A Thought on God and ReasonToday in my class on the History of Emotions, if it is indeed called that (I keep forgetting the titles of classes), a colleague of mine said that science proved that there was no soul, it was all just biology and chemistry and stuff.
Later on, I was reading Eliezer Yudkowsky's blog entry on mysterious answers to mysterious questions and the one on Uncritical Supercriticality.
I'll make my position clear to everybody here: I don't believe in any particular religion. Christianity always feels a bit false to me and I don't know enough about Buddhism to figure out where I stand on it. And I think as religions go, those two are pretty much on opposite ends of the scale.
Mind you, I have no idea where Yudkowsky actually stands on the matter. That's not the issue. I'm quoting him because I'm currently reading what he wrote, his points make
The Piano DemonThe first time I saw her - really, really saw her, not just glanced at her as we tried our best to catch the back seats in the small university classrooms - she was at a piano. Maybe I'd never have really been able to notice her had it not been for that one, strange evening when destiny gently pushed me out of my awkward life and into hers.The Piano Demon4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
If only children can be prodigies, then I wasn't one any longer. I'd lived through my glory years at school, where I'd gone off and won prizes for art and English, maths and physics, running circles around classmates and less talented professors. Eventually, when push came to shove and I had to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I hid behind some more studying, delaying that dreadful moment when I'd have to prove that not only was I smart, but that I was also able to do something. I chose English and physics as majors, convinced I could do both easily enough. I wasn't right. I wasn't very wrong, either. There wasn't much of a personal life
Tale 2: Worlds in the AtticHe was very old by now. His long, white hair, uncut for fifteen years, was loosely spread all over the back of his coat. His shoulders were brought forward by age, his fingers weren't as deft as they had been. If there was one thing he was very happy for, it was that when he had started, he had used the higher shelves first. It meant he didn't have to climb steep, uncertain ladders all the time now.Tale 2: Worlds in the Attic4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
There were hundreds, thousands of jars and bottles and little tin boxes neatly stacked on the shelves, hung from the ceiling by thin chains or ropes, some small and precious glass containers brought together by ropes hanging from the ceiling like clusters of grapes or braided into garlic-like strands.
The man had wanted to be a writer, or a sculptor, or a painter, or some other sort of artist that could show all the worlds that lived inside people. A long time ago, he had understood the fact that he had no talent. It didn't affect him now. He was content to be nothing else but a keeper of w
Suicide NoteThe article in the paper said that she killed herself by jumping off an eight-floor apartment block. He felt that something was off there. Not in the gesture itself, but in its details.Suicide Note4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Her mother told the journalists, crying, that she wasn't the sort of girl who would do such a thing. Her best friend said that she had her depressive episodes, but nobody could possibly have expected this. But he? He didn't find her taking her own life all that surprising. Still, something wasn't right. No suicide note, no sort of message to him. No strange actions, no frantic love-making or dispassionate 'my head hurts' statements. Everything had been normal prior to her death. It nagged at him.
When three days after her death he stepped out of the shower in the morning and prepared to shave, he was only mildly surprised to see that there was finger-writing on the steamed-up mirror.
'It wasn't me. I didn't kill her,' it said.
"I know," he replied out loud, then wiped the mirror cle
The Affair of Loki and DarcyDarcy woke up in the middle of the night and decided that what she really, really, really wanted was cocoa. Or grilled salmon. But mostly cocoa. She had awesome cocoa, dark chocolate cocoa, with bio brown sugar to keep her guilt down; whereas she didn't have salmon. So cocoa it was.The Affair of Loki and Darcy3 years ago in Humor More Like This
When she walked into her open living room-slash-kitchen, she saw a shape from the corner of her eye. She turned, saw it was a man, screamed like a little girl and jumped up in the air cartoon-fashion. Then her senses came back to her, she landed back on her legs, took in a breath to say something the lines of 'oh, it's you, gods, you've scared me', noticed who the man was and did the jumping and high-pitched screaming all over again.
"Loki!" she squeaked as she landed. "LOKI!"
Loki was watching her with some interest. "Is this a ritual?" he asked.
"You're LOKI ODINSON!" she cried, again.
