Thursday, August 31, 2006


Parity is a concept of equality of status or functional equivalence. It has several different specific definitions.

  • parity (physics): In physics parity is the name of the symmetry of interactions under spatial inversion.
  • parity (mathematics): In mathematics, parity indicates whether a number is even or odd.
  • parity (telecommunication): In this usage, the number of '1' bits in a binary value is counted. Parity is even if there are an even number of '1' bits, and odd otherwise.
  • parity (medicine) refers to the number of times a woman has given birth.
  • In computing, a parity bit is a very simple example of an error detecting code.
  • In economics, purchasing power parity (PPP) is an estimate of the exchange rate required to equalise the purchasing power of different currencies, given the prices of goods and services in the countries concerned.
  • in economic history, parity was the ratio of farm income to farm expenditure with 1910-1914 as a base. Farm interests from 1920s to 1960s wanted federal programs to raise their income to parity.
  • In finance, interest rate parity refers to the notion that the differential in interest rates between two countries is equal to the differential between the forward exchange rate and the spot exchange rate.
  • In financial mathematics, put-call parity defines a relationship between the price of a European call option and a European put option - both with the identical strike price and expiry.
  • In sports, parity refers to engineering an equal playing field in which all teams can compete, regardless of their economic circumstances.
  • In demography, parity means the number of reproductive events (births).
  • Potty parity attempts to equalize the waiting times of males and females in restroom queues by designating or building more women's restrooms, giving them more facilities to use.
  • Parity is a tactic in othello.
rare (adj.1)
"unusual," c.1420, originally "few in number and widely separated," from O.Fr. rere "sparse" (14c.), from L. rarus "thinly sown, having a loose texture," from PIE *er-, *ere- "to loose, split, separate" (cf. Skt. rte "besides, except," viralah "distant, tight, rare;" O.C.S. oriti "to dissolve, destroy;" Lith. irti "to dissolve;" O.C.S. rediku "rare;" Gk. eremos "solitary"). "Few in number," hence, "unusual" (1542). Rarity is attested from 1560, from M.Fr. rarité (16c.), from L. raritas "thinness, fewness," from rarus. In chemistry, rare earth is from 1875.
    1. An article valued for its rarity or unusualness.
      Thesaurus: antique, curiosity, knick-knack, trinket, bibelot.
Etymology: 19c: shortened from curiosity.

    1. Strange; odd.
      Thesaurus: unusual, strange, odd, rare, exotic, queer, peculiar, remarkable, notable, extraordinary, signal, unique, novel.
    2. Eager or interested.
      Thesaurus: inquisitive, interested, inquiring, playful, questioning; Antonym: indifferent, apathetic.
Derivative: curiously
Etymology: 14c: from Latin curiosus full of care.

i've been thinking this morning about my needs and wants. i know that i deeply love familiarity in every sense of the word. it seems preciously rare to me. so deep is my desire for established intimacy and considerable acquaintance that it leads me to wonder which will sustain me more: familiarity or sustainability. such a question only makes any bit of sense at the beginning of things. do i gravitate more toward strangers that offer a sense of the familiar or a sense of the sustainable. having made some familiars and finding that often so hard to sustain, i think i am quite smitten by the people that suggest sustainability. and well, i see what i have just said "which will *sustain* me more: familiarity or sustainability". answers to ones own questions can be so unsurprising. i'd like to sustain relations with people that allow me to ask a lot of questions.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

belles lettres


Does the wind ever feel lonely to you? In the Odyssey, Penelope "cried tears like the snow accumulated by Zephyros (West Wind) and then melted by Notos (South Wind)" as she waited for Odysseus (Roman Ulysses) to come home. The Ulysses Mission has confirmed the existence of solar wind. Before it could get close enough to the sun, Ulysses needed help from Jupiter --"All planetary orbits lie approximately in the same flat plane as that of the Earth ("plane of the ecliptic"), which is also close to the Sun's equatorial plane. To reach a position above the Sun's pole, Ulysses needed to be flung out of this plane, and it did so by first flying out to the planet Jupiter and then using that planet's gravity as a pivot while swinging into the third dimension." Jupiter was one of the most important of the Roman gods, continuously evolving with Roman needs. He first appeared as an agricultural god in charge of sun and moonlight (Jupiter Lucetius), wind, rain, storms, thunder and lightning (Jupiter Elicius), sowing (Jupiter Dapalis), creative forces (Jupiter Liber) and the boundary stones of fields (Jupiter Terminus). In the most impressive movie I've ever seen, The Falls, there is a Boulder Orchard and it has custodians. Boulders have become the custodians of the Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant, they were installed around the perimeter after September 11th as a security measure.

