arcana imperii :: the book of j


[public draft]

i've been re-reading some letters in order to address what may still require attention, especially now that a pivotal deadline passed essentially (though not strictly technically) unheeded. well, i just realised that the only reason my correspondent has for saying certain things is that they are utterly irrelevant. naturally this is right out of the "how to push buttons and avoid reality" manual whose study i skipped entirely at whatever stage it is offered in the regressive education of the american male. i am ill equipped to handle such pseudo-effective passive/aggressive manipulation and can only ignore one thing at a time. still, they don't remain so for long, which restarts the cycle.

so i guess all this gives me reason to become more optimistic, and i hence believe that things can only get worse. what else is reasonable since in order to end the war, apparently one must suspend the use of reason and absolutely refuse to be assertive... pain never hurts anyone, right?

updated, 03.03.05 @ 06:28:01 et. the strikes do not imply a deletion, but perchance a change in circumstance?

tech note: the sidebar

the "behaviour" of the taskbar to the left changed a few weeks ago and the section either loads smoothly and quickly, patience-shatteringly slowly... or more often than not, not at all! with many of us having already abandoned MSIE, checking out the alternatives beyond mozilla and firefox offerings (which i intensely dislike), swithching to a secure browser; forced to constantly disable, enable, set to prompt the internet options settings regarding active x contols or even safe java scripts and different programmes loaded trying to pick up where others fail; with users configuring firewalls without any manual or optimum settings guide from even the bloody manufacturers, using the horoscope and divination method, it is somewhat of a "miracle" one's able to at least offer a decent, somewhat pleasing and computer-safe site that people can actually reach! please bear with me as i attempt to understand why the sidebar's acting up and find a solution. in any case, i'm working on a new design which at least in temporary or test incarnation shall be online soon. if someone has any ideas regarding the sidebar, please drop a kine or two in a comment or send an electronic note.

A rat is a rat is a rat

«You can't be friends with a squirrel! A squirrel is just a rat in a cuter outfit.»
~Carrie Bradshaw on animal rights, Sex & the City.

I think it also applies to people.

Labels: ,

i know i couldn't face this monday...

without knowing for instance that...

  • weather forecasters in moscow face heavy fines if they get the weather wrong,

  • italian researches discover that breast size determines a woman's personality and that

  • the world's most expensive teabag, handcrafted with 228 diamonds and worth £7500, has just been created.

  • sometimes one needs to turn to this sort of information to escape from news and stories which if allowed free rain in one's mind could soon succeed in annihilating one's will to live.

    quirkies via ananova.

    quotation of the week

    «toutes les vérités seraient bonnes à dire si on les disait ensemble.»
    ~joseph joubert



    la commedia è finita

    «recitar! mentre preso dal delirio
    non so più quel che dico e quel che faccio!
    eppure... è d'uopo... sforzati!
    bah, sei tu forse un uom'?

    tu sei pagliaccio!

    vesti la giubba e la faccia infarina.
    la gente paga e rider vuole qua.

    e se arelcchin t'invola colombina
    ridi, pagliaccio e ognun' applaudirà!
    tramuta in lazzi lo spasmo ed il pianto;
    in una smorfia il singhiozzo e 'l dolor...

    ridi, pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto,
    ridi del duol che t'avvelena il cor!»

    ~vesti la giubba, i pagliacci, ruggiero leoncavallo


    now what?

    «"why, what's happened to your tail?" pooh said in surprise . . . "somebody must have taken it," said eeyore. "how like them," he added, after a long silence.» ~a.a. milne, from winnie-the-pooh.


    looking in the dictionary...

    for the word opportunist which i wish to feature today as a friend has regrettably, shamefully and reprehensibly come to define the concept so well, that, cliché or not, i was convinced i'd find his photograph or a likeness of him along with text... remember the song at both beginning and end of almodovar's splendid women on the verge of a nervous breakdown? «¡lo tuyo es puro teatro..!»

    opportunist: noun. a person who takes advantage of opportunities as and when they arise, regardless of planning or principle. an organism that takes advantage of temporary or local conditions; a person who takes immediate advantage, often unethically, of any circumstance of possible benefit.

    realistic definitions giving it a somewhat positive twist, defines him as a person who starts taking bathif he accidentally falls into a river... that to me defines someone resourceful or rather, an optimist because the opportunist really won't do somehting unless there was something to be done at the expense of someone or something else. related word, north america: i>carpetbagger: the unscrupulous opportunist.

    sources: the compact oxford english dictionary, cornell university and princeton, as well as the realistic definitions page.


    phlog.net relaunched

    hello. as some may have noticed the entire phlog website has been redesigned and relaunched and it's now up to paying members of this most interesting and ecclectic planet-wide community to apply individual styles and further develop the sites. i haven't yet upgraded, but might soon and and so should be playing round with css, so please forgive me for any inconvenience, assault to your senses or æstethic values and sensibilities (!) while viewing (and hopefully enjoying) JayJDC... ad interim. your eventual constructive criticism and assistance is indeed welcome. cheers!


    s'io potessi...

