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Posted 12 April 2004, 10.04 pm by Unforgiven

Sequoia Veiw - A visual representation of a directory structure.

Blatently stolen from the website:

Almost every PC user will be familiar with Windows explorer, which is a tool for browsing file hierarchies on a computer system. Explorer displays the contents of any given directory as a list where the indentation indicates the level in the hierarchy. Users can thus explore the contents of their file system on directory at a time, which works well in practice. A major drawback of this method however, is that the user cannot obtain a global overview of the entire contents of his disk, because the number of files and directories that can be shown simultaneously is limited by the available screen space. Without a global overview of the entire file system questions like "Which directory is taking up most of my hard disk space?" or "Why is my disk full?" are hard to answer.

Treemaps, developed by Shneiderman and Johnson in the late 1980's, present an elegant solution to this problem by making more efficient use of the available screen space. Instead of showing a file system as a long list of files and directories, files are displayed as rectangles, with the size of the rectangle being proportional to the size of the file. We can then display more information at once if we use all available space. We will illustrate this method with a small example:

A ace in the jail(poem)

Posted 11 April 2004, 9.16 am by cauchy3

A ace in the jail: poem
Hello crone I love your corns

Moneys are diamonds in your socks

Your shops are candies but your socks are as clean as corals

Fruits are for all men s ought

You are in manners

Birds never sing to a prisoner with some orals

Deaths are for lures to be annealed

We cross the streets and govern in the sense of the Queen

Rivers and rocks are always

My pig-lid shoes are reeds

Paste can keep your privacy like your tooth

Lovers are classes-genics under the jailer s esteems

Gemstones are rough cats come to groups of looters

Lotteries are prizes to bend down on flat tops

Birds has to fledge out from jailer s farms

You go into my garden and gave me no options

You are the yuck of your maids

Jail is your heaven but the world of the Gods

The maids lurk into my hell which is God made

Balls with their numbers set up all pearls in our tents

Skies are normal but the wands are mad

Pearls are smooth but the cold crops are new

Horses are dress in suits of donkeys

Hip s bones are stronger than our knees

Queens for benches or kings for jailers are today s new keys

Smash the logs in the logical flames

Never eyes to eyes!

Sweep your pains and taste your bitter fruits like sweets

Smears the glasses with dark ghosts that are lame

My God father will listen to my years

I pray to the evils to follow Gods on their stagy stages

I have own to you to repent of one dime

The wall of the pen house stays
Bombs are dived on dividend

I am some men of soft bloods

Harnesses of manual powers are diadems

My gasps are pleasures to load your oodles

My name is to made the oily pans fishy

My deeds are to stand aside the cross of our Gods

As heavens are match with jails

Foods and coats are deprived by powers and over powers

Morals are not only paper trails

Tummies are not belly as our annals are fasten by silver bells of our own

Silver bells are supper to nobles but prisoners hard steels

Only powers are easy mortgages but we have non

I swear I could take away the skies to stop all Gods to steal

Stomachers are wafers but menses are little towels

Lives are so unreal

Please I am happy to put my hairs into knots

I am willing to nod to my worst enemies like a friend
Knouts are like knots with holes

Trials like whores are to the satisfactions of the fiends

However Christ give his bloods to print out our worlds with moneys

Bloods and kidneys are sometimes transplant for leaving

Jailers- guest have lusts that break the preys like the sea otter

Darkness in jails is cover by white hairs on benches

Punishments are thousands times harder than fish in the omens

Thin chicken wings are even not a supper in the dens

It is painful to have images to be planned

Books about laws are too heavy to end

For one tide little fault there are some marches of flautists all over the lands

The reforms are tongues that lick off some things without educations

One cup of coffees deserve one gold coin or all your consents

Jailers cling to use abuse powers in the edge

Heaps of powers made moneys in stacks

Whips have overthrown the prisioners brains and there are no rooms for common elbows

Clowns are put on crowns to act

Frail wills and weak bodies are dirt as cheapens

Humanity are goddess who govern the fucking lakes

Pass to our futures for loves that we bear

Abuses are thunders that spoil our rectums and our ears

by cheung shun sang=cauchy3=laplace181

The Death Trap

Posted 11 April 2004, 2.26 am by Aqua

The cafeteria: That place of food and friends, lunch and losers, trays and torment, but most importantly- the home of the notorious...lunch line... The lunch line is an ingenious concept really. Two parallel lines going through two general food choices, meeting at the end to harmonize with the two corresponding cash registers. It seems straightforward enough; salad, chips, and sandwiches on one side with two hot lunch choices on the other. Column A and column B. Simple, right? Simple, yes, but only to a normal person.

