Sunday, June 28, 2009
( 11:43 AM ) The Rat
People who don't climb mountains—the great majority of humankind, that is to say—tend to assume that the sport is a reckless, Dionysian pursuit of ever escalating thrills. But the notion that climbers are merely adrenaline junkies chasing a righteous fix is a fallacy, at least in the case of Everest. What I was doing up there had almost nothing in common with bungee jumping or skydiving or riding a motorcycle at 120 miles per hour.
Above the comforts of Base Camp, the expedition in fact became an almost Calvinistic undertaking. The ratio of misery to pleasure was greater by an order of magnitude than any other mountain I'd been on; I quickly came to understand that climbing Everest was primarily about enduring pain. And in subjecting ourselves to week after week of toil, tedium, and suffering, it struck me that most of us were probably seeking, above all else, something like a state of grace.
—Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:43 AM
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
( 11:16 PM ) The Rat
ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNEARTH OLDEST MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS EVER FOUND. Of course, it would be in Germany.
Archeologists announced today that they had unearthed the oldest musical instruments ever found—flutes that inhabitants of southwestern Germany laboriously carved from bone and ivory at least 35,000 years ago.
The find suggests just how integral artistic expession may be to human existence: Music apparently flourished even in prehistoric days when mere survival was a full-time endeavor...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:16 PM
( 4:40 AM ) The Rat
'It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany's, then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name.'
—Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:40 AM
Thursday, June 11, 2009
( 1:32 PM ) The Rat
UNDISCOVERED RAINFOREST 'GOOGLED.' If the video still isn't working, try this link.
Mount Mabu was unknown to science until a British funded project analysed the area with the help of the Google Earth satellite imaging programme...
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:32 PM
Monday, June 08, 2009
( 9:31 PM ) The Rat
He did not know why, looking at her, he thought suddenly of to-morrow, and why the thought called out a deep feeling of unutterable, discouraged weariness—a fear of facing the succession of days. To-morrow! It was as far as yesterday.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:31 PM
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
( 7:22 PM ) The Rat
SOUNDS LIKE HE'S BEEN TO GRAD SCHOOL. Well, except for the 'sure of himself' part.
By the time Conrad came to rest in England he was nearly forty, and he knew himself and the world. 'Now my character is formed,' he wrote to his publisher in 1902; 'it has been tried by experience. I have looked upon the worst life can do—and I am sure of myself.' Out of life's worst he had drawn certain conclusions: that human institutions were repressive and cruel; that ideals consumed those who lived by them; that all human life was lived in isolation; and that the earth was an empty, orderless space.
—Samuel Hynes, introduction to The Complete Short Fiction of Joseph Conrad
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:22 PM