Extracting Order from Chaos

In an effort to extract Order from Chaos, I’ll be creating two more blogs. If you see things disappearing and reappearing, don’t worry that your imagination is malfunctioning, but rather feel assured that I’m casting spells using a magic mouse.

The extraction process will be completed within 72 hours. I thank you for your continued existence.

Honoring the end of life

Originally posted on Life and Lims:

I’ve been able to attend two really beautiful funerals this year, both for people who were extraordinary, and who had wonderful families. I was struck both times by what a special experience it was to share in the remembrance and celebration of the lives of these people with their loved ones. At both, there were many, many experiences shared, sweet and tender memories and funny ones, recounted with laughter and tears.

But how often do you hear people say they enjoyed attending a funeral? That they looked forward to the funeral, that they cherished the time they took to be there?

Americans (and probably many in modern, Western cultures) are far behind some more “primitive” cultures: we do not appreciate the death process or anything surrounding it; we tread with great trepidation around death; and we don’t honor those who are aging, stepping ever closer to death each day. It’s a…

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Conversations With the Homeless | Gotta Find a Home:

Posted by Andy Alt

Quoted excerpt by Dennis Cardiff

When I’m with the homeless I don’t judge. I ask a minimum of questions, only enough to keep the conversation moving. I don’t interrogate or ask about their past. Mostly, I listen and try to understand. I am often asked why I am there. Although the reasons are deeper, I usually answer by saying, ‘The conversations here are more interesting than where I work.’ I visit these people, on the streets, on the way to my place of employment, and at noon hours.

What I have learned over the past four years has changed my life. These people, who I consider to be my friends, are alcoholics, drug and other substance users. Some work as prostitutes, some have AIDS, most or all have served time in jail for various offenses. All of them I would trust with my life. They have welcomed me into their street family. I am honored to be considered a member.

[…]

via Conversations With the Homeless | Gotta Find a Home:.

Recent posts from Dennis Cardiff’s site, Gotta Find a Home
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“With your Wings”, Rare Steinbeck WWII story finally published | Stars and Stripes

Posted by Andy Alt

I haven’t read “With your Wings”  yet, but I’ve enjoyed a few of John Steinbeck’s books and am planning to check this out:

NEW YORK — In July 1944, Orson Welles wrapped up one of his wartime radio broadcasts with a brief, emotional reading of one of the country’s favorite authors, John Steinbeck.

The piece was titled “With Your Wings,” an inspirational story about a black pilot that Steinbeck wrote for Welles’ program, and it seemed to disappear almost as soon as it was aired. There are no records of “With Your Wings” appearing in book or magazine form. Even some Steinbeck experts, including scholar Susan Shillinglaw and antiquarian James Dourgarian, know little about it.

[…]

Steinbeck, who died in 1968, wrote often about social injustice and on occasion featured black characters, notably Crooks in his classic novella “Of Mice and Men.” Gulli, whose magazine specializes in reissuing obscure works by famous writers, said in a recent email that “With Your Wings” was characteristic of the Nobel laureate’s worldview.

“Steinbeck was an idealist. He saw America as this wonderful land with so much to offer but on the flip side, he could see inequality, he could see greed and excess destroying the working classes,” Gulli wrote. “This story strikes me as an effort to show middle America that African-Americans were carrying on a huge burden in defending the United States and the allies during the war.”

[…]

via Rare Steinbeck WWII story finally published – U.S. – Stripes.

“With Your Wings” is available for purchase on the Strand Magazine web site:
Holiday issue of the Strand with the unpublished John Steinbeck story or check out Strand Magazine for subscription options that include the holiday issue.

Recent posts from Stars and Stripes:
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The Little Mermaid

Posted by Andy Alt

Long before the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid was a story written by Hans Christian Andersen. For curiosity seekers, here’s a link to an English translation of The Little Mermaid.

http://hca.gilead.org.il/li_merma.html

Outernet Test Signal is LIVE

Source: Press Release: Outernet Test Signal is LIVE | 2014-08-11

Today is an historic day.

Today, the first step was taken towards universal information access when Outernet unveiled its first broadcast signal to the public. The doors have officially opened to humanity’s public library, but watch out for the wet paint. Many of the bookshelves are not finished yet and there is still much more work to be done.

For one, the signal right now only touches about 1.3 billion people, far short of 100% of humanity. North America, Europe, most of the Middle East, and North Africa are the only regions currently receiving the Outernet signal. This test signal is being broadcast over Ku-band, which requires a dish and a slightly complicated assembly process, though everything does work. Outernet also has a limited selection of content: a few hundred Wikipedia articles, a few dozen books from Project Gutenberg, and a similar number of news articles from Deutsche Welle. Again, this will expand very soon. Users can request content via a basic form, a process that will mature significantly in the coming months.

Yet, slowly, the grip of censorship is being pushed back. Today, Outernet also announces a very exciting partnership with Project Gutenberg, the oldest producer of free ebooks. Greg Newby, Director of the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, says, Continue reading →

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