arcana imperii :: the book of j


google offers free book download service

google's book search service will now allow classic literature fans and the general public to access and download PDFs of dante's divine comedy, aesop's fables and other popular classics and rare books that are no longer subject to copyright. users will also be able to print the books.

however, books still under copyright will only have bibliographies and limited extracts available through the search service.

the book search service is part of a larger project that google is undertaking with universities to digitise the works of several libraries and put them online in a searchable format. the university of california is the latest educational institution to sign up to the project, which has already got harvard, stanford, university of michigan, university of oxford and the new york public library on board.

source: electricnews.net

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quotation of the week

«it is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.»
~william g mcadoo




Satellite Image of Hurricane Katrina - August 2005

behold this awe, terror and respect-inspiring image. certainly quite ominous.

by 07:00 cdt on 28 august 2005, «hurricane katrina» was a category five storm, with maximum sustained winds of 280 km/h (175 mph), gusts up to 344 km/h (215 mph) and a central pressure of 902 mbar. it had reached category four intensity just after midnight, at 12:40 cdt with 233 km/h (145 mph) winds.

the mayor of new orleans, clarence ray nagin, jr, issued a mandatory evacuation order for all of the parish of orleans at 10:00 cdt.

can anyone imagine evacuating an area the size of the united kingdom in a matter of hours?

at 06:10 cdt, 29 august 2005, hurricane katrina made its second landfall as a category 3 hurricane near buras-triumph, louisiana, with sustained winds of more than 125 mph (201 km/h). katrina also made landfall in st bernard parish and st tammany parish for a total of three landfalls in louisiana.

by 8:00 cdt, in new orleans, water was seen rising water on both sides of the industrial canal.

by 09:00 cdt, there was 6-8 feet of water in the lower ninth ward.

at 10:00 cdt, the hurricane made its third landfall near pearlington, mississippi and slidell, louisiana, with sustained winds of 193 km/h (120 mph) after crossing breton sound.

by 11:00 cdt, there was approximately three metres (ten feet) of water in st bernard parish. many rooftops could not be seen here as they were submerged.

at 2:00 cdt, new orleans officials confirmed a breach of the 17th street canal levee. there was also confirmation of breaches at two other canals.

one thousand five hundred people lost their lives.

[entry unfinished. notes: seventy percent of hospitals in the area remain closed. some must travel eighty miles to reach a grocery store. the suicide rate has increased three-fold.]


«eat for post-katrina relief»

the anniversary of hurricane katrina is upon us, and restaurants nationwide will be participating in share our strength's second restaurants for relief. last year's efforts raised US$1,2 million for post-katrina recovery, in particular for rebuilding school cafeterias, opening summer meal programs and providing assistance for restaurant workers. a listing of participating restaurants in your area may be found here along with the percentage of sales or overall donation that will benefit restaurants for relief 2. in DC, options range from places like capital grille to la madeleine to evening star café.

please note that there are still hundreds of thousands of displaced people who cannot return home and need help rebuilding their lives and livelihoods. we must continue to help reNew Orleans!

via: the express blog.



it is the passion flowing right on through your veins
and it's the feeling that you're oh so glad you came
it is the moment you remember you're alive
it is the air you breathe, the element, the fire
it is that flower that you took the time to smell
it is the power that you know you got it well
it is the fear inside that you can overcome
this is the orchestra, the rhythm and the drum

como uma força, com uma força
como uma força que ninguém pode parar
como uma força, com uma força
como uma fome que ninguém pode matar

it is the soundtrack of your ever-flowing life
it is the wind beneath your feet that makes you fly
it is the beautiful game that you choose to play
when you step out into the world to start your day
you show your face and take it in and scream and pray
you're gonna win it for yourself and us today
it is the gold, the green, the yellow and the grey
the red and sweat and tears, the love you go. hey!

como uma força, com uma força
como uma força que ninguém pode parar
como uma força, com uma força
como uma fome que ninguém pode matar

força, força, força, força

closer to the sky,
closer, way up high,
mais perto do céu,
mais perto do céu

como uma força, com uma força
como uma força que ninguém pode parar
como uma força, com uma força
como uma fome que ninguém pode matar

força (oh), força (oh), força, força, força

este amor... este amor...
é tão grande, tão forte
come on!

~nellie furtado, força



tea «healthier» drink than water

so say researchers and work in the european journal of clinical nutrition. nutrisionists in the uk have found that, contrary to common belief, tea not only rehydrates as well as water does, but it can also protect against heart disease and some cancers. they believe flavonoids are the key ingredient in tea that promote health.

clear evidence was found that drinking three to four cups of tea a day can cut the chances of having a heart attack. some studies suggested tea consumption protected against cancer, although this effect was less clear-cut.

additional health benefits seen included protection against tooth plaque and, potentially, tooth decay, as well as bone strengthening.

dr carrie ruxton, public health nutritionist at Kings College London, said that drinking tea is actually better for one than drinking water. while water is essentially replacing fluid, tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants. she added that the idea that tea is dehydrating was an urban myth.

there was no evidence that tea consumption was harmful to health. however, research suggests that tea can impair the body's ability to absorb iron from food, meaning people at risk of anaemia should avoid drinking tea around mealtimes.


source: the beeb.

don't like what i have to say?

