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Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun October 16, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery, Music & Dance.
19 comments

Last night, at midnight, ethereal music coming from another room woke us up.

Spooked, we got up to investigate with BFF leading the way.  As we walked through the living room, we expected with every step to come face-to-face with a friendly spectre (or, worse, an unfriendly intruder).

When we reached the guest room, we heard music floating aloft from the bedside clock radio.

But who had turned it on?!

Since we hadn’t encountered any spectral beings on our midnight ramble, BFF decided he must have set the music alarm that afternoon while dusting.

(Yup, he dusts.  And, yup, he’s taken.)

Even after we turned off the alarm, the music stayed with me.  I heard it playing as I drifted off to sleep . . .

After spending the morning at the farmer’s market, I decided we needed to discover the composer and title of the piece.  As soon as we stashed our produce buys, we checked the clock radio, found the station (WSMR, 89.1), and kept our fingers crossed that the station’s playlist would share last night’s midnight movement.

It did!

12:00 AM Claude Debussy Prelude to The Afternoon of A Faun Paavo Jarvi; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Telarc, 80617

Here it is:

Aah . . . that’s beautiful!

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The Thinking Ladder October 9, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, People, Writing & Writers.
22 comments

Tim Urban, over at Wait But Why, is sharing a fantastic series right now ~ The Story of Us: Full Series.

Last week’s post, The Thinking Ladder, is fabulous.

It’s about HOW we think (and to a much lesser extent WHAT we think).

It addresses different types of information processing, hypothesis testing, confirmation bias, dissent, etc.

It is LONG . . . and worth every minute it takes to digest it.

Aah . . . that’s better! 

Say Hello to Paitoon & Jilian October 7, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Life Balance, Nature.
27 comments

Like cats?

Meet Paitoon & Jilian:

For the first time, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is home to rare clouded leopard cubs. The two cubs are the newest residents on the Zoo’s Asia Trail; [they  made] their public debut Wednesday, Sept. 11.

The cubs are a male named Paitoon and a female named Jilian. They were born April 29 and March 24, respectively, at the Nashville Zoo. Visitors will be able to see them for short periods of time during the morning at the clouded leopard exhibit from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The cubs are learning how to climb but will need to be supervised by keepers while they explore and acclimate to their new exhibit. As they become more independent, they will spend longer periods of time on exhibit until they no longer need keeper supervision, and visitors will be able to see them for much of the day.

“The cubs are extremely curious and precocious; they have been exploring and investigating every nook-and-cranny of their new home,” said Michael Brown-Palsgrove, curator of Asia Trail. “It’s a great time to visit the clouded leopard exhibit to see them and learn about all our conservation efforts here and in Thailand.”

Clouded leopards are arboreal and have large paws with sharp claws and long tails that help them adeptly navigate forest canopies of Southeast Asia. The Zoo’s energetic cubs spend most of their time perfecting their natural climbing abilities and wrestling and vocalizing to each other.

Aah . . . that’s precious!

The Triumph of Stupidity September 30, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
27 comments

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wise people so full of doubts.”
~ Bertrand Russell

Hmm . . . he sounds certain of himself, but did he really say that?

I wasn’t sure so I did a bit of cyber digging to alleviate my doubts.

I found a nugget that suggests that Russell may have said something similar, but different:

“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
The Triumph of Stupidity, Mortals and Others: Bertrand Russell’s American Essays, 1931-1935.

Hmm . . . he sounds cocksure about The Triumph of Stupidity, but did he really say that?

And does “the modern world” encompass the years 1931 – 1935?

Who was this guy anyway?  A fool?  A fanatic?  Stupid or Wise?  Cocksure or Uncertain?

To doubt, or not to doubt, that is the question.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Life Explained September 28, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
30 comments

On the first day, God created the dog and said:

Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.

The dog said:  That’s a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I’ll give you back the other ten?

God agreed.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said:

Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I’ll give you a twenty-year life span.

The monkey said: Monkey tricks for twenty years? That’s a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the Dog did?

And God agreed.

On the third day, God created the cow and said:

You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer’s family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years.

The cow said: That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I’ll give back the other forty?

And God agreed again.

On the fourth day, God created man and said:  Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I’ll give you twenty years.

Man replied: Hmm . . . only twenty years?  Could you give me my twenty, plus the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back? 

Okay, said God, you asked for it ~ 80 years it is.

That’s why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. I’m doing it as a public service.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Inspiration:  e-mail from an unknown author

Settling Into Unsettling Feelings September 25, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness.
25 comments

A few days ago, some unsettling feelings were creating inner tension.

I settled into them and watched as they floated away.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  Feelings without Grasping or Aversion (A Buddhist’s Journey)

S.H.I.E.L.D. September 23, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.
43 comments

While walking on the beach a few days ago, we bumped into some friends from the hood.

As we walked and talked, Ann filled me in on something she’d heard about creating and maintaining strong synapses in the brain to decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Here’s the S.H.I.E.L.D. formula:

S ~> Sleep 6-8 hours a day.  Naps count!

