Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 5th, 2009

I have got no time for your lazy book on companionship; (October 7, 2009)

       

            It is no surprise that readers cherish physical descriptions of the main novel’s characters.  Most authors would go into extreme details and they immediately load upon us the whole physical characteristics upfront; as if the novel would be redundant without this instant presentation of the personality when his name is first mentioned.

            Who cares about the physical description of two persons if they are in good relationship? If they like the companionship then that is all that count. It is far more useful and meaningful to focus on describing the behavioral characteristics.  As long as the main characters are not abnormal physically, then when we like a person we do like a few behavioral characters in the partner; this liking is certainly for a period since we tend to change and develop.  Thus, the next critical period in our life is bound to force upon us selecting another restricted set of behaviors that are compatible with our new comprehension, goals, and maturity.

            Since we cannot change our behavior easily then the best strategy to retaining a companion is to attend to his changes or shifts of set of likes and dislikes. The next phase is to prove to the partner that we did recognize the changes and that we are doing our best to compensate for our shortcoming.  At least, this constant effort of investing time, energy, and good will to keeping updated on the partner’s mood and behavioral changes is the surest way of rekindling renewed interests.

            Acting up our new role must first capture the changes and demonstrate to the partner that we are sensitive to the new period. Constant effort to staying together is the basis of true friendship; it is so hard to retain a friend if we fail to discover the fixed core of his character.  There is an immutable core that represents an individual character and gives him his lasting personality.  This constant effort for tracking behavioral changes must be reciprocal unless you are a helpless romantic.

            I find it a pure laziness on the part of authors to dump their descriptions of the main characters, physically and behaviorally, from the start.  Every chapter or critical stage in the novel should bring another set of descriptions compatible to the phase in the story.  People change many times a day and it is the changes that make a story alive, palpable, and fraught with expectations. The reader must be encouraged to flip back to the appropriate pages to re-read how things are unfolding and led to imagine alternative endings if not discovering the main unchanging behavior in the characters.

            Even with a crippled character we get attached to one or a couple physical traits that we hate for them to change during a period. It is these principle traits that count for the story.  It is the author job to let us share his anxieties and follow his train of thoughts at every turn.  We need to feel the changes by focusing of the relevant traits, physical or behavioral, that keep us on our toes.

 

            Easy reading means easier forgetting and that is not worth the effort for writing a book.

The loathing of Emilia: Encore; (October 6, 2009)

 

            Thus, in the first two years of my marriage I was happy but didn’t recognize my bliss: everything seemed in the nature of things and I took my situation as given and for ever to be perfect. It felt that our deep and complete accord of our senses mingled with this silence of the spirit; critics of our personalities were suspended; love was the sole judge of our partnership.  Our mutual defects seemed the benign and special quality kinds of shortcomings that enhanced our individualities.

            I recall that I barely got absent from Emelia because she always felt sad when I left her.  Occasionally, I had to be away for a day on business; Emilia would accompany me to the train station. Before I board the train her eyes were misty; many times I had to turn away my face to hide my wet eyes though I am not the sentimental type. My eyes were wet but my heart was light, confident in Emilia’s love.

            Emilia rarely laughed or smiled but managed to disseminate her feelings by body postures and the expressions on her face: she was barely educated and her world opinions were limited. She is mostly timid and shy. In bed, I was the prudish guy and she was the talkative partner, before, during, and after making love; she was the active partner though I was mostly the initiator.

            I frequently felt boredom in our happy relationship: nothing that special, like the air we breathe. People would envy me for my state of happiness and I would retort that I lacked the security of the morrow: I was in a tight financial predicament as a movie critic and we barely managed to go out see a movie.          

            Emilia came from a poor family and kept our studio constantly clean and shining.  She made my small study her exclusive care: my papers, desk, and books were arranged to lure me to work. At the time I was confident that I would become a famous person and acted accordingly in my gesture, attire, and behavior as soon to be this illustrious artistic personality.

            I could not afford to buy an apartment as I felt was Emilia’s deepest wishes: she wanted her own residence to furnish, maintain, and cherish.  I recall now that during our engagement her eyes got wet when I told her that I barely could rent a small apartment: she was longing for a place of her own and quickly. When we visited together for the first time our potential dusty and unfurnished apartment that I purchased with a deposit, Emilia joined me at the window and asked me to hug her; it was a displaced tender and overt behavior on her part.  We kissed passionately and then Emilia demanded: “take me now”.  She promptly removed her skirt and tops and we made love on the dirty floor.  I had never felt that passion in Emilia; it felt as if she was returning the gratitude for an extended expensive gift. Surely, I had the apartment in Emilia’s name.

