Vanakkam….Namaskar….Slamalaikum….Namaste…. This week has been busy, so I’ve had little time for blogging, but things are getting done where they need to be. That includes work on study notes, and my weekly Bengali quizzes as my pre-semester learning review continues. I’m halfway through the Great Courses lectures on Indian history with three discs to go before finishing, and have at the awesome Sharmishtha Basu’s suggestion found a book on the subject by historian Romila Thapar. I’m also practicing unfamiliar but damned useful study methods so as to make them customary in all my learning. Some methods are better supported than others by evidence, and it’s those that should be favored, as those lead to more solid and reliable learning. Part of that involves giving myself time to pause from Internet use and think, while also absorbing as much as I can in the time that remains. After all, thinking is useful, but you can’t think well without good content to think about!
Still, I try to post on this site at least once, twice, or more each week, as I’m not on blogcation this time of year. I’m making plans that I’ll announce soon once I formulate them on the future of this blog toward the end of this year, as it’s been close to eight years since this site’s founding, actually my third blog, my second to be created using WordPress. This one was created on December 28, 2008, and it’s now-defunct predecessor on January 15 of that same year. Barring accident or misfortune, the next major blogcation this year will be during November, when Election Day rolls around and my country’s future for at least the next four years is decided by the utterly insane American political process. It’s a process worthy of Lovecraft’s madness-inducing alien gods, and Nyarlathotep only knows how it will turn out!
*tentacles crossed metaphorically*
Tf. Tk. Tts.
Image of the Fortnight
Anti-Vaxxers, Conspiracy Theories & Epistemic Responsibility
Getting ready for study this weekend, focusing on vocabulary and lectures, so I’ll be minimal on text here. I’m still recovering from the coolness and yummy food of Friday’s Greek Fest celebration, and seeing Marvel’s Civil War movie in the theatre immediately afterward. I’m enjoying a new video lecture course, on Indian history, by the Great Courses. I’ll post a review of it when I’m done. Enjoy the weekend, and I’ll try likewise!
Image Of THe Week:
When Can I Die on Mars?
This week I’m engaged in working on my study skills and putting them to use at the same time, and we are still getting Rickmeister Fluffington used to my parental unit and to Gorgeous, the most sedate and least scary cat in the house. Ricky is getting on wonderfully with Eccles, which is good given Eccles’ aggressively kittenish playfulness. No jumping on other cats’ heads or attacking fluffy tails for you, Doctor Eccles! The objective of the next week is to get pictures of Ricky trying to hide, either behind the couch, or in my spare room, amusingly in plain sight while thinking himself invisible. He reminds me of old Rocky, who used to try his cloaking device technique of jumping onto my desk and slowly creeping up to me, which of course never worked 🙂
I know that officially I’m supposed to be on a self-imposed spring break until the next study semester, but preparation is needed. I must catch up with practice on earlier material, lots of immersion in the subject, including speaking the language(s) however badly at first. Learning languages is not easy, especially three of them, and you cannot succeed if you are not willing to accept and exploit setbacks. It’s important to use “break time” to ready myself for more advanced material, to make demonstrable progress whatever the subject once study officially resumes. It’ll be fun, and it has been so far.
Tf. Tk. Tts.
Image Of The Week: Evaporating Peaks In 3D: Pillars In The Monkey Head Nebula
G’day. This last weekend was the time of the awful terror attacks in Paris, Beirut, and in Baghdad, resulting in scores dead and hundreds injured. ISIL, also referred to as Daesh, has taken credit for the attacks and this travesty on a monumental scale. To paraphrase twitterer @LEDFlashing, it shows how those who can’t succeed on the merits of their ideas need terror as their messenger. This is a recipe for failure in the free market of ideas, and they who so fail shall be left behind by those of us who’ve grown up and moved forward. Here’s an animated clip of Carl Sagan’s monologue from his book, Pale Blue Dot, which notes the futility and instability of unthinking brutality and rule by fear on such a tiny world as ours, a world barely a fraction of a dot.
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Toyota Vios Commercial – Sea Monster
This short film shows what might happen when Earth is doomed by a nearby supernova and aliens come to rescue humanity – for a price – to survive their world’s destruction at the cost of becoming slaves to the aliens…
This has been a week of change, and change is good where I’m concerned. We’ve gotten tentative confirmation of the status of star KIC 8462852, previously suspected by some as the possible location of an alien megastructure. There are radio signals we would expect to see if it were an artifact of a technical civilization, signals we do not detect but should even given our species’ current level of technology. So, it seems as though it’s “no aliens,” or at least the Scottish verdict of “not proved.” No one is more disappointed than yours truly, though to be fair, history has not been kind to the astroscientific detection of aliens, and this was not unexpected. Are we alone? We don’t know, and it’s too soon for a definitive answer, though it’s extremely unlikely that Earth hosts the only intelligent life in the universe.
May you enjoy the weekend, and your nights be lit by the stars.
Image of the Week:
Finding Earth’s Twin
via SpaceRip’s YouTube Channel