“We are not attached to people, places and things but the energy they invoke. What is important is the emotion created by that energy, not the actual person, place or thing. Once that feeling has been imprinted on us, nothing outside of us can create that emotion again. It’s precisely because the feeling comes from within and not without that these special people, places, and things always exist in our hearts and mind’s eye.”—Peering The Veil
“No woman is really an insider in the institutions fathered by masculine consciousness. When we allow ourselves to believe we are, we lose touch with parts of ourselves defined as unacceptable by that consciousness; with the vital toughness and visionary strength of the angry grandmothers, the shamanesses, the fierce marketwomen of the Ibo’s Women’s War, the marriage-resisting women silkworkers of prerevolutionary China, the millions of widows, midwives, and the women healers tortured and burned as witches for three centuries in Europe.”—Adrienne Rich, What Does a Woman Need to Know? (1986)
The phrase originated from William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, circa 1600. The line reads:
"Why then the world’s mine oyster/Which I with sword will open."
Unfortunately, time has weathered away the last part of the phrase, thus invoking a sense of entitlement without work. We must see that we are the only ones who can open the shell. Then, we will understand our true obstacles and stop blaming others for the locks on our shells.
A refreshingly realistic look at life in the city for 20 somethings that is the antithesis of Sex and the City. The glitz and glam of our generation of party girls is replaced with the morbid reality of post modern economics and a job market that is almost extinct for recent college graduates. For this, I will turn the tv back on.
The Name Game (originally published in The East Hampton Star 10.6.11)
On the eve of the 21st century, a new generation of professional women entered the work force. With them, a trend in feminist surnames was emerging: the taking of their husbands’ last names as their own. Is the trend a shift backward? Or does it indicate the completion of a circle? Despite what people may think, the trend certainly symbolizes a desire for simplicity. The past three decades saw a deluge of information, new technology, and societal upheaval. As a result of this chaos, time seemed to speed up. Modern professional women were looking for a way to streamline the complicated issues they are confronted with each day. Identity is just one of those issues. As a young lawyer, I adamantly did not want to take my fiancé’s last name. I wanted my identity and my career to remain intact and separate from his. Fast-forward a few years to a different fiancé: I was giddy at the prospect of waiting on line at the D.M.V. to get my husband’s surname emblazoned on my driver’s license. What changed? On the surface, I thought it was simply because my husband’s last name was monosyllabic like my maiden name. The ring of my name did not change. A deeper examination revealed that I was beginning a different phase of my life and evolving into a new (and hopefully improved) version of myself. I became softer. Maybe even a little more patient. I was growing up. Once I was frightened of becoming someone’s wife or mother. I never wanted to become someone else’s anything. I just wanted to be me. But slowly my fear of background relegation began to dissipate. I started to relish the idea of taking on the role of wife and mother. I was becoming aware of my true identity and, ultimately, my place in the universe. A transition such as this is often fraught with angst and fear as one struggles to pull away from the person formerly known as “me.” Once thought of as something people just did after college, marriage came to symbolize so much more. Marriage is the coming together of each individual to form a powerful unit better able to navigate time and space. Marriage is the creation of something bigger than oneself — a concept that the younger me could never appreciate. Marriage is an equal combination of characteristics of two people, where weaknesses are diminished while strengths soar. Marriage is about flourishing, not overshadowing. Today, professional women rarely keep their maiden names for their careers while reserving their married names strictly for their personal lives. In a world dominated by chaos and confusion, the use of two different names became too convoluted. Even less popular is the hyphenation method. And even less popular than that is the blender method, the blending of two names into one weird and confusing last name devoid of history. Typically, once a professional woman gets married, she will simply tack her new surname on after her maiden name with nothing more than a space to herald her new identity. After a sufficient amount of time has passed for colleagues to become familiar with the new surname, she will unceremoniously drop the maiden name. The idea of bucking the surname norm to assert feminist individualism started in the middle of the 19th century. Lucy Stone was the first American woman to keep her birth name after marriage, leading to the moniker Lucy Stoners for all those who followed her. (Women in my generation didn’t have to shun their husbands’ names to earn the “stoner” label.) In 1921, Ruth Hale, a journalist, formed the Lucy Stone League. Seeing an impossible social task, the league slowly disbanded. Since its inception, it has been revived three times. Now in its latest revival, which started in 1997, the league touts “equal rights for women and men to retain, modify, and create their names.” Despite the efforts of the league and its predecessors, a woman’s right to adopt her husband’s family name as her own continues to be a widely practiced tradition. According to a 2005 study conducted by Diana Boxer, a professor of linguistics at the University of Florida, the vast majority of women surveyed had taken their husbands’ surnames for the sake of family unity. Ms. Boxer depicts this as a failure of the feminist movement because “societal traditions and gendered hegemony are so hard to overcome.” Consistently viewing this tradition as harmful to a woman’s individual identity is antiquated. Instead, the return to tradition should be celebrated as a marker of the strength of feminist ideals and achievements while honoring family values. Women in America are successful. The acceptance of multifaceted roles such as wife, mother, and professional allows women to express themselves in ways never thought possible. It used to be that when a young woman was brought to the altar, her name was all that gave her any sense of identity. Professional women no longer have time to focus on a symbolic gesture when this world has entrusted us with more important tasks. Women make discoveries in science and technology. Women mold our society with legal opinions and social commentary. Women produce legislation. Women color our world with art while providing the soundtrack to the stories we write. While doing all this, they continue to define our future as nurturing mothers. It is precisely because of this ability to create and nurture as applied to their roles in American society that women have also made more choice for themselves. When a newly engaged woman starts thinking about her surname, she has many options. Not only is it a testament to honor and tradition that modern women are adopting husbands’ surnames, it is also a wink and a nod to the notion that a woman’s identity inevitably becomes entangled with her husband’s. Instead, she can continue her life’s work while gracefully fashioning a coexistent life as a wife and mother. If power is choice, then the feminist name game proves just how powerful women are. I did not examine the genesis of my husband’s surname or my maiden name until we were expecting our first child. We wanted to grace our daughter with a moniker that combined the heritage of both families. My Germanic maiden name, Marsch, means marsh, indicating that my paternal ancestors lived near or made their livelihood from the marshlands. The surname Kerr is descended from the Scottish Kerr clan, a border clan that often lived in and made their living from swamps.