            I have never felt that despondent and miserable as the first months after we purchased the apartment: I was permanently worried about the next payment.  Emilia did not help any: she increased her shopping excursion to buy furniture.  She was perfectly aware of my financial predicaments but she acted nonchalant and perfectly an “egoist” to me.  Gone was the period I was lording it as a potential famous intellectual; the feeling of the harsh reality that I was an utterly penniless person, a non-entity, overtook me. I started to listen to the opinions of the opposition political parties that lambasted governments, services, and the social inequities.

            Then the film producer Battista hired me to write the scenario for his movie; it was my first in this line of work.  I welcomed this opportunity which will help me pay the next three payments on my apartment.  After we finished dinner in a famous restaurant, Batista invited us to his house. Battista two-seater red convertible could not accommodate both my wife and I.  I nudged Emilia to get in and I hailed a taxi. Emilia felt totally embarrassed and out of place; I then didn’t pay much attention to her predicament. At Battista house Emilia lowered eyes most of the time and didn’t participate in the conversation.  Batista kept inviting us and Emilia would find lame excuses not to join me; she eventually came with me after a few coaxing but I felt that her heart was not in.

            I have been a scenario writer for two months now and I hate my job. The producer or the movie director would hire an assistant for me and I had to suffer this inexperienced assistant in my face for two entire months.  The director lacked imagination and behaved like an accountant.  I am the soul of the movie and the writer of the dialogues but everyone else get recognition and the fat check while I am paid a pittance.

            I have this deep sense that Emilia does not love me anymore. I got this job to make Emilia happier and I feel that I am losing both my zeal for my job and for Emilia.  She never refused to make love to me but I felt her body cold, an inanimate object.

            Emilia loved her new apartment and would not relinquish it; she never admitted that she stopped loving me and she encouraged me to take more screen writing offers. Emilia went as far as admitting that I am excellent in love making.  Emilia was bidding her time for the most convenient opportunity to break up with me.

 

Note:  This story is taken, with some alterations, from “The loathing” (Le mepris) by Alberto Moravia.

The funniest bull fight ever; (October 5, 2009)

 

            The quaint southern Spanish town of  Alcanon de la Sagrada Orden had three landmarks. There was the copper-green statue of the conquistador Juan Rodriguez de la Jara who marched from Tucson to Phoenix and reached Reno in Nevada where he died of some local plague; he was curious about the aborigine American Indians and his last words were “Por Espana y por Alcanon”.  There was the English poet Oliver Still who had decided to live in the town; he had published a slim volume in 1912 and the agony for a second volume of poems generated extravagant adulation. By the time a very short novel appeared in 1925 Oliver Still had become known the world over.  An eighty-page book published in the late thirty made Still a demigod.  Tourists from the USA flocked to Alcanon to meet the poet but Oliver shuns them. In 1948, Still published a volume of poems “Recuerdo de Alcanon” that was translated in Spanish which sealed the duo Still-Alcanon for future tourism attraction.  The third landmark was an old and maybe the first bull ring or toro arena dating from the Roman period; this ring was not used for centuries and it smelt of urine and beasts.

            At the instigation of an aging and fat Duchess, the corrida promoter Don Jesus decided to reopen the bull ring for a charity event for the benefit of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The fiesta was to last ten days.  The company owner of bull breeding Dona Conception Morales Prado was to offer the bulls for charity; he had no intention of donating his best bulls to charity.

            A US sound recorder arrived to tape natural voices and sounds of beasts and savage events. Tourists from Europe, especially from well to do Germans and Swedes, crammed the town and the disturbed the nerves of mayor Villaseca and Oliver Still. Oliver ordered his wife to pack up. To his wife query if they are moving he fulminated “Trust you to ask an idiotic question.”

            The first bull was limping and the Spanish spectators shouted “fuera, fuera” (away with it; remove from the ring; another bull). The proud mayor of the town Villaseca had volunteered to be the first “rejoneador” or the opening horseman in the ring; the mayor fell from his horse; the bull approached him, sniffed him, and turned back. Mayor Villaseca turned livid from shame; he said “I failed to become martyr of the town”.

