“People say, “I’m going to sleep now,” as if it were nothing. But it’s really a bizarre activity. “For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I’m going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life.” If you didn’t know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird and tell all your friends about the movie you’d seen. “They had these people, you know? And they would walk around all day and be okay? And then, once a day, usually after dark, they would lie down on these special platforms and become unconscious. They would stop functioning almost completely, except deep in their minds they would have adventures and experiences that were completely impossible in real life. As they lay there, completely vulnerable to their enemies, their only movements were to occasionally shift from one position to another; or, if one of the ‘mind adventures’ got too real, they would sit up and scream and be glad they weren’t unconscious anymore. Then they would drink a lot of coffee.” So, next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you’re in a science fiction movie. And whisper, “The creature is regenerating itself.”—George Carlin (via atomos)
“I love that moment. When you’re on a long car ride, or listening to music, or reading. And you completely zone out. You forget your troubles, and everyone around you. You’re focused on that one thing, and that one thing only. You’re content, and everything seems peaceful.”—Unknown (via valiuum)
“Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like his.”—Ted Kooser, “Flying at Night” (via bookoasis)
“I’m not sentimental—I’m as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last—the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald; This Side of Paradise (via 52hearts)
“I love her for what she has dared to be, for her hardness, her cruelty, her egoism, her perverseness, her demoniac destructiveness. She would crush me to ashes without hesitation. She is a personality created to the limit. I worship her courage to hurt, and I am willing to be sacrificed to it. She will add the sum of me to her.”—Anaïs Nin (via modellesbians)
“Telling women that they should merely abstain from reading and/or participating in YouTube threads—or other places online and offline plagued by unfettered misogyny—is akin to telling women their choices are to tolerate sexual harassment in order to participate in it, or segregate themselves and necessarily limit their opportunities in the public sphere. In addition to unfairly punishing women, that’s also a tacit endorsement of openly expressed misogyny. No matter how authentic the genuine feelings of concern that may motivate such a recommendation, when someone advises a woman to disengage herself from a public space in which misogyny is rampant, one also necessarily, if unintentionally, communicates the message that her contributions to that space are not valuable enough to fight to protect. By slow increments, every unmonitored space thusly becomes uninhabitable by any woman not willing to suffer—and indulge—misogynist bullies.”—
“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (via alexandrahamilton)
This is the sound of the aurora on Saturn. Pretty eerie, no?
There is no sound in space. Outside planets and stars, molecules are spread out too thin for sound to propagate. It follows, then, that we can’t really hear sounds planets emit into space. But radio waves—electromagnetic waves with wavelengths longer than infrared light—are, as we know, handy for representing sound. And so it makes sense for us to interpret radio waves, whether originally encoding sound or not, as sound. These are radio waves emitted in conjunction with auroras around Saturn’s poles, similar to the northern and southern lights on Earth. They were picked up by the Cassini spacecraft and then interpreted as sound. But the sound was not in the audible range, so it has been downshifted by a factor of 44. And finally, so as not to bore us to death, it has been speeded up by a factor of 22. Realize, then, that many human choices were made in order for us to be able to “listen to space.” But if you can accept that, you can enjoy this.
“My reason will still not understand why I pray, but I shall still pray, and my life, my whole life, independently of anything that may happen to me, is every moment of it no longer meaningless as it was before, but has an unquestionable meaning of goodness with which I have the power to invest it.”—Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (via bookoasis)