Cargo Culture

I used to think that doors were failed windows. Now I see that windows are aborted doors.


Were the Melanesian cargo cults ever true religious movements, or were they just short-lived cons perpetrated on the unwary? No one seems to know for sure. Some may wonder if there’s any difference, but to me, it’s clear: the founder of a true religion must first successfully con him- or herself.


Whenever I encounter an uprooted tree and realize how farcical its feet were, I get a little vertigo.


Let’s spell it farcicle and try to imagine how, or whether, it would differ in taste from a popsicle’s sweet, colored ice.


A henge resembles an inside-out fortification: the ditch is on the inside of the wall. Henges must, therefore, have been like zoos for the always-dangerous ancestors.


I will be disappointed if Banksy turns out to be anyone other than a man with the head of a rat. A reporter who met him years ago said he was the grimiest person she’d ever seen.


It may well be that the majority of planets in the universe are small and orphaned: unattached to any star, just drifting through space. Hearing this, for the very first time in my life I feel a keen interest in space travel. Imagine standing on such a world — bleak, cold, lifeless, and utterly free.


Maybe a henge was a replica of the heavens, designed as a form of sympathetic magic to make sure the sun and moon didn’t wander off, and kept circling back each year with their cargo of stars.

Link roundup: Festive linguistic spring-like Japanese Green gassy text-generated starless planet

local ecologist: Festival of the Trees #58
Georgia Silvera Seamans’ third stint hosting the monthly blog carnival for all things arboreal, showing just how dedicated some tree bloggers can be! One highlight of this edition is a collection of ten links related to the blossoming season in Japan.

Parmanu: > Language > Place – Edition #5
Each link in this blog carnival gets its own page — or exhibit, to be accurate, since Parmanu terms it a Museum of Language and Place. I’ve looked at hundreds if not thousands of blog carnival editions over the years, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one this lovingly done, not even at I and the Bird, which is legendary for the creativity of its editions.

Marcia Bonta: “Early Spring”
Mom reports on new projections about what global climate change will likely mean for our particular corner of the planet in terms of species loss and ecosystem shift, and describes the changes we’ve already documented in 40 years of residence in Central Pennsylvania.

Japan Focus: “The Plan to Rebuild Japan: When You Can’t Go Back, You Move Forward. Outline of an Environmental Sound Energy Policy”
Japan Focus is an essential source both for analysis pieces like this, and for up-to-date news on the after-effects of the earthquake, tsunami and meltdown.

Speigel Online: “The New Green Mainstream: A Seismic Shift in Germany’s Political Landscape”

Some might argue that the Green Party’s success in Sunday state elections was the direct result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But it’s not. Germany’s political landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. And the Greens have been the primary beneficiary.

What a contrast to the U.S.!

ProPublica: “Pennsylvania Limits Authority of Oil and Gas Inspectors”
This was the biggest news in Pennsylvania this past week as we march bravely into the 19th Century.

P22 Music Text Composition Generator (A free online music utility)
Convert any text to music using the system where each letter of the alphabet is assigned a note. “Dark matter could provide heat for starless planets”
The imagination reels. Looking for a NaPoWriMo writing prompt? Look no further.