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Bits and phrases that strike a chord with me

I was talking to a friend of mine today, and I mentioned to him my theory on time, and why it motivates me.

Anyway, he seemed to appreciate it, so I thought I’d share it here, and some other bits and phrases that strike a chord with me…

  • My theory on time… The problem with time is that it, whether its 2 weeks or 2 years, eventually runs out.
    • I guess I have been in one of my self-reflective states lately, and if you take the ‘time’ to think about it, time really does run out.  Saying I will do something later or next week or by the end of the summer is just saying something so your mind can feel at ease.  The part that motivates me, is that I know all too well that there is a clock ticking, and it drives me to better myself everyday and to have goals, and to sincerely strive to attain those goals.  I guess my theory on time just makes me hate revving in neutral, which is how, unfortunately, the majority of our lives are lived.
  • “…A blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
    • This is taken from a conversation that Martha Graham had with Agnes De Mille (look up Martha Graham in Wikipedia – amazing woman and story).  You may not know, but Martha Graham was a famous dancer and choreographer – think of the Michael Jordan of dance, excepted she danced or choreographed for over 70 years.  Anyway, after Agnes opened up on the first night of Oklahoma!, she told Martha that she had this desire to be great, but that she had no faith that she could be.  Martha replied with the line (among other things)  that for those who are great or strive to be, there is “……A blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
    • When I ponder on this phrase, I end up thinking about it in the context that I know a lot of people that are satisfied sitting around and ‘doing nothing’.  Meaning not striving to learn or grow, and leading lives that in the end they would not consider to be all that meaningful or productive.  Everything we end up striving for is borne out of a dissatisfaction with the status quo, and that “dissatisfication” is the “blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
  • “For everything there is a season”
    • Okay, so I have faith, but I am not a religious man, in fact, I very well may be turned away at the gate.  With that being said, this phrase was taken from the bible, and though I don’t read the bible, who am I to question it’s content and not to appreciate some of the wisdom it contains?
    • 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
      3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
      3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
      3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
      3:5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
      3:6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
      3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
      3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
    • The reason why this short and simple phrase resonates with me, is because sometimes we lack patience, and try to rush towards things.  For example, a kid wanting to rush past 15 and 16, to turn 17 and get his license.  This phrase, to me, says that we should appreciate what we have today, and the enjoy the life we have today, because there will be a time for everything else.  If you are healthy today, be happy, because there will be a time when that is not the case.  If you are sad today, be content knowing that the melancholy will pass in time. etc.  It doesn’t mean not to plan, or work towards a goal, it means patience.
  • “Quis atterit mihi tantum mihi plantit fortius”
    • A latin phrase that basically (and roughly) translates into “That which attempts to destroy me only makes me stronger.”  Could it be a rough translation into latin of a famous Nietzsche quote?  I don’t know, but what I do know, is that the phrase itself is powerful.  I’ve been in situations in my life where it seemed that things were stacked against me, but I came out with an appreciation for living, and the resulting experience only made me stronger (or at least appreciate the opportunity that I have to enjoy life).
  • “A Dream Within a Dream”
    • From the great Edgar Allen Poe.  Wikipedia has a good interpretation of the phrase, but if you read the poem in its entirety below, you can draw your own, that will revolve around the Wikipedia interpretation:  <”A Dream Within a Dream” reflects Poe’s feelings about his life at the time, dramatizing his confusion in watching the important things in his life slip away. Realizing he cannot hold onto even one grain of sand leads to his final question that all things are a dream.>
    • This poem is the shit, the imagery of the ocean is quite powerful in fact.  When he references the “surf-tormented shore…”, which I think is a metaphor for how the water wears down and pounds away at the physical existence of the shore (as time does to all of us).  Beautifully and expertly crafted words that evoke a sense of deepness and helps us appreciate the time we have.
    • Take this kiss upon the brow!
      And, in parting from you now,
      Thus much let me avow-
      You are not wrong, who deem
      That my days have been a dream;
      Yet if hope has flown away
      In a night, or in a day,
      In a vision, or in none,
      Is it therefore the less gone?
      All that we see or seem
      Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

  • “We will all laugh at gilded butterflies”
    • Shakespeare – seriously the dude was genius.  This particular phrase is from King Lear,  towards the end of the play I think, and if you haven’t seen or read it, I suggest you put it on your summer reading list.  Basically, to “laugh at gilded butterflies” is to laugh at people who are or pretend to be something they are not or are – i.e. fake people.  The term “gilded” itself, if you look it up in a dictionary, is to cover something with a thin layer of gold, making it more ostentatious.  Something that is gilded is deceptively pleasing, like something rotten and covered it up in something pretty.  In the case of King Lear, he is referring to people, who are bad on the inside, but have the outward appearance of being pure or special.  Like I said, Shakespeare was a genius, and this phrase is deep.