            The second toro was pretty cunning, cautious and barely accelerated. This bull snatched the seat off the green pants of the famous toreador Cordobano who drove a green convertible Pontiac as a sign of greatness. An American actress was impressed by Cordobano muscled buttock and ran away with him to Canne in the Riviera. 

            The third bull was crazy and never reflected for a second.  A strong wind blew and dispersed the tin foils, newspapers, and remnants of sausages of the German tourist campers into the ring.  Debris stuck on the bull horns and the spectacle became hilarious. Priest Don Evaristo was chased by the bull and fainted as he reached the “callejon” (a hiding small corner).  The representative of Dictator Franco, the extra obese General “Wolf of the Sahara”, wheezed: “It is fitting to see a friar turning his back on a creature with horns”.  The promoter commented: “This corrida is becoming like ancient Rome. In the absence of competent gladiators we have to sacrifice the Christians”. 

            The toreador Rafaelito was 24 of age and was dressed in mauve; he had already announced his retirement several times and returned to the ring; he visited Hollywood for a movie tryout and was dismissed because he could not speak English.  Rafaelito purchased a mauve convertible Cadillac to upset the green Pontiac toreador. A downpour cut the short on Rafaelito virtuosities.

            Suddenly, mistaking a distant motor horn for the sound of the trumpet the retired soldier Cabrera drove the old street-cleaning truck into the arena, its sprinklers turned full on.  The crazy bull charged the truck, destroyed it to pieces, and finished off with the steaming radiator.  Cabrera discharged his Mozer into the bull.

            Mayor Villaseca was still at it complaining nonstop about his loss of honor.  The priest patiently retorted “There are times when honor is impossible”. Mayor Villaseca replied: “It is the fault of the foreigners, los extranjeros, who come here polluted by dishonor and then taint us”.  The priest could take it no longer and exploded: “We, the Spaniards, must learn to be modern and be better than the foreigners; then they will no longer patronize us and come to our country in search of the picturesque, the out of date scenes.  We have become los Indios, the primitives, yes, the savages.  We are a zoo to los extranjeros”

            It dawned on Mayor Villaseca that if the Spaniards are to proud to modernize they could outperform the los extranjeros in daring and adventure as during the Conquistador period; he decided to cancel the fiesta and called up an entrepreneur to install a drive-in movie business in the arena. The first movie was “Blood and sand”.  Villaseca proudly said: “I did it por Espana y por Alcanon”

 

Note: This topic was taken from “A place in the shade”; it is a short story of the book “Add a dash of pity” by Peter Ustinov.

The illusion of knowing is the major obstacle to discovery; (October 4, 2009)

Even a century ago, a scientist would publish a single manuscript after a life time of research and toiling.

Transmission of opinions and suggestions among scientists were sent via long erudite letters by peers.

Translators of these remarkable books didn’t go unnoticed as today, but they were rewarded academically. Nowadays, any “respectable” scientist works for several institutions, private and public, and at various nations.

Even two centuries ago, scientists did not need to refer to Pythagoras or Archimedes.  Modern scientists have no time or need to refer to more recent scientists such as Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Laplace, Lavoisier, or Kelvin. Soon Einstein and Heisenberg will be outmoded.

The team of the geeks in “Sciences and Future” met in August for brainstorming in “pause mode” to deliberate on the unique question confronting the team:

In the last few decades, what discoveries were true breakthroughs?”  The team reached an understanding on 5 scientific fields: climatology, neuroscience, astronomy, cellular biology, and Internet.

Consequently, I will answer a few of the questions that you might think you know in these fields so that our knowledge is no longer an illusion.

The internet shifts from the virtual to the real

There are 3 generations of internet or Web.

The first generation or Web1.0 was created from 2003 to 2005 and is represented by MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube that gathers people on common interest social aspects or making “friends”.

The second generation or Web 2.0 is represented by Twitter or the microblogging platform for messages restricted to 140 characters. Thus, these micro messages can be regrouped and analyze to constitute a story contributed by many Twitter bloggers.