Allow me to explain. When one such as myself enters...the lunch line...we are not only presented with two simple choices, and we most certainly cannot play follow-the-leader despite how easy it sounds. For we know the truth. We see...the lunch line...for what it truly is: a death trap. Pure and simple.

Allow me to explain further. Upon reaching the entryway to... the lunch line... what does one see? When people are occupying it, you obviously see people, and people always occupy it. However, due to this, there are a few things you do not see. One such thing is the menu. It hangs right in front of you, at the bend in the line- but oh- the people. Tall, scary, ominous, stupid, high, etc. They block it every time. What is one to do? Simply yell out "Hey! I can't see what's for lunch! Move your fat head, please-'kay-thanks!" Nay. Doing so would surely result in murder- something one does not want if one wants to graduate... much less, live. So the logical thing to do would be getting closer to the sign. However- another problem is reached at this point. For this means in order to see the sign, one must go into...the lunch line. This is extremely risky if not done properly. By the time one would get to the menu to see what there is to eat to decide *if they even want* that line, five minutes has surely passed! Time would be wasted. Precious time that one could be using to *eat*. And what if the food in the other line is much better than the salad? Regret could occur- and that my friend, is a most dreadful thing.

Too much time has passed already. We make a decision- stick with the sandwiches. Nothing's tricky about sliced meat on bread, right? Wrong. Not only are there 1,548 choices *besides* the one you want, but also the journey there proves to be dreadful in and of itself; as we shall see.

The choice has been made. We enter...the lunch line. Cautiously, so as to not rush headlong, but also not *too* cautiously- to avoid looking like a pathetic loser who has never tread upon this dangerous, dark, abode (which is of course true). The perimeter is scanned. A dividing bar allows for easy separation of the two lines. The one to the right is definitely blocked by the masses wishing to receive a hot lunch choice. We take the left. Scanning the food there reveals but salad. This is okay. The sandwiches must be further down. Don't touch the bar! You don't know where their hands were last. ...Keep walking... Now- the interjection approaches. People are intermixing at this point in time and it is best to be cautious now in order to not cause an uprising. There! The sandwiches are spotted. But another problem arises. The sandwiches are in the path of the other line and people are crossing over to different lines left and right. But this isn't too bad... just wait for a break in the crowd ... and... JUMP! The threshold is crossed safely. Now comes the tricky part. One must decide which sandwich they want. Up until this time, the mind has been occupied with taking in the surroundings, analyzing, not thinking of what kind of sandwich the stomach craves today. The eyes dart to each label quickly: "Chicken Salad", "Ham", "Turkey", "Egg Salad", "'X' means no lettuce and tomato"... no lettuce and tomato, good.. But where is the tuna...? Ah-ha! The last tuna is spotted. It is grabbed before another carnivore intervenes. Now that the main course has been recovered, the beverage must be acquired. Predators are everywhere. One must act quickly...

To the right is the container for the beverages. Luckily, there are plenty of chocolate milks left and one is secured fairly easily enough, with time. Patience. The line moves. Cautiously one approaches the register. Money! During this time one has spent too much thought of food and simply meandering this ominous labyrinth that money wasn't even thought of at all. Luckily one's wallet is somehow in their pocket and is now scrambled with to produce the correct amount of change: $1.60. Any normal person would be cool in this situation but now the mind goes blank for the cautious ones. Math? What's that? Add... two quarters and a dime... a dollar bill too. Phew. The correct amount is here, thankfully. But wait- danger strikes when least expected- an enemy behind has pushed another and right into one's back! The change is dropped as balance is recovered. What now?! Bend down and pick it up? Get more change? Slug the lunk-head who caused this whole situation? Surely that would be unwise... though oh so tempting... Yes- NO! ... One must stay focused and calm... otherwise, tragedy could occur. The change is recovered without much embarrassment and handed to the lady at the cash register. She smiles.

