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Showing posts from November, 2003
We Talk Physics into the Night - Poem by Dick Allen


We Talk Physics into the Night
by Dick Allen

“Nothing is finished,” Ye Feng says. “We’re going after nothing,
bending its wavelengths, breaking across its borders
as if it were something one hangs out to dry
or beats with a paddle. It’s like Zen,” he says,
“so filled with paradoxes that it jumps through hoops
that aren’t even there.” He sighs,
his fifth beer going flat. At twenty-nine,
Ye Feng already knows his life is flying into particles,
antisite disorders, temperature dependencies,
superparamagnetic clusters with at least two sizes of moments
but no heavy-fermion behavior. “It’s all optics,” he says,
“or our Great Wall of China, which often isn’t present
even when you’re walking it.” Beijing,
the black-and-white cat my wife and I have named
in honor of the birth city of the Fengs,
has utterly disappeared into the basement
or a black hole. On the mantelpiece,
the green-and-silver clock chimes 2:00 a.m.—another
twist of perception:…
Integer Vitae - Poem by Katha Pollitt


Integer Vitae
Katha Pollitt


The beautiful gray dog
loping across the lawn
all afternoon for the sheer joy
of summertime,

bees at their balm, the dragonfly
asleep on a raspberry leaf—
that's how we'd live
if living were enough

innocent, single-hearted
like the mourning dove who's called
his mate in the cool dawn
from one pine for a thousand years.

These do not wake in tears
nor does deception drive them
down to the blue pond
where the beaver, prince

of chaos, who appeared
alone as if from nowhere
is tirelessly constructing
his dark palace of many rooms.


Source: The Paris Review
Fall 2003
Issue 167
The Lessons We Remember Today

Dear Readers,

The lessons we remember today, from that first and second world wars in trenches, millions of dead civilians and soldiers alike, so much devastations in that now forgotten era, is the lesson that the only way to achieve peace is not more war, but peace. The arms cadres, militia and military leadership would like us to believe otherwise as they did in the previous decades in that inglorious and senseless cold war that caused horrific regional wars with millions of more deaths and injuries in Korea, Vietnam, Africa, Latin America and many other parts of our world. Ordinary men, women and children, the soldiers comprised of regular folks like you and I, sacrificed their life in battles after battles, soaked with mud and blood, killing innocent civilians and combatants of other side, regular folks, indeed, in the process, in bombardments from sky, or tank shells, bayonet charges through skulls and bones, and dying in the fields, or demolished bu…
Knowing What's Nice

Dear Readers,

Criticizing the folks without conscience does not have to be humorless; Kurt Vonnegut proves it time and again in his articles and speeches. This revered writer is a proud humanist with conscience. He provides a definition of humanist: “Do you know what a Humanist is? I am honorary president of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in that functionless capacity. We Humanists try to behave well without any expectation of rewards or punishments in an afterlife. We serve as best we can the only abstraction with which we have any real familiarity, which is our community.”

About the people without consciences, Kurt writes: “Some people are born deaf, some are born blind or whatever, and this book is about congenitally defective human beings of a sort who are making this whole country and many other parts of the planet go completely haywire nowadays. These are people born without consci…
Maher Arar’s Story

By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
November 4, 2003


Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen and Ottawa computer consultant, 33-year-old, married and father of two children, was abducted in New York airport last year, and sent to prison of Syria for further torture.

Is this believable? Is this a far-fetched story?

Without providing him any lawyer during the interrogation, without going through due process of law, a Canadian citizen, who is entitled to all of his constitutional rights, were treated viciously, violating the norm of human rights that Canada is supposedly champion of upholding.

The moment Mr. Arar’s plane landed in Amman, Jordan, before going to Syria, the severe beatings began. They had beaten him with hands in the van in Jordan, with two inches thick shredded cables, in his stomach, on his neck, hip and lower back in Syrian prison. The Syrian “law enforcing” musclemen slapped him and boxed him for hours while Mr. Arar was screaming, in pain and despair, and trembling…