"Ah. I see." He put his hands behind his back and bounced lightly twice, saying "oh" on each jump. Then he stopp
The TranslatorMalena was born on the third of April, a heady Aries and a talented translator. She only waited for so long before she put her foot down and took charge of her destiny, riding it like a child of the sea would a dolphin.The Translator3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
She began her job with diligent care from the moment she first awakened from the drowsiness of the very young and into the slow comprehension of children. She first translated her own simple thoughts to the world in an agonized cry - 'I'm hungry! I'm hungry!' - first in the Spanish words of her parents and then repeated in the strange, native Tupi dialect of her Mestizo nanny. The dark-skinned woman had gasped in fear and tried to cover the child's mouth before any of those of the house heard and fired her for teaching Malena to speak the wrong language. But before she could even reach out towards the tiny mouth, the great wooden doors of the child's room burst open to admit Malena's fiery, proud mother. 'She speaks! Oh, she speaks!' the Spanish lady cried, waving a whi
Yet Another Christmas CarolIt was Christmas, celebrated all around Earth - and in Heaven, of course. As for elsewhere...Yet Another Christmas Carol4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
If you believe for a single second that the devils don't celebrate Christmas, you are, well, right, actually. They keep very quiet about it. Not even a mouse would dare speak about it to the Almighty Fiend, Lucifer. The sole exception to this unspoken rule had happened a few years back on the occasion of a Satanically spiked MTV "Merry Christmas" video which had seemed like a good idea for a few hours. Until it became obvious that it had been a pointless endeavor those who watched MTV regularly had been mostly unaffected, those who didn't had had their opinions on the low quality of the station confirmed and, generally, it had been a fruitless fiasco.
You didn't talk to Lucifer on Christmas. It was the same as going to him on Easter, patting him on the back and saying "There, there, mate. Anybody would have thought that killing Jesus was a good idea. I mean,
Mother's loveInuyasha loomed over her like an exaggerated picture of Dracula atop his newest victim. Not that she knew. She was sleeping. And that was, after all, the point. She was sleeping and dreaming. Talking in her sleep.Mother's love5 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
As far as Inuyasha was concerned, there weren't too many words that began with "Sessh", and even fewer that began with "Sesshou", but maybe, just maybe, his hearing had gone wrong.
"Se..." she mumbled again. He leaned even closer, almost touching her, not even knowing he was reaching a very disturbing level of wrongness in his gesture. "Sesshouuuu...."
If his half-brother was bothering Kagome in her dreams, Inuyasha was going to find a way to kill him. However, a small part of him couldn't help but notice she didn't look distressed. That somehow worried him even more, especially since he had no idea what he was supposed to do in that case.
That didn't make any sense.
Inuyasha thankfully ceased looming. He looked around fo
Cops Arrest Death for GraffitiToday, two members of the NYPD have arrested a black-cloaked offender for vandalizing the wall of a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper. Upon dragging them to the police station, they discovered that the person was genderless and used the hood of the cloak to conceal a rather troubling lack of skin, meat, eyes or nose on an otherwise lively skull.Cops Arrest Death for Graffiti3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"We realized," officer Jobson says, "that this was not your ordinary criminal - I mean, most of the people we bring over have some identifying features and while I suppose that having a skull for a head is identifying, it's just... Troubling. What do you write in the 'skin colour' or 'eye colour' boxes, you know?" Upon being asked how he fared with this discovery, he answered after some consideration, "I've never seen a real skull before. It was odd."
His colleague, John Daffodil, says about his near-Death experience, "My old mum got quite a fright when she called me and I said I'd met Death. She thought I'd been shot or something. Anyway, a policem
Once Upon A TowerShe was called a Femme Fatale, which was a remarkably exact, if misleading, description. She did not seduce men. She killed them. She also happened to be the princess's lady-in-waiting, another exactly deceptive title. She was a lady and she waited. Mostly in the shadows, for danger to appear.Once Upon A Tower4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
In other words, Katherine was a guard on stiletto heels - and if you believed at least that to be less than literal in meaning, you would be in a world of trouble. For there was nothing metaphorical whatsoever in Katherine. It had been said that her hair was as dark as a raven's plumage - and once she had compared it to find that it was of that precise nuance as well. Men had told her that her eyes shone like stars, which she'd tested by looking into a lake at night - and seeing her hair as a patch of darkness and her eyes exactly like two stars. Her lovers had said her lips were honey-sweet and she had confessed to eating more honey than she should have. So the fact that she was called a guard o
DevilYou hurt me, little girl, with all your cries and sighs and moans of pleasure, breaking through the ground in which I had been buried for years upon years, sleeping for forgiveness. I do not resent you that - if you are the first to be alive and lively in this ancient castle that was built upon my tomb, well, the more honor to you. I was never meant for peace and happiness, with or without you to disturb me.Devil4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It pains me that they found you out, little girl, dragged you out by your hair from the servants' corridor, never found your lover, so they called him the devil and you a witch. It aches to hear you scream as fire licks your legs and to know you won't be alive much longer - I had come to like the hurt you gave me, to feel that if I was damned, humanity wasn't.
