Monthly Archives: February 2017

aliens.

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“my folks came to the u.s. as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens.

i was born in boston, a citizen, went to hollywood and became an alien.”

-leonard nimoy

in honor of the annual academy awards/oscars in hollywood

and to

all of the amazing people who come to our country as aliens

only to become shining stars in our sky.

forbidden voices.

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i recently watched this 2012 documentary that is a tribute to

three very strong and brave women

in three very different parts of the world.

Yoani Sánchez from Cuba, Zeng Jinyan from China and Farnaz Seifi from Iran.

what they all have in common

is that they are using the power of their words as bloggers

as a way to tell the world

about the oppressive regimes in which they live.

these activists and their families have been

threatened, harassed, attacked, jailed,

placed under house arrest,

falsely charged,

exiled and ridiculed

by their governments and the powers that be.

and still they write and still they talk.

and still they find a way to get the word out against all odds.

this is a powerful film about their fight for human rights and for the freedom of speech.

i will not soon forget these courageous women or this film.

the documentary won the amnesty international award 2013 and the WACC SIGNIS human rights award 2012, and was nominated for the swiss film award and the prix de soleure in 2013.

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“the ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.”

-woodrow wilson

 

the kinder nap diaries – so many styles, so little sleep.

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the downward-facing up on the wall and on your head style

(includes the mysterious vanishing sheets technique)

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the get inside of your sheets and try to camouflage yourself in them

while you creep across the floor and think no one will notice style

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the fall asleep by accident in spite of yourself

and all of your best efforts to not to style,

while wrapped up in a sweaty and twisted cocoon

made of your own body and bedding.


“life is something to do when you can’t get to sleep.”

-fran lebowitz

copper, clay, and complaint.

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Among the artifacts at the British Museum in London is this ancient Babylonian customer service complaint that was inscribed on a clay tablet sometime around 1750 B.C. The complaint is regarding problems with two shipments of copper ore, as the museum notes in their description:

Clay tablet; letter from Nanni to Ea-nasir complaining that the wrong grade of copper ore has been delivered after a gulf voyage and about misdirection and delay of a further delivery; slightly damaged.

A full translation from the book Letters from Mesopotamia by Assyriologist A. Leo Oppenheim has provided a view into the customer’s complaint.  Turns out Nanni was pretty angry:

Tell Ea-nasir: Nanni sends the following message:

When you came, you said to me as follows : “I will give Gimil-Sin (when he comes) fine quality copper ingots.” You left then but you did not do what you promised me. You put ingots which were not good before my messenger (Sit-Sin) and said: “If you want to take them, take them; if you do not want to take them, go away!”

What do you take me for, that you treat somebody like me with such contempt? I have sent as messengers gentlemen like ourselves to collect the bag with my money (deposited with you) but you have treated me with contempt by sending them back to me empty-handed several times, and that through enemy territory. Is there anyone among the merchants who trade with Telmun who has treated me in this way? You alone treat my messenger with contempt! On account of that one (trifling) mina of silver which I owe(?) you, you feel free to speak in such a way, while I have given to the palace on your behalf 1,080 pounds of copper, and umi-abum has likewise given 1,080 pounds of copper, apart from what we both have had written on a sealed tablet to be kept in the temple of Samas.

How have you treated me for that copper? You have withheld my money bag from me in enemy territory; it is now up to you to restore (my money) to me in full.

Take cognizance that (from now on) I will not accept here any copper from you that is not of fine quality. I shall (from now on) select and take the ingots individually in my own yard, and I shall exercise against you my right of rejection because you have treated me with contempt.

“if you make the customer a promise, make sure you deliver it.”

-merv griffin

credits: british museum, laughing squid, e. lynch, reddit