comment for Francesca’s blog

November 1, 2007

Francesca, I don’t know why, but I cannot post the comment on your blog. I write and press the button but nothing happens. So I will post comment here.

How beautiful and precise is the metaphor of Bologna stone (phosporescent barium sulphate) to explain interstices between science and literature (art in general?)! We clearly see it in works of Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Richard Feynmann and many others. But still the metaphor is limited to objective domain, and reality is more than oscillation of energy, more than things that can be expressed outwardly. If science and literature are in the warm embrace with each other on the green fields of objective reality, then we must not forget there is blue sky above them.

“No, this trick won’t work…How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?”

Albert Einstein

I am using online translator (Altavista Babelfish) to read your blog in Italian. Online translation ITA->ENG is more precise, English to Italian is not precise at all because of more difficult grammar, so I asked Barbara to help.

Here is her translation of the comment to Italian, so that you can understand it. (My gratitude, B)

Com’è bella e precisa la metafora della pietra di Bologna (solfato di bario fosforescente), per spiegare gli interstizi tra la scienza e la letteratura (l’arte in generale?) Lo vediamo chiaramente nei lavori di Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov , Richard Feynmann e di molti altri. Ma là ancora la metafora è limitata ad un campo obiettivo, e la realtà è molto più che oscillazione di energia, molto più che cose che possono essere espresse esteriormente. Se la scienza e la letteratura si sposano in un caldo abbraccio sul prato verde della realtà obiettiva, allora non dobbiamo dimenticare che c’è un cielo blu sopra di loro.

“No, questo trucco non funzionerà.. Come potrete mai spiegare in termini di mera chimica e fisica, un fenomeno cosi’ importante come il primo amore?”

Albert Einstein

And yes, I am big Carl Sagan’s fan – since my early childhood! :-)

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short poems

October 31, 2007

Today I was enjoying the expressive beauty and simplicity of style in satirical short poems. Let me share with you some of them.

A Silly Poem by Spike Milligan

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I’ll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?

The Ant by Ogden Nash

The ant has made himself illustrious
Through constant industry industrious.
So what?
Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?

My Sister Laura by Spike Milligan

My sister Laura’s bigger than me
And lifts me up quite easily.
I can’t lift her, I’ve tried and tried;
She must have something heavy inside.

Tragedy by Harry Graham

That morning, when my wife eloped
With James, our chauffeur, how I moped!
What tragedies in life there are!
I’m dashed if I can start the car.

The Termite by Ogden Nash

Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it, and found it good!
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.

Indifference by Harry Graham

When Grandmamma fell off the boat,
And couldn’t swim, and wouldn’t float,
Maria just sat by and smiled –
I almost could have slapped the child!

The Purist by Ogden Nash

I give you now Professor Twist,
A conscientious scientist,
Trustees exclaimed, “He never bungles!”
And sent him off to distant jungles.
Camped on a tropic riverside,
One day he missed his loving bride.
She had, the guide informed him later,
Been eaten by an alligator.
Professor Twist could not but smile.
“You mean,” he said, “a crocodile.”

message in the bottle

October 30, 2007

So, did you know that Jules Verne worked on writing librettos for operettas before his novelist career? Neither did I. But what is most interesting – that genius predicted many technological breakthroughs that happened many decades later (including what happened in Apollo space mission)

When I was a little kid, my mom used to read Les Enfants du Captain Grant every night before we went to sleep. O, how I loved to hear about adventures in that book! It starts with Lord Glenarvan and Lady Helena sailing on their ship Duncan somewhere in Scotland together with their crew. And they find a message in a bottle! Message is written on three papers in three different languages English, French and German – but since salty water entered through the bottle (during its long journey) it erased some words – so they somehow managed to compile one (still incomplete) message out of those 3 that will make sense. And so they start a search for Captain Grant whose ship sank. They have the latitude but do not have geographical longitude.

Yesterday, while I was searching for some other books, I found The Children of Captain Grant and I was so excited to start reading it again since so many years passed. If you are interested too to find out what happened in their sea adventure all over the world, you can look in the online English version of the novel or in French original version.

