great elements

“Ah, well, there is no great mystery in that. But you will know all about it soon enough. How sweet the morning air is! See how that one little cloud floats like a pink feather from some gigantic flamingo. Now the red rim of the sun pushes itself over the London cloud-bank. It shines on a good many folk, but on none, I dare bet, who are on a stranger errand than you and I. How small we feel with our petty ambitions and strivings in the presence of the great elemental forces of nature! Are you well up in your Jean Paul?”

“Fairly so. I worked back to him through Carlyle.”


“That was like following the brook to the parent lake. He makes one curious but profound remark. It is that the chief proof of man’s real greatness lies in his perception of his own smallness. It argues, you see, a power of comparison and of appreciation which is in itself a proof of nobility. There is much food for thought in Richter. You have not a pistol, have you?”

— 

Holmes and Watson talking while they’re out walking with a dog (Toby!) in The Sign of Four.

Usually when Holmes and Watson are talking about things unrelated to a case, Watson makes it brief or just gives a decription, rather than quoting Holmes directly (“we sat for an hour over a bottle of claret while he told me anecdote after anecdote”; “For three hours we strolled about together…His characteristic talk, with its keen observance of detail and subtle power of inference held me amused and enthralled.”) I like this part because we get to see a more lengthy passage than usual of what this “characteristic talk” which keeps Watson “amused and enthralled” sounds like. Apparently it’s Holmes suddenly changing the topic away from crime mid-conversation to say that the clouds look like flamingos, that he feels small, and to ask Watson what he’s been reading lately.

in the woods

he sets a steaming mug on the coffee-table beside her, the scent of hot chocolate curling her lips up. last night, he made them rib-eyes with spinach and mashed potatoes, used that ridiculously expensive grass-fed butter and everything; she picks up the mug, takes a creamy sip, and decides that she can summarize this weekend with the word rich. though they only have two space-heaters in this little cabin, the room feels cozy nonetheless. she lounges on the couch, the secret history on her pajamaed lap, her legs up on the cushions while he sits down at her feet, lifts her toes up onto his lap. she sets the mug back down, returns to her words while he takes one of her wool socks into his hands and rubs his thumb along her arch. yes, she thinks; rich is the correct term.

though she’s unsure as to whose cabin this is, she knows it belongs to an old friend of mulder’s, some guy whose wife or daughter or other relative had been abducted, and due to mulder’s brash heroism - she stopped listening as soon as he began the story, for she figured it wouldn’t be true or that the true version would be far less exhilarating than mulder’s rendition - and she doesn’t want to question the ownership, not when it’s ever-so-softly snowing outside and not while their little space of the adirondacks is so blissfully, wonderfully quiet. according to the true locals, this is off-season, and they’re in a portion of the state that’s been owned by a specific family for years; the lake water, apparently, is safe to drink though she made sure mulder boiled it anyway. nonetheless, it’s just them and the neighboring cabin’s occupants out here for the weekend, the nearest paved road being thirty miles away, the closest gas station probably thirty-five. 

“are we staying in today?” he asks as he rubs her feet, still tired from their past week of nonstop paperwork. to skinner on friday, mulder claimed that he would have a twenty-four hour virus starting on that coming monday, a lie that skinner grinned and bore; as for her excuse to spend the weekend away, she was registered to attend a conference in alexandria that she’d intended to attend though mulder’s mentioned it hundreds of times that, technically speaking, they’re both playing hooky. yesterday, they spent the morning snowshoeing the property and hiking the short path down to the frozen-over lake, but today, life sounds best when her book, a blanket, and mulder are involved.

glancing out the window, she watches as an evergreen folds heavily beneath the falling snow; outside, the world is silent but full of change, the gravity shifting as it does with every storm. to herself, she wonders if they might end up snowed in and finds she doesn’t mind that prospect. 

“i’d like to,” she says as he switches to her other foot. 

of course, she’d been resistant at his first mention of a weekend like this, one planned out and researched and intended for - she nearly cringes at the word - romance.

“just wait for a holiday weekend instead,” she insisted as they sat together in the basement office, as she flicked through some new file, as she remained friendly but indifferent toward him in the way she’d mastered at work over the years. though their relationship had changed drastically - in a good way, in the best of ways - since he kissed her on the first, she still needed to be professional. “i’d rather not take time off.”

“but it is a holiday weekend,” he gave softly, his eyes puppying and his gaze silently hurt. 

“mulder, martin luther king day is in january, not february.”

“yeah, i know that.”

“then what holiday are you talking about?”

and though she knew that their territory since he kissed her on the first was uncharted, and though she knew that her priorities didn’t tend toward hallmark holidays, and though she knew better than to think he would overlook such a thing, she stared incredulously at him, couldn’t remember any february holiday other than her birthday though even that one was hardly worth celebrating.

“that’s the weekend of valentine’s day,” he explained, his eyes downcast, his ribs still as he waited for the inevitable rejection. “the fourteenth’s that monday.”

and now, she’s playing hooky for the first time in her career, and she’s wearing his thermal shirt, and he made her belgian waffles for breakfast, the world beyond them is a mess of bright white, and work is the last thing on her mind.