    «oh! s'io potessi dissipar le nubi che m'aggravan la fronte!
    è giorno o sera?
    son io nelle mie stanze o son sepolt[o]?»

    ~il pirata, felice romani/vincenzo bellini

    Labels: , ,



    «talking about love is like dancing about architecture...» who said that?

    the one i remember after reading once in the loo over at kramerbooks was «fighting for peace is kinda like fcking for virginity...»


    microsoft security updates

    -sorry, but... why are they issuing these patches?
    -it's to patch the patch of the patch they've been trying to patch.

    Labels: ,

    menken 2 ovid

    «the most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true»
    and so «a mind conscious of right laughs at the falsehoods of rumour*».
    ~h.l. menken / ovid, fasti (bk. iv, 311)~

    *conscia mens recti famæ mendacia risit.


    Heed cupid! Someone's life may just depend on it!

    according to health experts in the united kingdom, lovesickness can indeed kill and should be taken more seriously as a legitimate diagnosis. prof alex gardner, a clinical psychologist in glasgow and a member of the british psychological society said plainly that people can die from a broken heart; that some people, getting into a state of despair and hopelessness, can end up in an extreme state of physical exhaustion which in extreme cases could drive people to take their own life.

    and this side of the pond, a report, by researchers at johns hopkins university in baltimore, maryland and published in the new england journal of medicine suggests that a real broken heart, just like an emotionally stressful situation such as the sudden death of a loved one, can trigger an event that mimics a massive heart attack. the scietific evidence also suggests that although damage to the heart caused by broken heart syndrome is reversible, it can be, well, deadly.

    sources: the beeb and halifax live.

    Labels: ,


    Marie-Antoinette's oak tree is cut down, aged 324 years.

    a bit of palpable, tangible history gone forever...

    le chêne de Marie-Antoinette, le doyen des arbres du parc du château de versailles (yvelines) planté il y a 324 ans, a été abattu aujourd'hui mercredi, le 09 février, peu après 12h30. tiré par deux tracteurs, l'arbre, victime de la canicule de l'été 2003, est tombé au sol en moins de deux minutes dans un dernier craquement et un bruit sourd.

    haut de 35 mètres, avec une circonférence du tronc de 5,5 mètres, le chêne planté en 1681 était l'un des rares arbres à avoir échappé à la régénération du parc ordonnée par louis xvi en 1776. planté à proximité de l'allée de la Reine, entre le grand canal et le grand trianon, il a ainsi été dénommé car la reine Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793) aimait profiter de son ombrage lorsqu'elle séjournait à trianon.

    ce chêne tricentenaire se trouvait dans un bosquet de grands arbres qui a été dévasté par la tempête de 1999. il s'est ainsi trouvé davantage exposé aux rayons du soleil et a perdu de sa vigueur. au printemps 2003, il n'avait produit que quelques feuilles et n'a pas survécu à la canicule de l'été.

    le chêne de marie-antoinette sera remplacé en mars par un nouvel arbre, un quercus robur, espèce réputée pour sa résistance et sa vigueur, installé exactement à la même place.

    afp via yahoo! france: actualités.



    reuters reports that ABC will use a time delay during this year's live broadcast of the oscars on 27 february in an effort to, according to a network spokesman, «screen out any scandalous wardrobe malfunction or foul language».

    despite all our glories and brilliance, we're also an endebted nation at war, addicted to violence and unwilling to enact rational and necessary gun control, we're a nation whose tyrannical masses just legitimised a radical, extremist and reactionary administration because apparently the rest is too busy watching pseudo-reality telly and eating itself to morbid obesity to get its lard arses off the sofa to cast a progressive vote, and we're worried about catching a nano-second glimpse of a partially exposed nipple or hearing language the vice-president himself finds appropriate for use on the senate floor and while in session?!

    in this light, what's wrong with a bit o' censorship? first amendment, anyone?

    via yahoo! news.


    taboos and superstitions of the chinese new year

    • the entire house should be cleaned before new year's day. on new year's eve, all brooms, brushes, dusters, dust pans and other cleaning equipment are put away. sweeping or dusting should not be done on new year's day for fear that good fortune will be swept away. after new year's day, the floors may be swept. beginning at the door, the dust and rubbish are swept to the middle of the parlour, then placed in the corners and not taken or thrown out until the fifth day. at no time should the rubbish in the corners be trampled upon. in sweeping, there is a superstition that if you sweep the dirt out over the threshold, you will sweep one of the family away. also, to sweep the dust and dirt out of your house by the front entrance is to sweep away the good fortune of the family; it must always be swept inwards and then carried out, then no harm will follow. all dirt and rubbish must be taken out the back door.