By the way in video above there is

First-ever live performance of “Message in a Bottle” by the Police. Song had not yet been released. Filmed for a Brit TV show called “Rock Goes to College” filmed at Hatfield Polytechnic College.

the bookfair

October 29, 2007

pete’s book
Well, today is the last day of the bookfair in my city. It always takes place in October – and it is always a great joy for me. And always the same story, I feel I never have enough money to buy everything that I would like to have…huh. When it comes to books my appetites are constantly growing – now I have less than 1.5K books in my library but I like to hear that people have more than 10 thousand books at home (I hope I will join that club somewhere in the future). To put it simply, books are like a chocolate – you can never have it enough.

This year, I am totally into reading children books. I bought two books by Pete Johnson, modern writer from Great Britain. Yesterday I read this book ‘Trust Me, I’m a Troublemaker’, and it was a lot of fun. Here is a little description from the site.

Archie is a very mature child – some would say far too mature! Having grown up with his gran, he seems to have acquired some adult ways – and the kids at his new school find them unbearable. Especially Miranda – the class troublemaker. At first she absolutely can’t stand Archie but then she starts to see him as a bit of a project- could she really make Archie into a Troublemaker Extraordinaire? Their unlikely friendship really gets going when Archie needs help to scare off his dad’s new girlfriend . . .

Corgi Children’s Books | 169-page paperback
ISBN: 044086626X

I enjoyed it so much, I was similar kid like Archie in my primary school, perhaps not so serious – but I also enjoyed to clean schoolyard :) After I read the other book, I plan to find books by Sue Townsend about Adrian Mole – I did not read them when I was younger, so I want to do it now.

Among other books I bought book about life and work of Tarkovsky, the famous Soviet movie director, and antology of humouristic poetry from the States. My sister bought book about Che Guevara, and she got autograph from Che’s daughter who was the visitor of the fair. I am so happy about that because I have very, very deep respect for Che.

board games

October 28, 2007

go board
I must say I love board games. After all it is the nice way to spend an afternoon with your monopoly-playing friends. But interesting thing is….why are board games good for? I read that there is more than a century long study on psychologic aspects of such games going on…impressive. So what do they say.

In nice article Wanna Play in Psychology Today by Jay Tietel he mentions

It is impossible to calculate how much people benefit from games:

o Games are primers on turntaking, the basis of all relationships.

o They can solve major crises in industry and teach people not to pilfer pencils from the company storeroom; in fact, companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on them for that.

o They can be training grounds for legendary generals and make the difference between winning and losing wars.

o Finally, and most important, games can reopen doors into the world of pretending and childhood, reminding us of unadulterated fun, sparking creativity.

So, what is your favourite game? I always liked chess, since my early childhood when I first saw on the photo that my uncle plays that unusual game. I asked my father to explain the rules to me, and he also bought a chess set very soon for me, and one illustrated book, so I was delighted to ponder about pawns and other figures as medieval armies in my imagination. At school I played sea battle on piece of paper with my friends, shoot invisible submarines with invisible torpedoes – it was fun. Later on I learned Go, and that game took my breath away with its infinite variety of possible moves. It is like painting your character and inner world with black and white stones on wooden table.

But I liked also to play Monopoly game, recently I played it with my little cousin, but he was constantly trying to steal monopoly money (he thought I do not see it). At first I acted as if I do not notice, but then I said stop – it is very important to play by the rules. Such is the life and everyday situations also, you have to know inner rules to get the joy in your victory and in your defeat. And very important thing that board games and sports are teaching us is fair-play.

Card games are also very nice. I like the idea of bluffing in Poker, but I never played it seriously – though I like to hear stories about card players very much and to watch such movies, as the one with Matt Damon.

But the game I would like to learn to play is Diplomacy. Several reasons for that. First, I want to learn more about history in Napoleonic wars, and WWI and WWII (game starts in 1901, so it is best for learning about WWI). And learning history without paying attention to diplomatic intricacies is incomplete. So, somehow I want to feel the history of Europe – not just to learn dates mechanically. I have a feeling that would be very challenging and interesting thing to do.