A plague on their heads, little girl, a plague. I never saw your face - I picture you pretty, gold hair, round cheeks, a twinkle in your eye. God is a bastard, you tell him that for me when he denies you heaven. Tell him I do
Internet"Excuse me. It's really not that funny. As I said, it's raining in my laptop. It's half-rusted already. There was a puddle of water under it when I came home."Internet5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
On the other side of the phone, the IT specialist was trying really hard to muffle his laughter. He wasn't doing too well.
"I'll " he choked " I'll definitely ask the entire department about this. Maybe they'll have a clue. I " he chuckled and hid it in a cough. "I'm sorry. Horrible cold. I've never heard of anything like this before."
"But the others also promised to come back to me with solutions. They never did."
"I'm sorry, sir. Your problem is waaaay beyond my area of expertise."
The IT expert was hanging up already, but Mike could hear, just before the final click, a cry of long-suppressed mirth. "Get 'im a shrink!"
Mike looked at the laptop. The couch was soaking wet under it. The USB side was starting to show a reddish tint of rust. He sighed and plucked the internet cable out. A few remaining water drops
Writing: Academic StyleWriting: Academic Style4 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
A friend of mine told me a very short while ago that I was much better at 'academic BS' than she is. I can only assume that the 'BS' stands for 'British Studies', since that's what we're both students of *cough*.
Well, here's the thing: academic style isn't that hard to do. I'm not talking about MLA style or other such, which there are standards for (I recommend easybib.com to all you who are struggling with the format of bibliographies), but about how to sound like a pro.
Here we go!
Exemplifying on my own essay that I'm working on at the moment: dislocation in Margaret Atwood's "The Penelopiad". The book is basically about Penelope waiting for Odysseus to come back you know her, the woman who kept making and unmaking a shroud in order to stall for time because of suitors making a nuisance of themselves.
0. The general theme. I assume this has already been given to you. Unless you're doing this of your own volition, it generally is.
E.g. I have to write about 'disloca
Master Who - PrologueShe kicked the controls hard, her heel breaking on contact with one of the levers, flying through the air and falling on the floor some way away. But she didn't notice the damage to her boots.Master Who - Prologue4 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
"Come on, come on, you stupid and wonderful piece of crappy, brilliant machinery! COME ON!" She swapped away at an escaping strand of hair. "I loatheyou," she growled. But it might just as well have been "I love you," neither her feelings or her pronunciation being particularly clear at that moment.
The TARDIS shook. She lost her footing and slammed down her heelless boot, which further unbalanced her. She grabbed one of the pillars on her way towards the floor, swore again and got back to her feet, ripping the second heel away to make the boots equal.
She briefly considered turning off the gravitational device and solving issues that way, but if there was one thing she had drilled into all of her students and which she herself would
Random SPN FlashficsRandom Supernatural.Random SPN Flashfics3 years ago in Humor More Like This
So, it turned out that Sam was always meant to be Lucifer, Dean was
meant to be Michael... And the Impala? The Impala was Jesus, because no
matter how much it was destroyed, it came back again. And saved people.
And the universe. Even when God smote everyone and everything.
What Dean never heard while attending the Supernatural convention was
the conference that followed "Homoerotic Subtext of Supernatural." It
was called "Fetishism in Supernatural: What Dean Gets Up to With Pies in
"Dean: Stop brooding.
Sam: Stop brooding.
Cas: Stop brooding.
Bobby: Stop brooding.
John: Stop brooding.
Have you stopped yet?... Then picture yourselves raped repeatedly by me. And a goat.
Hope that cheered your day. It cheered mine,
All angels who went against Castiel were smitten with the wrath of the angel-mutant neo-God.
Then fangirls were smitten, too. With him.
Sugar, spice and everything nice is a recipe that has outlived its stay.