Finally, the food is gathered and the white doorway looms ahead like a great hallowed realm. Time slows as it nears... Is it really over? And then, a step, and the threshold passes through you- a wave of overwhelming joy and accomplishment... you sigh a new breath of relief... free at last. Free at last. Thank god almighty. Free at last...

Revenge of the S.L.U.T.

Posted 31 March 2004, 4.04 am by The_Roach

Last week, I reviewed Generation S.L.U.T.: A Brutal Feel-Up Session with Today's Sex-Crazed Adolescent Populace, by the young, talented Marty Beckerman. Today, I bring you Marty Beckerman himself: raw, uncut, and full of man-juice as he gives us insight into writing, his penis and writing about his penis. Enjoy.

The_Roach: After having read the book a few times, I have to know... how does Your Beautiful Girlfriend put up with you?

Marty Beckerman: Well, the Beautiful Girlfriend in the last essay of the book is different than the Beautiful Girlfriend whom I love today.

TR: I think it's still a relevant question.

MB: Yeah, right.

Well, this is the first girl who understands me, you know? Not that she thinks I'm perfect, but she sees the flaws as part of the bigger picture. Like writing about how much I boink her. That's probably not exactly a plus in any relationship. But this girl totally gets me and doesn't want to change me. You can't date a girl who wants to change you, because then you'll lose sight of who the fuck you are and become a Slave to the Tang. And then you're finished.

That said, I boink my girlfriend, like, all the time. She totally loves it. Total nympho from the day I took the bitch's virginity.

TR: One of the things I've noticed is a complete avoidance of discussing the so-called "alternative lifestyles". Any particular reason?

MB: Like gay/les/trans/ped?

TR: Right.

MB: It's something I don't really care about. I'm straight -- at least, I'm pretty sure I'm straight by now -- so it's not something that concerns me. There are thousands of gay writers and that's their beat, so good for them. The fuckin' ass-clowns.

Also there are a lot of people, especially at the university level, who judge literature on its social importance instead of the actual quality of the writing. So if you write about gay issues or feminist issues or multiculutral issues -- regardless of whether your prose is godawful swill -- you'll be hailed for addressing sensitive issues. At least, in the way that the intellectual elite expects.

TR: So, you'd rather the work were judged on it's own merits and not simply praised for hitting hot-button issues? Because, frankly, you're probably touching a pretty sore spot in American culture.

MB: Well, I'd rather explore territory that interests me, that I'm qualified to speak about -- so I'm not going to write about what it's like to be a gay single mother living in Central America or something -- but I also want to carve out my own territory. So yeah, I want to write about important issues, but on my own terms.

Term Number One: My luscious Jewish dizznick must be a character in the narrative.

TR: Now, the book was published by MTV Books. Were you at all concerned that it might not be taken seriously simply by association?

MB: Honestly, I lost a few nights of sleep over associating myself with MTV. But then I read one of their books, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky, and it completely blew me away. It instantly became my favorite novel, and I actually just had the privilege to do a reading with the author a few weeks ago. So....

.....So I realized that MTV Books publishes quality material, and if they could get "S.L.U.T." to teenagers, who cares who distributes it? It's not like I changed my message or anything. And I think most of my fans understood that. I got a few e-mails from people who loved "Death to All Cheerleaders" calling me a sellout, saying I'm aligning myself with the Devil, etc. etc. But the editors at MTV Books are highly qualified, and helped me take "S.L.U.T." from a melodramatic humor book to something way darker and more effective.

TR: But doesn't it feel a bit weird having a book that addresses these sorts of social issues published by a company that profits primarily by marketing sex to teenagers?

MB: Well, it's not like I'm going on Total Request Live as all the 12-year-old girls scream for me to take my shirt off. Actually, the 12-year-old girls I meet usually just scream for me to put my dick back in my pants. I've said a few times that I'm destroying the system from the inside, but it's more like we're using each other -- MTV Books wants literary credibility and I want as much exposure for this book as possible.

