and I quote

july 2010

click for permalink July 20, 2010

We're moving to a new apartment at the end of the month so now is about when the actual moving of stuff begins in earnest — and boy, do we have stuff. Setting aside for a moment my intrusive yet cathartic fantasies of building a computer-parts catapult and heaving a dozen antique, putty-colored towers off the balcony — or roasting marshmallows by the leaping flames of a bonfire made from overstuffed extra chairs right there on the balcony — it's all getting packed up and hauled away with us in less than two weeks. The first of August is not just a Sunday in the middle of a three-day weekend in the dead of summer; as a friend helpfully reminded me this evening, it's also the day (by cosmic coincidence, the very hour that we have the elevator reserved) of Vancouver's Gay Pride Parade, an annual mini-Mardi Gras which brings somewhere in the neighborhood of 500,000 people out for an entire day and night of traffic-stopping, groove-shaking, rainbow-plated fabulousness in honor of LGBT civil rights. So it should be an interesting day.

No leaks?What I'm trying to say is I've been busy... and, much as I hate to do this, what I hate more is not posting anything at all for an entire month. So here, without any further ado or disclaimer, are a bunch of seemingly random links to cool things I've seen and heard in the last little while. See you in August...

This video is a bit about BP (from before the 90th day patching of the spewing maw of hell they gauged in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, and subsequent suspicions of "seepage" and their ever-so-convincing assurances the seepage is nothing to be concerned about) by comedian Lee Camp, who I just discovered (thanks, Huffington Post). He's not exactly America's answer to Robert Newman (then again, maybe he is) but he's pretty damn funny either way.

This is from UCB Comedy (whoever they are... I'm intrigued, though — they remind me of The State). It's what happens when BP spills a cup of coffee. It's funnier than it sounds.

I discovered Jordan Peterson over a year ago when I stumbled across this 12-part lecture series on Google Video called Maps of Meaning recorded in 2002 at the University of Toronto. I had forgotten all about that series until a few weeks ago, when I heard a recent lecture entitled On the Nature of Evil on my iPod. It's one of the latest in's excellent Big Ideas lecture series to which I subscribe. His most recent, Reality and the Sacred, is an insightful and thought-provoking exploration of our relationship with religion, second only to arrowheads as the most ancient of human inventions.

L ShlainOne of my new favorite authors and lecturers is — now, unfortunately as of 2009, the late, great — Leonard Shlain. He published four major texts in his lifetime, including Art & Physics, The Alphabet Vs. The Goddess and Sex, Time and Power. Each of these epic works of scholarship sets out to do no less than reframe the familiar history of western civilization, whether by braiding together the seemingly un-intersecting influences of physics, fine art, neuroscience and literature, or by illuminating the pattern of alternating periods of masculine versus feminine thinking down through the ages (according to Shlain, they were more balanced than we think).

The BBC recently published this incredible image from the Goce satellite, which takes data from all over the world and returns a remarkable high-definition view of the highly (dare I say alarmingly) variable state of gravity across the Earth.

Goce satellite image