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Garbage Airline Safety?

I recently took a transcontinental flight on Continental/United, and overall the flight was a great experience – awesome seat with nobody in the middle seat next to me to spill over into my space, only a slight delay, and a smooth ride.

Airline Safety

One of the apparent many uses for the plane exit door at 30,000 feet.

However, one thing that caught me off guard, was how the safety apparatuses were used as “helpers” for garbage collection.  Take a look at the picture, and realize that the emergency door handles were used to hold garbage and garbage bags.  Also, understand that it was that way for the majority of the flight, and that both the airline attendants and passengers would go up, and put garbage in these bags.

I would think that United or Continental or UnitedContinental or ContinentalUnited would want to keep that area free and clear in case of an emergency.  Moreover, I would imagine that they would not want people playing around with the exit doors at 30,000 feet.  But then again, maybe they don’t care, I mean if it was that important, they would make sure that the airline attendants understand the importance of maintaining a safe evacuation area.

Just one of my many airport/travel observations, but certainly not very reassuring.

Quick Thoughts…Terminator and CD Inventor

A couple of quick thoughts about this weekend, in addition to wishing everyone a Happy Easter…

1.  According to The Terminator – Skynet became self-aware on April 19th, 2011.  How time flies, but interesting that the Playstation Network and Amazon’s cloud computing services went offline around this date.

 

 

 

2.  Norio Ogha – The man who worked at Sony and invented the CD has died.  Just think about how this man changed society – from how we listen to music to how we store data (remember the 3.5″ diskettes could only hold about 1.4MB).  It’s sad when people don’t appreciate genius, but instead appreciate the genius of people like Khloe Kardashian! 

iPhone, iPad, iPod…iGreenhouseGasses?

Apple Products = Environmentally Unfriendly?

Most people love to use Apple products, whether it be for the simplicity of use, or the elegance of design.  However, what many may not know, is that Apple also ranked last in Greenpeace’s list of environmentally conscious tech companies.

“Apple has come bottom of the most comprehensive green league table of technology companies because of its heavy reliance on “dirty data” centres.   The list, which is compiled by Greenpeace and released in San Francisco on Thursday, shows that the company relies heavily on highly polluting coal power at the sites that house its banks of servers.”

The Greenpeace report is certainly terrible news (view the Greenpeace Dirty Data Report), and like most big corporations, they follow the wants of their shareholders before the needs of the enviornment.  But what does this all really mean?

Will it mean that people stop buying the iPhone?  Does it mean that if I show up at environmental meeting, the activists will not use Apple products?  There in lies the challenge and hypocrisy.  People may throw up their arms and shout murder, but at the end of the day, for a company that basically created the smartphone, tablet, and portable music craze, there will be no reprucussions.  I am sure they will issue a statement explaining their point of view, and how Greenpeace made miscalculations, etc. But in order to have a true impact, people would need to express their frustration by spending their money elsewhere, and from my observations, people are excited to recommend changes, but will never change themselves.

So, “boo” for Apple for not being environmentally conscious, but nothing is going change until it hits their bottom line.

PS:  The man who invented the internet, Al Gore, sits on the Board of Directors fo Apple (yes, the man in the movie the Inconvenient Truth).

The Airport – A Microcosm of Life

Well I’m at SFO now and it reminds me of what I like about the airport, in fact it reminded me of the only thing I like about the airport.

At the airport you see every emotion possible. I mean you see happiness when people arrive and families are reunited, you see sadness when people leave, and grumpy businessmen traveling to Cincinnati.

If you really think about it, it’s impossible to come to the airport and NOT feel any emotion, even if it’s just anxiousness or excitement about a final destination.

And isn’t that what life is about – emotion. Aside from the frustration I feel about going through security, and long cross continental flights, generally I did the airport vibe. Plus you meet interesting people at the bar, if you are so inclined to start up a conversation or entertain one.

Now lets pray I dont get a middle seat!!