So I don't have any regrets, except "S.L.U.T." came out just as the Janet Jackson bullshit hit the fan, and MTV started getting very cautious about this book, because the FCC is watching its activities very closely.

TR: What did you think of JJ's tit, anyway?

MB: The cultural reaction was astounding. I mean, now the FCC -- which was created to do nothing more than hand out broadcast stations to private entities -- decided to go on this Puritan crusade to wipe out all naughty words, naughty images, naughty suggestions. They're trying to legislate morality, which strikes me as one of those things the founding fathers would've despised. I'm very much a libertarian, which is a pretty conservative philosophy, but Bush is a pretty despised figure all around.

But hey, all that's for the next book.

TR: And the next book is...?

MB: "Jewboy Goes to Hell : Young America and World War III." It's about how the War on Terror will affect people under 25. Hopefully I'll get to fly to Iraq and hang out with the 18- and 19-year-old soldiers over there, because nobody in the media has told their story. At least, not in a way that's the least bit captivating for kids their own age.

TR: Any concerns about the safety of such an expedition?

MB: Some. My parents are totally freaked out, but the area is generally safer than you'd believe from watching CNN. The danger would be hanging around with the soldiers in public so much that people start thinking I'm another soldier. 4000 foreign journalists covered the war, and about 50 were killed. Those odds are pretty good, especially since the real war is over.

Then again, I'm a left-handed white American Jew who doesn't speak Arabic, so.... um.... Oh yeah, and I'm an asshole with no respect for other cultures!

TR: It can't be any more dangerous than casual sex in a private university, right?

MB: Well, maybe not if you're a member of the university S&M club.

TR: What do you make of S.L.U.T. being compared to Nick McDonell's book "Twelve"? Was it an inspiration in any way?

MB: It's a godawful piece of fucking shit. This kid's godfather is the president of Atlantic Books, and he was reportedly paid $250,000 for the manuscript. Which was just horrible... all hype and no substance. I've got to admit I was a little jealous when he got all this "spokesman for his generation" praise thrown at him, but then I wrote a better book so I don't give a shit.

TR: Who does inspire you, then?

MB: Mirrors inspire me. Especially when I'm naked.


When I was 15, I wanted to be a young Dave Barry. I mean, I read nothing EXCEPT Dave Barry, and of course my writing was very much a ripoff of his style. Then I got a little older, started reading Hunter Thompson, Bret Easton Ellis, Orson Scott Card, Huxley....and my own style started to develop from taking my favorite parts of theirs and blending all that together. Barry and Thompson were the big ones though.

TR: Speaking of Huxley, you make a point to reference "Brave New World" in the fiction of "S.L.U.T.". Do you think that's where this generation is headed?

MB: Absolutely. What Huxley predicted -- that monogamy and individuality would become antiquated as soon as birth control was invented and a sexual revolution ensued..... I mean, the man was a fucking visionary.

And his chapters about pleasure-seeking preteens who don't know anything about Shakespeare because the media had become so dumbed down.... and how they'd all go on Happy Pills but still hate themselves... Yeah, it came true. We're living in Brave New World. Even the communal aesthetic identification -- alpha symbols, delta symbols -- even that's comparable to how today's teens find identity in brand names like Abercrombie & Fitch. Of course, they're not really finding identity, just escaping it, but that's the point. Stick letters on my chest so I know who the fuck I am.

Which leads into the fraternity scene too, but those guys already want to kill me so I probably shouldn't talk more shit.

TR: In the interest of your preservation, then... You had the chance to interview one of the other names on your list up there. So what's Hunter S. Thompson like?

MB: Very sharp guy. I thought he'd be a vegetable because his writing has definitely slipped since his glory days, but there seriously was a glow around him. I mean, I was stoned on hash at the time, but he had this energy... Anyway, he's very down to earth. Interviewing him was one of the biggest honors of my life.

Thank God for marijuana.

TR: What can you tell me about the Christian Jihad for the Elimination of Marty Beckerman?

