ordinary activities

It’s trans people ― not cis people ― who experience real terror when faced with everyday, ordinary activities. It’s trans students ― not cis students ― who are robbed of the chance to get a good (or even mediocre) education because of the distractions and drama orchestrated by folks who have nothing better to do than work themselves up into small-minded fervors over what genitals belong where. And too often it’s trans people ― not cis people ― who are attacked and murdered because of who they are.
—  There’s An Insidious New Plot To Make Trans Kids’ Lives Hell | Noah Michelson for the Huffington Post Queer Voices
INTJ crushing on an ENFP
  • ENFP: LALALALALALALALA *ordinary day activities*
  • INTJ: *observes ENFP's every move*
  • INTJ: *takes notes on what ENFP does and doesn't like*
  • INTJ: *takes notes on impressive things ENFP does*
  • ENFP: *messes up*
  • INTJ: *doesn't snap at them and leaps in to tell them how to make it right*
  • ENFP: *asks a really stupid question*
  • INTJ: *doesn't snap at them and explains to them*
  • ENFP: *does something stupid*
  • INTJ: *doesn't snap at them yet chides them for their reckless actions and offers to either shelter them from repercussions or help them face the repercussions*
  • ENFP: *says something stupid*
  • INTJ: *doesn't snap at them... corrects them with gusto*
  • ENFP: *does something completely right and awesome and intelligent*
  • INTJ: *stares at them with adoring love in their eyes that no one else can see ... Note-- to any outside viewer, it just looks like staring*
  • ENFP: *talks to INTJ*
  • INTJ: *thinks wtf they are talking to me... wtf do i do... wtf do i say*
  • INTJ: uh yeah. Nope. Uh huh. That's cool. That's good.
  • INTJ: *gets thoroughly invested in the topic*
  • INTJ: *impresses ENFP with their wide range of knowledge about everything*
Constellations and the Calendar

Did you recently hear that NASA changed the zodiac signs? Nope, we definitely didn’t…

…Here at NASA, we study astronomy, not astrology. We didn’t change any zodiac signs, we just did the math. Here are the details:

First Things First: Astrology is NOT Astronomy

Astronomy is the scientific study of everything in outer space. Astronomers and other scientists know that stars many light years away have no effect on the ordinary activities of humans on Earth.

Astrology is something else. It’s not science. No one has shown that astrology can be used to predict the future or describe what people are like based on their birth dates.

Some curious symbols ring the outside of the Star Finder. These symbols stand for some of the constellations in the zodiac. What is the zodiac and what is special about these constellations?

Imagine a straight line drawn from Earth though the sun and out into space way beyond our solar system where the stars are. Then, picture Earth following its orbit around the sun. This imaginary line would rotate, pointing to different stars throughout one complete trip around the sun – or, one year. All the stars that lie close to the imaginary flat disk swept out by this imaginary line are said to be in the zodiac.

The constellations in the zodiac are simply the constellations that this imaginary straight line points to in its year-long journey.

What are Constellations?

A constellation is group of stars like a dot-to-dot puzzle. If you join the dots—stars, that is—and use lots of imagination, the picture would look like an object, animal, or person. For example, Orion is a group of stars that the Greeks thought looked like a giant hunter with a sword attached to his belt. Other than making a pattern in Earth’s sky, these stars may not be related at all.

Even the closest star is almost unimaginably far away. Because they are so far away, the shapes and positions of the constellations in Earth’s sky change very, very slowly. During one human lifetime, they change hardly at all.

A Long History of Looking to the Stars

The Babylonians lived over 3,000 years ago. They divided the zodiac into 12 equal parts – like cutting a pizza into 12 equal slices. They picked 12 constellations in the zodiac, one for each of the 12 “slices.” So, as Earth orbits the sun, the sun would appear to pass through each of the 12 parts of the zodiac. Since the Babylonians already had a 12-month calendar (based on the phases of the moon), each month got a slice of the zodiac all to itself.

But even according to the Babylonians’ own ancient stories, there were 13 constellations in the zodiac. So they picked one, Ophiuchus, to leave out. Even then, some of the chosen 12 didn’t fit neatly into their assigned slice of the pie and crossed over into the next one.

When the Babylonians first invented the 12 signs of zodiac, a birthday between about July 23 and August 22 meant being born under the constellation Leo. Now, 3,000 years later, the sky has shifted because Earth’s axis (North Pole) doesn’t point in quite the same direction.

The constellations are different sizes and shapes, so the sun spends different lengths of time lined up with each one. The line from Earth through the sun points to Virgo for 45 days, but it points to Scorpius for only 7 days.  To make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12. Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time.

So, we didn’t change any zodiac signs…we just did the math.

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The whole thrust of Buddha’s teaching is to master the mind. If you master the mind, you will have mastery over body and speech. […] Mastery of the mind is achieved through constant awareness of all your thoughts and actions. […] Maintaining this constant mindfulness in the practice of tranquility and insight, you will eventually be able to sustain the recognition of wisdom even in the midst of ordinary activities and distractions. Mindfulness is thus the very basis, the cure for all samsaric afflictions.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Journey to Enlightenment.