“i think there’s a scrabble board on the bookshelf,” he says, glancing back at the dusty, faded stack of almanacs; this place, all gas-powered and wooden, looks exactly the way a cabin should look, the decor straight out of the 1960s, the mugs in the cabinet all fading shades of green and yellow, all of the furniture holding the scent of pine. if there’s a box of scrabble in here, it’ll be an old version, the rulebook fading and three or four of the pieces missing. looking to him, she smiles softly, figures that everything’s more alluring when it has a quirk or two.

“yeah,” she offers, folding her pages over her bookmark, setting the novel down on the coffee-table. then, she shimmies down against the couch, her knees falling over his lap, and motions for him to come closer. though the word of the weekend is rich, she figures contact would also suffice.

“we’re not going to fit,” he warns but leans down alongside her anyway; with his folded legs draping across her hips and his arm steadying himself around her stomach, she exhales, her mind blanking meditatively, her heartbeat slow and soft. 

“i’m sorry that there’s not much to do around here,” he whispers against her skin, his lips ghosting against her collarbone. “i should’ve planned something else. though i know you like quiet places, this might be a little too quiet.”

“no, no,” she says, shaking her head as she twines his fingers through his hair. then, she quirks a lip, says, “a calm, quiet weekend with you is a rare treat.”

“we could’ve gone to san jose,” he muses; though she’s not entirely sure, she thinks he’s joking. “i heard that there have been sightings there. we could’ve stayed up until four in the morning, looked for flying saucers, and eaten junk food all weekend.”

“how romantic,” she deadpans. 

“this hasn’t been romantic at all,” he grumbles, the statement self-deprecating, his words intended for himself only.

on the drive from some tiny rural airport in vermont to this cabin, he brought out his blues brothers cd to keep them entertained while the radio stations went in and out; he imitated the guys on npr for a certain stretch of miles, each quip being met with a smile from her. though they arrived too late on friday night to see much of the property, he offered her a ski mask and sat on the cabin’s porch with her, pointed out the seven sisters constellation and labeled it the smudge in the sky. that night, she took his sleep-shirt out of his duffel, put it on before he could, and the incredulous but deeply satisfied look he gave her for that - and the mild-mannered but insistent way he managed to get it back, or at least to let it reside on the bedroom’s floor for the remainder of the evening - was worth any backroad boredom they could’ve had. though she always knew he was loving, could discern his intelligent passion from the moment she first met him, she’s still shocked with every extraneous touch, with every unnecessary caress, with the way he’ll stop stirring risotto just so he can bring her into his arms, and she’s far more shocked with how at ease she feels with him. when he makes her dinner, when he borrows her chapstick though she insists that he shouldn’t, when he spoons up against her in bed as though he could read her mind and sense that she felt cold, she feels her mind soften, her muscles relax; simultaneously, they’re honeymooners and best friends, and as she turns her head, kisses his forehead, she whispers, “it’s been romantic.”

“but has it been a valentine’s day kind of romantic?” he asks. 

“of course it has,” she laughs. 

“really?”

“you’re asking someone who forgot about the holiday altogether.”

“so i should’ve made this year so memorable that you would never forget it.”

she closes her eyes, breathes him in, thinks of how many hours they have to themselves, just the two of them in the middle of nowhere on a snowy day, books and scrabble keeping them company, this cabin making them feel as though they’re the only people left on earth.

“i’ll never forget it,” she whispers to him. “i promise.”

“I know many people have their critics to Descendants of the Sun (it’s their right). But what I like more about this show is that my mom saw on Netflix and enjoyed, much like my friends are watching Train to Busan and liking the movie. This kind of dramas and movies get to the international public (it’s good for them and for us, now my friends/family don’t see me as the weird that watches Korean dramas and movies, they see as normal).”

Watch on troublemakerstorm.tumblr.com

TV Asahi invited Shizuka Arakawa to explain things outside jumps to look at figure skating sport. One of them is Step Sequence (steps and turns). They took example of Yuzuru’s step sequences at NHK Trophy 2016. So difficult, yet so fluid,smooth,elegant and fast.

“The squaring of the circle” is one of the most important interpretations and definitions of the Great Work of Alchemy. The Circle represents Unity, the First Matter of our work, and the Square represents the Four Elements of Nature which emanate from and return to the Circle. In Alchemy it is asserted that the metals are composed of the Four Elements, which the ancient philosophers called Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. The actual differences between the metals are the result of the particular proportions in which the elements are combined in the metals. Gold itself is the natural result of a particular combination of the elements. The other metals of Alchemy are also combinations of the elements. By extracting and purifying the elements in the base metals, thereby reducing the metals to their pure state of Prima Materia, and then by skillfully converting the actual proportions in the combinations of the elements which constitute the life of the metals, the metals can be transformed into gold. By purifying an object of the Four Elements we are left with a fifth element which we call the Quintessence and the First Matter of our work. In WoMan this fifth element is called his/her Spirit. Now in Mystical Alchemy the elements represent the human senses. Fire is the sense of sight, Water is the sense of taste, Air is the sense of smell, Earth is the sense of touch, and Spirit is the sense of sound. The fifth element of Spirit, unlike the others, has a direct link with our True Self, which is the Crown of our alchemystical work. To attain this fifth element we must first purify or deprogram ourselves. Then must we recreate or reprogram ourselves in accordance with our True Will. When the True Self is attained through its so-called purification, or, in other words, when we rise above the elemental senses, it is then that we are able to properly recreate ourselves, to reprogram our systems, or to recombine the elements to fit in with our new perspective. But first we must purify our systems; only then are we truly fit and freely able to properly consecrate ourselves to the Great Work, to reprogram ourselves in accordance with our True Will, and to effect the Supreme Transmutation. To deprogram ourselves is not really an act of elimination but of purification. In this case the elemental senses are to be purified. The senses, as commonly applied in the world, are material in nature, causing an identification of consciousness with the material plane at the expense of the spiritual. But we cannot realize our True Self if our senses are bound to the material world; they must become the vehicles of our True Self.