MB: That was just a joke I desgined for my friends. Funny idea, right? Start a Christian boycott of my own book. Then 1000 people started visiting it a week, so I figured what the fuck, I'll just leave it up. Maybe I could've kept the hoax going, but I'd rather have my credibility intact when the REAL nutcases start protesting me. Turns out the ones who hate me the most are feminists, not Christians. So now I'll have to start

TR: You're set to graduate from American University here soon, right? Any plans for a "real job", or are you hoping to support yourself writing books?

MB: If possible I'd like to write this Iraq book, but it's an expensive project and publishers are nervous about whether anyone under 23 will buy a book about war, as opposed to sex. I've got a couple offers to work as a straight journalist -- no columns or dick jokes -- which is fine if it feeds me. A lot of young authors get advances exceeding $100,000, but I got enough for one semester of college, so it's not like I'm swimming in my vault of gold coins, Scrooge McDuck-style.

So it's looking like I'll get to have oatmeal dinners for the next couple years. And that's okay -- I'd rather have real world experience than so much early success that I'm not interacting with normal people anymore. Because a good reporter can't become insulated like that. Unless he's insulated with boobies. Then it's okay. Boobies! Big fat boobies!

TR: Okay, one last question. A lot of our users, young and old(er... older; the ladies are gonna kill me) are aspiring writers. Any words of wisdom on the subject?

MB: Yeah.... go fuck yourselves.

No, really.......

Read as much as possible, try to blend the styles of your favorite authors, and don't think that you're not a writer just because you're not published....Because the best asset you've got is your age. People talk a lot of shit about young writers -- trust me, I got trashed by a whole lot of bitter assholes since "S.L.U.T." came out -- but you're still close to the most intense emotional period in a person's life. Those are the stories that are important -- all that heartbreak and insecurity, the first loves and first booby-touchings. And I really think the clarity of those emotions fades in just a couple years -- it's already happening to me......So you've got to get it out now or else it won't be honest, it'll just be nostalgia.

And nostalgia is for motherfuckers.

Move Over, Fried and Hamburgers

Posted 29 March 2004, 7.13 pm by Lilith

Last Friday, my boss asked me to research and pull up the recent news about the metabolic influences of HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup which contains far more fructose than any fruit) and its role in obesity rise on the net--well, mainly to pull up articles for him because someone mentioned them to him, and he is responsible for keeping up to date with all the food innovations--and discoveries that are too negative to be called that.

The scary thing is, the company I work for, the same company that bakes the 2nd amount of bread in USA by # of loaves per year, uses thousands of tons of HFCS, as does nearly any manufactured food company in USA. Almost any formula I have access to and have ever seen in my time working her has it. It's simple, really--HFCS is far sweeter than sugar, and it takes less of it to sweeten cereals, candy, soda, breads, buns, and nearly anything else you can think of. It is also cheap.

I knew that it was not exactly a good thing to eat because it promoted formation of adipose cells (that's fat cells for you) since the biochemistry classes in university years ago--we had a professor who specialized in metabolic biochemistry, so he also told us about trans-fatty acids long before that was ever in the media. Anyway, the trans fatty acids were exposed a couple of years ago, and now the fructose is coming out of its clandestine hiding place in the food we eat.

And unless you are like me and try to avoid most processed foods including sliced breads except those handmade in bakeries, you all eat it too (not sure about Europe, but definitely so in USA and Canada). I foresee a battle royale about this between the FDA and health authorities and the Corn industry like the one that happened over the trans-fatty acids with Soy industry just a few years ago. Observing just how much hassle and expense it is for the food company to switch to low/no-trans shortenings, I can see why they are unwilling to do so unless and until forced by laws and/or consumers who stop buying their products. However, USA is not known for the health-conscious consumer, so the latter is not likely to happen.

Here is some of the information that got recently released in the media:

Move over greasy cheeseburgers and fries. Researchers now say the widespread use of the liquid corn sweetener, fructose, in soft drinks, baked goods and juice drinks might be a big factor in the swift rise in obesity in the United States.