    • shooting off firecrackers on new year's eve is the chinese way of sending out the old year and welcoming in the new year. at midnight on new year's eve, every door and window in the house must be open to allow the old year to leave.

    • all debts must be paid by this time. nothing should be lent on this day, as anyone who does so will be lending all the year. back when tinder and flint were prized possessions, no one would lend them on this day or give a light to others.

    • the use of foul language and bad or unlucky words are not to be pronounced today. negative terms and the word «four» (ssu), which sounds like the word for death, are not to be uttered. death and dying are never mentioned and ghost stories are absolutely taboo. references to the past year must be avoided as everything should be turned toward the new year and a new beginning.

      crying on new year's day, could mean you'll cry all year. the impish behaviour of children is hence toleratd and they don't get spanked today!

    • one is not supposed to wash one's hair on new year's day because it would mean washing away good fortune for the new year. red clothing is preferred during this festive occasion as it's considered a bright, happy colour, sure to bring the wearer a sunny and bright future. it is believed that appearance and attitude during new year's sets the tone for the rest of the year. children and unmarried friends, as well as close relatives are given lai see, little red envelopes with crisp one dollar bills inserted, for good fortune.

    a menu for hope

    A Menu For Hope

    A Menu for Hope is a collaborative menu by food and wine bloggers designed in order to raise money for UNICEF and the areas tragically affected by the recent tsunami. before you run off to enjoy these virtual treats, two requests:
    • be sure to look through the menu. clicking any of the twelve courses and wine selections will take you the blog responsible. and, when you're done,
    • consider that the needs in the affected areas are still very real. you may donate via the UNICEF buttons above. your contribution, large or small, will help. think of it as the bottle of wine you didn't have to bring.
    now for spiceblog's part in this: the lamingtons...


    lamingtons are blocks of day-old sponge cake, dipped in chocolate sauce and coated with desiccated coconut. named, allegedly, after the fleckled shoulders of baron lamington, governor of queensland (1896-1901). their roots are the resourceful salvaged failure of a sponge cake and reluctance to waste. they are uniquely australian and spiceblog's version of the traditional "fundraising brownies". this is not a dish from the most affected countries, but in these times we must ask the question, who is my neighbour?

    (makes 12)

    the cake
    note: the cake is to be made a day in advance and refrigerated. a fresh cake will crumble when cut.

    - 3 free-range eggs
    - ¾ cup caster sugar
    - 2 cups of self-raising flour -- sifted and sifted
    - 1 tablespoon of butter
    - ½ cup of warm milk
    - 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

    cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla together in a bowl until light and fluffy. add the eggs, one at a time, while beating well. fold in the flour gradually, alternating with the milk.

    grease a rectangular cake tin (15x27cm) with butter and pour in the mixture. bake in a 160c (325f) oven for 50 to 60 minutes, testing with a skewer. allow the cake to stand for a few minutes before demoulding. refrigerate.

    the chocolate sauce
    -500gm of icing sugar
    -1/3 cup of cocoa
    -1 tablespoon of melted butter
    -½ cup of warm milk

    beat together well, adjusting the volume of milk to get a smooth consistency.

    cut the lamingtons into 5cm cubes and then dip each cube into the chocolate sauce, allowing a little time to absorb. now roll in a tray of desiccated coconut... and then do the same with the lamingtons.

    serve with remaining chocolate sauce.

    click here to donate!click to see wine info click to see recipe click to see recipeclick to see recipeclick to see wine info click to see recipe click to see recipeclick to see recipeclick to see recipe click to see recipeclick to see recipeclick to see wine info click to see recipeclick to see recipeclick to see recipe spanish menu german menufrench menu


    one-and-a-half times...

    so i'm having coffee with this chap and talking about some translation work i could undertake for his firm. then suddenly it's all about the average american comsuming one and a half to four times the amount of protein required by the body, a similar statement about carbs and sugar and well, i just could not help myself...

    john updike's words, flashing in my mind as if on a giant broadway marquee, i opened my mouth and said: «and did you know that a healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience?»


    life must go on

    luis antonio vargas (antonio banderas): «i just killed a man!»
    julia russell (angelina jolie): «and i just bought a hat...»
    ~from the movie original sin, based on cornell woolrich's novel, waltz into darkness