“A soul connection is a resonance between two people who respond to the essential beauty of each other’s individual natures, behind their facades, and who connect on this deeper level. This kind of mutual recognition provides the catalyst for a potent alchemy. It is a sacred alliance whose purpose is to help both partners discover and realize their deepest potentials. While a heart connection lets us appreciate those we love just as they are, a soul connection opens up a further dimension — seeing and loving them for who they could be, and for who we could become under their influence. This means recognizing that we both have an important part to play in helping each other become more fully who we are….A soul connection not only inspires us to expand, but also forces us to confront whatever stands in the way of that expansion.”—
Easter is a celebration of resurrection. Christianity claims the holiday by celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But Easter, like all Christian holidays, was stolen from the Pagans when Christianity declared this holiday for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When in reality, Easter is just a recycling of Pagan and ancient resurrection tales. In their efforts to indoctrinate Pagans, Christians created a holiday similar to the preexisting Pagan festivals so as to alleviate the stress and revolts of indoctrination.
"Ishtar", which is pronounced "Easter" was the Babylonian Goddess of love and fertility. Ishtar was born from the moon in a giant egg that fell into the Euphrates River. The moon egg came to be known as Ishtar’s egg. Ishtar soon became pregnant by the rays of the sun-god Baal. Her son was named Tammuz. But the day came when a boar killed her beloved son.
Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, a celebration was declared. It was Ishtar’s Sunday and was celebrated with rabbits and eggs. Ishtar also proclaimed that because Tammuz was killed by a pig, that a pig must be eaten on that Sunday. Moreover, Ishtar proclaimed a forty-day bereavement period prior to the anniversary of the death of Tammuz. During this time, no meat was to be eaten. On Ishtar’s Sunday, followers made the sign of “T” in front of their hearts as they worshipped. They also ate sacred cakes with the marking of a “T” or cross on the top.
Easter is also derived from the Saxon goddess Oestre, Eastre or Ostara. Ostara is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Ostara was, of course, a fertility goddess. Bringing in the end of winter, with the days brighter and growing longer after the vernal equinox, Ostara had a passion for new life. Her presence was felt in the flowering of plants and the birth of babies, both animal and human. The rabbit (well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction) was her sacred animal. Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny both featured in the spring festivals of Ostara, which were initially held during Ishtar’s feast. Eggs are an obvious symbol of fertility, and the newborn chicks an adorable representation of new growth. Brightly colored eggs, chicks, and bunnies were all used at festival time to express appreciation for Ostara’s gift of abundance.
We also know that Easter can be as much as three weeks away from Passover, because the pagan holiday is always set as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.
Easter is less about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and more about converting an entire population to Christianity. In order to ease the transition of indoctrination, the Christians usually tacked their holidays on top of preexisting Pagan Festivals. Easter is another example of Christianity adopting Pagan rituals, festivals and celebrations as their own.
Awakening from anesthesia is often associated with an initial phase of delirious struggle before the full restoration of awareness and orientation to one’s surroundings. Scientists now know why this may occur: primitive consciousness emerges first.
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It’s the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can’t touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them They say they still can’t see. I say, It’s in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I’m a woman
Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
Now you understand Just why my head’s not bowed. I don’t shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing It ought to make you proud. I say, It’s in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care, 'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
Complex software models are used to understand the results from the Large Hadron Collider. These include simulations of the particle physics in the proton-proton collisions, as well as of the material and geometry of the detectors and the strength of the various magnetic fields. As more data are accumulated, the required precision of this software increases.
A recent review recommended that the number of decimal places used to represent numbers in the software should be increased. This means all mathematical constants such as e and pi, as well as physical constants and the measured dimensions of the detectors. So far, so routine. But when adding more precision to pi, a strange effect was noticed. The alignment of charged particle tracks across detector boundaries actually got worse when a more precise value was used. In addition, the agreement between simulation and data also got slightly worse.
This really should not happen - more precision should mean better alignment and better agreement.
Boring scientists say this is probably evidence that some physicists don’t know how to write proper code. However, string theorists have pointed out that a firm prediction of string theory is the existence of extra space-time dimensions. In a space which is curved into a higher dimension, the apparent value of pi can deviate from that seen in real life. And thus the LHC may have proved that they were right all along. More data are needed before we can be sure.
Less welcome news for CERN is that since they have been near to the beams for two years, the values of pi used in those parts of the ATLAS which were built in the UK are now hot, and therefore as of today will attract VAT.
“Human consciousness is just about the last surviving mystery. A mystery is a phenomenon that people don’t know how to think about - yet. There have been other great mysteries: the mystery of the origin of the universe, the mystery of life and reproduction, the mystery of the design to be found in nature, the mysteries of time, space, and gravity. These were not just areas of scientific ignorance, but of utter bafflement and wonder. We do not yet have all the answers to any of the questions of cosmology and particle physics, molecular genetics and evolutionary theory, but we do know how to think about them …. With consciousness, however, we are still in a terrible muddle. Consciousness stands alone today as a topic that often leaves even the most sophisticated thinkers tongue-tied and confused. And, as with all of the earlier mysteries, there are many who insist — and hope — that there will never be a demystification of consciousness.”—Dan Dennett