April 22, 2014
"Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece."

Vladimir Nabokov, 1899-1977

Nabokov was born on this day in 1899, 115 years ago. The Russian-American author was a prolific writer and translator, and published novels in Russian, short story collections, plays, and poetry, as well as nine novels in English. Read more about his life and works on University Press Scholarship Online

(via oupacademic)

April 22, 2014

Highlands & Isle of Skye | by Owen Pery | Facebook.


Highlands & Isle of Skye | by Owen Pery | Facebook.

(via brainkrieg)

April 22, 2014


Oliver Pershav

April 22, 2014

Bogumil Bronkowski & Laura Colby”Sure Truths Await,” 2012Oil on Panel / 16”x12”


Bogumil Bronkowski Laura Colby
Sure Truths Await,” 2012
Oil on Panel / 16”x12”

(via kattekin)

April 22, 2014
"I want to be in a relationship where you telling me you love me is just a ceremonious validation of what you already show me."

— Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free (via fuckyeahexistentialism)

(Source: mourningmelody, via fuckyeahexistentialism)

April 21, 2014
"As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field so he flourisheth, For the wind passeth over it and it is gone."

— Psalms 103:15-16 (via fuckyeahexistentialism)

April 21, 2014


Brilliant. Skittles, 2014 by Josh Kline. Highline, MePa.

(via kattekin)

April 21, 2014
"For a long time, memory researchers assumed that memories were like volumes stored in a library. When your brain remembered something, it was simply searching through the stacks and then reading aloud from whatever passage it discovered. But some scientists now believe that memories effectively get rewritten every time they’re activated, thanks to a process called reconsolidation. To create a synaptic connection between two neurons the associative link that is at the heart of all neuronal learning you need protein synthesis. Studies on rats suggest that if you block protein synthesis during the execution of learned behavior pushing a lever to get food, for instance the learned behavior disappears. It appears that instead of simply recalling a memory that had been forged days or months ago, the brain is forging it all over again, in a new associative context. In a sense, when we remember something, we create a new memory, one that is shaped by the changes that have happened to our brain since the memory last occurred to us."

Slate Magazine, “The Science of Eternal Sunshine by Steven, March 22, 2004

(via evoketheforms)

(via fuckyeahexistentialism)

April 21, 2014

I am someone who enjoys working. I take great pride in the fact that I consistently work hard and, perhaps more ominously, that I am almost always working. Uncharacteristic to me, this dedication to work is often unthinking: Why wouldn’t I want to work? Seeing no reasonable answer immediately, I continue on as I did before. 

I could point to lots of cultural and historic forces that have helped shape the ethos I have around work. I recognise these as part of broader processes of individualization, responsiblization, and the flows of global capital. The world expects me to work and often in a particular way. And yet I take great pride in the fact that in small ways I am able to subvert these broader trends. I choose to do work that fulfils me - I gross act of privilege - rather than pursue work that offers the most remuneration. The things that I produce through work, also, are things I sometimes like to think of as subversive. Substance matters to me a great deal; I do whatever I can to disassociate from what I feel is purely flash and lacking in thought or detail. I navigate judgements around the substance of work - both mine and others - carefully, however, lest I succumb to unnecessary judgements or the perpetuation of old hierarchies. All work can be meaningful and full of substance, no matter where it originates or in what field it operates; but the work we perform has no inherent postfacto justification. And herein lies my quandary.

In a conversation the other day I was given pause to consider my work ethic outside of the normal sociological and historical context within which I place myself, and rather on a profoundly personal level. I was struck as I walked upstairs to where my family was sitting of how I characterised my work with them. When asked where I was going and what I was doing I replied that there was “always work to do.” Upon reflection, I was troubled by how flippantly I used this phrase. Indeed, somewhere in the world there are always things to do, but do I always have work to do? I have structured my life in such a way that I always have things to do, which I value and think is important, but to say so surely that I always have work to do - which often feels like the case - seems more troubling. 

Over the years and particularly in my education, I have worked very, very hard to craft an image of myself as a hard worker. This is an aesthetic, political, and deeply personal choice. I want to be (and be seen as) someone of ‘substance’ and in my own mind there is no better way to do so than to boldly and unequivocally state one’s workaholic credentials. This becomes more confusing, however, when I start to think about the things that I do. Almost without exception, the things I do as work are deeply meaningful, give me a sense of purpose, and are part of a larger plan to carry me towards goals in my life. But they are also designed, I realised today, as part of personal, emotional choices, as well. Defining myself as a hard worker is one thing, but to be accepted as this amongst others requires a more intensive kind of performativity. I make that which I desire to be as I act it out daily. I separate myself from others with the degree to which I am able to carry my work and I justify my self worth on this basis. 