When I was reading that book (the global warming love story) I've been reading on the bus home tonight there was a passage about the narrator's perception of his contracting universe over the course of a day. The day he describes begins with a pre-dawn climb (with his love interest) to the top of a mountain. Reaching the top under the milky way, they watch the sun rise over a vast valley. From the wide vantage, they move to a view of their single mountain as they walk back down, down into a forest where the trees close them in even more, ending with moonless night's ride home lit by the dashboard of a car--a womblike space we all know well. Our ancestors put large rocks in circles, lit fires and came together in the center. Sometimes I just want to sleep inside the rocks listening to the fire and the voices of others, trying not to hear the wind.

I've been writing letters to someone in the margins of books lately. Letters to him and to myself. We went for a ride on a moonless night once and he talked about my eyes in the dashboard lights. We lit a fire but had to put it out because of the fire ban. Whenever wind hits something like water or trees, that lonely sound is lost in the sound of leaves or waves. In the blank spaces of the books, I've put the letters together into words, and some words into phrases: "terrible toos", "robots and aliens - references, references", "moon mirror leak closest friend", "matching red walls", "picture of chris", "wanting favorite person", "falling, etc.", "my machine--about it", "i could make (fashion?) a better man out of bananas -->2 times", "make me young...ending of novel...beginning", "assholes for eyes". We woke up the next morning because of the birds. Caw caw caw.

I wrote those letters in the margins of a Vonnegut book, it may or may not be the one in which he says, "People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say." Have I ever told you about the woman I follow in my neighborhood. She's constantly telling stories out loud. Sometimes I can hear what she is saying, none of the stories are very happy and she isn't aware that I am listening though I know she thinks she is talking to someone. You can tell by the way she gestures as she walks and talks. I watched a movie tonight, the Good Girl, if you must know. After walking home listening to the wind, I'm not in the right state to make any valid decisions on film merits, but have you seen it?

It might not be a good movie, but it told me a true story. It reminded me of motel confessions of first love, deep and desperate and crazy love. The kind that started with a ferryride of telling stories, moonless drives, and all eyes but broke on the first goodbye. In the movie, Tom calls himself Holden and writes himself into the role. This week I dreamt of that motel room, after the shower, and the first I love you and I woke up crying.

Dearest Jupiter, fling me into the third dimension and remind me that a rose by any other name smells just as sweet.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

fish out of water

in the news:

Water labels on food could ease shortages: expert
Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:42 PM ET

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Labeling foods ranging from spaghetti to meat to show how much water is used in their production could help combat mounting pressure on the world's water supplies, a leading expert said on Tuesday.

Typically, a calorie of food demands a liter of water (0.2 Imperial gallons) to produce, according to U.N. estimates. But a kilo (2.2 lbs) of industrially produced meat needs 10,000 litres while a kilo of grain requires just 500-4,000 litres.

"It's necessary that we raise awareness that food requires a lot of water," Anders Berntell, head of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), told Reuters during a conference hosted by SIWI of more than 1,000 water experts.

"Some kind of labeling of food products when it comes to their water requirements could be a first step," he said. "Then people could see for themselves." Labels might, for instance, highlight water needed for irrigation beyond natural rainfall.

A U.N.-backed report released in Stockholm on Monday said that one in every three people lives in regions with water shortages. And it projected that demand for water, led by irrigation, was likely to almost double by 2050.

the day i start thinking about how much water was used to make the food i am eating is the day i will cry. how wasteful am i. having lived in more arid climes, i really shouldn't pretend i don't know how sinful my nightly bath is. i need to live on a mountain with a hot spring to soak in every night. or i could recycle my own bath water, and i have warmed bathing water in a jug hanging from a tree so i am ready to apply these valuable life skills.

life skills are best learned from minutia. you can learn from this information site organized around the film RedFish BlueFish. i lived in idaho. i also saw the pipeline in alaska, and the global warming, more minutia to learn from.

