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Everything posted by Grigory

  1. What made YOU laugh today/tonight ?

    Fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss describing the ecosystem of a farm (chickens eat bugs, plants grow off the chicken poop, etc) and saying that's something Nikola Tesla would have come up with. ) Link to the interview:
  2. Boaty McBoatface

    Yes! To inspire their allies and sow confusion in the ranks of their enemies.
  3. Everyone post some favorite quotes!

    "Butterflies are self-propelled flowers." Robert A. Heinlein
  4. The giveaway is over - thanks! Goooood morning, everyone! I've recently finished working on my latest book, 50 shades of yay: great thinkers on happiness, and I thought I'd share it with my favorite bums, who can surely appreciate the importance of the topic. (Well, you guys and the rest of the Internet.) It's free to download today and tomorrow - and no, you don't need a Kindle to read it. As long as you have a device with a screen and Internet connection, you can read it on the Kindle app. Give it a shot, see what happens! If you like it, I'd very much appreciate some feedback - or a quick 5-star review. If you don't like it - well, it was free, wasn't it? Thanks in advance! "Happiness - what exactly is it and where I can get some? These two simple questions have remained unanswered despite all our efforts. Poets bicker about the definition of happiness, scientists try to determine how happiness works, and politicians promise all the happiness you can handle if you vote for them. The Declaration of Independence calls the pursuit of happiness one of the three unalienable rights, but how exactly do you go about pursuing it? This book collects 50 essays, poems, philosophical discourses, aphorisms and snarky comments from great thinkers of our past. They include famous names (Mark Twain, Socrates, Emily Dickinson, Abraham Lincoln, Helen Keller and others), as well as some that you've probably never heard of. (Christina, Queen of Sweden, just might have been the wittiest 17th-century monarch.) The 50 perspectives on happiness collected in this volume range from goofy to serious, from optimistic to morbid. No matter what your philosophical disposition, this book is guaranteed to help you with your own, personal pursuit of happiness. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you think, it might even make you cry. The "50 shades of yay" can do all of that - and much, much more." Download link
  5. Thanks in advance! And no, writing won't go to my head anytime soon - it's only one of my many, many projects. Thanks! What about my author picture?
  6. The only thing anyone needs to know about "50 Shades of Grey" is that it started out as Twilight fanfiction. 'Nuff said...
  7. LOL - the title is a pun. Other potential future books: "50 shades of neigh" (about horses) and "50 shades of whey" (recipe book). I've spent months going over the most obscure sources you can think of to find material so well forgotten it was almost lost. Then I dusted it off and rescued it from oblivion by putting it into this anthology. (Anthology editors need love too!) Edited to add: why not a blog post? Because unfortunately that wouldn't reach as many people... My e-books get downloaded by thousands of people who have Kindles and want something interesting to read. The same people may not necessarily go to blogs for their reading material. It's all about the greater, better outreach.
  8. I love all the Nature references

    At some point in the future, humans will colonize space and live in environments so different from our own that they're impossible to imagine here and now... I often wonder what those space colonists would think of such nature metaphors, when they'd have to look up every other word and watch videos just to understand what mist is, or dew, or what's so special about hawks. (Or what birds are/were.) I do wonder how well these metaphors will hold up in space...
  9. Damn you body!

    Because entropy. As a biological unit, your body has only one objective: grow up to the point where it can reproduce, then stick around long enough to take care of the offspring. (And sometimes, not even that.) Everything beyond that is just a nice bonus. Once you pass that energetic phase of your life, your body begins the process of falling apart: reflexes aren't as fast, it takes you longer to recover, etc. If anything, we should all be grateful our bodies last as long as they do.
  10. Everyone post some favorite quotes!

    "There are two types of people in this world. Those who can extrapolate from missing data..."
  11. What are you listening to?

    The sound of cable "news" my roommate always runs in the background because he's afraid of silence.
  12. If you had only one day to live...

    I wouldn't try to cram as much as possible in one day, nor turn it into my own version of "the last lecture." I'd simply take everyone out for a great dinner and then have a nice get-together with stories and laughter and fun. The ancients were wrong about many things, but they were right on the money with "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die."
  13. He Perfumed His Exhaust

    Here in America if you do something like that and you don't have money, you're called crazy. If you do have money, you're an eccentric. Ditto for redheads and people with auburn hair.
  14. Sunrise, Sunset, Night.

    Gorgeous... Where was that taken?
  15. What are you listening to?

    The laughter of my roommates.
  16. breathtaking space photos

    All space photos are breathtaking in their own way. I loved this aurora picture most of all. Thank you for sharing!
  17. When Time stands still

    Another unusual source of these paranormal experiences is memoirs of World War II veterans. (And an occasional interview.) Every once in a while, you come across an odd admission... For example, one veteran claimed he saw the radio signal passing between German communication posts and knew - absolutely knew - that an artillery strike was going to strike his exact position. He ran out of the blast zone just in time. Others reported the "slow time" phenomenon, etc. There's no way to tell for sure how often that happens, because people are afraid of being thought of as crazy. For all we know, it's very commonplace. In my personal experience, there have been no adrenaline-inducing life-and-death situations, no extreme danger or risk. I just get... time flashes. Just like flashbacks, only they work the other way around. I would call them "flash-forwards" if it didn't sound so clunky. Once in a while, if I concentrate very hard, I can envision the immediate future (up to 30 seconds) in an incredibly vivid detail. I almost never lose raffles, and the only time I've ever played roulette I used this to turn $60 into a thousand in 30 minutes. Everyone (including myself) was a little bit shaken by the result...
  18. Changing context

    Because a lot of people find it easier to run away from the problem rather than fix it.
  19. Everyone post some favorite quotes!

    "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." Moulin Rouge "Time is not wisdom; wisdom is not intellect." "I'm a good guy trying to do the best." "Complexity should be your excuse for inaction." "No one ever considers the question of bladder when dealing with matters of subterfuge." (From the wonderful book "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August" by Claire North)
  20. Nice try, Harvard

    The cynic in me thinks the course is so popular because it satisfies one of the core requirements for those students. The optimist in me says "so what? At least a few of them might change their lives for the better."
  21. Haiku Chain

    To nourish the glands, Doctors prescribe chocolate. Om nom nom nom nom...
  22. What are you listening to?

    I'm listening to The whirring of my laptop. It's rather soothing.
  23. Jesus a fictional character?

    With all due respect, you're all approaching this issue from a wrong direction. You got stuck in this tar pit of a debate by jumping in without questioning its underlying precepts. What is history? Unless Protector shares his time machine with us, we'll have to keep defining the past as a compromise between the chroniclers from that period and the Powers That Be of today. (Recall the riots and tensions that happen every few years in Asia when one side or another tries to redefine what happened during WW2.) As soon as the last person who personally knew you dies, you too will become a fictional character - a sum total of stories told by your great-great-grandchildren, or biographers working with incomplete sources, or court transcripts, if you were one of the unlucky ones... The more time passes, the more your identity will be redefined, altered, reimagined. That is, of course, if you will be remembered at all. George Washington wasn't a brave courageous hero his whole life. Abraham Lincoln wasn't a genius in all of his endeavors. Jesus Christ, whoever he was (or wasn't), was almost certainly not the same person described in the collection of mistranslated, edited and whitewashed tales known as the Bible. Why argue about the physical existence of someone whose philosophical legacy has been turned inside out and backwards?
  24. Philosophers...

    Two men get into a fight over 200-year-old philosophy, and the world points and stares. Millions die in a dispute over a 2,000-year-old religion, and the world shrugs and moves on.