Let’s assume that you think you have a choice of eight paths to follow (all pre-defined paths, of course). And let’s assume that you can’t see any real purpose in any of the eight. THEN— and here is the essence of all I’ve said— you MUST FIND A NINTH PATH.

Naturally, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. You’ve lived a relatively narrow life, a vertical rather than a horizontal existence. So it isn’t any too difficult to understand why you seem to feel the way you do. But a man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.

So if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are, or to seriously seek something else. But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life. But you say, “I don’t know where to look; I don’t know what to look for.”

And there’s the crux. Is it worth giving up what I have to look for something better? I don’t know— is it? Who can make that decision but you? But even by DECIDING TO LOOK, you go a long way toward making the choice.

A letter Hunter S. Thompson wrote to a friend who wanted life advice 

The whole thing is well worth reading. 

(via professionallush)

"I don’t mean that we can’t BE firemen, bankers, or doctors— but that we must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal. In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of certain abilities and desires— including a deeply ingrained need to function in such a way that his life will be MEANINGFUL. A man has to BE something; he has to matter."

Man, this letter is really really good. Also, in it he basically describes Jim Collins’ “hedgehog concept” for being a person, which is pretty incredible in itself.

(via professionallush)

posted 1 day ago

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Here’s what the Gaza Strip looks like compared to Los Angeles! Imagine driving from Manhattan Beach to Pasadena, only there are 5,000 more people per square mile. Oh, and there’s an invading army. Good luck!
I made this using MAPfrappe!

Here’s what the Gaza Strip looks like compared to Los Angeles! Imagine driving from Manhattan Beach to Pasadena, only there are 5,000 more people per square mile. Oh, and there’s an invading army. Good luck!

I made this using MAPfrappe!

posted 2 days ago

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brightwalldarkroom:

"There are a handful of shows I ask everyone I talk to about television if they have seen: The Wire, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights. But when I ask them if they’ve watched and loved Friday Night Lights, what I mean is are you my kind of person? Are you all heart? Are you bothered by this 21st-century lack of earnestness, our abundance of irony? Do you wonder how we forgive and coach ourselves to do better? How we can strive again for valor and loyalty and daring and redemption? 
I fear we are defaulting to needless negativity as some kind of social currency. But Friday Night Lights is the most earnest show I’ve ever watched. Not sentimental, however: these characters aren’t perfect. In fact, this show is incredibly astute at allowing humans to have stratums of complexity: to have character and occasionally act without it, and then to live in the mire of their own dumb choices. Do I adore Coach? Yes. Do I think, as Tammy says, he is a molder of men and a husband of fierce devotion? Absolutely. Do I also think he can also be a self-involved, sexist prick who values his career over his wife’s? No question.
Regardless of the scale of the battle, the stakes in Friday Night Lights are rarely phony or contrived. It’s about winning games, sure, but its scope far exceeds that. This is a show that tests and reflects commitment not just on the football field, but back in the locker room. And in Street’s rehab room, and Saracen’s grandmother’s living room, and Julie’s bedroom, and eventually out to Luke’s farm and Tim’s prison and Tammy’s dream in Philadelphia. This commitment is not about obligation, but something more sacred. Duty. The hidden gale that blusters and grows within us and makes us yearn to give someone else exactly what they need.”
—Erica Cantoni on Friday Night Lights (Bright Wall/Dark Room, Issue #14, July 2014)

This is such a great essay! And that is really cool art! Erica’s essay reminded me how much I love the Taylors and Saracen and Riggins and even stupid Lyla Garrity! Yes, she is the worst. But who would fill that sleeping with your best friend/Christian radio/should have graduated but is still loafing around while kinda/sorta being in love with two guys vibe?!
Julie Taylor, obviously, because out of everyone she even eclipses Landry’s cover-up of a murder in terms of bad decision-making.
Friday Night Lights! Read this essay!

brightwalldarkroom:

"There are a handful of shows I ask everyone I talk to about television if they have seen: The Wire, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights. But when I ask them if they’ve watched and loved Friday Night Lights, what I mean is are you my kind of person? Are you all heart? Are you bothered by this 21st-century lack of earnestness, our abundance of irony? Do you wonder how we forgive and coach ourselves to do better? How we can strive again for valor and loyalty and daring and redemption? 

