A Paradise Within

Again, I give you another short story. It’s not really that short. It has approximately 2600 words. Enjoy.


As the sun slowly crept towards the top of the sky, the sun slowly covered the sky in an iridescent blanket of clouds. Trees stood at attention allowing the sun’s refulgence to pierce through to the jungle floor. The start of a new day.  Morning humidity loomed in the air, thick and unwanted like fish head soup from a street vendor. Dew on broad green leaves glistened under the rich rays as the earth warmed itself from a cool summer night. Large and small birds, broad-winged and short-winged alike hopped across branches to get a quick sip.
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To Be At Ease

The reader may find this post slightly more bare than some of my others. However, I am on vacation, thus I can presume a modicum of forgiveness shall be extended towards me. I find myself significantly more tranquil, of mind and body. I am surrounded by friends, some old and some new. I have been embraced with such a hospitality and homeliness and kindness that can only be encompassed by the German, “Gemütlichkeit”. Further, until the first of December, I do not have to return to my job and that fact fills me with more joy.

Should the reader have doubts about a road trip, or fear that one would be unsuccessful, I would assert that the contrary is true. I find myself exploring multiple states within the United States. Our voyage will only last for a few days, too brief to completely explore all the treasures. This, however, does not mean that trip would not be worth it. Nor could it be said that this trip would not be nourishing. I can already observe the positive effects in my friends—broader smiles, deeper laughs, and no concerns for the world we temporarily left behind

One should take the opportunity to ask whether enough time is allocated toward sanity, solitude, reflection, or the pursuit of something meaningful. I can say that it is perhaps not an understatement that vacationing—whether in lands far away or exploring locations nearby—will provide unparalleled catharsis. And that is something one must deny oneself.

Vehicular Prescience

“There’s a lot of shit you have to put up with when you’re driving.” – George Carlin

This one is for all the drivers out there. If you have listened to What Am I Doing in New Jersey?, George Carlin’s 1988 HBO special, then you will have some idea of the things one must be cognizant of while driving; some of those things shall be herein addressed. Should the reader be a pedestrian or become a pedestrian at any point, may the following words be instrumental in the pursuit of a harmonious and safe relationship with automobiles, and their easily perturbed occupants.

I suppose that I should probably inform the reader about my experience, more aptly, trials and tribulations with automobiles. First, an aside. The original working title of this post was: “On Fucking Pedestrians.” For quite some time, I thought it was a clever title and I would have thrown in some jokes about sex and then reminded the reader that the post would not pertain to sex at all. Although I am content with my new title, the draft on my computer bears the original title. Well, enough of that.

I’ve been driving for the greater portion of nine years and, in that time span, it is safe to say that I have driven several hundred thousand miles; I can’t be more precise because I never kept a log of exact mileage. At any rate, succinctly put: I’ve seen A LOT. I have, by no means, seen everything that could be observed by human eyes on the road, but enough where I have a firm understanding of driving. I delivered pizza professionally for almost seven years (if anyone was wondering, I laughed heartily as I typed professionally). I accrued most of my mileage during this time. I was also beset by innumerable automotive troubles which only served to fill the coffers of the cabal known as the automotive mechanic industry. Okay, admittedly, that last part sounds like conspiracy. I can attest that the mechanics I dealt with were in no way insidious (at least overtly) and it could have been said of some that they had good intentions. However, good intentions never seemed to diminish the cost of parts and labor. Thankfully, I didn’t have to bear these costs alone. Thanks, dad!

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How live interpreters will bring TEDYouth into Spanish and Arabic, in real time

TED Blog

Spanish interpreter Kelly Kelly A.K. in the booth at TEDYouth 2012. She and four others will interpret Saturday's TEDYouth in Spanish and Arabic in real time. Photo: Mike Femia/TED Spanish interpreter Kelly A.K. in the booth at TEDYouth 2012. She and four others will interpret Saturday’s TEDYouth into Spanish and Arabic in real time. Photo: Mike Femia/TED

TEDYouth will be livestreamed on Saturday, November 15, for free — and not just in English. This event, meant for students and, well, anyone sparked by general curiosity, will be translated on the spot into both Spanish and Arabic, to make it watchable by more people around the world.

Five intrepid live interpreters will make this happen. They’ll sit in soundproof booths, watching on monitors and listening through headphones as the event proceeds in English. In real time, they’ll transpose the words into their target language by speaking into a microphone. It’s a task that takes intense concentration, so they’ll trade off every 20 to 30 minutes for a rest. Each team has an electronic dictionary at the ready. 

Live interpreters prepare…

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As Ebola takes its final bow and admits defeat in the United States, the focus can now return to where an outbreak truly exists, namely Western Africa. Do not be alarmed dear readers, for I have no intention of discussing this matter any further. Instead, we focus on meals.

Some eat only to sustain the body—to replenish energy and depleted nutrients, a purely pragmatic pursuit. Some eat to satiate their own lust for food—to have their brains bathe in the neurotransmitters of ecstasy and stupefaction that only consumption can provide.

But who takes the time to actually enjoy a meal anymore?

Unfortunately, the average person is often besieged with innumerable responsibilities such that it becomes a near impossibility to sit and enjoy a good meal, let alone with other humans. Between having multiple jobs, attending university, and maintaining something resembling a social life, one often must hastily (and forcibly) introduce food into the gullet.

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