4.29.2011

REDHEADS BLEED NO MORE THAN OTHERS

Baby male and female mice were produced from dual fathers, and it may be possible to produce non-cloned mice from a single mouse father. The circadian rhythms of mice are permanently affected by the season in which they were born. The excessive cleanliness of modern life may encourage depression by killing off beneficial bacteria. Neurotic newlyweds who have sex frequently are as happy as non-neurotic couples. Neonaticide in France was found to be five times more prevalent than previously thought. A South Carolina parrot was the sole witness to the death by neglect of a ninety-eight-year-old woman. "Help me, help me," said the parrot. "Ha ha ha!" Two California teenagers were arrested for strangling two chickens, a Rhode Island red named Linny and an Ameraucana named Maxine. In England, where average annual per-capita income 700 years ago was calculated to have been $800 in 1990 dollars, a flutist stole 299 rare bird skins from an ornithology museum in order to pay for a new flute. Oral sex is rarely or reluctantly received by women who fear their genitals are abnormal. The earth was found to be responsible for the asymmetric bulge of the moon's Lunar Farside Highlands. Scientists claimed to have found the first life that uses arsenic rather than phosphorus in its DNA and observed echoes of the universe from before the Big Bang. Particle physicists were optimistic about the possibility of creating something out of nothing, because nothing is actually something. The U.N. announced plans to launch a satellite powered by feces.

4.25.2011

OF A MIRROR AND A BELL

Of A Mirror And A Bell is the title of a Japanese ghost story, as translated and told by Lafcadio Hearn around the turn of the last century in his collection Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. In the tale, a monastery in a remote village, in an effort to collect bronze enough to create a bell for their campus, requests that the local women donate their old bronze mirrors for melting. One woman, after donating her own, is overwhelmed with remorse for having parted with an object that she only then realizes has great sentimental value to her. She recalls the moments she shared with both her mother and grandmother in front of the mirror, and thinks of how a mirror is said to contain the soul of a woman. Suddenly she feels as though a piece of her soul is missing, and her sadness consumes her. When the priests of the monastery begin melting the donated bronze, they find that no matter what they try, one mirror in particular resists the heat of their fires. They conclude that the owner of the mirror did not sacrifice selflessly, and that it is because their soul is still so entwined with the object that it will not melt. Word spreads through the small village, and the family engravings on the mirror betray the woman. She is soon so ashamed of her failure to let go of her attachment, that she takes her own life, and upon doing so, promises that anyone who is able to break the great monastery bell will receive great fortune. The poor priests become so plagued by the incessant din of those attempting to crack the bell with any number of tools and objects that, in exasperation, they remove the bell and roll it down a great hill, it's holy peels muted in the depths of a swamp.

You can read the story in full here, though I highly recommend just purchasing the entire collection of "strange things".

4.17.2011

KALAM


I would like to know what it feels like to join in this ecstatic form of prayer. I would also like some of the food that they're passing around.