I fear we are defaulting to needless negativity as some kind of social currency. But Friday Night Lights is the most earnest show I’ve ever watched. Not sentimental, however: these characters aren’t perfect. In fact, this show is incredibly astute at allowing humans to have stratums of complexity: to have character and occasionally act without it, and then to live in the mire of their own dumb choices. Do I adore Coach? Yes. Do I think, as Tammy says, he is a molder of men and a husband of fierce devotion? Absolutely. Do I also think he can also be a self-involved, sexist prick who values his career over his wife’s? No question.

Regardless of the scale of the battle, the stakes in Friday Night Lights are rarely phony or contrived. It’s about winning games, sure, but its scope far exceeds that. This is a show that tests and reflects commitment not just on the football field, but back in the locker room. And in Street’s rehab room, and Saracen’s grandmother’s living room, and Julie’s bedroom, and eventually out to Luke’s farm and Tim’s prison and Tammy’s dream in Philadelphia. This commitment is not about obligation, but something more sacred. Duty. The hidden gale that blusters and grows within us and makes us yearn to give someone else exactly what they need.”

—Erica Cantoni on Friday Night Lights (Bright Wall/Dark Room, Issue #14, July 2014)

This is such a great essay! And that is really cool art! Erica’s essay reminded me how much I love the Taylors and Saracen and Riggins and even stupid Lyla Garrity! Yes, she is the worst. But who would fill that sleeping with your best friend/Christian radio/should have graduated but is still loafing around while kinda/sorta being in love with two guys vibe?!

Julie Taylor, obviously, because out of everyone she even eclipses Landry’s cover-up of a murder in terms of bad decision-making.

Friday Night Lights! Read this essay!

posted 2 days ago

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Guys, it’s fine. IT’S FINE! This is how free market capitalism has always worked! Adam Smith wrote that capitalism works best when giant corporations become monopolies, lobby government to support those monopolies, and then discretely publish op-eds exalting their positions!

If you’re not in favor of this, you’re essentially saying you’re a Communist who thinks the Soviet Union should reform and enslave the world. So it’s your choice. (I mean, it is not actually your choice, it’s the choice of the oligarchy that controls our nation, but in theory, it is your democratic choice.)

posted 6 days ago

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oldfilmsflicker:

The Muppets Meets Twin Peaks Is The Strangest Mashup Ever

This is too good. Bob at the end of the bed…

How’s Annie? How’s Annie?

(via kellyegan)

posted 1 week ago

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mapsontheweb:

Map of the Pentagon’s War on Terrorism strategy

Woof, this map tho. The plank in our own eye, you know?

mapsontheweb:

Map of the Pentagon’s War on Terrorism strategy

Woof, this map tho. The plank in our own eye, you know?

(Source: commons.wikimedia.org)

posted 1 week ago

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In case you missed it, the Executive Branch [Justice Dept] has decided that the Executive Branch [CIA] won’t be investigated for spying on the Legislative Branch [Congress] because… uh, well… don’t worry about it. The separation of powers works!

Which part of the Legislative Branch was the CIA spying on? Well it was none other than the Committee whose very job is oversight of the CIA, the Senate Intelligence Committee! The CIA is just relieved this mention in the news has nothing to do with Germany.

Remember what the CIA teaches, kids: don’t shit where you eat. Unless you know the cook, in which case feel free to shit anywhere you want because no one’s going to do anything about it anyway.

posted 1 week ago

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mapsontheweb:

The largest contiguous empire the world has ever seen,.

