No surprises here

You are The Fool

Idea, thought, spirituality, that which endeavours to rise above the material.

The Fool is the card of infinite possibilities. The bag on the staff indicates that he has all he need to do or be anything he wants, he has only to stop and unpack. He is on his way to a brand new beginning. But the card carries a little bark of warning as well. Stop daydreaming and fantasising and watch your step, lest you fall and end up looking the fool.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Meme nabbed from Around The World In Beautiful Shoes. Although Tena also has it on her blog(scroll down, it is on the left side).

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Dancing Porcupine

Amazing what you can find on Google Maps. I just discovered today that people put links to all sorts of pictures and videos on the map (I had to select My Maps to be able to enable this).

Found a video of a "dancing" porcupine at the EcoMuseum near where we live (about 7.5Km or 5 miles).

You can take a virtual tour here or look at some photos I have previously posted.

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This was not exactly the response I was hoping for from the USPTO (United State Patent and Trademark Office) to my latest amendment to my trademark application.

SUSPENSION PROCEDURE: This suspension notice serves to suspend action on the application for the reason(s) specified below. No response is needed. However, if you wish to respond to this notice ...

I wondered if this was because I had waited until the last minute (as usual) to file my amendment and they were now preparing for abandonment proceedings.

This Office action is in response to applicant’s communication filed on MONTH dd, yyyy. In its response, applicant amended its identification of goods and services. This amendment is acceptable and has been entered.

Ok, this sounds good, they have accepted my latest amendment.

Action on this application is now suspended pending receipt of a true copy, a photocopy, a certification, or a certified copy of a foreign registration from applicant's country of origin.

I've set Sofia (my wife, the lawyer) to look into it.

A brief aside on my Canadian application. I mentioned in an earlier post that it had been accepted, it has now been allowed. Accepted meanted that the examining officer saw no problem with it. It is then published and if no one objects within two months, then it is allowed. I now have until 2010 to send the government $200 to register it.

If you want an idea what a trademark application looks like you can always browse through copies of the Trademarks Journal

For example, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS is a requested trademark by Warner Brothers in Canada (it too has been allowed, so now WB has to send in their $200 to register it). It includes obvious wares in it proposed use: Motion picture films featuring comedy, drama, action, adventure and/or animation. Obvious spin-offs: video and computer game programs, children’s activity books, calendars, gift wrapping paper, t-shirts, sweatshirts and a whole lot more. And this surprising one: batteries for electronic toys - I don't think I have ever seen branded batteries before.




There was no sense in what he said.

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning the church was filled; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; then came the prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory --

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders.

In a deep voice he said, "I come from the Throne -- bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock . "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if it is your desire after I, His messenger, have explained to you its full significance. It is like many of the prayers of men -- it asks for more than he who prays it is aware of.

"Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- the spoken and the unspoken and both have reached the ears of God who hears all prayers. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the pastor -- and also you in your hearts -- fervently prayed silently. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(*After a pause.*) "You have prayed it; if you still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

Mark Twain's, The War Prayer.

This is an abridged (and slightly amended for language and structure, not content) version by me. You can easily find the original by Googling. I took my original source from here.

Image nabbed from here.




"Call me old fashioned, but if you really wanted peace couldn't you just stop fighting?

Lieutenent Cobb: "Only when we have the Source. It will give us the power to erase every stinking Hath off the face of this planet."

The Doctor: "Hang on. Hang on. A second ago it was peace in our time and now you're talking about genocide!"

Lieutenent Cobb: "For us, that means the same thing!"

Exchange between The Doctor and Lieutenant Cobb in the Doctor Who episode The Doctor's Daughter (exchange occurs around time 2:00).

Image nabbed from here (look under Posters).




"I saw in the whole Christian world

a license of fighting at which even barbarous nations might blush. Wars were begun on trifling pretexts or none at all, and carried on without any reference of law, Divine or human." - Hugo Grotius, On the Laws of War and Peace (1625)




Inspired by Ice Cream

[I]f there are self made purgatories, then we all have to live in them. Mine can be no worse than someone else's. - Star Trek, This Side of Paradise




"There was nothing they would not do

to secure the rights of exploited and abused animals. This year alone they, personally, had already chalked up the realease of several hundred prisoner-rats from a lab in Lisle, Illinois.It was too bad about the mutated bubonic plague spreading through Chicago afterward, but as Ken said, people had choices, the rats didn't."

