Happy 2013! Off the ‘cliff’ in a hand-basket!…

SkyHarbor, 2012/12/31 

That’s Debbie Reynolds ringing in the New Year (and showing off some lovely gams) for Life Magazine 60 years ago. It was a simpler time. No ‘Fiscal Cliff’ jitters for them – just the ‘Red Menace’ and ‘The Bomb’! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The rest of the world is looking aghast at the U.S. as we ‘play chicken’ with the economy. If they think the Kabuki drama of the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ is ‘exciting’, just wait for the looming Debt Ceiling battle! (the last of which, if you’ll recall, is what put the ‘Cliff’ in effect in the first place!) – Off the cliff we go! WHEEEEEEEEeeeeee!

Best Wishes and Good Luck to us all in 2013!

Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc: a paleolithic Louvre…

SkyHarbor, 2012/12/30 

First discovered in 1994, the cave was entered via a tiny well-hidden crevice – the original entrance having been obliterated by a rock slide well over 20,000 years ago… resulting in a perfectly pristine paleolithic site. Learning from the sad experience at the famous Lascaux cave (~100 km distant), where allowing tourist access resulted in severe (non-malicious) degradation of the cave walls, entrance to Chauvet is very strictly controlled.

What was found here is astounding art from 25-35+ thousand years ago… much older than any other cave art yet found in Europe, nearly twice as old as Lascaux. We see no gradual development from primitive to advanced here. It seems to have burst forth fully formed. The birth of human art. And music. And spirit.

You must watch. Werner Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” follows:

read more…


byronius, 2012/12/29 

Max and Sluggo are discussing a part. I am ‘blogging’.
Top Cat, the new rescue, having been savaged by the insane one-eared Abby, hides in my office.
I am on a planet of some sort.
I appear to be moving.
MAX said he’d just finished Sky’s post History Of Christianity, the series — really good, he said.
1:39:37 said the Slug. Eight miles, easy pace.
Max say his leg hurts.
Who the fuck are you?


byronius, 2012/12/28 

I do dig this song. They got the chops.


SkyHarbor, 2012/12/27 

Brilliant and beautiful. I thought that the first time I saw it, and every time since. Written and directed by Gary Ross, it pushes the metaphor right to the edge but not over it – wisely avoiding the temptation to get preachy. It’s just a wonderful film – If you haven’t seen it, by all means DO – and if you have seen it, by all means see it again!

five regrets

Max, 2012/12/26 

I originally made this a comment on the too chickenshit to die thread, but think it deserves its own post. If you go to the DailyKos diary that sparked it you’ll see I’m all over the comment thread. Definitely a thought provoking exercise.

The Five Biggest Regrets of the Dying

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled.

Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners.

All of the men that Bronnie nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.

Many developed illnesses, relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

“Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years.

There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives.

Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

Merry Mithrasmas!

SkyHarbor, 2012/12/25 

Mithras with his trรจs cool cape

The Persian Mithra (or ‘Mithras’ to the Greeks and Romans) was a very popular deity in the Roman potpourri of gods. He was born of a virgin (or a rock [?]) on 25 December. He was a Sun god and was also conflated with the Olympian god Apollo and was associated with ‘truth’. Why he was most often shown killing a bull (the ‘Tauroctony’) is somewhat less clear… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Perhaps in a bid to ‘fit in’, the early Church adopted/appropriated Mithra’s traditional birthday for Jesus, a technique they would repeat countless times as the faith spread through Europe in the coming decades and centuries.

Nobody knows when Jesus was really born. 6 BC is the probable year. Both April and September are popular guesses for the month… all we know for sure is that it wasn’t Christmas day! It’s moot anyway as the 25 December date was meant to coincide with the Winter Solstice.

Merry Christmas!

For a fascinating and informative look at the birth and early growth of what is today easily the largest religion on Earth, this excellent 4-hour documentary is highly recommended:

PBS/Frontline: From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians – Part 1
PBS/Frontline: From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians – Part 2

While told very respectfully, we can clearly see the seeds of what would become a very dogmatic and authoritarian Church. This is easily the best historical overview I’ve seen.

Happy New-WORLDER Pagan Festival Of Extraterrestrial JOY.

byronius, 2012/12/24 

May the earth continue to not disappear for the next few days. And dash away, dash away all — perhaps to Tau Ceti! Or any one of the other four million probably inhabitable New Worlds in this tiny galaxy of ours that your ruthlessly scientific hearts might whimsically suggest to you.

This song was On My Mind…

SkyHarbor, 2012/12/23 

Apropos of absolutely nothing. I just like the damn song…
These SF folkies scored a major hit with this one. I like the contralto voice and harmonies (especially at the end)…

Happier thoughts…

Max, 2012/12/21 

The Next Seven States To Legalize Pot


The Berlin Wall of pot prohibition seems to be crumbling before our eyes.

By fully legalizing marijuana through direct democracy, Colorado and Washington have fundamentally changed the national conversation about cannabis. As many as 58 percent of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal. And our political establishment is catching on. Former president Jimmy Carter came out this month and endorsed taxed-and-regulated weed. “I’m in favor of it,” Carter said. “I think it’s OK.” In a December 5th letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) suggested it might be possible “to amend the Federal Controlled Substances Act to allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, at least in jurisdictions where it is legal under state law.” Even President Obama hinted at a more flexible approach to prohibition, telling 20/20’s Barbara Walters that the federal government was unlikely to crack down on recreational users in states where pot is legal, adding, “We’ve got bigger fish to fry.”

Read more

I think I like where I live.

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