«be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.»
~dr seuss

arrivederci, pluto!

pluto, considered a planet since its discovery in 1930 by the american clyde tombaugh will now effectively be airbrushed out of school and university textbooks.

the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) general assembly has passed a resolution following a week of stormy debate declaring that the eight planets are mercury, earth, venus, mars, jupiter, saturn, uranus and neptune.

to qualify, a celestial body must be in orbit around a star while not itself being a star. it must also be large enough in mass «for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit».

pluto was automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with neptune's.

it will now join a new category of «dwarf planets» (no disrespect intended, surely).

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the meaning of peace

the meaning of peace


quotation of the week

«the biggest cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid people are so sure about things and the intelligent folks are so full of doubts.»
~bertrand russell



pavarotti's bullshit

luciano pavarotti suffers from pancreatic cancer (among presumably other conditions given his notorious obesity) and the corriere della sera reported last week that the former king of the high Cs considers the cancer punishment for his good fortune. «i was a fortunate and happy man and now i am paying the penalty for this fortune and happiness» he said.

this mentality, ladies and gentlemen, encapsulates the meaning of religion, and particularly the wisdom of the catholic faith.

it's sickening.



bush just didn't know

some people are saying today that dubya has lied again. i doubt he was lying per se when he said at this morning's press conference that he «may be the only person -- the only presidential candidate -- who never carried the state in which he was born». it's more like he was displaying ignorance.

yet i find astonishing that he wouldn't know or recall that al gore lost his home state of tennessee despite winning the presidential election in 2000 or that his own father, mr george herbert walker bush, the forty-first president of this great nation of ours, and a native of massachusetts, lost the state twice, to michael dukakis in 1988 and to bill clinton in 1992. and there's also abraham lincoln, hubert humphrey, george mcgovern, adlai stevenson and many others...



quotation of the week

«the dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.»
~archibald macleish



lucha de gigantes

lucha de gigantes
el aire en gas natural.
un duelo salvaje
lo cerca que ando de entrar
en un mundo descomunal
siento mi fragilidad.

vaya pesadilla
con una bestia detrás.
dime que es mentira todo,
un sueño tonto y no más.
me da miedo la enormidad
donde nadie oye mi voz.

deja de engañar.
no quieras ocultar
que has pasado sin tropezar.
monstruo de papel,
no sé contra quién voy.
¿o es que acaso hay alguien más aquí?

creo en los fantasmas terribles
de algún extraño lugar
y en mis tonterías
para hacer tu risa estallar.

en un mundo descomunal
siento tu fragilidad.

deja de engañar.
no quieras ocultar
que has pasado sin tropezar.
monstruo de papel
no sé contra quién voy.
¿o es que acaso hay alguien más aquí?

deja que pasemos sin miedo.
sin miedo.

~lucha de gigantes
by antonio vega (nacha pop)


absurdities and atrocities

«si nous croyons les absurdités, nous allons commettre des atrocités.»

«as long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.»

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what's «unimaginable»?

scotland yard said this morning that a plot to blow up planes in flight from the UK to the US and commit «mass murder on an unimaginable scale» has been disrupted. some news outlets are using the word unprecedented instead.

what's UNIMAGINABLE or UNPRECEDENTED? the west continues to do little to tackle the CAUSES of terrorism so it's no surprise that there's still zealots all over plotting to commit heinous atrocities. but again, what's unimaginable or unprecedented about them when humanity has witnessed (but apparently can't recall) the extermination of native peoples in the new world, slavery, the holocaust, the horrors of the khmer rouge, genocide in the balkans, almost a million massacred in rwanda just a few years ago while the world did nothing. and when was the last time you heard DARFUR mentioned in the news?!

the mylo cometh

AFP reports that sony will market the mylo (standing for my life online), a palm-sized, first-of-its-kind wireless broadband device that would allow users to exchange online voice and text messages, browse the internet and listen to music.

the oblong-shaped mylo should be available in the US, in black or white, starting in september for round US$350. the device features a 6,1-centimetre (2,4-inch) colour liquid crystal display with a slide-out thumb keyboard and comes embedded with instant messaging services such as Google Talk, Skype and Yahoo Messenger and so will allow internet-based calls and online chatting services for users without paying service fees or signing mobile phone contracts.

the mylo can scan for available wireless networks and its HTML browser lets users connect to full web pages as well as send e-mails.

the gadget has a built-in speaker for listening to music stored in its one-gigabyte flash memory, which can also store digital pictures.




quotation of the week

«how many people make themselves abstract to appear profound. the most useful part of abstract terms are the shadows they create to hide a vacuum.»
~joseph joubert


nine million

this past week i enjoyed an unplanned mini african cinema festival in my own living room, featuring hotel rwanda, yesterday and nirgendwo in afrika (nowhere in africa). not only was i terrified and anguished by the continuing evil and horror inflicted by humanity on itself even at the most personal levels possible, but also moved by the beauty and power of landscapes inhabited by splendid, brilliant and inspiring beings some of which survive even in death. some of these beautiful people are children who along with others from the rest of the planet amount to nine million refugees.

nine million refugee children who need help to live, learn and play.


ho, ho, ho

the urban dictionary defines this as «santa's cry or... three prostitutes». ha ha ha!


quotation of the week

«tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.»
~antoine de saint-exupéry, le petit prince