Serbia is the WINNER of 52th Eurovision Song Contest!!!

May 13, 2007

Thank you Marija Šerifović!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE ALL LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Serbia is the winner of 52th Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki, Finland.

Welcome to Belgrade 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow I shall write more, now I gotta go to celebrate!!!!!!

http://www.eurovision.tv/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6650599.stm
http://www.eurovision.tv/content/view/427/281/

sparrow

April 27, 2007

Who will love a little Sparrow?
Who’s traveled far and cries for rest?
“Not I,” said the Oak Tree,
“I won’t share my branches with
no sparrow’s nest,
And my blanket of leaves won’t warm
her cold breast.”

Who will love a little Sparrow
And who will speak a kindly word?
“Not I,” said the Swan,
“The entire idea is utterly absurd,
I’d be laughed at and scorned if the
other Swans heard.”

Who will take pity in his heart,
And who will feed a starving sparrow?
“Not I,” said the Golden Wheat,
“I would if I could but I cannot I know,
I need all my grain to prosper and grow.”

Who will love a little Sparrow?
Will no one write her eulogy?
“I will,” said the Earth,
“For all I’ve created returns unto me,
From dust were ye made and dust ye shall be.”

Simon & Garfunkel – Sparrow

Hello All, I was making a pause in writing for some time, so I am back here again. Sparrow is one of the mascots of Belgrade, city that I live in. There are a lot of sparrows here, and they are always very cute. Especially the way they jump around full of enthusiasm! There is always enough to learn from a sparrow, if you look attentively enough.

I bought these days mp3 player, and now I am listening all the day Simon & Garfunkel, and also I am searching for interesting podcasts on the net to download (there are many of them which are very educational, I am pleasantly surprised)

beauty

March 1, 2007

What is Beauty? Is it individual or universal? Why are some faces more beautiful than the others? Why some people who have no physical beauty still radiate and shine beauty in opinion of many? Is beauty just in the eye of the beholder, or there is more to that definition? Where shall we start…I searched in Wikipedia first.

Beauty is a quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (such as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (such as personality)

Interesting how they said it. Intense pleasure or deep satisfaction. And I agree, there are satisfactions of subtler kind that are not pleasure, so hence the distinction. But why just to the mind? As if there is no other instrument in us to perceive beauty, like heart. But I guess it is from rational heritage of western philosophy. As if the whole world is just on the west. Oh well.

golden ratio line

But this definition does not explain why beauty is beautiful. I know that painters and sculptors speak about Sectio Aurea. That is proportion -> a:b=(a+b):a They found beauty and harmony in that proportion. It has something to do with human anatomy too. For example your belly button should be located according to this proportion, meaning on 61.8% of your body height. I actually measured height with the tape in my case, and interestingly it is so.

Luca Pacioli and Leonardo Da Vinci were among the first to notice golden ratio in human anatomy and apply it to art. The Pythagorean school in ancient Greece noticed that objects proportioned according to the golden ratio seemed more attractive. That would never occur to me to think about geometry law in aesthetics. It is genius who discovered such phenomena.

But what is the connection between beauty and culture? Is it different when you are born in Norway where everybody is blonde with blue eyes, and in Turkey where everybody is black haired with black eyes, for example? How much are we conditioned to perceive the beauty in this or in that way by civilization we live in? Remember those african women with rings around their necks. And what about social and political system? And what about time factor, century we live in? Does consumer society affect aesthetic sense? Unfortunately, it does.

A friend of mine told me -I want to put silicone in my lips- I was surprised since I think there is nothing wrong with her lips at all. -Yes I know- replied she -but I want them to look like as if they were stung by the bees- :-) Oh my!

Is physical beauty so important issue? Today I wrote about beauty in physical world, but there are other types of beauty, so in next posts I will pay attention more to questions like connection between beauty and ethics, mental and inner aspects of beauty.