H ~> Handle Stress.  Relax via Meditation, Mindfulness, Music, Deep Breathing, Yoga, Tai Chi, Positive Affirmations, Self Care, etc..

I ~> Interact with Others.  One on One works.  As do enthusiastic Group Hugs!

E ~> Exercise.  Get up.  Get out.  Get going.  Walk, Bike, Roller Blade, Surf, Kayak, Canoe, Tennis, Golf, Paddleboard, Swim.  Move it!

L ~> Learn Something New Every Day.  Exercise your Brain!  Enjoy Crosswords, Scrabble, Sudoku, etc.  Tip:  Reading the Encyclopedia might count.  Googling the net worth of celebrities . . . not so much!

D ~> Diet.  Following the Mediterranean Diet is a good bet.  Veggies, Grains, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds, Healthy Oils, Wine, and Fish.

Just remember: some fish are too pretty to eat!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Road Rage September 21, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
27 comments

A man being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard stopped at the cross walk when the light in front of him turned yellow.

The woman  tailgating him honked repeatedly to show her frustration, furious that he hadn’t raced through the intersection to beat the red light.

As she screamed at the other driver, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a serious looking police officer, “Ma’am, I need you to pull your vehicle over to the side of the road.”

“What?!”

“Pull your vehicle to the side of the road, and turn the ignition off.”

He followed her over, “Ma’am, I need to see your license and registration.”

“What’s this about, officer?”

“License and registration, please.”

“Look, I’m in a hurry.  I’ve got someone I need to meet . . . ”

“Ma’am, please exit the car with your hands up.”

“What?!  I am not a criminal and will not be paraded around . . . ”

Wikipedia ~ Handcuffs (in Public Domain)

The officer opened her door, and waved her out of the vehicle to the back of her car, “Place your hands on the trunk, ma’am.”

He handcuffed her, gave her a quick frisk, then returned to her vehicle for her license and registration.

After radioing in the information, including the license plate of the vehicle, he returned to her side, and unlocked the handcuffs.

“Ma’am, everything checks out.  You’re free to go.”

Fuming, she glared at the officer, “You had no right to detain me like that, and I am going to . . . ”

“Ma’am, when I pulled up behind your car, you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak.  At that point, I had reasonable cause to investigate.”

“To investigate?!  Investigate what?!”

“Whether you were driving a stolen vehicle.”

“A stolen vehicle?  Why on earth would you think my car was stolen?!”

“Your behavior  seemed at odds with the “What Would Jesus Do?” license plate holder, the “Follow Me to Sunday School” bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Inspiration: e-mail from unknown author

 

A Telling Tale from the Emerald Isle September 16, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
19 comments

220px-OldBeggar1Paddy had long heard the stories of an amazing family tradition.

It seems that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all been able to walk on water on their 18th birthday.

On that special day, they’d each walked across the lake to the pub on the far side for their first legal drink.

So when Paddy’s 18th birthday came around, he and his pal Mick took a boat out to the middle of the lake.

Paddy stepped out of the boat and  nearly drowned before Mick managed to pull him to safety.

Disappointed and confused, Paddy went to see his grandmother.

170px-Maes_Old_Woman_Dozing“Granny, ’tis me 18th birthday, at long last.  So why can’t I walk across the lake like me father, his father and his father before him?”

Granny looked into Paddy’s troubled eyes and shook her head.  “Ye father, granddad and great-granddad were all born in December when the lake is frozen.  Ye were born in August, ya daft banana!”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from an unknown author (sent by Granny1947)

Related post:  Sunday Smiles At The Lake (Nuggets of Gold)

Wake Up! September 10, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People, Travel & Leisure.
32 comments

Did you hear about the guy driving on the Massachusetts Pike, with a passenger on board, while both appeared to be sound asleep?

Yup.  It happened yesterday.

The couple were in a self driving car and . . . (wait for it!) . . . Massachusetts State Police told WBZ-TV there’s technically no law against falling asleep behind the wheel of a self-driving car.

Say what?!

Just think of the benefit of a self-driving car to people who want to drive while:

(a) applying make-up; (b) shaving; (c) texting;
(d) eating; (e) surfing the web; (f) having sex;
(g) reading a newspaper; (h) painting; or
(i) catching some ZZZ’s.

Time for a nap.  Guess I’ll take a drive.

Aah . . . that’s scary!

To read more:  TESLA Driver Asleep on the Mass Pike (CBS Boston) * Destined to Fall: Auto Safety Expert Calls for Oversight (CBS Boston)

F.N.  In a statement included in the second article, Tesla said the system reminds drivers to keep their hands on the wheel.

“Many of these videos appear to be dangerous pranks or hoaxes,” a Tesla spokesperson said. “Our driver-monitoring system repeatedly reminds drivers to remain engaged and prohibits the use of Autopilot when warnings are ignored. At highway speeds, drivers typically receive warnings every 30 seconds or less if their hands aren’t detected on the wheel. Tesla owners have driven billions of miles using Autopilot, and data from our quarterly Vehicle Safety Report indicates that drivers using Autopilot experience fewer accidents than those operating without assistance.”

Aah . . . that’s better!