after Sierra died, Sylvia was withdrawn,” said Anne Engh, who led the project. “When the other females were grooming and socializing, she tended to

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