Ocean Worlds: The Story of Seas on Earth and Other Planets

So far, every volume signed Jan Zalasiewicz had proved a geological pleasure (as indeed have all the others in the series on Earth Systems Science that OUP have been releasing), and this latest instalment (the second book he’s co written with Mark Williams) did not disappoint my high expectations. While it isn’t an overview of the current state of oceanography, it provides a pleasant and fascinating romp through all things ocean, from the origin of the water in comets, through their role in the great cycles of the elements to the current ecological catastrophe shaping up in the planet’s seas.

Keep reading

8

“Sometimes I feel sure he is as mad as a hatter and then, just as he is at his maddest, I find there is a method in his madness.”

((So I got thinking about something awhile back and forgot to post about it. It’s already been talked about that one of the great elements of Moana is that the ocean is not her savior, but rather, it assists her after she’s already tried to help herself.

I’m not sure if anyone’s pointed this out, but I noticed another interesting theme. When Moana first tries to leave the reef, the ocean is an unforgiving force. This is because she was leaving for personal enjoyment at the time. It wasn’t until she took it upon herself to journey to Te Fiti for the good of her people that the ocean started helping her.

Similarly, when Maui first attempts to use his hook after 1,000 years without it, he fails miserably. That’s because he literally has a god complex and only cares about using it for personal gain (gaining praise, being powerful, looking cool, etc.). It’s not until he finally accepts his duty to fix what he messed up that the hook works for him.

There appears to be this theme that if you do things for the right reasons, with real, good intent, help will come to you, and I really appreciate that.))

Poppy from Dreamworks’ “Trolls.”

Saw the movie on November, and I really enjoyed it. ;) It was a cute movie with Shrek elements and great designs (clothes made in felt crafts, vivid colors on trolls). I really love Poppy - she’s optimistic and very determined. I always enjoy with happy-go-characters since Spongebob and Sailor Moon. ^w^

The background was…. EH. Oh well. At least I tried my best for using Photoshop. Enjoy.

4

Four Basic Elements.

In classical thought, the four elements Water, Air, Earth, and Fire frequently occur; sometimes including a fifth element or quintessence (after “quint” meaning “fifth”) called Aether in ancient Greece and India. The concept of the five elements formed a basis of analysis in both Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hinduism, particularly in an esoteric context, the four states-of-matter describe matter, and a fifth element describes that which was beyond the material world. Similar lists existed in ancient China and Japan. In Buddhism the four great elements, to which two others are sometimes added, are not viewed as substances, but as categories of sensory experience.

If you are ever forced to take a chemistry class, you will probably see, at the front of the classroom, a large chart divided into squares, with different numbers and letters in each of them. This chart is called the table of elements, and scientists like to say that it contains all the substances that make up our world. Like everyone else, scientists are wrong from time to time, and it is easy to see that they are wrong about the table of elements. Because although this table contains a great many elements, from the element oxygen, which is found in the air, to the element of aluminum, which is found in cans of soda, the table of elements does not contain one of the most powerful elements that make up our world, and that is the element of surprise.
—  Lemony Snicket - A Series Of Unfortunate Events: The Ersatz Elevator

Kanji: 情

A follow-up to the post about 青 (blue). See, 青 is actually a really great phonetic element in other kanji! It signals that the kanji is pronounced something like せい, しょう, or じょう.

情 is a kanji meaning “feelings.” It’s made from 青 (”blue,” used for the sound じょう here) plus the heart radical 忄to show that the meaning has something to do with emotions.

情 is usually pronounced じょう and is found in words about feelings:

  • 感情(かんじょう)emotions
  • 表情(じじょう)facial expression (where your feelings 情 appear 表)
  • 同情(どうじょう)sympathy (same 同 feelings 情)
  • 情熱(じょうねつ)passion, enthusiasm (heated 熱 feelings 情)

The kun-reading なさけ implies compassion/feeling for someone:

  • 情け(なさけ)compassion, mercy, pity; affection
  • 情けない(なさけない)pitiful, pathetic

情 can also mean “circumstances” or “the current state of things.” The way the situation feels, perhaps? 

  • 情報(じょうほう)information
  • 事情(じじょう)circumstances, reasons, situation