1873, coined by Ger. zoologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) as Okologie, from Gk. oikos "house, dwelling place, habitation" (see villa) + -logia "study of." Ecosystem is from 1935. Ecosphere (1953) is the region around a star where conditions allow life-bearing planets to exist.
1665, from Fr. environs, pl. of O.Fr. environ "compass, circuit," from environ (adv.) "around," from en- "in" + viron "circle, circuit," from virer "to turn."

as the world turns

"John Ivanko uses wind power, solar power, and a wood stove to meet the energy needs at his bed-and-breakfast, Inn Serendipity. He serves food from his organic garden and composts the leftovers. Even the bath tiles at the inn were chosen with the environment in mind--they were produced from recycled windshield glass."

i feel a road trip, sigh, a bike trip, coming on...

Friday, August 18, 2006

"things vs. people"

here is how i picture my life in the not so distant future...


by now you might have heard about the aol release, retraction, mirroring of user search histories debacle. if you have not, go here.

once upon a time before this blog was even born i was trying to think about what i'd have to write about every day. you may remember i originally planned to discuss wisconsin news, for instance. i had also toyed with the idea of writing about my web searches. in the end i think i settled on ... hmm ... how would you describe this, gentle reader?

since i cleaned my cache at midway airport, i think it's a fairly palatable amount of searching that's gone on since. and so i share:

  • lyrics+"glow worm"
  • "ALA Conference for students"
  • "Japan"
  • "the church"+imdb
  • "tomorrow's sky"+lyrics
  • ventrella's caffe
  • Pac-Man
  • arcadia
  • donut+news
  • dysphoria
  • extreme homes
  • frausdots
  • planets
  • preternaturally
  • "avoiding whirlpools"
  • "frog eyes"
  • "internet addiction"
  • "simple syrup"
  • "the church"
  • "things vs. people"
  • and in her mouth an amethyst
  • ELO lyrics
  • andco management
  • box office
  • cascade drive-in
  • chicago+band
  • chicago CTA
  • coronado hotel
  • dance hall days
  • dysplasia
  • furbish dictionary
  • glowworm+apples in stereo
  • goonies+setting
  • japan+quiet life
  • luper
  • maps+vancouver island
  • nard
  • notes from the underground
  • rainbo gardens
  • yes in different languages

Thursday, August 10, 2006

notes from the midway

You imagine no doubt, gentlemen, that I want to amuse you. You are mistaken in that, too. I am by no means such a mirthful person as you imagine, or as you may imagine; however, irritated by all this babble (and I feel that you are irritated) you think fit to ask me who I am--

i near my 5th hour in the midway airport. well-meaning children of ill-advised adults have awoken from naps and been given toys that squeak. the children place the toys in their mouths and after a time they begin to squeak as well.

at 3pm i left my bottle of water in a crate with many others, some half-empty and some half-full, outside of the "sterile" zone. no liquids or gels in the sterile zone, effective immediately. the line to check baggage, of course we must all check our baggage when toothpaste can't be carried on and think of the waste and the cavities, snaked into the back hallways and lower depths of the airport. the baggage sticker printer broke right as i arrived at checkin, my photo identification was never looked at. perhaps this is why i do not feel myself. by the time i reached the second line--security--the list of prohibited items had extended from tubed materials to all "lipwear". i now carry illegal lip gloss in the inner pocket of my purse.

the man next to me has developed an entirely human need to shake his leg. should he feel the entirely human need to look aside, i shall in an entirely human fashion feel a bit ashamed.

at 6pm it started to rain lightly. an hour later a downpour took place. shortly before 8pm the lights flicker. unease and excitement ripple down the gates. the terminal across the way, barely visible through the rain, is completely dark. what chaos must be taking place over there, in the dark. surely we are the chosen ones, we are in the light.

myself, and the other passengers of flight something something to san diego do not have a plane at our gate yet. and still some have stood by the window for hours to get a better seat. i am not sure of this first come first serve policy. do people need further encouragement to senseless?

we have just heard that our plane has been sent to land in indianapolis due to weather. we do not expect departure anytime before 10pm. after i get my seat, surely a horrible seat for i have not stood in line, i have a four hour flight. my battery is near dead.

why does everyone in the terminal need to order onions on their hamburgers?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

When I, you and everyone we knew

Could believe, do, and share in what was true...

i have a desire, something fierce, to go back about 100 years and spend the rest of my summer hanging out in the city's outdoor gardens and dance halls, dining with friends and learning a few new dance steps.