"The increased use of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the United States mirrors the rapid increase in obesity," George A. Bray, an obesity scientist at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and other authors of the fructose study said in an article to be published in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"There is a distinct likelihood that the increased consumption of HFCS in beverages may be linked to the increase in obesity," the researchers say. The study points out that HFCS is used to sweeten all nondietary U.S. soft drinks and most fruit drinks and that consumption of the corn-syrup sweetener rose more than 1000 percent from 1970 to 1990.
Researchers reviewed consumption records from the Agriculture Department from 1967 to 2000, then combined those data with previous research and their own analyses. As a result, they calculated that Americans 2 years old and older consume an average of 132 calories per day through HFCS. Even worse, they conclude that the top 20 percent of consumers of caloric sweeteners in this country ingest an average of 318 calories per day from HFCS. For some, it's as much as 700 calories per day, Barry M. Popkin, another author of the study, said in a interview: "We've been on soft drinks and fruit drinks in this country," He noted that the average American has increased daily caloric intake by more than 200 calories in the past 15 to 18 years, and he estimates that at least one-third to one-half of that excess has come from soft-drink and juice-drink consumption.

Meanwhile, obesity among Americans adults rose from 23 percent in the early 1990s to 30 percent today, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Other data show that two-thirds of Americans are overweight.

OK, so we have research being done and it begins to show that HFCS may be a serious contributor to the rise of obesity. You have to note that the Corn Industry is a rather large and rich one, and will suppress or try to minimize the impact of this discovery as it cuts into their profits—same as the Soy Industry did with the discovery of the harm being done by trans-fatty acids in partially hydrogenated soybean oil—another food that is in nearly every bit of processed food made in this country. And here goes already:Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association Inc., called the study "baseless," saying the piece's scientific facts make assumptions about high-fructose corn syrup's role in obesity.

"No single food or sweetener causes obesity," said Ms. Erickson with the Washington trade group for makers of corn starches, oils and sweeteners.

No, of course they don’t, Mr. Erickson. Some are just far cheaper and contribute far more than others—both, to obesity of population and your pockets.
More information about this may be found here, here, and here.

Fuck you, spam.

Posted 28 March 2004, 12.35 am by Unforgiven

Ever sign up for something that required an email address, even though it's really none of their damn business?

Ever need to give someone an email address, but it's a one time use, and you don't really want to give them your real one?

You're not alone. From the page itself:

Welcome to Mailinator(tm) - Its no signup, instant email. Here is how it works: You are on the web, at a party, or talking to your favorite insurance salesman. Whereever you are, someone (or some webpage) asks for your email. You know if you give it, you'll be on their spam list. On the other hand, you do want at least one message from that person. The answer is to give them a mailinator address. You don't need to sign-up. You just make it up on the spot. Pick or - pick anything you want (up to 15 characters before the @ sign).

Later, come to this site and check that account. Its that easy. Mailinator accounts are created when mail arrives for them. No signup, no personal information, and when you're done - you can walk away - an instant solution to one way spammers get your address. The emails will automatically be deleted for you after a few hours.

Go on. See for yourself.

Dr Daedalus Unravels

Posted 26 March 2004, 7.27 pm by Mr_Fred_Smith

The Stage: November 7, 1889

By "Stage-Hack"

An unfortunate and unsatisfactory evening was experienced by the groundlings at the Alhambra on Thursday evening, when the hyperbolically well-publicised stage magician "Dr Daedalus" experienced stage-fright in mid-performance and fled the theatre. This is hardly what one expects from a man who, as his own agent informs us, "has performed escape artistry throughout the entirety of the Western Hemisphere, and illusion throught the East", and has "beaten Mr Mephisto hands down in State after State". Mr Mephisto was not available to comment on this bold asseveration, but one wonders what his response might have been to the sight of Dr Daedalus, sweating profusely, screaming insensibly, leaping from the side of the stage and knocking over several bewildered minstrels in the alacrity of his escape.

His unexpected disappearance, in fact, was probably the highlight of his display: for the most part, the audience was subjected to a spiritless, unimaginative son et lumiere of technical explosions, blindingly feckless chiaroscuro and tiresomely predictable handcuff escapes, not to mention a tedious series of theatrical vignettes which, while evincing dramaturgical ingenuity and actorly perfection, were completely bereft of either context or sense in the genre of stage prestidigitation from which they presented themselves.

