29 7 / 2014
i’m bored while doing my latin homework i am this close to translating the opening monologue to star trek into classical latin someone stop me quick
caelum. finito terminalis. is cursus est de commissi navistella. sui legatio quintus-annus - munduses ignotus novus exploro. lux nova et cultus novus sequor. cedo audacius quatenus homonis aput iit.
I have a serious problem.
There are days I really miss my Latin classes…
29 7 / 2014
I always appreciate it when my writers’ group offers up a prompt that makes you consider a new perspective. This week’s best prompt was to write from the point of view of “someone who works at an airport.”
“Logan Airport, Terminal A at night” by Alan Myles. Creative Commons, click for source
At the Info Desk (Logan Airport, 10 pm)
by Meg Winikates
Departures, arrivals, wheels up, wheels down,
28 7 / 2014
“Prufrock” Collage by Serena Epstein, click for source
In high school I had a chemistry teacher who had once taught literature, and he had a tendency to quote “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” at inexplicable times (usually when despairing over the state of our latest test grades). I still hear “I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled and walk along the beach”…
24 7 / 2014
C-3PO: “You will therefore be taken to the Dune Sea and cast into the pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful sarlacc.”
C-3PO: “In his belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering, as you are slowly digested over a thousand years.”
It was twenty years ago that I came into possession of that protocol droid. I was its fourteenth owner, although it would not disclose any information on the thirteen previous ones. By the time it entered my possession its body’s brass plating was almost as thin and timid as its AI. For the first year after I purchased this tarnished, golden droid from the district auction, this memory recall occurred without warning, at first daily, then weekly, then, for some reason, scarcely at all.
Owing to this unpredictable glitch, I was never able to make use of the C-3PO unit as a translator or a cultural mediator, not that I ever really needed it considering the advancement of modern neural AI embeds. But C-3PO’s terror, its obsession stuck with me.
It’s a fool’s errand to project free will or desire upon even the most sentient of droids, but there was something about this recall, its intensity, its pain… its fear, so unlike anything I had ever heard uttered in digital voice, that called like a Siren to my curiosity. Never could I have imagined how a droid so distressed would guide my journeys.
What did it mean? What is the “sarlacc” this droid spoke of?
Historic records from the time of the Galactic Rebellion are sadly incomplete thanks to the Great Cyberwar, but even a child would turn rapt at the mention of the legendary Han Solo, and from that very first mention I knew I must uncover more.
What I, an interplanetary naturalist, have observed in my lifetime of exploration and study, may top the list of “horrible ways to die in the known universe”, this thousand-year psychotorture, this eon of agony. I present here my natural observations of the sarlacc.
Natural history + Star Wars geekery = a really excellent example of interdisciplinary learning. (Plus I now know way more about sea anemones and antlions than I did before.)
23 7 / 2014
19 7 / 2014
On Tuesday, the non-partisan advocacy group, MassCreative hosted a forum in Worcester where all the gubernatorial candidates were invited to attend and talk to arts leaders and advocates about their platforms for supporting the arts in Massachusetts. Most attended, though Republican Charlie Baker neither bothered to show up in person nor send a representative. About 600 arts leaders,…
16 7 / 2014
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."
16 7 / 2014
"Are the bees finally beginning to catch a break? Highlighting the toxic chemicals’ “potential broad-spectrum adverse effects to non-target species,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week quietly announced plans to eliminate the use of bee-killing pesticides in wildlife refuges."
10 7 / 2014
There were about 350 people at Barnes & Noble this afternoon to get copies of Chris Colfer’s latest installment in the Land of Stories series, so there will be better pictures and more ecstatic recountings out there to find, if there aren’t already. I would, however, like to point out that even when it was my turn at the signing table, as about the 290th person, he was still charming, personable, and in a resolutely good mood as he denied his hand being sore at all, though his pen was nearly dead. He asked each person a question, even if it was just ‘where are you from?’ or ‘how are you doing?’ and when interacting with the kids in line his smile got about sixteen degrees wider and it was absolutely lovely to watch. I wondered a little about whether it’s easier or harder to just do a book signing as opposed to a reading/Q&A - I’m the sort of person who does better with reflected energy, so I think I’d prefer the latter nearly always, but I imagine answering the same questions over and over does lose its shine eventually, and it’s not exactly a short tour he’s got planned.
From the logistical side of things, I’ve never been to a book-signing where the crowd control was so nearly like a color-coded cattle pen, but to the bookstore staff’s credit, everyone was pleasant and helpful, and to the crowd’s credit, 98% of them were cheerful too. And to Colfer’s credit, he was as generous with his time as his attention: he signed as many books as you brought to the table, and given the crowd he easily could have justified asking it to be just one per person. So well done all around, everyone pat yourselves on the back.
(Hope they gave him a *giant* glass of ice water when he was done, though, keeping the door open to the line outside for hours did a real number on the AC in the building!)