Worth. That was the word that was missing when I asserted my credentials in this conversation and when I act out my work daily. Work as a means to worth is a deeply ingrained cultural, religious, and otherwise trope. We’re told everyday that those who are unable to work are worthless to a larger economy, or that those who choose to step outside the boundaries of narrowly defined professions and occupations are wasting their time. These forces are pervasive and have the effect of a kind of larger-planetary gravity; they squish down everyone into squat pieces that are simply part of a larger machine. This dictates how almost everyone lives their day to day lives. This squishing down, it should be said, occurs on an uneven topography - i.e., my impulse to work is classed and raced and gendered and so on - but I believe the internal feelings of how worth is gained carry broader mechanical similarities. I feel worthy when I am working, I feel justified - and not just to broader systemic forces, but to my family and my friends and those I care about. I work to provide for myself and one day for others, but I also work to become a better man, to learn more about the universe, and to make things around me better as best as I can. But this kind of vision implies work as like physical force The expectation is that, while I may not always be in motion (a sort of expected future state), there force (work) being applied to my mass, which will cause (in a very immediate sense) a future change. The fundamental flaws of this kind of mechanical thinking, as any physicist would tell me, are that it assumes two things unthinkable in the real world: firstly, it assumes a limited, closed system and, secondly, the limitless application of energy. 

Naturally, I cannot achieve either of these things. And so that leaves me with a question: if force (work) cannot be consistently applied to my person in order to create motion, what other states can I achieve? And since my inability to exist in a perpetual state of motion is a natural impossibility, how can I come to understand and accept these other states as natural and maybe even to enjoy them as such? 

April 20, 2014

I’ve never been female. But I have been black my whole life. I can perhaps offer some insight from that perspective. There are many similar social issues related to access to equal opportunity that we find in the black community, as well as the community of women in a white male dominate society…

When I look at — throughout my life — I’ve known that I wanted to do astrophysics since I was 9 years old…I got to see how the world around me reacted to my expressions of these ambitions. All I can say is, the fact that I wanted to be a scientist, an astrophysicist was hands down the path of most resistance through the forces of society.

Anytime I expressed this interest, teachers would say, ‘Oh, don’t you wanna be an athlete?’ I want to become someone that was outside of the paradigm of expectations of the people in power. Fortunately, my depth of interest of the universe was so deep and so fuel enriched that everyone of these curve balls that I was thrown, and fences built in front of me, and hills that I had to climb, I just reach for more fuel, and I just kept going.

Now, here I am, one of the most visible scientists in the land, and I wanna look behind me and say, ‘Where are the others who might have been this,’ and they’re not there! …I happened to survive and others did not simply because of forces of society that prevented it at every turn. At every turn.

…My life experience tells me that when you don’t find blacks, when you don’t find women in the sciences, I know that these forces are real, and I had to survive them in order to get where I am today.

So before we start talking about genetic differences, you gotta come up with a system where there’s equal opportunity, then we can have that conversation.


Neil DeGrasse Tyson in response to a question posed by Lawrence Summers, former Treasury Security and Harvard University President

"What’s up with chicks and science?"

Are there genetic differences between men and women, explain why more men are in science.

(via magnius159)

(via botanicalgardens)

April 20, 2014


Stacey Rees

(Source: staceyrees.com)

5:13pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z9sIJy1DeQpPM
Filed under: art 
April 20, 2014


The prince,
The princess,
& The pirate

(Source: , via brittneymcbain)

April 20, 2014


To all who come to this happy place, welcome

Disneyland is your land

I’ve never been to Disneyland and, along with all of its historical inaccuracies, ‘Saving Mr Banks’ was a difficult film for me to watch.

The entire premise of the film, that Mrs Travers was won over by Walt Disney’s charm and dedication to storytelling, is ultimately untrue. The reality was that, while greatly enriched by the affair, P.L. Travers never spoke to Disney after the premier and regarded it as a grave mistake. The clever repackaging of Disney as the caring storyteller hides his impulses as a mogul. Thanks to the film, however, that story will be lost forever and replaced with something far different; Travers will be won over by the same magic of Disney that we all are.

And what magic.

Looking at the opening gates of Disneyland and the warm figure of Tom Hanks standing there, I couldn’t help but be awed by the thought of entering into the happiest place on Earth. It’s a sweeping proposition: a place of scientific rigour, meant to elicit the most enveloping sense of magic possible. For a few brief moments and for a low, low price, one really could enter into the realm of fairies and freedom that he promised. It’s easier and easier to critique the corporate vision of the Disney today and indeed I think we must, but I would be hard-pressed not to see the outstretched hand of a man in a simple gray suit as a welcome gesture. His dream world I think offers something that almost everyone wants. And wrong though the film may be, I think the intoxication of what Disney offers - the rewriting of the past into something better than it once was - is transcendently powerful and ultimately ironic, given the historical rewriting that it itself engineers.

April 20, 2014


Lutz Bacher, Appropriated Celestial Photographs, (2012)

(via dieselfemme)

12:41am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z9sIJy1Da7DxH
Filed under: space 
April 19, 2014
"For years, mental health professionals taught people that they could be psychologically healthy without social support, that ‘unless you love yourself, no one else will love you…’ The truth is you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built in isolation."

— Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., “The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog” (via petrichour)

(Source: cockedlockedandchoking, via botanicalgardens)

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