Photo from Wikipedia.

Samurai 7/Dirty Pair Director Toshifumi Takizawa Passes Away
Armored Trooper Votoms chief technical director was 61

The official blog for anime director Toshifumi Takizawa reported on Thursday the Takizawa passed away on June 22 from esophageal cancer. He was 61.

The blog mentions that up until the day before his death, he was still doing ordinary activities such as driving his car and walking his dog.

During his career he also directed Big Wars, Crusher Joe: The OVA’s, the Dirty Pair Flight 005 Conspiracy and Dirty Pair: From Lovely Angels with Love OVAs, Blue Remains, Aura Battle Dunbine: The Tale of Neo Byston Well, and Aoki Ryūsei SPT Layzner. He also worked as a storyboard artist for Mad Bull 34, Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Zeta Gundam, Victory Gundam, G Gundam, New Gigantor, Inazuma Eleven, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Black Butler, and more.

Takizawa had also been working as a regular lecturer at Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts since April 2011.


“So, Dean has the gun in one hand and his shoe on the other, right?” Sam continued over your laughter, his cheeks hollowing as he smiled at you. You were holding your sides, your face flushed as you tried to take deep breaths, but failing when a new set of giggles erupted from your mouth. “Well, the genius just decides to chase the chicken around like that while I’m trying to find the witch’s book, and the thing was so scared that it ran to me and started to freakin’ bite me!” 

“Oh my god,” you whispered before laughing even harder. “Sam…stop…” you begged between laughs, leaning over and resting a hand on his right knee and the other grabbing the library table to keep yourself from falling off your seat.

 A sudden rush of heat flowed in Sam’s cheeks, his heart sprinting in his chest with your simple touch. Sometimes he couldn’t tell if this feelings, created by ordinary and regular activities—laughing with you, telling stories, or even just being in your company—had always been somewhere inside of him, unlocked and realized when he accepted that—

“…I like you.”

The mood changed in the blink of an eye; Sam’s eyes widened, his hands fighting to urge to clamp over his mouth; you, on the other hand, immediately stopped laughing and retired your hand away from his jeans, your lips parting slightly while you took in his words. 

“What?” you asked breathlessly, unable to keep your cheeks from reddening.

He didn’t want to say it twice, to embarrass himself even further than he already had, but there was no going back. He couldn’t take his words back or pretend that he had said something else, not when you had clearly heard him. 

“I, um, I like you, (Y/N),” he repeated, prompting his face on his hands as he took a deep breath. “God, I’m so sorry; this is gonna make things so awkward for us, isn’t it? Specially when you like Dean and I—”

“Wait a second, who the hell said I like Dean?” you scoffed, your mouth stretching into a small smile as you leaned forward in your seat again, this time to take Sam’s hands away from blocking his face and into yours instead. “Trust me, your brother is amazing, and I love him as if he were family, but I couldn’t possibly fall for him, Sam. Not when I’ve got you, you gigant dummy!”

Zen is a journey of exploration and a way of living that, in and of itself, does not belong to any one religion or tradition. It is about experiencing life in the here and now and about removing the dualistic distinctions between “I” and “you” between “subject” and “objective”, between our spiritual and our ordinary, everyday activities.
—  Chris Prentiss

it is so easy for people to forget the kind of person that Louis was before 1D…
The Louis that you are seeing didn’t come out of fcking nowhere. He’s not shoving his life in our throats. Before 1D, in the UK, he would go to festivals with his friends, party, drink. And then he did so during 1D, it wasn’t as much but when he wanted to, he would go out to the club with the same friends you are seeing now. Louis has his squad. As problematic they are, Louis enjoys their company. Louis likes music, he like sharing the artists that he likes. It’s honestly not that deep. There is nothing wrong with Louis spending his time out to places he never gotten the chance to go. Let him live in peace jfc

Zen is a journey of exploration and a way of living that, in and of itself, does not belong to any one religion or tradition. It is about experiencing life in the here and now and about removing the dualistic distinctions between “I” and “you” between “subject” and “objective”, between our spiritual and our ordinary, everyday activities.
—  Chris Prentiss

#ProvenancePeek: De Hooch at the Getty

Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

Not as well known to the casual art lover as his more famous contemporary Jan Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch was a Dutch Golden Age painter, a member of the Delft Guild, and a master of genre painting.

Genre paintings are scenes of everyday life featuring ordinary people engaged in ordinary activities such as letter writing or laundry. They were usually small, making them more affordable than the large, dramatic Baroque paintings of the prior century.

This painting, A Woman Preparing Bread and Butter for a Boy, shows the style for which de Hooch was known—a stream of natural light illuminating a small interior, complete with beautiful details such as the latch on the door at left and variations in the paved stone floor. Its small size, 27 by 21 inches, made it perfect for hanging in an interior much like the one shown in the painting.

