A friend from England brought us (well, Olle, but it's become a communal possession) a solar-powered rainbow-maker which lifts our spirits every morning at about 8.15.
Here's a picture of it, held onto our east-facing kitchen window by suction - at the top is the rectangular solar panel, in the middle are the colourful gears and at the bottom is a crystal, which turns around, creating a stream of rainbows, when the sun hits the panel.
At work this morning (in a tall building), a few of us were startled by an apparent rumble underground. It was just like hearing the Tube go by - but we're in Sydney, not London. A colleague emailed Geoscience Australia to find out if there'd been an earthquake in our vicinity. There hadn't. Though there have been plenty of others in the wider region recently, as you can tell from this fascinating list and map.
One of my earliest childhood memories is of sitting on the ground while it shook. It happened to me again in Sydney one morning in the late 70s, though this time I was in bed (alone). Then again on the Greek island of Skopelos in 1991. The next day I reflected on the fact that if that had been a destructive earthquake, we'd have been in a bad position. It was our first night on the island, we'd arrived at our rural holiday accomodation in pitch darkness and were surrounded by people who spoke little or no English. (We spoke no Greek.) We were woken in the middle of the night by the wardrobe doors falling open in the quake. Everything rattled. It was hard to get back to sleep as roaring waves of sound came up through the pillow - the after-tremors.
Earthquakes feel so strangely other-worldly - ironic, given how very worldly, right down to the core, they are.
Thanks to Vanessa for the link to this Rolling Stone article which considers our* approaching future as we run out of oil. (*In fact the point of view is squarely American, but the rest of us face variations on the same 'long emergency'.)
The Energy Bulletin, a clearinghouse for information about the peak in global energy supply, added these notes:
Kunstler has the wit and venom to put him in the league of other great writers for Rolling Stone like Hunter S. Thompson. Kudos to Rolling Stone for appreciating his talent and for printing this article which lacks none of Kunstler's usual frankness.
We hope that this kind of wake up call can perhaps help to mitigate some of its own worst predictions.
For me, like Dave Belden, "death is the end". I appreciate his thoughts on how amazing it is that we are here at all. I have a good friend who says that although humans are collectively obsessed with death and the possibility of an after-life, a consideration of how we as individuals and humanity en masse came into being is more mind-blowing. Certainly as a mother, I am still astonished (and elated) by the fact of my child's existence.
For myself, it's taken 45+ years to come to terms with exactly why and how I was born and grew up as me; maybe the next 45 (being optimistic) will be about coming to terms with the inevitable end.
The Edge annual question for 2005 is 'What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?' Biologists, physicists, mathematicians, all sorts of scientists, provide their answer.
As an ex-Catholic, I tend to shy away from the notion of 'truth', but my answer to this question would be that I believe the general precepts of psychoanalysis to be true - the unconscious, dreamwork, repression, the ego and so on - even though Freud and many of its practitioners have been attacked and derided. Not that they were totally undeserving of criticism. But there are many sophisticated theoreticians and practitioners who have developed and extended Freud's insights in ways that I've found of rich benefit in my own life and thinking.