NoirIt was a dark and stormy Night-Mare that galloped down the forbidden paths of the faithless slaves of the Dreaded Sire. On its back, young Werther was in a frantic agitation, barely hanging on in the Hellish Horse's saddle as it jumped over the occasional fleeing spirit escaped from the Sire's service. The pale glow of the ethereal slaves darting between dark and twisted trees didn't distract him from his dire quest. Barbarossa had taken yet another wife, who would undoubtedly end up in the Broken Tower. That wife was Werther's beloved Little Christie.Noir4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
One of the ghoulish, triffid-like Huorn-trees nearly grabbed Werther's plumed hat, but he punched the branch away before it could get close. The swing was too long and it nearly caused him to lose balance and break his neck, especially since one of the Dreaded Sire's Headless Horsemen darted right before him, making his Night-Mare rise on two legs. The young man did not have the time to pity whatever unfortunate slaves the He
Spring MadnessAN: Inuyasha is owned by Rumiko TakahashiSpring Madness5 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
Pairing: Sesshoumaru x Kagome
"There's something you should know," Kagome said as she woke up next to Inuyasha, drowsy with the images that had just been before her eyes, when she'd thought she'd woken up but hadn't. "It's not that I entirely oppose flowers, or looking at them, but this is...."
The sakura blossoms turned red and floated into the pink sky, rotating slowly in a building tornado that was just about to become somebody's nightmare. And, yes, there it was, the orange clouds gathering into floating dark mountains of exhaust fumes, the flower petals growing heads and feet, crying in a dark, cheerful chorus "going up!" and then swirling faster and faster as, next to her, Inuyasha....
She turned her head. It wasn't him, he wasn't there to save her. The demon next to her was Sesshoumaru, impassively and coldly watching her, his eyes pinning her in the air, making her unable to move.
"You will die," he announce
Tale 6: The Boy PrincessHe was once a princess who lived in a tower guarded by a dragon - a splendid child, and very proud, like the Virgin among Saints and the Moon among Stars. Ah, what a life he had! All the dresses money could buy, the most doting parents... And also a small, but not entirely negligible, problem.Tale 6: The Boy Princess4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
You, dear reader, have probably already guessed what his problem was. There was something that nagged at him, secretly, when he saw that no princess in any book ever had to shave. It also nagged at him to see all of them married to men. And it also nagged at him that they were all girls. But he shoved it aside and lived on.
Since it all happened long ago, in the old days, you would not expect this sort of situation. That is mostly because people have this strange idea that the past was a much purer, less perverted place. That things such as boys growing up to be women never happened.
But, to give the prince some credit, it wasn't his fault. He knew nothing. He just happily trotted about in his sp
Recycled DreamsI was halfway down the second floor apartment stairs when I realized I'd left my left arm on the table.Recycled Dreams4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
It's no surprise of course, for I've always had a habit of misplacing important things like keys, documents, and identification cards, but to leave one’s arm on the table is truly embarrassing. I would have run back to get it, but the bus driver is always a bit early on Tuesdays and I could already hear the distant hum of the engine making its way to me. And it's not like I really need it for work anyway. So I left it behind.
It's penguins and oranges today; my latest client is a fairly normal one. The last dreamer wanted marsupial martial arts masters in Atlantis. In space. You would think putting dreams to canvas is an easy job, and you'd be right - but truly I wonder about humanity at times. Subconscious wanderings are laid bare to my paintbrush - they get their dreams, and I don't fall apart entirely.
Morpheus is upstairs. I know because I can see the color runn
Two-Sided CircleIf your world is black and white,Two-Sided Circle4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Side me with the black;
There's more light there.
If your world is light and dark,
Side me with the dark;
There's more good there.
If your world is good and bad,
Side me with the bad;
There's more kindness there.
If your world is kind/unkind,
Side me with the unkind;
There's more freedom there.
If your world has free men and slaves,
side me with those sick and tired
of all your dichotomies,
lies and stereotypes,
Launch me on a ship to orbit,
watch me spin around the world,
call me interstitial
call my work liminal
call my life borderline
then forget all about me
or remember me all too well
and I'll sort of maybe possibly recall you.
Bane of my existenceA thousand years or more of litBane of my existence3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
All there for us to read and crit
A thousand authors worth their bread
All of which we should have read
And I don't mind any of it
But there's one thing I must admit:
I'm sure I will commit a crime
If we talk Hamlet one more time!