The third generation of Web 3.0 is ready technologically; this generation is already labeled object oriented intelligence sources.  For example, you record a message on your cell phone and then stick a yellow sticker on a wall or an object. The next visitor will pass his cell phone over the sticker and copy your message of whatever you have seen or appreciated. This generation can zip all kinds of products and gather intelligence and compare with other resources.

Personally, I think that even the Twitter is already a perfect source of information by intelligence agencies; these centers can hire thousands of Twitter users and direct them on specific topic of interests in many countries.

Cells can be rejuvenated to its embryo stage

The lab technician would take samples of your skin. The skin cells can be treated to reach its first born state.

Whatever genetic diseases that cell inherited it will take another 30 years for the disease to emerge.  All the while you are thirty years younger. Better, skin cells can be treated to isolate a specific cell for any body member like liver, heart, brain, or whatever.

The sick tissue in any part of your body can be rejuvenated within a month. This biomedical technique of treating adult cells into embryo state was made possible because many laws prohibited using fetus embryo on the ground that the cell belonged to another person.

Is man’s activity altering nature more than geophysics?

Man feared the return of the ice age; it turned out that the climate is getting hotter and the poles are melting.

The emergence of urban and industrial societies as a geophysical force is altering the environment power for rejuvenation according to human threshold for survival.

Since 1824, Joseph Fourier theorized that gases in the atmosphere have the potential to increase surface temperature.

Even in 1896, John Tyndall predicted that the concentration of CO2 will increase temperature to 5 degrees by the end of the 20th century. Now, this is a fact and each year the casualties in man and nature are increasing by the violence of climatic changes. People are waiting anxiously the international summit on the environment in Copenhagen this December.

Awareness of man effective participation in climatic changes was proven when the ozone layer of O3 in the stratosphere was depleting. Seas level is increasing 3 mm a year since 1993.  So far, only Danemark produces the fourth of its power using eoliens or wind turbines.

Ex-President Bush Junior said in 1992: “The American way of life is not negotiable.”

The philosopher Michelle Serres said in 1990: “This world that we treated as an object is returning as a subject; capable of vengeance.

The humorist Coluche said: “For an ecologist to be elected as President, trees should be allowed to vote.”

The brain is in perpetual re-structuring

There are specialized neurons that can be activated when an action is executed or when an action is also observed (mirror neurons).  These mirror neurons are the biological basis for empathy, imitation, and training; almost every decision is influenced by our emotions.

Neurons have the potential to flow or transfer from one brain to another when recycling cognitive aptitudes such as reading and writing are elevated.  Neurons and connections are modified when training tasks are memorized.

We have 8 varieties of intelligence; mainly the visual, spatial, naturalist, logic-mathematics, corporal, musical, inter-personal, and intra-personal intelligences.

The new battery of experiments for testing cognitive and movements capabilities are designed to account for our eight kinds of intelligences. It is the quantity of synapses (connections) and not the weight of the brain that differentiate among the various intelligences.

There are phases in our sleep when brain activities are most intense while muscular activities are extremely inhibited; this phase is called “paradox sleep”.  We produce new neurons at every stage of growth, especially in the hippocampus and the smell brains.

Almost 10% of our synapses are established when we are born and they increase with our activities and cognitive demands (efforts, mental and physical, mean increase in fresh synapses and neurons).

Hormones or chemical messengers for the brains

Serotonin is a chemical messenger to the brains; it is implicated in sleep, feeding and sexual habits. A decrease in its production is associated to depressive moods. Anti-depressant drugs increase the concentration of serotonin in the blood.

Dopamine is a chemical hormone that controls movements, moods, addiction, and the circuit of pleasure; its deficiency generates rigidity in the muscles which is the symptoms of Parkinson disease.

Adrenaline is a chemical hormone that is secreted at moments of stress and is attached on large numbers of receptors to re-enforce cardiac functions, accelerate the heart beats, elevate arterial pressure, inhibit digestion and increase the level of glycemy.

Cortisol is secreted in moments of stress to increase the rate of glucose in the blood stream and liberating energy to counter dangers.

Insulin enhances the stock of glucose in the tissues and thus decreases glycemy.

Acetylcholine is a neuro-transmitter that excites the targeted brain when acquiring new training and for enhancing memory; its deficiency is the origin of Alzheimer disease.

Erythropoietin stimulates the synthesis of red blood cells; its deficiency results in anemia.  The word “doping” is related to sport competitors abusing of this hormone.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2009
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