jazz age chicago: urban leisure 1893 to 1945 is one of my favorite websites for information on my lovely neighborhood of uptown chicago. i am an uptown girl living in my uptown world. of the old dance gardens, the rainbo gardens is the closest to my heart and home. was, was. it began as a roadhouse! someday i will go on my tour of roadhouses, hopefully on a motorcycle, hopefully in the sidecar. someday.

and in her mouth an amethyst.

pac man fever

there once was a band named arcadia. they released one album: So Red the Rose. wikipedia tells us that "some versions of the album and related singles contained a numeric code in their artwork, though versions in some countries simply used randomized numbers which did not decipher to anything intelligible. The code was a simple substitution cipher, numbering the letters of the alphabet. A=1, B=2, C=3, etc."

Wikipedia has more to say. arcadia the band perhaps took the name from a latin phrase.
"Et in Arcadia ego" is a Latin phrase that most famously appears as the title of two paintings by Nicolas Poussin (15941665). They are pastoral paintings depicting idealized shepherds from classical antiquity, clustering around an austere tomb. The more famous second version of the subject, measuring 122 by 85 cm, is in the Louvre, Paris, and also goes under the name "Les bergers d'Arcadie" ("The Arcadian Shepherds"). It has been highly influential in the history of art and more recently has been associated with the pseudohistory of the Priory of Sion popularised in the books Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code.

The phrase is a memento mori, which is usually interpreted to mean "I am also in Arcadia" or "I am even in Arcadia", as if spoken by personified Death. However, Poussin's biographer, Andre Felibien, interpreted it to mean that "the person buried in this tomb has lived in Arcadia"; in other words, that they too once enjoyed the pleasures of life on earth. The former interpretation is generally considered to be more likely. Either way, the sentiment was meant to set up an ironic contrast by casting the shadow of death over the usual idle merriment that the nymphs and swains of ancient Arcadia were thought to embody.

Due to its remote, mountainous character, Arcadia has always been a classical refuge. So during the Dorian invasion, when Mycenaean Greek was replaced with Doric Greek along the coast of the Peloponnes, it survived in Arcadia, developing into the Arcadocypriot dialect of Classical Antiquity. Arcadocypriot never became a literary dialect, but it is known from inscriptions. Tsan is a letter of the Greek alphabet occurring only in Arcadia, shaped like cyrillic И; it represents an affricate that developed from labiovelars in context where they became t in other dialects. Tsakonian Greek , still spoken on the coast of the modern prefecture of Arcadia, in the Classical period considered the southern Argolid coast immediately adjoining Arcadia, is a descendant of Doric Greek, and as such is an extraordinary and much noted example of a surviving regional dialect of Classical Greek. The capital of Tsakonia is the Arcadian coastal town of Leonidi.

One of the birth-places reported for Zeus is Mount Lycaeum in Arcadia. Lycaon, a cannibalistic Pelasgian king, was transformed into a werewolf by Zeus. Lycaon's daughter was Callisto. It was also said to have been the birthplace of Zeus' son, Hermes.

Arcadia remained a rustic, secluded area, and its inhabitants became proverbial as primitive herdsmen leading simple pastoral unsophisticated yet happy lives, to the point that Arcadia may refer to some imaginary idyllic paradise, immortalized by Virgil's Eclogues, and later by Jacopo Sannazaro in his pastoral masterpiece, Arcadia (1504); see also Arcadia (paradise).

learn more about the proverbial at arcadia(utopia).

secret codes and utopias aside, arcadia is real. but was there ever really a song that went:
I've got a pocket full of quarters
going to the arcade
going to play Pac-Man!
because i used to sing it, and there was a dance that went along.

Monday, August 07, 2006

blame it on the moon

it is just so right outside tonight. there's a hint of coolness in the air, a breeze, pleasant smells and a bright moon behind those wispy clouds that makes the night sky more blue somehow.

the moon tonight does not look like this moon up here, but when i was looking for tonight's moon i found this one. the big orange moon is by far my favourite.

who knows if the moon's

who knows if the moon's
a baloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky--filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their baloon,
why then
we'd go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody's ever visited,where

