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.
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 demoli
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 wit
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 desp