From Last Rights by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon.




It doesn't hurt to ask

Two days ago, I picked up a very nice art book called Master's of Deception: Escher, Dali & the Artists of Optical Illusion.

It features the work of many extremely talented illusory artists and at $19.95 Canadian it was an extremely reasonably priced book considering it is full colour and quite large. The problem was that the bottom edge of the book was dirtied and slightly damaged. I looked for another copy but could not find one. I asked at the cash if they had any undamaged copies and they found another, but it too suffered from the same imperfection.

I asked if another store had any copies. They did, but it was in worse shape then the ones I had in my hand - the cover was torn.

So I took the least damaged copy, they gave me a 20% damage discount (book is now non-returnable) and I got an additional 10% off because I'm an iRewards member. (Going online, I see I could have got an immaculate copy for pretty much the same price).

Being religious, I find this picture by Octavio Ocampo extremely powerful.

Image nabbed from here and rescaled to intensify the difference between the small and large image.

If you like illusory art, I definitely recommend this book.

The author's website is here. It contains additional materials that were not included in the book, as well as some movies of "impossible" and amazing art. Book cover (the first picture) picked up from authors website.

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"[W]e’ve been receiving material from people who apparently learned to type by throwing their cats at the keyboard..."

Taken from this post at 101 Reasons to Stop Writing.

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Auferre trucidare rapere falsis nominibus imperium, atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant

In the not-productive-but-sidetrack-distraction-of-the-moment I spent some time (please don't ask how much) translating two sentences from Tacitus' Agricola from Latin into English using an online Latin-English dictionary and what Latin roots I can glean out of English words.

It wasn't a completely blind translation since I already had a translation for the above line: To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace..

However, I wasn't completely captivated by the English and it didn't quite seem to match the Latin.

After some searches for alternate translations, I came up with a fuller quote, Raptores orbis, postquam cuncta vastantibus defuere terrae, mare scrutantur: si locuples hostis est, avari, si pauper, ambitiosi, quos non Oriens, non Occidens satiaverit: soli omnium opes atque inopiam pari adfectu concupiscunt. Auferre trucidare rapere falsis nominibus imperium, atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant., that looked really good. However, none of the English translations convinced me - only bits of them did. So I decided to do the only sensible thing and translate it myself.

Some words I could guess at the meanings and the Latin-English dictionary easily translated some words, however words did not translate well.

atque did not translate well. Eventually, I decided it is roughly equivalent to meaning and.

scrutantur was a word I could get no translation for. In the end, I decided it is probably related to the English word scrutinize and extrapolated its meaning to be seek / search / inspect.

My final translation is:

Universal plunderers, after ravaging all the lands, they turn to the sea: if the enemy is rich, they are rapacious; if he is poor, they lust for dominion; neither the East nor the West has been able to satiate them. Alone among all, wealth and poverty alike they covet. Under the facade of lawful authority they rob, slaughter, and plunder. They give the name peace to the desolation they leave behind.

Other translations include:
Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land, they rifle the deep. If the enemy be rich, they are rapacious; if he be poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. Alone among men they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a solitude and call it peace. [rr: I used the bolded text in my translation because I thought it was a really good translation - after modernizing the use of be to is]

Brigands of the world, they have exhausted the land by their indiscriminate plunder, and now they ransack the sea. The wealth of an enemy excites their cupidity, his poverty their lust of power. East and West have failed to glut their maw. They are unique in being as violently tempted to attack the poor as the wealthy. Robbery, butchery, rapine, with false names they call Empire; and they make a wilderness and call it peace. [rr: I also like the way the bolded text was rendered and considered using it in my translation, but decided against it].

These plunderers of the world, after exhausting the land by their devastations, are rifling the ocean: stimulated by avarice, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor; unsatiated by the East and by the West: the only people who behold wealth and indigence with equal avidity. To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.

My penultimate (sort of) translation pass was:

Global robbers, after ravaging the land, they search the sea: if the enemy is rich, they are avaricious, if poor, then ambitious. Neither East nor West has satiated them. Alone among all, wealth and poverty alike they covet. They rob, butcher and plunder under the false name of authority. When they have rendered it desolate, they call it peace

Image nabbed from here.

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