Spring)and everyone's
in love and flowers pick themselves

--e.e. cummings, & (1925)

tonight's moon looks more like that one right up there. still, pretty damn nice. it was a moon like this that inspired one of my father's paintings. he painted a viking ship on a sea under a moon with rows and rows of clouds. it has hung in my parents' bedroom my entire life. horribly framed, with perhaps too vivid color, little-to-no perspective and of an odd-size it's the kind of painting you'd see going for cents at many a garage sale. should it ever pass into my hands; however, i will treasure it always. it is exactly the right painting to hang in the bedroom of the parents of a child whose favourite book is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

with memories of a quite right painting on a quite right night lit by quite nice moonlight, i decided it must be the evening to sit down and search out the picture of perfection. i don't know if i've ever stated it plainly enough, but there is one image that moves me more than any. to my eye, this sight is the picture of contentment, underlit with anticipation and utterly alive with whispers of hope and a strange quiver of longing. it makes my heart ache deliciously, my belly warm, and my mind hungry and full. and i get to see it all the time. here it is:

thank you to jeff werner for taking this photo. it is "Night fog on Doncaster Street, Victoria, as seen through the broken rays of a street lamp behind a tree". wouldn't you just know that my favourite sight was captured in victoria, british columbia.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

royal, illinois

...You need me like the wind
needs the trees to blow in
Like the moon needs poetry
you need me...
--Come Back from San Francisco, Magnetic Fields

i've just come home from amanda and evan's wedding in royal, illinois. my questions on everything aside, i took communion twice today and i witnessed. i always witness thoughtfully at weddings. today i did so for two people i happened to bring together, and i saw that it was good.

i have a lot of thinking about love and god i'd like to do. i've heard told they might be one and the same. i'm interested in finding out if there are others who believe as much in one without searching so hard for the other. or switch the searching with the believing? as the grains of wheat once scattered on the hill were gathered into one. evan delivered the sermon this morning before his wedding. he organized it around the song "signed, sealed, delivered, i'm yours." e pluribus unum. and i saw that it was good.
When we asunder part,
it gives us inward pain;
but we shall still be joined in heart,
and hope to meet again.
--Blest Be the Tie That Binds, Words: John Fawcett Music: Johann Nägeli
on my ride to and from royal, illinois i listened to 69 love songs. cornfields and magnetic fields are like love and god? it's worth listening to all 69 love songs, but here are three:
I Don't Believe in the Sun
They say there's a sun in the sky
but me, I can't imagine why

There might have been one
before you were gone
but now all I see is the night, so

I don't believe in the sun
How could it shine down on everyone
and never shine on me

How could there be
such cruelty.

The only sun I ever knew
was the beautiful one that was you
Since you went away
it's nighttime all day
and it's usually raining too

The only stars there really are
were shining in your eyes
There is no sun except the one
that never shone on other guys
The moon to whom the poets croon
has given up and died
Astronomy will have to be revised
The Book of Love
The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It's full of charts and facts and figures
and instructions for dancing
but I
I love it when you read to me
and you
you can read me anything

The book of love has music in it
In fact that's where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is just really dumb
but I
I love it when you sing to me
and you
you can sing me anything

The book of love is long and boring
and written very long ago
It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes
and things we're all too young to know
but I
I love it when you give me things
and you
you ought to give me wedding rings
I love it when you give me things
and you
you ought to give me wedding rings

You mean it's all been meaningless?
Every whisper and caress?

Yes yes yes it was totally meaningless

like when two fireflies fluoresce

Just like everything I guess
it was utterly meaningless
Even less
a little glimpse of nothingness
sucking meaning from the rest of this mess
Yes yes yes it was thoroughly meaningless

and if some dim bulb should say
we were in love in some way
kick all his teeth in for me
and if you feel like keeping on kicking feel free

Who dare to say it wasn't meaningless
Shout from the rooftops and address the press
Ha ha ha it was totally meaningless

Meaning less than a game of chess
Just like your mother said and mother knows best
I knew it all the time but now I confess

Yes yes yes how deliciously meaningless

Yes yes yes effervescently meaningless

Yes yes yes it was beautifully meaningless

Yes yes yes it was profoundly meaningless
Yes yes yes definitively meaningless
Yes yes yes comprehensively meaningless
Yes yes yes magnificently meaningless
Yes yes yes how incredibly meaningless
Yes yes yes unprecedentedly meaningless
Yes yes yes how mind-blowingly meaningless
Yes yes yes unbelievably meaningless
Yes yes yes how infinitely meaningless
perhaps it's worthwhile to listen to all love songs? i'll be thinking on it.