The little patter of perfunctory applause and uneasy coughing which met this part of the act was then completely silenced by Dr Daedalus' complete failure to master the fundamentals of not only theatre oratory, but everyday syntax. Not content with mangling his promotional refrain into something vaguely akin to "I am Dr Dinadless!", which sent splutters of laughter through the rank and file of my fellow-sufferers in the public booths, the stage magician's voice began wavering and quavering, provoking shouts of "Speak up, Yankee!" from the impatient groundlings. The hapless Dr Daedalus then fluffed two card tricks in succession and lamed a particularly unfortunate rock dove, before making his final escape in a paroxysm of terror. We may never see his like again, just as we may never see our six pennies: the Management refused to refund the entrance fee. Even the historical Daedalus could never have accomplished such a spectacular deception.

Contemplating Fruit

Posted 26 March 2004, 8.40 am by Lilith

A banana is laying on my desk, on a piece of paper towel, away from workspace clutter of papers and utensils, and out of reach of the elbow-room I use for writing.

I have brought it from the store at lunch break today—I went in to get something else, but as I walked closer to the check-out, there it was, a stand with banana bunches scattered about it in a messy still-life: from almost obnoxiously smooth green ones, to the deep buttery-banana yellow, warm and delicately spotted brown in places, just shouting “ripe” at me. Something alive and breathing in an ocean of plastic packaging and glittery boxes and bright logos on packaged foods. Not in the produce section, where there is safety in numbers, but boldly out in the walkway, challenging the rustle and flash of paper and plastic with their barely-uneven shapes and colors.

Before I even thought about it, I had walked over to the stand, and picked up a large, obnoxiously yellow bunch, breaking off two for myself. I turned then, and walked right over to checkout. I wasn’t thinking about the bananas when I got to work and heated up my lunch and ate it—I put one in the fridge, and the other one ended up on my desk, on a piece of paper towel.

I pick it up and feel the smooth skin. The color is so bright, it’s almost too bright to be a natural color—but at the same time, no one would mistake it for something that came off a fluorescent marker. There are small scratches and tiny angled bruises on the skin where it was touched by hands and stressed during transport, but it is still very clean, very perfect for something as delicate as a banana. There is a spot of gorgeous living banana-leaf green near the tip of the fruit where the flower was, and a paler touch of it on the stalk. I trace the spots with the tip of my finger and rest it back down on paper towel.

Then pick it up again in a few minutes and smell it. The scent is not the rich banana smell of the artificially-flavored desserts, but a faint scent of fresh banana mixed with the green hint and a musty hint on the peel, and a green herbal scent on the broken-off end where it connected to the bunch. I feel the broken-off end with my finger. Right by the tear, there is a patch of skin that is almost waxy, shiny and not matte as the rest of the fruit and even the stalk. I have no idea why it’s there. I trace the lines that run along the corners of the pentagon of the banana section—the long, curving lines where the planes of banana peel meet at a blunt angle, but a recognizable angle still. The long, smooth curves section off parts of the skin—the convex ones traced with minute yellow-translucent lengthwise stripes on yellow-opaque skin, and the concave ones are bright and perfect yellow, without bruises and spotting, having been protected by the curve of the fruit’s shape, with angles and planes that are more defined and more solid, somehow.

I put the banana down and try to do some work, but pick it up again to look at it and rub my thumb along the lines in the skin. The skin is very un-fruit-like: not bumpy like citrus or smooth and shiny like apple, or fuzzy like a peach or apricot. It is almost flesh-like, which is a bit disturbing in a way. The fruit fascinates me—how often have you held a banana in your hands and examined it closely instead of peeling and eating it right away? I revel in the small details of it, like the slight bruise at the base of the stalk where it connects to the fruit, but only on one side. The stalk itself is also pentagonal in section, and the bruise is only along one of the longer sides of the pentagon.

Curious. I lay the fruit back down on the paper towel, to eat after I am done with the batch of analyses I am working on now. I imagine how it’ll taste.

The strangest thing of all is that I don’t even like bananas.

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In 2018 I started painting again. This was one of a series of acrylic sketches I did to relearn techniques and revisit my skills from art college.

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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness


80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!


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