The other day I told Erica about one of Genghis Khan’s incredible campaigns, against the Khwarezmian Empire. 
Khan saw the empire as a valuable trading partner, so he sent a 500-man caravan to trade with them, only, long story short, the Khwarezmians attack the caravan, convinced that the caravan is full of spies (the Mongols have a certain reputation, after all). Then the refuse to pay for the damage.
So Genghis Khan sends three ambassadors to figure all this mess out. The Shah of the Khwarezmians has all three of them shaved, and the Muslim one beheaded! He sends the other two back to give the head to Khan.
Obviously they failed to realize they had twice now gravely insulted the most powerful man in the world at the time. So what does Genghis Khan do? He invades the empire with 200,000 men. From Wikipedia:

The Mongols’ conquest, even by their own standards, was brutal. After the capital Samarkand fell, the capital was moved to Bukhara by the remaining men, while Genghis Khan ordered two of his generals and their forces to completely destroy the remnants of the Khwarezmid Empire, including not only royal buildings, but entire towns, populations, and even vast swaths of farmland. According to legend, Genghis Khan even went so far as to divert a river through the Khwarezmid emperor’s birthplace, erasing it from the map.

So great was Genghis Khan’s anger that he diverted a river to erase the emperor from history, basically. Can you imagine someone diverting a river to wash over your birthplace? Like, how mad does a person have to be to do that?!

mapsontheweb:

The largest contiguous empire the world has ever seen,.

The other day I told Erica about one of Genghis Khan’s incredible campaigns, against the Khwarezmian Empire.

Khan saw the empire as a valuable trading partner, so he sent a 500-man caravan to trade with them, only, long story short, the Khwarezmians attack the caravan, convinced that the caravan is full of spies (the Mongols have a certain reputation, after all). Then the refuse to pay for the damage.

So Genghis Khan sends three ambassadors to figure all this mess out. The Shah of the Khwarezmians has all three of them shaved, and the Muslim one beheaded! He sends the other two back to give the head to Khan.

Obviously they failed to realize they had twice now gravely insulted the most powerful man in the world at the time. So what does Genghis Khan do? He invades the empire with 200,000 men. From Wikipedia:

The Mongols’ conquest, even by their own standards, was brutal. After the capital Samarkand fell, the capital was moved to Bukhara by the remaining men, while Genghis Khan ordered two of his generals and their forces to completely destroy the remnants of the Khwarezmid Empire, including not only royal buildings, but entire towns, populations, and even vast swaths of farmland. According to legend, Genghis Khan even went so far as to divert a river through the Khwarezmid emperor’s birthplace, erasing it from the map.

So great was Genghis Khan’s anger that he diverted a river to erase the emperor from history, basically. Can you imagine someone diverting a river to wash over your birthplace? Like, how mad does a person have to be to do that?!

posted 1 week ago

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ecantwell:

Hey, guys.

It’s almost the weekend! And that means you’re probably wondering what you’re going to do. What friends to hang out with at brunch, what hikes to go on, which TV shows to watch on Sunday night. Game of Thrones is over for the season, Mad Men's over for the half-season, there's no more Breaking Bad, and you’re probably through season 2 of Orange is the New Black already. UGH SUNDAY TV WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO.

Well, there’s a show called Halt and Catch Fire on AMC at 10 pm that you’re probably not watching. I say this because if you were watching the ratings would probably be higher. The ratings are not very good.

I know this and can say this objectively because my husband is the co-creator, and we get the ratings every week, and every week we wish more people were tuning in. I think there are probably a handful of reasons for the low ratings, some of which are due to viewers choosing not to watch the show, and some of which are just a matter of timing and exposure. It’s summer, so people are out of town and in and out and DVRing stuff or just missing it. There have been good reviews, but since no one’s seen where the characters end up yet, it’s too easy to judge certain story lines before they’re given a chance to develop. It’s about computers, and there’s a guy who initially appears to be yet another boring alpha mystery dude, and honestly when Chris first told me the premise of the pilot I didn’t think it sounded like something I’d choose to watch if I didn’t know him.

But I’m asking you to give this show a chance. I’ve seen the whole season, and it’s blown me away. Friends of mine who were initially watching just because they knew it was Chris’s show and they thought they ought to watch out of friend duty have told me they were surprised by how invested they’ve become in the characters. The writers—who hail from Mad Men to The Sopranos to Southland—take Gordon and Donna and Joe and Cameron in directions you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the pilot. There are subversively intelligent people, and there are LGBT people, and there are women who wear pants, and there are men who cry, and there are people who try to be someone they’re not. (This scene, gorgeously gif-ed, is actually so very stunningly sad when you watch it in context.)