Be what it may, I was told that I was very cute when I was lets say in primary school. But ever since I grew up, I seriously consider pressing charges on Ugly Duckling for theft of part of my life story and using it to film cartoon, in..umm…reversed way. Uh huh :-) (J/K)

What do you think about outer beauty, what is your definition? Be sure to check out Face Research too. Interesting site.

lung cancer early diagnosis

February 27, 2007

Dr. Peter Mazzone and his team invented a senzor that will help diagnozing lung cancer in early stadium (when it can be still treated successfully), using cheap and non-invasive method. And it diagnoses it just by examining breath.

Rather than determine the exact chemicals and their concentrations, this sensor changes color depending on the pattern of chemicals. The device is about the size of a nickel and has 36 dots, each made up of a different chemical.

“The color of that dot changes based on what chemicals are absorbed into it,” Mazzone explained. “So, the pattern of chemicals in the breath is represented by patterns of color changes on the sensor.”


A type of X-ray called spiral computed tomography or CT can find lung cancer early, but it is expensive and also finds non-cancerous lesions that are expensive and risky to test.

You can read more about this in good articles at

News-Medical.net

HealthCentral.com

Happy Birthday, George!

February 24, 2007

It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.

George Harrison
(1943-2001)

I heard The Beatles’ music for the first time in my life when I was 15 (too late, I guess), it was my neighbour who borrowed me the cassette, and I liked music so much that I did not return it for months. There are people who love Stones more, but I am not among them. Beatles will always remain my favourites; and though Paul and John are much more famous, still by far my favourite is the youngest among them, mr. George Harrison (1943-2001) – the “silent beatle” as he was called, due to being very introspective person.

Some people say that his birthday is on 25th February, but in Wikipedia article we can read that he was actually born on 24th February at 11:40pm. So, today is the day – Happy Birthday, George!

If my destiny was to become so famous I would want to have similar attitude as him. He always said that he wanted to be successful, not famous, and I feel that music was his instrument to search for deeper meaning in his life. Many other musicians unfortunately find drugs when they become famous, and when that fame is over, they take the needle, and they are finished. But George was not interested in fame, but he was all the time seeker for the true joy and fulness of life. I found this clip, it is interview with him and famous sitar player Ravi Shankar. There he speaks how he does not want to produce meaningless songs, but is interested in writing songs that have deep values and that can last through years. Such is for example his song All things must pass.

And I wrote before how much I like reading books. but I have to admit now, I especially like to read book written by people who were searching for the deeper meaning of their own life. I enjoy in diversity, I do not believe in uniformity. I even enjoyed reading Ayn Rand’s books very much, though I am completely of different temperament, and my life philosophy values are generally totally different. But you know what, when someone believes in what he or she writes, such books become very attractive to read. Complete sincerity in one’s deeds is always very attractive (do what you preach) in every philosophy, and in every religion.

Over the years I have read many books about different world religions and spiritual paths and systems of values, in Christianity, Buddhism, Sufism, Hinduism etc. and though some of such books sometimes can be dry and preachy, I very often found very nice ones from different cultures and backgrounds that literally lit my heart with divine love, while I was reading them. And one day, God willing, if I have enough money I will invest it in printing books that brought me so much joy. Books are not transitory as other world pleasures, and if they contain intense sincere inner cry in them, they are really something.

George was so selfless in that aspect, he gave much money for printing books, he even donated a temple in London. He could do drugs, or spend money on fancy cars or something, but he was so unlike many other music stars, and therefore I appreciate him so much. If some book brought me much joy (there are many like that, starting with Quo Vadis by Sienkiewicz, which was my introduction to deeper meaning of Christianity) I would like to print many of them in nice covers, so perhaps other people will also feel joy. That attitude gives me so much inspiration and hope for the future. I hope my dreams one day will come true, but that depends on me too! :)

In previous clip George explained why he likes to compose on Sanskrit verses, and I guess it was actually him who composed the music for Govindam Adi Purusham chant (although I am not sure, to be frank). Nevertheless, it is very nice chant, and I managed to find nice clip of it to post here.

George, thanks for everything, and thank you for being sincere seeker in your music art. It means much. It gives hope.