From Holland to New York

If we peek into the provenance of this work, we see that it remained in Dutch collections until the mid-19th century when it was sold as part of the Verstolk van Soelen collection. A group of British collectors stepped in to purchase that collection, and this painting along with it.

A Woman Preparing Bread and Butter for a Boy continued down ancestral lines for 50 years until it was snapped up by George A. Drummond, a Scottish-born sugar magnate and well-known art collector who helped transform the once-provincial town of Montreal into a bustling metropolis. The painting remained in the Drummond family until George’s second wife, Lady Julia Drummond, sold it at Christie’s, along with many other works from the collection.

That’s how the focus of this #ProvenancePeek series, the Knoedler Gallery of New York, came into possession of the work. Knoedler, along with Henry Reinhardt, another prominent American dealer, purchased 14 works from the Drummond sale at Christie’s in June 1919. Two of those, stock number 14754, a landscape by J.M.W. Turner, and stock number 14760, a depiction of a ballet dancer by French artist Jean-Louis Forain, are both in American public collections (Yale Center for British Art and The Clark, respectively). But the de Hooch still had a way to go before arriving at its present location, the J. Paul Getty Museum’s East Pavilion.

Before coming to the Getty, this de Hooch’s first destination in the U.S. was Pittsburgh, where it joined the illustrious collection of Andrew W. Mellon. Mellon purchased the work from Knoedler for nearly double what Knoedler and Reinhardt had paid for it, snapping it up immediately after it entered into stock. However, unlike the rest of Mellon’s collection, this painting was not part of his bequest that formed the National Gallery of Art. Instead, he sold the de Hooch less than ten years later…and back it went to Europe.

…And from New York to London to L.A.

At this point, the de Hooch’s travels were nearly done, but it still needed to enter into another great collector’s inventory before coming to the Getty. Baron Heinrich von Thyssen-Bornemisza, founder of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, purchased the painting from German dealer Julius Böhler in 1929, and willed it to his daughter Gabrielle, who became the second to final owner in 1947. When she put the painting up for sale in the early 1980s via a London gallery, the J. Paul Getty Museum seized its chance. A Woman Preparing Bread and Butter for a Boy is now part of the Getty’s permanent collection and is on view every day at the Getty Center, Museum East Pavilion, Gallery E204.

The stock books of the Knoedler Gallery have recently been transformed into a searchable database, which anyone can query for free. You can find this painting by typing “14755” into the Stock Number query box.

A Woman Preparing Bread and Butter for a Boy, about 1660–63, Pieter de Hooch. Oil on canvas, 27 x 21 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.PA.47. Pages from the stock and sales books of the Knoedler Gallery. The Getty Research Institute.


#ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute. This is the final post in the series, but the joy of peeking into provenance continues through the daily effort of the Project for the Study of Collecting and Provenance editors. If you’re interested in learning more, visit the department’s page on Getty.edu.

Nothing has ever been given to me. I do not know a situation in which a poem has been dictated by an “inspiration,” that it has been preceded by the feeling or the thought it’s going to express. What is usual for me is the desire to find myself once again within a specifically poetic idiom. For this to happen it is necessary that words come to my mind free from the conceptual network that is present and active in ordinary speech. Can this happen? Yes, when the relation one might perceive between words defies analysis, as in what the surrealists called “the image”—thus “Villages of Weariness” or “The crow wise be reborn redder than ever,” two lines by Éluard that can’t be reduced by the play of metonymies or metaphors. At the same time these word associations, which are the beginning of poetic labor, must not be gratuitous, unrelated to personal reality. I have to expect them from my unconscious speech, which luckily appears as soon as one summons it by putting pen to paper, bringing verbal fragments that are at once enigmatic and rich with my past, my unknown present, and my future.

So I jot down these sentences. I listen to them. I see them making signs to each other, and thanks to them I begin to understand needs, memories, fantasies which are within me. This is the beginning of the poem, which will eventually become a whole book, since it will concern all that I am. I have always started in this way, in the middle of the unknown, only to discover later that I was speaking from the point that would have been the simple observation of my daily actions and thoughts. This is a labor that requires a great deal of time, years perhaps. Often the title comes at the end, like a retroactive statement.

Yves Bonnefoy, Interviewed in The Paris Review (Art of Poetry No. 69)

I love those posts where people talk about ordinary human activities and traits like eating and sleeping, but from the perspective of an alien who would find it all so strange and different.

“Humans actually lie down in a dark room with their eyes closed for several hours, during which their brain enters an altered state. They do this to rejuvenate their energy,”

“Humans have this ability called hearing in which they can pick up vibrations in the air. They’ve even made an entire art form around this as a means of entertainment. It is called music,”

“Humans keep track of which point in the Earth’s rotation their offspring are born on, and celebrate their survival for one rotation by giving them high-caloric foods and giving them offerings wrapped in decorated film made of dead trees,”