Rolling Stone (which, by the way, strongly disliked the majority of the first half of the season) called last week’s episode “42 minutes of solid, sometimes surprising, sometimes striking television, growing like that flower in Halt and Catch Fire’s heretofore sterile circuitry. Let it grow.” The Austin Chronicle lists five reasons you should be watching this season. The actors turn in fantastic performances—I have an especial soft spot for Toby Huss, who plays Joe’s boss with a fantastic combination of Texan charisma and subtlety. And, in this coming episode, Lee Pace delivers a particularly brave and lovely performance. 

Maybe you watched the pilot and thought it was okay but haven’t watched anything since. Maybe you’ve recorded the previous episodes on DVR and just haven’t gotten into them yet. Maybe you’re planning to binge it later. Maybe you didn’t DVR it at all—in which case, you can stream episodes for free on AMC’s website (all of them are still available for the next four days!) or purchase episodes on iTunes. Or maybe you don’t really give a shit about catching up, in which case I think you will LOVE this Sunday’s episode, which is one of my favorite episodes of the whole season. (BONUS: a Buffy veteran guest-stars. Start guessing.)

Anyway, if you have been even maybe possibly thinking about watching Halt and Catch Fire, it would be awesome if you tuned in now. I’d love for more people to love this show, and for the characters to get the chance to make you fall in love, and for the season to go out with more viewers than it came in with.

So. What are you doing this Sunday at 10 pm?

I really like Chris. But more than that, I think Chris is a really smart (too smart? Like frustratingly smart?) guy who has made a very interesting TV show.

The episode before last had this moment that cracked me up that was so quick and little but SO HUGE at the same time and I loved it. And this past episode… fuck dude. That was good TV. It brought to mind The Tree of Life and some twisted moment out of Breaking Bad at the same time!

Anyway, what I am saying is that you should watch it because it’s good and interesting television and while it wasn’t eligible for this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if it had some nominations at next year’s Emmys.

posted 2 weeks ago

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theatlantic:

A Bionic, Mind-Controlled Arm, From the Inventor of the Segway

The Segway was supposed to change everything … until it became the preferred transportation of walking tours and shopping mall security. But now its inventor, Dean Kamen, is back with a new creation that might be slightly more revolutionary.
Enter the DEKA limb, the first FDA-approved robotic arm that’s powered by the wearer’s mind. Electrodes attached to the arm near the prosthesis detect muscle contraction, and those signals are then interpreted into specific movements by a computer, the FDA announced on Friday.
"The device is modular so that it can be fitted to people who’ve suffered any degree of limb loss, from an entire arm to a hand," Bloomberg Businessweek reported. ”Six ‘grip patterns’ allow wearers to drink a cup of water, hold a cordless drill or pick up a credit card or a grape, among other functions.”
Read more. [Image: DARPA]


This is INCREDIBLE! If this is what they can do now, imagine what these will be like in 5 years. 
"More human than human. That’s our motto."

theatlantic:

A Bionic, Mind-Controlled Arm, From the Inventor of the Segway

The Segway was supposed to change everything … until it became the preferred transportation of walking tours and shopping mall security. But now its inventor, Dean Kamen, is back with a new creation that might be slightly more revolutionary.

Enter the DEKA limb, the first FDA-approved robotic arm that’s powered by the wearer’s mind. Electrodes attached to the arm near the prosthesis detect muscle contraction, and those signals are then interpreted into specific movements by a computer, the FDA announced on Friday.

"The device is modular so that it can be fitted to people who’ve suffered any degree of limb loss, from an entire arm to a hand," Bloomberg Businessweek reported. ”Six ‘grip patterns’ allow wearers to drink a cup of water, hold a cordless drill or pick up a credit card or a grape, among other functions.”

Read more. [Image: DARPA]

This is INCREDIBLE! If this is what they can do now, imagine what these will be like in 5 years.

"More human than human. That’s our motto."

posted 2 weeks ago

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